Just 18km (11 miles) separate the start in Oakham and the finish line in the home of pork pies, Melton Mowbray. However a tight network of eleven sectors consisting of short sharp climbs, narrow rough lanes and gravel tracks through farmyards, all have to be tackled on multiple occasions within the compact area between the start and finish. The looping nature of the route see the riders finish 179km later.
|Image: CiCLE Classic Facebook|
In 2014 the UCI 1.2 race was granted Europe Tour status and since its first edition has gained a reputation for being one of the hardest one-day races on the British calendar and now founds itself a firm favourite of the Europe Tour.
It doesn’t take long before the race reaches its first leg stretcher of the day in the form of Cold Overton Berg at the 50km marker. Hovering at a gradient of 9%-10% for the first 300m it’s a testing reminder of things to come.
There’s little time to rest as the next KOH comes in quick succession with a climb of both sides of the Burrough Berg towards Burrough-on-Hill, both similar in length and equally as testing as the other.
The race quickly enters the farm track sectors of Manor Farm, where the village and farm is transformed and takes on a Belgian festival like atmosphere with beer tents, barbecues and thousands of spectators.
After the barrage of sharp climbs including the Cold Overton Berg, for the second time, the race reaches the first passing of the well known unpaved dirt track named, Somerberg. The racing leading up to the Somerberg is often incredibly fast and aggressive as positioning is important as the road splits and bottlenecks coming into this sector. The sector is crossed twice with the first time climbing the steeper, 12% side before dropping back down and towards two further laps of Burrough Berg and Manor Farm.
With 20km to go the race turns back on to the Somerberg, this time climbing the shallower but equally as punishing side. We can expect to see a lot of activity at the front of the race leading up and during the sector before the race heads back on to smoother roads and onto the last KOH, Cuckooberg.
With all the sectors completed the race heads onto the finish circuit out and around the market town of Melton Mowbray for one and half laps.
With an abundance of sharp punishing climbs and testing sectors throughout, the CiCLE Classic is always guaranteed plenty of attacks and it is often the case that the first person over the line comes as part of a successfully breakaway. However as it was seen during 2015 a breakaway victory is never certain and a bunch sprint is equally possible.
JLT Condor p/b Mavic has seen the podium on two consecutive editions with team rider Tom Moses winning in 2014 after an impressive move that saw him ride away from the breakaway at 5km to go. Then in 2015, after a very active race which saw every breakaway attempt quickly brought back, Harry Tanfield took 3rd in the first bunch sprint in three years.
For those looking to follow the action can do so through CiCLE Classics Twitter which will be posting live updates throughout the day. We will also be keeping our social media feeds updated throughout the race. Social Media resources can be found by the links below.
After a successful campaign by organisers, the race will be recorded and shown as a one hour highlight programme on Channel 4 on May 7th.
Twitter hashtag: #CiCLEClassic