Scots’ support for Malawi in 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships

31 July 2023

Macpherson Mbeya a clinical officer from Mzimba, Malawi who is a developing Malawian professional cyclist, is set to compete in the UCI 2023 Cycling World Championships being held in Glasgow and across Scotland 3rd-13th August.

Macpherson is competing in three demanding and very different cycling disciplines, including the Gran Fondo road race, a distance of 100 miles through the Perthshire countryside which entails 1,663m (5456Ft) of ascent – more of a climb than Ben Nevis! Macpherson is also undertaking a 60mile Cross-Country Mountain Bike Marathon at Glentress in the Tweed Valley and a 14mile time trial in Glasgow.

Billy Bilsland Cycles
in Glasgow are generously supporting the Malawian rider with the loan of three top-of-the-range bikes for different disciplines. The SMP remembered the brilliant contribution that the shop’s Manager Neil Bilsland had made previously in lending bikes to Malawian athletes, enabling them to compete in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Neil replied within minutes of an e-mail to his shop, saying that he’d love to support Macpherson. For those knowledgeable about bikes, Neil is providing a 51 Cervelo Caledonia with Ultegra; a 51cm Cervelo P3 Di2 and a Genesis Mantle HT.

Macpherson commented:

“This will be the first time in my life that I’ve seen, let alone used such bikes! I never dreamed that I would get to ride a bike that’s the correct size for me. I’ve had to modify the road bike which I use in Malawi, which is too big for me. I’m really looking forward to competing in Scotland, to meeting friends there and to representing my country!”

Stuart Brown
, Interim CEO of the Scotland Malawi Partnership said:

“We are thrilled that Macpherson is competing in the World Championships here in Scotland. Each of the cycling disciplines is for elite riders and it’s particularly impressive that Macpherson is taking part in three of these gruelling events. Billy Bilsland Cycles in Glasgow are again being so supportive and we really appreciate the generosity of Manager Neil Bilsand and his team. Along with our Scottish riders, we’ll be cheering for Macpherson!”

Malombo Kayira
, the President of the Cycling Federation of Malawi (who are providing some financial support to Macpherson), will also attend the World Championships. A Go Fund Me has been set-up to help cover Macpherson’s costs. For more information on how to donate please click here.

You can cheer Macpherson along in his events on the following dates:

• Gran Fondo: 4th August
• MTB: 6th August
• Time trial: 7th August

Full info on the UCI World championships here.

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