The Virgin Money Cyclone Festival of Cycling was created in 2007 to encourage as many people as possible to get out on their bikes, get fitter and enjoy the countryside. It is a multi faceted event designed to cater for the needs of competitive and none competitive cyclists. For the first 4 years the event was run over 3 days with events to meet the needs of all who wish to compete or just ride for pleasure as well as allowing spectators to see some of the best riders in the World in action.
Due to the success of the event over the 4 yrs (2007-2011) the event was increased to 4 days in 2012 to accommodate an even broader spectrum of participants. The additional event planned for the Thursday evening was created to attract an even wider participant group with two shorter rides on traffic free cycle paths along the banks of the Tyne. Unfortunately on the night the event had to be cancelled due to severe weather conditions. The 2014 event did go ahead with the 4th day and was so successful that it will once again be included in the 2014 edition.
Since the inception of the event in 2007 participant numbers have quadrupled and over £500K has been raised for various charities. The event is now one of the biggest and possibly the biggest event of it's type and attracts riders and participants from all over the World. The 2011 edition of the event hosted the British National Road Race Championships for both Men and Women.
All riders/participants/spectators who are on the mailing list will be kept up to date with information in the months and weeks leading up to the event.
Thursday 19th June 2014
Tyne 6 Bridges Leisure Rides
The event will start and finish at the Cycle Hub, Ouseburn and use Sustrans Routes 72 & 14 along the north and south banks of the Tyne heading out in a westerly direction. There are two rides of 10.5mls and 15.5mls for those who want to experience a leisurely ride along the banks of the Tyne. These are ideal rides for the inexperienced who may be afraid of traffic or those with young families. All participants must pre register on the event website.
Friday 20th June 2014
Newcastle Leazes Criteriums
The Criterium racing in Leazes Park, Newcastle will start at 6.15pm. There will be races for all ages and abilities. The evening starts with races for youngsters Youths. there will be two races, one for U10/12 followed by one for U14/16.
The supporting senior event will precede the main event and is for riders who race regularly but are not full time riders.This is for riders who hold either a 2nd,3rd or 4th category BC licence.
The finale for the evening will be a one hour race for the best riders in the Country. Many of these riders will have won medals and there even may be some current world and Olympic champions in their midst. Some of the best riders in the World may be competing on the Friday as well as on the Sunday.
Saturday 20th June 2014
Virgin Money Cyclone Challenge.
A series of 3 rides of differing distances and difficulty to test all those who compete. The rides start and finish at the Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club, Kingston Park. There is limited parking within the grounds for all those who are travelling to the venue. This parking can be pre booked. There is also additional parking at the Great North Park This will be signposted. The three rides leave from the Club between 8.00am and 10.30am and go directly out into the Northumbrian countryside on country roads, therefore avoiding the city traffic. Riders will be set off in Groups of 60 at 2 minute intervals. Those riders doing the 104ml ride are advised to leave between 8-9am. Those doing the 63ml ride should plan to leave between 9-10am and those doing the 33ml ride should leave between 9.30-10.30am. There are catering facilities open at the Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club throughout the day so that a refreshing drink can be had upon completion of your ride.
These events are not races and no positions will be given on the website. Each rider will be given a finishing time along with split times calculated along the route. This will be done with the aid of electronic chips. All finishing and split times for those completing their own Challenge will appear on a results page within 48 hrs.
Each competitor will be given a T shirt and Goody Bag upon completion and will be able to download their own personalised certificate from the Marathon Photos website. There will be feeding/re-hydration stops on all of the routes with food and drink which also act as timing stations and medical control centres. There are also many cafés and pubs along all three of the routes and competitors can stop off and enjoy a well earned rest and sample the local cuisine.
The event will have full medical cover courtesy of St. John Ambulance and comprehensive marshalling provided by The Sea Cadets and Army (Queen's Own Yeomanry). There will be Technical Service vehicles sweeping the routes for those who have major technical difficulties. All junctions will be signposted courtesy of Northumberland County Council.
If you decide you are going to ride on behalf of one of the nominated Charities you will be sent a sponsorship pack from that charity once you have registered. You can then raise money for that charity. This could be as little as £1. There is no obligation to sign for a charity and you can just do the ride of your choice without any charity involvement if you wish. However it is hoped that many people will ride on behalf of a charity. There is also a bonus if you decide to ride on behalf of a charity. You will then be eligible to win one of the great prizes on offer for those raising the most amount for their charity. In 2013 there were over £2000 in prizes on offer courtesy of Madison/Shimano.
Sunday 22nd June
Womens National Series Road Race
The first event of the day will be the Curlew Cup which will attract some of the best riders in the Country. The race will start at 9.15am and will use both the Ingoe and Ryals Circuits which pass through the villages of Stamfordham and Matfen. The smaller circuit is 13.9mls and the larger circuit is 22.3mls. The women will complete 3 laps of the smaller circuit and one lap of the larger circuit before finishing in Stamfordham. Total distance for the event is 62mls (100kms)
UCI 1.2 Road Race
This will be the 62nd edition of the event. The race will be run over a distance of 117 mls (187kms). It will start with one lap of the smaller circuit (13.9mls) before going on to complete 4 laps of the larger circuit (22.3mls) which will include the climb of the Ryals. There will then be one final lap of the smaller circuit to complete the race.
I hope many thousands of riders and spectators will once again come and enjoy the weekend and increase its status in the National Sporting Calendar.