All of a sudden it’s Sunday – where did that come from? Being up at Fort William for the 2017 UCI World Cup has been an utter blast, and everyone up here has had a jolly old time. Sunday though, is business time – especially for those riders who are taking the gondola up to the top of the mountain for that one last ‘perfect’ run, which will see their name hit the top of that leader board, or not.
Nerves were beginning to kick in at the top of the 2017 Fort William track, during final practice in the AM of Sunday. With Juniors taking centre stage before lunch, proceedings would then kick on to the Elite Women and Men. When 1300hrs rang true, the first of the Elite Women set off down the brutal and utterly unforgiving Fort William track. Adapted for 2017, before the start there were many calls for the track to be changed and fingers were pointed at the new wooded section which runs through the middle of the track.
Organisers discussed over cups of tea and scratched chins, and came to a unanimous decision to run the track as intended. With certain riders who had already made their way down in practice, to change the track now would be too much of a disadvantage to them, and an advantage to the other riders who hadn’t given their practice as much attention as maybe they should have.
So it was on. The stage was well and truly set. The sun became a shining beacon of glory up in the sky and the track was littered with spectators from all over. Drinking whatever they could pack in their bags and get their hands on, and making noise with objects that ran the same course of preparation. Rims and wooden spoons, 3 litre bottles of cider and everything in between. Good grief, had Fort William delivered again or what? And the main events hadn’t even started.
With photo points picked out all up the track, our crack team of hot ‘togs’ (photographers for those out there who daren’t get involved with down-with-the-kids sayings – Crayons, mostly) were lining up the certified bangers with riders only moments away. This is how the day unfolded from an on-course perspective. Stay tuned for the finish arena bangers, coming your way tomorrow – packed with smiles, good vibes and a whole load of shouty fans. Fort William, you are a machine of happiness and joy. Let’s dive in.
The madness of the Fort William World Cup is over again for another year, and boy are we glad that we got to be part of it again. If you’ve never been to a downhill World Cup, or a World Cup of any sort – then get Fort William on your list. It’s a crazy old place, full of action, crazy spectators and an atmosphere that will blow your mind. We’re lucky to get the chance to witness events like these, and we urge you to get yourself there, if you can.
Fort William is done and dusted, and the Singletrack Team are finishing off that last beer before it’s time for some well earned rest. Head over to our YouTube channel to catch up on our daily Video Logs from this years UCI World Cup at Fort William, and if you like what you see, click subscribe, for plenty more content coming your way very soon.