Deadline looms for European Cup

BORDERS mountain bike riders have until Monday to compete alongside the world’s elite as Innerleithen hosts the iXS European Downhill Cup.

The inclusion of an open category for the three-day event starting on Friday, June 15 means that a race licence is not required.

Some of the world’s top riders are already entered, including Kiwi superstar Brook MacDonald and 2011 European series winner Markus Pekoll, with a number of the top race teams joining them.

Innerleithen last hosted the iXS European Downhill Cup in 2010, with a purpose-built track under construction for this year.

Course designer, Steve Deas of Innerleithen MTB Racing and local bike store i-cycles, said: “This year we are focusing on making the course bigger and better.

“We are using heavy mechanical diggers for the first time on the finish section on the hill and my advice to the riders is to be prepared for an exhilarating finish.”

A film night showcasing some local riding and filming talent will take place on Thursday, June 14, and the Olympic Torch passes through the Tweeddale town earlier in the day.

The competition starts with the traditional downhill event, which kicks off with a practice session on Friday, June 15.

Saturday, June 16 sees further practice and qualifying with a Kids’ Mini DH competition during the day and a Dual Slalom competition in the evening. Saturday also sees a parade of the massed pipes and drums and the iXS Downhill Cup competitors along Innerleithen High Street in the early evening.

And Sunday, June 17, is the final practice and race runs followed by the prize presentations.

Further information and details on the event can be found at www.ixscupinnerleithen.com