Lowepro Endurance Downhill
For many the very idea of an Endurance Downhill event is madness, if you were then to suggest that the event should take place on the downhill track at Fort William, well that would be crazy. Crazy it is then! On Saturday the 8th of July just short of 100 riders lined up ready for battle, a battle that would test strength, stamina, machine and perhaps most importantly tactics that ensure a level of consistancy to see them through the day.
Lowepro the title sponsor for this race are celebrating their 50th year, it was therefore fitting that Tim Sadler from Lowepro had number fifty on his board. Tim has been a huge fan of the race for along time and was delighted when the opporunity arrived to not only ride it again but to become the title sponsor.
Weather is always going to play its part at Fort William and Saturday was no exception. With clear skies and a good breeze the race started at 1530, with every run riders were commenting on the wind "Its quite windy","Its fair blowing the Gondola about" being some of the more prinatble. Just about the four hour mark the decision was taken that it was all over, it was getting marginal for the gondolas to keep operatingand was becoming not safe. All round this was agreed to be the correct decision, some riders were possibly quite relieved it was all over.
The race starts with the traditional Le Mans style start with riders running to their bikes and then ascending the mountain to the wall ride where they join the course and get down to business. Ben Moore showing his enthusiasm leading the run before the dreaded uphill cycle.
There were three categories, Downhill, Enduro and Hardtail. For 2017 there were no hardtail entries so it was a battle between enduro and downhill. Threatning skies over the stunning vistas that the world famous course provides.
It was Fergus Lamb who ran out the evntual winner with 10 laps. 10 very consistant runs the fastest being 5mins and 11 seconds and the slowest being 5 mins 24 seconds. With Alastair macLennan in second place with all of his laps within an eleven second window. Sam Homes finnished in an impresive third place , this being the first time he had ridden Fort william.In the ladies field it was the recently crowned world masters Fiona Beattie who took the win with 9 completed runs.
DH Men Fergus Lamb 1st Alastair MacLennan 2nd and Sam Holmes 3rd
DH Woman Fiona Beattie 1st Lynette Deacon 2nd and Shona MacKinnon 3rd
Enduro Men Brett Jackson 1st , Christopher Henry 2nd and David Cocker 3rd
Enduro Woman Rosie Holdsworth 1st, Jennie Rennie 2nd and Sophie Nuttal 3rd.
You can access full results here
Thanks to Tim Sadler and Lowepro for their support and to Charles Robertson for the amazing pics.