​World’s biggest cycling event ever about to arrive in Borders

​Scotland is hosting the world’s biggest-ever bike event, the inaugural International Cycling Union World Championships, from tomorrow and the Borders will get in on the action from Sunday.
Peebles rider Isla Short training at Glentress (Photo: UCI Mountain Bike World Series)Peebles rider Isla Short training at Glentress (Photo: UCI Mountain Bike World Series)
Peebles rider Isla Short training at Glentress (Photo: UCI Mountain Bike World Series)

​Glentress Forest will play host to the championships’ mountain-biking contests.

Peebles mountain-biker Isla Short and other Scots will compete against the sport’s leading lights worldwide, including Great Britain Olympic gold medallist Tom Pidcock, over six days of classes.

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A mountain bike cross-country marathon takes place on Sunday and further cross-country events follow from next Tuesday until Saturday, August 12.

Sunday’s marathon is free to watch but the following Saturday’s elite event isn’t, with tickets costing from £30.

The UCI event brings together 13 world championships over 11 days, mostly in Glasgow but also at Fort William, Dumfries and Galloway, Perthshire and Angus, as well as the Borders.

The others include road, track, trials, freestyle park, BMX, indoor and gran fondo world championships, plus para-cycling road and track world championships.

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Jedburgh councillor Scott Hamilton, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for community and business development, said: “It is incredibly exciting that homegrown stars from the Borders will be competing when the world’s biggest cycling event comes to the area and I’m sure they’ll enjoy massive support.

“The Borders has long been a breeding ground for cycling talent and a destination for cycle tourism, and hosting these events as part of the world championships will cement the area’s reputation and deliver long-term benefits to the area.”

As well as Short, riders from the Borders competing in the cross-country events include two sets of siblings, Emily and Corran Carrick-Anderson and Anna and Elena McGorum, all from Peebles too.

The championships are expected to attract 2,600 elite cyclists, including para-athletes, from more than 120 countries and it’s estimated that they’ll be watched by about a million spectators all told.

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Scottish first minister Humza Yousaf added: “I want to extend a warm welcome to every cyclist taking part in the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, the world’s biggest-ever cycling event. I wish everyone good luck.

“Hosting the championships is further vote of confidence in Scotland as a destination of choice for staging major global events.

“Whether it’s indoor competitions at the velodrome or mountain-biking and road events set in some of the most scenic parts of Scotland, there is something for everyone.

“Many of these events are free and I would encourage as many people across the country to try to catch a piece of the action.”