Fort William MTB World Cup 2012

As Followers of my facebook page (see the link at the top if you’ve not already liked me there) will know, I’ve been at the Fort William round of the UCI Mountainbike world cup this weekend. As per usual it has been a superb weekend of mountain bike racing at reputedly the best Downhill world cup event in the world.

Photo ID 4 - 1  Aaron  GWIN  -  TREK WORLD RACING, Downhill Finals, Fort William MTB World Cup 2012
Aaron Gwin (Trek World Racing) shows his crash in qualifying did no harm to his racing abilities

After a lovely day of sunshine on the saturday, Sunday Race day arrived with equal ammounts rain and midge clouds, making for an extremely uncomfortable day for both riders and spectators. As usual though, the racing must go on and with a british 1-2-3 in qualifying hopes were high in the men’s event for a winner from the promoting nation. Unfortunately this wasn’t to be with American rider Aaron Gwin (Trek World Racing) taking top honours, less than a second ahead of current world champion and home rider Danny Hart (Giant Factory Off-road team) with Gee atherton (GT Factory Racing) rounding off the top 3. In the women’s event Frenchwoman Emmeline Ragot (MS Mondraker) took the win by 1.3 seconds from Rachel Atherton (GT Factory Racing) While Fellow Francophone Myriam Nicole (Commencal/Riding Addition) was the best of the rest an impressive 9 seconds off the pace!

Photo ID 3 - 1 Emmeline RAGOT - MS MONDRAKER TEAM, Downhill Finals, Fort William MTB World Cup 2012
Emmeline Ragot (MS Mondraker) battle the elements for the win in the womans donwhill.

Photo ID 2 - 1 Tomas Slavik - RSP, 2 Michal Prokop - Specialized, 4x Pro Tour, Fort William MTB World Cup 2012
The new 4X pro tour series produced great evening of racing (Men’s Final, Tomas Slavik (left) narrowly leads World Champion Michal Prokop

With the UCI discontinuing the 4X world cup series this year, the new 4X World Tour series took up the empty space in the schedule. Despite the change of name and organiser this event proved no less exciting than previous years with a great evening of racing. In the women’s event American Rider Mellissa Buhl (KHS-Oneal) finally prevailed after world champion Anneke Beerten (Milka-Superior Racing Team) puntured and unseated her rear tyre on the final section of the course. Meanwhile in the men’s competition World Champion Michal Prokop dominated proceedings despite a stiff challenge from the likes of fellow Czech Tomas Slavik (RSP Racing team).

Photo ID 1 - 3 Mellissa Buhl - KHS-Oneal, 4x Pro Tour, Fort William MTB World Cup 2012
Mellissa Buhl chases Anneke Beerten (out of shot) down the first straight in the women’s 4X final

Obviously I’ll be posting lots more photos over the next few days.

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