Grab the pringles and beer/Red Bull this Sunday because it’s showtime. The 2017 UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup blasts out of the start gate in Lourdes, France, for the season opener. All the action is live on Red Bull TV, with the men’s race live from 1pm UK time, preceeded by highlights of the Women’s race.
Whoever takes the honours in Lourdes will be the one to beat when the downhill circus rolls into Fort William 5 weeks later.
Here are the top ranked riders from 2016 – who’s your choice for salvation at Lourdes?
Aaron Gwin (USA) – can he repeat his 2016 Lourdes win this weekend? Photo phunkt.com.
2017 Tickets are selling fast. The only way to guarantee your ticket is to book in advance.
Please note the organisers reserve the right to restrict ticket sales based on venue capacity
Change is good. And changes to the Nevis Range Downhill track are always appreciated by riders and spectators.
We’ve been working with Chris Ball (former UCI DH Technical Delegate and currently the Enduro World Series Boss) and Ruaridh Cunningham (leading Scottish World Cup rider) to design major changes to the World Cup track over the next two years.
Phase 1 is a completely new track from the Deer Fence to the 2016 Woods section. Work started last week, supervised by Paul Milne and Ruaridh, with digger power supplied by Chris Rogerson.
It’ll be fast and make extensive use of the natural terrain and bedrock in the open ground under the gondola line. Watch out for regular updates here and on the Fort William Facebook page.
#4XWednesdays, Scotland’s favourite weekly mountain bike meetup, is having a Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup party on May 31st at Broadwood BMX track.
Run by Euan Rossi, 4X Protour and Elite British 4X racer, we will have all your favourite Protour athletes as well as a few familiar names from the world of downhill there for you to ride with, get tips from and even win a few prizes from our sponsors!
World Cup racer and Sick Skills coaching/development team owner Ben Cathro will be there to keep your riding sharp too! Leslie Bike Shop Gravity Team will keep you running as well with our full race pits and mechanic in attendance. Check out 4X Wednesdays on Facebook.
#4X Wednesdays at Broadwood BMX track. Photo Tommy Wilkinson, Descent World
There are still a few spaces for volunteers to join the Fort William Crew. This is the team of enthusiastic, hard-working individuals who are the beating heart of the World Cup – who work tirelessly to make the event happen. Want to be close to the action and help create a fantastic mountain bike event, just fill in your details here, or contact email@example.com.
For a taste of what it’s like to be in the Crew, take a look at Jonny Ashworths 2015 great little film, Behind the Bill.
The crew make it happen. Photo Gary Williamson
There’s been a few changes to the Sunday schedule for all World Cup Downhills this year.
Firstly, the Junior Women get their own separate race, starting at 10:00, to be followed by the Junior Men at 10:30.
The second big change is for the Elite Men. They get a training session from 11:30 to 12:30, which means that the potential impact of weather and other races on the course will be more limited than in the past when there was a huge gap between training and the top riders setting off.
The timing of the Women’s race (13:00) and men’s race (14:00) is unchanged.
Check the latest schedule here.
Colour coded bike and body numbers are expanded this year. White is Elite Men, pink is Elite Women, light green is Junior Men and light blue is Junior Women.
2017 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Calendar
|29-30 April||Lourdes||FRA||DHI 1|
|20-21 May||Nove Mesto na Morave||CZE||XCO 1|
|27-28 May||Albstadt||GER||XCO 2|
|3-4 June||Fort William||GBR||DHI 2|
|10-11 June||Leogang||AUT||DHI 3|
|1-2 July||Vallnord||AND||DHI 4, XCO 3|
|8-9 July||Lenzerheide||SUI||DHI 5, XCO 4|
|5-6 August||Mont-Sainte-Anne||CAN||DHI 6, XCO 5|
|24-25 August||Val di Sole||ITA||4X World Champs|
|26-27 August||Val di Sole||ITA||DHI 7, XCO 6|
|5-10 Sept.||Cairns||AUS||World Championships|