What is the World Cup?
The Fort William World Cup is one of 9 events taking place in Europe and North America, from April to September. There are 8 Downhill and 8 XCO World Cups in the calendar.
At a World Cup, riders can compete as individuals, for factory teams or for their National Teams. Riders can only enter if they have a minimum number of UCI points, which are earned in other qualifying mountain bike events.
Although the Olympics (XCO only) and the World Championships medals are the most recognised titles in mountain biking, they are both one-off competitions, whereas the World Cup overall title is the best reflection of performance over a range of different courses through the season.
The Gravity disciplines of Downhill (DHI) and 4-Cross (4X) showcase amazing levels of speed, power and bike control.
Downhill is a high-speed descent down the Nevis Range course – a gruelling rock strewn ribbon of bike-smashing dirt that drops 525m in 2.8km. It’s rider against the clock – and the mountain. The current course record is 4 minutes 35 seconds.
4-Cross is gladiatorial in format and epic in scale. As soon as the start gate drops the 4 riders are powering down the jumps, berms and drop-offs, searching for the winning line and the passing move that will get them to the finish line first.
Who is coming?
Pretty much everyone who is competing at the highest level will be there. Famous names, Heroes from the magazines and World Champions, will be joined by the stars of the future as everyone battles for a place on the podium and important World Cup points.
We expect more than 250 competitors from around 25-30 nations.
Who can compete?
All entries have to go through the national association, except in the case of competitors with UCI registered Trade Teams.
For British riders the full qualification criteria and contact details for entries, are found here.
Can I ride the World Cup courses?
Most of the Downhill course is open to the public, although there will be some sections only used for the World Cup.
The course is open for public riding from May – September 2019 (provisional). For the World Cup it will be closed from Monday 27 May. It is hoped that the course will re-open after mid-day on Monday 3 June. This will depend on the amount of repair work required to the course following the World Cup.
Please check with Nevis Range for accurate opening times.
Telephone: 01397 705825
The 4X track is open to riders all year (except for the the week of the World Cup 27 May-2 June), but it is not supervised and use of the track is at your own risk.
The existing World Cup and World Championship XC courses are part of the extensive Witch’s Trail network in the Leanachan Forest. They are also open to the public, 365 days a year.
What is Fort William history?
Ever since man first put a knobbly tyre on a bike, Scotland and Fort William were destined to deliver great mountain biking. Fantastic terrain, lots of natural trails and enlightened land access laws set the scene and then in 2001 the Forestry Commission started to develop some of the best single track trail centres in the World.
At the same time the Nevis Range ski area built a downhill trail under its mountain gondola system and hosted its first UCI Downhill World Cup and the first ever 4X World Cup in 2002. In 2003 it added a Cross Country World Cup and since then has become one of the classic events on the World Cup tour.
In 2007 it hosted the UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships, the pinnacle of the mountain biking calendar.
Can I take my bike up the gondola?
Afraid not – at least not during the World Cup. The DH courses will be closed to the public from Monday 27 May to Sunday 2 June, so you’ll have to wait until around midday on Monday 3 June before you can take your bike up the gondola to use the Nevis Range DH track. However the gondola and Nevis Range Red run is open for bikers up to and including Wednesday 30 May, although there will be some restrictions near the car park due to the World Cup build-up.
Can I bring my dog?
You can but to be honest the World Cup is not the best place for dogs. The Village is very noisy with lots of people. You can take your dog in the Gondola but there may be sheep on the hill as well as riders hurtling down the track – so any dog should be kept on a lead at all times.
What about disabled access?
There are a limited number of disabled parking bays close to the main entrance. Wheelchair users can move about the Village, which is mostly flat – a mix of limestone chippings and tarmac – but the courses are all on rough, hilly terrain. Wheelchair access in the gondola is possible. A wheelchair only viewing platform is located on the left hand side of the Finish arena (looking up the hill).