Off-roading world departs Fort William
Sunday, September 9, 2007 11.00pm
World Champs over in Highland town
Brian Lopes on his way to 4X Gold Joolze Dymond©.
The dust is settling after the UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships in Fort William and everyone involved - organisers, riders and spectators - agree that the Highland Scottish town did a superb job of hosting the event.
The race honours were shared by riders from across the globe with the Swiss, Russians, French, and Americans to the fore, while their British hosts managed a smattering of podium spots.
Spectator-wise, the trials, XC, 4X and DH races all packed 'em in and away from the racing, the atmosphere around the town was one of cosmopolitan conviviality, as visitors bent on having a good time were welcomed by locals who pride themselves on their hospitality.
Organisers estimate some 10,000 people turned out to watch the final day's racing and the home fans were rewarded when they saw eighteen year old Scot Ruaridh Cunningham become the first British man ever to win a World Championship title (in the Junior Downhill) at the Mountain Bike and Trials Worlds. Roll on next year's competiton in the Italian resort of Val di Sole, but before that there's the small matter of an event in Beijing.