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PICTURES: Culloden Wee Battle challenge raises £1500 for Highland Velodrome Trust's plans to develop all-weather cycling centre in Inverness

By Val Sweeney

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The challenge followed a route south of Nairn.
The challenge followed a route south of Nairn.

A vision to create an all-weather cycling centre in Inverness is set to receive a £1500 boost following a cycling challenge.

The 43-mile Culloden Wee Battle attracted 115 riders of all ages with a wide range of experience and ability.

Participants followed a route from Culloden Moor to Dulsie Bridge, Ferness, the outskirts of Nairn, Cawdor, Croy and back to the start, climbing 2500ft.

The money raised will go to the Highland Velodrome Trust, which aims to create a cycle hub as part of a Highland arena sports and events centre, earmarked for Inverness Campus.

It would include an indoor velodrome, outdoor racing track, BMX facility and other cycle-related facilities.

Julian Foot, one of the trustees, said although there was much interest in cycling in the Highlands, riders had to travel to the central belt to access comparable facilities.

"We also have a great many really talented riders who come from the Highlands including Fin Graham who has just won two silver medals at the Paralympics," he said.

"He has had to do the majority of his training and his indoor work away from his home area.

"We live in hope of boosting the potential of local riders of all ages and abilities."

Mr Foot said those who had taken part in the Culloden Wee Battle fundraiser seemed to thoroughly enjoy the event.

"We had some of the regular club riders from local clubs such as Moray Firth Cycle Club, Ross-shire Roads Cycle Club and other active local riders along with others for whom this was a challenging ride on the limit of what they had done before in terms of distance and amount of climbing," he said.

“With the pandemic, it was clear from participants’ reactions that they enjoyed the opportunity to do something like this.

"We have all been starved of group activities for so long that it is quite a thrill to be part of an event like this where others can share the experience.

"In terms of organisation there were challenges in keeping everyone as safe as possible, but we tried extremely hard to have specific protocols in place.

"These were aimed at keeping riders and volunteers socially distanced with hand sanitisers available."

The event had also benefited from the generous support of the National Trust for Scotland in making the battlefield site available for the ride headquarters.

Velodrome plans get into gear

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