ORGANISERS of a biking event which will “welcome the world to the Tweed Valley” have started to take control of a popular Peeblesshire venue.

Glentress, near Peebles, will host parts of the 2023 UCI World Cycling Championships in August.

On Monday (July 10), Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) began to hand over the site to Enduro Sports Organisation (ESO) for the final touches before the action kicks off.

It marks the completion of the first two of three phases of a major £6 million FLS investment in the ‘Glentress Masterplan’ development that has facilitated the event coming to the Tweed Valley.

John Dougan, FLS regional manager for the south, said: “This handover marks the event build-up proper and it’s been a phenomenal effort from all involved to reach this point.

“The Glentress Masterplan has always been about upping our game, reinvigorating this amazing attraction and increasing its value to the area, including the Tweed Valley and the Scottish Borders as a whole.

“A key aspect of this has been raising the specifications of the works to national and international race standards to help bring the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships – the first of its kind – to the Tweed Valley.

“We will continue to work with our partners at ESO to ensure that the event is the best that it can possibly be for competitors, visitors and for the millions-strong television audience around the world.

“It’s a privilege to be able to welcome such a prestigious event to the region.

“It’s been months in coming but it will be well worth the wait.”

The championships will see 8,000 athletes from 120 countries compete at sites across Scotland.

The first event in the Tweed Valley will be the mountain bike cross-country marathon on August 6.

Starting at Traquair House – Scotland’s oldest continuously inhabited house – the gruelling 96km course wends its way through the Tweed Valley forest park and finishes at Glentress.

Glentress will be home to a range of other fringe activities and attractions throughout the championships.

ESO project manager Emma Guy said: “We have worked collaboratively over the last year with FLS, as well as other local stakeholders and local businesses, to bring the event to fruition – it’s been a real team effort.

“The next three weeks are crucial to bring the event to life and get the infrastructure in to welcome the world to the Tweed Valley.

“Showcasing not just Glentress and the Tweed Valley but the south of Scotland as a whole, the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships is an opportunity for us all to put the region on the world stage.

“It will see the south of Scotland acknowledged as Scotland’s leading cycling destination, as well as being a great place to play, live, visit, and invest.”

During the handover, available car parking space will gradually diminish as vehicles and infrastructure for the event village begin to occupy the site.

All car parks will be closed to visitors by the end of the month.

However, the wider trail network will remain open and will be accessible from Peebles, or via the multi-use path from Peebles, Cardrona and Innerleithen.

From August 12, ESO will begin the removal of event infrastructure to allow the reopening of the car park spaces, with access beginning to return from August 18.

After the championships, work will start on phase three of the masterplan.

It will include the construction of 56 forest holidays cabins and the construction of a mountain bike skills park.

It is anticipated that every year the revamped Glentress will help draw more than 300,000 visitors to the area and inject around £1 million into the local economy.