News releases

20 February 2017

RACHEL ATHERTON CROWNED WORLD ACTION SPORTSPERSON 2017 AND UCI TEAM NEWS

Four time champion Rachel Atherton has won The Laureus Award for World Action Sportsperson of the year. The awards celebrate the most remarkable men and women from the sporting world along with their previous years achievements. After making history with her 15th consecutive win, the award tops off a perfect season for Rachel Atherton.

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) have published the list of 2017 UCI Mountain Bike Teams. In total, from 30 countries 139 teams have been registered for the 2017 season. Slovakia and the Republic of Korea have both registered a team for the first time. There has been an overall increase in the numbers of teams and riders particularly in the Olympic discipline with 9 more Endurance (XC) teams and almost 50 more riders than in 2016.

21 June 2016

RECORD CROWDS MAKE FORT WILLIAM MOUNTAIN BIKE WORLD CUP BEST EVER

Organisers confirm dates for 2017 event after more than 22,000 fans gather in Scottish Highlands

A record number of fans attended the 15th year of downhill mountain bike racing in the Scottish Highlands in what is being described as the best ever Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup.

Organiser Rare Management has today revealed almost 22,000 fans attended the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and BUFF® 4X Pro Tour, over the course of the weekend (June 3 – 5), making it the most well attended UCI World Cup in Scotland yet.

Taking place on the uncompromising slopes of Aonach Mor and the Nevis Range, riders and fans enjoyed glorious sunshine as part of a thrilling weekend of mountain bike action which saw Great Britain’s Rachel Atherton and South Africa’s Greg Minnaar storm to victory in the women’s and men’s finals.

As the only UK leg on the UCI World Cup circuit, 8,300 fans watched the BUFF® 4X Pro Tour and downhill qualifying on Saturday (June 4), which was up 23 per cent on last year’s weather affected opening day.

The record for a single day attendance was smashed on the Sunday (June 5), when 10,800 fans crammed into the Nevis Range finish arena, with an atmosphere to match any sporting event, anywhere in the world.

Following the event’s success, the UCI has confirmed that the Mountain Bike World Cup will return to the Scottish Highlands in 2017 on 3 – 4 June.

Event organiser, Mike Jardine, from Rare Management, said: “This year’s Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup has surpassed all of our expectations thanks to the biggest ever crowds, emotional farewells, stunning gravity action and of course the glorious weather.

“The event is a huge celebration of a sport that continues to grow in popularity thanks to the success of home grown riders such as Rachel Atherton who won her third Fort William World Cup title at the event. We’re thrilled by the number of fans from around the world who came out to support all of the elite riders and make 2016 the best we’ve ever experienced in 15 years.” 

More than a quarter of a million fans have descended on Fort William since the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup came to the Highlands 14 years ago, delivering a £33m boost to the Highland economy since 2002.

Peter MacFarlane, managing director at the Nevis Range, said: “We were delighted to welcome so many mountain bike fans to the Nevis Range. Not only did we see record numbers of spectators over the weekend, but we also had a record number of enthusiasts stay on beyond the weekend to test their skills on the downhill track when it reopened to the public.

“The event has a massive economic impact on the Lochaber area – the hotels are filled to capacity over the weekend and all the local pubs and restaurants are packed each night. It is one of the busiest weekends of the summer for Fort William.”

The multi-award winning event, which is supported by EventScotland and Highland Council, was the third stage on the UCI World Cup Downhill calendar and this year marked the last competitive appearance of former Downhill World Champion and mountain bike legend, Steve Peat.

Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland, said: “The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup has been a tremendous success once again for both Fort William and Scotland, attracting impressive crowds eager to catch a glimpse of the world’s best downhill riders. For spectators, the World Cup is second to none in terms of action and excitement, proving why Scotland truly is the perfect stage for major sporting events.”

Leader of The Highland Council’s Lochaber Committee, Councillor Thomas MacLennan, said: “As well as being a top sporting event, it’s been a great weekend away for anyone wanting to get close to the action and soak up some of the thrill and buzz of the sport in a spectacular location and I’d like to thank the community for making everyone feel so welcome. A bonus this year was the weather which was hot and sunny and really capped a successful weekend.

“Fort William has developed an international reputation as the spiritual home of the sport, offering some of the best and most gruelling courses in the world. We have been delighted to work with the organisers to make sure the Highlands benefits from the increased number of visitors during the event, as well as showcasing our spectacular scenery to people across the world through the global media coverage the event attracts. The economic benefits are well recognised and have firmly placed the Highlands and Scotland on the world map for mountain biking and the organisers should be congratulated for once again delivering a top world-class event. We look forward to welcoming back competitors, their supporters and spectators.”

To watch all of the highlights from the UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup at Fort William 2016, go to redbull.tv or for more information visit www.fortwilliamworldcup.co.uk.

 

30 May 2016

SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS GEARS-UP TO HOST UCI MOUNTAIN BIKE WORLD CUP 

British riders, including current world champion, Rachel Atherton, hoping to secure Fort William success

The Scottish Highlands will come alive with the sound of thousands of cheering mountain bike fans this weekend (4 – 5 June), when the world’s fastest downhill riders go head-to-head at the Fort William stage of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and BUFF® 4X Pro Tour.

More than 200 of the sport’s elite stars will join over 19,000 fans as they descend on the iconic Nevis Range for an exhilarating weekend of high-speed action as riders race against the clock down the slopes of Aonach Mor.

British hopes for home soil success are high with 2015 World Champion, Rachel Atherton, going for her third successive world cup circuit win this season while facing tough competition from rivals and fellow Brits, Manon Carpenter and Tahnee Seagrave, in the elite women’s race.

Local rider Greg Williamson, from Inverness, along with Teesside’s Danny Hart, will be determined to follow-up their recent world cup form as they try to secure their first ever Fort William title in the men’s downhill, battling it out against Rachel’s brother Gee Atherton, himself a two time winner of Fort William World Cups (in 2010 and an emotional double victory with Rachel in 2013).

The British men will face stiff competition however, going up against a host of current and former World Cup champions, including 2015 overall champion, American Aaron Gwin, and last year’s Fort William champion, South African Greg Minnaar.

Excited at the prospect of returning to Scotland, World Champion, Rachel Atherton, said: “I’m stoked to be racing at Fort William again. Winning there last year was an amazing rush and the support from the home crowd is epic. There’s such a buzz and everyone really gets behind the riders.

“The track is fierce – long, fast and brutal – with a gnarly woods section which catches a lot of riders out, so you really get to see some mad skills. There’s no better feeling than flying through the Scotland arch into the arena and sprinting for the line. And it’s awesome that those who can’t make it trackside can still catch all the action on Red Bull TV.”

Supported by EventScotland and Highland Council, the multi-award winning event is the third stage on the UCI World Cup Downhill calendar and will this year include new technical features and jumps on the infamous 2.8km downhill course.

This year’s event also marks the last competitive appearance of former Downhill World Champion and mountain bike legend, Steve Peat. The fan favourite, known on the circuit as ‘Peaty’, is retiring from World Cup racing at the end of the current downhill season following a career spanning 20 years and including 17 World Cup wins, 52 World Cup podiums and one World Championship.

Alongside the downhill action, famous trials rider and YouTube record breaker Danny MacAskill will also be in attendance over the weekend with his Drop and Roll Street Trials team.

The World Cup Village will be packed with an array of bike manufacturers, bike-wear brands and team sponsors, whilst a fine selection of food and drink stands will keep the crowds fuelled, showcasing the best of Scottish produce.

Tickets are still available for the event costing from £14 for adults and £8 for children aged 6 – 17 years old. Family packages are also available starting from £36. For more details on the event and to buy tickets, visit www.fortwilliamworldcup.co.uk.

26 April 2016

RED BULL ENDORSEMENT GIVES FORT WILLIAM WORLD CUP WINGS

Fort William’s UCI Mountain Bike World Cup has been named No.1 on a list of the top 5 bike events for spectators in 2016 by major mountain bike sponsor, Red Bull.

Famed for its extreme descents, stunning views and hugely animated crowds, the Highland occasion has become arguably the most popular stop on the eight-event World Cup circuit.

Photo-Charne-Hawkes_resized
Indeed, it is the only World Cup event to place within Red Bull’s global top 5, being joined by occasions in Canada, USA, Czech Republic and Estonia.

Highland Council, BUFF and Silverline are also among the supporters of the event, which has been funded through EventScotland’s International Programme annually since 2003.

This year’s UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, Fort William, will take place on June 4-5, when the town will come alive with thousands of enthusiasts aiming to catch a glimpse of some of the sport’s biggest stars, including 2015 champion Rachel Atherton and the legendary Steve Peat, who will retire from World Cup racing at the end of the year.

Since joining the World Cup schedule in 2002, the Downhill at Fort William has become famous as a full-on, no compromise charge down the face of Aonach Mor, the 9th highest mountain in the UK. As competitors are well aware, the 2.8km course requires superb physical strength, instant reflexes, excellent bike control, an unerring eye for the right line and a lot of bottle.
Rock gardens, rock slabs, big jumps and technical natural sections add to the challenge all the way to the magnificent finishing section, where an incredible wall of sound awaits the competitors.

For the spectator, the difficulty of the terrain makes for one of the most exhilarating spectacles on the mountain biking calendar and, with new features and jumps incorporated in 2016, the upcoming edition looks set to be the best yet.

Excited at the prospect of returning to Scotland, World Champion, Rachel Atherton, said:

“I’m stoked to be racing at Fort William again. Winning there last year was an amazing rush and the support from the home crowd is epic. There’s such a buzz and everyone really gets behind the riders.

“The track is fierce – long, fast and brutal – with a gnarly woods section which catches a lot of riders out, so you really get to see some mad skills. There’s no better feeling than flying through the Scotland arch into the arena and sprinting for the line. And it’s awesome that those who can’t make it trackside can still catch all the action on Red Bull TV.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said:

“The Fort William UCI Mountain Bike World Cup is an incredibly important event for Scotland, attracting thousands of visitors from around the world to the Highlands and promoting Scotland’s image as the perfect stage for events covering all cycling disciplines through global media coverage.

“Year upon year, thousands of bikers make their way to Fort William and this incredible endorsement from Red Bull is a clear indication why. For the mountain bike spectator, there is no better experience to be had anywhere, and we should take great pride in having such a tremendous event of international acclaim in our own back yard.”

Mike Jardine from Rare Management, organisers of the Fort William UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and BUFF 4X Pro Tour weekend, said:
“Coming top in the Red Bull ranking is a fantastic endorsement of Fort William’s legendary status. We’ve got true Legends of the sport, such as Steve Peat, six-time Fort William winner Greg Minnaar and three-time World Champion Rachel Atherton competing in front of an incredibly passionate and vocal crowd, at a venue that has an unrivalled reputation within the global mountain biking community. How good is it? There’s only one way to find out. Come and join us in the Highlands on 4-5 June.”

Prices remain unchanged from last year’s event, with tickets costing from £14 for adults and £8 for children aged 6 – 17 years old. Family packages are also available starting from £36.

For further information and tickets for the Fort William UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Downhill and the BUFF 4x Pro Tour, log-on to http://fortwilliamworldcup.co.uk/

Photo: Charné Hawkes

 

13 April 2016

Mountain bike legend gearing-up for emotional farewell at Fort William World Cup

Steve Peat joins young riders in Glasgow to launch the UCI’s UK leg of the Mountain Bike World Cup

Former Downhill World Champion and mountain bike legend, Steve Peat, was in Glasgow to launch the Fort William stage of the 2016 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, set to be his last competitive appearance at the event.

The fan favourite, known on the circuit as ‘Peaty’, is retiring from World Cup racing at the end of the current downhill season following a career spanning 20 years and including 17 World Cup wins, 52 World Cup podiums and one World Championship.

This year’s Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup and BUFF® 4X Pro Tour will take place over the weekend of 4 and 5 June and promises to be more exciting than ever. Work is underway to add new technical features and jumps to the infamous 2.8km downhill course, while a host of attractions will be on offer to keep fans entertained.

As he prepares for his final World Cup event in front of a home crowd, the 41-year-old rider from Sheffield was joined in Glasgow by up and coming young riders to announce tickets going on sale. He said: “Competing at the Fort William World Cup has always meant a lot to me and it will be an emotional day saying goodbye to the fans and riders for the very last time.

“The atmosphere at the event is the best on the world circuit and it’s always been a proud moment riding in front of a home crowd. Winning at Fort William in 2005 is still up there as one of the best of my career and while I was really disappointed to miss out on last year’s event through injury, I promise to make my last Fort William one to remember.”

200 of the sport’s biggest stars, including 2015 World Champions, British rider Rachel Atherton, and France’s Loic Bruni, will be competing as they race against the clock down the slopes of Anoch Mor.

Alongside the downhill action, famous trials rider and YouTube record breaker Danny MacAskill will also be in attendance over the weekend with his Drop and Roll Street Trials team. The Red Bull athlete will be wowing the crowds with an array of tricks, which has seen the Scotsman build a huge fan base across the world.

Event organiser, Mike Jardine, from Rare Management, said: “The two-day event is a huge celebration in which riders and fans come together in a family friendly atmosphere for the only UK leg on the World Cup circuit.

“We expect this year to be extra special as the mountain bike community says goodbye to one of the true legends of the sport. The atmosphere will be electric and we’re looking forward to giving Peaty a true Fort William send-off.”

Over a quarter of a million fans have descended on Fort William since the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup came to the Highlands 14 years ago, delivering a £30m boost to the Highland economy since 2002.

The event, which is supported by EventScotland and Highland Council, is the third stage on the UCI World Cup Downhill calendar which kicked-off in Lourdes last weekend. It was recently named as the number one mountain biking event to attend in 2016 in a Red Bull Top 10 list.

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “We have supported the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup for many years now and are looking forward to the 2016 event as much as ever.

“The event is hugely important for the Highlands and for Scotland as a whole, and we are sure that mountain bike lovers in their thousands are already making travel arrangements for this exhilarating weekend of action, which will include witnessing Steve’s final tilt at the Fort William title.”

Prices remain unchanged from last year’s event, with tickets costing from £14 for adults and £8 for children aged 6 – 17 years old. Family packages are also available starting from £36. For more details on the event and to buy tickets, visit www.fortwilliamworldcup.co.uk.

 

 

01.12.15

MOUNTAIN BIKE WORLD CUP PASSES £30M MILESTONE FOR HIGHLAND ECONOMY

Prices held as ‘Early Bird’ tickets go on sale on 1 December

As Fort William gears up to once again host the adrenaline-charged UCI Mountain Bike World Cup on 4-5 June 2016, organisers Rare Management reveal the event has brought a £30m boost to Highland tourism since 2002.

Renowned for being one of the must-see events on the Scottish sporting calendar, over quarter of a million fans have descended on Fort William since the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup came to the Highlands 14 years ago.

The figures have been released as the ‘Early Bird’ tickets go on sale for next year’s event. Available from 1-31 December, the Early Bird tickets are the perfect Christmas gift for all bike fans. Ticket prices remain at 2015 prices, making Early Bird tickets even more attractive.

Fort William delivers one of the best and most gruelling courses on the World Cup circuit. 2016 promises to be more exciting than ever with plans underway to add new features to the notorious 2.8km downhill course, giving riders a fresh competitive challenge.

Mike Jardine, from Rare Management, said: “Fort William has legendary status amongst the global mountain bike community, thanks to the incredibly enthusiastic crowds. They make the event and give it such a fantastic, nerve-tingling atmosphere.

“The Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup and BUFF 4X Pro Tour weekend has grown into a must-see fixture on the Scottish sporting calendar for families and die-hard fans alike and the impact on the local economy is huge. It’s also broadcast to millions of people around the world, helping to raise the profile of Scotland and the Highlands as the ultimate bike-friendly destination.

“2016 is going to be a real celebration of the legends of the sport – especially some of the home heroes who are always the crowd’s favourites. It’s time to salute these greats, so we’d advise fans to get their tickets early to make sure they are part of what could be an incredible weekend.”

Over the 2015 weekend, more than 19,000 fans witnessed a thrilling climax, with Great Britain’s Rachel Atherton claim her second Fort William title and South African, Greg Minnaar, a record-breaking fifth win.

Sponsored by BUFF® and Silverline for the third year and with support from Event Scotland and Highland Council, the Fort William stage of the 2016 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup takes place at the Nevis Range ski area, 9km from Fort William.

Councillor Thomas Maclennan, Leader of the Lochaber Area Committee for Highland Council said: “Our figures show that the World Cup was worth £2.8 million to the area in 2015. However, having such a prestigious competition on our doorstep provides world-wide publicity which money can’t buy.

“Continuing to host this event helps to showcase the scenery, terrain and local enthusiasm that cements Fort William’s reputation as a haven for outdoor activities.

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “This is a fantastic figure and a gives a tremendous boost to the Highland economy. It really is testament to the great organisation of this incredibly popular annual event and the multitude of spectators it attracts from all corners of the globe.

“The visitor economy causes a ripple effect that touches every industry, business and community in the country – from laundry to life sciences. This news perfectly illustrates how important events such as the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Fort William are to tourism in our regions. Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it creates jobs, sustains communities and provides a shop window for business activity.”

Fans looking to secure tickets early can book now at a discounted rate through the ‘Early Bird’ ticket offer which is available from today until December 31. Buying now guarantees access to the Nevis Range gondola, which travels above the Downhill course between the start and the finish.

Prices remain unchanged from last year’s event, with tickets costing from £14 for adults and £8 for children aged 6 – 17 years old. Family packages are also available starting from £36.

For more information on purchasing an ‘Early Bird’ ticket, visit www.fortwilliamworldcup.co.uk where you can also find details about the event.

 

 

28.11.14
1 December 2014 – Early Bird tickets go on sale to start the Fort William World Cup countdown

The Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup and BUFF® 4X Pro Tour is the must-see event in the Scottish event calendar with a unique atmosphere that is acclaimed throughout the world.

Not only does it feature an amazing weekend of non-stop action from the World’s top downhill and 4X riders, it also delivers a big day out with lots to see and do, all in the glorious surroundings of Aonach Mor and Ben Nevis.

Early Bird tickets (pegged at 2014 advance prices) give the best possible price and guarantee access to the all-important gondola option. Gondola ticket numbers are limited, especially on the Sunday.

With an amazing array of global talent and an incredible concentration of British contenders, the 2015 Fort William weekend is definitely not to be missed. Could 2015 be the ultimate showdown between World Champion Gee Atherton and World Cup overall winner Josh Bryceland?

Get your tickets now and be a part of the greatest show on knobbly tyres.

http://nevisrange.oxatis.com/Default.asp?ADContext=1

08/06/2014

CARPENTER TAKES OVER THE WORLD IN FRONT OF RECORD FORT WILLIAM CROWD

Britain’s Manon Carpenter takes World Cup lead as visitors storm to victory

Over 9,000 fans from all over the world gathered in Lochaber today (Sunday 8 June) to soak up the unrivalled atmosphere and witness the world’s best downhill mountain bikers clash at the Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup.

As the record Sunday crowd basked in the Highland sunshine, they were given numerous nail-biting moments on and around the course with the racing being preceded by a spectacular display from the Red Bull Matador stunt planes, which set the tone for a day full of close shaves.

Despite international domination on the top of the podium, British hero Danny Hart – buoyed by his second in the elite men’s qualifying yesterday and a home support backing him to the hilt – peddled his way to third place in the Men’s Elite Downhill competition, just behind Australian duo Troy Brosnan (first) and Sam Hill (second), in an incredibly tight race.

Commenting on his race win, 20 year old former World Junior Champion from Adelaide, Troy Brosnan, said: “My confidence was high, but the track at Fort William is one of the toughest. You’ve got to give it everything you’ve got. For me to come out on top shows that even the young guys can do it.

“The fans here are another story, there are so many lined down the whole track and the roar as I came down onto the finish line meant I couldn’t focus. I had to just keep peddling until I was over the line.”

In the elite women’s competition, it was not to be for the home riders, as punctures to four of the main contenders dashed British hopes.

Consolation came in the form of Brit Manon Carpenter however, as her final placing meant she took the overall World Cup leaders’ jersey from compatriot Rachel Atherton as the riders and teams hit the road once more, bound for Round 4 in Leogang, Austria.

French rider Emmeline Ragot stormed her way to the win with a flawless run, beating compatriot Myriam Nicole in second spot and Australian Tracey Hannah in third.

On picking up a puncture on her way to becoming the leading rider in the World, Manon Carpenter, said: “I haven’t had a puncture in a race for a very long time and I couldn’t believe it when I realised that my tyre was flat, it went down so fast I thought ‘no-way’.

“I felt great after leading the qualifying yesterday, but I was pretty deflated after today’s race. I just couldn’t believe that people were still cheering when I was coming slowly down the hill with my puncture.

“It’s awesome to be back in Fort William, and at least I made it to the podium as number one in the rankings.”

It was a day full of celebration, not only as one of the greatest mountain biking events in the world, but as South African Greg Minaar marked his 100th World Cup start and British legend Steve Peat looked ahead to his 40th birthday next week.

Meanwhile, Inverness-born Greg Williamson spent most of his 22nd birthday on the hot seat as the race leader – eventually finishing ninth and the highest placed Scot.

The birthday boy confirmed that it was indeed a day to remember, when he said: “I’m absolutely thrilled, both by being top Scot and securing a top-10 finish, what a way to celebrate my 22nd birthday.

“It was unreal at the finishing line when the crowd was singing to me. My ride down the hill was a good one, it didn’t feel too fast and that’s normally how it goes when you are having a good run. I just thought I would keep going and managed to get ninth spot, which is brilliant.

“Today was really was special for me, not only was it my birthday, but my family and friends were all here, it’s the track I grew up on and everything went really well. You can’t argue with that.”

Men’s Elite Downhill
1. Troy Brosnan AUS (4:36.580)
2. Sam Hill AUS (4:38.239)
3. Danny Hart GBR (4:38.656)
4. Aaron Gwin USA (4:39.096)
5. Gee Atherton GBR (4:39.722)

Women’s Elite Downhill
1. Emmeline Ragot FRA (5:12.624)
2. Myriam Nicole FRA (5:21.334)
3. Tracey Hannah AUS (5:26.600)
4. Emilie Siegenthaler SUI (5:31.191)
5. Jill Kintner USA (5:35.618)

Junior Men’s Downhill
1. Martin Maes BEL (4:51.072)
2. Loris Bergier FRA (4:52.370)
3. Alex Trillo Marin ESP (4:55.000)
4. Drew Carters GBR (4:55.706)
5. Taylor Vernon GBR (4:55.776)

07/06/2014

FORT WILLIAM FANS GIVEN PLENTY TO CHEER ABOUT AS BRITISH RIDERS HIT TOP GEAR

Over 7,000 fans from all over the world gathered in Lochaber today (Saturday 7 June) to witness the greatest mountain bikers on the planet lock handlebars at the Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup.

Fans flocked to the slopes of Aonach Mor and the British athletes once again gave the fervent home support plenty to cheer about.

In a nail-biting finale to the BUFF® Four Cross (4X) Pro Tour finals, Katy Curd gave the expectant crowd their first British win of the weekend with Tomas Slavik from the Czech Republic smashing his way through the field to win the men’s title in incredible style.

Katy Curd said: “I’m ecstatic for taking the win here at Fort William. I was up against some really tough competition, but I knew what I had to do and just went for it.

“I tried to keep focused at the top of the course, but all you can hear is the crowd going wild, it’s incredible. Fort William for me is the best. Coming in first on home soil, the place going crazy, there really is no better feeling.”

Tomas Slavik said: “What a final. It had everything. To win in the way I did, taking a huge gamble to push through from the back using the jump to make up ground. It just sums up what Four Cross is all about.

“The course here at Fort William is one of the best. Big jumps, tight corners and fantastic fans. It’s awesome.

“It’s always so good to come back here, the crowd this year has blown me away. The atmosphere throughout training and the competition has been incredible and the fans have cheered non-stop since they arrived this morning. It has made this win even better.”

On the main downhill course, cult British hero Danny Hart came home second in the elite men’s qualifying, splitting Australian duo Troy Brosnan (first) and Sam Hill (third) in the top three.

In the elite women’s competition, another Brit laid down a substantial marker as Manon Carpenter stormed down the 2.82km course over 10 seconds ahead of the chasing French pack of Myriam Nicole (second) and Emmeline Ragot (third).

Commenting on the atmosphere, Danny Hart said: “I always ride well here, so it’s just a case of putting it all together tomorrow in the final run.

“When you finish towards the end, the crowd is electric, so it’s great to have their support at a home event.

“I have all my friends and family here which makes for a fantastic weekend. Hopefully I can give them something to shout about.”

Manon Carpenter added: “I was quite nervous at the top because I didn’t do a timed run yesterday, so I was unsure of how I would perform, but I managed a smooth run downhill and it worked out well.

“The track was loose in the last few days, but it’s been smoothed out and I got the run I was hoping for today. Hopefully I get something similar tomorrow.

“I really enjoy coming to Fort William every year and the cheering and support from the crowd makes it that bit more special.”

Other notable performances saw Scottish rider Ruaridh Cunningham clocking an impressive run to secure 13th place in qualifying, and despite crashing near the top of the course, Inverness-born Greg Williamson still managed to make the grade and will race in the final tomorrow.

Tahnee Seagrave and Rachel Atherton made up the top five elite female qualifiers.

Fans can now look forward to another day of drama and excitement tomorrow as they wait for their heroes to go for glory with a place on the podium and the most sought after victory of the World Cup calendar.

The event opens to the public at 8.30am on Sunday and tickets can be purchased at the gate, priced at just £16.50 for adults and £9.00 for children (6-17 years). Family packages also available from £43.

Men’s BUFF® 4X Pro Tour Final Results
1. Tomas Slavik CZE
2. Quentin Derbier FRA
3. Scott Beaumont GBR

Women’s BUFF® 4X Pro Tour Final Results
1. Katy Curd GBR
2. Suzanne Lacey GBR
3. Fionn Griffiths GBR

Men’s Downhill Qualification (Top 5)
1. Troy Brosnan AUS (4:40.830)
2. Danny Hart GBR (4:41.939)
3. Samuel Hill AUS (4:42.024)
4. Samuel Blenkinsop NZL (4:43.085)
5. Aaron Gwin USA (4:43.085)

Women’s Downhill Qualification (Top 5)
1. Manon Carpenter GBR (5:09.915)
2. Myriam Nicole FRA (5:20.651)
3. Emmeline Ragot FRA (5:21.215)
4. Tahnee Seagrave GBR (5:22.134)
5. Rachel Atherton GBR (5:26.759)

Junior Men’s Downhill Qualification (Top 5)
1. Luca Shaw USA (4:54:212)
2. Martin Maes BEL (4:55:274)
3. Alex Marin Trillo ESP (4:58:546)
4. Neil Stewart GBR (4:59:959)
5. Taylor Vernon GBR (5:01:247)

ScottishPower Youth Series – Mini Downhill Final
Under 16 Boys winner – Jack McCallum (West Highland Wheelers)
Under 16 Girls winner – Katie Allen (Thomson Cycles)
Under 14 Boys winner – Myles Reid (Perth City Cycles)
Under 14 Girls winner – Tea Jensen (Lesley Bike Shop / Bikers Boutique)
Under 12 Boys winner – Corran Carrick-Anderson (Peebles Cycling Club)
Under 12 Girls winner – Lucy Edmonson (Wolf Packs Riders)
Under 10 Boys winner – Zander Millar Todd (Highland Cycles)
Under 10 Girls winner – Emily Carrick-Anderson (Peebles Cycling Club)

06/06/2014

As a result of the weather forecast for Saturday (7 June), the schedule for day one of the Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup has been amended.

The forecast is for high winds on Aonach Mor which may affect the gondola, so the alterations have been made to allow riders and spectators the best chance of a full programme of events.

As a result, there will be an earlier start of 7am for downhill practice, with gates opening to the public at 8.30am as scheduled.

Despite the earlier start to the event programme, members of the public can still expect an action packed day, with tickets for sale on the day from the Nevis Range ticket office.

The revised schedule can be found here.

09/05/2014

MOUNTAIN BIKE WORLD CUP CELEBRATES PAST AND PRESENT CHAMPIONS
Mountain Bike World Cup unveils honorary Chieftains board ahead of anticipated tournament

The biggest names in world downhill mountain biking of past and present were honoured at the renowned Nevis Range venue of the Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup and BUFF® 4X Pro Tour as the countdown continues to this year’s event.

With just four weeks to go until the latest instalment of one of the greatest Mountain Bike events in the world , organisers were joined by current Downhill men’s champion, Gee Atherton, to unveil the ‘Chieftains’ honours board. Gee and World Cup officials were also joined by 2012 Fort William women’s Downhill Champion Emmeline Ragot, 2013 4X Champion Katy Curd and 2007 Junior World Champion Ruaridh Cunningham as their achievements in Mountain Biking were celebrated.

The Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup, now entering its 13th year, is a key fixture in Scotland’s sporting calendar. This year’s event will take place on 7 – 8 June and is set to attract around 300 world class riders and 20,000 spectators to the scenic Scottish Highlands.

Director of Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup organisers Rare Management, Mike Jardine, said: “It’s fitting that athletes who have competed in the Fort William World Cup for over a decade are celebrated here today ahead of what will be another adrenaline filled tournament starting next month.

“The Fort William World Cup Chieftains Board celebrates the outstanding achievements of the world’s best mountain bike riders and is a significant mark of how far the tournament in Fort William has progressed itself.”

17/04/2014

NEW SPONSOR HEADS FOR MOUNTAIN BIKE WORLD CUP

International headwear giant, Original BUFF® SA, based in Spain, has signed up as a main sponsor of the renowned Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup and the newly entitled BUFF® 4X Pro Tour.

Taking place on 7-8 June 2014, the two day festival of mountain biking in the Scottish Highlands is historically recognised as one of the best mountain bike events in the world, attracting top athletes from more than 25 nations.

The Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup has an unbeatable reputation for excitement, atmosphere and sporting action which has convinced BUFF® to invest in the Fort William event as part of their global commitment to the best events in a number of key outdoor activities. Recognised as one of the leading brands in headwear for mountain bike and other athletes, BUFF® is a welcome addition to this year’s highly anticipated event.

As well as sponsoring the Fort William stage of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, won in 2013 by British brother and sister duo Gee and Rachel Atherton, BUFF® will also be the title sponsor of the BUFF® 4X Pro Tour, which is the highlight of Saturday racing. BUFF® headwear investment is also allowing some major changes and innovations on the Fort William 4X track.

BUFF® has a team of top athletes and ambassadors in many adventure sports, including Scott Beaumont, the leading British 4X rider, and Frenchman Loic Bruni, a former World Junior Downhill Champion.

BUFF® athlete, Scott Beaumont, said: “It’s great to have the support of BUFF® for the 4X Pro Tour round in Fort William. BUFF® has shown 100% support for 4X and we think this agreement with Fort William to become the title sponsor for round two of the 2014 4X ProTour is the start of an exciting relationship going forward. Thanks to BUFF® from all the riders who race on the 4X ProTour.”

Sarah Gowans, Head of Marketing at Buffera, the UK distributors of the brand said: “We are really excited to increase our involvement with this very special event as we’ve been part of the Fort William World Cup weekend for over 10 years. The opportunity to play a bigger part in presenting some amazing biking action was one we didn’t want to miss and we’re very much looking forward to the inaugural BUFF® 4X Pro Tour round in June.”

Mike Jardine, Director of World Cup organisers, Rare Management, said: “For the Fort William World Cup to grow and improve, we need the support of an international brand like BUFF®. BUFF® is known worldwide and this investment demonstrates the status and credibility of the Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup and 4X Pro Tour weekend.

“Everything we do is geared towards improving the visitor experience and with the support of BUFF® we can build on the success of the 4X as a spectator friendly event on the Saturday evening. Thanks to BUFF®, it’s going to be an even bigger and better weekend of biking action in the Highlands.”

Tickets for the Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup 2014 on sale now, priced at just £15.50 for adults and £8.50 for children (6-17 years). Family packages are also available from £40. All can be purchased at www.fortwilliamworldcup.co.uk/tickets

19/03/2014

Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup gets the right tools for the job

One of the biggest and most celebrated mountain bike events in the world – the Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup – has signed up world-class tool brand Silverline as a sponsor of this prestigious 2014 event.

Silverline is a leading sponsor of the all-conquering Team Atherton Racing, so its investment in downhill mountain biking moves to a new level at the 13th edition of the ever-popular Fort William Downhill World Cup. Silverline will provide power washers for the bike wash and a range of tools to help maintain the courses, as well as financial support.

Silverline is a leading industry expert with a 30-year history in manufacturing and supplying more than 5,000 hand and power tools to over 9,000 merchants and traders throughout the UK and mainland Europe. Offering a comprehensive and carefully selected range of products, Silverline is dedicated to meeting current and future demands and is constantly evolving to ensure customers get the very latest tools using up-to-date, cutting edge technology.

Mike Jardine, Director of event organisers, Rare Management, said: “We are excited to welcome Silverline as a new sponsor of the Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup and 4X Pro Tour.

“Silverline is a hugely respected tool brand with a range of products, many of which will be a major benefit for the World Cup event team. As a company with an existing international profile in the sport, their sponsorship will only stand to benefit this year’s event and everyone associated with it.”

Lauren Kennedy, Silverline Brand Manager, said: “As proud sponsors of GT Factory Racing, and with an expanding range of bike maintenance tools specifically for mountain biking, we are incredibly excited to be supporting Fort William this year.”

“Fort William is the most talked about event on the downhill calendar and is something we knew we had to get involved with. It’s great to be able to support both the event and the riders by supplying the necessary tools required to keep the course and bikes in world cup condition throughout the weekend.”

Taking place on 7-8 June 2014, the Fort William event boasts 300 of the world’s best riders from 25 nations and is one of the biggest gatherings of British world title holders of any single sport. It is also regarded as the best event of its kind anywhere on the globe with a record breaking nine awards for UCI Best Downhill World Cup in its illustrious 12-year history.

Tickets are on sale now, priced at just £15 for adults and £8.50 for children (6-17 years). Family packages are also available from £39. All can be purchased here.

02/11/13

Tickets go on sale for the most exhilirating event of 2014

Tickets are now on sale for one of the greatest mountain biking events on the planet – the multi-award winning Fort William leg of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.

Taking place on 7-8 June 2014, the Fort William event boasts 300 of the world’s best riders from 25 nations and is one of the biggest gatherings of British world title holders of any single sport. It is also regarded as the best event of its kind anywhere on the globe with a record breaking nine awards for UCI Best Downhill World Cup in its illustrious 12-year history.

From today, mountain bike fans, families and those who want to experience one of the most exhilarating events to come to Scotland next year can save up to 17% on ticket prices thanks to some fantastic ‘early bird’ offers (ends 31 December). Prices start at just £14 for adults and £8 for children aged 6-17 years. Family packages are also available from £36. All can be purchased at here.

Last year, around 20,000 fans basked in glorious sunshine along the most physically and technically demanding downhill course in the world, to witness British riders take home three of the four titles up for grabs. Brother and sister duo Gee and Rachel Atherton took the honours in the main downhill competitions with Rachel subsequently going onto to be crowned the overall World Cup winner and World Champion. Katy Curd won the Women’s 4X Pro Series event on the Saturday night.

Mike Jardine, from event organisers Rare Management, said: “Fort William is considered as one of the best mountain biking events in the world and it gets its reputation from the incredible course and the amazing fans that flock to the Highlands every year.

“Scotland has some very high profile sporting events next year, but if you want to get up close to British winners and experience pure guts and excitement, then this is one not to be missed.”

The World Cup Village will have the ever-popular Tech Area where fans can catch up with the riders for photographs and autographs as well as getting a behind the scenes view of the stars preparing to race. The Expo area will be packed with an array of bike manufacturers, bike-wear brands and team sponsors alongside demonstrations and displays to keep everyone entertained. Mouthwatering action will also take place away from the track with a huge selection of food and drink to fuel the crowds.

13/06/13

ATHERTONS GRAB FORT WILLIAM DOUBLE TO CAP OFF BIGGEST & BEST WORLD CUP EVER

The royal family of downhill mountain biking, the Athertons, ruled Fort William on Sunday 9 June as the sun set on the biggest, loudest and hottest Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup ever.

Rachel Atherton destroyed the elite women’s field to finally grab the victory she has craved her whole career – the closest competitor, fellow Brit Manon Carpenter, a whole 10 seconds behind. Rachel’s moment was made all the sweeter as older brother Gee rose above an incredibly close field to win the elite men’s competition.

Not only was there praise in abundance for the athletes, but fans came in their thousands to bask in the sunshine and record the biggest party Fort William has seen in the event’s 12-year history.

Having won every other title on the World Cup circuit except Fort William until now, Rachel Atherton was ecstatic with the victory. She said: “To finally do it here at Fort William is amazing, and after trying for so long, it’s incredible to share this moment and the podium with Gee. I didn’t think about doing the double with him until he crossed the line. The crowd here at Fort William is better than ever, maybe they should come and travel the world with us.”

Brother Gee added: “This weekend has been my favourite ever World Cup. I couldn’t have asked for a better result than to share this win with my sister – it’s just incredible.

“The crowd have surpassed my expectations. You could feel the roar of the crowd on the track and for me it doesn’t get any better. It’s impossible to block out the crowd – that many people spurs you on and fuels you. I belted it down the track because of the support I got from the crowd every step of the way.”

In the junior men’s competition, Swiss rider Noel Niederberger edged out Britain’s Michael Jones to take first place.

On taking top spot on the podium, Niederberger said: “I’ve never won such a big title. The crowd here are amazing and this was very unexpected. I worked hard but didn’t expect to come away with first place.

“It’s a huge achievement for someone my age because I’m only 17. I look forward to seeing what the future will bring.”

Soaring temperatures and a fiercely competitive field of riders brought in the biggest crowd to ever grace the Aonach Mor course.

Mike Jardine of World Cup organisers Rare Management, said: “This weekend has been the best Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup since 2002. The fans came in their thousands to enjoy some fantastic racing and the riders delivered with three British winners out of four titles on offer. We look forward to welcoming everyone back next year.”

MEN’S DOWNHILL FINAL RESULTS
1. Gee Atherton GBR (4:36.712)
2. Brooke MacDonald NZL (4:37.854)
3. Steve Smith CAN (4:38.073)

WOMEN’S DOWNHILL FINAL RESULTS
1. Rachel Atherton GBR (5:08.846)
2. Manon Carpenter GBR (5:18.985)
3. Emmeline Ragot FRA (5:20.219)

JUNIOR DOWNHILL FINAL RESULTS
1. Noel Niederberger SUI (4:49.931)
2. Michael Jones GBR (4:53.395)
3. Dean Lucas AUS (4:53.590)

10/06/12

British Riders Take Podium Plaudits From Famous Fort William Fans

Brits wow the crowds at Mountain Bike World Cup

11/4/12

ANNOUNCING DOWNHILL DOWNTOWN

The rockyroads.net UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano returns to Fort William across the 9th and 10th of June 2012 – and this year the adventures are set to continue into the night as they take the party Downtown.

Boasting a selection of the finest new and established artists in Scotland, Downhill Downtown will see King Creosote, The Phantom Band, Admiral Fallow, Stanley Odd, Bwani Junction and many more make for the outdoor capital of the UK this summer.

Connecting the best music in Scotland with one of its premier sporting events in the Year of Creative Scotland, Downhill Downtown is guaranteed to be the best party in Lochaber this year.

“We are delighted to have secured some of the most exciting and respected artists in the country for the inaugural Downhill Downtown”, said Event Manger Michael Lambert. “There is a natural synergy between mountain biking and music, and we are thrilled to be programming a line up that celebrates the quality and range of the Scottish music scene at one of the country’s key sporting events”.

 

All live activity will take place at The Nevis Centre, Fort William.

Friday 8th June 2012:
 STANLEY ODD plus more

Saturday 9th June 2012: 
KING CREOSOTE/ THE PHANTOM BAND/ ADMIRAL FALLOW

BWANI JUNCTION/ THE LITTLE KICKS/ HOMEWORK plus more.

Weekend: £17.50/ Friday: £6.00/ Saturday: £15.00

**Discounted tickets will be made available to Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup ticket holders. A promo code will be sent out in the World Cup Ticket purchase confirmation email.

For tickets and full event details: WWW.DOWNHILLDOWNTOWN.COM

For more information on the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup: WWW.FORTWILLIAMWORDCUP.CO.UK

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4/4/12

SCOTLAND’S BIGGEST BIKE EVENT GETS HART RACING

World Downhill Champion Danny Hart launches the 2012 RockyRoads.net UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano

Scotland is gearing up to host its biggest and best mountain biking event yet and today (Wednesday 4 April) one of the leading names in the sport showcased skills spectators can expect to see on 9 – 10 June.

Danny Hart, who stormed to the title of World Downhill Champion last year, took to the Scottish stage to show off the tricks of his trade for the official launch of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, which attracts over 20,000 spectators to the ski area at Nevis Range near Fort William each year.

Hart said: “For me Fort William is one of the best events of the season. All the riders look forward to heading to Scotland because the track is so good and the atmosphere is just incredible.

“One of my main ambitions for 2012 is to register a win on the World Cup tour, so it’d be amazing to do it in front of a home crowd in Fort William.”

In addition to the adrenaline-packed Downhill and Four-Cross action, fans will be able to enjoy an enhanced spectator experience to celebrate the Year of Creative Scotland. The new digital hub will house interactive online activities whilst the World Cup Village will play host to some of Scotland’s top live music acts.

Accompanying the new creative elements in the World Cup Village will be the customary Tech Area, biking’s answer to the Formula 1 pit lane, where fans can catch up with the riders for photographs and autographs as well as a behind the scenes view of the stars preparing to race.

An array of bike manufacturers, bike-wear brands and team sponsors will also pack out the Expo Area alongside a mouth-watering selection of food and drink providers to keep everyone fuelled-up and ready to enjoy the incredible atmosphere.

Mike Jardine of event organisers Rare Management, said: “The Mountain Bike World Cup prides itself on the reputation it has amongst riders and fans alike. This year’s event in Fort William is set to be another exciting year with so many brilliant riders on the scene at the moment.

“Although the biking is at the heart of the whole weekend, there’s plenty to see and do for those simply interested in taking in a world class event set in some of the most stunning surroundings.”

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland, said: “The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup is one of the biggest events on Scotland’s sporting calendar, attracting the world’s best downhill and four-cross riders. For spectators the event is second to none in terms of action and excitement, and year on year we see a significant economic impact delivered for the Fort William area.

“Scotland is the perfect stage for major cycling events, and in the Mountain Bike World Cup we have a hugely exciting sporting spectacle, set against the stunning backdrop of the Nevis Range track and the passionate support of the Scottish crowds.”

Fort William is the third leg of the eight-stage tour, and Hart is sitting in fourth place after the season opener in South Africa, just one place behind compatriot Gee Atherton.

American rider Aaron Gwin and South African Greg Minnaar lead the way going into round two in Italy, but Hart’s fellow Brits Josh Bryceland, Steve Peat and Marc Beaumont are also among the top riders set to dazzle in the picturesque Scottish Highlands in June.

In the Women’s downhill, there is yet more British talent with Rachel Atherton once again hot on the heels of the Fort William 2011 World Cup winner and former World Champion Tracy Moseley.

Tickets are on sale now, priced from just £8 for children (aged 6-17) and £14 for adults, and can be purchased here.

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19/3/12

OLYMPIC TORCH TO VISIT MOUNTAIN BIKE WORLD CUP

The symbol which heralds the approach of the London 2012 Olympic Games is set to visit the scenic highland slopes which play host to the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup this summer as part of its 70-day tour of the UK.

The Olympic Torch will catch a glimpse of day one of the UK’s ultimate mountain bike festival at the Nevis Range Ski Area near Fort William on Saturday 9 June.

Mike Jardine of event organisers Rare Management, said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming the world’s top mountain bikers and thousands of spectators to Fort William in June so it’s a great honour to be visited by such a wonderful icon of the London Olympics.

“It’s fitting that the Torch will help celebrate one of the biggest and best sporting events in the Highlands, showcasing a great weekend of mountain biking, with riders from 35 nations and spectators from all over the UK.”

Tickets for the rockyroads.net UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano, which takes place on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 June, are priced from just £8 for children (aged 6-17) and £14 for adults and can be purchased here.