UCI WORLD CUP #2-FORT WILLIAM SCOTLAND
Fort William, Scotland, high up in the Scottish highlands, in a place far from vast population, always seems to draw mountain bike fans from all over the world. Over 45k fans braved the chilly weather, the midges (black flies) and the long haul to come watch the world fastest racers on the famous Ben Nevis track.
What a brilliant day for TLD with Intense Factory Racing’s Jack Moir taking 2nd in the finals, on top of a 3rd place in the qualifier, which has him now sitting in 3rd place in the overall! Jack rode a prototype Intense 29er bike, rocking the Sprint 50-50 in red, and he like the rest of his team, debuted the new FREEDOM D3 carbon MIPS helmet, Jack later said “I can’t believe it, it really is surreal, i’ve always known I can be up here, consistently, but years of bad luck are behind, I’m riding well, loving the new bikes, I feel and look fast being back in TLD, loving it mate, can’t wait for Leogang”.
D3 Helmet rider, Aaron Gwin, another one coming out of the first round of racing in France as a victim of the rain storm, came to Scotland to win, just win. Gwin came in 5th place in the qualifier, behind a bunch of 29er wheel bikes, on his 27.5, he would not let that drag him down. In the final, Gwin was possessed, the look in his eyes was dramatic, and he was way up at the splits, on the RedbullTV stream, with a minute left on course, you would see Gwin coming out of the woods, off his bike-he had gone down. Gwin never gives up, still finished 3rd! and moves up from 68th overall to 8th-it aint over. As the riders head to Leogang, Austria, the place Gwin won without a chain 2 years go, they had better watch out.
Brendan Fairclough, who is finally free of all the filming work for DEATHGRIP movie (which has launched on iTunes, to #1 seller in the UK!….LINK to iTunes) was ready for a good race result, on a track that has never treated him very well. Practice was going well, and ultimately ended the weekend with a mechanical with his chain coming off mid way down in the final. He got to debut the new Starburst orange and blue Sprint kit (LINK). “To be honest, Fort William and I, we just don't get along haha, things never go right, but, I had good speed, was riding well, this time was a mechanical-slammed a root, my fault, not much I can do about it”. Brendog now sits in 18th overall, a rank he does not want to sit in-Leogang this weekend will be a whole new story.
Young up and comer phenom, Luca Shaw, came to Fort William for revenge on the world cup, after the rain situation at the opening round in Lourdes, but things went sideways. Luca crashed in the qualifier in the sloppy woods, going over the bars, barely made it into the finals-eventually crashing in the same spot. “Luckily I am okay, I am just pissed at myself for making the same mistake twice in those woods, the woods weren’t that bad, I didn’t jack up my sweet new custom painted D3, that's pretty key haha, Leogang is this week, I’m excited for it” Luca said after the race. Luca raced in a red Super Retro jersey that had the fans feeling that vintage race vibe.
Photos: Sven Martin