In just three years the Montane Kielder 100 has become one of the most iconic British mountain bike races, capturing the imagination of hundreds of riders willing to push themselves to new limits in this unique event.
Each year more and more riders attempt the grueling 100 mile lap starting from Kielder Castle in England, crossing over the border into Scotland using the Newcastleton 7Stanes trails before heading back to England. Those that do manage to complete the lap will be in for a treat this year with Forestry Commission England working hard throughout the summer to finish off the last few miles of trails making it a descent you’ll want to go back and ride again!
Over 700 riders have already signed up, with many of them just hoping to get through each of the checkpoints within the allotted time and finish the course, but the talented few will be hoping to join the exclusive sub-9 hour club, currently consisting of only 20 riders. With the course record set last year at just under 8 hours it will take something very special to go sub-7 hours and win the £1,000 prize money on offer for the first rider to do so.
Montane are once again title sponsors of the event providing a whole host of competitor freebies and some fantastic clothing prizes for the top riders. Many other sponsors are also returning to support the event in their own special way with Accelerade energy drink at feed stations, Cycle Shack and Juice Lubes providing technical support and Saddle Skedaddle logistics.
There’s also a range of spot prizes from Exposure Lights, USE, Joolze Dymond, The Good Mountain Bike Guide and cash prizes for the winners. Sponsors and local businesses will again be contributing prizes with a Saddle Skedaddle cycling weekend as first prize in the raffle that raised £800 last year for the small village school in Kielder.
Many of the familiar event features are also returning with riders having to “Pay the Piper” as they cross the Bloody Bush toll road into Scotland and weary finishers will be greeted with the traditional BBQ and a pint of award winning Allendale Golden Plover to help soothe tired bodies. There’ll be well stocked food and water stops around the course, technical assistance stations, checkpoints and a hot food station in Newcastleton where you can pick up your Rock UK event Passport.
An event of this size also needs lots of volunteers to help out so if you don’t think you can manage 100 miles but want to get involved take a look at the Volunteers page at www.kielder100.co.uk. Each volunteer is well looked after receiving a variety of freebies including a lightweight Montane jacket.
Photos © JoolzeDymond.com