Mountain Bike Marathon returns to Selkirk

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BRITISH CYCLING has announced that the 2014 British MTB Marathon Championships are to return to the Borders on Saturday, May 10, over an 80km single-lap course.

The national event will be staged as part of the Selkirk MTB Marathon (previously known as ‘the Merida’ and the ‘CRC’) organised by Selkirk-based Durty Events. Extreme Triathlon local trailbuilder Pete Laing – a well-known face in mountain biking circles – is responsible for course design.

Paul McGreal, of Durty Events, told The Southern: “We’re really excited to have been asked to again organise the British Championships alongside the popular Selkirk Mountain Bike Marathon.

“We’re expecting the very best riders in the UK to come and test themselves on the very best single-lap course in the country. We believe we have the best trails the Scottish Borders has to offer and the most popular and challenging course in the UK which is why Selkirk has been voted ‘Best MTB Marathon’ several times.

“We aim to provide an achievable challenge for riders of every ability in fantastic surroundings with a lot of fun thrown in as well.”

The British MTB Championships are open to male and female riders (19 or older) who are British citizens and hold a full BC or UCI-recognised racing licence; with coveted red, white and blue jerseys up for grabs. There are also integrated championship categories for veteran men and women.

For those non-licence holders who are taking part in the Selkirk MTB Marathon, there are three fully-marked courses with distances of 25km, 50km and 80km – something for families, novices, intermediates, enthusiasts and racing snakes alike.

All the courses are mainly “real” mountain biking with a fantastic mix of natural and hand-made singletrack, twin-track forest roads and ancient drove routes. Riders will visit the valleys of the Rivers Tweed, Yarrow and Ettrick. They can expect lung and thigh-busting climbs that are rewarded with epic grin-inducing descents.