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 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 20th June 2015 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.
The routes for all three rides have been altered slightly for 2015 to give all participants a better experience. All rides will now go out through Dinnington and then onto Berwick Hill before descending down to Kirkley Hall where all rides will rejoin the original route. This change will mean that the bottleneck in Ponteland is avoided.
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 and Curlew Cup.The Beaumont Trophy is one of the oldest, if not the oldest Road Races in the UK and 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 feed stations for all rides remain the same as 2014. There is now 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 helmet or bike 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 – 34 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 – 64 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 64mls. 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 – 106 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 45 mins
Silver Standard - 5hrs 46 mins - 6hrs 35mins
Bronze Standard - over 6hrs 36mins.
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 - The Cycle Hub, Ouseburn, Newcastle Quayside
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
106mls - 7.00-8.30am
64mls - 8.30-10.00am
34mls - 9.30-11.00am
The following start times are recommended for each distance:
106mls - start 8.00-9.30am
64 mls - start 9.30-11.00am
34 mls - start 10.30-11.30am
In 2015 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 34ml ride will be allowed to start before all of the 64ml and 106 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 Cycle Hub, Ouseburn, Newcastle Quayside 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 ride number on the website before the event. It is hoped that most riders will register on the Friday evening in order to reduce queues on the Saturday morning. The added bonus for registering on the Friday (4pm-9pm) is that you can watch and enjoy some of the entertainment being planned for the venue on the Friday evening.
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 shortly after 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.
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 2015.
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 using the online entry module on the website. Please make sure that you have received two email confirmations - regarding your entry and payment. If you have not received any emails (check your spam folder) within a few hours after your attempt to enter and if your name still has not appeared on the start list on the website within a few days, please contact us.
Entries will close at 23:59 on the10th June or sooner if the maximum for each ride is reached.
It is not possible to enter on the day of the event or the day before.