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2010 UCI Word Cup DH Round 2 & 4X Round 3 – Fort William, Scotland.

June 8, 2010

First of all we’re really sorry we missed out on the previous World Cup round in Maribor due to our busy schedules, but I’m sure you die hard 4X and DH fans were watching it live on freecaster.tv.

All that aside, the round in Fort William just passed over the weekend! I didn’t get to catch the full 4X telecast, but I managed to watch the highlights from DirtTV. The 4X track at Fort William has always been a favourite for both riders and spectators alike, and this year was no exception. Even with a couple of changes to the track (like the rock garden), there was still plenty of action. Jared Graves once again dominated the Men’s 4X and took the win, with Joost Wichman and Michael Prokop taking 2nd and 3rd respectively.

The DH track was still as brutal as ever with the technical top section and long sprints at the botttom to the finish line. Changes to the track for this year included a series of technical drops and switchbacks that replaced the long sprint up top. It was a really a test for both riders and their bikes, Sam Hill was one of the earliest casualties, he suffered a shoulder injury during the timed practice which left him unable to compete on race day. What a bummer really, as he’s one of the top contenders to take the win. A couple of riders also crashed at the top section (which was extremely loose and dusty by the way), while others had mechanicals. Chris Kovarik suffered a puncture before coming out of the woods, while Cedric Gracia suffered problems with his drivetrain, leaving him to have to pump and coast all the way down to the finish, he proved to always be ‘the entertainer’ though, pulling off a fully clicked suicide no hander on the stepdown near the finish!

This race also saw a few names in the top 20 that might be unfamiliar to some of you guys. Danny Hart (2009 Junior World Cup Champion) came in 12th, staying in the hot seat for a while, Shaun O’ Connor (2009 World Championship Silver medalist) managed an 8th position, and Cameron Cole (2006 Junior World Champion) in 2nd. Even he was surprised by his result! The highlight of the day however, had to be Gee Atherton taking the win in front of his home crowd! He pulled off a fantastic 4.35.70 to edge out both Cameron Cole and Greg Minnaar, who was looking forward to take his third win in a row at Fort William.

The Gates Nicolai Team were also there once again to compete against the best riders in the world. The team did fantastic with David Graf coming in 13th in the Men’s 4X and Joris Bigoni in 21st in Men’s Downhill! Congratulations to them!

For those of you who didn’t manage to catch all the action, here are a couple of links.

Freecaster.tv:
DH Finals replay

DirtTV:
Fort William Friday Practice
Fort William 4X Qualifying
Fort William DH Qualifying
Fort William Finals

Photo courtesy of Hoshi Yoshida via the Gates Nicolai Team blog.

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