Fort William - 10 Years of World Cup Racing

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Fort William – 10 Years of World Cup Racing


2004      CAT QUICK AND GRISLY TOUGH

Downhill Winners – GREG MINNAAR AND ANNE CAROLINE CHAUSSON 4X Winners – GUIDO TSCHUGG AND ANNE CAROLINE CHAUSSON

  • Greg Minnaar wins on a Honda bike, the first ever World Cup victory for a bike with a gearbox. The future?
  • Peaty storms qualifying finishing in first but disappointingly ends up fourth in the final.
  • Gracia and Hill round out the top three.
  • Anne Caroline Chausson doubles up, winning both DH and 4X. She is a machine.
  • Live TV coverage comes to Fort William. The big screen at the bottom transforms the event for spectators.
  • An airline loses Nathan Rennie’s bike for a day or two.
  • The track is becoming more bedded in, speeds are crazy fast.
  • Fionn Griffiths has a huge stack in her final run.

“Peaty ruled timed training, made the move on Gracia that was the most talked about 4X moment, destroyed everyone in the semi final, went out on the beer every night and still made one of his best world title starts to a season. This guy is unbelievable.” Steve Jones

 

ANNE CAROLINE CHAUSSON – DH WINNER IN 2004, 4X WINNER IN 2002 AND 2004

Fort William World Cups are full of good memories for me. The first time you go there you see this nice landscape, mountains and lakes with the mist rising off them (just like in the movies), but it makes you wonder what the track is going to look like. It’s an unusual, difficult and often wet track, which gave me a headache.

I had a big fall during a practice run the first time I raced there. I was frightened, I was afraid to return there the next year. Thankfully everything went well and the Fort William World Cup has since then been a glorious and fun event for me. I especially like the atmosphere around this race. It’s a long way from anywhere, and there are not many people who live around there, but when the final day arrives you see all these cars and thousands of very enthusiastic spectators who settle down along the course. They are everywhere…in the paddocks, on the track, they know all the racers and make a lot of noise when you pass, even if you’re not British. That’s good motivation and I always loved that. These are probably some of the reasons why this World Cup is still on the calendar 10 years later.

RACHEL ATHERTON – WORLD CUP RACER, CLOSE BUT HAS NEVER WON AT FORT WILLIAM

Wow, Fort William has literally a million memories for me. The first time I went to watch, this was before I raced, I remember watching Missy Giove ride past me and being scared to death by her! I took the train up with my mum for a couple years and my career probably started when I was 15 watching Tracy win the World Cup there. I was amazed at how absolutely huge the crowd was, it was the biggest body of people I had ever been amongst and every face was turned toward Tracy standing up in the hot seat. She was wrapped in a GB flag and she was crying and I was crying because I was so happy for her to win…and I thought, “I want to be like her one day.”

At the parties I couldn’t believe what animals my heroes turned into after racing was done. It was a bit scary, but thrilling to be there at the same time. At my first race I think I qualified third and then finished seventh, then I went home and did my exams. I was sitting in the exam hall thinking me myself, “hell yeah, I could do that for a living!”

Fort William is the only track the scares me when I ride it. I think it’s the Devil’s Driveway…I would like to spear the devil’s heart with my middle finger!

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