In what will be its 14th consecutive season as a host of the World Cup or World Champs, Fort William is second only to Mont St. Anne as the longest running venue on the UCI MTB calendar. With a winner's circle over the years that includes names like Kovarik, Gracia, Peat, Moseley, Jonnier, Atherton, and Minnaar just to name a few, it would be an understatement to say the track is anything short of legendary.
While the ratio of dirt to solid rock has changed over the years on the hills of Aonoch Mor, the basic layout of the track has never changed. High up the ski field, open and exposed to the elements, riders begin their quest for glory on what is easily the longest, continuous high speed section of track on all of the World Cup circuit. Mid way down, with arms burning, riders pass through the deer gate and enter the technical woods which once again have been tapped to be as muddy and awkward as ever. This is also the section of track that has seen most changes over the years to help riders keep their speed through the final split that leads to the infamous motorway.
While many would argue the race is won from the deer gate down, an equal number would agree that it's often lost over the last 30 seconds as riders sprint between massive jumps that lead to the finish area. This section has seen 2 second leads over taken, and seemingly slow runs claim victory in front of what will be the largest and loudest crowd of the season.We'll be on hand bringing you the goods from Fort William all weekend, so stay tuned.
About the PhotographersMatthew Delorme • Age: 40 • Years Shooting: 8 Matthew DeLorme is just one of Pinkbike’s motley crew of World Cup photographers. He currently lives out of a Ogio bag, and calls the road his home. Delorme works for Trek Bicycle, covering their MTB racing programs. He can usually be found laying in the dirt trackside, cracking jokes and saying things that make little to no sense. He enjoys capturing accessory moments and the journey every bit as much as catching the action shot. Dave Trumpore • Age: 35 • Years Shooting: 4
Dave spent the bulk of the past 17 years racing professionally before realizing that despite qualifying for the random World Cup final here and there, the next generation was just way too fast and way more talented. Upon hanging up his racing boots in 2010, it would be a few years until Dave picked up a camera and started shooting the odd race here and there as a way to stay in touch with all the friends he had made over the years, and the rest as they say is history. In just a few years time his photos have graced the pages of just about every MTB magazine and major media outlet, while his commercial client list includes a who's who of the cycling industry, and he is lucky enough to shoot regularly with some of the best riders on the planet. Currently at Pinkbike, Dave shoots the Downhill WC and the Enduro World Series as well as contributing to the occasional editorial story.
Nathan Hughes • Age: 28 • Years Shooting: 2
Nathan Hughes was snared as mainstay Pinbike media crew for the 2013 World Cup season and has been trapped behind the lens and the keyboard ever since. In between the biggest bike events of the year Nathan can be found on client shoots, making far-off travel stories and trying to catch a moment to spin the pedals himself. A great appreciation of the wilderness, the fear of a normal life and the quest for the perfect picture will have him hooked and looking to raise the bar for years to come.
MENTIONS: @natedh9 / @mdelorme