Qualifying Report: British National Downhill Series 2023 - Fort William

May 6, 2023 at 15:54
by Nick Bentley  
photo

Round 2 of the British Downhill Series arrives once again at Fort William and like in years before it has turned into a Mini World Cup round. This year Fort William plays host to the World Championships so there was more interest than ever from riders wanting to get time on the track before August. However, the World Champs track is being firmly kept under wraps with plenty of big changes coming before August. Until then sit back and enjoy some of the world's best riders battling it out alongside the UK's best today in seeding.

GT Viris Caty McGowan keeping it pinned round the upper berms
GT Viris' Caty McGowan keeping it pinned round the upper berms

Adam Biggins having some fun on the jump underneath the gondola. The Scottish highlands haven t quite come out of winter yet as you can see a little bit of snow on the mountains behind
Adam Biggins having some fun on the jump underneath the gondola. The Scottish highlands haven't quite come out of winter yet as you can see a little bit of snow on the mountains behind

Marine Cabirou seeded well today finishing up fifth in a very strong Elite women s field
Marine Cabirou seeded well today finishing up fifth in a very strong Elite women's field

There is something special about Fort William in the sun
There is something special about Fort William in the sun

Lisa Baunann leaning it in through the loose berm
Lisa Baumann leaning it in through the loose berm

Emily Carrick-Anderson swapping her XC bike for her DH bike finishing up third place in seeding. Could this mean we might see Emily on a downhill at World Champs
Emily Carrick-Anderson swapping her XC bike for her DH bike finishing up third place in seeding. Could this mean we might see Emily racing downhill at World Champs?

Troy Brosnan was on the gas through the upper berms in practice
Troy Brosnan was on the gas through the upper berms in practice

Greg Minnaar taking some time to look at lines in practice
Greg Minnaar taking some time to look at lines in practice

The boardwalks were a rare moment for the riders to take a rest
The boardwalks were a rare moment for the riders to take a rest

Joe Breeden making short work of the Fort William rocks
Joe Breeden making short work of the Fort William rocks

The sunshine was amazing today
The sunshine was amazing today

Thibault Daprela taking the tight inside line which seemed to be favoured by most of the World Cup riders
Thibault Daprela taking the tight inside line which seemed to be favoured by most of the World Cup riders

The exposed ridge lines are littered with rocks and were challenging in today s wind
The exposed ridge lines are littered with rocks and were challenging in today's wind

Excellent work by the marshals today and all the team at SDA keeping everything running smoothly. Also it s great to see riders respecting the red flags out on track
Excellent work by the marshals today and all the team at SDA, keeping everything running smoothly. Also, it's great to see riders respecting the red flags out on track

Douglas Vieira gapping his way down one of the many upper rock gardens
Douglas Vieira gapping his way down one of the many upper rock gardens

You don t have to deal with rocks that you don t touch
You don't have to deal with rocks that you don't touch

A strong sixth place seeding result for Trek Factory Racing s Bodhi Kuhn
A strong sixth-place seeding result for Trek Factory Racing's Bodhi Kuhn

It s crazy to think that before today Hattie Harnden had never done a run at the Fort William track. It ll be interesting to see how the Enduro rider finishes up tomorrow
It's crazy to think that before today Hattie Harnden had never done a run at the Fort William track. It'll be interesting to see how the Enduro rider finishes up tomorrow

The rocks are unrelenting in the upper section
The rocks are unrelenting in the upper section

Laurie Greenland has been in Fort William all week testing onboard his new Santa Cruz V10. It seems to be working just fine for Laurie with him finishing seeding in third
Laurie Greenland has been in Fort William all week testing onboard his new Santa Cruz V10. It seems to be working just fine for Laurie with him finishing seeding in third

Ad Brayton is looking to back up a strong fifth place in the first round
Ad Brayton is looking to back up a strong fifth place in the first round

Henry Kerr leaning it in through the upper rocks
Henry Kerr leaning it in through the upper rocks

Practice is the perfect excuse for the riders to stop and have a mother s meeting and talk rubbish about which line they are going to take
Practice is the perfect excuse for the riders to stop and have a mother's meeting and talk rubbish about which line they are going to take

You have to get the power down through this rare smooth section on the upper exposed part of the track
You have to get the power down through this rare smooth section on the upper exposed part of the track

The easiest way to deal with roots is to just not touch them at all
The easiest way to deal with roots is to just not touch them at all

Which starts with this little gap off of the board walk
Which starts with this little gap off of the boardwalk

Anthony Harvey on his way through the wood section which since the infamous muddy World Cup is one long rock garden
Anthony Harvey on his way through the wood section which, since the infamous muddy World Cup, is one long rock garden

Cathro powering through the woods
Cathro powering through the woods

Jenna Fellows charging hard in her first year in Elite
Jenna Fellows charging hard in her first year in Elite

Luke Mumford making his way around the new improvised section of track put in to avoid the ongoing work on the main track for the World Championships
Luke Mumford making his way around the new improvised section of track put in to avoid the ongoing work on the main track for the World Championships

Some last minute advice before hitting the gondola
Some last-minute advice before hitting the gondola

The view from the start hut at Fort William is amazing please excuse the commissaries eating their lunch
The view from the start hut at Fort William is amazing, please excuse the commissaries eating their lunch

Kev Factory Racing s Charlie Toomer will be looking to improve on his fourteenth seeding place result but Charlie has a really fast first sector only to lose time further down
Kev Factory Racing's Charlie Toomer will be looking to improve on his fourteenth seeding place result, but Charlie has a really fast first sector only to lose time further down

Jack Unwin hitting the first corner hard
Jack Unwin hitting the first corner hard

A good seeding result for Stan Nisbet in a big Junior field of 50 riders. Stan finished up fourth in seeding and will be looking to make the most of that tomorrow in race day
A good seeding result for Stan Nisbet in a big Junior field of 50 riders. Stan finished up fourth in seeding and will be looking to make the most of that tomorrow in race day

Ros O Keefe flicking his way through the berms
Ros O'Keefe flicking his way through the berms

Although the wind was strong up-top the lack of rain meant everything was running fast
Although the wind was strong up top, the lack of rain meant everything was running fast

Andrew Donnachie having some fun gapping the rocks on his way to a strong fourth-place seeding result in the Master s field
Andrew Donnachie having some fun gapping the rocks on his way to a strong fourth-place seeding result in the Master's field

The upper corners are fast and loose
The upper corners are fast and loose

The views from the upper section of Fort William are stunning
The views from the upper section of Fort William are stunning

Not that the riders have much time to take them in
Not that the riders have much time to take them in

It s great to see the Grand Veteran Men out racing. Keeping up the Numbers Richard Binns here powering his way through the rocks
It's great to see the Grand Veteran Men out racing. Keeping up the Numbers' Richard Binns here powering his way through the rocks

Fortunately just one major red flag for the day with the rider needing to be evacuated from the hill using Fort William s rescue cable car. Although I m assured by the medics that it wasn t as serious as the injury initially looked
Fortunately just one major red flag for the day with the rider needing to be evacuated from the hill using Fort William's rescue cable car. Although I'm assured by the medics that it wasn't as serious as the injury initially looked

The upper section of the track is so exposed and many riders struggled today with wind
The upper section of the track is so exposed and many riders struggled today with the wind

Fort William s legendary rock garden s are unforgiving but at least today they were dry for seeding
Fort William's legendary rock gardens are unforgiving but at least today they were dry for seeding

Amy White-Bensted out on the trail bike this weekend
Amy White-Bensted out on the trail bike this weekend

Jane Page showing off her National Champs sleeve and having a close fought battle with Vaska Prostova in the Women s field with the two riders being separated by just 0.1s in seeding today
Jane Page showing off her National Champs sleeve and having a close-fought battle with Vaska Prostova in the Women's field with the two riders being separated by just 0.1s in seeding today

Jessica Stone working her way through one of Fort William s many rock gardens
Jessica Stone working her way through one of Fort William's many rock gardens

Mikayla Parton smashing her way through the rocks. Mikayla started the day with a migraine but managed to power through ending up seventh in seeding
Mikayla Parton smashing her way through the rocks. Mikayla started the day with a migraine but managed to power through ending up seventh in seeding

Monika Harstnik was one of the many World Cup riders racing this weekend. A solid fourth place finish for Monika in seeding
Monika Hrastnik was among the many World Cup riders racing this weekend. A solid fourth-place finish for Monika in seeding

The fastest woman of the day Nina Hoffman was quickest by just 0.945 of a second. Could Nina make it back to back wins at the British National Series at Fort William
The fastest woman of the day Nina Hoffman was quickest by just 0.945 of a second. Could Nina make it back-to-back wins at the British National Series at Fort William?

Josh Gallagher making his way through the rocks heading towards the deer gate
Josh Gallagher making his way through the rocks heading towards the deer gate

Benjamin Hood was a solid seventh place in seeding today in a tough senior men s field
Benjamin Hood was a solid seventh place in seeding today in a tough senior men's field

Thankfully the wind stopped after a lot of wind delays on track walk day meaning the full track was able to be used. But if we do see a return of the high winds we ll see the start moved to the Deer Gate
Thankfully the wind stopped after a lot of wind delays on track walk day, meaning the full track was able to be used. But if we do see a return of the high winds we'll see the start moved to the Deer Gate

There were some course changes from the usual World Cup track with the National Series race not heading over the road gap so after this berm the riders headed right down a freshly prepared piece of track
There were some course changes from the usual World Cup track, with the National Series race not heading over the road gap, so after this berm, the riders headed right down a freshly prepared piece of track

The tight corners through the woods towards the river gap is always a great section of track to watch riders through
The tight corners through the woods towards the river gap is always a great section of track to watch riders through

Despite changes being made on track the Fort William classic wall ride through the tree stumps is still in place
Despite changes being made on the track, the Fort William classic wall ride through the tree stumps is still in place

Cathro sending his way through some of the trail crews fresh handy work on the section just above the motorway
Cathro sending his way through some of the trail crew's fresh handy work on the section just above the motorway

It was great to see the man the legend Sam Hill out on track this weekend
It was great to see the man, the legend Sam Hill out on track this weekend

Down the motorway at Fort William you have 2 choices speed tuck like Andreas Kolb or
Down the motorway at Fort William you have 2 choices speed tuck like Andreas Kolb or

Get on the pedals and cranks hard like Bruni
Get on the pedals and cranks hard like Bruni

We will be back tomorrow for race day!



Author Info:
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Member since Nov 28, 2019
245 articles

85 Comments
  • 28 0
 Genuine question regarding this photo caption...

"it's great to see riders respecting the red flags out on track"

Why the need to mention this went though my head.....seriously, are there some who don't?
  • 6 0
 Yes, it's been an issue for many years riders are much better than 20 years ago, but genrally you need to shout 'red flag' for riders to stop. It is not always deliberate though and it's easy to miss a flag when you are focused on the track.
  • 13 1
 some kind of live stream for the race can be found here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VAifMMiSHw
  • 8 12
flag MrRight (May 7, 2023 at 22:03) (Below Threshold)
 Sam Hill helmet cam of that sneaky new line here:
youtu.be/o-YBDTqX_ZU
  • 4 4
 @MrRight: that’s funny I could swear the video is of your mum with all the boys last weekend
  • 3 0
 @enduroNZ: don’t be salty that Sam is better than you
  • 1 0
 And replay; go to 29:33
  • 1 0
 Sort of...
  • 22 12
 Let’s get some coverage of Downhill Southeast at Windrock. Richie just showed up. Three practice runs and he’s probably going to win.
  • 8 14
flag Mtn-Goat-13 (May 7, 2023 at 12:02) (Below Threshold)
 1) can't figure out why anyone would downvote this comment (or even why downvoting is a thing here vs. just upvoting) but 2) DHSE is never gonna be live ('d think) but the wrapsups are pretty killer the following week. Sure Pisgah Podcast is taking a bath (I guess?) from focusing on this instead, but Mangler's crew seems to do a killer job. I do miss the pod though - its been a full 2 months since they had a show and its sad. That plus PB's podcast falling to shambles since Taipei is a double bummer.
  • 19 1
 @Mtn-Goat-13: Perhaps because it’s a bit irrelevant to post on a report about the BDS round where almost the entire World Cup field is racing that there should be coverage of a U.S. race where there’s fewer than a handful of big names competing?
  • 4 6
 @Jprestidge: they are pretty similar in scale normally. A few big riders and a bunch of young hungry wolves.
  • 10 16
flag TheR (May 7, 2023 at 14:53) (Below Threshold)
 @Mtn-Goat-13: Cause It’s the Internet. And this site has gotten worse about the downvotes. It used to be only the most insane comments from Waki were downvoted to oblivion. People don’t want to discuss things anymore. Just want to silence things they don’t like.

@jprestidge: I don’t know. Seems like a reasonable comment in context — “Hey, while you’re covering this sport on one place, we sure would be interested to see you cover the same sport in another place.” In fact, given the forum, seems like the most relevant place to post this comment at the moment.
  • 5 11
flag Mtn-Goat-13 (May 7, 2023 at 14:57) (Below Threshold)
 @Jprestidge: The vast majoirty of PB comments are entirely unrelated to the article - easier to just move on that go full Chinese / Russian comment censorship.
  • 4 9
flag Mtn-Goat-13 (May 7, 2023 at 14:57) (Below Threshold)
 @Jprestidge: @Jprestidge: The vast majoirty of PB comments are entirely unrelated to the article - easier to just move on that go full Chinese / Russian comment censorship.
  • 5 11
flag Mtn-Goat-13 (May 7, 2023 at 14:59) (Below Threshold)
 @TheR: Heard on that - used to be you just let people say what the like and move on. Makes the comments more of a dirge now, but ultiamtley its PB that even allows the downvote. I get that blatant violent, sexist, (etc) comments are inappropriate but - this is just jabbering. Its what most of us do here.
  • 8 6
 @Mtn-Goat-13: I kind of like the downvotes sometimes, because I know where I can find the most egregiously insane comments (below the line down there) and have a good grin. Also, I kind of like when my own comments have gotten under enough skin to get below the line. Then at least I know people are reading and reacting in some way. Big downvotes and big upvotes are the same to me.
  • 4 9
flag TheR (May 7, 2023 at 17:46) (Below Threshold)
 @Mtn-Goat-13: And also, big downvotes with no counter arguments mean I just triggered the haters into cognitive dissonance.
  • 4 6
 @TheR: I hear ya but also - is that actually true? Words are just words and long as its bikers talking shit & talking bikes, I'm happy to just read - hidden or not. I think most of us are. Long as its not just pure political style hate - scrub away please, what does it really matter? Just words on a screen.
  • 2 0
 Gotta go to Vital if you want solid race content. And you should be stoked DHSE get's way more coverage then the NWCup! Just saying.
  • 1 4
 Loving all the Chinese / Russian downvotes here...this isn't even controversial shit but hey - snowflakeys gonna flake.
  • 4 0
 This is a bizarre thread. I just wish they would cover additional racing going on, maybe we'll get one of those racing roundups from the weekend? It seems arbitrary which ones are chosen to get their own article.
  • 1 0
 @pisgahgnar: I feel like Nick Bentley posted a report on the events of qualifying but is not a PB writer - just contributing and article which I assume anyone can do? It makes it to your feed if that is something you are interested in. Or that was my understanding of PB.
I could (and likely am) wrong.
  • 2 0
 @paulskibum: you are sort of right. My UK race reports come out from my media company Man Down Media check us out on socials if your want people. But all the tech stuff and big events in the UK I do as a PB writer. It’s complicated but your are 100% right you can go out and submit content to PB and if you want your event done get out there and do it.
  • 10 0
 Emma Carrick-Anderson... daughter of Carrick I presume? Bloke was a legend when I first got into riding, rad to see another generation coming through!
  • 7 0
 I assume you mean Crawford, but yeah, that's the family.
  • 2 0
 @Murder-One: Hahaha yeah got my names out of line there but you got the gist of it, thanks!
  • 8 0
 Amaury Pierron sitting outside the top 10 (without a crash) that's a bit of a surprise.
  • 3 1
 month away from WC.
  • 4 0
 For this being a "Mini World Cup", I'm surprised at the lack of coverage of the event.
No results for seeding or for the race runs.
Laurie Greenland broke the track record with a run of 4:25 and Pinkbike doesn't think people would be interested?
  • 1 0
 Report is written on my blog waiting to go out
  • 6 0
 No results?
  • 9 3
 Jordan Williams is no joke. The old guard may crumble under the new young guns.
  • 1 0
 Race is just happening now
  • 4 0
 live timing: my.raceresult.com/243163/live#1_D9A51A
  • 27 0
 This is the finish order. Laurie Greenland Matt Walker Charlie Hatton Amaury Pierron Troy Brosnan Loris Vergier Luca Shaw Benoit Coulanges Andreas Kolb Thibaut Daprela Henry Kerr Greg Minnaar Ronan Dunne Oliver Zwar Bernard Kerr Loris Revelli Taylor Vernon Ben Cathro Jamie Edmondson Joe Breeden Luke Mumford Luke Williamson Baptiste Pierron Christopher Philogene Greg Williamson Christopher Cumming Roger Novack Vieira Harry Molloy William Brodie George Gannicott Douglas Vieira Douglas Goodwill Lino Lehmann Toby Driscoll Florent Payet Niall Clerkin Samuel Hill Declan Willicombe Drew Carters Loic Bruni Conor Bate Luke Knight Jim Stanley Jordan Williams Tomas Elsmore Corey Watson Dante Silva Morgan Simmons
  • 23 0
 Women's finish order:
Nina Hoffman

Camille Balanche

Monika Hrastnik

Veronika Widman

Phoebe Gale

Marine Cabirou

Mikayla Parton

Harriet Harnden

Mille Johnset

Lisa Baumann

Jessica Stone

Becci Skelton

Jolanda Kiener

Jenna Fellows

Ramona Kupferschmied

Bethany Mccully
  • 7 0
 @thingswelike: nice one, thanks!
  • 5 35
flag TomasK (May 7, 2023 at 11:09) (Below Threshold)
 @thingswelike: what, no Princess Seagrave? Smile
  • 19 1
 @TomasK: I think compared to her you'd be the princess...
  • 3 18
flag TomasK (May 7, 2023 at 14:21) (Below Threshold)
 @Mtn-Goat-13: sorry to hurt your and all the other fanboys feelings.
  • 15 1
 @TomasK: No feelings hurt - could care less about Tahnee or any pro riders (I don't know any of them) - this is all just words flashing on a screen - but I am saying that Tahnee would smoke you - hands down. Fact.
  • 9 6
 @Mtn-Goat-13: no doubt she would, if only she would turn up at races in first place! I see many of you missing the point here.
  • 13 1
 @TomasK: I presume that, like her, you also landed on your head and suffered serious concussion at some point in the last year.
  • 2 12
flag Mtn-Goat-13 (May 8, 2023 at 3:11) (Below Threshold)
 @BenPea: My bad, just realized I got into it w/ a teenager. Go do some tiktoks & finish that algebra. Dad will buy ya that new ebike soon enough.
  • 2 5
 @BenPea: So have many other athletes. Just as an example (not direct, I know) - Ella Conolly, dislocates her elbow and then comes back couple rounds later, so does Camille Balanche. Not going to argue, concussion is a serious injury and believe it or not I have suffered fair few.
  • 4 2
 @TomasK: Don't worry, it's quite obvious you've had a few knocks to the head.
  • 6 0
 @TomasK: all injuries are different and affect people in different ways. Don’t pretend to know what someone else has going on in their life that might stop them from racing.
  • 1 0
 @thingswelike: username checks out
  • 4 0
 Nice shots and coverage. Conditions look perfect!
  • 4 1
 Get yer goggles on Jack Unwin.
  • 2 0
 Thought the same and then noticed he looked younger than my children. Put your goggles on so us old guys don't feel so bad.
  • 3 1
 Things that make you feel old: Seeing the guys who were juniors when you were racing competing in the vets.
  • 3 0
 Adam Biggins is a great name for a downhill racer, I must say.
  • 3 0
 Pinkbike racing on Manitou this year
  • 1 0
 And actual pink kit unlike last year. It will be just like the MTB-Cut days for Cathro. I'm not that good at recognizing frames from this angle but I hope the Pinkbike team is running Orange bikes this year.
  • 2 0
 Two days later and still no race day results or coverage, just more Canyon bike ads er' reviews... #followthe$$
  • 1 0
 It’s pending it’s in my blog waiting for it to be put out by editors.
  • 2 0
 Great pics! Can't wait to the race!
  • 3 0
 Congrats Greenland!
  • 1 0
 Quality content just for the seeding round!
  • 3 2
 Who won timed training tho?
  • 4 1
 Jordan Williams
  • 2 2
 Jordan Williams probably is gonna have a drink sponsor soon... ( I wonder why he hasn't have already... !?)... !
  • 1 0
 Another bad weekend for him.
  • 4 1
 @Roost66: qualified first and then flatted?
Dreadful.
  • 2 1
 Every turn’s inside line should be called “the Sam Hill line”!!!
  • 1 0
 A lot of photos .... i like that !!!
  • 2 2
 Sam Hill qualified way down the lost :,(
  • 4 15
flag Whataboutism (May 7, 2023 at 6:57) (Below Threshold)
 It’s the pedals.
  • 10 1
 I said it before and I'll say it again: as much as I'd love to see him up on the podium, I can't imagine it happens.
  • 12 0
 This is gonna be a rough year for us Hill fans, we will all be sending a few pints in celebration when he grabs a top 40.
  • 9 0
 @yakimonti: Not at all - just having him try is pure gold. May not win and w/ this year's changes, might not even be broadcast much but the fact that he's going back to DH is awesome, nothing but kickass. Would love to see some top 10's or whatever...just that he's in the mix is nuts. He doesn't have to win anything for his mere presence to be total stoke material.
  • 6 0
 As long as we get to see him blowing up corners on the live feed I'll be happy
  • 1 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: this is the way. The results are almost secondary to me at this point.
  • 1 0
 @Edendino: Yeah I ain't counting him out till he's retired, he won EWS just a few years ago. We know from Sam's earlier DH years that he could be struggling to get top 10s and then suddenly come out of his shell and win one. I'd never count him out especially if the right trail came up for him, I think his bike isn't competitive though so that's going to hold him back no matter what. It's basically the same bike from 2014 with bigger wheels, slack from Nukeproof.
  • 1 0
 @bikes-arent-real: maybe the bike was good enough so there was not much to improve?
  • 1 0
 @Edendino: It doesn't look terribly good in videos of him, perhaps that's just suspension. Looks like it has a lot of lateral movement.
  • 1 0
 Where is Reece Wilson?
  • 3 0
 Not back from injury yet
  • 2 2
 Probably out all season, again.
  • 1 0
 @Barrywillox: What injury?
  • 1 0
 @chmurka3rg: Multiple Fractures in his leg, heel and toe. He just published the news on Instagram.
  • 2 0
 @iambalze: fokken hell, Reeco and Kasper Woolley has had some bad bad luck







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