England's biggest sportive and pro races return for Newcastle cycling weekend...

Entries are now open for the Northern Rock Cyclone Challenge, England’s biggest sportive ride, which takes place on Saturday 12 June 2010. The race starts from Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club’s ground at Kingston Park, and three itineraries are available, covering 33, 63 and 104 miles, respectively.

The ride forms part of the Northern Rock Cyclone weekend, running from 11-13 June, which includes the Beaumont Trophy on the Sunday, part of the Premier Calendar series and won last year by Bradley Wiggins as part of his preparation for the Tour de France.

The weekend gets underway on Friday 11 June with a series of criterium races in Leazes Park, with the elite race expected to attract leading racers from Britain, Ireland and the Continent, as it did last year.

Entry to the Northern Rock Cyclone Challenge can be made through the event website, which also includes details of the routes which pass through some of Northumberland’s spectacular scenery.

It costs adults £20 to enter, which includes feed stations, electronic timing, free bike checks at Cyclelogical in Newcastle, plus a personalised certificate, and phoptos of individual riders will also be available.

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.