MORE than 100 secondary school pupils from across the Scottish Borders have taken up the opportunity to visit Glentress Forest and experience the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships venue and ride some of the newest mountain bike trails there.

Developed as part of Scottish Borders Council’s commitment to the long term legacy of hosting the World Championships, the events were specifically targeted at students who had never been to Glentress before.

Led by the Council’s Outdoor Education staff, the ride days were a huge success, winning praise from both pupils and school staff involved.

Border Telegraph: Photo SBC

Borderer and 2020 Downhill Mountain Bike World Champion Reece Wilson attended, along with representatives of the British Cycling U23 team, providing a question-and-answer session each day which was very well received by the students.

Scottish Cycling kindly donated 2023 UCI Cycling World Championship merchandise for all the students that took part.

Councillor Euan Jardine, Leader of Scottish Borders Council, said: “Hosting the World Championships in August enabled lots of local young people to see the world’s best riders compete in our own backyard.

READ MORE: Galashiels Burns Supper to be held at Netherdale this year

“Hopefully this helped to inspire the next generation of World Champions, and I am pleased that we’ve also been able to take more than 100 pupils to Glentress to experience some of the new trails developed there by Forestry and Land Scotland. I’d like to thank everyone involved, from across the Council and partners, who made the events such a success.

“Our investment into bringing the Championships to the Scottish Borders has provided a significant immediate economic boost, but it is the long term legacy that is particularly exciting for us, and can help us establish the south of Scotland as the country’s leading cycling destination.”

Border Telegraph: Photo SBC

Caroline Wallace, Inspire Learning teacher for the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, said: “The buzz at the end of each day was electric. One student said it was the best school day they’d ever had and one of the teachers that attended commented that it was ‘superb’ and reminded them of the experiences and fun that young people were denied during the Covid-19 pandemic.

READ MORE: Adverse weather forecast halts wind turbine blade deliveries

“Overall, all students said they wanted to go back to Glentress again and to cycle more often, which was absolutely the aim of the days.”

The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships are estimated to have had a direct economic impact on the Scottish Borders of over £6million.

The Mountain Bike Cross-country and Mountain Bike Cross-country Marathon events held at Glentress and in the Tweed Valley attracted an estimated 23,393 spectators, including more than 3,000 visitors staying in paid accommodation who came specifically for the events.