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Fantasy Form Guide: Pinkbike's Predictions for the Fort William DH World Cup 2024

May 1, 2024 at 8:24
by Ed Spratt  
Oisin O Callaghan ripping through the granite rock slabs.

Fantasy Form Guide presented by Five Ten
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As riders are getting up to speed for the first World Cup race of the year, we have taken a look through the data to give our best guess of who might be the ones to watch this weekend at Fort William. Before the riders check out the slightly adjusted course, here are our thoughts on who could be in the running for a top result in finals.



Who has Performed Well Here?


Greg Minnaar snakes his way into the fog.

As a classic venue of the World Cup circuit, Fort William has a long history of race winners with 20 different riders securing elite wins since 2002. Of all the winners in Fort William, one rider stands above as Greg Minnaar holds seven race victories here since his first win here 20 years ago in 2004. While last year's World Championships didn't go to plan for Minnaar, with a new team and bike this year, we could be in for something special. Another multiple winner in Fort William getting between the tape this weekend is Amaury Pierron, who is returning from a vertebrae fracture at last year's World Cup opening round in Switzerland. Pierron is nearly undefeated at Fort William since his win in 2018 with only Charlie Hatton's World Champs victory breaking the winning streak of the French racer. Of course, last year's World Champ Charlie Hatton is another top performer in Fort William. Hatton's second split during his winning run last year, was nearly unmatched, with only Andreas Kolb and Thibaut Daprela riding within 1.6 seconds of the World Champ.

On the women's side, it is possible we could see a new Fort William winner as only Nina Hoffmann, Tahnee Seagrave and Vali Höll are previous race winners who are expected between the tape for round one. Vali Höll will carry the most pressure of the previous winners as she took the overall title in 2023 and secured the rainbow jersey in Fort William. Last year's winning run from Höll saw her take a measured approach to the brutal Scottish track as she was only fastest through the bottom motorway sector, although she wasn't exactly taking it easy across the other four splits, never dropping outside the top three times. 2022 winner Nina Hoffmann has a history of fast times on the Fort William track with a previous World Cup win and a dominant showing at last year's British DH round here. While World Champs didn't go her way, Hoffmann could be looking to start the season with a big result. Camille Balanche may not be a winner here, but over the past few visits to Fort William, she has climbed up the results as she currently holds back-to-back 2nd place finishes in 2022 and 2023.

For a full deep dive into the Fort William racing royalty, you can check out Henry's look into past winners here.


Reece hoisting the Saltire high in front of the home fans.
Mick Hannah making a splash - 2019

Aaron Gwin roars into the finish line as the massive crowd roars right back. The fans here in Fort William really are second to none on the Word Cup circuit.


2002



Elite Women


1st. Tracy Moseley: 5:45.99
2nd. Vanessa Quin: 5:52.47
3rd. Sabrina Jonnier: 5:56.63
4th. Fionn Griffiths: 5:57.44
5th. Missy Giove: 6:00.17


Elite Men


1st. Chris Kovarik: 4:33.98
2nd. Cédric Gracia: 4:48.00
3rd. Nathan Rennie: 4:48.00
4th. Nicolas Vouilloz: 4:50.36
5th. Mickael Pascal: 4:51.44




2003



Elite Women


1st. Céline Gros: 4:42.57
2nd. Sabrina Jonnier: 4:45.44
3rd. Emmeline Ragot: 4:49.57
4th. Tracy Moseley: 4:51.22
5th. Nolvenn Le Caer: 4:51.58


Elite Men


1st. Cédric Gracia: 4:08.05
2nd. Mickael Pascal: 4:09.16
3rd. Nathan Rennie: 4:09.92
4th. Greg Minnaar: 4:11.59
5th. Sam Hill: 4:12.01



2004



Elite Women


1st. Anne-Caroline Chausson: 4:53.20
2nd. Sabrina Jonnier: 4:55.32
3rd. Helen Gaskell: 4:57.86
4th. Céline Gros: 4:59.11
5th. Vanessa Quin: 4:59.55


Elite Men


1st. Greg Minnaar: 4:10.24
2nd. Cédric Gracia: 4:13.60
3rd. Sam Hill: 4:14.13
4th. Steve Peat: 4:14.17
5th. Mickael Pascal: 4:14.84



2005



Elite Women


1st. Tracy Moseley: 4:59.97
2nd. Rachel Atherton: 5:00.89
3rd. Sabrina Jonnier: 5:02.02
4th. Kathy Pruitt: 5:02.50
5th. Vanessa Quin: 5:04.62


Elite Men


1st. Steve Peat: 4:11.44
2nd. Greg Minnaar: 4:13.57
3rd. Nathan Rennie: 4:14.83
4th. Chris Kovarik: 4:15.76
5th. Gee Atherton: 4:16.06



2006



Elite Women


1st. Tracy Moseley: 5:12.05
2nd. Rachel Atherton: 5:19.63
3rd. Sabrina Jonnier: 5:20.94
4th. Helen Gaskell: 5:22.57
5th. Céline Gros: 5:25.13


Elite Men


1st. Sam Hill: 4:25.33
2nd. Cédric Gracia: 4:26.59
3rd. Greg Minnaar: 4:27.64
4th. Steve Peat: 4:27.68
5th. Gee Atherton: 4:27.77



2007 - World Champs



Elite Women


1st. Sabrina Jonnier: 5:28.35
2nd. Rachel Atherton: 5:32.36
3rd. Tracey Hannah: 5:39.89
4th. Tracy Moseley: 5:47.76
5th. Fionn Griffiths: 5:48.21


Elite Men


1st. Sam Hill: 4:52.01
2nd. Fabien Barel: 4:52.65
3rd. Gee Atherton: 4:56.38
4th. Greg Minnaar: 4:59.96
5th. Pasqual Canals Flix: 5:00.29




2008



Elite Women


1st. Tracy Moseley: 5:20.87
2nd. Sabrina Jonnier: 5:25.01
3rd. Rachel Atherton: 5:26.76
4th. Mio Suemasa: 5:35.64
5th. Melissa Buhl: 5:45.19


Elite Men


1st. Greg Minnaar: 4:43.52
2nd. Gee Atherton: 4:46.69
3rd. Steve Peat: 4:47.42
4th. Nathan Rennie: 4:48.19
5th. Sam Hill: 4:48.70



2009



Elite Women


1st. Tracy Moseley: 5:17.650
2nd. Myriam Nicole: 5:26.670
3rd. Melissa Buhl: 5:30.600
4th. Mio Suemasa: 5:31.350
5th. Fionn Griffiths: 5:31.750


Elite Men


1st. Greg Minnaar: 4:38.980
2nd. Sam Hill: 4:40.430
3rd. Sam Blenkinsop: 4:41.850
4th. Gee Atherton: 4:41.970
5th. Mick Hannah: 4:43.130



2010



Elite Women


1st. Sabrina Jonnier: 5:11.570
2nd. Rachel Atherton: 5:12.680
3rd. Floriane Pugin: 5:16.440
4th. Tracy Moseley: 5:16.460
5th. Emmeline Ragot: 5:20.650


Elite Men


1st. Gee Atherton: 4:35.700
2nd. Cam Cole: 4:36.180
3rd. Greg Minnaar: 4:36.910
4th. Aaron Gwin: 4:37.710
5th. Mick Hannah: 4:37.750



2011



Elite Women


1st. Tracy Moseley: 5:21.898
2nd. Rachel Atherton: 5:23.619
3rd. Floriane Pugin: 5:29.428
4th. Myriam Nicole: 5:30.149
5th. Sabrina Jonnier: 5:31.970


Elite Men


1st. Greg Minnaar: 4:43.854
2nd. Danny Hart: 4:45.153
3rd. Brook Macdonald: 4:45.788
4th. Gee Atherton: 4:46.858
5th. Aaron Gwin: 4:47.047



2012



Elite Women


1st. Emmeline Ragot: 5:27.089
2nd. Rachel Atherton: 5:28.404
3rd. Myriam Nicole: 5:36.505
4th. Floriane Pugin: 5:38.787
5th. Tracy Moseley: 5:41.348


Elite Men


1st. Aaron Gwin: 4:48.210
2nd. Danny Hart: 4:49.044
3rd. Gee Atherton: 4:50.726
4th. Sam Hill: 4:51.742
5th. Josh Bryceland: 4:53.266



2013



Elite Women


1st. Rachel Atherton: 5:08.846
2nd. Manon Carpenter: 5:18.985
3rd. Emmeline Ragot: 5:20.219
4th. Myriam Nicole: 5:24.296
5th. Morgane Charre: 5:25.492


Elite Men


1st. Gee Atherton: 4:36.712
2nd. Brook Macdonald: 4:37.854
3rd. Stevie Smith: 4:38.073
4th. Sam Blenkinsop: 4:38.201
5th. Mick Hannah: 4:38.680




2014



Elite Women


1st. Emmeline Ragot: 5:12.624
2nd. Myriam Nicole: 5:21.334
3rd. Tracey Hannah: 5:26.600
4th. Emilie Siegenthaler: 5:31.191
5th. Jill Kintner: 5:35.618


Elite Men


1st. Troy Brosnan: 4:36.580
2nd. Sam Hill: 4:38.239
3rd. Danny Hart: 4:38.656
4th. Aaron Gwin: 4:39.096
5th. Gee Atherton: 4:39.722



2015



Elite Women


1st. Rachel Atherton: 5:31.654
2nd. Tahnee Seagrave: 5:39.643
3rd. Emmeline Ragot: 5:47.576
4th. Manon Carpenter: 5:54.047
5th. Katy Curd: 5:54.406


Elite Men


1st. Greg Minnaar: 4:47.693
2nd. Aaron Gwin: 4:48.812
3rd. Marcelo Gutiérrez: 4:51.740
4th. Gee Atherton: 4:51.941
5th. Sam Blenkinsop: 4:53.043



2016



Elite Women


1st. Rachel Atherton: 5:11.219
2nd. Tracey Hannah: 5:23.268
3rd. Manon Carpenter: 5:32.108
4th. Katy Curd: 5:41.024
5th. Morgane Charre: 5:43.049


Elite Men


1st. Greg Minnaar: 4:35.601
2nd. Aaron Gwin: 4:38.958
3rd. Danny Hart: 4:39.596
4th. Adam Brayton: 4:39.647
5th. Troy Brosnan: 4:40.335



2017



Elite Women


1st. Tracey Hannah: 5:39.298
2nd. Myriam Nicole: 5:49.543
3rd. Emilie Siegenthaler: 5:53.108
4th. Manon Carpenter: 5:55.299
5th. Morgane Charre: 6:05.146


Elite Men


1st. Greg Minnaar: 4:40.344
2nd. Jack Moir: 4:43.323
3rd. Aaron Gwin: 4:44.143
4th. Marcelo Gutiérrez: 4:44.834
5th. Rémi Thirion: 4:45.020




2018



Elite Women


1st. Tahnee Seagrave: 5:10.960
2nd. Myriam Nicole: 5:19.211
3rd. Rachel Atherton: 5:20.016
4th. Marine Cabirou: 5:21.782
5th. Tracey Hannah: 5:22.744


Elite Men


1st. Amaury Pierron: 4:34.452
2nd. Loris Vergier: 4:34.722
3rd. Troy Brosnan: 4:34.763
4th. Reece Wilson: 4:35.775
5th. Loïc Bruni: 4:37.039



2019



Elite Women


1st. Rachel Atherton: 5:15.560
2nd. Tracey Hannah: 5:17.171
3rd. Nina Hoffmann: 5:24.382
4th. Marine Cabirou: 5:28.934
5th. Veronika Widmann: 5:31.295


Elite Men


1st. Amaury Pierron: 4:28.578
2nd. Troy Brosnan: 4:32.160
3rd. Loris Vergier: 4:32.209
4th. Finn Iles: 4:35.781
5th. Danny Hart: 4:36.096



2022



Elite Women


1st. Nina Hoffmann: 5:14.170
2nd. Camille Balanche: 5:17.785
3rd. Myriam Nicole: 5:21.342
4th. Eleonora Farina: 5:23.791
5th. Vali Höll: 5:25.648


Elite Men


1st. Amaury Pierron: 4:37.115
2nd. Thibaut Daprela: 4:37.584
3rd. Laurie Greenland: 4:38.031
4th. Benoit Coulanges: 4:38.051
5th. Matt Walker: 4:39.042




2023 - World Champs



Elite Women


1st. Vali Höll: 4:58.242
2nd. Camille Balanche: 5:00.262
3rd. Marine Cabirou: 5:00.603
4th. Louise Ferguson: 5:07.963
5th. Phoebe Gale: 5:08.743


Elite Men


1st. Charlie Hatton: 4:26.747
2nd. Andreas Kolb: 4:27.346
3rd. Laurie Greenland: 4:27.976
4th. Loïc Bruni: 4:28.236
5th. Try Brosnan: 4:28.259




Check out a quick breakdown of the finish spreads from the last five races at Fort William below.








Who's Looking Fast Coming Into the Season?


photo

Ahead of the World Cup season kicking off this week in Fort William, we have already seen several large races in the first part of 2024, with some top-level talent securing confidence-boosting results.

The biggest event of the year so far saw several World Cup riders head to Tasmania for the first stop of the 2024 Red Bull Hardline series, with some impressive runs from Ronan Dunne and Gracey Hemstreet putting them in the spotlight as potential riders to watch this weekend in Fort William. In New Zealand, Lachlan Stevens McNab has had an amazing start to the year as he won every NZ National race and the NZ champs before taking the win at the Crankworx Rotorua downhill. The Union team rider is undefeated at races he has attended so far in 2024.

In Europe, 2024 has seen great starts to the season for the Scott and Dorval AM Commencal teams. At the opening round of the Portugal Cup against a strong field of World Cup racers, Marine Cabirou and fresh Scott signing Ethan Craik secured commanding wins. The DH Des Roches event also saw a collection of World Cup talent come together for another battle between the tape although this time it was Benoit Coulanges and Camille Balanche who showed they are back up to speed after sustaining injuries in 2023.

Across the pond, Dakotah Norton has been starting his first year with Mondraker in impressive fashion as he topped the podium at both the Tennessee National Downhill and the first round of the new Monster Pro Downhill Series.



Elite Women's Picks


Vali Holl did the business in both qualifying and the race.

Vali Höll

Our top pick for round one is last year's overall series winner and World Champ Vali Höll. Höll finally found consistency in 2023 and became an almost unstoppable force as she picked up race wins and throughout the season set blistering split times. For 2024, Höll may be on a new team but with a history of wins already with YT, we think she will take no time getting back to her winning ways.

Nina Hoffmann still smiling despite a race run crash legend.

Nina Hoffmann

Nina Hoffmann's 2023 trip to Fort William didn't end up how she would have wanted after winning here in 2022. Hoffmann has plenty of proven form on the Scottish track and will be wanting to kick off the 2024 season with a big confidence boost and carry some momentum into the fresh venue for the second round in two weeks.

Lousie Ferguson dropping into the iconic Fort William finish bowl.

Louise Ferguson

Louise Ferguson is another rider on a new team and bike for 2024, but already she showed her strength as one of only two women completing a race run at Hardline in Tasmania. Ferguson secured fourth place at last year's World Champs and with her new team support could go even better this year.



Elite Men's Picks


Pierron coming in hot. He s looked confident all weekend regardless of what mother nature had in store.

Amaury Pierron

While he may be a big unknown heading into this weekend's racing, if any rider who knows how to give everything in an all-out race run it's Amaury Pierron. With his history of wins on this course, it's tough to bet against Pierron for this weekend's race win.

Charlie Hatton rode the track as if it were dry putting a few seconds into Suarez s time.

Charlie Hatton

Another rider who is tough to argue against for a top result is Charlie Hatton, who proved himself last year on this course and will be hungry for his first World Cup win after securing the elusive rainbow stripes last season.

Style for miles with Dak Norton.

Dakotah Norton

After a great end to his 2023 season and already some wins to his name in 2024, Dakotah Norton is carrying some momentum into this year's racing and will be hungry for a top result to go with his new setup at Mondraker.



Wildcard Picks


While we have made our main predictions for potential winners above, there were other riders we need to mention as potential top performers for the first round this weekend.

Greg Minnaar the undisputed king of Fort William.

Greg Minnaar

You can't talk about potential winners at Fort William without mentioning Greg Minnaar. While his last win here may have been back in 2017, we think there's still a chance for some Minnaar magic as he nearly always seems able to find that little bit of extra speed for a strong result in Scotland.

Cami Balanche was another name to crash in her qualifying run.

Camille Balanche

Camille Balanche had a tough end to her season in 2023 after a scary crash in Andorra took her out of racing after some incredible consistency at the opening World Cup rounds. Balanche is back racing at round one and, with some strong past results here, she could be in the running for the win if fully recovered from her injuries.



Who Do You Think Will Win?


We shared our thoughts and picks for this weekend, but who do you think will be going for the top of the podium?

Who Will Win the Elite Women's Race?



Who Will Win the Elite Men's Race?





Fantasy League Stats


It's not just the World Cup season kicking off this week as the opening round of the 2024 series is also the start of the Pinkbike Fantasy League. As it's the first round, we don't have too many stats to dive into yet, but here is a quick breakdown of the riders ahead of team edits closing as qualifying starts on Saturday. Listen to our latest podcast for some of our own Fantasy Team picks.










Pinkbike Fantasy Downhill League in Association with Five Ten

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12 Comments
  • 43 0
 "A rider ranked outside the top 20 in 2023" is a funny way to spell Amaury Pierron...
  • 5 1
 & Charlie
  • 6 0
 Also interesting observation, on the Price Vs. Popularity chart, the lower the slope, the more popular per dollar the athlete is essentially (Call it value if you will. Lower slope = higher value/dollar). Cool to see Neko is basically the Highest value per Dollar of all the male athletes in terms of popularity on fantasy teams. Just goes to show how much social media, video series, and the whole frameworks program in general has affected his following, vs other riders who are getting better race results.
  • 3 0
 Thanks for the results by year, so cool to reminisce about some of those moments. What a bunch of legends in our sport. Athertons sweeping the top of the podium, Minaar up top for decades, Tracy Mosley's dominance, Sam winning everywhere and since forever, Cedric winning Rampage and downhill, Anne-Caroline Chausson popping up on this list along with every winning list.
  • 6 2
 I'm not a fan of the stats - kind of makes everyone's team likely to be more similar.
  • 2 0
 Holy smokes, someone was smoking the good stuff when they priced up the fantasy league this year.... 750k for a top rider, and no increase in spend budget. Not much value for $$ to be had this year.
  • 1 0
 The current system is stupid… getting penalised for picking correct riders and making them unattainable.

The system should be made that values increase/decrease but there is no cap. So you get rewarded for having cheaper riders/rookies and riding their value to eventually sell and get a higher tier rider.

Making the best riders unusable takes the fun out watching the top riders that are in your fantasy team. I don’t really care much for following the lower tiered riders
  • 5 3
 I want to fantasy 4 women and 2 men, why such fantasy sexism?
  • 1 0
 its okay man fantasize about whoever u like
  • 1 0
 Amaury a 240k is undervalued. The guy is a beast
  • 1 0
 7000+ took Amaury.
  • 1 0
 And 220 Chose Jackson...







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