2015 Fort William World Cup – Walking the track with Charlie Hatton

Welcome to the Fort William downhill World Cup!

/Photos by Ian Lean

Today was the first proper day of the World Cup for Team Wideopenmag – we got our pits set up (swing by and say hi!) and Charlie got on the gondola for his first Fort William World Cup track walk. Photographer Ian tagged along to see what the track has in store.

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The view from the top. You don’t need me to tell you.

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The berms up top are the first real challenge of the track. They’re pretty straight forward but add in some fresh gravel, slippy rocks and race-speed and they can get pretty loose.

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Nothing new here – fast and greasy wood with a stunner of a view before you hit the first real technical section. That view though eh?

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Rocks and ruts on track and snow on the peaks! The track has had some work done by the Fort William crew … but the heavy rain has blasted deep ruts down the fall line making it even rougher on bikes and bodies.

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Racing this weekend? Get used to this stuff – the track is covered in it top to bottom. Loose, sticky and drifty.

Merida Big.Trailtea
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Here’s an interesting bit – just above the road gap. After a couple of minutes of heavy hits on the rocks and ruts you’ll need to battle through this energy sapping bog. It’s sections like this that make tire choice even harder.

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No change to the road gap … Enjoy a bit of air time whilst you can here, it’s your last chance before the big, tough bottom section!

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This beast looks like the love child of downhill and BMX – big, loose and nasty! Riders hit the road gap, rail left round the big berm and then hit this new feature. Let’s hope the right helps pack it down a bit!

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Is this the best feature on a World Cup track? Sponsored by The Dudes – it’s the Hoofer. Not a new one, but a good one.

And that's it! There's nothing hugely new to the track - just lots of big rocks, scary ruts and loose turns. Good luck for seeding everyone!

And that’s it! There’s nothing hugely new to the track – just lots of big rocks, scary ruts and loose turns. Good luck for seeding everyone!

Read our interview with the track builders of the Fort William World Cup Downhill Track

Stay tuned for heaps of World Cup content all weekend, live from Fort William!