After yesterday’s blazing sunshine, it was inevitable that today would see a duller start and Fort William’s notorious midges out in force. As we wait for the downhill racing to get underway, here’s a round-up of what’s been going on so far this weekend.
Click here for more of yesterday’s action, and you can read reports on the men’s and women’s four-cross here. Click on the thumbnail gallery on the right for more images.
Defending World Cup champion Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) will be the last man down the hill today after qualifying in pole position yesterday, with a time of 04:39.46. Sam Hill (Monster Energy – Specialized) chose not to complete his run following a nasty crash in practice but goes through to the final due to his UCI ranking.
Other pre-race favourites Gee Atherton (Commencal) came sixth and Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate) finished 11th. The top qualifiers after Minnaar were young guns Sam Blenkinsop (Lapierre), Cameron Cole (Maxxis – Rocky Mountain) and Aaron Gwin (Yeti – Fox Shox), followed by Matti Lehikoinen (ChainReactionCycles – Intense).
Dan atherton (commencal) tears up the downhill course: dan atherton (commencal) tears up the downhill course Ric McLaughlin/MBUK
Dan Atherton (Commencal) tears up the World Cup downhill
Top women were Rachel Atherton (Commencal), on 05:19.84, followed by Sabrina Jonnier (Maxxis – Rocky Mountain), Floriane Pugin (Scott 11), Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing) and Emmeline Ragot (Suspension Center). For full qualifying results and time, see www.cyclingnews.com.
ChainReactionCycles-Intense’s matt simmonds leaves a trail of dust on the fort william downhill: chainreactioncycles-intense’s matt simmonds leaves a trail of dust on the fort william downhill Ric McLaughlin/MBUK
ChainReactionCycles-Intense’s Matt Simmonds leaves a trail of dust
But of course, there’s more to a World Cup than just the racing, with plenty to see and do in the pits, and throngs of kids on the lookout for freebies and stickers.
There was plenty to see and do between races: there was plenty to see and do between races James Costley-White/BikeRadar
A steady stream of riders were waiting to take their turn on the Airbag, with many trying their hand at backflips for the first time.
The airbag proved a hit, with riders taking the chance to try their hand at backflips: the airbag proved a hit, with riders taking the chance to try their hand at backflips James Costley-White/BikeRadar
Dusty conditions meant it was difficult to keep things clean. The girls from Mercedes Vito Sport had a tricky task keeping their swanky van gleaming.
Dusty conditions meant it was difficult to keep our mercedes vito sports clean. luckily these two helpful ladies were on hand to give them a good rub down: dusty conditions meant it was difficult to keep our mercedes vito sports clean. luckily these two helpful ladies were on hand to give them a good rub down James Costley-White/BikeRadar
The queue for the beer tent just seemed to grow and grow, but what better way is there to while away an afternoon than standing in the sun with a cold bevvy watching the world’s top four-cross racers go head to head?
The queue for the beer tent was a little ridiculous at times: James Costley-White/BikeRadar
Mountain Biking UK magazine’s Doddy joined Rob Warner in the Freecaster.tv box for a spot of commentary and banter.
MBUK magazine’s doddy joined rob warner for a spot of freecaster four-cross commentary: Ric McLaughlin/MBUK
Costumes have been few and far between so far at this year’s Fort Bill World Cup, but mix a man dressed as a phallus and Cedric Gracia and hilarity is sure to ensue.
Mix cedric gracia with a man dressed as a phallus and hilarity is sure to ensue: James Costley-White/BikeRadar