Tweed Valley cycling celebration finishes in second place

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Cycling festival Tweedlove was runner-up as Scotland’s best sporting event in a prestigious national tourism awards earlier this month.

The four-year-old Tweed Valley event was pipped at the post by the Tour of Britain in the Scottish Thistle Awards finals hosted by television presenter Lorraine Kelly at Stirling Castle.

Tweedlove organiser Neil Dalgleish said: “TweedLove started out as a long weekend with a few bike races for friends. We’ve grown over the last four years into the UK’s biggest cycling festival with participants coming from all over the world.

“We’re very honoured that the Scottish Thistle Awards recognise how far we’ve come and the value our event brings to both the Borders and Scotland as a whole.

“We would have loved to win, of course, but there’s always next year.”

The two-week festival had already scooped the prize for the best regional event.

And next year will be Tweedlove’s biggest yet, said Neil, as the event also hosts the Enduro World Series, set to bring thousands of visitors from around the world into the area.

The festival receives funding from EventScotland and Scottish Borders Council, but there is still a significant funding gap that needs to be bridged before next May.

Neil said: “We’re incredibly grateful for all the support we’ve been given over the last four years, but with the Enduro World Series event coming next year, we’re really going to need a community effort to make it work. Local expertise and help is going to be essential.

“From timber for building the podium steps to van hire and man power to help build the event village, there’s lots of ways people can get involved.”

He added that as well as the Tweed Valley welcoming some of the best riders from across the globe, it would also be hosting the world’s cycling media.

TweedLove 2014 runs from May 24 – June 8 next summer. Anyone interested in getting involved should contact info@tweedlove.com.