HUNDREDS of top cyclists pushed the pedal to the max during a series of races at a stunning North-East reservoir.

Derwent Reservoir, on the County Durham/Northumberland border, played host over the weekend to the Northumbrian Water Tour of the Reservoir event, part of British Cycling's elite road series.

The overall winner from the weekend, Alex Peters, from team Madison Genesis, said both organisers and sponsors of the event had done an “incredible job”.

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Mr Peters, from Hackney,  London, said of the race conditions: "It was really tough, windy and quite cold."

Stage one of the event, on Saturday, won by Mr Peters, consisted of a 75 mile uphill circuit with cyclists completing five gruelling laps around Blanchland and Edmundbyers.

A second stage on Sunday saw cyclists complete a gruelling 104 miles around the reservoir race route circling Derwent Reservoir.

This stage was won by Scottish rider Evan Oliphant, for Team Rayleigh.

The event also featured the inaugural Alexandra Women's Tour of the Reservoir, won by Nicola Juniper, of Brentwood, Essex.

Jennie Collingwood of Northumbrian Water, who made the presentations,  said: "It’s a real coup to have secured yet another Elite Calendar race around the spectacular backdrop of Derwent Reservoir.

"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."