Cyclone Challenge Event Information
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 21st June 2014 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 UCI 1.2 Road Race 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 2013 edition of the race was won by Dean Downing.
The feed stations all remain the same for rides A & C as previous years. There is an additional feed station at Cambo for Ride B. This will have drinks only. However participants can purchase snacks to raise money for the Village Hall The other 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 Queen's Own Yeomanry
The feed stations also act as timing stations and it is important that all riders ensure that their timing chip is securely attached to their bike or helmet so that the organisers can accurately monitor where riders are on the course. These stations also have 1st Aid Facilities and contact back to the Event HQ.
Ride A – 33 miles - Green Route
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. There is one feed station at Stamfordham.
Ride B – 63 miles - Blue Route
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 63mls. There are feed stations at Forestburngate, Cambo and Stamfordham. The ride also passes through a number of villages and hamlets where there are pubs and coffee shops.
Ride C – 104 miles - Black Route
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. There are 4 feed stations on this route at Forestburngate, Elsdon, Wark and Stamfordham. 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.
Hill Climb Challenge - Ride C
The hill climb challenge that was first run in 2013 will once again feature in the 2014 event. Timing Stations will be placed at the foot and top of Bilsmoor. These Timing stations will record each rider as they pass and there will therefore be no need to stop.
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
Wherever possible participants 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 - 7.00-8.30am
63mls - 8.30-10.00am
33mls - 9.30-11.00am
The following start times are recommended for each distance:
104mls - start 7.45-9.30am
63 mls - start 9.30-11.00am
33 mls - start 10.30-11.30am
In 2014 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 11.00am.
No rider who has entered the 33ml ride will be allowed to start before all of the 63ml and 104 ml riders have started. This is for logistical reasons to allow the Feed/Timing Station at Stamfordham to open and be operational
Adult over 16 - all rides: £28
Youth Rides A & B: £14
Every rider will receive a free T-shirt and Certificate upon completion of their event once they have finished. There will be refreshment stops on all three rides where riders can get food and drink.
There are numerous cafés 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 (Queen's Own Yeomanry) 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 at Newcastle Falcons. All riders must register individually. It is not possible to register for a number of riders as this invalidates the insurance for those riders. 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 (2pm-8pm) 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 http://www.cyclelogical-newcastle.com/
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.
Those who wish to pre book their parking at Newcastle Falcons should go to
Only those who have purchased a parking voucher will be allowed to park at Newcastle Falcons on the day of the event. The cost of the voucher is £5 and is totally administered by Newcastle Falcons.
The voucher is redeemable against food and drinks at the Bars and Kiosks on the day. If you purchase a voucher please ensure that you bring it with you to show to security staff as the Organisers will not have the names of those who have purchased a voucher.
Free Car parking for all those who have not booked a space at Newcastle Falcons will be at the Great North Park Park and Ride which is 1.5mls from the Falcons Ground. This car park will be sign posted with Stewards to guide riders to the start. The Car Park can accommodate 500 cars.
Match Day Parking will apply in the vicinity of Kingston Park and you will receive a Parking Ticket if you do not have a Residents Permit - be warned.
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.
After the problems regarding litter disposal at the feed stations in 2009 things did improve in the following years. However riders 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 2014.
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 http://www.marathon-photos.com/
within 48hrs of the completion of the event.
All those wishing to take part in one of the three rides must pre - enter either using the online entry module on the website. Entries will close when the maximum capacity has been reached for each ride.
It is not possible to enter on the day of the event or the day before. Entries will close on the14th June or sooner if the maximum for each ride is reached.