New cycle road race in South Lincolnshire
A new top class cycle road race to be staged in South Kesteven in 2019, starting and finishing in Bourne, is attracting growing support from the sport.
The Bourne CiCLE Classic will see professional road races for men and women, plus a Sportive event and time trial, over the weekend of 31 August and 1 September 2019.
An official launch at the Bourne Corn Exchange on 1 November distributed route maps for the women’s race on Saturday and the men’s race on Sunday.
Eight of the UK’s top road race teams are expected, says the Visitor Economy team organising the event on behalf of South Kesteven District Council.
In its third year, 2021, the ambition is that the Bourne CiCLE Classic will develop into an international event.
SKDC is working with professional cycle event organisers including Colin Clews, responsible for the Rutland / Melton CiCLE Classic.
“It’s very exciting to be able to announce the details of such a major event,” said Cllr Nick Robins, SKDC Cabinet member for Retail and the Visitor Economy.
“It’s a brand new event for South Kesteven and part of our overall plan to stage a high profile event in each of our market towns. It will bring in visitors, deliver real economic benefits and put Bourne on the map for two-wheeled sport rather than the four-wheeled motor racing pedigree it has enjoyed in the past.”
Cyclists from the UK’s top teams have voiced enthusiasm, including Cherie Pridham, a world class rider in a pioneering era for women’s cycling, manager of Vitus Pro Cycling and one of the most experienced team managers in the domestic peloton.
“It’s hard to overstate the importance of a new, elite level race on home soil to a British-registered, UCI Continental team like Vitus Pro Cycling,” said Cherie, who can claim gruelling feats of endurance as a Grand Tour rider, and, as a manager, the tactical acumen for race victories as distinct as the Tour de Normandie and Lincoln Grand Prix.
“Great Britain is a hub of world class cycling talent, with homegrown athletes succeeding in the sport’s biggest events. While the likes of Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Simon Yates win the Tours of Italy, France and Spain, a new race in Britain will give teams like ours the opportunity to showcase the development of young, British riders on home roads.
“If this new event gains the status and recognition of the Rutland-Melton CiCLE Classic, it will be a very welcome addition to the domestic calendar.”
Among the riders at the launch was Georgia Bullard, formerly with Bourne Wheelers and now a member of top women’s team Fusion RT – illustrating the opportunities that exist for amateur cyclists to move up in the sport.
Georgia took up cycling with Bourne Wheelers to improve that aspect of her triathlon performance.
She fell in love with cycling and, helped by Bourne Wheelers coach, Mark Botteley, started race riding and progressed to national level. Georgia, who was the youngest rider in the Tour de Yorkshire and won this year’s Berkhamsted Road Race, still rides regularly with the Wheelers.
The routes, which fill a geographic race gap on the east of the UK, total 175 kilometres for men and 114 kilometres for women (one of the longest women’s races in the UK calendar). It will take riders through villages close to both Stamford, Market Deeping and Grantham and will include historic Grimsthorpe Castle.
Coming at the end of the season, it is a golden opportunity for riders to justify their selection for the following week’s Tour of Britain and the World Championships in Yorkshire.
Professional and semi-professional cyclists attended the launch, including Charles Page, Russell Downing. Leah Dixon and Georgia Bullard – plus Race Director Brian Moran, Race Adviser Colin Clews, and professional cycling commentator Carl Lawrenson.
Leah Dixon rides for Team OnForm’s new elite women’s team and has contested the National Championships Great Britain and the Tour de Yorkshire.
Charles Page is a semi professional rider with Canyon Eisberg. He has competed extensively in Europe and also rode in the National Championships Great Britain.
Russell Downing is a former British National Road Race Champion and winner of the Tour of Ireland amongst his many wins during a long career as a top tier cyclist. During two years with Team Sky he was the first British Sky Team rider to win a Continental race with a stage win at the Criterium du Dauphine, the traditional warm up race to the Tour de France. He continues to ride at the top level in Britain but has recently joined his brother Dean’s coaching business to lend his experience of cycling all over the world as a coach and mentor to young riders.
ORGANISING TEAM BIOGRAPHIES
Carl Lawrenson is a professional cycling commentator at national and international races, including The Tour of Britain and World Cycling Championships. He also organises major cycling events and has worked as a competition manager at the Commonwealth Games.
Colin Clews, a former international cyclist, is the creator and Race Director of the CiCLE Classic events, most notably the UCI listed Elite Men’s International Rutland – Melton CiCLE Classic which has run since 2005 and is Britain’s longest established single day international cycle road race.
Brian Moran has been involved in cycling for the last four decades and became a technical adviser for the National Schoolboy and Junior Championships. He organised two charity cycle rides from London to Moscow and another from London to Jerusalem
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