Mountain Bike World Cup 2010

More than 18,000 spectators descended on Fort William last weekend to see the world’s top mountain biking stars plummet down the slopes of Aonach Mor in the thrilling Mountain Bike World Cup.

Starting high on the upper slopes of the mountain, riders dropped 555m down the 2.8km boulder-strewn course, cheered on by the thousands of spectators, to finish at the bottom gondola station at the Nevis Range.

The long Scottish winter meant that work on preparing the tracks had to be delayed as skiers took advantage of some late sport right into late April.

Three diggers worked relentlessly on the downhill track, reprofiling the old route, digging for bed-rock, and building new bumps and jumps to make sure the track was as demanding as possible.

As there is no road to access the tracks, a helicopter was used to fly in materials from the Nevis Range car park onto the upper parts of both tracks.

For the record UK rider Gee Atherton took top podium place in the Men’s Downhill following a tremendous show of courage, power and control down the testing course. France’s Sabrina Jonnier won the Women’s race, pushing Gee’s sister Rachel into 2nd.

The downhill track will reopen for general use by enthusiasts on Sat 15 May. More details

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