Laidlaw Sportive at its best in sixth-year high

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A huge entry of 460 cyclists tackled the Ken Laidlaw Sportive in what has been billed as its best year yet.

The Hawick Cycling Club event, now in its sixth year, saw 100 people take on the shorter 46-mile course to Newcastleton and back, while 360 cyclists rode the 104-mile route which takes in Langholm and Eskdalemuir.

Glasgow pair Jordan Doig and David Gibson came home joint first in the short route in two hours, 24 minutes and 19 seconds, while Hawick’s own Cameron Fraser was first equal with five other riders on the long course in five hours, six minutes and 53 seconds.

Organiser Hamish Smith said: “We try and make it the friendliest sportive around and I think we succeed.

“It is a very tough and challenging course and even the experienced riders were saying how difficult it was as they crossed the line.

“Some of the riders do not even stop on the way and carry everything they need with them, but those who took their time more will have enjoyed the beautiful scenery on a great day weather-wise.

“We get compliments every year from people saying it is one of the best sportives around and that makes the hard work worthwhile.

“We have a fantastic team of people in the cycling club who man everything, including the food stations.

“I have to thank the rugby club for its hospitality, police, the Red Cross and volunteers who helped make it our best event yet.”

Hawick-born Ken Laidlaw is one of only three Scots to ever finish the Tour de France, in 1961.

He ended in 65th place, but famously led stage 16 until late on and was awarded most aggressive rider for the day for his efforts.