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Borders College Downhill Foursome Take the Title at Strathpuffer

Four Borders College Mountain Biking students are celebrating after winning the 2019 Strathpuffer Mixed Quad event.

Angus Fraser (age 17) from Inverness, Ben Balfour (age 18) from Peebles, Karra Laing (age 16) from Innerleithen and Tom Hildred (age 17) from Cardrona all took part in the event, held near Strathpeffer in the Scottish Highlands. The gruelling 24-hour winter mountain bike race sees competitors from all over the globe complete an eight mile route through the Torrachilty Forest as many times as possible in extremely challenging conditions, with around 17 hours of the race taking place in the dark.

The students each took their turn and completed a mammoth 27 laps between them, averaging around 50 minutes per lap, which was enough for them to be crowned winners of the Mixed Quad teams.

Student Angus Fraser said:

“Physically and mentally, this is one of the hardest things I have ever done. The race course was very challenging. We basically had no sleep in the 24 hours we competed and were having to get on our bikes in the small hours, in the cold and wet conditions. The effort we put in as a team was worth the reward in the end.”

Curriculum and Learning Manager for Sport and Outdoor Activities Darren Burns said:

“Great to see the work that the students have been putting in on their fitness and skills has paid off. Especially as it is a team event; we often have individuals perform well but this shows the development that the course can provide across a larger group. These students are in their first year at College (and have potentially TWO more years) and so hopefully will have more success to come.“

Competitors can enter as a solo rider, or as part of a team of two, four or ten people, and this year’s event saw over 1,000 competitors brave the elements, with two sporting greats – record-breaking cyclist Mark Beaumont and former Scotland rugby captain Rob Wainwright – also taking part. Previous well known faces to take part in the event include Guy Martin, who finished in second place in both 2014 and 2015.

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