ORGANISERS of the 2011 Northern Rock Cyclone Challenge are planning to invite Olympic riders to next year’s event in the run up to the 2012 London Games
The 2011 event was hailed an all-round success by organisers and they are already looking to making next year’s event even bigger and better to coincide with the 2012 Olympic Games which are to be held in London.
More than 4,000 cyclists took to the roads of the region last week with families, enthusiastic club riders and professionals all taking part in the event over a variety of distances.
Three courses were on offer including 33 miles, 66 miles and a gruelling 107 miles as part of the Northern Rock Cyclone and National Elite Road Racing Championships weekend.
Now they are already organising next year with plans for the event to be a precursor to the Olympics.
Organiser Peter Harrison said he would like to give Olympic riders who have been chosen by their country to race in the Games the chance to take part in the North East event beforehand.
He said: “It would be a case of giving them the opportunity to race some British roads in British conditions before the Olympics.
“It would be the last chance for them to ride a race in Britain before the Olympics. It would be about gearing it in such a time and way so it is attractive for them to ride.”
Graeme Tones, communications consultant for Northern Rock, said: “The Northern Rock Cyclone has grown year on year and next year’s event promises to be as exciting with hopefully riders from competing Olympic nations getting the chance to take part.
“It is a chance to showcase both the region and the event to a much wider audience and that can only be a good thing. Some of cycling’s biggest names took part in this year’s Northern Rock Cyclone and have a real chance of grabbing Gold medals at next year’s Olympic games.”
Northern Rock has also confirmed that it will be the headline sponsors for the event once again next year.
Andy Tate, customer and commercial director at Northern Rock, said: “The Northern Rock Cyclone is a fantastic event that is enjoyed by so many people. The fact that it is held here in our region makes it even more special and we are proud to announce our intention to continue our sponsorship of the Cyclone in 2012. This year’s event has attracted some of cycling’s biggest names and it has a real national focus, which also makes the Cyclone an attractive event for us to sponsor on a commercial basis. We look forward to working with Peter Harrison and his team towards another excellent event in the region in 2012.”