The organisers of the inaugural Women’s CiCLE Classic are billing the race as one of the toughest in the world.
On Sunday, July 17, some of the best female cyclists in the country are expected to descend on the roads of Rutland and Melton to compete for the £1,000 prize money – the same as winning the National Championships for either Men or Women.
And with prizes down to 20th place, the competitors will have everything to ride for. However, as is proved every April in the International CiCLE Classic race, now in its 13th year, in front of the competitors will be possibly the hardest course that a women’s race anywhere in the world has encountered.
With sponsorship for this inaugural women’s event provided by Peter Stanton, a fervent advocate and supporter of the development of women’s racing, the Women’s CiCLE Classic has been designed to reflect the toughness and character of a men’s race.
CiCLE Classics Race Director Colin Clews said: “From the outset, we have aimed to make the Women’s CiCLE Classic a replica in quality and presentation of its international ‘big brother’, but also to do so without making the usual concessions that are made by promoters to the ‘fairer sex’.
“We wanted to provide British women racers with an event that tests them to the extreme, and replicates the cut and thrust of continental racing, something that only the CiCLE Classic can offer.”
Following much of the hardest parts of the route of the longest established British International one day men’s race, the Rutland – Melton CiCLE Classic held each April, the women’s course will take in five passages of Owston village, the now established ‘heart’ of the CiCLE Classic, as well as two passages of the dreaded ‘Somerberg’ off road section near Somerby in addition to one ascent of Cold Overton Hill, which will be the first climb counting for the Queen of the Hills competition which will also take in Burrough and Cuckoo Hills to complete that competition.
The event will start at midday from Sherrard Street in Melton Mowbray and finish at the same point, covering a 110km course.
In the same way as the International CiCLE Classic now finishes, the Women will pass through the finish line in Melton’s Sherrard Street once before taking in a 15 kms finishing circuit involving Burton Road, Sawgate Lane, Stapleford Lane and Saxby Road before returning to Sherrard Street to finish at about 2.35pm.
The day will centre around the women’s race, but an added attraction will be the Dare2b Melton CiCLE Challenge sportives for all comers, male and female which will start earlier in the day from Melton Mowbray and finish at the same town centre finishing point as that used later by the Women’s CiCLE Classic.
The courses for each of the sportives will also cover many of the roads covered by the women, including the off road sections of ‘Somerberg’ and Owston.
The Dare2b Melton CiCLE Challenge sportives will be organised in partnership with the experienced Cycle Classics organisation who promote amongst other events the ‘Cheshire Cobbled Classic’ and ‘Tour of the Black Country’ which are a match with the CiCLE Classics competitive events.
Entries for both the Women’s CiCLE Classic and Dare2b Melton CiCLE Challenge sportives remain open and are available via the British Cycling online entry system.