A hat-trick of titles for Czech Tomáš Slavik as British rider Natasha Bradley wins Fort William 4X title
The first day of the UCI Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup got off to a flying start today (3 June), after Czech Tomáš Slavik and British rider Natasha Bradley stormed to victory in the BUFF® 4X Pro Tour finals.
Thousands of spectators turned out to cheer on more than 60 elite riders at the iconic Nevis Range in the Scottish Highlands as they took on rocks, drops and ruts in a thrilling head-to-head race to be crowned the elite Men’s and Women’s BUFF® 4X Pro Tour champions.
British rider 19-year-old Natasha Bradley, from Devon, claimed victory in dramatic fashion with a breath-taking inside pass over second place Romana Labounkova from Czechoslovakia, with Helene Valerie Fruhwirth from Austria in third. Fellow Brit Deborah Primrose finished fourth.
Speaking after her victory Natasha said: “I feel really happy. I never expected to win, but after cutting inside Romana I was just like pedal, pedal, pedal, and when I got over the finish line it was just amazing. The other women on the track are all really quick, so I feel like I have achieved something by winning. Fort William is probably my favourite track of the year. The fans make it a really special event.”
29-year-old Tomáš Slavik has now won three Fort William BUFF® 4X Pro Tour event titles after a tough race on a wet Anoch Mor surface, beating Felix Beckeman from Sweden into second place, and Joost Wichman from the Netherlands in third. British rider Luke Cryer finished in fourth.
He said: “I feel amazing. Before the race it was raining which made the track way more challenging. It’s impossible to protect all the lines so it’s about tactics. I just knew that if I go to the first turn in first place I need to protect the two insides in the big turns.
“I felt really quick on this sort of track and of course I’m going into the race to win like all the other guys. They all want to win so I’m trying my best to win and thankfully it happened so mission complete. It’s always nice when I am going down the track in a different country and you see the fans from your own country.”
The BUFF® 4X Pro Tour event sees four riders battle it out in an unpredictable yet exhilarating head-to-head race to the finish line.
Using all of their skill and technical ability to choose the fastest line, the riders show fearless energy to pass their rivals and charge down the Nevis Range track.