"The future has not been written, there is no fate but what we make for ourselves." The riders must think about what John Connor said to the T-800 every race. Are they destined to win or lose? What impacts do the decisions they make in their lives have on their runs, their careers... On track, in the moment, an extra pedal stroke here, a little heavier on the brakes there, could be the difference between a flat or a crash and the podium. Do they want it too much or not enough? The slightest alteration to their plans could change everything when tenths of a second count. This year at the Fort the racing was tighter than tight. Except in the Junior women's race.
Yes, Valentina Holl has arrived and she's set to burn brightly in women's MTB. Today she lit up the legendary race track to destroy her counterparts by 29 seconds and even put herself into an elite podium position, whips included. Next week she heads to her native Austria and local DH track, so keep an eye on that winning margin. In the Junior Men's race Australian, Kye A'Hern, took the win ahead of Thibaut Daprela and Kade Edwards, while in Elite Women Tahnee Seagrave was able to clinch that inaugural win on UK soil on the race track everyone wants to dominate most. Rachel Atherton fell foul to a snapped chain and a crash, while Myriam Nicole also had a problem staying upright, but held on to second and third.
The men's race kept the party well alive and the storms held off until the French had taken over the podium. Amaury Pierron took his first ever victory ahead of countrymen Vergier and Bruni, while Reece Wilson experienced what must have been about the best day of his life, becoming the first Scotsman ever to reach the top steps at Fort William. Meanwhile, Troy Brosnan completed the podium and first place qualifier, Luca Shaw and series leader, Aaron Gwin appeared to be flat out of luck, blowing tyres and hitting the deck respectively. No fate, but what we make... Hasta la vista baby.