Massey and Latham take top spots in Cyclone Festival

Riders race through the rural roads of Northumberland in the Virgin Money Cyclone Festival.
Riders race through the rural roads of Northumberland in the Virgin Money Cyclone Festival.

Hundreds lined the roads around the picturesque village of Stamfordham to see some of the world’s best cyclists take part in the Virgin Money Cyclone Festival of Cycling.

The event drew to a close on Sunday with a day of action packed elite racing.

Taking the trophy in the National Women’s Road Race, the Curlew Cup, was team IKON-Mazda cyclist, Laura Massey.

Elizabeth Holden of team Giordana-Triton took second with Eleanor Dickinson, also of team Giordana-Triton, celebrating third place.

In the UCI Beaumont Trophy, it was Christopher Latham of the Great Britain national team that powered to victory. Putting in a strong fight and taking second was Tom Stewart, of Madison Genesis, with Yanto Barker of One Pro Cycling in third.

Spectators gathered in Stamfordham, the official race HQ, were treated to glimpses of one of the strongest fields of riders to date including Olympic gold medallist and Team Wiggins cyclist Andy Tennant; 2014 Elite Road Race Series winner and One Pro Cycling rider Barker; and British Road Race Champion, JLT Condor cyclist, and defending champion Kristian House.

Speaking on the course and her win in the Curlew Cup, Massey said: “It was a funny race, it started off quite slowly and sedately.

“It was cold and we were soaking wet, with numb hands and numb feet, you couldn’t feel your legs, so on the first few laps there weren’t that many attacks, people were saving themselves for the big climb.

“I approached the Ryals with numb legs, which isn’t nice, but hey, it’s a race. I kicked at the right time just before we came around the bend and then as we came into the finish, gave it all for the win.

“It’s a good challenging course, a challenging race and today, challenging environments; I wish we had more road races with similar conditions.”

The elite races rounded up three days of action packed cycling in what is the ninth year of the Virgin Money Cyclone Festival of Cycling.

On the Saturday more than 2,300 cycling enthusiasts got into the saddle testing their stamina in the Virgin Money Cyclone Challenge rides.

And earlier on Friday, families, friends and solo riders gathered to mark the official launch and participate in the festival’s opening event, the Tyne Six Bridges.

Festival founder and event organiser, Peter Harrison, said: “Today saw good hard races in the professional men’s and women’s events.

“It’s been a really successful weekend with over 3,700 riders participating. I wish I could control the weather and take the showers away, but it’s been fantastic none the less.”