News – Month to Virgin Money Cyclone in the North East


The countdown to the UK’s biggest cycling festival has begun with the Virgin Money Cyclone returning to the North East Thursday 19th – Sunday 22nd June.

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News – Month to Virgin Money Cyclone in the North East

Staged over four days, the Virgin Money Cyclone offers rides for amateurs and enthusiasts at all levels – from sportive challenges and family routes to a weekend of professional racing culminating in the women’s Curlew Cup and men’s UCI European Tour Road Race, the Beaumont Trophy, featuring some of the world’s best cyclists.

Back for the second year, the Tyne Six Bridges Leisure Ride marks the start of the festival with two gentle distances, 10.5 and 15.5 miles, open to cyclists of all abilities and perfect for families. Newcastle’s Leazes Park takes centre stage on the Friday, with the chance to cheer on local and international racing talent and enjoy a free BMX display from Savage Skills.


Those ready to test their mettle on a bigger course will tackle one of three Virgin Money Cyclone Challenge Rides. At distances of 33, 63 or 103 miles, the Challenge Rides are a ready introduction to cycling sportives and give returning riders the chance to better last year’s performance.

While entrants hit the roads, family and friends can relax at a Family Fun Day hosted by Newcastle Falcons within the grounds at Kingston Park. With a variety of activities to keep everyone entertained, including rugby drills and games ran by the award winning Falcons Community Foundation.

While their families relax and enjoy the afternoon, Challenge Ride entrants will tackle much of the same roads as elite cyclists contesting the Curlew Cup and Beaumont Trophy events, and anyone with an appetite for cycling can return a day later to see the pros take on a challenge of their own.

Speaking of the event, Virgin Money Cyclone Founder and Organiser, Peter Harrison, said: “The North East has shown incredible support for 21 May 2014the Virgin Money Cyclone over the past eight years and we’re proud to be adding new events to the schedule this year, including the region’s first UCI accredited road race – The Beaumont Trophy. We hope people continue to show their support, get involved and come out to cheer on the professionals this June.”

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

Thursday – Tyne Six Bridges Leisure Ride
2014 will be the second year this relaxed ride takes place. Aimed at less experienced riders and families, it follows Sustrans Routes 72 and 14 along the north and south banks of the River Tyne, taking in the Gateshead Millennium, Tyne, Swing, High Level, Redheugh and Scotswood bridges. Choose between a 10.5 and 15.5 mile route.

Friday – Leazes Criteriums
The Criterium racing in Newcastle’s Leazes Park starts at 6.15pm and offers spectators a great opportunity to get close to the racing. With races covering different ages and abilities, the evening starts with two youth races – one for U10/12 followed by an U14/16 event. The supporting senior event is for riders who race regularly but are not full-time riders. Entrants must hold either a 2nd, 3rd or 4th category BC licence. The finale for the evening is a one hour race for the best riders in the country, some of whom are medal winners. Watch out for current world and Olympic champions who often take part.

Saturday – Virgin Money Cyclone Challenge Rides
A choice of three rides of varying distances and difficulty to test all who compete. Challenge rides start and finish at the Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club, Kingston Park, and take in the spectacular backdrop of the Northumbrian countryside. The routes are mainly on country roads, avoiding the city traffic. Riders set off in groups of 60 at 2 minute intervals. Choose between 33, 63 and 104 mile routes.

Sunday – Elite races
Women’s National Series Road Race – The Curlew Cup
The first event of the day will be a Women’s National Series Road Race which will attract some of the best riders in the country. The race will use the Ingoe Circuit, passing through the villages of Stamfordham and Matfen. Competitors will complete three laps of 13.9 miles each before going on to the 22.3 mile circuit used in the men’s race, crossing the finish line in Stamfordham.

UCI European Tour Road Race – The Beaumont Trophy
Starting at 1pm, the Beaumont Trophy starts with a single lap of the 13.9 mile circuit used in the women’s event. Riders then progress to the 22.3 mile circuit used for the 2011 Men’s National Road Race Championships, including the climb of the Ryals. This is ridden four times before a final lap of the first, smaller circuit, making a total distance of 117 miles.




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