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Practice Photo Epic: Fort William DH World Cup 2024

May 4, 2024 at 2:31
by Ed Spratt  



Downhill World Cup racing is back as Fort William returns as the series' opening round for the first time since 2013. Marking its 21st World Cup or World Championship event, the Fort William course has been refreshed for 2024 to shorten the overall track time. The increased speeds and the always brutal rocks on the course have already beaten up bikes and riders with plenty of carnage during practice.

With an adjusted schedule for 2024, the first day of riders is back to having elites and juniors on course with timed training after a morning of practice giving the first indication of who is looking confident this weekend. Vali Höll and Dakotah Norton set the fastest times of the day as they both get up to speed with new team setups for the 2024 season.

We don't have long to wait before everyone goes back against the clock for qualifying and the elites face off a second time in the semi-finals.



Is this year we finally get lucky with the role of the dice on conditions for race day
Is this year we finally get lucky with the roll of the dice on conditions for race day?

Never not moody up here in the Scottish Highlands.
Never not moody up here in the Scottish Highlands.

Brook Macdonald in some new Forbidden colors this season
Brook Macdonald in some new Forbidden colors this season

MTB meets F1 on Loic s handlebar
MTB meets F1 on Loic's handlebar

Cami Balanche back after her big injuries in 2023
Cami Balanche back after her big injuries in 2023

Blue Skies and bikes going up the gondola to kick of the 2024 World Cup DH season
Blue Skies and bikes going up the gondola to kick off the 2024 World Cup DH season

For a second it looked like rain but in the end it was only a false alarm
For a second it looked like rain but in the end, it was only a false alarm

Scottish dust top top bottom
Scottish dust top top bottom

Thirion and Meier-Smith bros new look at Giant Factory.
Thirion and Meier-Smith bros new look at Giant Factory.

Loose as
Loose as

All eyes on the big Reece Wilson comeback here in Scotland.
All eyes are on the big Reece Wilson comeback here in Scotland.

Sunshine views and long shadows in Fort William
Sunshine views and long shadows in Fort William

Three-time Fort William winner Amaury Pierron back once again.
Three-time Fort William winner Amaury Pierron back once again.

Greg the goat looks unsurpisingly dangerous out on course already.
Greg the goat looks unsurprisingly dangerous out on course already.

Loris Vergier making the roughest course out there look like silk.
Loris Vergier making the roughest course out there look like silk.

Greg Minnaar getting up to speed on his Norco
Greg Minnaar getting up to speed on his Norco

Hoffmann firing through the rough turns of the mid-upper track.
Hoffmann firing through the rough turns of the mid-upper track.

Wide open and fast is the name of the game in Fort William
Wide open and fast is the name of the game in Fort William

Vali Holl looking like the one to beat tis weekend
Vali Holl looking like the one to beat this weekend

Tahnee Seagrave on the top of there track
Tahnee Seagrave on the flat out top part of the track

The Forbidden Fearon.
The Forbidden Fearon.

Bernard Kerr another top Brit to watch for the podium.
Bernard Kerr is another top Brit to watch for the podium.

Myriam Nicole is back after a season out with injury in 2023
Myriam Nicole is back after a season out with injury in 2023

MacDonald hammering the turns in bright whites.
MacDonald hammering the turns in bright whites.

Cabirou repping Scott team colours for another year.
Cabirou repping Scott team colours for another year.

Jacob Dickson in the fresh factory colours of MS Intense race team.
Jacob Dickson in the fresh factory colours of MS Intense race team.

Matt Walker hasn t had a top result in a while it s certainly overdue.
Matt Walker hasn't had a top result in a while it's certainly overdue.

Asa Vermette tackling the bedrock on the Frameworks race bike.
Asa Vermette tackling the bedrock on the Frameworks race bike.

Loic Bruni with the number one plate
Loic Bruni with the number one plate

This classic section is looking a rough as ever
This classic section is looking a rough as ever

Sam Blenkisop looks pinned on his new Zerode
Sam Blenkisop looks pinned on his new Zerode

Tuhuto Ariki Pene charging down the moor.
Tuhuto Ariki Pene charging down the moor.

Brook Macdonald on his new Forbidden
Brook Macdonald on his new Forbidden

Matt Walker was winning practice in quite a few sections today
Matt Walker was winning practice in quite a few sections today

Nicole is back and not hanging about.
Nicole is back and not hanging about.

Finn Iles is looking smooth fast and comfortable in pratice
Finn Iles is looking smooth fast and comfortable in practice

Troy Brosnan getting a bit loose in the dust
Troy Brosnan getting a bit loose in the dust

Balanche looking sharp here for the opener.
Balanche looking sharp here for the opener.

Monika Hrastnik into the first real rock garden on track
Monika Hrastnik into the first real rock garden on track

Intense Factory Racing repping red all over here for round one.
Intense Factory Racing repping red all over here for round one.

Kye Ahern and the NS crew looked pinned on track all day.
Kye Ahern and the NS crew looked pinned on track all day.

Loris Vergier is always a threat
Loris Vergier is always a threat

Gracey Hemstreet on the move with the new Norco look.
Gracey Hemstreet on the move with the new Norco look.

Dakotah Norton in the blue colors of Mondraker
Dakotah Norton in the blue colors of Mondraker

Luca Shaw repping a classic pink Fort William race kit as popularised by all time great Sam Hill.
Luca Shaw in classic pink Fort William race kit as popularised by all-time great Sam Hill.

Jordan Williams no doubt one to watch here at the Bill.
Jordan Williams no doubt one to watch here at the Bill.

Laurie Greenland on home turf
Laurie Greenland on home turf

Big bars on the front of Dakotah s bike
Big bars on the front of Dakotah's bike

Last year Andreas Kolb rode away with bronze here for World Champs.
Last year Andreas Kolb rode away with silver here for World Champs.

The Syndicate moto-onsies have been turning heads.
The Syndicate moto-onsies have been turning heads.

Tahnee is looking fighting fit at the Fort.
Tahnee is looking fighting fit at the Fort.

Will O Callaghan continue to build on his top results last season
Will O'Callaghan continue to build on his top results last season?

Not a lot of dirt out there on the track these days but there is not shortage of rocks
Not a lot of dirt out there on the track these days but there is no shortage of rocks

Benoit Coulanges is surely one of the threats to take the win this weekend
Benoit Coulanges is surely one of the threats to take the win this weekend

Greg Williamson looking to do damage to the competition on home soil.
Greg Williamson looking to do damage to the competition on home soil.

Dust berms in Scotland are rarity
Dust berms in Scotland are rarity

Day one and it s already blown out in many spots
Day one and it's already blown out in many spots

Close of play on the first day of training and we re off to one hell of a start to the season.
Close of play on the first day of training and we're off to one hell of a start to the season.

Let s hope it stays this way
Let's hope it stays this way


Author Info:
edspratt avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2017
3,237 articles

21 Comments
  • 12 0
 Thanks for the quality shots Nathan & Dave.

In another note was I wrong in thinking that men's and woman's qualies and semies were being broadcast on YouTube. I only see the juniors lined up to be streamed.
  • 11 1
 Sooo.., after last years (poor compromise) at least being able to watch the semi-finals live on YouTube if you couldn't bring yourself to subscribe to that web/app thing, now there seems to be NO free live coverage of anything, apart from the the Juniors.

I live in Australia, have our only cable service (Foxtel). It used to have Eurosport then dropped it a few years ago. has every single Discovery Channel....except for whtaever channel Discovery is using for DH, FFS.

Now WTF do I do? As far as I can see, the only way I can really watch anything I reallly want to, is to subscribe to another F'n streaming service.

WHAT A JOKE!
  • 1 0
 For what it's worth I signed up to Stan Sport for this and they're not showing Qualifying or Semis there either. So it seems like a total blackout for the whole of today's schedule. Until today I'd assumed the Saturday events would be on YouTube but there's nothing. If this was always the plan for 2024 they should have ripped the bandaid off months ago.
  • 1 0
 Hey dude! I to in Australia! Stan has sport it’s on there live! If you already Stan it’s like another $12-$15 a month I think I was the same Eurosport trash! Flosport trash!
  • 2 0
 I don't think anythings get streamed today.
  • 1 1
 @wellbastardfast: junior races are being streamlined today.
  • 1 0
 Yes wtf they are doing!? I payed Eurosport for maximum content and the semis are not scheduled!! Pfff seriously....
  • 7 0
 How do I watch it live for free? Could somebody please film your TV screen and post it live on YouTube and leave a link here? You could even add commentary and be the next Rob Warner! Thx!
  • 7 0
 Like this idea. Even with a poorer quality I'd rather give you a random person my cash.
  • 5 0
 That Myriam Nicole shot by Dave Trumpore is pure gold.

www.pinkbike.com/photo/26591400
  • 2 0
 I don't quite recall Minnaar being the king of fashion at events (wasnt he on oneal forever?) but his kit for this event and those goggles are radical. Even if he doesn't win an 8th Ft Bill he wins the catwalk (now to try to win the boardwalks).
  • 3 0
 Rooting for Minaar and Dak for the first time in my life. Not that I'll see the race.
  • 1 0
 Whats the coup with riders not wearing gloves during practice. Do UCI rules state they have to wear gloves?
Dak and Blenki aren't wearing any in the above photos.
  • 2 0
 What a banger caption for a black and white photo: "Brook Macdonald in some new Forbidden colors this season"...
  • 1 0
 Never been such a big rooster for the win!... BTW look how tiny bars Brosnan is running...
  • 2 0
 Pierron for the win!!
  • 1 0
 Looking forward to seeing the riders go full send
  • 1 0
 What great pics, thanks guys. The one of Greg Williamson is pure fire.
  • 1 0
 Epic pictures! Thanks & keep on rolling!
  • 1 0
 Roll the dice, not role.







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