Team Wideopenmag at the British Downhill Series Round 2, Fort William

Fort Bill. Hard as nails.

Team Wideopenmag at 2015 British Downhill Series Rd2 Fort William

Photos by Ian Lean

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One tough weekend …

Racing mountain bikes is rarely easy – and Fort William proves that year in and year out! The World Cup track is great fun to ride but bloody hell does it dish out a kicking to bikes and bodies! But – we do it because we love it and no amount of rain, wind, hail, snow, miles behind the wheel, forgotten lunches (sorry guys!) or late nights are going to stop us from getting stuck in! Roll on Round 2 of the British Downhill Series.

And so despite the massive commute, epic weather, a half broken mechanic and the race suddenly turning into a push-up mini-downhill we got stuck in. All things considered, we had an excellent weekend!

The young gun. Joe Parfitt

The young cub of the Team Wideopenmag pack! Joe put in another solid result this weekend with a 7th place in youth. Conditions were insanely tough and the short, jumpy, fast track didn’t suit his love of steep, technical, South-Wales-style tracks but he sucked it up and worked hard. Parff rules!

“The race was weird and different … but fun! My favourite part was the fast chute into the hip before the motorway. It was flat out and felt like you were coming into the turn at mack 10!”

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Rich Thomas.

Rich came into 2015 planning to gear-back a little bit … but with a year of elite British Downhill Series racing, Fort William World Cup and a new role as Team Coach there doesn’t seem to be risk of him slowing down! Rich took the team by the reigns this weekend and led the guys through a weekend of insane weather.

Rich has never done a push-up race at Fort William… but he has raced it a massive 15 times in his career and scored a 25th there at the World Cup. As it goes, he’s not a bad guy to lead the pack on track. Rich landed above mid-pack in a stacked elite field with a 31st. Oh – and he scored the fastest time of the team. Top job, coach!

Orbea Leaderboard 2023

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Charlie Hatton. 3rd place Junior.

New boy Charlie Hatton is settling in a treat. Round 1 saw Charlie crash and go home pissed off. Lourdes World Cup and Charlie’s first taste of the big league followed and he stayed on his bike and into 21st place. Fort William was a chance to see if he could keep his cool in front of the home crowd and score a solid result. And …yep, he did it. 3rd place in the super fast junior field and just 1 second off the win. For a first year junior we reckon that’s pretty good indeed. A great result and a great warm up for Fort William World Cup.

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And … Kye Forte. Masters winner.

Kye comes across as a pretty mellow, easy going guy … at a first glance. But it doesn’t take long to see that he’s absolutely determined to go as fast as he can on his bike and win races. That’s probably half down to the fact that his old man still shouts at him for not winning to this day!

Kye’s first year on the team went super well but we could tell there was a slight frustration he never quite took a BDS win. That changed at Ae Forest 2015 round 1 as he finally got the top spot. And then again at Fort William where he took his second win on the bounce.

“Even though the course was quite straight forward the weather made it challenging and it felt pretty dangerous pushing hard over the jumps in the wind. I was stoked with my time and winning was icing on the cake”

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Team Wideopenmag is powered by Nukeproof Bikes and Fox Head Europe.

We’re also supported by Camelbak, Conti Tyres, Drift Innovation, Fenwicks Bike Cleaners and Mud Hugger with additional support from MRP, Flyup Downhill,Crank Brothers and Ti-Springs!


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