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Top riders take on 2015 British MTB Marathon Champs

Written by Fiona

April 21 2015

Some 100 of the best endurance cross-country mountain bike riders from throughout the UK will head to Selkirk in the Scottish Borders on May 2 for the 2015 British Mountain Bike Marathon Championships and the Selkirk MTB Marathon.

Leading British endurance athletes will take on a challenging 75km single lap course that includes a fantastic mix of flowy natural and man-made singletrack, twin-track forest roads, ancient drove roads, lung and thigh busting climbs, grin-inducing descents, as well as some of the best trail centre downhill tracks at Innerleithen.

MTB Marathon Champs 2014. Pic credit: Ian Linton Photography.

MTB Marathon Champs 2014. Pic credit: Ian Linton Photography.

They will be racing to claim the coveted red, white and blue British National Championships winner’s jersey (in both male and female classes).

Top competition from female riders

Heading the Scottish charge in the women’s race will be Canondale UK ride Lee Craigie, 35, of Inverness. She is 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 Novus OMX Pro Team rider Isla Short, 18,  who is a rising star of mountain biking from Cardrona. She’s the 2014 British National Junior XC MTB Champion and took seventh place in the 2014 Junior World Championships.

Competition comes from a strong English contingent including Sally Bigham (Topeak Ergon Racing Team), the reigning British MTB Marathon Champion, who came second in both the European MTB Marathon Championships and the Cape Epic in 2014; Verity Appleyard (Brotherton Cycles), who won the 2014 Three Peaks Cyclocross, the UK’s toughest cyclocross event; and Jo Munden (Team Cycle Kingdom), who is the 2014 British MTB Masters Champion.

MTB Marathon Champs 2014. Pic credit: Ian Linton Photography.

MTB Marathon Champs 2014. Pic credit: Ian Linton Photography.

 The male riders in the race frame

Among those fighting for the men’s title will be:

  • Reigning British Marathon Champion Dan Fleeman (Metalek-Kuota),
  • The endurance cyclist Richard Dunnett, who in 2012 came second in the first ever World Cycle Race
  • Ben Thomas (Vauxhall Motors Cycling Team), who set a new course record to win the 2014 End to End Mountain Bike Challenge in the Isle of Man
  • Welshman Dan Evans (Cannondale UK & Team Elite), who is the 2014 British Hill Climb National Champion.
  • Scotland’s Rab Wardell, of the  Dirt School, who is a World Cup cross country and international cyclocross racer and who dominated the Scottish cyclocross scene in 2014, winning the Scottish Series and Championships titles.
  • 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.

The Marathon Championships is being organised by Durty Events as part of the  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.  The sportive event has something for families, novices, intermediates, enthusiasts and racing snakes alike.

On the evening of Friday May 1, Durty Events are also taking over the centre of Selkirk and will turn it into a free festival of two-wheeled mayhem for all the family.

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