News – Beaumont Trophy Goes UCI


As the summer of cycling approaches, Virgin Money Cyclone founder and organiser, Peter Harrison, tells VeloUK what riders and spectators alike can expect from this year’s UCI Beaumont Trophy.

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News – Beaumont Trophy Goes UCI

The week before the British Road Race Championships is a race that both men and women will find ideal preparation for the big one in Wales, the Beaumont Trophy (Men) and Curlew Cup (Women).

The organiser of the events, Peter Harrison writes … I competed in the Beaumont Trophy back in the 70s, but I must have ridden the course literally thousands of times over the years. It’s one that offers up entirely different challenges according to the conditions on the day.


Bradley Wiggins on the Ryals

I wanted to keep raising the profile of the race, first nationally and now on an international stage. Achieving UCI status was a natural step for the Beaumont Trophy this year. It’s always been a tough course. I remember Bradley Wiggins saying so after he took out the Trophy as part of the 2011 British RR Championships.

The 1.2 UCI classification opens the event up to new teams and adds an international flavour to the spectator experience. Now that it’s on the UCI calendar, the distance has increased, from 108 to 117 miles. The bigger distance makes it that much harder too. The Beaumont is very much an attritional course with the added difficulty of climbing the Ryals (a multi stepped climb) four times mid-race. Sixty two years on, the Ryals climb remains an important part of the course by instigating an explosive, sustained hill climb. It splits the field to a certain degree.

It’s hard to point to my favourite parts of the course because it’s very rolling, and the changeable weather conditions can make it even tougher at times. There are lots of undulations and altitude changes that make it difficult, which is why it’s a great draw for seasoned riders and especially those who ride full-time for UCI teams.

The UCI status means we can attract teams and riders from abroad as well as national and regional teams who are looking to add to their total ranking points. It’s the first ever UCI race to be centred in Northumberland which is sure to inspire more local enthusiasts, but what’s great about the festival is that people at all levels of the sport can ride the Beaumont and women’s Curlew Cup courses a day before the pros compete.


Peter Kennaugh who exploded the field on the Ryals a few years ago.

Then, you can take to the sidelines on the Sunday to see how elite riders tackle the same route.
Five fast facts on the Beaumont Trophy:

— This year’s Beaumont will be the longest yet at 117 miles.

— Past Beaumont Trophy winners include Chris Newton, Russell and Dean Downing, Malcolm Elliott and Don Sanderson to name a few. Bradley Wiggins has claimed the Trophy twice, but the most prolific winner has been Ray Wetherell, a five-time Beaumont victor.

— The race starts and finishes in the pretty village of Stamfordham, and passes through a number of other hamlets.

— The Ryals climb stretches 1.3 miles with a 22 per cent gradient at mid-point.

— Peter Harrison’s top tip for riders tackling this year’s course – “You’ll want to be at the front of the group approaching the base of the Ryals, and be aware of attacks going before the Ryals and before the descent through Hallington.”


Sarah Storey wins the Curlew Cup in Stamfordham

Racing for the Women as well
Women’s National Series Road Race event, the Curlew Cup, precedes the Beaumont Trophy on Sunday June 22. Following the same course as the men’s event, the Cup takes three of the smaller laps and the final lap to ascend the Ryals. The Beaumont Trophy is one of 11 events within the Virgin Money Cyclone’s four day festival of cycling.

Virgin Money Cyclone takes place from Thursday June 19 to Sunday June 22, 2014. For more information or to register an entry, visit

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