Newcastleton set for event

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THE Borders is fast becoming one of Scotland’s leading cycling destinations and a new event in the south of the region is looking to boost that claim.

Newcastleton is preparing to host its first ever Cycling Festival from March 31 to April 8. The eight-day event is aiming to attract cycling enthusiasts from across the country via an impressive mix of mountain and road bike events including organised rides, competitions, sportives, sprints and races, culminating in the European & UK Solo MTB Championship 12 & 24 Hours of Exposure Weekend.

Event organisers hope it will also be supported by local cyclists from across the Borders as well as drawing participants from further afield.

Barbara Elborn from the Newcastleton Business Forum explained: “The festival builds on Newcastleton’s growing reputation as a great cycling destination.

“Although it features many tough competitions for experienced cyclists, there are also fun, family-based activities and wacky challenges to appeal to everyone, riders and spectators alike.”

Among the more eclectic elements of the programme is the Copshaw Cracker (April 5) - a road/hill climb which will see riders starting every minute and finishing a four-mile, 800m ascent by ringing a giant bell at the top of a hill. The organisers hope that the festival’s diverse programme will attract not only the cyclists, but also their supporters, day-trippers and local families.

Within the programme is an Easter orienteering eggstravaganza, a kids’ race, pasta party and an adventures day at Rock UK, offering something for non-cyclists and children too.