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Fort William MTB DH World Cup – our predictions!

| Blog, Mountain Biking Uk | 08/06/2012 08:07am

Who will win our favourite DH race of the season?

Fort William is our favourite DH race of the season!

The luckier members of the MBUK team are off to Fort William for the third round of the MTB DH World Cup this weekend, and we’ve been debating what’s going to go down at our favourite downhill race of the season!

Here our are predictions…

Doddy, Features Editor
Clearly Greg Minnaar is always a top three threat. He’s the Iceman on the scene. He flies clean. No mistakes. The same can’t be said for Danny Hart with his on-the-absolute-limit of what can be done on a bike. He’s definitely Maverick, and while he could pull in the run of all runs, he could go down in flames too.

Aaron Gwin though, despite ironing out the course last year, and putting 7.5 seconds into people last weekend, he claims he still has more in reserve. This I have to see. He’s so mentally on it, and has the skill to follow his level-headedness. What’s he gonna do?  Being like the Viper of the crew, he comes across cool, calm and calculated. We might see something special here.

Who do I want to win though? Tough question. It would be amazing to see Marc Beaumont bag it, and likewise Brendan Fairclough. Gee Atherton needs a win too to remind him that he is that damned good. And clearly Rachel Atheron has to stamp her authority down – I won’t be alone ib screaming the house down for her.

For overseas contenders it has to be Andrew Neethling – he’s one of the nicest guys in the sport with outrageous style on a bike. Get it done Needles!

Will Danny Hart ride his Glory to glory at Fort William?

Rob, Technical Editor
Like Doddy said, Danny Hart is a pinner and has proved he’s got form on that track after winning the BDS with drivetrain problems and I think Val di Sole proved that he can still ride fast without getting out of shape. He know’s Fort Bill and loves it there so I think he’s a top three contender.
Greg Minnaar will also be up there – his smooth, speed-carrying style translates perfectly to Fort Bill… hence all the wins he’s had there in the past.

Aaron Gwin will win though. He’s so prepared both physically and mentally. He’s the new Sam Hill and will force all the other guys to re-evaluate who they train and race in order to keep up with him. The track suits his style of riding and he’s ridiculously strong so can handle the big hits. Gee Atherton will be a contender for the top three but understandably, those niggling injuries will play on his mind. If Steve Smith’s hand holds up, he’ll be top five.

Cam Cole could be the one that rocks the boat. He’s always knocking on the door up in Fort Bill and he’s obviously confident and strong.  Brendan Fairclough might be top 15 but I reckon Sam Hill will be up there in the top 10 again.

As for the women’s, this is Tracy Moseley’s first DH race of the year and she’s beyond fit enough to handle the beating up there. She’s won up there enough to know how to do it. Tracey Hannah has done well there in the past too and will look to put last week behind her. Rachel Atherton will make it a close race for the top spot though!

Ric, Senior Staff Writer
I’ve got to say Aaron Gwin for the win really. He classes the run he was on at Fort Bill last year as the fastest of his life and that includes last weekend. He’s supercross fit and on a track this brutal it should shine through. Even if it does get wet, I don’t think it’ll cut up enough to really hamper his pace. In short, it’s his to lose.

I also think Greg Minnaar will be right up there though. He’s the master of managing himself and his riding – look at last weekend. He came second on a track he doesn’t enjoy and this is Fort Bill where he’s had great success in the past. Any mistakes from Gwin will play straight into his hands. He knows what it takes to win here and that counts for a lot.

Marc Beaumont and Gee and Rachel Atherton will be on the hunt for victory this weekend

Gee Atherton is another rider with form at this track but I just get the feeling that he’s trying too hard this year. I think Gwins physical strength and relaxed demeanour has really got to him in the last year or so. If you look at his body language at the finish line last weekend compared to Greg’s it’s obvious he’s fed up with not being on the top-step. I could see teammate and all-round Mr Cool, Marc Beaumont, pipping him to the post come Sunday.

Danny Hart will be up there too, but where-abouts I think it’s tough to call. He got tetchy when called out on practicing the Fort Bill track before the recent national there but then smoked everyone with a knackered drivetrain. The World Champs jersey is definitely a target on his back and now that he’s had a couple of races to get used to that idea, I think it’ll galvanise him all the more. It would be great to see him win a World Cup this year.

My dark horse however would be Andrew Neethling for a podium. He’s been quietly improving all the time and goes well here. We’ve also yet to see his true pace this season and the British crowd seem to really get behind him.

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