The 15th Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup in the Scottish Highlands has won international recognition after it was named as the best Downhill Mountain Bike event in the world in 2016.
The legendary event was voted the Best Downhill World Cup event by cycling’s international governing body, the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale), following a record-breaking year for downhill mountain bike racing in Scotland.
Almost 22,000 fans witnessed Great Britain’s Rachel Atherton and South Africa’s Greg Minnaar win the women’s and men’s events last June in what has been described by many as one of the most memorable downhill world cups in the sport’s history.
Organisers Rare Management are now gearing up for next year’s event and have confirmed Early Bird tickets are now on sale, with the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and BUFF® 4X Pro Tour returning on 3 – 4 June, 2017.
As well as drawing record crowds, who experienced stunning gravity action in glorious sunshine, the 15th Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup won over UCI voters for its uncompromising downhill course on the slopes of Aonach Mor, its event organisation and unique atmosphere which included emotional farewells to legendary riders of the sport.
To add to the accolades, there was a Hall of Fame award at the recent Mountain Biking Scotland conference, recognising the inspiration and the profile it has generated for the sport.
Event organiser, Mike Jardine from Rare Management, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have won international recognition as the UCI’s Best World Cup event for 2016. This accolade is a huge boost to the event’s profile as we launch Early Bird ticket sales for the 2017 World Cup, and cements Scotland and the Highland’s world-class reputation and status as a bike-friendly destination for visitors from across the globe.
“This year’s event was very special and surpassed all our expectations. The award is testament to the hard work of all of our partners, sponsors, riders, volunteers and fans who continue to make this event a truly legendary and unique experience for all the family.”
Supported by EventScotland and the Highland Council, it’s the 10th time the event has won the Best Downhill World Cup award. In total it has won 29 UK and International awards since 2002.
Taking place at the Nevis Range ski area, 9km from Fort William, it is regarded a must-see event on the Scottish sporting calendar and continues to bring a huge financial boost to Highland tourism delivering an estimated £33m to the economy since 2002.
Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland, said: “It’s great to see that the accolades just keep coming for the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Fort William, which has undoubtedly been one of the leading events to take place in Scotland for a number of years.
“Its selection as the Downhill World Cup of the Year, as well as its induction to the Scottish Mountain Biking Hall of Fame, is indicative of its popularity among the mountain biking fraternity and the general public, and we are delighted to offer our continued support through EventScotland’s International Programme.”
Fans looking to secure tickets early can book now at a discounted rate through the Early Bird ticket offer which is available until December 31. Buying now guarantees access to the Nevis Range gondola which travels above the downhill course between the start and finish.
Tickets start from £15.50 for adults and £8.50 for children (aged 6 – 17 years old). Family packages are also available starting from £40.
For more information on purchasing an ‘Early Bird’ ticket, visit www.fortwilliamworldcup.co.uk where you can also find details about the event.