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Alexandre Blain wins CiCLE Classic
Alexandre Blain launched a devastating solo attack to win the 2012 Rutland - Melton International CiCLE Classic (UCI 1.2) by nearly two minutes on a wild day for racing in the East Midlands.
As many riders agreed afterwards, the 2012 edition of the UK's only one day UCI event was an epic race where the conditions played as much a part in the race than anything. Riders afterwards talked of the cold and attacking just to keep warm!
It rained throughout the whole day and it was cold rain with one official saying that with wind chill, the temperature was more like minus one or two. The race was also shortened due to flooded roads but none of that stopped Blain from dominating his rivals and Endura Racing from taking the Team Award.
Blain, as he had at the Maldon Dengie Tour, made the race his own by racing it from the front and while he said later that attacking with 30 kilometres to go was a long way out, he knew the legs and form were good and his win by two minutes proved that he was right.
I’m very very happy to win this race. This has been a really important month with Dengie Marshes, Tro-Bro Léon (France) and today, the CiCLE Classic. I won Dengie which showed I had perfect form for the next two races. I was really really unlucky in Tro-Bro when I was really strong. I was fairly depressed after Tro-Bro, to miss maybe not a win but just to race it really well as I really enjoy that race.
I took three days off the bike to refresh my head and I knew I had strong legs and good form so I had to continue to stick with the job and stay motivated for this race. I continued to train hard at home and I felt really good today.
Today was to not make mistakes and to choose the right breaks. The bad weather helped me because I had really good legs, probably my best form of the year which helped. We knew Endura Racing had a strong team here with a lot of good riders and a unit like that is the best force to split a race.
We tried a lot to split the bunch and be more selective on the sectors and more and more on the sectors I tried to force it and force it. I had bad puncture on the first part of Somerberg and I came back straight away and I still felt good. On the Burrough on the Hill climb, I knew I had to try something because every lap the others were struggling and I wanted to try and split it and thought someone would come with me but when I saw I was on my own, I think maybe it is a long way to go, 25 to 30km....
First, I tried to open up a big gap and I did that but the last three kilometres were horrible because I did a lot of efforts to get that gap and I just tried to maintain my rhythm but my legs were cooked. It is though easier when you are in the front than chasing behind, so mentally it was a bit easier.
Alex also shrugged off the cold saying:
Sure, it gets to you but you need to be a warrior, it’s in your head and when you just keep thinking, go for it, go for it… This has helped make up for TroBro, it is a really nice win and a great race. It’s not TroBro which is my race but CiCLE Classic, I am happy to have my name on the winners list, really happy.
Alex Sans Vega, Directeur Sportif:
Alexandre was very, very strong today and the team worked well together and followed the plan from start to finish. A race like this means the riders have to support each other to get the result. Iker Camaño was also riding well today, but paid for this efforts in the finale.
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Report and photos by Larry Hickmott | www.VeloUK.net