The weather has held so our dry spell (ooh er misses) is now at a full three days of bright sunshine here at Fort William, meaning super dry dusty trails for timed practice today.
Riders hit the dirt from 3:30-onwards, where they let rip down the sun-soaked Nevis Range to get their first taste of that controversial new forest section against the clock.
It wasn’t smooth sailing for many of the elite field, with plenty of top riders including Brendan Fairclough and Phil Atwill, who suffered punctures or destroyed wheels on the gruelling Scottish rocks.
Intense Team rider Dean Lucas had a particularly big crash and resulting in the young rider being stretchered off the mountain. Luckily he does seem to be ok and is still hoping to race on Sunday.
Once every rider finished their runs, Danny Hart managed the fastest practice time of the day with Gee Atherton back on form and in 2nd place. Brook Macdonald also had a great run coming 4th, amazing considering his crash at the last WC round. Laurie Greenland managed 17th fastest ahead of Charlie Hatton and Greg Williamson on the new UNNO.
The women’s timed practice saw current UCI World Cup Champion Myriam Nicole place first with Marine Cabirou taking second place. Rachel Atherton’s time saw 5th spot. Tracey Hannah and her prototype Polygon zoomed to 8th fastest behind Katy Curd, while Tahnee Seagrave was 11th fastest of the day.
- Danny Hart
- Gee Atherton
- Amaury Pierron
- Brook Macdonald
- Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas
- Myriam Nicole
- Marine Cabirou
- Cecile Ravanel
- Monika Hrastnik
- Rachel Atherton
Right now though, there’s a lot of talk about the incoming weather, and whether the sunshine and dry conditions will hold until Sunday. Weather reports predict huge rain and thunderstorms and we’ve overheard discussions of what might happen if the race is cancelled, so things could be turned upside down very quickly!
Hopefully, this isn’t going to happen, and we’ll bring you more news direct from Fort William over the coming days – stay tuned!