We traveled up to the west coast of Scotland and stayed just outside of Fort William for the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup. After enjoying a couple of days exploring the Fort William area it was Sunday – race day!
We parked in Fort William had caught the shuttle bus service to the venue at the Nevis Range. Having a toddler in tow meant we went well prepared, with a bag full of food and enough clothes to deal with any weather situation! We arrived at the venue at about 10:30 and decided the best plan was to head straight up on the gondola before the queues got too big and slowly make our way back down the mountain. It was only a 10 minute wait for the uplift, and the ride to the top was stunning – perfect view over the highlands on another beautiful sunny day.
We got to the top in time to see the end of the men’s practice and a first taste of the action. The track was completely dry and so was extremely fast, it is unbelievable the lines that they take and the speed that they take them at.
We spent the day slowly making our way down the track, from the open, fast and flowing top section, into the woods where things got a bit sketchy and then into the final motorway section with the big table tops and jumps. It was brilliant to be able to get so close to the action and we saw all the riders come down from the junior’s, to the women and finally the men. Rachel Atherton bossed the women’s race, beating the second place rider by 12 seconds! In the men’s race we saw the legend that is Steve Peat race his last ever Fort William, and the crowd gave him an amazing send-off! The men’s race was pretty tight and it was finally won Steve Peat’s Santa Cruz Syndicate team mate Greg Minnaar.
The little man LOVED it – he had a cowbell (a toy that may have to ‘disappear’ when we get home) that he was ringing enthusiastically when each of the riders went passed and shouted ‘go, go, go’ at the top of his voice! He managed to jump down half the mountain by himself and with the help of Daddy’s shoulders we all made it down in one piece.
The only disappointing thing about the set up of the venue was that there was no PA system installed so that you could hear what was going on all the way down the track rather then just in the finish arena, it was impossible to know who was winning, who had crashed etc… unless you were at the bottom.
But other then that is was a fantastic day out, we finished up with another gondola trip and a couple of beers in the village area. Perfect and inspiring…can’t wait to get home and ride my bike!!