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Fort William in Photos

Jun 6, 2011 at 17:39
by Alasdair MacLennan  

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  Tracy Moseley owns Fort William. It's hard to believe that she has now won five World Cups on the slopes of Aonoch Mor. She may have lost out at the World Champs here in 2007 in front of her home crowd, but 2010 made amends for that when she took the title in Mont Saint Anne. Here she displays those hard earned rainbow stripes en route to victory number five.
Fort William World Cup 2011 photos - copyright Ian MacLennan 2011.
  Timothy Bentley going down in a cloud of dust during Friday practice. The track may have been repaired. It may have been swept. But it's still Fort William and that means that it takes no prisoners - these corners are always loose and drifty, perfect for some sideways action in front of the lens.
Fort William World Cup 2011 photos - copyright Ian MacLennan 2011.
  Steve Smith didn't have the perfect weekend in Fort William. A massive mistake up top cost him dear and although he clawed back some of the deficit created it was too little, too late and the Canadian was left sitting in tenth.
Fort William World Cup 2011 photos - copyright Ian MacLennan 2011.
  The sun was out and it seemed riders were making the most of this sometimes elusive creature on the Scottish west coast by rocking the iridium lenses. Steve Peat didn't show podium pace here, but is still one of the most consistent riders out there. Ten years older than anyone else in the top twenty and still shredding, Peaty is a true legend in the sport and for good reason.
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  The year of the young guns. Brook MacDonald had a sterling weekend and for a while it looked as though he would be the one to take the fight to the big guns. Fight he did but he couldn't quite match the pace of Danny Hart and Greg Minnaar in full flow and struggled to pull back the time further down the course that he'd lost to them in the first split.
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  Having to contend with injury is never easy and in recent years Fabien Barel has had to overcome some big ones. After qualifying in fourteenth, Fabien was looking to improve come Sunday...
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  ...but then it was all over. The top section may look smooth but don't be fooled, the top half dozen corners hold a disproportionately high number of casualties to their name. This time it was only Fabien's back wheel to have taken the punishment but it's a long walk back up that hill when you've got a bike on your back.
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  Gee in full flow across the top rock garden. He obliterated the first split with a 1:00.583 and looked like he could be on a good run but by the time he came into sight of the cameras on the motorway it was all beginning to unravel. A back wheel on the brink of collapse still held together enough to net him fourth place but he wasn't happy; at this level you can ill afford a mechanical of any description even if the damage can be limited to a solid fourth place.
Fort William World Cup 2011 photos - copyright Ian MacLennan 2011.
  Danny Hart was on the pipe all weekend. For those who've been in the British game for a long time it's easy to forget how young Danny actually is. After a solid first year in Elite and on Giant in 2010 this weekend saw him make the jump to a World Cup podium. It's been a long time coming and a world away from the cold, wet and low key winter races in Scotland that he first cut his racing teeth on. Few can argue that this weekend has been a watershed in his racing career and will only serve to boost his confidence levels as the racing circus moves its way south through Europe to round three in Leogang just seven days later.
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  After a horrendous and season destroying crash here just twelve months ago Sam Hill would have been forgiven for not riding too close to the edge, having experienced first hand how hard it can bite. But a 4:48 isn't exactly a slow ride and netted ninth place for the Specialized rider. As in 2009, the lurid kit being ridden by him all weekend will be auctioned off in the name of Breast Cancer Awareness. It's cool to see a top rider using his influence to help others and long may it continue.
Fort William World Cup 2011 photos - copyright Ian MacLennan 2011.
  Master of the Southern Hemisphere. Aaron Gwin destroyed the field in South Africa for round one and by Saturday afternoon things looked on course for the same to happen here in Fort William. But alas, it wasn't to be and despite being fastest to the second split, things went awry between there and the finish, vital seconds disappearing to the gods of racing and dropping him from the coveted top spot on the podium to fifth, the final step on it.
Fort William World Cup 2011 photos - copyright Ian MacLennan 2011.
  Joe Barnes can definitely be considered a local here, like several other MTBCut riders, and is one who regularly performs well here. Unfortunately a rear mech being ripped off up in the woods made his task of qualifying all the harder and although he was still on to make it, a mistake while pushing hard to carry speed further down the course left him out of the action and sitting out the 2011 final.
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  Focusing hard on the task in hand. Manon Carpenter is the leading Junior World Cup rider and was on form in Fort William. Fifth on Saturday and although she will have been aiming for higher than eighth on Sunday it was no result to be ashamed of. The season is still early, expect big things from the Welsh girl this year!
Fort William World Cup 2011 photos - copyright Ian MacLennan 2011.
  Marc Beaumont hurt his hand in a crash during practice on Saturday. It didn't stop him pushing hard but the little niggles never help. Having professed to never quite getting the maximum pace out of the top section over the years this year proved to be no different in both qualifying and the finals. Twelfth isn't bad but for the man who won the 2010 Val di Sole round it wasn't the result he was hoping for.
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  Jill Kintner stormed the top corners, only Rachel Atherton beating her top split time. Rocking the stripes and stars, she crossed the line for sixth.
Fort William World Cup 2011 photos - copyright Ian MacLennan 2011.
  Matthew Scoles railing his Trek Session through an S-bend. Loose, fast and a tightrope of speed, grip and drifting, this corner can be so rewarding when you get it right, so damaging to your run when you get it wrong.
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  Mio Suemasa was the first Asian to win a World Championship when she took the Junior title in Vail, Colorado, in 2001. At Pietermaritzburg she ran a single crown Fox to help with weight but reverted here to a more normal Fox 40.
Fort William World Cup 2011 photos - copyright Ian MacLennan 2011.
  When it comes to this rock garden there are several ground hugging options and then there is the huck favoured by very few. Keeping his wheels on the ground here, Sam Dale hits them up while Bryceland chases him down in the background.


Author Info:
cloverleaf avatar

Member since May 26, 2003
178 articles

29 Comments
  • 13 0
 AWESOME PHOTOS , the quality has improved loads since i last saw ur photos and thery were amazing then :S
  • 9 0
 the color is phenomenal
  • 1 0
 These photos are incredible. The best I've seen from MacLennan.
  • 4 0
 Thank you very much guys for all your kind comments which really are appreciated. The truth is that I'm never really satisfied with any of my shots because I can't help wincing at all the flaws that just leap out at me. There's always room for improvement and I have a long way to go before I'll be satisfied. The downhill photography is really just a sideline to support Ali's articles as my main passion is large format landscapes which I think have fewer flaws - maybe because I've been photographing landscapes since before dirt was invented! Ian
  • 1 0
 how much did sams bike sell for?
  • 1 0
 Aly, if your son rides as well as he takes photo's he's one to watch for the future!! Six runs at the Fort today, feeling a wee bit stiff now. Back for more 'training' on Sunday!
  • 2 0
 He he...;-)
  • 3 0
 Just a wee clarification here - Alasdair is my son and he is the one who writes the articles and races. I, Ian, take the pics for his articles whenever I can. When we're not arguing furiously over the selection of photos and the grammar in articles, I think we actually make a pretty good team. Ian
  • 4 0
 i somehow guessed commented would be disabled for manon carpenters picture
  • 3 0
 terrific pics. the tight, crisp shots are tops. keep 'em comin!
  • 2 0
 Ali....Ian's photos are amazing. As has been said before, the colour and clarity are fantastic!!!.........Speechless!!!!
  • 1 0
 Awsome photos! Love the look of determination in the eyes of the riders. Can't believe Matthew Scoles doesn't need gloves! That's scary
  • 2 0
 WOW... great series.. super sharp!
  • 2 0
 Can we get some camera dets on that pic of Manon Carpenter ??
  • 1 0
 The camera was a Canon 1D MK IV with the 70-200 f2.8L IS MK II lens set at 200mm. Exposure was 1/5000s, f2.8. ISO320. I tracked her from about 20m out and shot this from a low viewpoint (in a ditch) when she was about 3m away, and approaching at about 7m/s.
  • 1 0
 Props, its a great shot.
  • 2 1
 In the pics of Hart and Hill, the Boxxer forks have a discoloration to them. Is that the coating or is it something else?
  • 2 0
 its the BLACKBOX coting used on the WC level boxxers... looks like this when its nice and frictionless!
  • 1 0
 DLC... anyone can get it done through speciality motorcycle shops
  • 1 0
 you should be able to fav articles, my fav photo page is getting wayy to crowded haha
  • 1 0
 Absolutely amazing photos. Been staring at these for the last 15 minutes - great work!
  • 1 0
 Pictures are so clear, they show how much concentrated these riders are, good job !
  • 1 0
 hehe nice of me to be in one of the shots Wink Razz
  • 1 0
 Huck ftw and inside on the following corners at that top rock garden Big Grin
  • 1 0
 whats wrong with the manon carpenter picture?
  • 1 0
 bunch of pods! hurray! Big Grin
  • 1 0
 that photo of peaty is outstanding
  • 1 0
 Nice shoots!
  • 1 0
 HOLY GOD!!!!!!!







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