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Virgin Money Cyclone

29/06/2013 - Newcastle upon Tyne - Sportive

Rating: 75.9% based on 3 reviews - Rate this Event Now
Previous Years Rating: 89.2% based on 36 reviews

3 rides of 33,63 & 104 miles designed to cater for all ages and abilities. All rides go out into rural Northumberland on very quiet and scenic roads. All routes go through small villages with lots of opportunities for refreshment.

The Virgin Money Cyclone Challenge rides are now recognised as one of the premier cycling events in the UK where non competitive cyclists can test their fitness and set themselves a personal challenge. The event is part of the UCI Golden Wheel series and attracts riders from both inside and outside the UK.

Sportive cycle rides are becoming increasingly popular throughout Europe and in the UK. They offer a challenge to all ages and abilities and allow participants to ride at their own pace, whilst enjoying the countryside. These events are not races but do allow those who wish, to test themselves and set their own goals and try and achieve them.

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.

On 30th June 2012 you have the chance to enter one of three events. The three events and distances have been planned to ensure that there is a challenge for everyone and one that will allow you to ride within your capabilities. All rides meander through the beautiful Northumbrian countryside, passing through quiet lanes and hidden unspoilt villages.

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 and Curlew Cup Ladies Race. After your strenuous day in the saddle on the Saturday you may then wish to come out again on the Sunday and see these riders racing on the same roads. Their ability on their bikes may astound you.

The three rides are:

  • Ride A - 33 miles
    Designed for families and those just who want to enjoy the countryside without any large hills. The route is undulating and ascends for a total of 390M (1280ft) whilst passing through a number of small villages with pubs and Coffee shops.
  • Ride B - 63 miles
    This ride is for semi serious cyclists or those who want a challenge. It is a hilly route and not to be entered without a little previous training. The route is the same route as Ride C for the first half and then goes off in a different direction to eventually join up with ride C again for the last 1/3rd of the ride. It ascends 1217M (3993ft) in the 62mls
  • Ride C - 104 miles
    A serious challenge for the more experienced cyclists or those who are very fit. The route is very hilly with 2374m (7789ft) of climbing. The route is very choppy with 8 significant climbs and the highest point is Troughend Common (340m), west of Otterburn in the Cheviot Hills. Riders competing this distance will have the additional challenge of achieving Gold, Silver or Bronze Standard for their ride. The standards are set as follows:
  • Gold Standard - under 5hrs 40 mins
  • Silver Standard - 5hrs 41 mins - 6hrs 30mins
  • Bronze Standard - over 6hrs 31mins.
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.
Riders will be set off in groups of 60 starting from 8am. Riders registering for the different rides are requested to register in the following order:
Registration - Friday - Leazes Park
1pm -9pm
Wherever possible paricipants for the Saturday rides are requested to register on the Friday to ease congestion on the Saturday morning.
Registration - Saturday - Newcastle Falcons Rugby Ground
104mls - 7-8am
63mls - 8.30-9.30am
33mls - 9.30-10.30am
Start times
The following start times are recommended for each distance
104mls - start 8-9am
63 mls - start 9-10am
33 mls - Start 9.30-10.30am
In 2011 it is intended to start the groups in the following order:

If it is not possible to start within the allocated time do not worry as you will be able to start as long as it is before 10.30am.
Entry Fee
Adult over 16 - all rides: £25
Youth Rides A & B: £12
Every rider will receive a free T-shirt and Certificate upon completion of their event once they have handed back the timing chip which will be issued to every rider before their ride. There will be refreshment stops on all three rides where riders can get food and drink supplied by Abbey Well Mineral Water, Powerade, Delmonte & Traidcraft.
There are also numerous cafes and pubs along all three of the routes where competitors can stop and have a rest as well as taking on board food and drink. If you are doing Ride C why not pop into the Cyclists Cafe in Elsdon. This is the cafe situated to the right of the Village Green, behind the church as you come in from Rothbury. You will receive a warm welcome from Allan and Marion and you can have a look a the cycling memorabilia in the Cafe.
Every rider will have automatic event insurance provided by British Cycling for the duration of the event.

The Feed and Timing stations will be manned by the Army (REME) and the Sea Cadets and there will be full medical cover throughout the event. All junctions will be sign posted and exact route details for each ride are on the website. Throughout the event vehicles from Shimano will be on hand to assist those in difficulty and give advice.

Registration for the Sportive rides will be done at the Leazes Park Criteriums on the Friday as well as on the Saturday before the start. Each rider will be able to see their number and start time on the website before the event. It is hoped that most riders will register on the Friday afternoon and evening in order to reduce queues on the saturday morning. The added bonus for registering on the Friday (1pm-9pm) is that you can watch and enjoy the Criterium racing in Leazes Park and socialise with other competitors whom you may see on the road the next day.

Free bike checks will be offered by Cyclelogical to all those who have entered the event. Just quote your number and the event you have entered. It is advisable to have your bike checked well in advance so that your enjoyment of the weekend is not spoilt by a mechanical failure on the day. Advice can also be given to the about what clothing to wear, correct riding position and what tools and drinks to carry on the day and during training for the event.
Charity Information
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 2010 there were over £2000 in prizes on offer courtesy of Madison.
Litter disposal
After the problems regarding litter disposl at the feed stations in 2009 things did improve in 2010. However ridersd are still disposing of Gel wrappers etc in the countryside and this lead to several complaints from the residents who live along the routes. Please dispose of litter considerately in 2011.

The Official photographers for the Challenge rides are Marathon Photos. They will have a Team of photographers out around the routes to taking pictures of all riders. The photos will then be available at within 48hrs of the completion of the event.
All riders will be able to download their own personalised certificate Free from the website.

Event Website

HQ/Start Address
Address Line 1 Newcastle Falcon Rugby Club
Address Line 2 Kingston Park
Town Newcastle upon Tyne
County Tyne and Wear
Postcode NE13 8AF
Event Facilities
Adequate Car Parking Facilities Adequate Car Parking Facilities
Changing Rooms Changing Rooms
Showers Showers
Food & Drink (Pre/Post Event) Food & Drink (Pre/Post Event)
Sign-on at HQ Sign-on at HQ

Support for Participants
Route card with emergency contact details Route card with emergency contact details
SAG wagon following laster rider(s) SAG wagon following laster rider(s)

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