Nevis Range ski area, just outside Fort William will host the second round of the 2011 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Downhill and 4-Cross tour, which takes over the Highland town on 4th and 5th June. The sport’s Downhill Superheroes, from more than 25 different countries, will be joined by thousands of fans, as they return to the scenic Scottish Highlands for another adrenaline-packed weekend of world-class Downhill and 4-Cross action.
This year’s Downhill is set to be another thriller as Britain’s Gee Atherton, reigning World Cup overall champion, defends his Fort William World Cup crown. Also racing for the top spot are a string of UK contenders, who all finished in the top fifteen at Fort William last year, including Steve Peat, Josh Bryceland, Marc Beaumont, Brendan Fairclough and Danny Hart.
In the women’s downhill there is more British talent, with reigning World Champion Tracy Moseley – four-times a winner at Fort William – taking on Rachel Atherton who is hungry for victory, having come in a close second to French power-house Sabrina Jonnier at last year’s event.
Rising Scottish stars Ben Cathro from Oban and former Junior World Champion Ruaridh Cunningham from Stow, in the Scottish Borders will also join Joe and Fergus as they charge down the 2.6km long course to the deafening sound of the home crowd.
Joe, aged 22, from Fort William who has been racing for 7 years, said: “I can’t wait for the Fort William World Cup – the best thing about it is the atmosphere. It’s a massive event and you can always count on it having the biggest crowds and the best pits on the circuit.”
Fergus, aged 24, also from Fort William, added: “There’s always such a buzz at Fort William. We’ll be up against the world’s best riders and we really want to make sure Britain’s well represented. The more home support the better!”
Mike Jardine from event organisers Rare Management, said: “We’ve incredible strength and depth of home-grown downhill talent here in the UK and they’ll all be heading to Fort William in search of glory. Fort William is one of the most gruelling courses in the world but the Brits will be ready to prove their superhero status in front of thousands of ecstatic fans.
“The UCI World Cup, Fort William, is much more than a top sporting event – it’s also a great day out for anyone who wants to get close to some amazing action and enjoy the atmosphere and wide range of other things to see and do in a spectacular location. This is the 10th year of World Cups in Fort William so it’s bound to be a bit of a celebration and an unmissable event.”
With up to 20,000 fans expected to flock to this year’s event, spectators are urged to buy their tickets early either via www.fortwilliamworldcup.co.uk or by calling 01397 705 825 between 9am-5pm.
An advance single day adult pass including mountain gondola access to the course is £19.00, 6-17 year olds pay £10.50 and children aged under six go free. Family ticket £48.50 (2 adults and 1- 4 children). Weekend tickets are also available. Please visit www.fortwilliamworldcup.co.uk for full details.