For over a decade, downhill mountain biking fans and racers have been coming to the Nevis Range by Fort William in Scotland to witness some of the toughest bike racing theÂ planet has to offer. Often the Scottish weather makes it decidedlyÂ more challenging with the ever presentÂ threat of the heavens opening and drenching the courseÂ and competitors, making the trackÂ even more tricky and slippery, and this year’s event was to be no different. With SaturdayÂ practise and qualifying being postponed until Sunday morning due to the weather, riders could do little but wait.
We were stoked to be involved with 4 riders competing with Element 9 painted helmets; TahnÃ©e Seagrave, Ruaridh Cunningham, Reece Wilson and for a second season, Innes Graham. Sunday started early with the track opening for practiseÂ at 6.45am. TahnÃ©e didn’t have the best run in qualis, coming away withÂ 23rd, but by the timeÂ finals rolled roundÂ she went on to take second after putting a solid run together on the wet track.Â Wearing her new E9G custom painted Fox Rampage Pro – a one off for this race along with a special pink kit and bikeÂ to raise awareness of breast cancer charity Coppafeel,Â TahnÃ©eÂ scored herÂ best World Cup result to date, and the first E9G painted helmet on an Elite podium!
Innes Graham, riding for MS Mondraker and sporting his latestÂ Ethic Watches custom helmet qualified 31st and went on to smashÂ that in finals with an amazing 17th; another best result and in his first Elite World Cup too.
After qualifying in a solidÂ 12th, Reece Wilson (Unior Tools Team) was looking good on track, up at the splits but unfortunately he went downÂ in the woods and ended upÂ coming across the line in 61st place.
Ruaridh Cunningham (Unior Tools Team)Â qualified 22nd, just ahead of Brendan Fairclough and Innes Graham and took 21st in finals despite rollingÂ about in the mud – a good result for the 2015 Scottish Champion.
Round 3 of the UCI Downhill Mountainbike World Cup is on 13th/14th June at Leogang, Austria.