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WATCH: Newton Stewart cyclist wins Strathpuffer women's title for first time

By Will Clark

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Sofia Christiansen won the Strathpuffer women's title. Picture: Will Clark
Sofia Christiansen won the Strathpuffer women's title. Picture: Will Clark

Sofia Christiansen was crowned Strathpuffer women's champion for the first time in her career as she claimed victory at Contin Forest.

The 44-year-old powered her way through the 24-hour cycling challenge to win the individual title on Sunday morning.

The Newton Stewart athlete claimed victory after being the only female athlete to complete 18 laps and finished in a time of 23 hours, 37 minutes and 34 seconds.

Jo Page finished in second place with 17 laps in a time of 23:14:20 and Julie Taylor Flood finished in third place with 16 laps in 23:37:05.

Christiansen won the Strathpuffer mixed pairs title in 2019 and 2020, but this was the first time she had won the individual race.

She says winning the solo title made this year's victory the most special to her.

"Definitely, with the conditions and the support which has been amazing," she said.

"The crowd was unbelievable as always, the marshals, organisation and pit crew which I cant fault them, you can't do it without them."

Christiansen established a strong lead at the start which she never relinquished and said the success she had was down to the good communication she received from her pit crew.

"I was kept up to date as where I needed to be and how I could keep going or have a break and I kept going until the end.

"I always get told that it is a marathon not a sprint, but I tend to do the opposite quite often.

"I was told to slow down by my pit crew and I did a little bit."

Christiansen is no stranger to success, having previously won the European 24-hour Championship in Portugal.

She ranks winning the Strathpuffer title as one of the best moments of her career.

"It is probably one of the top ones apart from the European 24-hour championships in Portugal, because of the conditions and competitiveness and a lot bigger entry.

"You need a lot of mental power and a good support team, no way you can do it without a support team telling you what to do."

In the men's race, Martin Ross from Dingwall win the Strathpuffer for the second time in his career.

The 49-year-old, who first won the Strathpuffer in 2019, completed 25 laps of the 12.5km course in Ross-shire in a time of 24 hours 18 minutes and two seconds.

Kyle Beattie from Inverness, who won the Strathpuffer in 2020, finished in second place, also completing 25 laps in a time of 24:20:14.

James Lamb completed the podium, finishing in third place, completing 24 laps in a time 24:08:40.

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