Downhill riders scale height of Everest

Local rider rules Fort William challenge

Fort William-based Elite downhill rider Fergus Lamb (Alpine Bikes) was crowned king of the hill at the inaugural Fort William Downhill Endurance event, billed as the most extreme downhill mountain biking endurance race in the UK.


Staged on the internationally renowned World Championships downhill track at Nevis Range near Fort William, a full-on, flat-out, no-compromise charge down the face of Aonach Mor, the gruelling challenge involved hurtling down the 2.82km track as many times as possible in six hours.

A succession of big jumps and bumps, berms, drop-offs, rock slabs and technical natural sections provided plenty of challenges for the riders, all the way from the top gondola station (at 655m) to the magnificent finish section above the Nevis Range car park (100m).

The 89 riders who took part managed a total of 1,166 runs in six hours with a total distance of 3,288.12 km covered. This is similar to descending from the top to the bottom of Everest 73.2 times.

With six of the riders who took part in this epic challenge completing an impressive 18 runs of the stamina draining track (a total of 50.76km) in six hours, it all came down to individual run times.

This resulted in a clean sweep for FortWilliam and Lochaber riders. Fergus Lamb completed his 18 runs in a total of 98 minutes 58 seconds (not including gondola rides and pit stops), averaging 5 minutes 48 seconds per run. 

James Shirley, from RoyBridge, was just over six minutes behind Lamb averaging 5 minutes 82 seconds, with Veteran rider Alistair MacLennan, also from FortWilliam, taking third spot and averaging just over 6 minutes per run. 

Frazer Coupland of Fort William based No Fuss Events, organisers of the Fort William Downhill Endurance, said: “No Fuss are delighted with how it went on the day and a total of 18 runs from the top riders was way beyond our expectations. We really hope that we can grow this event next year, possibly incorporating the new intermediate track into the race, too.”


Check out the video below for highlights of the Fort William event…