Helmets on, everyone! There’s only one month to go until the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Fort William and it’s gearing up to be an incredible event, jam-packed with fierce competition, daredevil tricks and possibly some mud too.
Mention Fort William in any mountain biking circles, and expect huge smiles of friendly acknowledgement. From 7 – 8 June, the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’ will warmly welcome 300 of the world’s best riders from over 25 nations, each of them eager to tear their way down some of the steepest slopes in the Highlands.
Want to be there too? Go to the official site to book tickets and start planning your trip to the Highlands now!
Situated in the south-west corner of the Highlands, Fort ‘Bill’ is well connected to the main cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh with regular transport links by train and bus. There are shuttle buses to take you straight to the event and if you’re road-tripping, set off bright and early, so that you don’t miss any of the action.
Fort William stages the 3rd gold event on the 4X ProTour, one of the most important events in the mountain biking calendar. You’ll feel the sheer speed of the track as the riders go past you and watch out for the extreme Downhill races as riders navigate their way down the Aonach Mor slopes, over epic jumps, steep drops and rocky steps.
Need to catch up? Find out the latest from the 4x Pro Tour.
The loud, enthusiastic crowd is a massive part of the event’s atmosphere, so keep cheering on your favourites. Make your way down to the World Cup village for biking demonstrations, competitions and stalls selling the latest MTB goodies. Watch the drama unfold on wide screens while tucking into delicious food and drink.
For experienced bikers, the World Cup track is open to the public in the weeks leading up to the event, so bring your elbow pads and tick it off your list. If you’re feeling inspired to try the sport, there is thrilling biking available for all abilities in the area, from the Nevis Range to the Witch’s Trails in Leanachan Forest.
When night falls, there are many ways to unwind after an exhilarating day on the mountain. Sample some delicious home cooking at the top of the course at the Snow Goose restaurant or head into town for a pint of traditional ale at the Grog & Gruel on Fort William’s main street. If you’re staying over, the local campsites are bound to be celebrating into the wee hours. When it’s finally time to put the brakes on, there are many places to stay in town, from Fort William Backpackers to cosy cottage accommodation.
While you’re in town…
The amazing Highland landscape is bursting with tales of the past. If you have time, find out more about the ancient geological formations which surround you, from Scotland’s deepest loch to our tallest mountain at Lochaber Geoparks. Why not challenge yourself to climb ‘The Ben’? An energetic hike up Ben Nevis will reward you with some of the best views in the country.
And finally, for a little slice of history, learn about Highland life in the days of the Jacobites at the West Highland Museum.