Spectacular success around the trails of Innerleithen

The sun shone for the first round of the Enduro World Series in the Tweed Valley.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 9th June 2022, 9:58 am
Updated Thursday, 9th June 2022, 9:58 am
Ella Connolly, left, a Scottish rider who has won for the first time on home soil, and American Richie Rude, the first man to win back-to-back championship titles on the Enduro World Series circuit (picture by Enduro World Series)
Ella Connolly, left, a Scottish rider who has won for the first time on home soil, and American Richie Rude, the first man to win back-to-back championship titles on the Enduro World Series circuit (picture by Enduro World Series)

Last weekend, Innerleithen and the surrounding areas played host to over 1100 mountain bike racers and thousands of spectators at the Enduro World Series (EWS) Tweed Valley.

The four-day event was bursting with riders of all ages and nationalities, from EWS-KIDS to elite athletes from over 35 countries around the world, including France, America and Australia.

It’s an international mountain bike festival featuring elite enduro athletes competing on some of the best hand-built and natural trails in the world, alongside a family-friendly event full of big name cycling brands, activities, entertainment, street food, and fringe events around the Tweed Valley community.

Sign up to our daily The Southern Reporter Today newsletter

Interesting views on a section of the circuit (picture by Enduro World Series)

Thursday saw the start of event week race proceedings, with e-bike riders tackling a 13-stage race, with over 2830m of climbing.

Saturday kicked off with a plethora of racing from EWS-KIDS, a huge amateur field and an exciting first stage from the professional athletes.

Over 230 rising stars took part in EWS-KIDS, supported by Dirt School and delivered by local cycling clubs PCC, KICC and Cranked Cycle Club.

But it was local Innes Graham who stole the show on Saturday when he put down an incredible run to win Saturday’s Pro Stage. He went on to take third overall in the men’s pro race on Sunday, behind Canada’s Jesse Melamed in second and US star Richie Rude in first place.

Graham wasn’t the only Scot to wow the local crowds. Ella Connolly put on an incredible performance to ride to her first EWS win on home soil, followed by Tweed Valley local Bex Baraona in second and French national champion Isabeau Courdurier securing the last podium spot.

Event director Emma Wadee said: “We were thrilled to welcome so many visitors and locals to the Tweed Valley for the opening round of the EWS 2022 season. The international teams and riders sung the praises of our local area, its beauty, the warm welcome they received and the amazing race course the hills provided. As locals ourselves, the ESO Sports team are extremely proud of Innerleithen, the support we received from local businesses and residents, and not forgetting the huge volume of volunteers who helped us create a truly special event in the Tweed Valley.”

The EWS Tweed Valley was supported by EventScotland, Scottish Borders Council and South of Scotland Enterprise.