University gears up for special downhill mountain bike race

The University of Plymouth is gearing up for a mountain bike race with a difference when its city centre campus will be transformed into an exciting racetrack.

The Urban Downhill Charity Event will see hardened downhillers and street riders slaloming between buildings and negotiating flights of steps and ramps as they traverse the 250-metre course.

In total, some 240 riders are expected to take their place on the starting line for the event on 24 April, with standards ranging from national club members to keen amateurs.

Event organiser, Jonathan Catney is a Marine Sports student at the University and also a member of its bike club. He said: "I have been here for three years now and I have often walked around the campus and thought you could have so much fun with it. It has taken six months of organisation, but I think we've created something unique which should appeal to bike enthusiasts of all ranges and abilities."

The riders will race against the clock at 30-second intervals, descending from the Nancy Astor Building near the top of the campus down to the landmark Roland Levinsky Building, close to Drake Circus. Competitors will be grouped into categories and given two runs to register their fastest time.

There will be prizes for the top three riders in each category as well as a number of bonus awards. In addition to the race itself - which is open to riders aged 16 and above - there will be trade stands, demo bikes and advice sessions from mechanics.

Lesley Coulton, Head of Recreation and Sport at the University of Plymouth, said: "Sometimes it takes a person like John to provide the lateral thinking to come up with an idea like this. This has the potential to be a really special event."

ENDS


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