There is always an overwhelming sense of anticipation at the finish area of Fort William come World Cup time. Largely that anticipation is born from the notion that someone who perhaps doesn’t normally win or doesn’t normally podium, might just do it this time. That ‘the little guy’ might just pull it off. The underdog. There is a tangible sense of willing among the masses for someone out of the ordinary to pull out the run of a lifetime and smash in that monumental win. In 2005 there was a similar feeling but it wasn’t so much that we were hoping for someone who doesn’t normally win to grab victory, more that we were just hoping that for the first time at Fort William Steve Peat may actually do it.
Steve Peat doesn’t need any superlatives from us, they’ve all been said. By everyone. Everywhere. So needless to say that if, at Fort William, in 2005, Steve Peat could actually pull off that victory at arguably the toughest and most legendary track in the World and at Peaty’s home World Cup then unquestionably the masses would certainly erupt in euphoric celebration.
So on that overcast Sunday afternoon the sheer will of the thousands waiting with baited breath at the bottom of the mountain, was almost tangible. You could feel the energy and the moment that Peaty appeared over the crest of the final steep hill into the finish line, the volume was deafening. If Peaty hadn’t been up at that point, by the time he’d got to the line will power alone would have guaranteed it.
Steve Peat cited the 2005 Fort William World Cup as one of his greatest moments and still looks back at that finale with a tear in his eye. “My good friend Brian Lopes came and congratulated me, but afterwards he said I looked weird, my eyes were glazed and I seemed empty, the only way I can explain this is how overwhelmed I was with the support and noise that happened that day”.
It was an incredible end to the season and the home fans had plenty to shout about as Tracey Moseley also nailed a victory but undoubtedly it was Peaty’s monumental run that will forever be engraved in the memories of everyone that was lucky enough to be at Fort William on that day.
“It was an unreal experience for me and I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you that opened your mouths and let out a cheer/cry/scream whatever that day. It is without doubt the best sporting experience I have ever witnessed out of every sport in the whole world”.