A live, watch along style race report for you…
We’re watching along on Eurosport/GCN… let us know what the commentary is like because we can’t hear it in the pub! Here’s the start list.
We’re underway… it looks… sunny?
Despite the sun, we can’t help thinking Conor Bate should have worn gloves. His hands look cold and red! He’s in the hot seat, so maybe they’ll warm up.
Alex Iscla-Grandvallet gets a brief sit in the top spot, having apparently ridden on a Forestal ebike without the motor… he’s knocked off the seat by Canada’s Forrest Riesco. Great name for a mountain biker.
First British man is on the track. Greg Williamson – and we’re getting to follow him with a drone! Was it still charging when the women were riding? And is Erik Irmisch trying to whip the drone out the sky? Greg sitting in the hot seat for now…
Onni Rainio from Finland – on a Pole, of course. Doesn’t threaten the top spots, but does seem to have brought the clouds. The sun is done. George Brannigan follows him down in the near darkness through the woods. Yup. It’s chucking it down as he heads down the motorway.
We’re debating here in the pub: is this pedalling in the air malarky actually effective? Thoughts please…
No one fast coming down yet. Or at least no one coming down fast. Just the rain. Greg Williamson stays in the hot seat, under a brolly.
Neko Mulally! On a bike which Cy at Cotic helped design? Or is he on the carbon version? We can’t see through the rain. He’s not fast though, so let’s assume it was the carbon? Shouldarun the UK rear end?
Oliver Davis goes into second, but a whole 7 seconds back from Greg. Good run from Davis though. Has something changed on the track, or are we into the riders who guessed the right tyres for the weather? Angel Suarez Alonso just grabbed the top spot. Things are hotting up, on the track, and here in the pub. Daz just arrived in full Lycra.
The finish arena is rapidly turning into a giant puddle. And we’re back to watching the start gate and the last couple of jumps. Could be a good time to have a wee or put the kettle on? We’re not holding our breath anyway. The camera angles on the women’s race seemed to miss out something interesting on the way into the woods – we kept seeing people looking a bit squirrely as the shot opened, but we couldn’t see what happened. And there weren’t any of those nice low down, rider coming towards you camera angles. Lots of side to butt shots.
Anyway, this is the written commentary version of filler. Nothing exciting is happening because it’s raining hard and everyone is about 15 seconds off Alonso. It’s really not a day for white outfits, of which there are many. Maybe ESO is hoping to attract a washing machine sponsor next year? What washing powder for loam?
They’re taking a bit of a break in the coverage and showing us some of the woods coverage that we’ve not been able to see so far. Daz is complaining that slippery roots are the best bit of DH and that’s all he wants to see. We’re struggling to argue.
Race coverage is back on. Zwar Kwist from Sweden. He’s got the rolls off on his goggles, some of the cameras could use the same. Ooooh, now we’re seeing the woods and it’s looking horrible! There’s a big puddle before a drop and Zwar Kwist near fell off sideways. Daz is paying attention again.
We’re experiencing a glitch in the matrix at our end. The bikes have tracers and there are wiggly lines. Is all the rain getting in the cameras as well as on them? Has no one got a chamois to wipe the lenses?
The berm after the wall ride is looking very soft. There’s a sort of giant squishy rut forming. Is it too late to plant potatoes?
Tuhoto from NZ has a flat. Just rolling down. Brazil’s Roger Viera (but lives in the UK, near that well known DH capital, Derby) is on track… not even tickling the podium at 12seconds back though. But those on the podium may be regretting their success. Brrr.
OK… we have a crisis. Technology fail. Daz has stepped in with his phone but he’s worried about his data allowance. We might have to call his mum.
We’ve just clocked that the USA jerseys have ‘Bentonville’ written across them. Walmart sponsorship maybe? We hear the trails are cool there.
Remy Meir-Smith just went down in the woods. The slop got him.
The berm after the road gap, where Nina Hoffman went down, is looking tricky. If you screw up in the woods you come into it slow then go nose heavy off it into…mush. Oof.
We’re crowed round the phone. 1 second down.
Noooooo…. Flat! Tyre off! He’s now trying to untangle his tyre from his shock…
Coverage is showing us a nice recap of how lovely and dry it was when Greg Williamson came down. And then shots of the current podium looking really cold. Has anyone ever been treated for hypothermia after sitting on a podium too long? Greg is now repping all the waterproofing product for Madison Saracen. Someone give him a nice hot waterbottle.
20 left to ride. 20 people questioning their tyre choices. 1 journo wondering if there’s time for a wee.
GB’s Matt Walker on track. Minnaar just rolled in on his rim. That came out in the wrong order. Anyway. Matt Walker just wiped out after the wall ride. That looked nasty, straight onto his head. And he was flying. We hope he’s OK, he rolled into the finish looking a bit dazed.
Sam Blekinsopp with foot out in the woods just before a drop. And dodging the potato field on the berm after the road gap by taking the low line. Not enough to take him into first though. Won’t someone think of the podium? Let them move their limbs and get warm?
Low and smooth. Can he do it?!
No! Third! And we were all shouting ‘PEDAL!’ in the pub. But he didn’t. He should have listened to us. Ah well.
OK. Charlie Hatton. Another wet weather rider…
He’s up 3 seconds.
Keeping it low and dodging the ruts on the berms. Smoooth…
Only 2.4 up but he does it. Lost some time towards the end of the run. Now, watch the podium jump up, dance, do some star jumps, as Hatton takes his place…
Ooooohoo! Levesque! How did he not crash?! What a save! No points for that though. Dakotah Norton pushing the limits of the track and taking out a few edge markers. Daz is eying up his shoes/svelte disco slippers and thinking they’d be good on the road. Not fast enough though. Hatton stays top.
Luca Shaw on track. Apparently he sees the world differently, he’s riding a different line at almost every turn. And now Oliver Zwar. No top spot contending performances. Yellow forks being ridden by a Swede here, but not those Swedish yellow forks. Matching the Lidl event sponsorship with all the yellow and blue.
Jordan Williams on track. Greg may be praying that he knocks him off the podium now, he looks so cold. The scenery drone is flying again, we can see the mountains. It looks like the rain has abated. Ooh, that’s a nice paint job.
Noo, he’s down, and he grabbed his head. He’s getting back on but it looks like he caught his bar or something, it as between shots so we don’t know. Ooof. He’s throwing shapes for the cameras on the way down so hopefully he’s OK.
The rain is still there down low. Or did it never stop?
Benoit Coulanges on track. Too far back to make up the time, surely? Ne ce pas un winning run.
Bernard Kerr… can he do it? Looking good! He looked fast, but he was down. And then he crashed. Let’s hope for some showboating now…
Thibault Daprela. Wreckers or chequers… It’s good to watch!
Argh. Wreckers. OTB. We were all so excited in the pub. He was 0.09 behind too. He’s torn his jersey and his head is on the bars at the finish. Brutal.
Finn Iles now. Apparently he’s been sick. But he’s looking siiick. Oh, nope. He’s got a problem. Is it a flat? Yup, Front flat. He steered off course.
5 Riders left. Laurie Greenland now. Looks like he’s just about lost in the mist it’s so thick. Nearly a couple of seconds to make up through the woods though… Second. So that’s a GB 1-2.
Kolb on track now. Definitely a contender…
He’s UP! But did he just lose time in the woods? It’s tight. ‘Dabtastic’ says one pub watcher. 1 second down through the motorway… 0.599 down and into second by the finish. Hatton and Koln, Atherton 1-2?
Troy Brosnan on track. But he’s down as he gets into the woods. What is in there that’s catching people out? We never see it on camera. And the rain is back. It’s down to Bruni and Vergier.
Loic Bruni, in the rain. 0.304 up at the first split. We’ve got Black Sabbath War Pigs on in the pub. Good atmosphere. Again that mystery feature has slowed Bruni down and he’s 1.317 down as he goes into the woods. We’re not convinced the covers are necessary to keep things secret in these conditions. He’s lost more time. Looks smooth but not a contender for the title at this time. Fourth…
Up 0.207 as he cruises through the tourist board drone shot. Who knows what he’s riding? Could be a townie.
Aha. Into the slop of the woods and he’s just jumped all the roots. But still over two seconds down. The motorway looks fast, but it’s not going to be enough. Surely? Nope.
It’s an Atherton 1-2 for Hatton and Kolb, and then Greenland third. A British 1-3.
That’s it for Fort William as a World Cup and World Championship destination for the foreseeable. It certainly delivered the weather. No idea about the commentary – we’re on ‘Come on Feel The Noise’ in Dukes, Halifax. Let us know in the comments how you experienced this World Champs.
Over and out.
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