FROM 14 to 17 June 2012 the iXS European Downhill Cup rolls into Innerleithen in the heart of the Tweed Valley, in the Scottish Borders, for the only UK round of Europe’s premier downhill mountain bike race series.
The world’s best male and female downhill racers will pit their skills against each other at the spiritual home of the UK downhill scene.
A number of fringe events will keep spectators and riders entertained and there will even be an appearance by the Olympic Torch!
Organiser, Innerleithen MTB Racing, is delighted to announce BT Infinity as headline sponsor for the event.
BT Infinity is already bringing super-fast broadband to the residents and businesses of Innerleithen and now it is supporting the super-fast mountain bikers in the Tweed Valley’s biggest biking event.
James McClafferty, BT Scotland’s partnerships director, said: “BT is really excited to be involved in the biggest event on Innerleithen’s calendar and is particularly keen to support the community benefit that can be realised through our sponsorship of the event.
“We have been overwhelmed by the successful community campaign to bring super-fast broadband services to Innerleithen and its surrounds and are confident that the same community spirit will ensure a successful event.”
This is the biggest downhill race in the UK outside the World Cup at Fort William and follows the huge success of the event held at Innerleithen in 2010 when over 300 competitors raced on a specially constructed one-off track through Traquair Forest, watched by several thousand spectators.
Many of the world’s top riders are expected to compete as the event takes place a week after the Fort William World Cup. Red Bull TV will be covering the action on the track for broadcast after the event.
Innerleithen is recognised as a World Class downhill venue and that recognition coupled with the success of 2010 has seen the series return for 2012.
A purpose-built track will again be constructed specifically for the event with a fantastic mix of natural lines and manmade features.
Duncan Nisbet, of Innerleithen MTB Racing, said: “This year we are focussing on the expected 3,000 spectators just as much as the riders and the event arena will be the focus for competitors and spectators alike, with lots to do, see, buy and try.
“The weekend will include a Film Night, Dual Slalom and Pump Track competitions and a Mini-Downhill event for under=16’s. Free entry for spectators over the three days gives access to all the action as well as on-site catering, kids’ skills area, timber tester track and trade stands. There really is something for everyone.”
The programme of events starts on the evening of Thursday 14th June with a film night showcasing some local riding and filming talent.
Earlier in the day, the Olympic Torch passes through Innerleithen on its relay round the UK.
The main event is a traditional downhill event with uplift service and kicks off with a practice session on Friday 15th June with the official launch party in the evening.
Saturday sees further practice and qualifying with a Kids mini DH competition during the day and a Dual Slalom competition in the evening.
Both these events are ideal for spectators as the action comes thick and fast. Saturday also sees the Innerleithen Pipe Band Championships take place in the town and a parade of the massed pipes and drums will be accompanied by race competitors along Innerleithen High Street in the early evening.
Sunday sees final practice and race runs followed by the prize presentations. This is the culmination of the whole weekend and spectators are advised to arrive early to be sure of a good vantage point on the track. The racing will be fierce and the action intense.
The winner of the Elite Male category two years ago was Ben Cathro of Sick Skills MTB Coaching & Guiding.
Ben said: “The last iXS at Innerleithen was a brilliant race for me. The track was especially built for the event and was by far the best I have ridden at Innerleithen and probably one of the best in the country.
“It was a really well run race and winning it was pretty special as well considering the high level competitors. I look forward to racing it again in 2012.”
Innerleithen MTB Racing is delighted to be partnering with EventScotland for the event.
Paul Bush OBE, chief operating officer for EventScotland, said: “We are delighted that the iXS European Downhill Cup is returning to Scotland, as the only UK destination on the 2012 championship calendar.
“Scotland is the perfect stage for cycling events, and the trail at Innerleithen will undoubtedly provide a spectacular backdrop to the action as the world’s top riders pit their skills against one another.”
In addition to EventScotland, Scottish Borders Council is also an event partner with BT Infinity as headline sponsor. There is further support from i-cycles, The Bike Lodge, Alpine Bikes, Trail Perfection and Aim Up.
Further information and details on the event can be found at the official site: http://www.ixscupinnerleithen.com/ or find us on FaceBook and Twitter @ixscupinners.
Paddy Cuthbert – Podge Publicity – M: 07968 699 636 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org | W: www.podge.co.uk
Notes to editors:
Thursday 14th June
11:50 Olympic Torch Relay on Innerleithen High Street
19:30 Film Night at Innerleithen Union Club
Friday 15th June
11:00 Rider sign-on opens
12:00 Course open for inspection
12:00 Event Arena opens
14:00 Course opens for practice session
18:00 Course closes for practice session
20:00 Launch Party at Traquair Arms Hotel
Saturday 16th June
08:00 Course open for practice session
08:00 Event Arena opens
10:00 Kids under 16 DH race in Traquair Forest
14:30 Qualifying runs start
17:30 Course closes
18:00 Dual Slalom at Event Arena – open to all
Sunday 17th June
08:00 Course open for practice session
08:00 Event Arena opens
12:00 Course closes for practice session
12:30 Final Race Runs start
17:00 Podiums and Event Finish
About Innerleithen MTB Racing
We are an Innerleithen-based race team and event promoter with supported riders in many cycling disciplines. Our main supporter is i-Cycles bike shop (www.i-cycles.co.uk). We are a ‘not for profit’ volunteer organisation with the aim to stage fun, friendly and challenging events for all disciplines of mountain biking. Over the last three years, we have organised the British Cross Country (XC) Championships, numerous XC and Multi-Stage Enduro races, a Mini DH race series for under 18s and the very successful iXS European Downhill Cup.
EventScotland is the national events agency.
EventScotland is working to make Scotland one of the world’s leading event destinations.
By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors.
For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest event news visit www.EventScotland.org
The Year of Creative Scotland 2012 will spotlight and celebrate Scotland’s cultural and creative strengths on a world stage and is a Scottish Government initiative led in partnership by EventScotland, VisitScotland, Creative Scotland and VOCAL.
More information and resources to help businesses engage with Year of Creative Scotland are available at: www.visitscotland.org/yearofcreativescotland-toolkit
About BT Infinity
BT Infinity is a new broadband product that uses the latest fibre optic technology to provide a much faster and more powerful internet connection.
BT Infinity offers download speeds of up to 300Mb a second, much faster than standard broadband delivered over copper wires. Note that as every phone line is different, the actual speed you get will vary.
BT is investing £2.5 billion on its fibre broadband programme throughout the UK. In 2011, Innerleithen was announced as one of the winners in the ‘Race to Infinity’ campaign following a successful community campaign.
Scottish Borders Council – http://www.scotborders.gov.uk/
I-Cycles, Innerleithen – http://www.i-cycles.co.uk/
Alpine Bikes – http://www.alpinebikes.com/ or http://www.tweedvalleybikehire.com/
The Bike Lodge, Innerleithen – http://www.thebikelodge.co.uk/
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Contact: Paddy Cuthbert