Friday was the first day of proper riding at the 2018 Fort William World Cup, after racers had a chance to scope out the course on Thursday’s track walk. Having seen the new rock-armoured section in the woods, riders were then able to see how it rode during the timed practice session, while attempting to cope with the heat and humidity that seems to be lingering more than the forecasts predicted.
We got out on course to check out some of the action in the lower half of the race course, where many riders were doing their best to make it down in one piece while smashing their wheels and tyres into the zillion rocks and roots along the way. There were loads of flat tyres and busted wheels, and more than a handful of heavy crashes;
I accept the fact that in this sport injury’s and crashes are all apart of it but when you have crashes that are completely out of your control and after working so hard it’s pretty crushing/ annoying.. Iv gotta say for the speed I was going and where this happened I got out of it very lucky tho! Thanks everyone for the messages and making sure I was okay, feeling pretty beat up and sore but I’ll open the gate tomorrow and see if we will be able to race Sunday! #muchlove ❤️
Dean Lucas from Intense Factory Racing literally had a hard day at the office, with a wild crash that saw him stretchered off the track with blood pouring out of his eyeball, and red flags being waved by marshals to alert other competitors to slow down. According to Dean’s Instagram post last night, there’s some ambiguity about the reason for his crash, but at this point we know little more than that.
To give you a feel for the atmosphere and the severity of the track surface that riders are dealing with here at Fort William, we got the GoPro out and went up on course to shoot some of the action from timed practice. Wrap your non-bloodied eyeballs around this one;
With a number of top-20 riders out of the game, and plenty of other riders feeling beat after a full-day’s practice, there’s plenty of potential drama to unfold during today’s qualification. Add in the chance of thunderstorms today (which could put the gondola out of action if the lighting is dicey and if the wind kicks up), and we’re not particularly confident about placing bets for what’s going to happen next.
Read on below to see some of the racer’s individual reports from practice day, and stay tuned for more updates from the 2018 Fort William World Cup!