British Cycling gives thumbs up to Selkirk

Riders make their way across the hills above Selkirk in 2014
Riders make their way across the hills above Selkirk in 2014
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Following this year’s success, British Cycling has announced that the 2015 British MTB Marathon Championships are to return to the Borders.

The event will be staged as part of the Selkirk MTB Marathon, on Saturday, May 2, over a unique 75km single lap course.

The increasingly popular Selkirk MTB Marathon is organised by Selkirk-based Durty Events, the company responsible for award-winning triathlon and duathlon events throughout Scotland, including the Durty Triathlon, Craggy Island Triathlon and the famous Celtman! Extreme Triathlon.

Local trailbuilder Pete Laing – a well-known face in mountain biking circles, and the man who designed the original Glentress 7 Stanes and Golspie trail centres – is responsible for course design.

A British Cycling spokesman said: “We are delighted to be returning to Selkirk for the 2015 Marathon Championships. The Scottish Borders has some excellent trails, and it’s one of the few areas in Britain that can provide a proven, challenging course over a single loop.

For those not racing for the famous blue, red and white striped jersey, there are three fully-marked courses with distances of 25km, 50km and 75km – something for families, novices, intermediates, enthusiasts and racing snakes alike.

All the courses are mainly ‘real’ mountain biking with a fantastic mix of natural and hand-made singletrack, twin-track forest roads and ancient drove roads.

Riders will visit the valleys of the rivers Tweed, Yarrow and Ettrick, and can expect lung and thigh-busting climbs that are rewarded with epic grin-inducing descents.

The 75km course will also include some of the very best man-made trail centre routes at Innerleithen. The 50km and 75km routes will include a few special timed ‘Enduro’ sections to add a little more spice.

Paul McGreal of Durty Events said: “We’re really excited to have been asked again to organise the British Championships alongside the popular Selkirk Mountain Bike Marathon.

“We’re expecting the very best riders in the UK to come and test themselves on the very best single-lap course in the country.

“We aim to provide an achievable challenge for riders of every ability, in fantastic surroundings with a lot of fun thrown in as well.”

Earlybird entry discounts for the Sportive are available until December 31. The British MTB Marathon Championships and the Selkirk MTB Marathon will take place on Saturday, May 2, and the event will be based at Selkirk Rugby Club.

Online entry is via www.entrycentral.com and there are also links from www.selkirkmtbmarathon.com