Glentress in the Tweed Valley, Scottish Borders, has been unveiled at the host venue for the Mountain Bike Cross-Country & Cross-Country Marathon events at the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, which take place in August next year.
One of Scotland’s most renowned mountain bike locations is to welcome the world’s biggest ever cycling event, after being named the ninth host venue for the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships.
Glentress Forest, which sits in the Tweed Valley in the Scottish Borders, will see some of the world’s best mountain bike riders tackle its famous terrain and will be the first time Glentress Forest has staged an event of such international magnitude, despite having legendary status among mountain bike enthusiasts as one of the famed 7Stanes trail centres and having a reputation as a breeding ground for world-class riders.
Glentress Forest, which is owned and managed by Forestry and Land Scotland, is the ninth location across Scotland to be confirmed as part of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, which will see 13 existing UCI World Championships combined for the first time to create one mega event.
Taking place across 11 days from 3-13 August 2023, more than a million spectators are anticipated as well as a global television audience of around one billion, making it one of the world’s top 10 sporting events.
Steep climbs & technical descents
The athletes in Glentress will take part in some of the most technically and physically demanding disciplines during the 2023 UCI Cycling Worlds, with riders taking on an off-road course that will feature steep climbs and technical descents. Their endurance, strength and agility will be tested to the limit as they compete in the iconic location with amateur riders also given the opportunity to compete as part of a mass participation event during the Championships.
The Championships at Glentress Forest will be supported by Scottish Borders Council, Forestry and Land Scotland and South of Scotland Enterprise. The announcement follows the news earlier this year that Dumfries & Galloway will host the Para-cyling Road event.
Local riders thrilled
Scottish rider Charlie Aldridge was the 2019 Men’s Junior UCI Mountain Bike Cross-Country World Champion, and will be hoping for success at Glentress Forest in front of a home crowd. Off the back of being named in Scotland’s Commonwealth Games team last week, he said:
“In mountain biking the UCI World Championships are seen as the pinnacle of the sport so I’m thrilled that the Mountain Bike Cross-Country and Mountain Bike Cross-Country Marathon are both coming to Glentress Forest. Having the opportunity to compete in a World Championships in front of a home crowd would be an incredible experience and it would be a dream come true to pull on a rainbow jersey. Glentress Forest is known as being a brilliant destination for mountain biking and I think the riders and fans will be in for a real treat next year.”
Elena McGorum, who is from nearby Peebles in the Scottish Borders and has cycled at Glentress Forest from a young age, is one of the best up and coming MTB riders in the UK. She was also present at the unveiling, and added:
“I’m really excited by the Mountain Bike Cross-Country and Mountain Bike Cross-country Marathon coming to Glentress Forest, so close to where I grew up, as part of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships. I have so many great memories of riding here so to think there is an opportunity to compete in a World Championships at Glentress is special.To have the three Mountain Bike World Championships in Scotland with the Downhill also at Fort William will be incredible and it will be fantastic to see mountain bike alongside all of the other cycling disciplines. It’s not something we ever get the chance to do to compete alongside all the other cycling disciplines.”
World-class trails and terrain
“Glentress Forest is known around the world for the quality of its trails and its challenging terrain so it is a fitting venue for both the Mountain Bike Cross-Country and Mountain Bike Cross-Country Marathon as part of the first-ever combined UCI Cycling World Championships. We look forward to showcasing some spectacular world-class cycling in Glasgow and across Scotland and I’m delighted that Glentress Forest has come on board as our latest venue. Our thanks go to our partners at Scottish Borders Council, Forestry Land Scotland and South of Scotland Enterprise for their commitment and support in ensuring this area can be part of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships,” said Trudy Lindblade, CEO of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships.
The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships will welcome more than 8,000 amateur and Elite cyclists from more than 120 countries with more than 190 UCI World Champions crowned.
The 13 UCI World Championships included in the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships are: BMX Freestyle Flatland; BMX Freestyle Park; BMX Racing; Gran Fondo; Indoor Cycling; Mountain Bike Cross-country; Mountain Bike Downhill; Mountain Bike Cross-country Marathon; Para-cycling Road; Para-cycling Track; Road; Track; Trials.
To date, five venues have been announced in Glasgow, with Dumfries & Galloway (Para-cyling Road), Stirling (Time Trial), Fort William (Mountain Bike Downhill) and Glentress (Mountain Bike Cross-country & Mountain Bike Cross-country Marathon) also hosting events across Scotland. Additional venues and locations elsewhere in the country will be confirmed in the coming weeks and months to ensure a pan-Scotland delivery and to capture the imagination of the entire country.