THOUSANDS of spectators are to descend on the Capital to watch some of the world’s best cyclists compete in a race up The Mound.
Red Bull Hill Chasers 2014 has announced it is to return to the city for a second year and among those taking part is UK Olympic BMX rider Shanaze Reade.
Stunt cyclist Danny Mac-Askill – who became a household name after a video of him performing mountain bike tricks across the Capital went viral – is also understood to be returning.
The high-octane April 12 event is the UK’s only multi-discipline uphill cycling race, with the Old Town set to be transformed into a gruelling race track for one night only.
Now in its fourth year, having made its debut in the Capital last year, and previously been held in Bristol and Malaysia, the urban event offers 500 bike enthusiasts from BMX, mountain bike, road cycling and fixed-gear disciplines a chance to race against their heroes.
Battling head-to-head to settle the long-standing dispute between disciplines, amateur racers will be invited to partake in a series of five punishing, mass start knockout rounds, before being whittled down to 40.
Following the qualifying heats, the fastest riders will then battle it out against ten of the UK’s most elite cycling stars in a bid to steal the winning crown to become the Red Bull Hill Chasers 2014 King of the Hill.
The international competition will take place on The Mound, which offers competitors a punishing 200 metre uphill sprint.
A crowd of more than 5000 took to the streets to watch last year’s event.
Liam Moynihan, a 22-year-old student from Fort William, came in first place with a time of 18.748 seconds, earning him the King of the Hill title.
The city’s festival and events champion, Councillor Steve Cardownie, said: “We are thrilled to welcome back the Red Bull Hill Chasers to Edinburgh following the great excitement and boost to the city the event brought last year, when 5000 supporters took to the Grassmarket to cheer on more than 100 riders.
“This year the uphill bike sprint will kick off at The Mound and where could be better to host what will be yet another fantastic cycling event in Edinburgh?”
Spectators are once again expected to line the main route with The Mound and several surrounding streets closed for parts of the day.
The whole event is free to spectators.
Qualifying rounds will be held on The Mound between 10am and 2pm on Saturday, April 12.
For your chance to compete against the elite as one of the 40 amateur riders, visit www.redbull.co.uk/hillchasers and register for your place in the qualifiers from today.