Edinburgh will host the first Red Bull Hill Chasers race to be held in Scotland, with cyclists of all kinds taking part.
But it will be hard graft and pedal power rather than wings which will carry champion cyclists over the finish line this weekend in the The streets of the Grassmarket will be transformed into a gruelling race track on Saturday as hundreds of cyclists take to the cobbles.
The UK’s only multi-discipline uphill sprint race will see Olympic cyclists including BMX world number one Joris Daudet take on trial cyclist Danny MacAskill in the race to prove which discipline is fastest.
The international competition will see 500 challengers – riding on BMX, mountain, road cycling and fixed-gear bikes – compete in the 170 metres uphill sprint with the Capital’s skyline as a backdrop against their heroes, including world-renowned riders Michal Prokop and Jack Pullar.
The fastest 30 riders from this heat will be selected for the main event, where they will go up against ten of the UK’s most elite cycling legends in a bid to be crowned Red Bull Hill Chasers 2013 King of the Hill.
The urban event is now in its third year and has been held in Bristol and Malaysia.
Thousands are expected to cheer the competitors on.
Councillor Steve Cardownie, festival and events champion at Edinburgh City Council, said the race would be an exciting spectacle.
He said: “We were delighted when Red Bull announced that they were bringing Hill Chasers to Edinburgh, and Scotland, for the very first time.
“I can think of no better backdrop for this exhilarating challenge than the city’s spectacular Grassmarket.
“With the likes of Olympian Joris Daudet, Scot Danny MacAskill and other world-famous cyclists all taking part, the event has created quite a buzz.”
Spectators are expected to line the main route with several roads closed for parts of the day.
The qualifying rounds will be held from 6am on Saturday, with the main event setting off at 7pm.
Traffic will be closed off to Cockburn Street and High Street, from North Bridge to the automatic bollards at Parliament Square, from 5am until noon on Saturday.
West Bow and Victoria Street will both be closed from 3pm until 1am on Sunday.
The whole event is free to spectators.
Cllr Cardownie added: “I fully expect the people of Edinburgh to turn out on Saturday and show their support.”