Entries for one of the country’s most popular sportives, the Northern Rock Cyclone Challenge, open next Tuesday with the ride, which attracted more than 4,000 participants last year, one of the highlights of what will next year be a four-day festival of cycling in the North East, with five separate events.
Running from Thursday 28 June to Sunday 1 July, the Northern Rock Cyclone starts with a new Tyne 6 Bridges ride, aimed at beginners and families, on the evening of Thursday 28 June, with participants switching back and forth between Newcastle and Gateshead as they cross the river. Entry to that ride is £6, and further details can be found here.
Friday evening sees the return of the ever popular Leazes Criteriums, an evening of top-notch circuit racing featuring everyone from youth riders to amateurs to top international riders. Organisers confirm that next year, the sprint competition in the elite race will be sponsored by M Cycles.
The Northern Rock Cyclone Challenge Ride takes place on Saturday 30 June, with three routes on offer through the glorious scenery of Northumberland – 33, 63 and 104 miles. More than 4,000 riders spanning beginners, families, sportive enthusiasts and even pros took part last year in what is generally reckoned to be one of the country’s top sportives.
The following day, the male pros take to the road for the Beaumont Trophy, run on the same course as this year’s British National Road Race Championships, won by Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins, who had previously won the Beaumont Trophy in 2009. Part of British Cycling’s Premier Calendar series, next year the event includes a King of the Mountains competition sponsored by Kielder Organic Meats.
Sunday 1 July also sees a new women’s elite race, the Curlew Cup, sponsored by Northumberland National Park, with a points competition sponsored by cycling holiday specialists Saddle Skedaddle, the race looking to build on the success of the women’s nationals held on this course earlier this year and won by Lizzie Armistead.
Event organiser Peter Harrison said: “It’s always exciting when entries for next year’s rides open: as the nights draw in and the weather turns looking forward to the great rides of next summer brings a smile to everyone’s face.”
Entries to all events open on Tuesday 1 November, and can be made by following the Enter Ride link to the left of each one’s page on the Northern Rock Cyclone website.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.