The Northern Rock Cyclone festival of cycling is already on schedule to be the biggest and best event since its inception. Plans are now well advanced to make it one of the UK’s biggest cycling weekends in 2009 and the website will open for online entries on 1 November 2008.
The event will once again be part of the 2009 NewcastleGateshead Culture 10 Festival and Events programme. This programme is designed to attract 100,000 visitors to the North East and the Cyclone weekend will be one of 20 sporting and artistic events to be promoted both nationally and internationally.
Northern Rock are again the main sponsors with technical sponsorship coming from Ultimate Pursuits/Shimano. There are also several subsidiary sponsors and partners, all of whom will add to the profile of the whole weekend.
The event dates are 12-14th June 2009 with the Newcastle Leazes criteriums once again being the first event. The evening will consist of a series of criterium races with the highlight being the Elite event. Several overseas teams have already been invited to ride. The prize fund for the evening will be £6K with first prize in the Elite Criterium being £1K.
Friday may also see the first ever unofficial UK single speed criterium championship.
The Cyclone Sportive rides will be held on the Saturday. These are UCI listed events and there will be a maximum of 3000 competitors over the 3 distances of 31, 62 and 100miles. The routes for the three rides have been very slightly changed for 2009 and these will appear in due course on the event website.
The 100 mile ride will feature the two mile long Redesmouth climb with a 20% gradient in places. Several major charities will again be involved in the event including Marie Curie, McMillan Cancer Care, Cancer Research UK, Barnardo’s and Great North Air Ambulance. There will be prizes for those raising the most money for the charity of their choice. Over £100,000 was raised in 2008.
The race for the Beaumont Trophy will be held on the Sunday over the same course as used in the 2008 event. However there will be a subtle change in that the riders will complete the smaller lap for the first two laps. They will then go onto the larger circuit for the next three laps. These laps include the ascent of the Ryals. The final lap of the race will go back onto the smaller circuit. This change will mean that the final ascent of the Ryals will be made at 88 miles and could well decide the race winning move. Prize fund will again be £6000.
One innovation for the weekend’s racing will be a prize list of at least £1000 for the riders with the best combined results for the Leazes Criteriums and Beaumont Trophy. 2nd category riders competing in both the Senior 2, 3, 4 race on the Friday night and the Beaumont Trophy will also be eligible for the prizes along with the Elite and 1st Category riders.
All event details are on the event website, which will go live for entries for all events on the 1st November 2008. Anyone subscribing to the event newsletter on the website will also receive regular updates leading up to the event.