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photo by Duncan Philpott

​Survival was the name of the game at the 2nd round of the 2015 UCI World Cup Downhill in Fort William, Scotland. Cold temperatures and blistering winds made the 5-minute runs extremely challenging for the fastest mountain bikers on the planet. Race day conditions were also hampered by torrential rains the day before. Wind and weather forced Saturday's qualifiers to be postponed until early race day morning, Sunday. As a result, practice was limited, but the organizers made the decision in hopes of being able to race the complete course, top to bottom. Recently, at a local British Downhill Series round in Fort William, high winds shut down gondola access, forcing anticlimactic racing on only the lower portion of the track. The decision to wait paid off and race day was full of excitement and even sunshine thanks to the brutal Fort William downhill course.

Junior Men raced first and enduro specialist, Martin Maes (GT Racing), took a 2-second victory among a field of downhill-hopefuls.

Rachel Atherton (GT Racing) climbed back to the top of the podium in the Elite Women's class by a significant 8-second margin. "It was just survival. I was suffering. Yeah, I was suffering," said Atherton on the Red Bull live webcast. World Champ and odds-on favorite, Manon Carpenter (Madison / Saracen), had a strong run going, slightly behind Atherton at the last split. Carpenter laid it all on the line by attempting to jump the final stepdown before the steep run to the finish. The jump had been extended this year causing many riders to come up short all week long. She cased hard and bounced over the bars as her bike went tumbling. She hobbled to her bike with the finish line in sight and coasted through to 4th, 22-seconds back. Up-and-comer, Tahnee Seagrave (FMD Racing) was ecstatic with her 2nd place finish. She raced aboard a custom-painted bike that will be auctioned off for her women's breast cancer charity, #copparide. Winner of the first World Cup of 2015, Emmeline Ragot (MS Mondraker), finished 3rd, 15-seconds off of 1st place after suffering a substantial over-the-bars crash in the slippery, rutted, lower woods.

The sun was out but the wind blew hard across the course for the Men's final. 11th place qualifier and winner of the first World Cup of 2015, Aaron Gwin (Specialized Racing), came down with the first significant time of the day, 2-seconds faster than Loic Bruni's qualifier at 4:48. It would be good enough for 2nd place and the 2015 World Cup overall lead. Colombian, Marcelo Gutierrez (Giant Factory Off-Road) put together a career-best race run in the face of the wind ending up 3rd. Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) was the first rider to take out Gwin by using his years of experience at Fort William to run a 4:47 and it was good enough for victory and Minnaar's 17th World Cup Downhill win. Troy Brosnan (Specialized Racing), the 2014 Fort William winner could not back up his victory and finished with a less-than-expected 6th place. A similar race experience was on tap for young hopeful, Mike Jones (CRC / Paypal). The 2nd place qualifier was well-off the podium in 12th. 1st qualifier and last rider down, Loic Bruni (Team Lapierre) was smooth, efficient and on-pace at the top of the course but a mistake after the first split meant it was not his day. Bruni finished 7th.


photo by Sven Martin

Elite Men's Results

Elite Men's Top 20 with speeds and splits

Photo

Elite Men's complete results

1 MINNAAR Greg RSA19811113 SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE
4:47.693
2 GWIN Aaron USA19871224 SPECIALIZED RACING +1.119
3 GUTIERREZ VILLEGAS Marcelo COL19900509 GIANT FACTORY OFF-ROAD TEAM +4.047
4 ATHERTON Gee GBR19850226 GT FACTORY RACING +4.248
5 BLENKINSOP Samuel NZL19881028 NORCO FACTORY RACING +5.350
6 BROSNAN Troy AUS19930713 SPECIALIZED RACING +6.120
7 BRUNI Loic FRA19940513 LAPIERRE GRAVITY REPUBLIC +7.691
8 HART Danny GBR19910920 MS MONDRAKER TEAM +7.891
9 BRANNIGAN George NZL19920409 TREK WORLD RACING +8.067
10 SHAW Luca USA19961225 SRAM/TLD RACING +8.451
11 MASTERS Wyn NZL19870418 TEAM BULLS - DH +8.918
12 JONES Michael GBR19950222 CHAIN REACTION CYCLES / PAYPAL +9.781
13 PAYET Florent FRA19861121 CK RACING +10.368
14 KERR Bernard GBR19910216 PIVOT FACTORY DH TEAM +10.425
15 COULANGES Benoit FRA19941220 ROC VTT OZ-EN-OISANS +10.686
16 SIMMONDS Matthew GBR19870520 MADISON SARACEN FACTORY TEAM +10.845
17 GRAHAM Innes GBR19960703 MS MONDRAKER TEAM +10.979
18 THOME Patrick FRA19911020 CK RACING +11.320
19 SMITH Joseph GBR19900704 CHAIN REACTION CYCLES / PAYPAL +11.505
20 FAIRCLOUGH Brendan GBR19880110 GSTAAD-SCOTT +12.307
21 CUNNINGHAM Ruaridh GBR19890215 UNIOR TOOLS TEAM +12.449
22 THIRION Remi FRA19900423 COMMENCAL / VALLNORD +12.505
23 MCGLONE Fraser GBR19940531
+12.588
24 CABIROU Rudy FRA19940511
+12.700
25 SMITH Steve CAN19891125 DEVINCI GLOBAL RACING +13.639
26 WILLIAMSON Greg GBR19920608 TREK WORLD RACING +13.770
27 FIGARET Faustin FRA19931107 CALVISSON VTT +14.910
28 READING Jack GBR19881210 ONE VISION GLOBAL RACING +14.985
29 BRAYTON Adam GBR19881019
+15.133
30 NEETHLING Andrew RSA19840805 POLYGON UR +15.390
31 BRYCELAND Josh GBR19900323
+15.406
32 LAMB Fergus GBR19850916
+16.704
33 BUCHANAN Lewis GBR19930927 BANSHEE BIKES FACTORY TEAM +16.858
34 FEARON Connor AUS19940119 KONA FACTORY TEAM +17.012
35 DALE Sam GBR19900212 MADISON SARACEN FACTORY TEAM +17.194
36 BEAUMONT Marc GBR19840925
+17.220
37 WALKER Matthew NZL19900324
+17.659
38 ATWILL Philip GBR19950111 ORANGE DIRT WORLD TEAM, XFUSION +17.725
39 CARBALLO GONZALEZ Edgar ESP19881222
+17.794
40 MOLLOY Harry GBR19910530 SOLID-REVERSE FACTORY RACING +17.799
41 CONNELL Joseph GBR19940320
+18.204
42 GRUBER Manuel AUT19921127 RADON MAGURA FACTORY +18.867
43 MCDOWALL Kirk CAN19901126
+18.965
44 CATHRO Ben GBR19880420
+19.053
45 MACDONALD Brook NZL19911125 TREK WORLD RACING +19.528
46 DI PASQUALE Charly FRA19900704
+19.638
47 STUTTARD Mathew GBR19930604 TWOTWO GRAVITY RACING +20.143
48 TRUMMER David AUT19940601 GHOST RRP +20.222
49 FAYOLLE Alexandre FRA19950720
+20.561
50 COLOMBO Francesco ITA19951209 AB DEVINCI ITALY +20.696
51 WALLACE Mark CAN19950601 DEVINCI GLOBAL RACING +21.125
52 BEER Nick SUI19870917 RADON MAGURA FACTORY +21.329
53 CHAPMAN Rupert NZL19920409 BERGAMONT HAYES COMPONENTS FACTORY TEAM +21.490
54 BREWIN Gareth GBR19910623
+22.115
55 NIEDERBERGER Noel SUI19950821 SWISS DOWNHILL SYNDICATE +22.223
56 MEARS Scott GBR19890206
+22.783
57 WILLIAMSON Jay GBR19930506 STEVE PEAT SYNDICATE GLOBAL +23.476
58 HANNAH Michael AUS19831121 POLYGON UR +23.887
59 HAMILTON Louis NZL19940918
+24.321
60 VERNON Taylor GBR19960912 GT FACTORY RACING +24.446
61 WILSON Reece GBR19960611 UNIOR TOOLS TEAM +24.532
62 JORBA PRATS Guillem ESP19940319
+25.342
63 GANNICOTT George GBR19950311
+26.934
64 VERNASSA Gianluca ITA19950904 AB DEVINCI ITALY +26.974
65 MULALLY Neko USA19930219 GSTAAD-SCOTT +27.832
66 GAUVIN Remi CAN19920616
+28.113
67 RICHARDS Shaun GBR19960104
+28.383
68 LUCAS Dean AUS19950502 DEVINCI GLOBAL RACING +28.455
69 JOHANSEN Zakarias Blom NOR19921125
+28.734
70 RIESCO Forrest CAN19940124
+28.889
71 BULL Samuel RSA19940322
+30.423
72 ILES Jack CAN19961007 NORCO FACTORY RACING +33.912
73 RUFFIN Thibaut FRA19841030 COMMENCAL / VALLNORD +34.751
74 ESTAQUE Thomas FRA19961115 LAC BLANC SCOTT +34.942
75 GUARDIA PASCUAL Bernat ESP19820930 INTENSE FACTORY RACING +36.934
76 JORBA PRATS Ferran ESP19960425 INTENSE FACTORY RACING +43.214
77 VERGIER Loris FRA19960507 LAPIERRE GRAVITY REPUBLIC +56.703
78 MASTERS Edward NZL19890818 BERGAMONT HAYES COMPONENTS FACTORY TEAM +1:05.698
79 SUAREZ ALONSO Angel ESP19951202
+1:26.765
80 GEORGES Pierre Charles FRA19860206 LAC BLANC SCOTT +1:33.618

HEATH Harry GBR19910805 NORCO FACTORY RACING DNF

photo by Sven Martin

Elite Women's Results

1 ATHERTON Rachel GBR19871206 GT FACTORY RACING 5:31.654
2 SEAGRAVE Tahnee GBR19950615 FMD RACING +7.989
3 RAGOT Emmeline FRA19860527 MS MONDRAKER TEAM +15.922
4 CARPENTER Manon GBR19930311 MADISON SARACEN FACTORY TEAM +22.393
5 CURD Katy GBR19890427
+22.752
6 BROWN Casey CAN19901027 BERGAMONT HAYES COMPONENTS FACTORY TEAM +22.890
7 HANNAH Tracey AUS19880613 POLYGON UR +26.009
8 CHARRE Morgane FRA19900609 SOLID-REVERSE FACTORY RACING +33.053
9 CABIROU Marine ° FRA19970312
+35.307
10 CAPPELLARI Carina SUI19911106 RADON MAGURA FACTORY +50.350
11 MOLLOY Tegan AUS19960118 KONA FACTORY TEAM +51.329
12 SIEGENTHALER Emilie SUI19860919 PIVOT FACTORY DH TEAM +53.251
13 BARTOVA Jana CZE19900217 GHOST RRP +53.612
14 RUCKNAGEL Harriet GER19881011
+57.156
15 MARTH Steffi GER19850819
+1:08.980
16 SALAZAR PALOMO Mariana ESA19940506
+1:17.097
17 SANDLER Veronique NZL19930417
+1:25.794
18 WIDMANN Veronika ITA19930308
+1:31.970
19 BJORKMAN Josefine SWE19940224
+1:33.684
20 KARKHOF Katrin GER19821019
+1:44.113
21 TYAS Sophie NZL19941101
+1:55.199
22 ARACIL ALBA Blanca ° AND19981120
+2:15.033
23 LACEY Suzanne GBR19920911
+2:21.462
24 STRIVENS Rona ° GBR19980131
+2:33.783
25 MELTON Elena ° GBR19970815
+2:48.016
26 BICKERSTAFF Sacha ° IRL19981206
+3:03.534
27 JENSEN Hope ° GBR19970717
+3:52.946
28 TAYLOR Gemma ° GBR19980330
+3:54.484

Junior Men's Results

1 MAES Martin BEL19970127 GT FACTORY RACING 5:01.455
2 GREENLAND Laurie GBR19970218 TREK WORLD RACING +2.038
3 MARIN TRILLO Alex ESP19970325 GIANT FACTORY OFF-ROAD TEAM +3.963
4 REVELLI Loris ITA19970920 AB DEVINCI ITALY +8.573
5 MCCUBBING Frazer GBR19970208 STEVE PEAT SYNDICATE GLOBAL +10.375
6 STEWART Neil GBR19970424 FMD RACING +17.217
7 SWINBANK Bradley GBR19970630 STEVE PEAT SYNDICATE GLOBAL +18.458
8 DICKSON Jacob IRL19971005 ORANGE DIRT WORLD TEAM, XFUSION +19.686
9 CRIMMINS Andrew AUS19970809 KONA FACTORY TEAM +19.754
10 HATTON Charlie GBR19980223 GREAT BRITAIN +22.307
11 MORTON Remy AUS19980309 POLYGON UR +23.448
12 OXLEY Nial GBR19970610 TWOTWO GRAVITY RACING +25.478
13 LALY Thibault FRA19970520 FRANCE +25.612
14 WARSHAWSKY Max AUS19970609 BERGAMONT HAYES COMPONENTS FACTORY TEAM +29.058
15 MARRY Kevin FRA19980517 FRANCE +29.506
16 CHOMIER Quentin FRA19970201 ROC VTT OZ-EN-OISANS +29.877
17 HAVARD Kyle GBR19980619 GREAT BRITAIN +33.970
18 MANSON Magnus CAN19980319 NORCO FACTORY RACING +36.766
19 ALFARO PERALTA Carlos PER19970111 PERU +40.976
20 HEAP Elliott GBR19980106 CHAIN REACTION CYCLES / PAYPAL +42.603
21 FREW Jackson AUS19980626 AUSTRALIA +43.504
22 WILLIAMS Nils GBR19970716 STEVE PEAT SYNDICATE GLOBAL +44.010
23 POINSOT Tom FRA19980211 ROC VTT OZ-EN-OISANS +49.274
24 SORRENTINO Lorenzo ITA19980523 ITALY +51.500
25 WARRELL Alistair GBR19970804 GREAT BRITAIN - B +51.845
26 HART Will GBR19980426 GREAT BRITAIN +1:10.271
27 PFEIFFER Bryan FRA19970311 FRANCE +1:11.005
28 FITZGERALD Henry CAN19980813 STEVE PEAT SYNDICATE GLOBAL +1:13.345

CIRIEGO Maxime FRA19970124 ROC VTT OZ-EN-OISANS DNF

MCGEE Calum GBR19970119 GREAT BRITAIN DNF

2015 UCI World Cup Downhill Overall Standings after 2 races

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