The Northern Rock Cyclone cycling festival is set to be even bigger and more prestigious next year, after it was extended over a three-day period and the prize fund raised to £14000.

The festival starts on the Friday 15th June in the evening with the Leazes Criteriums, continuing through Saturday with the Cyclone challenge, with the final event the Beaumont Trophy on Sunday 17th June. The Criterium is aimed at racing for all ages and abilities, but the prize fund for the Elite has been increased, with the winner getting £1500 of the £8000 total race prize fund.

Event organiser Peter Harrison, said: ?It is likely to be the richest prize fund this year, so it?s a really lucrative weekend for the participants. If you race there?s a good chance you?ll pick something up.?

As well as the Criterium on Friday, Saturday will see the Cyclone Challenge with three rides of differing distances and difficulty and the ?Go ride? event organised by British Cycling and Newcastle City Council. On Sunday the Beaumont Trophy, which has now been raised to a Premier Calendar status, will take place. As well as the races, there will be trade stands and music as well as commentary provided by Eurosport?s Mike Smith.

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