Thousands of cycling fans will line the streets of Rutland this weekend as the Rutland - Melton International CiCLE Classic returns for its 11th year.
The race, which will start in Oakham on Sunday, will see 34 of the top professional cycling teams from the UK and Europe compete for the title.
A field of 136 of Europe’s elite cyclists will form the peloton which will flash through the Rutland countryside, including the newly-established Team Wiggins.
Director for places at Rutland County Council Paul Phillipson said: “The Rutland to Melton CiCLE Classic is a fantastic event that’s grown and grown in popularity over the last decade.
“With countless cycling enthusiasts from across the country also coming to Rutland to watch the race, it’s brilliant for tourism and our local economy. Don’t miss the chance to support the riders if they pass through where you live.”
One Pro Cycling, founded recently by England wicket keeper Matt Prior, are also in the line-up alongside top British teams Madison-Genesis, Team Raleigh-GAC and JLT-Condor who field 2014 CiCLE Classic winner Tom Moses.
Race director Colin Clews, from Wymondham, said: “Each year we say the event is going to be bigger and better than ever before, and the actuality of this never disappoints.
“This year the interest in the race from sponsors, riders, associated companies, spectators and cycling fans has been greater than ever and the prospects for the races on Sunday are breathtaking.”
The race models itself on the European spring classics, particularly Paris-Roubaix, and thousands of British and continental-based spectators are expected to line the local roads.
Starting in Oakham at 11am and finishing in Melton at about 3.15pm, the race will follow the same 180km course as in 2014 with two major climbs of Cold Overton, four at Burrough-on-the-Hill before a final ascent of Cuckoo Hill 20km from the finish line.
An added incentive for riders taking part has been introduced by Oakham’s Grainstore Brewery which just announced they are going to give the first rider under the archway in Owston, which is a small village between Oakham and Summerby on the route, on the first full circuit, his own weight in beer, which amounts to about 15 cases.
The idea was motivated by a small village brewery in Belgium which did the same thing earlier this year in the Tour of Flanders.
At 9am some of the big names of the future will race in the Junior CiCLE Classic, which is running for the second year after being launched in 2014, for riders between the age of 17 to 18 years old.
165 junior riders will take to the start in Oakham, High Street, and the riders will complete five laps of a circuit around Teigh, Market Overton, Thistleton, and Edmondthorpe, finishing around 11.25am.
On Saturday the roads will be packed with hundreds of amateur cyclists participating in the Dare2b Rutland CiCLE Tour sportive. The routes, which start in Oakham, range from 104 miles to 21 miles. So far almost 1,000 people have signed up to get involved.
On Sunday spectators will also be keeping an eye out for Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins. The reigning Olympic time trial champion is under contract to Team Sky until the end of the month so will not ride, but could come along to watch his newly-established team in the heart of Rutland.
l If you go to the CiCLE Classic this weekend, e-mail your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org