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Virgin Money Cyclone Challenge

by Henry Peacock

Saturday 30th June will see The Virgin Money Cyclone Challenge take place in Northumberland with three routes available for participants. The sportive event is part of the UCI Golden Wheel series and attracts riders from both inside and outside the UK.

A Big Day Out

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.

Northumberland is known as the "secret County" with some of the most beautiful countryside in Britain, quiet roads and friendly natives. What better way to view this spectacular County than by bike. Take in the scenery, stop in small villages along the way and sample the local "fare" on offer. The three routes availbale are 33, 63 and 104 miles in length.

Some Testing Climbs

All rides start and finish at the Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club, Kingston Park and will use part of the route to be used on the Sunday by the very top riders in the Country when they compete in the Beaumont Trophy Premier Calendar RR. This race has been won by many famous riders and in 2011 the winner of the Men's National Road Race Championships, Bradley Wiggins, was awarded the Trophy. This was the second time he has won it, the first being in 2009.

The four Feed/timing Stations will have energy drinks, bars and bananas all provided  as part of the entry fee plus a selection of hot drinks and cakes/sandwiches which can be purchased. They will also be manned by volunteers from the villages along with Gosforth Sea Cadets and the TA REME The feed stations also act as timing stations and it is important that all riders check in using their electronic timing chips so that the organisers can accurately monitor where riders are on the course. These stations also have First Aid Facilities and contact back to the Event HQ.

104 Miles For The Hardier

All rides use safe and quiet roads and visit numerous villages along their way. Finishers in all events will be given a finishing time as well as intermediate split times. Riders will be able to download a certificate after completion of the event, which will show their finishing time.

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