Published: Monday, 14th August 2023
An incredible week of mountain bike cross-country action in Glentress Forest concluded on Saturday and will leave a lasting legacy.
The racing, held as part of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, which took place in Glasgow and across Scotland, saw the world’s best riders compete for coveted rainbow jerseys and gold medals.
The Championships have been broadcast around the globe to an audience of around one billion viewers.
The Championships at Glentress Forest were supported by ourselves, Forestry and Land Scotland and South of Scotland Enterprise. Tweed Valley-based ESO Sports was the Championships’ event delivery partner for Glentress.
Council Leader, Councillor Euan Jardine
“It has been amazing to see the crowds and excitement build from the cross-country marathon a week past Sunday to the elite olympic races on Saturday.
“Glentress Forest and the Tweed Valley has been an outstanding venue for the World Championships, and the Scottish Borders has welcomed thousands of people from all over the globe here to spectate, compete and support the riders, including more than 360 volunteers.
“Hosting the World Championships will leave a long-lasting legacy, from the exposure for Glentress and the area, which will bring in additional visitors, to the inspirational performances we’ve seen that will hopefully result in many more young people taking up cycling.
“The mountain bike trails and facilities at Glentress Forest have grown in quality and stature over many years and I want to pay tribute to all those who have been involved since the early days in helping to make it what it is today.
“Having so many local riders competing in the World Championships at Glentress has also not happened overnight, and is only due to the determination of the athletes themselves and the support of their families, cycling clubs and programmes such as the Athlete Support Programme, delivered by Live Borders.
“Finally, I just want to thank all the partners involved in helping us to bring the World Championships to the Scottish Borders, deliver the event and support all those attending. It has been an incredible effort and now we must build on the momentum we have here in the South of Scotland and claim our rightful crown as the ‘Home of the Bike’.”
Scotland's leading cycling destination
The South of Scotland Cycling Partnership, which includes ourselves, 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.
UCI Bike Region status
Just last week the South of Scotland joined a prestigious list of world-leading cycling destinations in being awarded the UCI Bike Region label, the first Scottish region to achieve this accreditation.
Awarded by cycling’s world governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the label recognises a city or region’s commitment to both elite cycling competition and cycling for all.
It is held by just 26 cities and regions across the globe and acknowledges locations that not only host major UCI events, but also invest in developing community cycling and related infrastructure and programmes.