British Cycling’s Elite Road Series is to return to Northumbrian Water’s Derwent Reservoir over the weekend of April 16 and 17.
The reservoir, which has its north shore in Northumberland and the south shore in County Durham will feature men’s and women’s cycling across both days.
The ‘Alexandra Tour of the Reservoir’ will see the female riders start the two-day event at 8.50am on Saturday. They will leave Blanchland under neutral riding until Carrick’s corner and will cycle 32 miles.
And on Sunday, riding gets underway in the women’s event at 8.50am for a total of five laps eventually finishing after 68 miles.
The annual ‘Northumbrian Water Tour of the Reservoir’ road race, now in its eleventh 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 16 2016, is an 87 mile uphill circuit starting in Blanchland Village at 12.30pm. Cyclists will complete seven gruelling laps of the tough roads around Blanchland and Edmundbyers to compete for selection for day two of the event.
Best viewing points include Manor House Bank (Prime Hill), Carrick’s corner and at the race finish located on the dam wall near the Visitor Centre.
Riders who qualify to race on day two, on Sunday April 17 2016, will then battle it out over seven laps (96 miles), circling Derwent Reservoir and Blanchland village. Cyclists will set off at 1.45pm, again from the race headquarters in Blanchland village, racing at speeds of up to 60mph.
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).
Best viewing points include Carrick’s corner, Horse Shoe Hill (Prime Hill) up to the Junction of B6278, Church bank in Edmundbyers and at the race finish located on the dam wall near the Visitor Centre.
Mike Hodgson, event organiser from Tyne Valley Cycle club, said: “It is great to have talented riders back at Derwent Reservoir and in North West Durham. We know the conditions really test the riders as the weather can change very quickly as we saw last year when we had blizzards.
“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.”
David Hall of Northumbrian Water, who will present the winner’s sash on the reservoir dam wall podium, said: “It’s a real coup to have secured yet another premier 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 a huge number of spectators.”
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 08.30am and 6.00pm on Sunday, including a short stretch of the A68.
For further information please contact Oliver Rogers on 01268 664938.
Attendees for the media launch on Friday 15 April 2016:
Tony Barry – Director of British Cycling, Tom Barras & Syd Barras and Josh Edmundson from NFTO Cycling team along with others still to confirm.
Derwent fact file
The reservoir is one of the largest inland waters in England. It is 3.5 miles (5.6 km) long and covers an area of 1,000 acres (4 km²). The maximum depth of the water is 100 ft (30m) at the dam, and when full the reservoir will hold 11,000 million gallons (50,000,000 m³).
Construction of the reservoir, which cost £5.5 million, started in 1960 and water was first taken into supply in September 1966.
Water from the reservoir flows through 2.2 miles of twin 41 inch diameter pipeline to the treatment works near the hamlet of Mosswood. The treatment works includes sedimentation tanks, filters and a laboratory. The water then gravitates from the treatment works 27 miles to Washington to be distributed to customers in Durham, Sunderland and South Tyneside.