The Fort William World Cup track is NOT easy. It’s long, and it demands more physically from the rider than any other track on the circuit. It’s rugged and technical, the changing alpine weather conditions just add a whole other level of variables that lie outside of the riders control. It does reward though, legends are made here. To win at Fort William is a big, big deal. For Kona though the third stop on the World Cup was to be a weekend of mixed emotions.
After the fitting tribute and mega train honoring Stevie Smith it was was back to business of racing. Practice and timed training went well with the weather playing ball and all four members of the Gravity Team finding their feet. Josh Button who hadn’t been to the venue for a few years had this to say “Fort Bill would have to be one of the gnarliest tracks we race. Not too much has changed since I was last here in 2012 so I’m pretty keen to rip in. The Stevie Smith memorial train was pretty special to be apart of, packed full of laughter, good times and near death collisions.”
Quebec based Junior Anthony Poulson was looking good on track, and was getting to grips with the beast that is Fort Bill. Unfortunately the practice session before qualifiers would be his last. A small mistake cost him dearly as he left the course and in his crash broke his left arm, ruling out any chances of the next few races.
Josh Button was also on fire, looking fast and finding his World Cup feet after his surprise comeback in Cairns. Although his story was shaping up to be a one hell of a fairytale, a crash in qualifiers would end Josh’s 2016 World Cup dreams, in the crash he dislocated his hip. He’s still stuck in a Scottish hospital bed!
Which left things to Connor and Tegan to fly the Kona flag. Connor’s 2016 consistency showed it’s face again, the Adelaide rider again finishing in the top ten, well finishing 1oth in fact. “The track here in Scotland is basically the same as the last few years. It’s hard pack, fast and rough as hell. The only difference is the weather, it’s sunny and not rainy so the track is very dry and skatey. I think it was awesome everybody got to do a memorial train for Stevie. We all raced for Steve this weekend, it makes me proud to be part of this mountain bike family.”
Tegan Molloy, fresh back from injury, had a great weekend. Qualifying in 13th and then backing that result up with another 13th in the finals. She’s still finding her speed again after her off season injury, with four races left this season things are looking positive for this Aussie pinner.