by Ben Haworth
April 21, 2009
Riders will get chance to tackle its twists, jumps and rapid descents for the first time on 25 and 26 April. The trail’s public opening has been timed to coincide with the staging of the Saab Salomon Avalanche Trophy 2009 at Kielder Water & Forest Park the same weekend.
Over 300 top professional and amateur bikers from across Europe will be competing to claim points in the five-legged competition, which also takes at other locations like Alpe d’Huez in the French Alps. Kielder hosts the opening round.
Alex MacLennan, Recreation and Tourism Manager with the Forestry Commission, commented: “What a fantastic weekend this will be. We’ve had incredible interest in the new red route from bikers across the nation. It’s taken five months to build and much longer to design, blending great views with technical challenges, while at the same time steering clear of sensitive conservation areas. If that’s not enough reason to saddle up, you can then watch superstar bikers go head-to-head in the Avalanche Trophy”
The Avalanche Trophy begins with a prologue at 5pm on 25 April at Kielder Castle, followed by the main event the following day between 8am and 5pm. Spectators can view the action free of charge.
Last year Kielder Water & Forest Park hosted the prestigious event for the first time in England and riders gave the trails rave reviews. Racing will take place on the Deadwater red and black routes, but bikers will also be invited to sample the new red trail, which could be used for the elite competition in future years.
Elisabeth Rowark, Director of the Kielder Partnership, said: “The exhilarating red trail is another milestone in our vision to create a world class visitor destination at Kielder Water & Forest Park. Over the past few years facilities have been transformed, creating sustainable and year-round attractions. Being selected to host the Avalanche Trophy again is also another tremendous boost to the whole area.”
During the Saab Salomon Avalanche Trophy weekend Kielder Castle will host a bike village with trade stands and a barbeque on Saturday night. Everyone is welcome to attend. Background to the Avalanche Trophy 2009 can be found at www.avalanchetrophy.com
Details of the new red route:
The new red route sets out from Kielder Castle and heads into Lewisburn, with its tall trees and stunning river views. It then climbs to an altitude of 1,600 feet and crosses over boggy ground using a one kilometre, one metre-wide wooden broadwalk – the longest “North Shore” of its kind anywhere in the UK. Five truck loads of Kielder grown timber were used in its construction. The route then drops down past the world-famous £480,000 Kielder Astronomical Observatory for a descent to Kielder Castle.
For more details log-on to www.visitkielder.com