YOUNG mountain bikers from the Borders were treated to a very special lesson last week - as their teacher turned out to be none other than the current Downhill World Champion, Loic Bruni.

The Frenchman surprised the students on the BASE Downhill Mountain Biking course at Borders College by leading them out for a ride in Glentress last Thursday.

Loic agreed to put the 20 students through their paces as he was in the Borders to visit his girlfriend, Mathile Vincenzi, a student at Heriot Watt University in Galashiels.

As part of her course Mathilde was asked to organise an informal charity event, so volunteered Loic to donate his time, with all the students paying a small fee to take part. All proceeds will go to the newly formed Tweed Valley Trail Associaton, a voluntary group that maintains and develops local mountain bike trails.

The 21-year-old, who was crowned the Downhill World Champion in Andorra earlier this year, spent three hours with the students, showing off his skills and answering their questions about life as a professional athlete.

Andy Barlow, Head Coach at the BASE course, said: “It was incredible to see Loic here in the Borders.

“He’s such an amazing talent and the look on the student’s faces when they met him was priceless. We regularly use Loic as an example of good technique during our classroom sessions at the Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland, so getting to witness it in person was a fantastic opportunity for the students.”

And it wasn’t just the students who were impressed - Loic was blown away by the riding on offer.

“There are so many purpose built trails here and they are all really fun to ride.

“It was great to meet the BASE students and I was really interested to hear about the course.

"There’s not many places young people can get a qualification in something like mountain biking and I think it’s a good way for them to learn."