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National Park Saddles-Up To Support Cycling In The Countryside With The Curlew Cup 2016

cycling largeNorthumberland National Park Authority joined hundreds of amateur and professional cyclists on Sunday 19 June to round off the popular Cyclone Festival of Cycling with the 5th edition of The Curlew Cup – Women’s National Series Road Race.

The Park is the official sponsor of the hotly contested professional women’s event which launched in 2012 and takes place around the villages of Stamfordham and Matfen. The course is run over a distance of 117 miles.

After a hard fought race Nicola Juniper triumphed for her new team; Ford EcoBoost. She furthered her chances of claiming the national series title by pipping multiple Paralympic Games champion winner Dame Sarah Storey in a sprint finish.

Tony Gates, Northumberland National Park Authority Chief Executive, joined Nicola on the winner’s podium in Stamfordham to present her with the prestigious Curlew Cup trophy and a bottle of champagne.

He said: “It is our pleasure to be able to support competitive cycling in Northumberland and to welcome some of the best riders in the country. Northumberland is a beautiful setting to stage a major cycling event and it’s a great way to raise the profile of the sport to amateurs and enthusiasts alike.

“We are committed to using the countryside to improve the public’s health and wellbeing and cycling plays a keen part in that. Our National Park is home to some of the quietest and safest routes in the County, including the only long distance off-road route in the Sandstone Way which attracts over 6,000 visitors a year.

“I’d like to congratulate Nicola on her stunning win and thank everyone for taking part. We look forward to working with the Cyclone Team again next year and welcoming even more riders and spectators.”

The event was also round six of the British Cycling Women’s Road Series, which Nicola was already leading after a brilliant start to the season.  On the realisation that the national series title is now within her grasp with just two rounds to go, she said: “If I can hang on to win it’ll mean a lot more to me in the colours of Ford as it’s a team we worked hard to set up in the off-season.”

In 2012 the Curlew Cup was won by Dame Sarah Storey and in 2013 by Hannah Barnes. In 2014 the event was won by Katie Archibald who went on to represent Scotland in the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The 4th edition of the race was won by Laura Massey.

The Cyclone Festival of Cycling was created in 2007 to encourage as many people as possible to get out on their bikes, get fitter and enjoy the countryside. It is a multi-faceted event designed to cater for the needs of competitive and non-competitive cyclists. There are events to meet the needs of all who wish to compete or just ride for pleasure, as well as allowing spectators to see some of the best riders in the world in action.

Since it launched in 2007, participant numbers have quadrupled and over £2 million has been raised for various charities. It is also estimated by Northumbria Tourism that the event generates over £1.5 million per year for the local economy.

By admin