Pro rider Clive Forth explained: “The event is huge and being selected to stage the competition is a massive feather in the cap for Kielder Water and Forest Park. What the venue lacks in sheer altitude it makes up for in a really good terrain, which is perfect for endurance events. Around 300 professional and amateur bikers will be taking part, so it’s going to be a fantastic spectacle!”

The race is run through a series of time trials, a bit like car rally racing, with different routes for top riders and those of lesser ability. Alex MacLennan, Forestry Commission Recreation and Tourism Manager, added: “We’ll be using sections of the new Deadwater Trails, which peak at 2,000 feet making them the highest in England. Massive investment has gone into creating sustainable mountain bike routes in Kielder – long regarded as a sleeping giant by off-roaders, eager to tackle a true wilderness. This event shows that we can now attract major competitions.”

The big bike weekend at Kielder continues with a 31 mile Border Raid into Scotland on 17 May, sponsored by the Kielder Bike Place. For more details go to