Revised Course Adds More Rocks & Tech to the Fort William DH World Cup

May 19, 2022 at 7:25
by Ed Spratt  

To add an extra challenge for the return of Fort William to DH World Cup racing the course builders have made some big changes to the middle woods section with the course now going back on the path of the old track with plenty of exposed rocks, new berms and some sections that could be lethal if we get the wet weather that has been predicted. Take a look at some of the changes made to the mid-section of the brutal fort William course below.

Whereas the previous time we were here went to the right we are now sent down an older version of the course and into a big rock slab.

Some of the rocks are pretty grippy for track walk but further down the updated section are some very slippery pieces of geology.

Tires will be working hard this weekend when riders start to hit these features at race speed.

To help keep speeds high the builders have rebuilt and added in a few new berms. With a damp few days ahead we could see these become rutted very quickly.

Ensuring that riders are kept on their toes this new mid-section of the course has been taped very smartly with some added chicanes to spice things up.

The 2019 route from the Deer Gate to the Road Gap is almost completely changed for this year with the old sections of course taped off.

Lots of riders and teams were puzzling this section during the track walk.

This could end up as a choice between ruts or rocks by the end of the weekend.

Another section of the woods completely removed from this year's course. Riders now have a slightly altered path to the road gap that goes over a slippery rock slab just before they send the drop.

One change that will surely cause plenty of deliberation this weekend to overcome is the change of sponsor on the wallride from Silverline to Oakley.



70 Comments

  • 105 2
 Is it just me, or has PB (Outside) really cut back on the race weekend Photo Epic format so far this year?
  • 12 0
 pushing for video content that brings more revenue presumably.
  • 31 0
 @jpetznick : Perhaps a problem with internet connection in the camp ground, but yes 13 pictures of a small section of the track is reaaally low amount of content right now...
  • 18 1
 Yes. And the quality has dropped too.
  • 16 0
 Gotta keep those shareholder profits way up. Photogs cost $$$. Keep an eye out for lots of embedded recycled insta content and enjoy the kool-aid.
  • 4 3
 @Voxran: To be fair they're still just getting their head around the invention of the wheel up there...
  • 26 0
 seems like they have cut back on everything. Lead-up coverage almost non existent - no tech randoms, schedule links or anything and it's already thursday.
  • 8 1
 Where is ‘inside the tape’?!?!
  • 9 0
 @dubiouslogik: I've noticed a real lack of PB generated content, it's all links to other peoples productions or news listicles.
  • 13 0
 @dubiouslogik: i didnt even know there was a race this weekend until Tahnee Seagrave made her post on IG. Went over to Vital and got some info.
  • 3 0
 @dubiouslogik: I refer you to VITAL MTB. Nuff said.
  • 2 0
 I heard of a website that starts with V that might be worth checking out.
  • 3 0
 @Voxran: Surely thats not the 'Track Walk' article, here's 2019 and 66ish glorious photos, moody and rich in texture. Tbh Its worth looking at that again because its so good and does a better job to get you pumped than this article.

www.pinkbike.com/news/track-walk-highlander-fort-william-world-cup-2019.html
  • 47 0
 Having ridden this track last August on my 150mm, this post gave my hands PTSD.
  • 2 0
 I've always wanted to ride it (though I'd skip the massive hucks...). It looks rough... so I'm sure its rougher in person!
  • 2 1
 @bonkmasterflex: it is indeed.
Done it on 2 different DH bikes, a Yeti Sb and my hardtail and it's a beast of a descent.
  • 2 0
 Its a fun track to ride, but to make it smooth and enjoyable you need a DH bike and to be going pro-fast and gap a lot of the rocks. I’m glad I’ve ridden it but I wouldn’t rush back on my trail bike lol. Still well worth visiting because the other track ‘top-chief’ is a lot more enjoyable for us mere mortals.
  • 1 0
 @rich-2000: Agreed, Top Chief is absolutely immense - I'd hop on the Caledonian Sleeper just to session that track for a weekend!
  • 1 0
 @rich-2000: Yeah Top Chief is great - challenging without being impossible. The DH track is basically unrideable now for my limited ability - not complaining, it's great that we have a world level track and the racing quality and pro skill on display is incredible.

The funny thing is though, that first photo with the rock steps - I've been around long enough to remember when that was a near-smooth roller, as was the Wall, haha! Set my PB time back then - chainless! Now takes me at least twice as long to make it down, and it's stark terror for the first half...
  • 26 1
 The lack of coverage for this race is disappointing. Looking at the front page you can hardly tells there's a race this weekend. The XC stuff has been getting more than this.
  • 6 2
 I think people that actually support Outside are those riders who prefer climbing to descending. I have been appalled at the increase and possible take over of XC racing over DH. Outside is hacking Pinkbike’s roots!!! The end of an era.
  • 5 4
 @whoozh: The roots are northshore Skinny's, literal roots and hucking!!!! But American's are known for picking their own history.... Wink
  • 9 0
 @brianpark can you comment on this? I've really noticed this too, as I'm sure loads have. Why the huuuuge drop in content in the build up to dh races?

We used to get so many types of articles that really hyped up the race, now we get barely nothing. Tbh it's stuff like that which got me in to PB to begin with, and I'm only really here now in the hope of seeing content like that. Every time there isn't, it's longer until I come back. It used to be that I couldn't imagine not checking PB every day, now I can't really think why I do.
  • 2 0
 @SlackBoy: I'm not sure what any of that has to do with the major drop in race coverage....something that has been a staple of this site for years.
  • 3 0
 @everythingscomingupmilhouse: there's a distinct lack of VITALity in this WC coverage.
  • 2 0
 @whoozh: Same customer base as REI.
  • 1 0
 PB, the Metallica of mtb websites.. Im totally digging the xc coverage. I can see why people would be annoyed because its the downhill and freeridy which is, rather was the bread and butter for PB.
  • 1 1
 @SlackBoy: Well, America does have Alternate Facts now Wink
  • 1 4
 @whoozh: Cos they don't know anything about how bikes or nature works, "I pay you, you teach me."
- covid era latecomers.

You have no idea what the woke Courtney mob is like.
  • 1 2
 @Thirty3: the xc coverage is very good under Smurthwaite, piss poor under anyone else.
  • 1 0
 @everythingscomingupmilhouse: Yep, real shame to see the lack of content for the world cups.....something has caused a visible shift!
  • 2 0
 @everythingscomingupmilhouse: Im off PB pretty much except for world cup weekends, well that was the plan but now I don't think ill be here at all.
  • 19 0
 Wet weather in the forecast, eh? (Immediately added Reece Wilson to fantasy team)
  • 1 0
 He wasn't already on your team!? The kids absolutely money for the price. Will probably be on my team all season.
  • 2 0
 @lepigpen: Ben is a good bet this weekend too.
  • 1 0
 @Bob-Agg: ben who now?
  • 4 0
 Hmmmm.... this article and the comments in the recent Fin Iles, Douglas Vieira, Tahnee Seagrave, and Myriam Nicole articles seem to be in direct conflict with each other.
  • 1 1
 'sall about the hype yp
  • 5 0
 Nice forgot this was this weekend. Stoked.
  • 5 0
 Was "more rocks" a request someone had made for the course?
  • 8 0
 Someone said "This course rocks" and the organisers misheard....
  • 2 0
 Cannot wait - always a fantastic weekend. Hopefully cool enough to keep the midgies away as I see that there's still some snow on the Goose. Huge crowds and lots of Scottish riders - should be a good one!
  • 5 0
 Rocks aren't dead!!!
  • 3 0
 How do we watch this? Is it still on redbull?
  • 5 0
 yes. not til next year does it go over to the new media plan
  • 3 4
 The old line below the deer fence which is harder than the new line. Shame they are going down the puggy line rather than the WC woods. WC woods in the rain would have been very interesting. Nice new berms built for the WC boys though down the puggy line, they make it flow much nicer. If only they had been allowed to complete the new woods, add in the rain, it would have been well worth standing there all day in the rain this weekend.
  • 1 0
 Thanks for the Neg props.
Having just raced the BDS a Fort William 2 weekends ago, its such a shame they have filled in the whole track to smooth it out for the WC!

Title should read, "Fort William rocks filled in for the WC after a mint and gnarly Nationals".

The old line is nothing like it used to be either, it was also massively repaired and filled in.
Such a shame someone put a stop to what would have been the new WC woods!!!!!!
  • 4 1
 Perfect timing after all the concussions.
  • 2 0
 Just what I was thinking!
  • 4 0
 turns out the Zwift indoor DHWC was cancelled due to Zwift lay offs, having to go oldskool high risk racing until the video game is ready to be released
  • 4 2
 More tech-it’s what racers want. It’s fans want. We all win!!!!
  • 1 0
 Who is downvoting this?! Should we dial down DH difficulty and go back to Kamikaze style courses??
  • 2 1
 the term "puzzling" has been canceled as it has been so over used in the last few years.
  • 1 0
 Should be interesting to see if the added berms in the turns give the 29”er’s an advantage or not.
  • 1 0
 Would be nice for PB to start a "raw pink" series for the world cups to finally start competing with vital
  • 1 0
 Let's have it, lads and ladettes! Looking forward to the racing!
  • 2 2
 Fully expecting complaints about the amount of technical features that have been added because they can't be sent.
  • 1 0
 Oh, Billy, Billy, Billy....
  • 2 0
 Im on rocks baby
Below threshold threads are hidden





You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2022. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.013052
Mobile Version of Website