TweedLove Race Team launched to support emerging talent
January 17, 2017
The Tweed Valley in the Scottish Borders has a reputation in the world of mountain biking for good reasons. Spread across its hillsides and forests is an impressive collection of quality trails which, by no coincidence, also serve as the back garden of some very talented bike riders. Witness, for example, that 66.6% of the recently-announced Trek Factory Enduro Racing Team (namely Katy Winton and Lewis Buchanan) were home-grown here in the valley.
Since 2010 TweedLove has played a part in the growth of the bike community and reputation of the area, and has now stepped up to support a new team of young riders, starting with local shredders Ben Balfour (16) and Callum Thornley (13).
“Everyone knows bike events aren’t the big bucks players in this industry,” says TweedLove’s main man Neil Dalgleish, “but nevertheless we can help support and promote some of the incredible talent that’s been emerging out of the woods here.”
TweedLove is probably best known for enduro, a discipline with issues around insurance and lack of a co-ordinated structure in the UK, mainly as it’s not supported as a race format by British Cycling. This causes problems for younger riders aiming to progress and build enduro race experience. “We’re interested in working with talented riders in any discipline, but enduro is what a lot of the young riders are most excited about,” says Neil. “We’re hoping to provide more races for younger riders this year, and we’ll be adding one or two other riders to the TweedLove Race team soon. Ben has already raced our enduros and wiped the floor with a lot of the adults – it’ll be exciting to watch how he does this year. Callum’s got less enduro experience but rides incredibly well for such a young dude, and has shown his ability in a lot of disciplines.”
But it’s not all about immediate results though, as Neil explains, “We’re not really selling products like most sponsored teams, so there’s not so much pressure for results. We just want to do our bit in this fantastic community to promote some of the amazing riders who are growing up around us now. At the same time, the team can help promote the area, our community and our events.”
Local bike shops Alpine Bikes have also agreed to support the riders and Whyte Bikes have offered to help with the race bikes. “It’s great that other brands and organisations are getting involved too”, says Neil. “Ian Linton has offered to do some snapping for the team, and the guys at Out of Office have given a heap of time to make an intro video edit.
“We don’t really know where this will go in the end,” says Neil. “But these guys are worth watching, and we’re very proud to announce and support a new race team out of the valley.”
Check it out here!
Photos: Ian Linton
Video: Out of Office
The future’s looking rad for these two.