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THE wheels are in motion for the first ever Borders Ciclista event.

And organisers are promising a challenging 78-mile course throughout the Borders, with tough climbs and blistering descents, tempered by fantastic scenery.

Proceeds will also be donated to the Action Medical Research charity.

The format is based around the traditional cycling sportif – similar to the hugely successful Ken Laidlaw Sportif held later in the year – but this one will have a Spanish touch to it.

Julian Cram from Border Cycles told the Hawick News: “There are so many sportif events in the UK that it’s almost at saturation point so we wanted to do one with a bit of a twist.

“We’ve stolen the format from the one used in Spain and so rather than starting off and that’s you on your own for the whole thing, three quarters of our event will be done as a group, which will be controlled by a vehicle at the front.”

Mr Cram explained that at three separate locations there will be timed sections where riders can go at their own pace, although they will always return to the peleton and ultimately finish as the group with which they started.

He added: “The idea is that it’s a lot more sociable, more beginner-friendly and more fun.”

The route takes riders from Hawick towards Kelso and up through Morebattle and Hownam, before going over to the A68 and to Bonchester, across the Note o the Gate and just before Newcastleton before returning to Hawick.

Already more than 50 people have signed up for the event, which is being held on May 13, and it is hoped it could become an entire weekend of cycling in years to come.

For more information visit www.bordersciclista.com