AS THE Scottish Borders gears up to host the mountain biking events of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships at Glentress Forest in August, the South of Scotland Destination Alliance (SSDA) is encouraging locals and visitors to make tracks for the region and watch the biggest cycling event ever staged.

The Tweed Valley will soon welcome some of the best mountain bikers from across the globe to compete on Glentress Forest’s legendary climbs and treacherous descents – including on new purpose-built trails – as part of the UCI Mountain Bike Marathon and Mountain Bike Cross-country events.

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Peebles mountain bike star Isla Short and fellow homegrown contenders who honed their skills on local trails, will join the world’s most decorated cyclists, including Great Britain Olympic gold medallist Tom Pidcock for six full days of high-octane excitement on two wheels.

Thousands of spectators are expected to hotfoot it to Glentress between August 6 and 12, with pop-up campsites and a jam-packed calendar of Tweed Valley fringe events complementing the cycling action, with everything from axe throwing and archery at Peebles Hydro to family fun and yoga classes at Tweed Green and a volunteer ‘trail dig day’ to help extend an existing mountain bike trail.

Border Telegraph: Isla Short training at Glentress (credit WBD Sports )Isla Short training at Glentress (credit WBD Sports )

Local accommodation is booking up fast but there is still availability and the SSDA is urging Borders residents and visitors to make they sure they don’t miss the world class cycling action.

The inaugural 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships will take place across Scotland over 11 days from August 3-13, with the world-renowned Glentress hosting the Mountain Bike Cross-country Marathon on 6 August and the Mountain Bike Cross-country events between August 8-12.

The Mountain Bike Cross-country Marathon event is free to watch and will see riders tackle an incredible feat of endurance as they take on 100km of road, gravel, punishing climbs and long descents. One of the unique features of the event is the mass start where elite riders go first, then anyone brave enough follows.

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In the Mountain Bike Cross-country events, the elite Olympic men and women will battle it out in a flagship event on Saturday August 12 with tickets from £30.

David Hope-Jones OBE, Chief Executive of the South of Scotland Destination Alliance (SSDA) said: “Things are hotting up in the South of Scotland as our brilliant ‘summer of cycling’ kicks into a higher gear.

“Not only are we preparing to welcome keen cyclists in their droves to try out our new Kirkpatrick C2C route, but the UCI mountain bike races in the Tweed Valley look set to be an absolutely thrilling experience for participants and spectators alike. Don’t miss your chance to see some of the world’s greatest cyclists – including some of the South of Scotland’s own – battling it out for UCI glory.”

Councillor Scott Hamilton, Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Member for Community and Business Development, said: “It is incredibly exciting that homegrown stars from the Scottish Borders will be competing when the world’s biggest cycling event comes to the area next month and I’m sure they’ll enjoy massive support.

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“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.”

Professor Russel Griggs, Chair of South of Scotland Enterprise, said:“In just a few weeks, one of the biggest global sporting events will arrive in the South of Scotland. The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships presents our region with a fantastic opportunity to showcase our position as one of the premier cycling locations in Scotland.

“I would encourage local people, businesses and community groups in Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders to get involved as much as they can and enjoy what will be 11 days of action and entertainment.”

In addition to Isla Short, riders from the Borders competing in the Mountain Bike Cross-country events include Peebles Cycling Club alumni siblings Emily and Corran Carrick-Anderson and sisters Anna and Elena McGorum.