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Mountain bikers hoping for a sneak preview of the new Glentress Masterplan trails that are facilitating the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championship event in Aug, are to be disappointed after the hot, dry weather – and safety concerns - has resulted in the UCI team asking that the trails remain closed prior to the event.

The call comes after trail-builders, On Track, advised Forestry and Land Scotland that the lack of rainfall in recent weeks has made it more difficult to complete the trail surfacing work to an acceptable, sustainable standard by early June.

The safety concerns are that if the Masterplan trails were made accessible, fencing off the event features would be extremely difficult to police, which might result in some mountain bikers straying onto event features that would be beyond their capabilities as riders.

Martin Page, FLS’ South region Visitor Services Manager, said;

“We remain confident that everything will be ready to go for the main event in August. However, we’ve been asked by the UCI team that the new-build Masterplan trails are kept under wraps until after the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships.

“We appreciate that this will be disappointing but we know that everyone understands how huge this event will be for the area and would expect everyone to respect the decision and help give the competitors an occasion – and a course – that they will never forget.

“Everyone involved is working extremely hard to pull this together and is intent on ensuring that these new trails are built to the highest possible standard, so that anyone visiting Glentress from September onwards will be able to experience the Glentress Masterplan upgrades.

“We all want to ensure that Glentress’ first ever appearance on the global mountain biking stage is a huge success and we would hope that local riders will lend their support.”

Ensuring that the trails benefit from the proper degree of compaction means working with wet materials. In the current conditions, the only workable solution is to water the stone while it is being raked and shaped, which takes more time.

Not getting this right could mean that the lifespan of the trails could be reduced by as much as 30 per cent.

A period of rainfall would go a long way to further consolidate the compaction.

The wider trail network at Glentress will continue to be accessible for several weeks, although the Masterplan trails and taster tracks will not open until September.

Notes to editors

  1. Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) manages forests and land owned by Scottish Ministers in a way that supports and enables economically sustainable forestry; conserves and enhances the environment; delivers benefits for people and nature; and supports Scottish Ministers in their stewardship of Scotland's national forests and land.

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  3. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Media Manager, Forestry and Land Scotland Media Office 07785 527590 or