The top two places in the women’s race at the 2015 British National Mountain Bike Marathon Championships were won by Scots on Saturday May 2.
Kerry MacPhee, 28, of Stirling, took the British title after a very closely fought race on the 75km course at Selkirk, in the Borders in 04:31:08.
In second place was Lee Craigie, 35, of Inverness, who was two minutes behind the Rock and Road Cycles rider.
Melanie Alexander, a Contessa Scott Syncros rider from England matched her 2014 third place finish in a time of 04:50:09.
Kerry MacPhee, who rides for Rock and Road Cycles and was a top 15 finisher at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, said: “I’m absolutely delighted and super chuffed with the win, but still quite shocked.
“I worked really hard for it and have been putting in some solid training ahead of the cross country World Cups coming up.
“As a cross country rider I wanted to get ahead from the start in order to avoid any problems at the more technical sections. I passed Lee on the first climb and kept that position to the end. The plan paid off. What a great day!”
Local rider Isla Short, 18, of Cardrona, who rides with Novus OMX Pro Team, crossed the finish line in fifth place in 05:07:02. Isla was the 2014 British National Junior XC MTB Champion.
Close race for the men
The men’s British Marathon Championships event saw only three minutes separating the top four riders over the 75km course. Ben Thomas, 26, was the eventual winner of the coveted red, white and blue British National Championships jersey in a time of 3:46:50.
Dan Fleeman, who was last year’s champion, was 15 seconds behind Thomas, while Giles Drake came third.
Ben Thomas, from Berkshire, said: “A win at the British Marathon Championships was a massive goal for me and the main target for 2015. I first competed in the race four years ago and finished fourth.
“I had a great ride on some fun and not-too-technical trails. I’m really looking forward to racing my next marathons in Europe wearing the stripes.”
More about the British MTB Champs
The championships were supported by supported by EventScotland and saw 89 of the UK’s Elite endurance riders take to the challenging 75km, 2300m of ascent single lap course on some of the best trails in the Scottish Borders.
The Selkirk MTB Marathon saw a further 500 sportive riders take on one of 25km, 50km and 75km single-loop and fully waymarked courses. They set off together alongside the elite riders in a mass start from Selkirk High Street.
Paul McGreal from Durty Events, organisers of the Selkirk MTB Marathon and British MTB Marathon Championships, said: “We’re extremely happy with how the Selkirk Mountain Bike Marathon went at the weekend. The riders loved the fantastic trails we have in the Borders, both natural and man-made, though it’s fair to say a few of them were pretty shattered by the end of their rides.
“The presence of the British Championships brought an extra buzz to the event, as ‘regular’ riders got to line up against stars from the Commonwealth Games and elsewhere. Seeing Scots on the podium was particularly pleasing.
Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for mountain biking with all disciplines catered for amongst some of the world’s most spectacular scenery.”