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The Cyclone Challenge is a four-route sportive that takes place in the beautiful Northumbrian countryside in the middle of summer. Now in its eleventh year, the event is one of the "must-do" sportives, with over two and a half thousand participants every year.
So, what makes it so special? Well, the event is part of a weekend of cycling - The Cyclone Festival - that is now part of the NE's sporting landscape, with family fun rides on the Friday evening, a stunning sportive on the Saturday and international and national elite racing on the Sunday.
The Cyclone Challenge itself includes four routes - 34, 64, 90 and 106 miles - all encompasing some of the NE's most beautiful scenic cycling, with deserted roads, sweeping river valleys, wooded hills and heather-clad uplands.
There are hills aplenty for those who live their climbs, including the legendary "Ryals", a three-stage hill that has been the decisive point in many a race, including Bradley Wiggins' national championship victory in 2011.
The event also has some of the best facilities and support systems of any sprotive, from the fabulous HQ at Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club's stadium, with parking aplenty, under-cover sing-on and plenty of facilities, through to the well-stocked feeds at regular intervals. There are also a number of village hall stop-offs around the route, where local volunteers ply riders with home-made cake and teas.
The Cyclone has a deserved reputation as an outstanding ride in a stunning part of the country that's still relatively unknown, and a culinary voyage to cake heaven, for those prepared to take their time and enjoy the full experience.