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Glentress Forest will host 2023 XC world championships

UCI's painfully slow reveal of unified 2023 cycling world championships inches forward

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is bringing all cycling disciplines together for the first time in 2023, from the velodrome to mountain bikes. Cycling’s governing body is obviously excited about this unified 2023 cycling world championships and is slowly revealing where in Scotland each discipline will race.

After officially confirming the iconic Fort William track will host the downhill events last week, the UCI shared where the cross country racers will toe the line.

Canada’s fastest cross country racers are headed to Gentress Forest for the 2023 cycling world championships events. The venue is in the mountain bike mecca of the Tweed Valley.

A huge range of riding exists in the area, which will give plenty of space to organizers to create a challenging worlds-worthy course in 2023. Tweed Valley is hosting the first Enduro World Series round of 2022 this weekend.

Charlie Aldridge in Gelntress Forest
UCI Press Release

One of Scotland’s most renowned mountain bike locations is to welcome the world’s biggest ever cycling event, after being named one of nine current host venues 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 when it hosts the Mountain Bike Cross-country and Mountain Bike Cross-country Marathon as part of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships which is being held in Glasgow and across Scotland in August 2023.

The Championships will be the first time Glentress Forest will have 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 Foresty 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.

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.

Glentress in the Tweed Valley, Scottish Borders has a proud history of producing some of the country’s best mountain bike riders. Having the honour of being part of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, the event will showcase the venue to the world, raising its profile as a must-visit destination among the international cycling and active traveler community.

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 released last week that Fort William in the Highlands will host Mountain Bike Downhill as part of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships.

Elena McGorum and Charlie Aldridge show off the Scottish venue.

Elena McGorum, who is from nearby Peebles in the Scottish Borders and has cycled at Glentress Forest from a young age, is classed as one of the best up and coming Mountain Bike Cross-country riders in the UK. She said: “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.”

Scottish rider Charlie Aldridge, was the 2019 Men’s Junior UCI Mountain Bike Cross-country Olympic World Champion and will be hoping for success at Glentress Forest in front of a home crowd. 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.”