Rab Wardell cycling film following West Highland Way record attempt to be shown at festival after his death

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A film about Scots cyclist Rab Wardell's record-breaking ride of the West Highland Way is to be shown as part of the Banff Mountain Film Festival a month after his untimely death.

Wardell died last week – two days after he won the elite men’s title at the Scottish MTB XC Championships and just hours after he appeared on BBC Scotland’s The Nine programme.

The film, which follows the Dunfermline-born rider on a record-breaking ride in 2020, is to be shown next month during the festival's visits to Stirling, Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

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In completing the record, Wardell shaved around 14 minutes off the benchmark set by Fort William cyclist Gary McDonald just a month earlier.

Festival director Joanna Croston said the film had taken on a new meaning following the death of the 37-year-old, stating: “It was meant to be a homecoming for the film and now unfortunately it’s got a different meaning in it, and more a celebration of life rather than a celebration of the achievement.

"We were all shocked and devastated to learn of Rab’s passing.”

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Wardell’s partner Katie Archibald said a day after his death the cyclist had gone into cardiac arrest while they were lying in bed together.

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Rab Wardell and Katie Archibald cycling together. Taken from Rob Wardell InstagramRab Wardell and Katie Archibald cycling together. Taken from Rob Wardell Instagram
Rab Wardell and Katie Archibald cycling together. Taken from Rob Wardell Instagram

In an emotional statement posted on Twitter, Archibald, who won gold medals at both the 2016 and 2020 Olympics, said: “I still don’t understand what’s happened. If this is real, why he’d be taken now – so healthy and happy.

“He went into cardiac arrest while we were lying in bed. I tried and tried, and the paramedics arrived within minutes, but his heart stopped and they couldn’t bring him back.

“Mine stopped with it. I love him so much and need him here with me. I need him here so badly, but he’s gone. I can’t describe this pain.”

Wardell represented Scotland in the Commonwealth Games in 2006 and was a British Championships medallist, multiple Scottish champion, Race The World USA winner, and a Team Scotland and British Cycling Team representative.

The film on Wardell’s West Highland Way mission was made by Cut Media in collaboration with smart training and navigation company Wahoo and California-based bike company Santa Cruz.

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