Pedal power hits county

Thousands of cyclists get ready to set off on a Virgin Money Cyclone Challenge route.
Thousands of cyclists get ready to set off on a Virgin Money Cyclone Challenge route.
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MORE than 3,000 people got on their bikes and travelled through the Northumberland countryside as part of a major annual event.

Those taking part in the Virgin Money Cyclone Challenge on Saturday had three routes to choose from – 33, 63 and 104 miles. Professional riders enjoyed chatting with families and beginners before heading off.

One of the riders on the day, Guy Dodds, said: “We do this event every year and I think it’s great.

“It’s got my son completely into cycling. He loves it. He loves the exercise and it works really well for him.”

Madison Genesis rider Dean Downing brought the curtain down on the weekend when he claimed a thrilling victory in the 61st edition of the Beaumont Trophy on Sunday, keeping the prize in the family following his brother Russ’ win in 2012.

He surged to a popular victory from a bunch sprint after a tough 108-mile route in blustery conditions, which started and finished in the village of Stamfordham.

Second was Dan Barry, with Swede Niclas Gustavvson claiming third place.

Earlier in the day, MG-Maxifuel’s Hannah Barnes continued her run of success with a win in the Curlew Cup elite women’s race. Corrine Hall and Anne Ewing filled the other places on the podium.

The event began with the Tyne Six Bridges ride on Thursday and continued with the Leazes Criteriums races on Friday.