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East Midlands International CiCLE Classic - 1.2
Great Britain, April 29, 2007
By Gerry McManus
One hundred and sixty top class riders will roll out from Oakham Town Centre on Sunday April 29 for the third running of the East Midlands International CiCLE Classic (also known as the Rutland to Melton). The UCI 1.2 ranked race has attracted more than 250 entries who wanted to ride the event styled on the illustrious Paris-Roubaix classic in France.
This race is very different from other races on the British Cycling Premier Calendar series as it features a number of tracks and old roads to give it some of the same difficulties experienced in the Roubaix race. However this race is far from flat and is more like the Tour of Flanders in places. There is a prime at Cold Overton Hill and three at Borough on the Hill with the King of the Hills jersey and £100 waiting for the rider with most points. The sprinters will be incentivised to stay at the front group too with £50 on offer for the winner of each of the three hot spot sprints at Oakham Town Centre and Owston Village Centre.
The roads used in the last 90km contain 11 sections of poorly surfaced or farm roads and light tyres have not been recommended. Loose gravel could put an end to some racing ambitions if not carefully approached. Irish international Andy Roche (Pinarello RT) has not been put off after his bizarre accident in sight of the finish line last year while chasing down eventual winner Rob Sharman (KFS Special Vehicles). Roche took a bad tumble on a good road surface and broke his collarbone. His teammate Malcolm Elliott cannot be missed off the favourites list either, having won the prestigious Shay Elliott Memorial in Ireland last weekend. Sharman is back to defend his title this year and wears the number one dossard.
This year's UCI ranked status sees the arrival of teams from Germany, Denmark, Slovakia, Norway and the Netherlands. 2006 world masters road race champion (30-35) Dutchman Tjarco Kuppens leads the German based PZ Racing Aachen team.
The British entry is extremely strong. Premier Calendar series leader Chris Newton heads up the Recycling.co.uk team and will be keen to improve on his sixth place in the Archer GP earlier this month when he missed the key break of the day. Ian Wilkinson (SiS/Trek) renews his campaign in the series, still lying second overall despite missing the Archer GP after he gained maximum points in the Girvan stage race over Easter in Scotland. Archer winner Simon Gaywood rides with Gordon McCauley in the Plowman Craven team after the duo took first and second places in last weekend's Reading CC race in Berkshire.
Dean Downing (Rapha) is looking on good form as is his American team mate Giancarlo Checchi. Scot Gamble (Ashfield RC) is back looking to repeat his victory in the inaugural race in 2005 but the big surprise is the inclusion of T-Mobile neo pro Mark Cavendish riding for the Isle of Man national team. Cavendish moved up a rung on the pro scene when he outstprinted Robbie McEwen, Erik Zabel and Baden Cooke to win the Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen race earlier this month.
The Alpha Team Corley outfit surprised many with Roy Chamberlain and Matt Higgins doing strong rides in the Archer GP staying away in the early break but both will be marked men this time. Matt Stephens is due a big win this year and knows the course well enough after finishing third in 2005.
Mountain biker Oli Beckinsale might feel more at home on some of the farm tracks than the others and the 2006 Commonwealth Games silver XC medallist joins Rob Hayles and criterium specialist Warrick Spence in an international composite team.
The racing in Leicestershire starts at 11am from Oakham town centre and is expected to finish just before 3pm in Melton Mobray. Full course details can be found on www.cicleclassic.co.uk
The winner will receive a generous prize purse and 100 points goes towards the British Cycling Premier Calendar series competition.
KFS Special Vehicles PZ Racing Aachen 1 Robin Sharman (GBr) 7 Tjarco Kuppens (Ger) 2 Greg Roche (GBr) 8 Thomas Bontenackels (Ger) 3 Gary Hand (GBr) 9 Marc Habets (Ger) 4 Daffyd Dylan (GBr) 10 Christian Miessen (Ger) 5 Gareth Hewitt (GBr) 11 Julian Rammler (Ger) 6 James Stewart (GBr) 12 Mark Solberg (Ger) Recycling.co.uk Glud & Marstrand Horsens 13 Chris Newton (GBr) 19 Michael Skelde (Den) 14 Simon Holt (GBr) 20 Michael Berling (Den) 15 Graham Briggs (GBr) 21 Rune Udby (Den) 16 Adam Bonser (GBr) 22 Kim M Nielsen (Den) 17 Ryan Bonser (GBr) 23 Nichoai Olesen (Den) 18 Tom Diggle (GBr) 24 Kasper Schjonnemann (Den) Sparebanken Vest Dukla Trencin Merida 25 Sondre Sortveit (Nor) 31 Jan Sipeky (Svk) 26 Anders Lund (Nor) 32 Maros Kovac (Svk) 27 Christer Rake (Nor) 33 Pavol Polievka (Svk) 28 Preben Kristensen (Nor) 34 Stefan Freivolt (Svk) 29 Ken Sebastian Vassdal (Nor) 35 Patrik Tybor (Svk) 30 Tom Andre Enaes (Nor) 36 Branislav Zachar (Svk) Plowman Craven/Evans Cycles BC East Midlands/Development Agency 37 Gordon Mcauley (GBr) 43 Daniel Booth (GBr) 38 Fred Johansson (GBr) 44 Ryan Henry (GBr) 39 James Millard (GBr) 45 Paul Cox (GBr) 40 James Mccallum (GBr) 46 James Cambridge (GBr) 41 Jason Allen (GBr) 47 Tom Last (GBr) 42 Brian Biggs (GBr) 48 Geoff Beetham (GBr) Ruiter Dakkapellen Wielerteam Heron Cyclesport-Inkland 49 Luuk Van Vliet (Ned) 55 David Mclean (GBr) 50 Seppe Hoogzaad (Ned) 56 Andy Lyons (GBr) 51 Hugo Sijm (Ned) 57 Dean Shannon (GBr) 52 Germ Van Der Berg (Ned) 58 Thomas Gardner (GBr) 53 Jeroen Scheffer (Ned) 59 Matthew Kipling (GBr) 54 Raymond Rol (Ned) 60 Steve Gibson (GBr) Rapha-Condor Merlin Racing Team 61 Dean Downing (GBr) 67 Tom Barras (GBr) 62 Giancarlo Checci (Ita) 68 Tom Smith (GBr) 63 Matt Talbot (GBr) 69 Liam Holoham (GBr) 64 Ross Muir (GBr) 70 Matthew Charity (GBr) 65 Matt Price (GBr) 71 Jon Mozley (GBr) 66 Richard Wilkinson (GBr) 72 Stephen Adams (GBr) Science in Sport Ashfield RC/ GoSports /Trek VW/Subaru 73 Ian Wilkinson (GBr) 79 Scot Gamble (GBr) 74 Dave Collins (GBr) 80 Andrew Stuart (GBr) 75 Matthew Cronshaw (GBr) 81 Paul Wright (GBr) 76 Philip Dixon (GBr) 82 Wayne Webster (GBr) 77 Tim Lawson (GBr) 83 Simon Richardson (GBr) 78 Richard Kent (GBr) 84 Phil Spencer (GBr) Isle of Man National Team Sportscover/Planet X 85 Mark Cavendish (GBr) 91 Ashley Brown (GBr) 86 Graeme Hatcher (GBr) 92 John Tanner (GBr) 87 Elliott Baxter (GBr) 93 Wayne Randle (GBr) 88 Andy Cook (GBr) 94 Mark Lovatt (GBr) 89 Warren Flynn (GBr) 95 David Clarke (GBr) 90 Aaron Livsey (GBr) 96 Stephen Ward (GBr) Arctic/ Shorter Rochford RT International composite Team 97 Simon Wilson (GBr) 103 Warrick Spence (GBr) 98 Darren Barclay (GBr) 104 Oli Beckingsale (GBr) 99 Tim Bayley (GBr) 105 Ido Syrkin (Isr) 100 Allister Tulett (GBr) 106 Josh James (GBr) 101 Matthew Holmes (GBr) 107 Robert Hayles (GBr) 102 David Law (GBr) 108 Rafal Radziej (Pol) Pinarello Racing Team VC Meudon 109 Malcolm Elliott (GBr) 115 Jessie Warren (GBr) 110 Adrian Timmis (GBr) 116 Tim Elverson (GBr) 111 Kevin Dawson (GBr) 117 David Creeggan (GBr) 112 Andy Roche (GBr) 118 Duncan Urquart (GBr) 113 Lee Davis (GBr) 119 Ian Legg (GBr) 114 Andy Collis (GBr) 120 Alex Dowsett (GBr) BC West Midlands Wildside RT/Ewhurst Control 121 Martin Ford (GBr) 127 Jason Edwards (GBr) 122 Tim Wallis (GBr) 128 Chris Mcnamara (GBr) 123 Matt Clinton (GBr) 129 Toby Neave (GBr) 124 Euan Adams (GBr) 130 Christopher Parlett (GBr) 125 Ross Adams (GBr) 131 Simon Mcnamara (GBr) 126 Andrew Harrison (GBr) 132 Mark Mckay (GBr) Glendene CC/Biketrax Team Kinesis-Bike&Run 133 Richard Sykes-Popham (GBr) 139 Peter Williams (GBr) 134 Alex Thompson (GBr) 140 James Sampson (GBr) 135 Alex Atkins (GBr) 141 Mark Thwaites (GBr) 136 Kristian Downs (GBr) 142 Tom Murray (GBr) 137 Steve Griffiths (GBr) 143 Steve Lampier (GBr) 138 Chris Bartlett (GBr) 144 Dan Staite (GBr) SigmaSport Alpha Team Corley Cycles 145 Matthew Stephens (GBr) 151 Roy Chamberlain (GBr) 146 Mike Harrison (GBr) 152 Karl Freeman (GBr) 147 Daniel Duguid (GBr) 153 Tom Kirk (GBr) 148 Christian Tune (GBr) 154 Martin Freeman (GBr) 149 Alex Wise (GBr) 155 Richard Cartland (GBr) 150 Martin Smith (GBr) 156 Matthew Higgins (GBr) Will Wheels-Wolves-Bioracer/Museeuw 157 James Williamson (GBr) 158 Tristan Barnes (GBr) 159 Eddie Corbett (GBr) 160 Andy Tinsley (GBr)
2006 Robin Sharman (GBr) Recycling.co.uk 2005 Scot Gamble (GBr) Ashfield RC Past winners by Mario Stiehl, www.world-of-cycling.com