Wheels up as riders make welcome return to Fort
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.
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