On their bikes to face 1065 miles of Scottish roads

Cyclists are preparing to brave 1065 miles and 50,000ft of ascent in an anti-clockwise, self-supported race round Scotland.

The inaugural Trans Alba ultra distance cycle race will test the legs and mental grit of even the most experienced and committed cyclist.

The event starts in Edinburgh on 1 July will require each competitor to pedal an energy sapping 1,065 miles and negotiate over 50,000 feet of climbing as they navigate anti-clockwise round Scotland.

The first ultra distance cycle race of its kind in Scotland, the race rules require that every competitor must be self-sufficient, carrying or sourcing en route their own food, water and mechanical spares. Incredibly, organisers anticipate that the fastest riders will cross the finish line back in Edinburgh within five days!

Sixty hardy male and female riders have signed up for the adventure. In addition to entrants from throughout Britain, it has attracted five US based riders who competed in the 2018 Trans Am event, the annual 4,000-mile ultra-distance cycle race across America that has inspired the Trans Alba. The Edinburgh start line will also see from Germany, Poland, Denmark and the Netherlands lining up to compete.

It’s a spectacular race route. Using primarily tarmac roads, the Trans Alba will initially take competitors over the Forth to St Andrews before turning westwards into the Cairngorms.

In the north-west highlands, tired legs will be tested further on the alpine-like twists and turns of the Bealach na Ba before riders descend into the Applecross peninsula. Ahead will lie miles of exhilarating riding in the Isle of Skye, Mull, the Trossachs and the Scottish Borders.

Supported by Edinburgh headquartered Tiso Group and its specialist Alpine Bikes retail outlets, the Trans Alba is an event that has attracted adventure and road cyclists alike.

Chris Greenan, race director of the Trans Alba and a passionate road cyclist, ultra endurance rider and bike-packing enthusiast, outlined the event’s appeal.

He said: ‘The Trans Alba ultra endurance cycle race features over 1,000 miles of challenging and beautiful terrain. It promises to be a tough, memorable and I hope enjoyable experience for our 60 competitors!

‘Scotland is blessed with hundreds of miles of often remote, endlessly spectacular and ever-changing scenery. It’s the ideal backdrop and proving ground for riders from these shores and far beyond who seek a real two-wheel challenge and adventure.’

Chris Tiso, CEO of Tiso Group and a keen road cyclist, added: ‘As a leading outdoor adventure retail specialist, Tiso and Alpine Bikes are immensely proud to be supporting the inaugural Trans Alba. It’s a race that shares our passion for embracing the spirit of adventure in Scotland’s great outdoors and we wish the competitors and race organisers every success.’