Top ten finish for intrepid Skye duo in Strathpuffer challenge

An intrepid Skye cycle duo sealed an impressive top ten finish in one of the toughest and most popular bike rides in the UK last weekend.

Sixteen-year-old Portree High School pupil Thomas Deas teamed up with Craig Christie to take seventh place in the Strathpuffer 24-hour challenge.

The mountain bike event — held near Contin in Ross-shire — is  regarded as one of the toughest endurance events in the UK, and annually attracts some of the country’s top riders.

Teams compete in solo, pairs or quad teams, and cycle over a challenging eight-mile off-road route — the aim being to complete as many laps as possible over the 24-hour period.

Thomas and Craig — competing for Cuillin Wheels (Team Skye) — completed 28 laps over the 24 hours to give them seventh spot out of 57 teams. Skye was strongly represented at the event.

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Some of the intrepid Skye cyclists… Pictured (left to right) are David Pringle, “Paddy” Stephenson, Thomas Deas, Craig Christie, Andi Dunkel and “Chalkie” White

James “Paddy” Stephenson, John “Chalkie” White and Andi Dunkel competed in the solo category. Paddy finished 43rd, Andi 59th and Chalkie 71st. The “Team Gobi Trotters” — D Nicolson, B Shanks, R Holding and N Macleod — finished 26th in the quads, while  Team Inside out (David Pringle and Robert Macaskill) finished 49th in the pairs.

Cuillin Wheels extended thanks to Steve Bragginton at Island Cycles in Portree for  providing sponsorship and support for the event.