Features Interviews Podcast

Colin Clews: creating a British monument

The man behind a true domestic classic speaks about the race's evolution, the challenges of organising elite bike races in the UK, and incredible tales from great past editions

The 7th episode of the series features an in-depth interview with Colin Clews, someone who in our view should be regarded as a true legend of domestic road racing. 

Founder and director of CiCLE Classic promotions, a UCI race commissaire, an anti-doping control officer and a member of British Cycling’s road commission, he’s a man who lives and breathes cycling. And at 70 years old, his passion for the sport seems absolutely undiminished. 

2019 Women’s CiCLE Classic.The race climbs the Somerberg for the first time. Photo: James York/SWpix.com

He’s probably best known as the organiser of the Rutland-Melton International CiCLE Classic, Britain’s only UCI 1.2 race. Taking place on roads and farm tracks across the undulating landscape of Rutland and East Leicestershire, it is one of the most spectator-friendly races on the British calendar. It’s often compared to a Belgian classic and it’s easy to see why. Year-after-year, the race produces images of dust-covered pelotons, rowdy roadside BBQs and riders scrambling for spare wheels after untimely punctures. Colin seemed too modest to admit it in the interview, but after 15 editions, the race has become a true British monument. Through his CiCLE Classics promotions vehicle, Colin has now added a women’s edition as well as a junior men’s version of the race, and last year he also ran the inaugural Bourne CiCLE Classic

2019 Rutland – Melton International CiCLE Classic. Colin Joyce of Rally UHC Cycling wins. Photo: SWpix.com

In this interview, Colin recalls the early beginnings of the race and how he’s transformed it into one of the most cherished races on British shores. He discusses the challenges of organising elite bike races in the UK, explores how we can improve the domestic scene and recounts some his favourite editions, including some incredible tales from the infamous rain-sodden 2012 race won by Alex Blain. 

Also available on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts and many other platforms.

Featured photo: Andrew Peat

Find out more

Read the race report of the 2019 Rutland-Melton International CiCLE Classic here

Watch highlights of the 2016 edition here