This coming weekend of the 13th and 14th of May is Round 2 of the HSBC UK National Downhill Series, Presented by GT Bicycles. The tried and trusted BDS Team return for their 10th year to Fort William with British Cycling’s National Series, billed as a prestigious UCi Classe 1 event. This means valuable UCi points for the top 15 fastest racers and a share of £5,000 in prize money.
With almost 100 seasoned World Cup riders booked in for some valuable track time before the World Cup, exactly three weeks later on. The course will be 90% identical to that of the World Cup that they will be racing on June the 11th. The differences being a new section after the Deer Gate, the woods section and the big road gap that will be closed off, exclusively for the World Cup.
Last year’s Elite Men’s winner, MS Mondrakers Danny Hart clocked a time of 4 minutes and 36 seconds which was three seconds faster than his third place at the 2016 World Cup. Danny comes into Fort William with confidence after a successful start to the series where at Nant G he took the win in front of Trek factory Racings Gee Atherton by 1.7 seconds and Madison Saracen’s Matt Simmonds who he beat by 3.2 seconds.
Trek Factory Racing’s Rachel Atherton is on an unbeatable 24 race winning streak? Rachel has not lost a race since Lourdes World Cup (second place to Emmeline Ragot back in May 2015), that is if you exclude two Red Bull Foxhunt events. That said, the gap is closing, last year she won by 7:04 seconds in front of Madison Saracen’s Manon Carpenter. At Lourdes, last weekend on a level playing field on a 3 minute, 20seconds track, the top 4 were within 6 seconds of Rachel. She still won by a healthy margin but the pressure is on, especially on a track some 5 minutes and 12 seconds long.
The Venue Nevis Range, Torlundy, Fort Willliam, Inverness-shire. PH33 6SQ. Scotland.
The Course Length = 2.82km, Start altitude = 655m, Finish altitude = 100m, Vertical descent = 555m, Course rating (1-5 with 5 being very technical): Rating 4.
Spectating Spectating will be free. Please note there is a fee for spectators to use the Gondola service, tickets are available at Nevis Range directly to purchase on the day. No advance booking is required.
09:30 Open Practice
18:00 Course Closed
08:30 Open Practice for all riders
11:15 Timed Seeding Run followed by one timed race run
17:30 Podium for top five
Live timing will be available for the whole of practice and race runs for all 320 riders via The Action Sports Timing Website.