Emmeline Ragot put her heart and soul into a hard run today to take the win at the Fort William MTB World Cup. It was a race that was marred by multiple punctures, with the British women suffering misfortune after misfortune.
The course at Fort William is long, technical and requires incredible fitness to complete. This was clear in the exhausted faces of the racers once they reached the finish arena.
Fionn Griffiths had a clean run, but she was one of the few British riders to do that. Katy Curd, who is returning to Downhill this year, had an unfortunate puncture after the second split on what was looking to be a good run. This was to be the first of many punctures during the race.
Rachel Atherton, the 2013 Fort William World Cup winner, started well as was up on the first part of the course. Hush descended on the crowd when she failed to pass the second split on time, and her hopes of a second win were dashed by rear wheel puncture. Further bad news awaited as she has also been disqualified, so Atherton will receive no points for Fort William.
This trend continued with Tahnee Seagrave; also up on the first split, she too punctured leaving her a long coast down to the finish arena.
Emmeline Ragot pushed hard, and cleared the finish line with bike intact and a leading time of 5:12.624. Myriam Nicole was clearly suffering by the end of the run but she too put in a clear run and placed second, 8 seconds behind Ragot.
All eyes were on the screen for the final rider, Manon Carpenter. Carpenter took her first World Cup win in Pietermaritzburg at the start of the season and had her sights firmly set on a win at Fort William. In an incredibly bad run of luck, she too punctured, meaning Ragot took the win.
1. Emmeline Ragot, Lapierre Gravity Republic - 5:12.624
2. Myriam Nicole, Commencal/Riding Addiction - 5:21.334
3. Tracey Hannah, Hutchinson UR - 5:26.600
4. Emilie Siegenthaler, GSTAAD-SCOTT - 5:31.191
5. Jill Kintner - 5:35.618
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