Less than 24 hours removed from Summer Moak’s victory stateside, Colin Joyce claimed England’s Rutland – Melton CiCLE Classic title by winning a reduced bunch sprint. With cold temperatures, rolling farm roads, and 15 km of unpaved sectors, the race lived up to its reputation as Britain’s most epic one-days.
As the day’s breakaway saw their lead crumble in the final hour of racing, the stage was set for an improbable field sprint at the end of a legendary 198 km journey from Rutland to Melton in central England.
“The team rode incredible and I wouldn’t have been successful if it wasn’t for them,” said Joyce. “I’m super pleased with the win and it’s always nice to have success. In the end, it came down to a bike throw and I’m happy it went in my favor.”
Reminiscent of the KOGA Slag om Norg race in the Netherlands where Robin Carpenter finished runner-up in 2018, the Rutland – Melton CiCLE Classic took the peloton through 11 sectors ranging from hard-packed dirt to loose gravel.
“It was a pretty crazy course with all of the gravel sections but we managed to have a little fun out there,” said Joyce. “I’m glad to not flat or crash and just put the pedal to the metal. Everyone was fighting hard for the front all day and our team was ready for it.”
Britain is known for its supportive cycling fans and the CiCLE Classic did not disappoint.
“There were always people out there cheering and it helped us push a bit harder,” said Joyce. “We hope to keep that energy rolling into Yorkshire next week.”
Nearly the entire peloton choose not to cover their knees during the chilly race while Joyce opted for full leg warmers.
“Only reason I won,” laughed Joyce. “It had nothing to do with my fitness or the great ride from the team to put me in a winning position.”
After a good night’s rest, the team will travel 100 km north to race the Tour de Yorkshire from May 2nd – 5th.
Rutland – Melton CiCLE Classic results
1 JOYCE Colin Rally UHC Cycling 5:10:21
2 CULLAIGH Gabriel Team Wiggins Le Col ,,
3 TOWNSEND Rory Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes ,,
4 SCOTT Jacob SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling ,,
5 PIDCOCK Thomas Team Wiggins Le Col ,,
6 LUHRS Alex Ribble Pro Cycling ,,
7 VAN DER KOOIJ Bas Monkey Town – à Bloc CT 0:01
8 HAVIK Piotr BEAT Cycling Club ,,
9 LAMPIER Steven ,,
10 THWAITES Scott Vitus Pro Cycling ,,