News – Virgin Money Cyclone Festival of Cycling


In one week’s time (Thursday 19th – Sunday 22nd June), the Virgin Money Cyclone Festival of Cycling returns to the North East

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News – Virgin Money Cyclone Festival of Cycling

In a week’s time (Thursday 19th – Sunday 22nd June), the Virgin Money Cyclone Festival of Cycling returns to the North East, bringing with it some of the world’s top cyclists in an action-packed weekend of racing.

Confirmed to ride this week and out to represent different corners of the UK in the UCI accredited European Road Race, the Beaumont Trophy, are teams from Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man.


Riding for the Isle of Man elite team will be Henry Hunter, Ian Field, Edward Perry, Jonathan Creegan, Jonny Bellis, Andrew Roche and Joe Kelly. Lined up to represent Northern Ireland in the Cycling Ulster team will be, Roger Aiken, Cormac Clarke, Daniel Stewart, Alastair Macaulay, Mark Buchanan and Fraser Duncan.

Bringing an international flair to the event is Spain’s elite Start Trigon team who are based in the country’s Murcia region. Confirmed so far to ride for the team are: Ulises Castillo, Lars Pria, Carlos Henrique Dos Santos and Gustavo Mino.

A further show of professional support for the newly officiated race comes from the UK’s Spirit Bikes Cycling team, featuring elite rider and current Para Cycling World Record holder and Para World Track Pursuit Champion, Jozepf Metelka.

Joining Metalka, who is tipped as one-to-watch in the men’s field, will be; Mark Baines, Chris Dredge, Jack Waller and guest riders, Matt Exley, Julien Pearsons and Jack Breezer.

Taking in some of Northumberland’s finest scenery, the Beaumont Trophy gains UCI accreditation for the first time this year. Past winners include Chris Newton, Russell Downing, Dean Downing, Malcolm Elliott and Don Sanderson.

Sir Bradley Wiggins has claimed the Trophy twice, once as national champion in 2011. The most prolific winner however, is Ray Wetherell, who has claimed the accolade five times.


Also signed up to race are all five British UCI Continental Teams: Rapha Condor JLT; Madison Genesis; Raleigh; Velosure and NTFO.

Speaking of the event, Virgin Money Cyclone Founder and Organiser, Peter Harrison, said: “It’s fantastic to see the Virgin Money Cyclone Festival of Cycling progress year on year. From the UCI accreditation for the Beaumont Trophy and return of the Curlew Cup to the family activities and challenge events, the festival offers something for everyone. We hope the crowds will be out in full force again this year to cheer on the professionals and take part in the action.”

Staged over four days, the Virgin Money Cyclone Festival of Cycling is the largest event of its kind in the UK, offering rides for amateurs and enthusiasts at all levels – from sportive challenges and family routes.

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 104 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 run by the award winning Falcons Community Foundation.

While their families relax and enjoy the afternoon, Challenge Ride entrants will tackle many 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.

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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