More than 1,200 riders made their way to Selkirk on the Scottish Borders for the fourth and penultimate Chain Reaction Cycles MTB Marathon powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport of 2010.
After wet conditions in 2008, mixed weather leading up to the event and gloomy forecasts left riders feeling nervous. But Pete Laing's courses held up well and, bar some rain showers on the far ends of the sportive course and at the end of Sunday’s MTB Marathon, the weather stayed fair and sunny.
Saturday was all about riding on skinny tyres. More than 350 riders turned up to enjoy the fantastic roads around the greater Selkirk area. The route took them through the Yarrow and Ettrick valleys, starting with a long yet gentle climb following the
But it wasn’t all easy going. Laing had some ‘proper’ climbs up his sleeve to turn what appeared to be a gentle stroll into a real challenge. Each route made the most of the network of narrow hill roads linking the river valleys that the Scottish Borders is so famous for.
Chain Reaction Cycles MTB
More than 800 riders lined up for the mountain bike enduro on Sunday. Following feedback from the past couple of years, Laing had changed a few key sections as well as adding more singletrack. The changes proved popular, with multiple national cross-country and marathon champion Nick Craig calling it "the best MTB marathon ever".
The sunshine and finish line setup encouraged lots of people to stay and enjoy a cold drink while watching the riders come over the line. The first rider on the Mini Marathon finished in just over an hour while the last rider on the 88km full marathon took 8hr 18min to complete the challenging course.
The final round of the series takes place in Ruthin on 18-19 September. For details, visit www.mtb-marathon.co.uk/events/ruthin.php. For pictures from the Selkirk event, visit photographer Jon Brooke's website, www.rightplacerighttime.co.uk.
The Selkirk round was a big hit with Scott pro Nick Craig