Northern Rock Cyclone promises festival of top class cycling this weekend

Sportive entry full, but plenty of top class racing to watch this Friday + Sunday

by Tony Farrelly   June 9, 2009  

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This weekend's Northern Rock Cyclone is set to be the biggest cycling festival ever seen in the North East say the organisers. The third edition of the festival starts on Friday night (12 June) with the Leazes Criteriums and runs through a day of sportives on Saturday to finish on Sunday with the Premier Calendar Beaumont Trophy race which has attracted a field of top team from all over the UK, Holland, and and Irish national team – Bradley Wiggins will be amongst the stars turning out for that one.

2350 riders will take part in Saturday's Cyclone rides all of which are full – the longer and intermediate rides will take participants out over the route the pros will be riding in the Beaumont trophy race on Sunday through the Durham countryside and the Ryals – if you're doing the Saturday rides you might even be passed by one of the pros out for a gentle warm-up for the following day's race.

It all kicks off on Friday night with the Leazes Criteriums which will feature some of the best riders in the World. Plenty of other entertainment will be laid on and there will be food stands, a bar, and a sports massage service. Riders in the following day's Cyclone rides can also sign on too – a good idea as it will help ease congestion on the Saturday morning when the Cyclone rides kick off from 8am onwards.

Entertainment will be provided by the cyclists and others such as a face painter, juggler, magician, hair braider as well as a Sports massage service if you want to prepare for the Sportive rides on the following day There will be catering stands if you need to fuel up for the next day and there will also be a Bar if you just happen to be thirsty. If you are taking part in one of the Cyclone rides the next day you are encouraged, if possible, to register on the Friday night to ease congestion on the Saturday morning - and see some great racing.

Sunday sees the focus of the festival move to the Village of Stamfordham where 140 of the best riders in the UK plus Teams from Holland and a National Irish Team will compete over a 106 mile route for the Beaumont Trophy. This year the riders will tackle the Ryals on laps 3,4 and 5. If you are one of those who intend to watch the riders on the Ryals please park considerately and do not block the riders.

If you intend to stay in Stamfordham you will find that the Bay Horse Pub will be open from 9am serving breakfasts and if you are there at this time you may just catch a glimpse of Bradley Wiggins signing on.

From 1pm there will be a Steel Band playing on the village green as the riders compete for one of the five Hot Spot Sprints.

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