Newcastle is gearing up for a weekend of cycling that will put the area on the cycling map. The Northern Rock Cyclone kicks off on Friday June 15 with the Leazes criteriums. Taking its name from the park in which it?s run, the evening of races kicks off with youth events and culminates with the Elite race; over £8,000 of prizes will be awarded.

Saturday June 16 offers some rest bite for the Elite races as the general public take to the roads of Northumberland. Three sportives cater for over 900 riders tackling the 31 mile, 62 mile and 100 mile routes, and even here, prizes are on offer.

The competitor travelling the greatest distance to partake in each ride will receive a prize, as will the oldest male and female riders in each of the three events. Prizes will also be on offer for the first family group of four finishing the 31 and 62 mile rides, and those raising the most money for their chosen charity.

The weekend comes to a close with the Beaumont trophy, round six of the Premier Calendar series, and the second chance to see the Elite riders in action. The 56th running of the event has received Premier Calendar status for the first time in its history.

The 105 mile race is run off on two circuits, based around Stamfordham, 13 miles north of Newcastle, with the 25% climb of The Ryals set to be the race’s main flash point.

Joint Premier Calendar leaders Dean Downing (Rapha Condor) and Chris Newton (Recycling.co.uk) are set to ride, while Downing?s younger brother Russell (Health Net ? Maxxis), currently stuck in the UK due to a VISA dispute, will start as number one.

For more information go to the event website.