Guide: UCI Mountain Bike World Cup downhill round two, Fort William

Guide: UCI Mountain Bike World Cup downhill round two, Fort William

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Fort William, Scotland welcomes the annual pilgrimage of thousands of fans as it hosts round two of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup downhill series.

Now in its 13th year, the Nevis Range facility is still regarded as one of the toughest tests in the downhill calendar and a definitive moment for the career of the winner.

For the first ever time fans will be able to watch two British world champions – Gee Atherton and Manon Carpenter – on track.

Series so far

With round one of the series taking place two months ago, Fort William renders the form book near irrelevant.

Many international riders were hoping for a dry run when the British Cycling MTB Downhill Series visited the Nevis Range three weeks ago, however bad weather forced a shortened course and limited comparisons for the main event.

For the series round two could prove critical for Gee Atherton. He raced the opening round with an injured wrist and could only manage 48th – on paper a terrible result – but with five rounds remaining far better than a non-finish.

Defending series champion Josh Bryceland is only improving following his infamous misjudgement at the world championships in September 2014.

His return from injury, to finishing seventh at the opening round was miraculous and third at the latest round of the British downhill series on a demanding track shows his confidence has returned.

Rachel Atherton withdrew from the same event after several crashes, citing the world cup as her priority. Second in round one, she will want to take her first win in Fort William since 2013.

Manon Carpenter had a quiet start to the season – fourth at the opening round may not have matched fans expectations of the 2014 world cup series winner and world champion – but with two months of further preparation she will be hoping to take her first world cup win on home soil.

The track

The Fort William track has evolved significantly since its debut in 2002, but still remains one of the longest and most physical tests of the season.

Descending 555 metres over 2.8 kilometres, riders plummet from the top gondola station of Aonach Mor, across open hillside and rock formations.

In the bottom third, the course changes character – first to provide technical challenge in woodland and then physical torture on the infamous motorway – before riders drop into the arena over the legendary jump, revealing themselves to thousands of fans.

How to watch

Tickets to watch the Fort William world cup are still available to buy online and on the day.

Alternatively, you will be able to watch the event live on Red Bull TV, from 1.30pm on Sunday 7 June.