About the Event
With four beautiful and varied routes - 34, 65, 93 and 108 miles - the Cyclone Challenge is one the great events of the UK cycling calendar. It's a “must-do” ride for cyclists of all abilities and ages. Starting from the well-equipped Newcastle Falcons Rugby stadium, on the edge of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the four routes rapidly transport riders into the picturesque landscapes of Northumberland, where they will encounter quiet roads along beautiful river valleys, over remote moorlands and through pretty villages.
The 2021 event takes place on Saturday 3rd July. Choose a route to suit your cycling ability, fitness, age and experience: there are 34, 65, 93 or 108 mile options. Enter online and then turn up on the day and enjoy a meticulously well organised event, with plentiful parking, covered sign-on with snack bars, electronic timing/tracking, mobile support, up to four feed stations (depending on route choice) and lots of “top-up” culinary options in village halls. Not to mention perhaps the biggest draw of all, the quiet roads and the Northumbrian countryside.
Who Can Ride the Challenge Rides?
The four routes offer a challenge to all ages and abilities from serious club cyclists who are looking to test themselves, through to less experienced, less fit or younger participants looking for a well-supported ride through lovely countryside. The four events distances have been planned to ensure that there is a challenge for everyone and one that will allow you to ride within your capabilities. We particularly welcome younger riders, but we ask that all riders please carefully read the contents of our Event Regulations page.
All four rides start and finish at the Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club, Kingston Park and all four share, in part, sections of the Beaumont Trophy and Curlew Cup race routes, ridden by elite riders on the Sunday. See the routes in full on our Routes page.
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 - 65 miles - Blue Route - This ride is for cyclists who want a challenge. It is a hilly route and not to be entered without a little previous training. It ascends 1217M (3993ft) in the 65mls. There are feed stations at The Gate Forestburngate, Cambo and Stamfordham. The ride also passes through a number of villages and hamlets where there are pubs and coffee shops.
Ride C - 93mls - Red Route - This route was first added in 2016 to provide a intermediate challenge between the 65 and 108 mile options. One of the highlights is the ascent of Winters Gibbet. This route ascends 1788m (5866ft) in the 93 miles. There are feed stations at The Gate Forestburngate, Elsdon, Cambo and Stamfordham.
Ride D - 108 miles - Black Route - A serious challenge for the more experienced cyclists. The route is very hilly with 2374m (7789ft) of climbing and eight significant climbs. There are 4 feed stations on this route (see map). 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, under 6 hours; Silver, between 6 hours and 7 hours; Bronze, over 7 hours.
Feed Stations: All our Feed Stations are manned by volunteers from the villages along with Gosforth Sea Cadets. They will be handing out water, SiS energy drinks, bars and bananas. These are free to all participants. Additionally, a selection of hot drinks and cakes/sandwiches, made by the local villagers, can be purchased. All Feed Stations will have 1st Aid Facilities and contact back to Event HQ. Please plan your nutrition, carry bottles and food and replenish regularly.
Timing/Tracking: Timing Stations are situated around the routes and at the start/finish. It is important that all riders ensure that their timing chip is securely attached to their helmet on the left side so that the organisers can accurately monitor where riders are on the course. 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.
Massage: Our exclusive physiotherapy partners Physiotherapy Matters will be on site throughout offering a 10-15 minute massage for just £10.
Enter the Challenge Rides
Entry is £36 for adults and £18 for under-16s (for A&B Rides) - ENTER HERE
Covid-19 Cancellation Refunds
- Following the cancellation of our 2020 events, all riders were offered full refunds or a transfer of their entry to the 2021 event. We'd like to reassure everyone who enters our 2021 events that they too will be offered a full refund of their entry fee or have their entry carried over to the next running of the Cyclone, should we have to cancel in July 2021 due Coronavirus restrictions.
Signing-On For Your Ride
Before starting your chosen Cyclone Challenge Ride, you must first visit one of our Sign-on desks You can do this the day before, on the evening of Friday 2 July, at the Cycle Hub, Ouseburn, Newcastle Quayside - we recommend this option, if convenient, as it helps reduce congestion at sign-on on the day.
Alternatively you can sign-on on the day of the event at the event HQ (Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club, Kingston Park Stadium, Brunton Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne NE13 8AF). All riders must sign-on individually at one of these two opportunities, before starting their rides. You cannot sign on for another/other riders. Please bring your entry confirmation slip (emailed to you when you enter) and a separate piece of identification with you.
Sign-on Friday 2nd July 2021:
The Cycle Hub, Ouseburn, Newcastle Quayside - All routes: 4pm -9pm
Sign-on Saturday 3rd July 2021:
Newcastle Falcons Rugby Ground, Kingston Park Stadium, Brunton Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne NE13 8AF
108 mile route: 7.00-8.00am
93 mile route: 8.00-9.00am
65 mile route: 8.30-9.30am
34 mile route: 9.00-10.00am
All Under-18 riders must bring with them to sign-on a signed Parental Consent Form - Download Parental Consent Form (pdf file)
The following start times are recommended for each distance:
108 mile route: 8.00-8.45am
93 mile route: 8.45-9.30am
65 mile route: 9.30-10.30am
34 mile route: 10.30-11.00am
Don’t worry if you miss your allocated start time as you will be able to start as long as it is before 11.00am. The 34 mile route riders should not start until the longer route riders have started, to allow time for the Feed/Timing Station at Stamfordham to open. Please note, all riders are requested to complete their rides by 6pm. Please choose your ride and pace your day accordingly.
Event Car Parking
Pre-Booked On-Site Parking: For just £5 you can obtain a parking spot in the East Stand car park at the Newcastle Falcons Rugby Ground, Kingston Park Stadium, Brunton Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne NE13 8AF, where the event HQ and start/finish are located. Booking - Coming
Free "Park & Ride" Parking: Free Car parking is available at the 500 space Great North Park Park and Ride which is just 2km (5 mins by bike) from the Falcons' Ground and close to the A1. This car park will be sign posted, with Stewards to guide riders to the start. For those with SatNav, please use the postcode NE13 9NR - the Park & Ride site is on the opposite side of the road to the SAGE building.
During Your Ride
Route Signs: All junctions throughout the four routes will be comprehensively signposted. Exact route details for each ride are also available on this website. We'd also recommend you take a map or download the route onto your mobile device, just in case you wander off track - Maps & Routes
Insurance, First Aid & Support: Your entry fee covers insurance provided by British Cycling for the duration of the event. The Feed and Timing stations will be manned by village volunteers and the Sea Cadets and there will be full first aid medical cover throughout the event. Throughout the event “service” vehicles, as used in the following day’s elite races, will be on hand to assist with mechanical issues.
Litter Disposal: Please dispose of litter considerately. There are bins at all the feeds. Litter dropped on the course, such as gel wrappers, jeopardises the future of our events.
Conduct: Please behave courteously to other road users, fellow participants and local residents throughout your ride. We are very proud of the unique beauty of our rides – please take all your litter home or dispose in the bins provided at feeds and the finish. There are often horse riders on the roads near Stamfordham. Please give them room and warn them of your approach. Horses are often spooked by cyclists they don’t hear approaching. A polite vocal greeting is a great way to keep yourself and the horse and rider safe. Please observe Highway Code regulations at all times out on your ride - it keeps everyone safe and helps to ensure we have a successful event which continues to be supported by local communities and local councils.
After Your rideMassage: Our exclusive physiotherapy partners Physiotherapy Matters will be on site throughout offering a 10-15 minute massage for just £10.