Top Banner

UCI World Cup, Round 2 - Fort William, Scotland, 5/7 June 2015

Back to Current Season page

After a mixed weekend at the Llangollen BDS, with a good result for Pete, but crashes for Jamie and a puncture for Jack, it was off to Fort William for the second round of the world cup series. This race is the big one for all British racers! The track is by far the hardest on the circuit to do a full run, and the crowd is always awesome. It’s the big one!!
When we headed to Fort William on Wednesday the weather forecast for the weekend was looking terrible, and knowing how things usually turn out when the forecast is bad, we weren’t hopeful for a good weekend. Nevertheless we all headed up there ready to get after it.
Walking the track all of the top section was the same as ever and looked great thanks to all of the rain it had been getting. There were some new sections in the woods, and excitingly, a straight run into the world cup road gap for once! The track was ready to go but was the weather going to let us ride it? Whenever it’s too windy the chair lift closes and that’s the end of things until it settles.
We spent the rest of the day priming our Trek Session 9.9s. Our wheels have been amazing this year thanks to the support from Pacenti, who make fantastic rims that are really strong and light. We gave them all a true and tension and between the three of us we didn’t destroy a single rim throughout the weekend!! Thanks Pacenti you rock!! We all had our -1 degree Works Components headsets fitted to slacken the bikes out for the rough track Fort William offers. With Schwalbe Magic Marys fitted to Jack’s bike and Bontrager G5s to Jamie and Pete’s we were ready for action!
Friday’s practice session wasn’t too bad for wind and rain. Don’t get me wrong it was wet and windy, but the chair lift ran and riding conditions were bearable. All of the lads got 4 runs done and wanted more, but thanks to the incredibly short practice sessions because of the way the UCI choose to organise things, there wasn’t time for it.
Saturday we woke to rain, wind and no riding. Qualifying was postponed until Sunday morning. Rubbish.
So Sunday morning was a crazy early start! We had to be up at 6am and the group B practice session that Jamie and Pete were in started at 6.45! They got 45 minutes and then it was group A and Jack’s practice session, which was also 45 minutes long. The lads had some good runs in the morning despite the crazy early start, and were feeling good going into qualifying.
Jamie was first up and feeling good, so we were confident he’d breeze into the top 30 and finals. Unfortunately he had a big crash just after the world cup drop. There was a rock drop that had developed a really big hole in the landing and he went front wheel straight into it and flipped the bars. Unfortunately he went down hard and wasn’t able to get up and complete his run and qualify. Another bad weekend for young Jamie!
Jack was next up and despite the blustery conditions on track he kept his run smooth and fast to come down into an impressive 18th place. Qualifying in the top 20 meant he scored some points to make up for missing out in Lourdes, and would also be on the RedBullTV live coverage of the race in the afternoon. Amazing the difference it makes having air in the tyres!!
Pete was our final rider down in qualifying and we were all hoping he’d put a good run together and make it into the top 80 and finals! Just before he was due to arrive at the bottom the live timing went down, so when he came through the finish nobody knew how he’d done. He knew he’d made some mistakes, but he was hoping his run was enough to qualify. When we eventually got the times we couldn’t believe the bad luck – another 82nd for the team this year, and only 0.4 seconds off qualifying!!
So it was just Jack racing that afternoon. With team mechanic Alex Bennett of Ticky Bikes in attendance his Trek was running perfectly and he was excited to get up the hill and race. Everyone was excited to see if he could build on the 18th place qualifying and get his first top 30 result or maybe even better! The wind had gotten stronger as the afternoon progressed, and Jack said he really felt the effects of this in his run. With a difficult side wind at the top, and then a strong head wind at the bottom, he said the run was much more physical than earlier that day. That coupled with a mistake in the woods which everyone saw on the live feed, resulted in Jack going a couple of seconds slower than his qualifying time. That being said he was still very happy with his run, and it was good enough for 28th place and his best ever world cup result!
So a good weekend for Jack, but Pete and Jamie are still waiting for their luck to change. What will Leogang and round 3 bring for the team next weekend?

Back to Current Season page