Madison Saracen 2018 - UCI World Cup 2: Fort William, Scotland

 

The wait was over and it was finally time to race on home soil. As usual, we were heading back to the infamous Fort William, high up in the Scottish highlands where the weather loves to throw a spanner in the works at any given moment…

For all British riders, young and old, Fort Bill is a bucket list race to perform well at. Everyone was keen to get the week started. Danny had all the preparation in place for a good week. Matt was making a return after injuring his hand in Croatia and the young Spaniard was looking to up his game from round 1. 

As usual, the track walk here in the Fort is long and 95% of the time there isn’t any changes, but a new woods section would mean, less mud, quicker times and fingers crossed… less crashing! 

The mechanics were all set prepping spare wheels, parts and tyres because as you can imagine, bikes can be easily damaged here due to the mass of rocks that scatter the track.  

Alex Lovett has been matt’s mechanic from the beginning from his debut race in Lourdes.

Rob Cooksley AKA Box, is Alex’s mechanic and he definitely brings the comedy to the table...

Danny and Dave have worked together for countless years so it’s a perfect fit.

Alex had a solid week. He was looking composed on the bike all week. His effortless style was great to watch and, after learning some more english and thinking he’s “basically, both Spanish and English now”,  he put in a solid run into a top 30 qualifier! His confidence and knowledge is growing every race so coming into finals he knew exactly what was needed and put in another consecutive run into 28th. A perfect building block for the rest of the year.

Danny had a faultless week, he had good preparation for the race. His bike was setup second to none and his ability on track was faultless. He placed a strong 2nd in qualifying which put his mind in a good place for Sunday. After being just off touch on the first sector he still had his sights set on a top place. A minor setback on track cost him a few seconds but with a 6th place on the day means there’s a gap for improvement. Everything taken away from the week has been positive and creates a good building block for the rest of the season. 

All eyes were on the hill as Nip was to make his debut final run in the notorious Elite class. After not making it at round one it was time to make a mark on home turf. He played it safe in qualifying to make the final so now it was time to light the fire. All his splits were positive and the atmosphere in the arena was unreal. Matt came across into the lead. He would sit in 3rd for the duration of the next few riders unfortunately then getting knocked back. Matt finished his first elite World Cup with an outstanding 7th place meaning he will ditch the 71 plate for a nice fresh 26 for round 3 in Austria. 

What a weekend… The best team result we’ve had in recent times! Everyone is ready to build on the positives and head over seas and get back on the bikes.