Published: 03rd May 2024 Images: Scottish Cycling

Fort William UCI Downhill World Cup – What you need to know

This weekend sees the welcome return of the UCI Downhill World Cup to Nevis Range, and we’ve got everything you need to know for the big weekend.

The World’s best Downhill riders will once again descend on Fort William for an excellent weekend of World Cup racing.

Forming the first Downhill round of the Whoop UCI Mountain Bike World Series, it’s going to be a cracker with Scots Greg Williamson, Reece Wilson and Louise Ferguson looking to take on the best of the World this weekend.

Who to look out for

Men’s Elite

Reigning UCI World Champion Charle Hatton (Continental Atherton), South African legend Greg Minnaar (Norco FR) and five-time rainbow jersey wearer Loic Bruni (Specialized Gravity) are just three of the names that stand out in a stacked Men’s Elite field this weekend.

2020 World Champion Reece Wilson (Trek FR) is leading a strong Scots’ charge this weekend. The Scot said yesterday of his return to elite level racing:

“Every year, riding the same tracks, following the same gym programs, and eating the same thing over and over, you have to find motivation somewhere. Sometimes, when you’re forced to the side lines, you realize that results aren’t everything. Being a part of blazing a trail for Scottish downhill and seeing other riders come through are arguably more important. Racing at home with fans and family who want to see me is an incredible feeling. I’m really looking forward to the charge of the home fans, and I’m ready for it.”

Joining him is Greg Williamson (Madison Saracen) who claimed fifth at the World Champs last August, after a fantastic ride.

Williamson was in action last weekend at Ae Forest, where he claimed the Scottish national title in style.

Highlander Douglas Goodwill will be representing Scottish team Triple Five Racing, and makes the step up from the junior ranks, and will be looking to impress on home trails. Jamie Edmondson (BNC Racing) will too be making to make an impact on Saturday.

Women’s Elite

World Champion Valentina Holl (YT Mob) and Nina Hoffman (Santa Criz Syndicate) are the favourites heading into a Women’s Elite World Cup, which boasts it’s biggest field yet.

There’s Three Scots to look out for in the Women’s Elite, and they will all be setting their aim to be in contention come Sunday afternoon.

Louise Ferguson (Intense FR) is back in Scotland after spending the winter in New Zealand and has moved to a new team and a new bike with Intense Factory racing. She finished fourth last August at the World Championships in Fort William, and is aiming to continue this form into 2024 as she said.

“I’m excited to race at home on a new bike, so I’ll see what I can do. I’d love to perform well here and start the season strongly. I also aim to do well at the World Championships in Andorra, as I really enjoyed it last year. My goal is to consistently break into the top ten and push the other girls.”

Joining Louise is rising star Phoebe Gale (Canyon CLLCTV), who rose into the elite level last year, claiming fifth at the World Champs. Local hero Mikayla Parton (BNC Racing) has made a strong start to the season in Portugal and will be hoping to continue that promising start to the season this weekend.

Men’s Junior

Daniel Parfitt (BNC Racing) made a strong impact towards the end of last season, with a solid showing in Les Gets and Loudenville World Cup rounds, and has started this season with a brace of strong performances in Portugal.

While Aviemore’s Creag Muir will be making his UCI World Cup debut in the Junior Men’s event on Saturday.

Women’s Junior

Heather Wilson (Muc-Off Young Guns) will be the first rider off the start ramp in Saturday’s Women’s Junior Qualifying, and the former Mini-DH winner, and current Scottish junior champion, will be aiming to qualify for the final, in her first UCI World Cup event.


After an excellent Race The Worlds Final in 2023, Mini-DH will return to the slopes of Aonach Mor for a final at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Fort William this May.

Qualifying events took place at Nevis Range and Glentress Forest, and now 60 riders will take to the slopes on Saturday morning before their idols race qualifying in the afternoon.

Racing is on from 9:30 on Saturday morning, and the Mini-DH course is just to the right of the main course (see the diagram below.)

Who knows, there may be a future World Cup rider in the making?!


Saturday 4th May

Time Event
07:00 Park and Ride Opens
09:00-12:00 Mini-DH Final
12:00 UCI Downhill World Cup – Women’s Elite Qualifying
13:00 UCI Downhill World Cup – Men’s Elite Qualifying
14:00 UCI Downhill World Cup – Women’s Junior Qualifying
14:15 UCI Downhill World Cup – Men’s Junior Qualifying
15:00 UCI Downhill World Cup – Women’s Elite Semi-Final
15:30 UCI Downhill World Cup – Men’s Elite Semi-Final

Sunday 5th May

Time Event
07:00 Park and Ride Opens
08:30 Gates Open
09:00-11:00 Training
11:30 UCI Downhill World Cup – Women’s Junior Final
12:00 UCI Downhill World Cup – Men’s Junior Final
13:00 UCI Downhill World Cup – Women’s Elite Final
14:00 UCI Downhill World Cup – Men’s Elite Final


How to follow

You can still buy tickets for the weekend, with a new travel ticket for this year.

The World Cup and Citylink buses have partnered to give you fuss-free return travel from either Glasgow or Edinburgh, taking you in and out in one day with a Ride & Entry ticket package for just £45.

Details and how to buy can be found here

Regular tickets are still on sale here from £25 for adults and £15 for kids!

Park and Ride, and general travel information can be found here.

If you can’t make it up to Fort William, then don’t worry, you can catch all the action on Discovery+ and we’ll be focusing on everything from Aonach Mor on social media @ScottishCycling.