The Scots are at it again – this weekend sees the launch of yet another new trail in the Scottish Borders. It’s not another XC loop, though. Red Bull has been sponsoring downhill course development at Innerleithen for several years, and the new course is part of an ambitious long-term plan for Red Bull Project Downhill.
Local trail builder Richard Hamilton was in charge of the new course, having cut his trail building teeth at nearby Glentress. The new course is graded black, making it a competition-standard track aimed at expert riders. “This is new territory here,” says Richard. “I’m trying to build a downhill track that is really going to push both the rider and the bike they are riding. I’m learning all the time as I build, trying different stuff, seeing what it rides like, then tweaking it so it all fits together. It’s really exciting because this is the first track and its come together really well.”
That’s just the start, though. Hub In The Forest proprietors and former pro racers Emma Guy and Tracy Brunger are working with Forestry Commission Scotland to produce plans for five new DH tracks at Innerleithen, graded from blue to black and complete with transport to the top, permanent timing systems, freeride areas and improved services including bike rental, spares and catering.
Emma Guy said: “The long term plan for development of the Red Bull Project Downhill site is to bring the tracks and services up to a world class level. Tracy and I believe there is the potential here to create one of the best
downhill and freeride locations in the world.”
The official launch of the new course takes place this weekend, with Red Bull-sponsored downhillers Gee Atherton and Claudio Caluri showing off on the track. There’ll be uplifts running all weekend and demo bikes will be on hand from Kona and Rocky Mountain. Find out more at www.redbullprojectdownhill.co.uk or www.thehubintheforest.co.uk.