Award for Borders MTB racer

SCOTLAND’s leading young downhill mountain bike (MTB) rider, Rona Strivens, recently returned from the 2016 British Cycling annual awards with another accolade to add to her growing collection.

Rona (18), who lives in Newtown St Boswells, was presented with the British Cycling Downhill Series Award by Olympic gold medalist Jason Queally MBE. To win the series, she had to demonstrate a consistency in technical skill and ability throughout the year.

In 2015, Rona won the British and Scottish series under 18-girls and is ranked No. 1 with British Cycling. She also came in third in the Fort William World Cup.

Originally from Kingussie, Rona moved to the Borders last year with her mother, Catriona, to join the Borders College elite athlete programme. It gives students a chance to be coached by staff from the Dirt School at the world-class mountain biking facility in Glentress.

Rona is now preparing for her first race of 2016, on 19th March at Ae Forest – the start of the Scottish Downhill season, followed by the British Downhill Series starting in April in Dumfries. She is also hoping to race at Lourdes in France in April in her first European contest of the season, and is preparing for the highlight of her year, the World Cup in Fort William.

She said “That was my favorite race last year. Racing in front of those large crowds gets the adrenaline going. The BBC filmed it for ‘The Mountain’ and that just added to the excitement. I was pleased with third place in 2015 but want to get on the top spot this year.”

Rona is pictured receiving her award from Jason.

Photo of Rona and Jason