Thousands of fans from across the world will arrive in the Scottish Highlands this weekend (3 – 4 June) to experience the thrills of downhill action at the UCI Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup and BUFF® 4X Pro Tour.
The only UK-leg on the World Cup circuit will see the world’s fastest downhill riders go head-to-head as they race against the clock down the slopes of Aonach Mor at the iconic Nevis Range.
More than 250 of the sport’s biggest stars, including 2016 Downhill World Champions, British riders Danny Hart and Rachel Atherton, will be competing across the weekend as they battle it out for the Men’s and Women’s World Cup titles.
After completing a perfect World Cup season in 2016, Rachel Atherton will be going for a monumental 15th successive World Cup circuit win, but will face tough competition from rivals and fellow Brits, Manon Carpenter and Tahnee Seagrave, in the elite women’s race.
While Danny Hart from Teesside, and local rider Greg Williamson, from Inverness, will be hoping to secure their first ever Fort William title in the men’s downhill against a host of current and former World Cup champions, including last year’s Fort William champion, South African Greg Minnaar.
Pre-event ticket sales have soared since being released, and are up 15 per cent compared to this time last year. Due to the unprecedented demand for tickets, event organisers, Rare Management and Nevis Range are reminding spectators buying tickets on the day of the event will not be able to purchase gondola passes which transport spectators to the start line.
Mike Jardine from Rare Management, said: “It’s fantastic that the Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup has grown in popularity as a must-see event for all the family on the UK sporting calendar. We’ve had a phenomenal response this year but due to the unprecedented number of tickets sold, spectators will not be able to purchase a ticket for the gondola on the day of the event.
“We’ve got the two World Champions, Danny and Rachel, leading the home charge in Fort William this year, so the chance of British winners has never been better. It’s shaping up to be another unforgettable mountain bike experience.”
The event, which is supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, and Highland Council, is the second stage on the UCI World Cup Downhill calendar. Alongside the downhill action, Dougie Lampkin, will be bringing a spectacular Trials Show to the finish arena at the World Cup, tackling ridiculous obstacles and showcasing another aspect of two–wheel handling skills.
Peter MacFarlane, managing director at Nevis Range, said: “We’re really excited to welcome mountain bike fans from across the world to the Nevis Range. The World Cup is a fantastic family-friendly event and one of the busiest weekends of the summer providing a massive economic boost to the Lochaber tourism sector.
“We’d like to remind fans travelling to Fort William on Saturday and Sunday that roads will be very busy. While there is no spectator car parking onsite, there is a free Park and Ride service in operation from Blar Mor and Day Tickets will be available to purchase onsite. We’ll also be reopening the downhill track for enthusiasts to put their skills to the test after the event.”
The World Cup Village will be packed with an array of bike manufacturers, bike-wear brands and team sponsors, whilst a fine selection of food and drink stands will keep the crowds fuelled, showcasing the best of Scottish produce.
For more information on purchasing Day Tickets, visit www.fortwilliamworldcup.co.uk where you can also find details about the event.