Magnus Backstedt will be back in action in the UK at the East Midlands International CiCLE Classic on Sunday April 26.
The former Paris-Roubaix winner competes in the UK?s only UCI-ranked international one-day event with his newly created Cyclesport.se/Magnus Maximus Coffee.com. team.
Backstedt recently retired from the top echelons of the sport and his Garmin team to set up the squad of seven Swedes and one Briton who are looking to transfer their aggressive, exciting style of racing from the Elite amateur ranks to professional cycling.
The Cicle classic route features narrow and treacherous farm tracks more reminiscent of those to be found in the Spring Classics of northern France and Belgium.
It will see 200 riders navigate almost 100 miles of the East Midlands countryside and villages on challenging, rough terrain building to an exciting finish in Melton.
Riders will have to race over 15 kilometres of unmade roads including two tough ascents of the ?Somerberg? climb. The final stretch of 800m gravel road comes just two miles from the finish.
?I will be riding as one of the team leaders,? said Backstedt: ?But my focus is always on letting the young guys have the first go and I will be part of a backup plan. They are the ones who need the results to move up in their career and I have got all the results I need. But in saying that I still enjoy winning.?
The Swedish team will face tough competition from riders from the UK , Holland, Belgium, Slovakia, Denmark and Ireland but Backstedt is certain that his team will have an impact on the race.
?We always come to a race to make things happen,? continued Backstedt.
?We race hard, give it all we have on the day and this race will be no different. In a race as unpredictable as the Rutland-Melton we will come with a few ace cards up our sleeves.
?Naturally I will be one of team leaders but the key to a race like this is to come with strength in numbers. If you focus too much on one rider you will very likely go away with nothing. A quick puncture changes everything, just like Paris-Roubaix.
?Freddy Johansson says it is his favourite race of the year and I think it looks like fun. It also suits our calendar and we have a bunch of riders such as Max MacDonald and Alex Wetterhall, who have both come from mountain biking and they will no doubt love this race.?
The East Midlands CiCLE Classic returns on Sunday April 26.
CiCLE Classic returns to Rutland