Preview: Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup

World’s best downhillers and 4X riders heading to the Scottish Highlands

The Nissan UCI Mountain Bike World Cup heads to FortWilliam in Scotland this weekend (6-7 June).

Home fans will have their eyes on one man – Britain’s Steve Peat. The Santa Cruz Syndicate rider stormed to his second World Cup downhill victory in a row in Andorra, and in the process ensured his place in the record books.

The Brit's 17th podium top-spot means he has beaten the previous record for the highest number of World Cup wins set by his old arch rival Nicolas Vouilloz.

Peat’s team-mate Greg Minnaar will also be one to watch. He took the win at FortWilliam in 2008, and won the first round of this year’s World Cup in South Africa.

Mick Hannah (GT Bicycles), Sam Hill (Monster Energy/Specialized) and MBUK Eliminator dual slalom winner Gee Atherton (Animal-Commencal) will also be vying for a space at the top of the podium.

In the women’s race, Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing) will be one to watch in front of a home crowd along with Fionn Griffiths (Norco World Team), although Sabrina Jonnier (Maxxis-RockyMountain), winner of the last World Cup race in Vallnord, Andorra will no doubt be out to spoil it for the Brits.

Australian Jared Graves will be gunning for a win in the four-cross comp after letting his run of victories drop at Vallnord, where he was pipped by Dutchman Joost Wichman in the final.

World champion Rafael Alvarez de Lara Lucas (Specialized) will also want to put his crash at Vallnord behind him at FortBill.

In the women’s four-cross, Fionn Griffiths (Norco World Team), World Cup leader Anneke Beerten (Suspension Center), US rider Jill Kintner (Red Bull/Intense) and Jana Horakova (Czech Republic) will be ones to watch.

This year’s event will feature two new crowd-pleasing elements – a cross-country sprint race and a bike demo area.

The sprint event will involve the UK’s best cross-country riders racing on a short and fast course, while the demo area will allow visitors to test ride the latest bikes from the best bike makers in the world.

Mike Jardine, from event organisers Rare Management, said: “The Nissan UCI Fort William World Cup is much more than a fantastic sporting event – it’s also a great weekend away for anyone who wants to get outdoors and enjoy the thrill and buzz of the sport in a spectacular location.”

There’s plenty of great riding in the area around FortBill including the popular 7stanes trail centres and some world-class Highland loops.

For those wanting to extend their trip, VisitScotland have put together a range of offers which are only valid until the end of June, plus there’s the chance to win a Rocky Mountain Vertex 30 worth over £1,600. Go to visitscotland.com/perfectbiking

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