A HUNDRED elite endurance cross country mountain bikers will soon descend upon the Scottish borders.
On Saturday 2 May, riders from across the UK will arrive in Selkirk for the 2015 British Mountain Bike Marathon Championships.
Leading endurance athletes will take on a challenging 75km single lap course on some of the best trails the Scottish Borders has to offer.
It includes natural and man made singletrack, twin-track forest roads, ancient drove roads, lung and thigh busting climbs, grin-inducing descents and some of the very best trail centre downhill tracks at Innerleithen.
Heading the Scottish charge in the women’s race will be Lee Craigie, 35, from Inverness, the British National XC MTB Champion 2012 and 2013 and the highest placed Scottish female rider at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Hot on her heals will be local rider Isla Short, 18, a rising star of mountain biking from Cardrona in the Scottish Borders, the 2014 British National Junior XC MTB Champion who took seventh place in the 2014 Junior World Championships.
Among those fighting for the men’s title will be 29-year-old Rab Wardell, a World Cup cross country and international cyclocross racer who dominated the Scottish cyclocross scene in 2014, winning the Scottish Series and Championships titles.
Alongside him will be Andy Barlow – Scottish and British Cross Country MTB Champion in 2009, Trans Scotland Solo Winner in 2007 and Scottish Junior Downhill mountain bike Champion in 1997.
They will be joined by Edinburgh based Rory Downie, an Xterra triathlete, who was the 2012 ETU U23 European Champion and finished tenth in the European Tour and 19th at the ITU World Championships in his first year as a professional triathlete in 2014.
The Marathon Championships is being organised by Durty Events as part of the ever-popular Selkirk Mountain Bike Marathon open cycling event.
The Selkirk MTB Marathon has a choice of three single-loop and fully marked courses (approx. 25km, 50km and 75km), all setting off from Selkirk High Street and visiting the valleys of the Rivers Tweed, Yarrow and Ettrick.