BDS Fort William – Race Report

Did somebody say 29'er?

Fort Bill BDS is always an interesting one. With just two weeks until the UCI hits the highlands, we see some of the top riders from the world cup circuit making their plans of attack.

Images and Words by Dan GriffithsMoonhead Media

Of course, there was one main talking point this weekend, one that look set to billow throughout the year, 29ers. Santa Cruz may have jumped the gun at Lourdes but at Fort William we finally saw what brands had been working on over the winter. Commencal, Mondraker and Trek all hoping to get some under-the-radar testing done on their big rigs.

If you wanted controlled conditions for the larger wheels, then Fort William was a better laboratory than Lourdes. The weather stayed dry, the track was running smoother than it has in years and a slew of  top racers were on board. The results though are still inconclusive. While 29ers won every session in the men’s category, they also came dead last in the men’s and women’s races.

In fact, the best evidence probably just comes from the fact there was so many of them. Whether you like them or not, whether you believe they’re quicker or you bury your head in the sand, they’re happening. Fast.

With 29ers being revealed left, right and centre,  Transition has stuck to what it knows. Tahnee’s new prototype ‘TR11’ – running 650b.

Here’s all the action from the World Cup warm up.

... While the likes of Commencal Vallnord and the Giant Factory Off-Road team have been quietly putting the new wheels to the test throughout the past week.


Time would tell whether the new wheel sizes would get the riders down the 4 and half minute track any quicker but first we were to the juniors – all running the 650b wheelsets.

Finn Iles and Kaos Seagrave both put down great runs in the junior men’s category, but Finn would go on to put 8 seconds into Kaos.
Having suffered a crash in seeding, Kaos wasn’t feeling overly keen going into finals but still went on to seal a third place finish.
Squeezing in between the two, Joe Breeden put down a 4:47, going 7 seconds back on the World Champ.
Kade Edwards might be a few brain cells short after his big dig.


In the elite women’s category, Atherton chose not to compete in finals, leaving the competition seemingly between Tahnee Seagrave, and Manon Carpenter.

Tahnee came down with a time of 5:08 aboard the new bike
While Radon's, Carpenter went quicker, finding a second on the way down and taking the top step.
Carpenter won the BDS from Fort William earlier this year
Marcelo Gutierrez took 4th place, in front of Adam Brayton - both running 650b.
Atherton was out, however, his teammate Graeme Mudd went on to take a respectable 6th place.
Local man G' Willy went 3rd fastest for the Cube Global Squad, going 4 seconds back Bruni.
Out of the media attention and on smaller wheels, Bruni finished only 1.7 back on Hart
Sitting in the hot seat, Danny Hart would wait on Atherton to fly over the Tissot Jump, and into the finish. Unfortunately, Atherton never made it to the bottom, having supposedly dislocated his hip further up the track.

Full results here

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