RESULTS: Fort William World Cup Downhill Race 4

The 15th running of the Fort William World Cup is officially in the books.

A drama-filled weekend of downhill racing has concluded in a spectacular climax with the 15th running of the World Cup in Fort William, Scotland. The classic race venue proved to be incredibly challenging despite generally fair weather, thanks to a short stretch of technical, peanut butter mud in the woods.

The mountain leaked water through this particular portion of the course which meant it could never fully dry out. Conversely, there wasn’t enough moisture in the soil to thin out the mud, creating a traction-free piece of trail that was nearly unrideable for many competitors. As Rob Warner said on the Red Bull webcast, it’s an “undistinguished” look for the world’s best downhillers.

If riders survived the woods, the infamous “cross country” and “motorway” sections were there to steal any momentum and energy they had. The strongest pushed through the pain and it appears that the 29-inch wheel advantage paid off. Regardless of wheel size, however, the performances of the podium racers was unparalleled and a testament to their skill, talent and preparation.

  • Greg Minnaar, ice in the veins with a flawless run during some late-breaking rain. He took his Santa Cruz 29er to a convincing victory by nearly 3 seconds. It’s his 7th Fort William World Cup win and 20th World Cup DH win. Incredible! “I don’t know. With rain in your face, I don’t care what size wheel you’ve got,” Greg said when asked about a wheel size advantage in a post-race interview.
  • Jack Moir handles the pressure of his best qualifier ever and takes his 29er to a 2nd place finish against the world’s best with a near-perfect run and lung-busting motorway sprint.
  • Aaron Freaking Gwin! Up by 4.2 seconds at the woods, hits the worst of it without issue and then has a random wash-out at the start of the XC section. The flattest part of the course can’t stop him as he sprints as hard as he can to a 3rd place finish, keeping the dreams of 27.5 riders alive. Without that slip, who knows how it would have ended?
  • Marcelo Gutierrez, strongest pedaler on the circuit? He decimated the XC and motorway earning 4th.
  • Remi Thirion. WOW. No tripod’ing in the woods and gapping that super steep stepdown ender section. 5th place on a 29er.
  • Troy Brosnan sketchily but skillfully pushed his way through the woods and opened up a significant effort to close out the bottom of the course.
  • Neko Mulally, completely feet-up in the woods with an awesome result. #eastcoasthardcore
  • Connor Fearon wins the Top Corners with his poppy, drifty steeze!
  • Danny Hart, 3 seconds up before woods only to go OTB. He can whip the shit out that 29er though! #gutted
  • Lourdes winner, Alexandre Fayolle couldn’t back up his first-place finish with a less-than-stellar run.
  • Benoit Coulanges had a rough go with a skipped gear right out of the gate. For the sake of education, you can learn about Benoit’s bike here Warner and Claudio LOL.

Tracey Hannah took a well-earned victory by staying calm and consistent where it counted and by boosting the motorway jumps. Rachel Atherton crashed in practice, dislocating her shoulder and could not compete, ending her record-breaking streak of consecutive World Cup race wins.

Matt Walker earns gold in the Junior class against a stacked field of young guns with a time that would have placed him 10th in Elite Men’s!

Elite Men’s Final Results


Men’s Overall Results after Fort William (Top 40)




By: Jay J Botes #UltimateAim

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