Trails and tribulations at Tweedlove

Men's race winner, Lewis Buchanan of Innerleithen.
Men's race winner, Lewis Buchanan of Innerleithen.

Around 500 riders took to the trails surrounding Innerleithen at the weekend for the last of the Tweedlove Triple Crown Enduro races of 2017.

The sell-out race saw riders fighting for not only the coveted title of Scottish Enduro Champion, but also the overall TweedLove Triple Crown Enduro Series win.

While competitors from all over the UK came to battle it out for the top honours, it was the local riders who dominated the podiums, showing the strength and depth of race talent which has now emerged from the area.

A hugely disproportionate number of the UK’s top mountain bikers have grown up locally and honed their skills on the trails of the Tweed Valley – an area now widely recognised as one of the world’s top mountain bike destinations.

The overall men’s win was taken by Innerleithen’s own Lewis Buchanan, just back from racing in Canada, who dominated four of the five timed stages, which were set on some of the steepest and most intimidating trails in the Tweed Valley. Gary Forrest took second place with Christo Gallagher third.

The women’s race was won by Ella Connolly, almost one minute quicker over the day than nearest rival Polly Henderson in second, with Eilidh Wells third, while TweedLove’s Triple Crown series winners were Gary Forrest and Melissa Pearson.

The organisation’s bike events are now an important tourism driver for the Scottish Borders, bringing in £1 million for the local economy every year.

This year’s TweedLove Bike Festival attracted visitors and cyclists from all over the world and has some of the highest number of attendees for any enduro races in the whole of the UK.