Sportive to run alongside National Elite Road Race Championships

Entries for the 2011 Northern Rock Cyclone Challenge – which claims to be the biggest event of its type in the UK – will open on this coming Sunday, October 31, via the website, www.northernrockcyclone.co.uk.

The sportive will takes place on Saturday June 25 next year as part of the Northern Rock Cyclone weekend of riding and racing. For the first time ever, it is being held alongside the Men’s and Women’s National Elite Road Race Championships on Sunday June 26. The weekend kicks off with the Leazes Criterium races in Newcastle’s Leazes Park on the evening of Friday June 24.

The Northern Rock Cyclone Challenge features three levels of ride – 33, 63 and 104 miles – and is part of the UCI Golden Wheel series. The longer two rides sharing parts of the course, such as the infamous Ryals climb, with the National Elite Road Race Championships.

Northern Rock Cyclone organiser Peter Harrison said: “The whole Northern Rock Cyclone weekend is getting bigger and better by the year. We have exciting plans for 2011 so encourage riders to sign up early and plan to make the most of the whole weekend.”

The Northern Rock Cyclone Challenge takes in beautiful Northumberland countryside and quiet roads. It features well-stocked feed stations, electronic timing, free bike checks at Newcastle’s Cyclelogical bike shop and a personalised certificate for every rider. To make sure everyone completes the course safely technical backup is provided by Madison, National Escort Group (NEG) motorcycle outriders accompany participants and the route is marked out by Northumberland County Council. Photos of every rider are also available within 48 hours of the end of the ride.

British Cycling’s National Elite Road Race Championships are the biggest single day of racing on the British Calendar. With national championships taking place across Europe on the same day the race attracts the very best of British riders from the international peloton with last year’s field including Emma Pooley, Nicole Cooke, Geraint Thomas and Mark Cavendish.

On Friday June 24 the weekend will begin with the Leazes Criterium races in Newcastle’s Leazes Park. The highlight of this is the elite race, which attracts top British and international riders. Registration for the Saturday’s Northern Rock Cyclone Challenge will be open at Leazes Parkon the Friday from 1pm to 9pm.

Packing two great races to watch and a great sportive into one weekend, the Northern Rock Cyclone is the perfect excuse for a weekend away with the bikes. Full details, including routes and online entry details for the Northern Rock Cyclone Challenge are available online here.