Fifers star in one of the world’s toughest events

Team Leslie Bike Shop/Bikers Boutique rider Gillian Pratt - Kirkcaldy
Team Leslie Bike Shop/Bikers Boutique rider Gillian Pratt - Kirkcaldy

A large number of Fife cyclists took part in one of the top ten toughest mountain bike events on the planet over the weekend.

It was the 10th anniversary of the 24 hour Strathpuffer – an endurance mountain bike race held in Torrachilty forest, Contin near Strathpeffer, which has a more northerly latitude than Moscow.

It is one of only a few bike races that takes place in winter, usually in sub zero degree temperatures with 17 hours of darkness, ice, snow and wind.

This race also attracts celebrities, famous racer Guy Martin was second in the solo category.

Approximately 1200 people took part in a mixture of solo, pairs and quads and teams of 10.

Gillian Pratt from Kirkcaldy, who is in the Leslie Bike Shop/Bikers Boutique mountain bike team, won the female solo category, doing 19 laps of a gruelling seven-mile snow, ice and mud covered trail in the middle of the forest, which reaches over 900 feet from the start/finish to the top of the hill.

Gillian is also the 2014 ladies Masters category Scottish champion.

The combined team in the quads, two from Leslie Bike Shop/Bikers Boutique and two from the Mukyriderz, had a goal in mind to come back and win after finishing third last year.

Win they did, with the team of Steven Crowther (LBS/BB), Conner Johnston (LBS/BB), Craig Webster (Mukyriderz) and David Glover (Mukyriderz) - ending with a four-lap cushion over their nearest rivals.

Conner Johnston, who just celebrated his 16th birthday last week, is the 2014 youth Scottish mountain bike and Cyclocross champion. Conner also did the fastest lap for the whole event.