Wideopenmag World Cups Jacob Gibbins Fort William Finals photos

We’re home and recovering from an incredible day of racing at the 2012 Fort William downhill World Cup.

Aaron Gwin once again showed that he’s the absolute boss of downhill this year and the UK racers showed that they can well and truly dominate on the right day – with 6 UK men in the top 10 alone.

Sunday at Fort William is like no other race in the world – 20,000 fans pack the race village and the atmosphere is one of a kind in downhill racing. Here’s two sports-fans that came on down to show the love.

Andrew Neethling in the new Fox proto helmet. Needles confessed to being bummed out with his result … but still landed a 13th place.

Patrick Thome was one of the army of Lapierre riders on the hill and part of a team that dominated Fort William’s race village with their music-festival-stage sized pits. 22nd for Pat Thome.

The ‘Scotland Arch’ (aka the Tissot Arch) is where the riders appear as they explode into view of the screaming fans at the finish line. It’s the point that everyone’s eyes are glued on to see if their favourites will make the cut or are off the pace. It’s also the place for the riders to smash out a whip for the fans. Here’s Ollie Burton getting sideways for the home-crowd and for his first time qualifying for a World Cup at Fort William. A slightly disappointing 55th place for Ollie though after a solid South Africa result. More from him to come we reckon!

Rich Thomasssss! Rich was worried a month or so ago that he was struggling with time for training now that he works full time alongside the racing. A 32nd in qualies and his best ever World Cup result with a 25th place overall shows that he’s got nothing to worry about. Nice work Richard! Look out for a Val Di Sole and Fort William edit coming soon from Tim Lake.

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Sambo Dale – what can you say about Sam? He’s a rider that you might risk overlooking alongside the higher-profile UK guys but an 8th place at Fort William showed that he is absolutely a contender in World Cup racing. We’d love to see Sam keep pinning all year and bag a great result overall – nice work Sambo!

Aaron Gwin was the man everyone’s eyes were on all weekend. He had a tough qualification run with 2 crashes that he claimed were down to experimenting with a different front tyre choice that didn’t pay off.

With a poor qualie Aaron came down early and was in the hot-seat for a long, tense time. Sat in the pressure-seat he didn’t give much away but stayed quiet and fixed on the live timing as Hill, Minnaar, Gee and Marc all crossed the line and stayed firmly outside his time.

He told us later that he backed off a bit this weekend and played it safe to make sure that he scored a solid result “It was a tough week for me, it didn’t feel good yesterday and I kept hitting the deck. I was trying to ride aggressive all week and it wasn’t really working. I tried to just back it down and get down”.

Look out for loads more from Aaron in Wideopenmag and WynTV’s Fort William race video. Paul Roberts is cooking it up right now and she’ll be online in the next few days. Stay tuned!

Thanks to Jacob Gibbins for his daily updates here on Wideopenmag every day since Friday. Check out his home page here.  


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