Saddling up for sun in Selkirk

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HAVING endured mixed conditions over the last couple of years, the superb Selkirk Road Sportive enjoyed perfect sunshine on Saturday with the MTB Marathon courses soaking up much of the same on Sunday.

Although the area could not boast ideal weather leading up to the event, the courses put together by local course designer Pete Laing and John Lloyd weren’t really affected, giving the riders the chance to enjoy the challenging sections added to the already much-loved Selkirk tracks.

MTB marathon start.

MTB marathon start.

The CycleOps Sportive brought only a slight breeze and near-perfect visibility at the top of the climbs.

Almost 300 road enthusiasts turned up to enjoy the fantastic rides around the greater Selkirk area, but it wasn’t all easy going.

Laing had some ‘proper’ climbs up his sleeve to turn what appeared to be a gentle stroll into a real challenge with four climbs in the 47-mile course and eight in the 95-mile option.

None were Alpine in scale, but only one is less than 100m vertical and if you check the course profiles, there isn’t a flat road in between, so the ascent total soon builds up.

After two hours and 28 minutes the first 47-mile rider came into the event village, while the last 95-mile rider made the most of the day and took seven hours and 48 minutes to complete the course.

After the road event came to an end on Saturday afternoon the mountain bikers started to descend into the village at Selkirk Rugby Club.

The expectations of the huge crowds to have another day in the sun on Sunday was high. Luckily, the weather forecast was true.

Laing changed a few of the key sections, as well as adding some more fantastic singletrack to the menu.

The t-shirt crew at the rugby club were greeted with an endless line of big smiles and grins on people’s faces, showing Laing had once more done a great job. The first rider on the mini marathon made it over the line in just over an hour and a half, while the last rider on the 88km-long full marathon took eight hours and 23 minutes to complete the challenging course.