Entries for the UK’s first Enduro World Series mountain biking race in the Tweed Valley in May went on sale last Wednesday night and sold out in under an hour.
The 600 £65 places have attracted big names including current Enduro world champions, Jerome Clementz and Tracy Moseley, as well as many former world champions and world cup competitors such as Steve Peat, Anne Caroline Chausson, Fabien Barel and Gee Atherton.
The event will see competitors complete two days of trail racing on stages around the Tweed Valley on May 31 and June 1, as part of the Tweedlove festival.
And last Thursday at Traquair House, festival organisers launched the Tweed Ride, a new event to celebrate both the Tweed valley and Tweed fabric.
The gentle 10-mile pedal on June 2 is aimed at families and participants are being encouraged to bike decked out in tweeds and other period clothing on, where possible, old-style bicycles.
Starting off in Peebles town centre, the ride will follow traffic-free cycle paths and quiet roads, finishing up at Traquair House, where Scotland’s oldest inhabited country house will host a mini-festival of music and family entertainment, local food, drink and craft beer.
Director of what is now the UK’s biggest bike festival, Neil Dalgleish, said: “The Tweed Ride is designed as a celebration of everything that is great about the Tweed Valley, from our fantastic cycling routes and superb food and drink, to the area’s tradition of milling and weaving Tweed. This new event brings together the best of the Borders in a day that can be enjoyed by the whole family.”
The festival is part of what is expected to be a busy summer for cyclists in the Borders, with record numbers of visitors expected to the Enduro, the rest of Tweedlove and the Tour o’ the Borders Sportive.
The Tweedlove programme has been extended to more than 30 events taking place over three weekends from the end of May, when 15,000 cycling enthusiasts are expected.
Neil said: “This year’s festival will be the biggest yet so we’re expecting a huge increase in the numbers of visitors as well.”
The 600 competitors for the Enduro will also bring with them their families, friends and, in the case of the professionals, their team managers and support crews.
In addition, 3,000 road cyclists are expected to take part in the Tour o’ the Borders sportive in August. Now in its third year, the non-competitive mass cycle takes place on closed roads for the first time this year – one of only three events in Scotland given permission to offer a traffic-free route.
Tour co-organiser with Neil, John Anderson, said: “The Tour is the perfect way to attract people to the area and show them just how beautiful the scenery is here.
“I hope people realise how much cash an event like this brings to the local area and we all work together to offer the cyclists a warm Borders welcome.”
This year marks Tweedlove’s fifth anniversary. The rest of the festival programme from May 24 until June 8 will be announced next month.
For more information, visit www.tweedlove.com