Elite cycling boost to women′s sport in the North East

09.04.2014

Some of the top riders will be competing in the North East this weekend (April 12 & 13) taking part in the first race of British Cycling’s Elite Road Series.

MEDIA INVITE: British National Cyclo-cross Champion, Helen Wyman, who is taking part in the ‘Alexandra Tour of the Reservoir’ and Olympic gold medallist, Ed Clancy MBE who is taking part in the ‘Northumbrian Water Tour of the Reservoir’ will be available for interview from lunchtime at Derwent Reservoir on Friday 11 April.

This year’s event will include - for the first time - a women’s elite cycling race called the ‘Alexandra Tour of the Reservoir’ on Saturday 12 April.

The ‘Alexandra Tour of the Reservoir’ will start at 9.00am on Saturday leaving Blanchland under neutral riding until the official race start at Carrick’s corner close to the shoreline of Derwent Reservoir. The women competitors will cycle 54 miles.

The annual Northumbrian Water Tour of the Reservoir road race, now in its ninth year, has expanded from a single day race to a two stage ‘tour’ event attracting some of the best riders.

Stage one of the race on Saturday April 12, 2014 is a 75 mile uphill circuit starting in Blanchland Village at 1.30pm. Cyclists will complete five gruelling laps of the tough roads around Blanchland and Edmundbyers to compete for selection for day two of the event.

Riders who qualify to race on day two on Sunday April 13 2014 will then battle it out over eight laps (104 miles) of the round the reservoir race route circling Derwent Reservoir. Cyclists will set off at 10.20am, again from the race headquarters in Blanchland Village, racing at speeds of up to 60mph.

Mike Hodgson, event organiser from Tyne Valley Cycle club, said: "We’re very pleased to have our first ever women’s event at Derwent Reservoir and to be supporting one of the fastest growing sports for female cyclists.

"The event is billed locally as a mini Tour de France and always attracts the best cyclists in Britain. The new race route offers some fantastic vantage points and it’s great fun to watch," he said.

Jennie Collingwood of Northumbrian Water, who will present the winners sash on the reservoir dam wall podium, said: "It’s a real coup to have secured yet another Elite Calendar race around the spectacular backdrop of Derwent Reservoir. The event is a huge boost for the area and North East tourism as it usually brings in around £100,000 of revenue for the region.

"It is extra special this year as the weekend includes the first ever top elite race for women appropriately named in honour of Princess Alexandra who officially opened the reservoir in 1967," said Jennie.

Motorists are advised to allow extra time for their journeys over the weekend as there will be a rolling road closure in place around Derwent reservoir between 08.30am and 5.00pm on Saturday and 10.00am and 4.00pm on Sunday, including a short stretch of the A68.

For more media information and to arrange interviews contact Oliver Rogers on: 01268 664 938.

Qualification to stage two of the race is dependent on crossing the finish line within 15 minutes of the winner crossing the finish line (20 minutes in poor weather conditions).

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