The wait is almost over with the 2017 Scottish Six Days Trial (SSDT) ready to continue the long history of this iconic event when it takes place from Monday 1st May through to Saturday 6th May from its now established base in the lochside town of Fort William in the Scottish Highlands. Once again, organised by Edinburgh and District Motor Club an oversubscribed entry of almost three hundred riders from the far corners of the globe will descend to face the annual challenge that the rugged nature of the Scottish Highlands provides year on year. This unique and much revered competition remains the most famous and one-off event in the international Trial calendar more than one hundred years after it was first run.
Over its prolonged history the SSDT has witnessed many great and worthy winners, but none more so than the current title holder who will return this year in a bid to seal a record extending and almost unbelievable eleventh victory. Previously Sammy Miller and Mick Andrews held the most wins, with five apiece before Dougie Lampkin became the latest member of his famous family to get his hands on the towering silver trophy aged just eighteen and in doing so became the youngest ever winner of the SSDT back in 1994. Twelve months ago, Dougie notched up his tenth SSDT triumph aged forty to also become the oldest rider to ever claim the title.
Whilst there will be much focus on this year’s potential winners who will fight it out at the top end of the leader board, the SSDT is as much about the wide spectrum of other riders whom for many just to complete the six tough days of competition is considered a victory in its own right. The field of two hundred and eighty professional and amateur riders includes representatives from nineteen nations with those from Australia and Costa Rica reinforcing the global appeal of the SSDT. The list of competitors also includes riders from Andorra, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, USA and the home nations.
In addition to the stunning scenery, outstanding terrain and the sheer heritage of the SSDT, the fact that all the competitors irrespective of their status or ability still compete over the exact same course and sections is why the event continues to attract riders from all over the World. Click here for a day by day overview of what is in store at the 2017 SSDT.
Ahead of the main 2017 Scottish Six Days Trial, the now well established Pre-65 Scottish Trial will take place in and around the small town of Kinlochleven on Friday 28th and Saturday 29th April, before the focus switches to Fort William town centre for the opening parade on Sunday 30th April at 3pm.
Daily spectator routes / maps and a full rider entry list can be found in the official SSDT Programme - now on sale at various local outlets in the Fort William area.
2017 SCOTTISH SIX DAYS TRIAL – DAY BY DAY OVERVIEW
Day One - Monday 1st May
Once the lone piper has led the first rider away from the West End parc ferme early on Monday morning, the riders will be treated to some new sections on the way to the popular spectator group at Leanachan. From here the route will make its way over to Kinlochleven for the traditional day one lunch stop before coming to a close at the infamous Lagnaha hazards having covered just under seventy miles.
Day Two – Tuesday 2nd May
Tuesday will also start with some fresh hazards before the riders follow the road round to Strontian. Easy roadside viewing will be provided with sections at Gerradh, Carnoch and Bellsgrove, the latter being a new addition. After a trip, down to Loch Sheil the riders will round off day two at Trotters Burn having clocked up ninety-one miles.
Day Three – Wednesday 3rd May
Day three has a more familiar feel and will take in Callart Falls followed by two road side groups at Pap of Glencoe and Clachaig before heading over to Appin for the usual mix of sections. After another eighty-five miles in the saddle the riders will reach the halfway point in the 2017 SSDT as they sign off day three with the final hazards at Bealach.
Day Four – Thursday 4th May
Not wanting the riders to feel too comfortable, day four will bring a new look Thursday, with the action kicking off at Leanachan ahead of moving on to Laggan Locks and then picking up on the old traditional Tuesday route, with Witches and Trotters Burn bringing to a close the one hundred and four-mile adventure.
Day Five – Friday 5th May
Friday remains a favourite with both riders and spectators alike and this year promises more of the same. Doire Damh returns after being absent for a few years Pipers Burn, Roshven, Glen Uig and WD’s will all be ridden before lunch. Whilst the afternoon run, which will return to the road for the first time in fourteen years, will take in the usual groups on route to the ferry with the riders having notched up ninety-six more miles.
Day Six – Saturday 6th May
Although the finish line now maybe in sight, Saturday’s day six route should never be under estimated. After the tough finale to last year’s SSDT, and the welcomed feedback from riders post event, the organisers have duly removed Nevis Forest from the closing day but have still included rideable sections at Achintee, The Ben and Glen Nevis before the traditional end to the week at Town Hall Brae.
Overall daily time limits remain as have proven sufficient in the past, but riders are reminded that an extra two-minutes at each section adds up to an hour over the day and can be difficult to recover so the message is to keep on the move!