Wheels up as rid­ers make wel­come re­turn to Fort

The Oban Times - - News - KATIE CARABINE fort@oban­times.co.uk

THE 2017 Scottish Six Days Trial got un­der way on Sun­day April 30 with the an­nual pa­rade of rid­ers along Fort Wil­liam High Street.

Af­ter weigh­ing in their bikes at the West End Car Park, all 280 pro­fes­sional and am­a­teur rid­ers rode along the street, led by Lochaber Pipe Band.

The rid­ers, who came from 19 dif­fer­ent na­tions, in­clud­ing Spain, USA, Canada, France, Hol­land, and even Costa Rica and Aus­tralia to com­pete, waved, high-fived and shook hands with fans and en­thu­si­asts young and old along the way as they made their way back to the West End base, where their bikes were locked up un­til the com­pe­ti­tion be­gan on Mon­day morn­ing.

Coun­cil­lor Thomas MacLen­nan wel­comed the rid­ers, or­gan­is­ers, spec­ta­tors and ev­ery­body else in­volved in the event to Fort Wil­liam on be­half of High­land Coun­cil.

He said: ‘We want to give you a warm wel­come. You’ve come from far and near and we love it when you come – it gives the town a boost.’ He also thanked the Ed­in­burgh and Dis­trict of­fi­cials for bring­ing the event to the town once again and for con­tin­u­ing to do so over the years.

Thanks were also ex­tended to the many spon­sors of the event, also to the landown­ers who al­low the tri­al­ists to ride over their land, and the po­lice for their in­volve­ment in the pa­rade and the event as a whole.

Coun­cil­lor MacLen­nan added that it was im­por­tant to re­mem­ber the com­peti­tors from closer to home, point­ing out Kin­lochleven rider Gary MacDon­ald, who was in the top 10 last year and on Satur­day April 29 was the first Scot to win the Pre- 65 tri­als.

‘It’s great to see a Lochaber man do it,’ he said.

He closed by wish­ing ev­ery­one a successful event.

A spokesman for the Scottish Six Days Trial said it was a ‘priv­i­lege’ to be in Fort Wil­liam ev­ery year and again ex­tended a thank you to High­land Coun­cil, the town, po­lice and ev­eryeone else in­volved in the event.

Pho­tographs: Iain Fer­gu­son, The Write Im­age

Clock­wise from top left: Lochaber Pipe Band lead the pa­rade; co­me­dian Ross Noble shows he had bal­ance, stop­ping to let fans take a quick pic­ture; ladies’ cham­pion Jess Brown and fel­low fe­male rider Chloe Richard­son en­joy the mo­ment; a mar­shall en­sures the pa­rade goes smoothly.

The an­nual Scottish Six Days Trial got off to a glo­ri­ous start on Sun­day. Pho­to­graph: Iain Fer­gu­son, The Write Im­age

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