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The Lowdown on the Downhill World Cup at Fort William This Weekend

All you need to know about the course, the riders and where you can watch

Atherton at Round One in Lourdes. Image: instagram.com/svenmartinphoto/ via Atherton Racing

The biggest names in Downhill Mountain Biking will be carving up the trails at Fort William next weekend as the UCI World Cup visits Scotland.

The competition will kick off with qualification rounds on Saturday June 6 with the fastest riders going though to the finals on Sunday 7.

The Course

The course at Fort William will be a flat-out charge down the face of Aonach Mor (pronounced Anach More) – which is the 9th highest mountain in the UK.

The course descends by 555m in 2.8km, and it’s seen some upgrades in recent years, making it one of the toughest on the circuit.

The organisers have promised further new features in time for the event – to drop a little extra excitement in for spectators and riders, who will be able to train on the course in designated slots from Friday afternoon.

Rock gardens on the course (Image: fortwilliamworldcup.co.uk)

Rock gardens, rock slabs, big jumps and technical natural sections will provide challenges for the riders, and spectators will be able to take a few seconds more to enjoy views of Ben Nevis, the sea lochs and the Inner Hebrides.

The Riders

British riders have a history of success with last years world cup having been a victorious Great British podium of Manon Carpenter, Rachel Atherton and Tahnee Seagrave.

Round One in Lourdes was a mixed result, leaving Rachel Atherton in second after losing two seconds to French rider Emmeline Ragot.

Finishing eight seconds down was Manon Carpentor, who sits in fifth place, and Tahnee Seagrave is seventh in the standings.

This time around, of course, the riders will be on home soil, and we’re hoping to see a re-shuffle in the standings.

Want to go and watch?

There will be plenty to see and do at Fort William as well as watching the racing, with a full expo, demonstrations, tech stands where you can watch riders preparing their bikes, plus food and drink stands.

You’ll be able to spectate over most of the course, with just a few restricted areas in the middle.

Most of the course can be viewed from the Gondola chair lifts that go up and down the mountain, and if you get yourself a Gondola ticket, you’ll be able to see the race from the air – perhaps riding with one of the pros as they make their way to the start.

Alternatively, there will also be a big screen at the base, near the finish area, and grandstands with first-come-first-served seats plus VIP areas.

Tickets start from around £15 but there are a number of options, up to £52 – you can take a look and buy one here and you’ll find directions for train and road travel here. 

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