Commonwealth Games: Mountain bike trails opened

The venue for next year’s Commonwealth Games mountain bike events has been officially opened.

Rab Wardell at the official opening of the Cathkin Braes Mountain Bike Trails in Glasgow. Picture: PA
Rab Wardell at the official opening of the Cathkin Braes Mountain Bike Trails in Glasgow. Picture: PA

• Cathkin Braes Mountain Bike Trails unveiled by mountain biker Rab Wardell

• Trails will be available to the public before and after the games, free of charge

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• Commonwealth Games and Sport Minister Shona Robinson says trails are “exciting new addition to Glasgow’s sporting landscape”

Cathkin Braes Mountain Bike Trails have been unveiled by Games organisers and mountain biker Rab Wardell who hopes to be selected for Team Scotland.

Overlooking the city at Cathkin Braes Country Park, the trails can also be used by the public before and after the Games and are free of charge.

The unveiling comes 400 days before the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.

Glasgow City councillor Archie Graham said: “Mountain biking is one of the fastest growing sports in the world and there has already been huge interest in these trails from riders in the city and much further afield.

“Even before they were finished, everyone from elite athletes to local kids were visiting the site and trying out each new challenge.”

The course features mixed terrain such as moorland, woodland and hillside bedrock in a stunning setting and with links to local cycle routes.

It has graded technical trails and path widths so although it is suitable for riders of all abilities, the more skilled athletes will have a time advantage during racing.

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Commonwealth Games and Sport Minister Shona Robinson said: “The new trails are an exciting new addition to Glasgow’s sporting landscape. Mountain biking makes a massive contribution to Scotland, whether through increasing the number of visitors or improving health.

“Cathkin Braes will further cement Scotland’s image as a leader of hosting world-class sporting events, as well as leaving a great legacy for Glasgow.”

The 5.5km circuit was designed by Phil Saxena, the man behind the Beijing Olympic course and several Union Cycliste Internationale World Cup venues, in partnership with Glasgow City Council.

David Grevemberg, chief executive of Glasgow 2014, said: “The completion of works at Cathkin Braes marks another step on our journey towards finishing the permanent venues this year to host world-class sporting competition at Glasgow 2014.

“I was fortunate enough to be involved in the competition for young people to name the various technical features on the track and I’m looking forward next summer to watching the world’s best as they navigate obstacles such as Brig O’Doom and Broken Biscuits.”

Michael Cavanagh, who chairs the Commonwealth Games Scotland body, said: “It will be one of the iconic venues of the Games, overlooking the city, and with some fantastic features that will test all of the riders and we urge the Scottish public to come out here and support us next year.”

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