Mountain biking will be the star attraction in and around Innerleithen in the Scottish Borders this weekend with the arrival of the iXS European Downhill Cup, sponsored by BT Infinity.
It will come to the Tweed Valley this week for the only UK-round of Europe’s premier downhill mountain bike series.
The event will run for four days, beginning tomorrow June 14 and ending on June 17. In this time the top female and male mountain bike races will test their skills against one another in the Scottish Borders.
Some of the best riders around the world will arrive in the Scottish borders to take part in this event. Local star riders Lewis Buchanan and Ruiraidh Cunningham will compete against some of the world’s best. Mountain bike riders are coming from the Czech Republic, New Zealand, South Africa, and even the Swedish national downhill team to take part in the event.
The event is the largest downhill race in the UK, with the exception of the World Cup at Fort William. There will be more than 300 competitors racing on a uniquely constructed track through the Traquair Forest. They will be cheered on by what is expected to be thousands spectators.
Duncan Nisbet of organisers Innerleithen MTB Racing said: “This year we are focusing on the expected 3,000 spectators just as much as the riders. The event finish arena will be the focus for competitors and spectators alike, with lots to do, see, buy and try.
“The weekend will include a Film Night, Dual Slalom and Pump Track competitions and a Mini-Downhill event for under 16s. Free entry for spectators over the three race days gives access to all the action as well as on-site catering, kids’ skills area, timber pump track and trade stands. There really is something for everyone.”
The event begins tomorrow evening, Thursday June 14, with the Go Pro Film Night. This will show some Borders riding and filming talent. Go Pro will give g away a free camera each day of the event to a random lucky member of the audience in the event arena. Earlier in the day, the Olympic Torch passes through Innerleithen on its Relay round the UK.
The main event – a downhill race with uplift service for riders – begins with a but practice session on Friday, June 15, followed by the official launch party in the evening.
Saturday will see more practice and qualifying for the main race. For the Kids, there is a mini DH competition during the day for 10 to 16 year olds. The entry fee is £12. The day ends with the Fetish Dual Slalom competition in the evening (free entry, so bring your bike!). Both these events will be very exciting for spectators as the action comes thick and fast.
On Saturday there is the Innerleithen Pipe Band Championships within the town proper. Massed pipes and drums will parade along Innerleithen High Street in the evening. Downhill race entrats will ride with the pipers and drummers.
On Sunday spectators can see the final practice and race runs for the riders, followed by the prize presentations. This is the culmination of the whole weekend. If you plan to be a spectator then please arrive early to get a good viewing point on the track or the finish area. Expect exciting racing because the competitive spirit will be very e fierce! Intense action is promised because on Sunday riders will be seeded by their times on Saturday – the fastest riders will want to to drive the competition away from the back wheels as they enter the finish arena!
For details go to www.ixscupinnerleithen.com.
Innerleithen MTB Racing is grateful for support from EventScotland and Scottish Borders Council. As well, BT Infinity is the main sponsor.