Victorious Underdogs – Number 2 Plates Rule Tweedlove’s British Champs

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What a Tweedlove finale! Crowning the midsummer cycling festival (that actually starts in March and finishes at the end of August…) of Tweedlove this year was the British Enduro Championships. And in true nail-biting finale style, it came down to the wire in both of the senior categories with no-one on the hill able to tell who had definitely clinched it.

It wasn’t all about the racing, though. There was a whole event village set up on Tweed Green in Peebles, with hundreds of riders turning up to demo bikes, or to ride several non-enduro events like Skinny Tweed and Gritopia. All the while under the threat of big black clouds that didn’t really do much to dampen down things, apart from a couple of hours on Saturday afternoon. The trails themselves remained resolutely dry and dusty, making for some hugely fast racing.

Katy Winton looking fast on Stage 2, before her meeting with a tree on Stage 3.
One to watch. Polly Henderson won the Junior Women’s category, but was third fastest in Seniors too.
Not everyone found the course incident-free, and there were a few injured bikes along the way.
Mark Scott was looking fast all day, but it wasn’t quite enough to clinch the win.
Bex Baraona had a few hiccups on the course, but her consistency won the day.
The stages were all dotted with spectators cheering everyone on.
The feed stations were well-stocked and very popular (and appreciated!)
If ever you need a lesson on how to ride the Tweed Valley trails smoothly, just come and watch the pros.
The final descent of Stage Six was brand-new and universally praised.
Triple Crown? There’s another of these still to come… Come back for the King and Queen in August.

At the end of Sunday, a huge crowd of tired and dusty riders gathered among the booths, bikes and pizza stalls of the race village to see the British Enduro Champions crowned. For the first time, there were National Champion jerseys awarded to all the age groups in the main E1 group.


Local rider William Brodie puts on the Youth Men jersey, with T-Mo’s Jayden Randell looking on
The Youth Women’s Champion – Rachel Anderson


Fiona Beattie from the Dudes, Roslyn and Michelle Muldoon on the Master Women podium.

The ‘Best dressed on the podium’ award had to go to Roslynn Newman who arrived in tutu and lacy tights and top to great applause. as is now traditional, the over-18 winners got the chance to spray the youth of Peebles in prosecco. Meanwhile the Junior Women’s podium featured some very fast riders-to-watch, including winner, Polly Henderson, who’d be back up again when the awards were given out for the fastest-overall riders.

Martha Gill (2nd), Polly Henderson and Ella Conolly make up the speedy Junior Women podium.
Tweedlove local, Ben Balfour took the Junior Men win, with Louis Brooks and (Tweedlove) Calum Johnson third.
Super Vets winner, Neil Young, looking happy about it all. But not as happy as… 
Bex Baraona, who was more than slightly happy to take the National Champion’s title…

There were big cheers for all the winners, especially those who’ve chosen to make the Tweed Valley their home, or who’d grown up in the hills, riding these testing trails every week. And if you think that this lot are fast, just give it another five or ten years and see the depth of talent that’s going to be coming through from here. There are some fiercesome teens just waiting for the chance to beat you on your own trails.

Gary Forrest got a big cheer and Joe Barnes had to fight his way through a sea of high fives for the top step in Master Men.

The Senior titles were very closely fought, with less than three seconds (in 20-odd minutes overall) between first and second in the men, and with Bex and Katy almost taking turns at winning individual stages before Bex finally won out.


Women’s podium: Katy Winton, Bex Baraona and Becky Cook
A popular podium: Ruaridh Cunningham (2nd), Lewis Buchanan (1st) and Mark Scott (3rd)
All children were breathalysed afterwards… 😉

The women’s fastest overall prize saw Junior racer, Polly Henderson take to the podium for an impressive third overall, while Katy and Bex returned to the second and top step for more prosecco throwing…

Thanks! And we’ll see you next time…

So that was Tweedlove 2018, though as we mentioned, there are still events to come in the calendar, with the King and Queen of the Hill taking place in August.
For more events, see


Singletrack Editor

Chipps wasn’t around for the dawn of mountain biking in the UK, but he likes to claim that he arrived in time for second breakfast (about the time he shows up for work, then…) starting in the bike trade in 1990 and becoming a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the subsequent quarter century, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

His riding style is best described as ‘medium, wheels on the ground, trail riding’ though he’s been spotted doing everything from endurance downhill racing to 24 hour cross country racing. He favours mid-travel trail bikes and claims to be wheel-size, gear, brake and tyre agnostic. In fact, his garage spans most bicycle flavours, taking in steel hardtails, carbon trail bikes, even a mountain bike tandem, along with road, touring and gravel/cyclocross bikes.

While he’s happy to chat about bikes all day, his real interest is in the people and places that bikes can introduce you to and he talks as fondly about the trails he’s ridden and riders he’s met as the bikes that took him there.

Comments (2)

    Great results for Ibis and the team !

    Pretty crappy you didn’t mention the winners of all category’s.

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