The Rutland-Melton International CiCLE Classic was founded and has been moulded by race director Colin Clews.
This is what he had to say ahead of the latest edition.
“Over the past 14 years the Rutland–Melton CiCLE Classic has continued to grow year on year, in terms of both prestige and spectator interest.
“Possibly the most spectator-friendly long-distance race in Britain, we are proud of what the event has achieved within that relatively short period.
“With the greater interest than ever in the outcome of the Northern European Spring Classic races, the CiCLE Classic provides the UK’s only comparable event and a lovely follow-on for anyone whose appetite has been whetted by events like De Ronde or Paris-Roubaix.
“To stand atop the podium of the CiCLE Classic is virtually every British cyclist’s dream, and this ambition is now also shared by many Continental teams and their riders.
“This year the race will see 10 foreign-based teams on the start line, and in addition the Irish-registered Holdsworth-Campagnolo team making this a record entry of overseas riders.
“With the race offering the only opportunity this year for smaller British teams and their aspiring riders to take on true Continental opposition on British roads and tracks, the result is an unmistakable mix of uncertainty, challenge and blind ambition.
“Not the respecter of reputations, the CiCLE Classic puts Olympic and world champions in the mix with lesser riders, and mere mortals.
“Who will win? Like the Continental Spring Classic races, we will only know the answer to that question after 189km and nearly five hours of racing.”