Under blue skies and unusually warm conditions, the 2018 Fort William World Cup was run and won over the weekend. You may have followed all the action via
our STWFortBill news feed, where you would have seen and heard all the drama involving mechanicals and heavy crashes throughout the week. On Friday we had the timed practice session, where Danny Hart and Myriam Nicole smashed out some blisteringly quick runs in dry and dusty conditions. On Saturday during qualification however, it was Rachel Atherton and Luca Shaw that set the fastest times of the day.
As many of you will have already read in our race report from Sunday’s main event, things panned out a little differently on race day. If you haven’t done so already, make sure you check out the full results for both the
Elite Men’s and the Elite Women’s races.
Right now though, we’ve got you a mega-gallery from Sunday’s race day, shot by our very own Amanda Wishart, Andi Sykes, & James Love. Scroll on down for a gallery of all the action, complete with crashes, pre-crashes, and sunshine!
Pivot Factory Racing team member, Emilie Siegenthaler was looking remarkably stress-free on her lift up in the gondola. Going up! Miranda Miller had a pretty intensive warm-up routine at the top gondola station. Check out her big rubber band that she was using for various stretching and muscle engagement exercises. Mariana Salazar with her game-face on. She finished in the top-10, just a second behind Siegenthaler. To see the speed that riders were able to carry around the rocky pinball section at the top of the course was something to behold. Swiss rider Carina Cappellari pinballing her way down. Gee Atherton is still building up his form following a dramatic hip dislocation at the Fort William round of the British Downhill Series last year. He’s looking quick though, slotting into 15th place, just 5 seconds behind the winner. Rocks, rocks, and more rocks. Kenta Gallagher scaling the slab. Commencal-Valnord had a strong showing at Fort William. Gatean Ruffin finished up in 52nd position. The upper section of the course didn’t quite go according to plan for the young American Kiran MacKinnon. Sleep time. Brendog piloted his prototype Scott Gambler to 21st place on race day, about 14 seconds behind the winning time. Ker-splash! Martin Maes from the GT Factory Racing team had a blinding run to finish in 10th. Not bad for an enduro racer! Brosnan was so very close today, coming just 0.3 seconds off the pace to take 3rd. Gwin’s weekend didn’t go according to plan. He slashed a tyre during qualies, finishing with the 14th fastest time going into race day. On Sunday, a meaty crash in the woods saw him pull off a nasty scorpion, dashing his podium hopes in the process. That’s racing eh? Likewise, reigning World Champion Miranda Miller wasn’t able to find her winning form from last year, finishing in 14th on the big day. Myriam Nicole was the second last rider to come down the mountain, and was looking quick. But she too fell foul in the rubbly woods section, and the crash put her well behind Seagrave’s winning run. OOOPH! Rachel Atherton not only broke her chain right out of the start gate, she also had a nasty crash in the woods too. Somehow, Atherton still pulled off 3rd! Bryn Dickerson sending it into the roots. Aussie rider, Connor Fearon was looking smooth and fast on race day. How’s this though – just one second separated his 13th place from Loic Bruni’s 5th place. That’s how close downhill racing can be! Bruni is still recovering from a dislocated elbow suffered at the opening World Cup round in Croatia, so his 5th place at Fort Bill is damn impressive. Rémi Thirion was one of the riders just ahead of Connor Fearon, coming agonisingly close to a podium finish. If in doubt, whip it out! Mae’s teammate, Wyn Masters, has also taken a break from enduro racing to put it on the line at Fort William. Masters finished in 36th. There were high hopes for Scottish rider Greg Williamson, after his 5th place in qualifying. A devastating rear brake failure early on his run saw him nurse his UNNO downhill bike to the finish line. Here’s hoping his luck turns the other way for Leogang! In a blinding performance that saw him bump Reece Wilson out of the hot seat, the young Frenchman Amaury Pierron ended up holding his lead to take his very first World Cup victory. After Luca Shaw had finished limping down the mountain with a flat tyre, Pierron and his team mates began an epic bought of celebrations. The winning bike; a Commencal Supreme 29er. Big wheels win again at Fort William for the second year in a row.