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Virgin Money Cyclone Places Filling Up Fast

by Adam Tranter

The organiser of the country's largest open-road sportive event is urging riders to get their entries in - because places are filling up fast.

Virgin Money Cyclone Challenge organiser Peter Harrison has said that places for the 104 mile Cyclone Challenge option are coming in rapidly a full two months before the event starts: the weekend runs from 28 June to 1 July with the Cyclone Challenge rides on Saturday 30 June.

Peter Harrison said: "The Virgin Money Cyclone weekend has a reputation for being a full weekend of riding and watching great racing amongst beautiful Northumberland scenery. The longer two routes take in many parts of the course used for the following day's Curlew Cup elite women's race and Beaumont Trophy men's race so it is easy to understand why they are so popular."

Ian Wilkinson winning the 2011 Leazes Park Criterium

The 104 mile ride is the longest of three routes, with places also available for the 33 and 63 rides. The rides will attract up to 4,500 cyclists this year - from families to professionals.

The Cyclone Challenge rides form just one day of the popular four day and five event Virgin Money Cyclone weekend. 

For the first time in 2012, the Virgin Money Cyclone weekend kicks off on the Thursday evening (28 June) with the Tyne Six Bridges Leisure Ride, a relaxed ride aimed at families and less experienced riders. Starting from Newcastle Quayside, the 9.5 and 14.5 mile rides will take in the Millennium, Tyne, Swing, High Level, Redheugh and Scotswood bridges.  The rides start at 7pm on Thursday 28 June and cost £6 per person.

On Friday night the ever-popular Leazes Criteriums return to Newcastle's Leazes Park. The racing around the tight circuit in the park attracts thousands of cycling fans to watch action from amateur and youth races to international cycling stars in the elite race.

After the Cyclone Challenge rides on Saturday 30 June, it is the turn of the professionals again on Sunday 1 July. For the first time, the day starts with the new Curlew Cup women's elite race following the success of the 2011 National Championships road race on the same course.

On the afternoon of Sunday 1 July the elite men return for the Beaumont Trophy, which has been running for more than 60 years. Part of British Cycling's elite level Premier Calendar series, the race will attract the cream of British as well as European riders.

For more information and to sign up for the Virgin Money Cyclone Challenges or the Tyne 6 Bridges rides, visit or you can follow @VMCyclone on Twitter and like the Virgin Money Cyclone page on Facebook.

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