The Fort William round of the Mtb World Cup is renowned for it's wild weather, but this year's competition sets the bar high for crazy conditions. Emmeline Ragot of France (MS Mondraker) led the charge for SDG with a big crash yet still managing a podium finish in third place. Laurie Greenland (GBR) took second place in the junior category. For the men, it was Troy Brosnan (AUS) in 7th, Loic Bruni (FRA) in 8th and Danny Hart (GBR)in 9th.
With high winds and torrential rains, Friday practice was a cold, blustery affair. Saturday however, was so bad that all competition was cancelled due to safety concerns regarding the gondola. Therefore 6:15 Sunday morning saw competitors headed to the top for a quick round of practice, followed directly by qualifying and then race runs. Not an easy schedule by anyone's standards.
Ragot took a huge crash in her run, finishing with a helmet full of mud, and yet somehow still managed a miraculous third place finish.
Brosnan wasn't happy with his results, even under the rough conditions considering he won here last year. "This weekend was pretty wild. Friday I had pretty good runs and I was actually feeling pretty fast. Then they cancelled Saturday and I wasn’t too annoyed with that or anything as it as good to get a rest. Race day was hectic. I missed practice for reasons we won’t talk about, and then qualies went better than I thought, it was consistent. Race runs, I’m not really sure what happened. The winds were really bad and I just pushed as hard as I could but I made some big mistakes in the woods and almost crashed. It put a damper on my run. I rode really hard but that’s that. Now we’re off to Leogang, so let’s hope for the best there. I’m pretty excited, I’ve had some good and bad times there but I tested there last week with Rockshox and I’m ready to go.”
Greg Minnaar took home the top spot, surprising even himself. With the victory, he not only has the most Fort William WC wins, but is now tied for the most WC DH race wins with his long time friend and legend, Steve Peat. SDG would like to congratulate Greg on this accomplishment.