Virgin Money Cyclone organiser Peter Harrison has said that 2013 is set to be the most exciting year of riding and racing for years. Speaking as entries for June’s Virgin Money Cyclone Challenge rides rocketed over the Christmas period, he said: “The elite team changes for this year will really mix things up. With Endura racing abroad, the new Madison Genesis team launching and some exciting changes with other teams, it will be fascinating to see how the 2013 season pans out.”
He added: “There is a really strong programme of sportives and mass participation events yet again for 2013 and I think the Premier Calendar elite racing series will be really strong with new and established teams such as Madison Genesis, Raleigh, Team IG Sigma Sport and Team UK Youth bringing in a mixture of youth and domestic and international experience. In a time of so much cycling success at an elite level, it is really important that we continue to do everything we can to use racing to inspire more people to get on their bikes. That’s the aim of the Virgin Money Cyclone weekend, and I’m really excited to have the pros riding alongside all sorts of riders – from beginners and families to committed club riders – for 2013.”
The Virgin Money Cyclone weekend takes place from 27 to 30 June 2013 in and around Newcastle and Northumberland. Earlier in December, it was announced that elite riders from the Team IG Sigma Sport will support the event. The weekend opens with the beginner and family-oriented 9.5 and 14.5 mile Tyne 6 Bridges rides along the banks of the River Tyne.
The first event on Thursday 27 June starts at the Cycle Hub and is aimed at leisurely cyclists and will follow the Sustrans 72 cycle route along the Tyne river and past the 6 bridges. These routes are completely traffic free and families and people of all ages and abilities are encouraged to take part to mark the beginning of the weekend. Please note however that people under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
On Friday 28 June, the Leazes Criterium races see racing from youth to elite class in Leazes Park, close to Newcastle city centre.
On Saturday 29 June, up to 4,000 riders will take on the Virgin Money Cyclone Challenge rides – one of the UK’s biggest mass participation cycling events. For 2013, the Virgin Money Cyclone Challenge rides continue the popular format seen in previous years, with riders choosing from 33, 63 and challenging 104 mile route options.
On Sunday 30 June it is the turn of the professionals again, with second edition of the highly acclaimed Curlew Cup elite women’s race in the morning and Beaumont Trophy men’s race in the afternoon. Once again the Beaumont Trophy is part of British Cycling’s prestigious Premier Calendar series.
Entries for the 2013 Virgin Money Cyclone are now live. For more information and to sign up for the weekend, visit www.virginmoneycyclone.co.uk. You can follow @VMCyclone on Twitter and like the Virgin Money Cyclone page on Facebook to keep up to date with the event and to get the latest hints and tips on training and preparation.