Country Idyll, Rubble & Ribinou : The Rutland – Melton International CiCLE Classic 2016

2016-04-23 14.19.35

A Bright, Chilly Morning in Oakham

Team Madison-Genesis

I never get bored of the bustle of the start village: Shiny bikes and the busy-ness of the mechanics; brief wafts of embrocation and anticipation are carried by conversation and laughter through the air as friends are caught up with and heroes spied. The Rutland-Melton International CiCLE Classic has an extra special air about it as the guys from the club teams mix with top ranked domestic squads and the exotic European adventurers.
Madison Genesis Mechanics

Team Wiggins Pre Race

The local squads’ riders and DS’ sneak envious glances at well stocked roof-racks atop team cars and the well appointed motorhomes of the monied professional outfits. “Those motorhomes are all very nice – but at the end of the day, when your legs are completely shredded and the bunch ratchets the pace up the climb yet another notch, it ain’t going to carry you up it…” quips one worldly ex-pro, guesting for the day with a local shop team.

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Wielerploeg Groot Amsterdam Departing

Cycling: Rutland-Melton Cicle Classic 2016

Madison-Genesis Warm Up

The whirring of turbos and rollers gives way to the swishing of tyres over asphalt. The race convoy is moving out to the be greeted by the crowds at the startline for the Grande Depart…

CiCLE Classic Grande Depart

The Other Side of Life at the CiCLE Classic

Cycling: Rutland-Melton Cicle Classic 2016

The integral off road secteurs give the race its character and spectacle but there is also much beauty to be had along the race route for those who venture to the lesser-trampled vantage points. Through the green meadows & vivid yellow rapeseed fields – and around Rutland Water – all that is needed is a Spitfire arcing gracefully through the skies or the white billowing of steam from a train chugging its way through the sleepy, rolling landscape to cement the feeling of an untouched English idyll of days gone by.

Cycling: Rutland-Melton Cicle Classic 2016

Owston: Beating Heart of the CiCLE Classic. Iconic Corner & Arbor

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A first roll of the ribinou dice from Conor Dunne for JLT-Condor p/b Mavic Photo – Ian Tatham

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Photo – Ian Tatham

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Pedal Heaven RT’s Rory Townsend ploughs his lone “suicide mission” furrow through the Manor Farm Feeds secteur. Show me a crowd who doesn’t love a solo breakaway – especially one who dares to dream… Photo – Nathan Thomas

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Raleigh picked up the charge through the debris and shale of Owston leaving the crowds cheering and the team cars fishtailing in their wake in an attempt to keep up . Photo – Nathan Thomas

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The first time I ever saw Duvel Corner I figured it was an entrance to an event traffic carpark – I mean, there is no way they’d take a bike race down there… is there? Yeh… I was wrong, I guess! Photo – Tracey Robinson

Chasing On

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Photo – Ian Tatham

One Pro Racing

Winner over strikingly similar terrain at Tro Bro Leon on the previous weekend, it was not to be for ONE Pro Cycling’s Martin Mortensen over the ever shifting surfaces and relentless procession of punchy bergs of the CiCLE Classic.

 

Somerberg: The Peloton Splits

Cycling: Rutland-Melton Cicle Classic 2016

Cycling: Rutland-Melton Cicle Classic 2016

Cycling: Rutland-Melton Cicle Classic 2016

When the elastic has snapped it’s survival of the fittest – and of those with the foresight to make friends…

The Finale

Cycling: Rutland-Melton Cicle Classic 2016

A last roll of the ribinou dice as the finale approaches.

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Watching the Watchers… tension mounts ahead of the expected bunch kick.

Connor Dunne CiCLE Classic Winner

‘Expected’ maybe… Except JLT – Condor p/b Mavic’s Conor Dunne had other ideas!

Cycling: Rutland-Melton Cicle Classic 2016

Sheer class and one to savour: The news of the audacious solo attack from the charging pack reached Dean Downing’s messenger app about 30 seconds before Dunne came into veiw at the end of the finishing straight. “He’s won it!!” exclaimed a jubilant Downing and the whole gaggle of JLT – Condor team staffers erupted into cheers as their rider cruised the last couple of hundred metres to the line.

Cycling: Rutland-Melton Cicle Classic 2016

King of the Mountain CiCLE Classic 2016

The sprint catchment area was filled with the fatigued riders who’d made it to the race’s final act. Jackets were donned and recovery drinks gulped by the rubble encrusted racers: Some sat in silence, others recounted their day to the waiting press dictaphones. The thousand yard stare in many of the eyes told its own story without the need for words…

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Long after the crowds had departed, Conor Dunne was doing it for the kids. Congratulations to a worthy and popular winner.

All images courtesy of AP Sports Photo / Andrew Greenstreet Photography / Ciclissimo! unless otherwise stated.

 

 

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