Mountain biking stars from across the world head to Scotland every June for the Fort William UCI Mountain Bike World Cup. In 2014, it takes place on June 7 and 8. With accommodation often booked up for dozens of miles around the Highlands town, travelling by campervan or motorhome is a great idea.
And to make the most of the spectating, you might like to read our guide to Scotland’s top mountain bike event.Over one weekend, Scotland plays host to 300 of the world’s best mountain bikers from 30 countries.
Fort William is the third round on the prestigious eight-stage 2014 World Cup Downhill and takes place at Nevis Range Mountain.
The World Cup includes two gravity disciplines, Downhill (DHI) and 4-Cross (4X), two Trails competitions and a Youth Mini DH series.
The star attraction is always the high-adrenaline, action-packed downhill competition. The course drops 550m over 2.8km on the face of Aonach Mor and riders race down a tricky route in a little over four minutes in bid to become a World Cup champion.
Get yourself to a hot spectator spot such as the Wall, Big Doon, Road Gap, the Water Jump and Motorway.
After the 2014 Winter Olympics, when we all oohed and ahead over the ski and snowboard cross, this year’s mountain bike 4X Pro Tour Rider competition is likely to be another big attraction.
In simple terms, 4X is a head-to-head race downhill. Four riders compete at once on a custom-built course of berms, jumps and step-ups. The two fastest riders go through to the next round.
The Trials riders are also worth checking out on Saturday and Sunday in the World Cup village. Both the British and Scottish trials cup riders will show off their skills in, over and around some of the most bonkers-looking obstacles.
And you’ll enjoy the Scottish Power Youth Mini DH series, where the up-and-coming stars of tomorrow will compete. Watch out for local rider Lachlan Blair as he competes for a top position.
While you’re at Nevis Range centre, you could:
- Take the six-person Gondola 525m up on to Aonach Mor, the ninth highest UK mountain
- Savour the iconic Highlands views at the Gondola Top Station.
- Try the kids mountain bike skills area.
- Test out a few bikes
- Watch the awesome Clan Stunt Team.
And if all this has inspired you to want to ride the downhill course yourself remember that the World Cup trails are usually open from May 3 to September 14, but excluding the World Cup Weekend. Simply stay on a few days after most of the spectators have left.
Find out more at fortwilliamworldcup.co.uk