Mountain Bike Championship comes to Selkirk

Around 800 racers competed in the Selkirk Mountain bike Marathon races Credit: ITV News Border

The British Mountain Bike Championships have taken place in the countryside around Selkirk, as part of the Mountain Bike Marathon races.

Elite racers from team GB were amongst the top athletes to enjoy some of the best tracks and trails the Border region has to offer the sport.

The race was a grueling 75km with around 7590ft of ascent, which the elite men managed in under 4 hours.

"It's a pretty important event in the British calendar and that's shown by the quality of the field that's turned up here, we've got incredibly stacked fields in both men and women, including several representatives from both Scotland and England who were in the commonwealth games, who've showed up here in the Borders."

Paul McGreal, Durty Events
The race started in Selkirk town centre, where businesses got into the spirit with bike themed window displays Credit: Durty Events

The most exciting race was arguably the women's, where Scotland's winner Kerry MacPhee faced hot competition from big names in the mountain biking world, Lee Cragie coming in 2 minutes behind her at 4 hours 33.

"It was pretty hard. Lots of climbing but the climbing totally is worth it, especially for the descending that you get: so lots of really good techy descents, lots of rocky bits and rooty bits which I really like and I think I was the first woman as well, so I'm happy about that. And that latest that I heard is that my sister, so she's racing in the 75k Champs, she's actually in the running possibly for the win hopefully."

Kirsty MacPhee, 75Km Racer & Kerry's sister

In the men's race, Ben Thomas clinched victory with a time of 3 hours and 36 minutes, closely followed over the finish line by Dan Fleeman, Giles Drake and Ian Field.

Mountain Biker Rab Wardell looking focused before the race Credit: Durty Events

The Selkirk Mountain Marathon races also featured 75km, 50km and 25km races for other mountain bike enthusiasts too. Around 800 people entered, with around 600 turning up to compete on the day.

"It seemed quite a big event so it'd be fun to be part of it so yeah, it was great, just nice to be out there: big field of riders, good vibe throughout the whole thing."

Matt Bennett, 50km Racer from Innerleithen

The Tweed Valley is in the top 5 destinations in the world for mountain biking and it's estimated to be worth £330million to Scotland's annual economy.

The winner came over the finish line in 3 hours 46 minutes Credit: ITV News Border