Back the Borderers aiming to beat the rest at 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships

Published: 3rd August 2023

Mountain bikers Charlie Aldridge and Elena McGorum race through Glentress Forest

Ten local riders will compete in the world’s biggest cycling event, which starts today and will be broadcast around the globe to an audience of around one billion viewers.

The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships are taking place in Glasgow and across Scotland from 3 to 13 August, with the mountain bike cross-country events being held at Glentress Forest and the Tweed Valley from 6 to 12 August.

There are both free and ticketed events at Glentress. To find out more visit the Championship website.

The Championships at Glentress Forest are supported by ourselves, Forestry and Land Scotland and South of Scotland Enterprise.

Back the Borderers

Riders from the Borders competing are as follows:

  • Phoebe Gale – MTB Downhill
  • Isla Short – MTB Cross-country
  • Grant Ferguson – MTB Cross-country
  • Joanne Thom – MTB Cross-country
  • Emily Carrick-Anderson – MTB Cross-country
  • Corran Carrick-Anderson – MTB Cross-country
  • Anna McGorum – MTB Cross-country
  • Elena McGorum – MTB Cross-country
  • Ben Allan – MTB Cross-country
  • Callum Thornley – Road Cycling

Many of the riders have been supported through local initiatives such as the Live Borders Sports Academy and Advanced Rider Development Squad, ClubSport Borders and the Athlete Support Programme. The clubs they’ve been involved with locally have also benefited with funding and support too.

Athlete Support Programme

The local Athlete Support Programme started in 2007 and is delivered by Live Borders with the support of a voluntary management group. It aims to provide a stepping stone for local athletes to make the jump to being able to compete at the highest levels. The programme provides specialist and tailored opportunities for the athletes in strength and conditioning, nutrition, psychology support, annual target reviews and goal setting with a coach and the ASP management group.

Over the years it has supported Lucy Hope, Olympic and Commonwealth Games swimmer, Cerys Finn, who is currently playing at the Netball World Cup, Olympic hockey player Sarah Robertson and Scotland and British and Irish Lions rugby player Stuart Hogg.

Chris Bryant, Live Borders Sports Development Coach

“It is fantastic for the Scottish Borders that such a large proportion of the British team for the mountain bike cross-country events at the World Championships are from the area.

“They have grown up tackling the trails around Glentress and the Tweed Valley and will relish this opportunity to compete at the highest level in front of a home crowd, with many of them coming into the Championships following success in the British National Championships earlier in the summer.

“It says so much about the quality of our local cycling infrastructure and the support programmes in place that these riders have been selected to compete for their country at this year’s World Championships, and that so many other local athletes have been unlucky to have not made the cut this time around.

“Through the local cycling clubs and participation events there are great opportunities for young people to get involved in cycling, off-road and on-road, and hopefully the performances of the local athletes at the Championships will inspire even more youngsters to get on their bikes.”

Kathy Gilchrist, President of Scottish Cycling and Athlete Support Programme board member

“Passion - we all have a passion for mountain biking. Riders from the Borders who have benefited from local support from programmes such as the Athlete Support Programme and the continued investment in the Tweed Valley will now showcase that passion and challenge the best in the world on home soil. 

“Now it’s our turn to support our local ambassadors while they compete at the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships. During this special week, let us show our support and passion. And their efforts will allow the next generation to dream of what is possible by riding their bikes in the treasure of Glentress Forest and the Tweed Valley.”

Council Leader, Councillor Euan Jardine

“It is no surprise that having some of the world’s best off-road trails has helped this region produce some incredibly talented riders, but it is crucial that the support is available to help them reach their full potential.

“As the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships get underway, I’d like to wish all those local riders competing the very best of luck and encourage everyone to get along to the events to give them as much support as possible and hopefully cheer home a Borders World Champion.

“I also want to pay tribute to the local cycling clubs, coaches and organisations, such as Live Borders and ClubSport Borders, that continue to help young people to take up cycling, to race and to progress through the sport, up to the very highest level.

“As a region, cycling is a huge opportunity for us, from the visitor economy to inward business investment and health and wellbeing. Alongside a range of partners we’re committed to grasping that opportunity and hosting the World Championships are one small part of that.”

Ambitions for the region

The South of Scotland Cycling Partnership, which includes the Council, want the South of Scotland to be recognised as Scotland’s leading cycling destination and a world class cycling destination of excellence in which to live, visit, study and invest.

A range of significant investment is already being made into a range of cycling-related projects and programmes locally. This includes: the development of the national Mountain Bike Innovation Centre in Innerleithen, the 250-mile Kirkpatrick C2C route, the 7Stanes network, multi-use paths across the region, and the Destination Tweed long distance trail.

About the Championships

The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships will be the biggest cycling event ever held. Taking place in Glasgow and across Scotland in August 2023, it will combine 13 existing UCI World Championships for the very first time, creating one mega event.

The Championships will take place across 11 days from 3-13 August, with more than one million spectators anticipated across the country, as well as a global television audience of around one billion. This will make it one of the world’s top 10 sporting events this year.

Over 8,000 elite and amateur cyclists from more than 120 countries will take part, with more than 190 UCI World Champions crowned and awarded the coveted rainbow jersey as the best in the world.