It's literally less than a week until those brave and hardy souls head to Fort William for the 2017 Scottish Six Days Trial. For those spectators also heading to the Fort, daily spectator routes / maps and a full rider entry list can be found in the official SSDT Programme which is now on sale at various local outlets in the Fort William area with all proceeds going to charity. For those following from home, each morning we'll be publishing that day's route map and section details. In the meantime, to whet your appetite we can give a sneak preview of what lies ahead... 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 underestimated. 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 roughly as they have been previously as these 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!