The Fort William UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in the Scottish Highlands has won both international and domestic acclaim after being named the best Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup in the global series and the Best Sporting Event in the Highlands and Islands in 2017.
The legendary event was voted the Best Downhill World Cup event by teams, riders, media, sponsors and cycling’s international governing body, the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale). This is the second year in a row the event has been awarded the accolade and an impressive ninth time in total.
The Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup also took home the Best Sporting Event title at this year’s Highland and Islands Tourism Awards. The event won over voters for the scale and spectacle of the event on the slopes of Aonach Mor, its event organisation, huge crowds and unique atmosphere.
Taking place at the Nevis Range ski area, 9km from Fort William, it is regarded a must-see event on the Scottish sporting calendar and continues to bring a huge financial boost to Highland tourism delivering an estimated £2.9 million to the local economy in 2017 and £37 million since 2002.
The world class event, attended by more than 23,000 over 3 days in 2017, had an exhilarating finish this year as Australia’s Tracey Hannah claimed the win in the women’s event while South Africa’s Greg Minnaar cemented his status as the most successful downhill rider of all time, taking home his seventh Fort William title.
Organisers Rare Management are now gearing up for next year’s event and have confirmed Early Bird tickets will go on sale on 1 December.
Mike Jardine from organisers Rare Management, said: “Being crowned as the UCI’s Best Downhill Mountain Bike event for a second year is truly fantastic. On top of that, we’re delighted to receive recognition at home in the Highlands.
“These awards are testament to the hard work of all of the fans, volunteers, riders, sponsors and partners who continue to make this event a truly legendary and memorable experience for all the family. It confirms Scotland and the Highland’s world-class reputation and status as a bike-friendly destination for visitors from across the globe.”
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “We have been proud to support the Mountain Bike World Cup for many years now. With this recognition from UCI and the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards, as well as the economic impact figures showing a huge boost for the Highlands and beyond, the Fort William event has reaffirmed its reputation as a highlight of the summer season, showcasing Scotland as the perfect stage for events. These accolades are richly deserved by Rare Management who have delivered a World Class event for over 15 years.”