CYCLING Preview: World Champions clash in Mountain Bike Downhill in Ft. William

The Mountain Bike World Cup at Ft. William, Scotland (Photo: UCI)

Scotland’s Fort William is one of the famed venues on the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup circuit and the second Downhill event of the season will be held this weekend.

The fields are excellent and include three World Champions and four World Cup champions between the men’s and women’s entries:

● Loic Bruni (FRA) ~ 2015 World Cup runner-up; 3-time Downhill World Champion
● Danny Hart (GBR) ~ 2016 & 2018 World Cup runner-up; 2011-16 World Champion
● Troy Brosnan (AUS) ~ 2017 World Cup runner-up & 4-time bronze medalist
Aaron Gwin (USA) ~ 5-time World Cup Champion; 2017 World Champs bronze medalist
● Amaury Pierron (FRA) ~ 2018 World Cup Champion
● Greg Minnaar (RSA) ~ 3-time World Cup Champion & four-time runner-up

● Tahnee Seagrave (GBR) ~ 2017-18 World Cup runner-up
● Rachel Atherton (GBR) ~ 6-time World Cup Champion; 6-time World Champion
● Tracey Hannah (AUS) ~ 2016-17-18 World Cup bronze; 5-time Worlds bronze medalist

In the women’s race, it will be a surprise to anyone other than Seagrave, Atherton and Hannah in the winner’s circle. Those three riders have combined to win 25 of the last 28 World Cup races held from 2015 through 2019. Only France’s Myriam Nicole has otherwise won, three times.

In 2018, Pierron won the men’s race at Ft. William, followed by Loris Vergier (FRA) and Brosnan. Seagrave won the women’s race, beating France’s Nicole and Atherton.

Bruni took the season opener in Maribor (SLO), finishing ahead of Hart and Brosnan. Three familiar faces were on the women’s podium: Seagrave, Atherton and Hannah.

Look for results here.