The 2011 Rutland-Melton International CiCLE Classic is unlikely to be televised on Eurosport due to an on-going despite with British Cycling, according to the race’s organisers.
This year’s CiCLE Classic, Britain’s only UCI-listed one-day race, was under threat until Tesco stepped in with a five-figure sponsorship deal to help fund the April 17 event, alongside CNP Professional, which costs in the region of £40,000 to run.
British Cycling control broadcast rights but race director Colin Clews has hit out at the national governing body, whose “unrealistic demands” in regard to the event’s branding could marginalise commerical sponsors.
“Initially I was advised in February that if the event was to continue to receive the minimal support provided previously, then BC [British Cycling] expected to receive 50 per cent branding rights over the whole event,” said Clews, who described British Cycling’s demands as “the final straw”.
“When it was pointed out that this was totally unrealistic in the light of agreements made with existing commercial sponsors, a lesser figure of 30 per cent was then proposed.
“However, I had to make clear that the most that I was able and prepared to offer was 20 per cent, and this was limited to start and finish areas and certain other points along the course.
“Even this lower percentage has since been stated as unrealistic and unacceptable by the event’s main sponsors who consider the demand unethical and aimed to mislead the federation’s own membership and the public as to the federations involvement in the event.
“Those actions now appear set to result in BC having no presence or recognition whatsoever at this year’s event. When the event costs in excess of £40,000 each year to stage, and the value of the previous BC involvement is around £6,500, then this begins to put into perspective the unrealistic nature of the demands made by BC personnel.”