Virgin Cyclone cycling festival proves the biggest ever

This year's Virgin Cyclone cycling festival was the biggest so far and a roaring success

Riders take part in The Virgin Cyclone event
Riders take part in The Virgin Cyclone event

A week after the dust settled on thousands of whirring bike wheels, the stats are in.

This year’s Virgin Cyclone cycling festival was the biggest so far and a roaring success.

The elite champions were celebrating another title under their belts – but hundreds of others were patting themselves on the back just for completing the challenging courses.

As we reported in The Journal last week, the four days of competition saw thousands of people from amateurs to professionals heading to Newcastle to take part.

Now, we can reveal the riders clocked up an incredible 240,000 miles between them.

Behind the scenes organisers handed out 4,000 litres of water and 3,000 litres of sports drink Powerade to keep the cyclists hydrated, as well as coffees, teas, and the odd beer downed by spectators along the routes.

They also gave away 3,500 celebratory T-shirts and served up more than 6,000 juicy burgers.

Cycling began on the Thursday night with 400 riders – including families – saddling up for the Tyne Six Bridges leisure ride.


The Leazes Park Criteriums on the Friday night saw riders whizzing round the Newcastle circuit, with Niclas Gustavvson claiming the elite title.

On the Saturday, almost 4,000 riders of all abilities turned out for the Cyclone Challenge rides – of 33, 66 or 104 miles.

And their efforts helped take the total raised for charity by the Cyclone since it began to over �600,000.

On Sunday the professional races – the men’s Beaumont Trophy and women’s Curlew Cup, won by Dean Downing and Hannah Barnes – brought the weekend to a close.

Virgin Money Cyclone event organiser Peter Harrison said: “The 2013 Virgin Money Cyclone had a bit of everything.

“Brilliant sunshine, some rain but most importantly, some high quality racing.

“The event just gets better and better and it attracts competitors from all over the globe. I wish to thank everybody who took part and who lent their support in making the 2013 Virgin Money Cyclone another great weekend.

“I am already looking forward to next year’s event.”

To find out more about the Virgin Money Cyclone and enter for next year, visit


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer