Lowepro Fort William Endurance DH
This past weekend saw the return of what many see as the toughest Downhill race on the calendar, The Lowepro Fort William Endurance Downhill Race. It’s a simple but brutal format of 6 hours… yes that is 6 hours to get 15 laps of the Fort William Downhill track. Fastest overall time wins. Easy eh!?
Keeping the simple theme, this year also saw just two categories of Triple Crown DH and Single Crown Enduro bikes with a fair smattering entering both (sadly no maniacs on Hardtails stepped up).
Kicking off just after 3pm with a mass start, then painful uphill slog to the Silverline wallride, meant that the gondola madness was kept to a minimum. And the racing was on.
As with previous years, they kept the race to the ‘normal’ line, so no gap jumps, but 99% of the hardest track on the circuit was more than enough to keep everyone focused.
Keeping with the Endurance theme, you get a pits to load up with spare parts and energy crisps, and it soon started to see some action with bikes coming in for running repairs and the odd hit with a blunt object.
The fast riders soon made it clear they were playing the long game. This was not the race for Danny Hart Hero Lines, this was all about being consistent, clean and smooth.
Unfortunately 4 hours in, the Highlands started to see if it could force riders off lines with winds gusting over 50mph and the decision was made to call a halt with the top riders getting 10 laps in the bag. Given the nature of this event, everyone agreed with the decision and hit the lubrication early with tales of another crazy day on the hill.
There are lots of bucket list events out there, most involve some crazy travelling across continents, but this one is here in the UK waiting for your entry. Time to step up and stick it in the calendar next year?
Results wise, the local knowledge helped Fergus Lamb of Dudes fame take the DH win in front of legend Alastair Mclennen of Nukeproof and Sam Holmes from Leyburn Bikes. In the Enduro category Brett Jackson took the win in front of Chris Henry and David Cocker. Fiona Beatie killed it in the Ladies DH, taking the honours ahead of Lynette Deacon and Shona McKinnon and Rosie Holsworth showed her Enduro powers with a win ahead of Jennie Rennie and Sophie Nuttell.
Full results here:
All pictures courtesy of Charles Robertson