• 30-MAY-2018

Grant Ferguson gives Cathkin Braes the thumbs up, as trails now ready to welcome elite riders for Glasgow 2018

Grant Ferguson gives Cathkin Braes the thumbs up.
Mountain bike trails at Cathkin Braes Country Park are now ready to host elite riders from across Europe as part of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships, following an upgrade to and investment in the trails.
Five times British Mountain Bike Championships gold medallist, Grant Ferguson, came along to show off the exciting new features on the course today, ahead of Glasgow 2018. Ferguson represented Scotland at the 2014 Commonwealth Games where he finished 5th in the Cross Country Race, he won his first World Cup gold in Val di Sole, Italy, in 2015, and went on to make his Olympic debut in Rio at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Recently returned from the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Ferguson is focused on qualifying for what would be his second major championship on home soil.
The UEC European Cycling Mountain Bike Championships will be hosted at Cathkin Braes on Tuesday, 7 August and the trails now have a number of new features including a brand new start and finish loop built to UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) standards.
The trails, which regularly attract a multitude of thrill-seekers from across Scotland, occupy the highest point in the city area and will provide a spectacular backdrop for the competition.
Large crowds of spectators are expected to take advantage of this free, un-ticketed event in Castlemilk at the same site which staged Mountain Biking during the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
The trails have now held their first event with the Scottish Cross Country mountain bike series. Competitors at Glasgow 2018 will be able to challenge themselves on new technical elements of the course. This includes short sharp climbs and flowing single track downhill sections, as well as the Double Dare section which will see athletes racing head to head on parallel tracks.
Speaking about the Championships, Grant Ferguson said: “It would be fantastic to compete at Cathkin Braes again in another major championship, it’s such a great opportunity to be able to race in Glasgow in front of a home crowd. The standard of the competition is going to be amazing and I hope everyone will come out and support all the riders, as they take on the challenge of the exciting new features on the course.
“It is also brilliant that cycling is one of six sports holding its European Championships as part of Glasgow 2018. It is a great opportunity for sports fans to come out and watch a wealth of sporting action in the city over 11 days.”
Changes to the trails also ensure it can accommodate riders of all abilities and include new beginner and intermediate skills trails, a pump track and three new descents of blue, red and orange jump grades for those looking for added adrenaline.
Sports Minister, Aileen Campbell said: “Cathkin Braes looks set to be a fantastic venue for The European Cycling Mountain Bike Championships and beyond. I would encourage as many people as possible to get out and make the most of this free event this summer and cheer on the competitors.  It is great to hear that the trails are suitable for riders of all abilities and I am sure they will continue to be used by recreational mountain bike riders for years to come.”
David McDonald, Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council said: “The redevelopment of Cathkin Braes has created a fantastic facility for hundreds of recreational mountain bikers in Glasgow and Scotland, as well as elite riders competing at Glasgow 2018. The course has been created to test the very best in Europe, while also building on the legacy benefit for all ability levels by incorporating fun trails where beginners can hone their skills.”
Craig Burn, Chief Executive, Scottish Cycling added: “The European Cycling Mountain Bike Championships will be a fun, free event that anyone can come along to and we look forward to seeing these new trails stage this exciting competition in August.”
The facilities upgrade includes a new car park, making the trails more easily accessible to the local community.
Stewart Harris, Chief Executive, sportscotland said: “It will be fantastic to see the world’s top riders testing their skills on the upgraded trails, but it will also be exciting to see those inspired by the European Championships trying the sport for the first time, or developing their skills, in the months and years to come. Cathkin Braes is already established as a huge asset, both for the local community and the cycling community as a whole, and that’s why we have invested National Lottery funding into making the trails even more accessible.”
Glasgow will be the first city to simultaneously stage four Olympic discipline cycling championships within its city boundaries, with BMX, Track and Road Race and Time Trial events also taking place as part of the Championships this August.
Katriona Bush, Senior Sport PR Manager 07971 782662
1. The 2018 European Championships will be staged by the European Federations and the Host Cities of Glasgow and Berlin.
2. The Glasgow 2018 event will be held between 2nd and 12th August and the European Athletics Championships will be between 7th and 12th August in Berlin. Further information is available at www.glasgow2018.com.
3. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the umbrella body for Europe free-to-air channels, will be the broadcast partner for the Championships. There is a potential television audience of around 1.03 billion for the event with many more viewers across multiple digital platforms.
4. Around 3,000 athletes will travel to Scotland as part of a total delegation of around 8,500 including officials, media and others. A further 1,500 athletes will compete in Berlin.
5. Berlin's Olympic Stadium will be the venue for the European Athletics Championships with the road races and race walking events held throughout the city.
6. The European Aquatics Championships will take place at Glasgow's Tollcross International Swimming Centre, with Diving taking place at Edinburgh's Royal Commonwealth Pool, Open Water Swimming being staged at Loch Lomond and Synchronised Swimming at Scotstoun Sports Campus.
7. Four European Cycling Championships will be staged in Glasgow and its metropolitan area. Track, Road, Mountain Bike and BMX will attract 650 of Europe’s top names to the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, the Cathkin Braes Mountain Bike Trails, the streets of Glasgow and the metropolitan area and a new world championship and Olympic standard BMX track to be built in the Knightswood area of the city.
8. The European Golf Team Championships will take place at the Gleneagles PGA Centenary Course in Perth & Kinross. There will be three European Team Golf Championships: Men’s Team Championship, Women’s Team Championship and Mixed Team Championship.
9. The European Artistic Gymnastics Men’s and Women’s Championships will be staged at The SSE Hydro, the venue for the 2015 FIG World Gymnastics Championships.
10. The European Championships for both Rowing and Triathlon will both be staged at Strathclyde Country Park in North Lanarkshire.
11. The Year of Young People 2018 will be the next of the Scottish Government’s series of themed years, following the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017. The Year of Young People (YOYP) will inspire Scotland through its young people aged 8 to 26, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally. Further information on what’s happening and how people can get involved can be found on the new website yoyp2018.scot or @YOYP2018 on Twitter.
12. Glasgow 2018’s official partner level sponsors are Glasgow City Council and Scottish Government. For more information on Glasgow 2018’s full sponsor family, please visit www.glasgow2018.com/championships/about-european-championships/official-sponsors