Alex McCormack from the UK just took first place at the 2024 Highland Trail 550 event in Scotland, shaving just over two hours off of the previous record. Joergen Trepp was at the finish to snap some photos and hear from 26-year-old winner Alex first-hand…

Words and photos Joergen Trepp

Congratulations to Alex McCormack, who just set a new record at the Highland Trail 550 in Scotland. Alex completed the 550-mile route in 3 days, 5 hours, and 27 minutes, besting the previous record set by Angus Young in 2023 by an impressive 2 hours and 14 minutes.

Alex McCormack 2024 HT550 win

The Highland Trail 550, known for its challenging Scottish terrain, saw a remarkable performance by Alex McCormack. Riding his Fairlight Holt with Tailfin R&D bags, Alex became the new record holder by riding through wind and rain, braving midges and ticks, and slogging through bogs. He completed the race with swollen ankles and feet, with his only remark being, “I can’t wait to air out my feet.” Alex’s achievement sets a new standard for future competitors in one of the most demanding bikepacking races in the world.

  • Alex McCormack 2024 HT550 win
  • Alex McCormack 2024 HT550 win
  • Alex McCormack 2024 HT550 win
  • Alex McCormack 2024 HT550 win
  • Alex McCormack 2024 HT550 win

Alex came back to the Highland Trail after scratching in 2023, clearly with a goal in mind and a bone to pick. Last year saw Alex forced out of the race due to damaging a tire beyond repair, despite multiple attempts. Before scratching, Alex was able to go toe-to-toe with the now-previous record-holder Angus Young and others like Manu Cattrysse and Christophe Dijkmans. As of today, Alex has clearly come back to finish what he started in 2023.

Alex McCormack’s 2024 HT550 Bike Setup

Fairlight Cycles posted a bike check video just before this year’s grand depart, showcasing Alex’s bike and kit for the 2024 Highland Trail 550. Watch the video below for a closer look at his record-setting Fairlight Holt and impressively minimal Tailfin bag setup.

Joergen Trepp

About Joergen Trepp

Joergen has bounced around the bike industry writing and wrenching on the road and in the workshop. Having come in contact with bike touring early on, the idea of a bike as not only a designed object but as a means to an end sparked a love for going far, sometimes fast, often offroad. Find him on Instagram.

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