The 100% ME cycling team, a hotbed of rising talent, has entered a team of rising stars to race at Newcastle and Northumberland’s Virgin Money Cyclone weekend (28 June to 1 July).
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Event organiser Peter Harrison said: “The 100% ME team is well known for developing the stars of tomorrow, with past members including Sky Pro Cycling Tour de France rider Ben Swift and Lizzie Armitstead, who won the 2011 Cyclone weekend’s National Road Race Championships. It means the Leazes Crtierium and Beaumont Trophy races are a great chance for people to see the stars of tomorrow at close range – who knows where these riders will end up!”
For the first time in 2012, the Virgin Money Cyclone weekend kicks off on the Thursday evening (28 June) with the Tyne Six Bridges Leisure Ride, a relaxed ride aimed at families and less experienced riders. Starting from Newcastle Quayside, the 9.5 and 14.5 mile rides will take in the Millennium, Tyne, Swing, High Level, Redheugh and Scotswood bridges. The rides start at 7pm on Thursday 28 June and cost £6 per person.
On Friday night the ever-popular Leazes Criteriums return to Newcastle’s Leazes Park. The racing around the tight circuit in the park attracts thousands of cycling fans to watch action from amateur and youth races to international cycling stars in the elite race.
On Saturday 30 June more than 4,000 cyclists of all types – from beginners and families through to professional riders – will take to the roads of Northumberland for the Virgin Money Cyclone Challenge rides. With a choice of 33, 63 or 104 mile routes, all follow routes around Northumberland’s breath-taking and unspoilt scenery combined with a fantastic atmosphere and amazing organisation, making a great day’s riding for anyone.
It is the turn of the professionals again on Sunday 1 July – and there is a new event specifically for elite women riders too. The Curlew Cup will bring the country’s top female riders to the North East following the success of the 2011 National Championships road race on the same course.
On the afternoon of Sunday 1 July the elite men return for the Beaumont Trophy, which has been running for more than 60 years. Part of British Cycling’s elite level Premier Calendar series, the race will attract the cream of British as well as European riders.
The GB Academy team has submitted eight riders for the elite Leazes Criterium race on Friday 29 June and Beaumont Trophy Premier Calendar road race on Sunday 1 July, including:
• 2010 and 2011 British National 30km scratch race champion Owain Doull
• British Cycling Olympic Academy rider and Mountain Bike World Cup rider Grant Ferguson
• Beijing Track Cycling World Cup Omnium event gold medallist Sam Harrison
• 2012 Jock Wadley Memorial Road Race winner and 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games rider George Atkins
• Manx GB Olympic Academy rider Joe Kelly
• GB Under-23 Academy rider Tom Moses
• GB Under-23 Academy rider Alistair Slater
• 2011 Twinings Pro-Am Tour Premier Calendar winner and National Madison champion Simon Yates
For more information and to sign up for the Virgin Money Cyclone Challenges or the Tyne 6 Bridges rides, visit www.virginmoneycyclone.co.uk or you can follow @VMCyclone on Twitter and like the Virgin Money Cyclone page on Facebook.