Making the Cut: Fort William World Cup Qualification Photos

Jun 8, 2013
by Nathan Hughes  
Today saw that explosive influx of the public to the Nevis Range ski area; a now thoroughly steadfast tradition. Fort William brings the biggest crowds by a northern country mile, and by the looks of the scene below this morning, there's no hint of a decline. Coaxed to this remote location by the scent of energy drink, insect repellent and scalding-hot brake pads, every man and his dog was getting in the mood to find out who had the potential to tear this mountain a new one for 2013.

...
  An ever expanding crowd, already about to outweigh the rest of the seasons turn-out for Sunday afternoons..... put together?

Steve Smith and Brook Macdonald share a laugh before it was it was time to go to work. DHers are competitive but friendships remain tight.
  Steve Smith and Brook Macdonald share a laugh before it was time to go to work. DHers are competitive, but friendships remain tight.

GT s Vernon Taylor rocketed onto the bike scene seemingly out of nowhere. The kid s gonna be a monster... just you watch. Fastest seeding time in the juniors.
  It was a cooler day today, but no less perfect for racing and it was time to separate the men from the boys- and quite literally. Things got thoroughly underway in the a.m. with Taylor Vernon producing the goods, stamping his entry bid on the Scottish junior crown.

Bronze in qualifying for the Welsh export Manon.
  Bronze in qualifying for another first-rate Welsh export, Manon Carpenter in the women's DH.

The warmup zone is a busy place before qualies
  The warmup zone is a busy place before qualies!

Troy rests up in the truck and gets into the zone before heading to the top.
  ....when there's not relaxing to be done. Troy rests up in the truck and gets into the zone before heading to the top.

The wheels go round and round... First world cup of the year first official run that counts for points and everyone was taking warmup seriously. Troy Brosnan puts down the watts warming up.
  The wheels go round and round... First world cup of the year, first "official" run that counts for points and everyone was taking warmup seriously. Troy Brosnan puts down the watts warming up.

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  Ultimate privateer, Harry Heath in full stealth ninja gear. A black hole to any camera's autofocus settings. Lucky Vanja shot him right, because he came in at wild card warning number 11.

Gwin came in 14th a wafer behind riding escort Brosnan. Clearly they are settling at an equal riding speed but it s doubtful it ll be at this cruise pace when tomorrow rolls around.
  Gwin came in 14th, a wafer behind riding escort Brosnan. Clearly they are settling at an equal riding speed, but it's doubtful it'll be at this 'cruise pace' when tomorrow rolls around.

Every rider on the start list up to 13 made use of the wallride. Then Simmonds switched it up and stormed through on the inside. There s been talk of intelligent yet hell-for-leather riding from Matt all weekend. Qualifying 23rd he s not one to rule out.
  Every rider on the start list up to #13 made use of the wallride. Then Simmonds switched it up and stormed through on the inside. There's been talk on the mountain of intelligent, yet hell-for-leather riding from Matt all weekend. Qualifying 23rd, he's not one to rule out.

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  Andrew darts across the creek gap 'hoofer' like an arrow sharper than any needle... Neethling.... huh that's not really going anywhere.

When a puncture repair kit just won t do. Polygon Bikes team manager Cousinie sports one of the most fantastic wheel implosions of Round 1. It even trumps Nick Beers stoic effort.
  When a puncture repair kit just won't do. Polygon Bikes team manager, Cousinie, sports one of the most fantastic wheel implosions of Round 1. It even trumps Nick Beer's stoic effort.

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  Smith had much better luck than his riding double, Beer, achieving bottom rung of the proverbial pre-podium.

Remember 2008 When Beyonce went on the Tyra Banks show No Oh well it was also the year that Scotsman Cathro came in 8th in his homeland wearing a black rubbery skin suit. Today privateer starter 211 jumped up to 25th spot in qualis.
  Remember 2008? When Beyonce went on the Tyra Banks show? No? Oh well it was also the year that Scotsman, Ben Cathro, came in 8th, on home turf...... wearing a black rubbery skin suit. Today privateer starter 211 jumped up to 25th spot in qualis.

Belnki doing his best pinball wizard through one of the rocky bits of the track.
  A promising sign for a return to the podium was Blenki in 3rd- here doing his best pinball wizard through one of the rocky bits of the track.

Loic Bruni is an absolute force on a bike. On every section of Fort Bill s great variety of terrain types he just looks rampant and his body position never falters from the kind of attack stance you see here. Born in 1994 PB predicts we re gonna get bored of this guy winning in the not-too-distant future.
  Wrecking partner, Loic Bruni is an absolute force on a bike. On every section of Fort Bill's great variety of offerings, he just looks rampant. His body position never falters from the kind of attack stance you see here. Born in 1994, PB predicts we're gonna get bored of this guy winning in the not-too-distant future.

Smith and Hill are hard to tell apart right now. They are both blasting sections looking completely on top in their CRC threads. Smith rolled across the line 9th this afternoon.
  Smith and Hill are hard to tell apart right now. They are both blasting through sections looking completely on top, in their CRC threads and 'murdered-out' lenses. They rumbled into 8th and 9th spots.

Sik Mik in full tilt boogie mode. Surprisingly enough his time today was a full second slower than his timed training run yesterday. Kinda makes you wonder what he s got left in the tank for tomorrow s final.
  But how will they stop Sik Mik in full tilt boogie mode? Surprisingly enough, however, his time today was a full second slower than his timed training run yesterday. Kinda makes you wonder what he's got left in the tank for tomorrow's final.

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  Greg was heard to say he's been having a nightmare up on the hill this time round. Hard to believe from a 4 time winner at the Fort, but he did land only 12th today. Maybe he should kick back with a beer........

A few essential supplies for the public here to witness some history here at the Fott. That d be 27 kegs of ale. I think it s going to be a bit of a party.
  A few essential supplies for the public here to witness some history here at the Fort. That'd be 27 kegs of ale. I think it's going to be a bit of a party.

What is it with bike races and costumes The truly mental part of this scene is the fact that it was a balmy mid twenties centigrade and these lads hiked all the way to the top of the track in a Christmas Tree costume on the left and a Jolly Saint Nick costume on the right .
  What is it with bike races and costumes? The truly mental part of this scene is the fact that it was a balmy mid twenties centigrade and these lads hiked all the way to the top of the track in a Christmas Tree costume (on the left) and a Jolly Saint Nick costume (on the right).

Trek World Racing
  A rival super-fan mob swarm the pits at the Trek pitch. Who could they be excited to meet? Take a brook below...

The hardest past of the track may not be the ball bearing loose over hard surface. Nor the bombholes littering the upper section. No the hardest part of this beast may be the glaring sun on grey crushed crete and then straight away into the deep dark woods at speeds my mother won t drive a car these days.
  The hardest part of the track may not be the ball bearing, loose over hard surface. Nor the bombholes littering the upper section. No, the hardest part of this beast may be the glaring sun on grey crushed 'crete and then straight away into the deep, dark woods at speeds my mother won't drive a car these days.

Reg Branch the mechanic for Jill kintner and Bryn Atkinson tuning into is the braek true Or do I need to tweak it
  Back at base, Reg Branch, the mechanic for Jill kintner and Bryn Atkinson tuning into "is the brake true? Or do I need to tweak it?"

Ian Hopwood knocking out a hurry up wheel build to replace a completely trashed hoop.
  Ian Hopwood knocking out a hurry up wheel build to replace a completely trashed hoop.

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  So Rachel will, perhaps predictably, be the last XX chromosome representative to run the course tomorrow. Is there anyone capable of raining on her parade?

CG is back but it takes a bit to get the groove back on--the flying Frenchman qualified 79th on the day. For sure I am just happy to be here. I almost died last year. Just qualifying is huge for me right now... I would definitely have done better I think too but I fall off my bike in the woods
  CG is back, but it takes a bit to get the groove back on--the flying Frenchman qualified 79th on the day. "For sure, I am just happy to be here. I almost died last year. Just qualifying is huge for me right now... I would definitely have done better I think, too, but I fall off my bike in the woods!"

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We asked Cedric yesterday who he thought would be taking it home on Sunday - "Ah man it would be Danny - I saw him everywhere, good lines and confident. I would usually always have money on Greg and maybe Josh Bryceland. But yeah - Danny’s confident from his win 3 weeks ago. He's on his game and would love to win it so bad."

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  Saturday's baddest mutha, outside of the Jerry Springer Lounge....It's real-life Rockstar Danny tearing up the mountain moss in his signature long socks.

Benny Strasser just squeaked into the final tomorrow claiming the 80th and final spot in the final here at Ft William.
  From first to last- Benny Strasser just squeaked into the final tomorrow, claiming the 80th and final spot in the final here at Ft William.

A room with a view.
  A room with a view.

Gee is the very definition of pro athlete . Always in control always at full speed and no deviation from the optimum line-choice. Second place in qualifying today gives nobody cause to relax. All the while Gwin looms out-of-focus in the background...
  Number 1 on the plate, number one printed in an array of fonts across his personal possessions. Gee is the very definition of 'pro athlete'. Always in control, always at full speed and strictly no deviation from the optimum line-choice. Second place in qualifying today gives nobody cause to relax. All the while, Gwin looms out-of-focus in the background... He wants his plate back.



44 Comments

  • 65 14
 Time for Gee put Gwin in his place.... Second behind a Brit.
  • 27 8
 Time for Gee and Danny to put him in third Wink
  • 17 23
flag ummmmmmm (Jun 9, 2013 at 11:13) (Below Threshold)
 America
  • 1 0
 Murica*
  • 24 3
 LOOK AT THE TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 8 2
 What have i missed, why has gee got the no 1 plate? Shouldnt Gwin or Minnar be rocking it?
  • 8 0
 i think its taking in overall UCI rank, Gee's done well at british nationals etc and gwin probably hasn't raced any UCI sanctioned stuff this year.
  • 7 0
 Uh Oh, looks like the world champs jersey is already taking a toll on Minaar. I really thought he might have bucked the trend.
  • 8 2
 after watching all this racing here at Fort Bill i better get all body armor on for a few rides cos all be thinking am one of these guys .
  • 5 0
 normally if I saw a wheel explosion like that I wouldnt believe it, but then I looked at the trail again
  • 4 1
 Never ever seen a deemax tacoed. Must have been a massive case.
  • 6 0
 I like the SRM power meter on Gee's bike
  • 3 0
 Wish I was there to see it live!
  • 6 0
 well I almost was but I had to stay to look after some f@ckin stoopid dogs of my wifes friend...dammn
  • 7 0
 Take them with you lol
  • 4 1
 The Ben Cathro caption was classic
  • 2 0
 what,s that yellow thing with the LCD screen on the RH side of Gee,s bike just below the stem ?
  • 1 0
 i'd say its the timing sensor but i wouldnt be surprised if its some electronic suspension controller
  • 1 0
 great shot my friend it´s reality spend my time turn the page and see awesome pics and the quality that you have and broght to us!! go go
  • 2 0
 The bikes this year are looking SHARP!
  • 3 1
 YES Hilll ! props ! 9 th today ! maybe a 7 or 8 th tmrw ! Big Grin
  • 3 1
 I mean TODAY !
  • 2 1
 will be watching outside today with wi fi hotspot and red bull tv app for android tried it yesterday.
  • 1 0
 Thanks. I just got the app now too. Cant wait to see how it unfolds. My 2 cents is on hart.
  • 2 1
 This might be a stupid question, but is pinkbike put up a live stream or do we have to find one
  • 1 0
 interested in joining the trek fan club... are the leopard skin tights compulsory?
  • 1 0
 @pipv Gee put the falcon in smith's ass and Devinci Global Racing. Go GT FACTORY RACING AND LOOK AT THE TIME!
  • 1 0
 COD!!!! RC
  • 6 5
 Looked like someone strapped a frag grenade to that wheel!!
  • 2 1
 Can I watch the finals live on the net and if so where...?
  • 2 1
 Red bull media mate
  • 2 1
 its a fair effort to demolish a D-max like that
  • 1 0
 Anyone else weirded out by Gee's left shin/calf thing going on there?
  • 4 0
 I am more weirded out by the little red devil on his left shoulder.
  • 1 0
 Lets see what is going on __________0^0__________
  • 1 0
 best rider will take the win today! !! Yahoo
  • 1 0
 Yeahhh....SiK MiK!!! #5 Awesome
  • 1 0
 Gee's legs look like action man's legs!
  • 4 7
 That wheel looks like a hand grenade was strapped to it...

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