This weekend, the eyes of the mountain bike world will be focused firmly on the town of Innerleithen in the heart of the Scottish Borders.
The iXS European Downhill Cup, sponsored by BT Infinity, rolls into the Tweed Valley this week for the only UK round of Europe's premier downhill mountain bike series. Running over four days from 14 to 17 June, the World's best male and female downhill racers will pit their skills against each other at the spiritual home of the UK downhill scene. A number of fringe events will keep spectators and riders entertained and there will even be an appearance by the Olympic Torch!
This is the biggest downhill race in the UK outside the World Cup at Fort William with over 300 competitors racing on a specially constructed one-off track through Traquair Forest to the sensational finish arena, watched by several thousand spectators.
Many of the World's best riders will compete, coming from as far afield as New Zealand, South Africa, the Czech Republic and including the Swedish National Downhill team. They will compete against local heroes Lewis Buchanan and Ruiraidh Cunningham for the top honours and prize fund on their home course.
The Programme of Events starts on the evening of Thursday 14 June with the Go Pro Film Night showcasing some local riding and filming talent. Go Pro will be giving away a free camera each day of the event to a random lucky spectator in the event arena. Earlier in the day, the Olympic Torch passes through Innerleithen on its Relay round the UK.
The main event is a downhill race with uplift service for riders, and kicks off with a practice session on Friday 15 June followed by the official launch party in the evening.
Innerleithen MTB Racing is supported by EventScotland and Scottish Borders Council as event partners with BT Infinity as headline sponsor. There is further support from Glendinnings Groundwork Ltd, i-cycles, The Bike Lodge, Alpine Bikes, Trail Perfection and Aim Up. Traquair Forest is part of the National Forest Estate, administered by Forestry Commission Scotland, and the event has been organised with the support of the Dumfries and Borders Forestry District office.
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