This coming weekend sees the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup return to Nevis Range, Fort William for the 11th year. The event brings huge crowds to the area year on year and its regularly voted as the best stop on the world cup tour. Let’s think about this for a second. Mountain Biking is a huge sport, it’s practised the world over, GB has produced 8 world champions in the last 6 years so we are good at it!
But, would you even know it’s on? A quick scroll through the usual sports media outlets reveals no mention of it. This is in no doubt because there are no Olympic disciplines on show since the XC event was dropped from the programme at Fort William. Whilst this will no doubt mean very little coverage before, during and after the event (even if Brits pick up some wins) don’t let this put you off the event! It’s huge, I mean huge!
Entering the finishing straight!
The DH track runs the entire length of the Nevis Range Gondola. It is one of the longest and toughest on the world cup tour and you can see just how tough it is when watching up close. The track has boardwalk sections, rocky outcrops, forest single track, twisty descents through the trees, big jumps before opening out onto the finish straight. One of the things I love about watching the event is just how close you can get to the action.
The 2.7km track allows enough space for fans to spread out along the course meaning that in most sections you will right in the face of the riders. I like to start at the top and work my way down the track ending up at the finish with pretty much every body else! As you can see from the image below, it gets quite busy at the business end of the race.
If you want to be close to the action at the finish, get there early!
Here are a few of my tips for the event!
- Come prepared for all weather! It snowed one year (in June!)
- Bring food and water
- Bring Midge spray
- Suitable footwear is a must
- Allow plenty of time to walk round the village
If you are going this weekend, watch out for the Olympic torch relay on the Saturday. I’ll be there all weekend taking shots and tweeting (providing I can get a signal on the hill) and will give a write up after the event!
Be sure to check out the event website http://fortwilliamworldcup.co.uk/ for more info!