Fort William allowed us to charge down the slopes of Aonach Mor, descending 525m in 2.6km on a course that is recognized as one of the toughest in the World. The Fort William World Cup is one of the most anticipated events of the season for both fans and racers alike with a bonus this year; the Olympic Torch passed through on Saturday. It was such a rough track armored in unforgiving rocks; my favorite! Some of the roughest sections were wide open and didn’t require much braking; quickly fatiguing riders. The weather was awesome in that it was overcast all week with just little bits of moisture for the qualifier (different for the final round). There were billions of midgies all looking for meals. I have never experienced the unrelenting attack of that many bugs (and I grew up in Northern Michigan!) It drove you mad if you stopped to look at any features during the track walk/training and it became the most talked about topic around the pits. Besides the new motorway section, that is about all the work the track had seen in the way of filling in holes. The motorway section had four new large jumps - the biggest on the World Cup circuit. The course however, had been almost entirely resurfaced in the fast sections with quick-crete. It was amazing to race at Fort William (my dream come true) and it was also spectacular to watch the massive crowds of spectators reiterate the same sentiment. It was such an incredible atmosphere, only closely compared to that of Crankworx Whistler, there were 7000 people watching the qualifier. It is obvious why so many racers look forward to this event. I qualified 34th and feel lucky to have been a part of it and am already thinking about how I can get back there next year.
Great climbers aren't born, they're made and the place that they learn their...