Practice Report & Track Preview From Round 2 of the British National DH Series at Fort William

May 7, 2022 at 16:00
by Nick Bentley  


Round 2 of the UK National Downhill series heads to the Classic Fort William track. With UK riders rubbing shoulders with the World Cup's best check out some of the action from today's practice day. We will have a full race report coming tomorrow.



Views: 4,236    Faves: 3    Comments: 1


Roger Vieira takes us down the legendary Fort William track for a track preview.



Remi Thirion ready to drop in. Like many of the World Cup riders Remi was doing alot of testing today.
Remi Thirion ready to drop in. Like many of the World Cup riders, Remi was doing a lot of testing today.

With the exception of Wyn the whole of the GT World Cup team were here racing at Fort William.
With the exception of Wyn, the whole of the GT World Cup team were here racing at Fort William.

The Trek World Cup Downhill Team were in the house aswell
The Trek World Cup Downhill Team were in the house as well. Will Reece Wilson take the win on home soil tomorrow?

Sam Dale back out on the big rig and looking quick
Sam Dale back out on the big rig and looking quick

Stacey Fisher comes into the race as series leader how will she fair against so many World Cup riders
Stacey Fisher comes into the race as series leader, how will she fare against so many World Cup riders?

Alongside the World Cup pro s there were plenty of junior riders including SR Suntour s Gravity School pupils.
Alongside the World Cup pros there were plenty of Junior riders, including SR Suntour's Gravity School pupils.

The Continental Nukeproof team put in plenty of laps today and weren t shy in leaning it over in the corners
The Continental Nukeproof team put in plenty of laps today and weren't shy in leaning it over in the corners

Nina Hoffman looked quick all day. Good to see such a strong elite field racing.
Nina Hoffmann looked quick all day. Good to see such a strong Elite field racing.

Dry conditions meant it was easy to get the bike leant over on the dry and dusty Fort William track
Dry conditions meant it was easy to get the bike leant over on the dry and dusty Fort William track

Val Holl making Fort Williams berms look easy
Vali Höll making Fort William's berms look easy

Ross Hood making his way through the upper section of the track
Ross Hood making his way through the upper section of the track

With Round 2 being held in May it meant there was still snow on some of the higher peaks in Fort William
With Round 2 being held in May it meant there was still snow on some of the higher peaks in Fort William

Dan Slack sending it on the little hip at the top of the track
Dan Slack sending it on the little hip at the top of the track

With the World cup in Fort William later in the month there was a lot of World Cup riders in attendance Including the world champ himself.
With the World Cup in Fort William later in the month, there are a lot of World Cup riders in attendance Including the World Champ himself.

The mid-section of Fort William is much tamer than the rest of the track
The mid-section of Fort William is much tamer than the rest of the track

Not just tyres taking a beating but plenty of rear mechs aswell
Not just tyres taking a beating, but plenty of rear mechs aswell

The rocks here at Fort William are brutal with plenty of tyres and wheels succumbing to them throughout the day
The rocks here at Fort William are brutal with plenty of tyres and wheels succumbing to them throughout the day

Ad Brayton looking strong through the rock garden
Adam Brayton looking strong through the rock garden

The quickest way passed some of Fort William s rock gardens is to avoid them all together
The quickest way passed some of Fort William's rock gardens is to avoid them all together

Fort William is always a difficult track to ride and with the riders having been away for so long there were plenty of red flags during practice
Fort William is always a difficult track to ride, and with the riders having been away for so long there were plenty of red flags during practice

You forget each year how steep this rock slab is
You forget each year how steep this rock slab is

Luca Thurlow out charging hard for the brand new Muc-Off Young Guns Team
Luca Thurlow out charging hard for the brand new Muc-Off Young Guns Team

Mikayla Parton on the gas
Mikayla Parton on the gas

Clear lenses always make it so easy to see the focus in riders eyes
Clear lenses always make it so easy to see the focus in riders eyes

Plenty of suspension tuning going on today
Plenty of suspension tuning going on today

The view down the track at Fort William is always stunning
The view down the track at Fort William is always stunning

Thibault Daprela taking his time to scope out the lines
Thibaut Daprela taking his time to scope out the lines

Jack Reading sending it over the inside line
Jack Reading sending it over the inside line

Although the clouds threatened all day we managed to stay dry for the whole of practice day
Although the clouds threatened all day, we managed to stay dry for the whole of practice day

Millie Johnset making short work of one of Fort William s many rock gardens
Mille Johnset making short work of one of Fort William's many rock gardens

The little gap jump before the board walk gave the riders an early opportunity to get their wheels off the ground
The little gap jump before the boardwalk gave the riders an early opportunity to get their wheels off the ground

Danny Hart powering his way through the breaking bumps
Danny Hart powering his way through the braking bumps

The Viris Team were out in full force
The Viris Team were out in full force

It will be a late-night for the mechanics with all the repairs from today s practice
It will be a late night for the mechanics with all the repairs from today's practice

Plenty of wheel builds going on today in the pits
Plenty of wheel builds going on today in the pits

Greg Minnaar tucking his way through the motorway section
Greg Minnaar tucking his way through the motorway section

Some fresh parts for the Pinkbike Race Team this weekend
Some fresh parts for the Pinkbike Race Team this weekend

The motorway section provides the rider with enough opportunity to let loose
The motorway section provides the rider with enough opportunity to let loose

The Silverline Wall Ride Jump was a firm favourite with riders
The Silverline Wall Ride Jump was a firm favourite with riders

Plenty of riders taking their time and working their way through this long track in stages
Plenty of riders taking their time and working their way through this long track in stages

The wood section starts with this drop off of the fire-road
The wood section starts with this drop off of the fire road

into a series of berms
into a series of berms

and then into the rock-strewn woods itself
and then into the rock-strewn woods itself

Plenty of line choice as your fighting your way through the woods
Plenty of line choice as you're fighting your way through the woods

There was a new fresh-cut off-piste section of track just for this race
There was a new, fresh-cut off-piste section of track just for this race

Some riders picked their way through carefully
Which some riders picked their way through carefully

others not so much
Others not so much

We will be back tomorrow with a full race report.


45 Comments

  • 24 2
 Is Daprela still on Enve rims? I would sit this one out lad on health and safety grounds. Those Scottish rocks don't suffer fools.
  • 9 1
 Someone needs to tell Daprela that lycra is banned. Any tighter and you'd be able to see the blood pumping thru his veins/arteries
  • 10 1
 Tighty whities. It's a fine line between skinsuit and 'fitted' dh kit these days. If there's an advantage to be had on any track though it's Fort Bill, both top section and motorway.
  • 9 1
 Nah, hes just a dirtjumper and borrowed his sisters kit.
  • 11 2
 In combination with his "High-heels-lookalike-Lezynes" it's pretty ridiculous. But what do I know, I'm getting in this age that I'm the one shaking my head when I see the kid's styles these days.
  • 7 1
 Maybe it's time for Cathro to risk the black skin suit again. Just separate it into two parts (trousers and top), stick some low profile padding underneath and, Robert's your father's brother.
  • 1 0
 He’s been watching Barcia
  • 6 0
 Mint race. Track was prime and like a proper DH track, shame it's getting a make over before the world cup and it's a shame the WC is coming down the puggy line, the BDS woods saw some big crashes today. What a run from Jordon, 2nd fastest of the day behind Danny and smoked Jackson by 8s. BDS is such a level playing field.
  • 2 0
 Anyone know how much the track will differ from the WC in a couple of weeks? I understand there isn't much that can be change on large parts of the course, especially the upper and hence why we are seeing some big international names at the British National Series.
  • 2 0
 I'd assume the road gap will be used, not sure though. Maybe another fresh cut through the woods?
  • 2 1
 Only real difference is that go round the jump in the woods, but may be some other bits taped differently
But supposed to change 10% of track from last time, but that was 3 years ago, so rain will have changed it some what?
  • 2 0
 WC is going to be different from the deer fence to nearly the bottom of the woods compared to last year.

Rumour has it Wink
  • 6 1
 Not one picture of Cathro? Amazed he managed to stay Outside the coverage.
  • 1 2
 he hit a tree
  • 1 1
 @initforthedonuts: yeah just a little tyre bump. was on his IG
  • 4 1
 @initforthedonuts: the tree or ben?
  • 4 0
 Live timing

my.raceresult.com/199481/live#1_CD4429
  • 1 0
 Thanks!
  • 3 0
 i love the camera angle (on the bars) cool setup
  • 1 0
 Pretty unusual today but really cool to see exactly where the front wheel rides.
  • 3 0
 The handlebar mounted camera makes for very twitchy viewing
  • 1 0
 British Cycling rules, Cameras can't be mounted to helmet or body, must be mounted on the bike and cannot be used in race and seeding runs
  • 2 0
 @melonhead1145: those kids need to get with the times. Vlogging is a lucrative source of income which empowers racers, should they produce non twitchy content that is
  • 2 0
 Mikayla Parton for a podium finish, national series and at next weekend WC!
  • 1 0
 Man, that's one of the only times I actually started getting ill from watching footage. Handlebar mounted cameras are all over the place.
  • 1 0
 Those top berms can be sketchier in the dry than the wet, like little marbles. Good to see it dry tho
  • 1 0
 Top berms were battered
  • 1 1
 Any idea where we can see practice timings, etc?

Would be quite interesting with the world cup approaching... can't get my google to find anything though.
  • 1 0
 I haven't seen much but I did notice on Laurie greenland's IG that he was 2nd to Danny
  • 1 0
 Love it what a weekend to run fort bill to weather good racing is good riders are good
  • 2 0
 Brilliant pics!
  • 2 2
 That last pic, wear some gloves, dude! He's lucky that wasn't the rock garden or his hands would be hamburger!!
  • 1 0
 2nd last photo is fire imho ! awesome work
  • 1 3
 That pic of Vali holl isn't Vali holl.
  • 3 0
 it is she didn't have her kit on Saturday
  • 1 0
 It is, airlines lost her bags and she borrowed a Trek Factory Racing kit, not her usual TLD kit (thankfully she traveled with helmet in hand).
  • 2 0
 Vali-dation here, bib number 116 ;
my.raceresult.com/199481/participants#0_77A3ED
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