The 2016 Fort William round of the UCI Downhill World Cup was notable for a number of reasons:
- The downhill world paid it’s respects to Stevie Smith with a ride through and an impeccably observed 1 minute silence half way through the mens race.
- The world of downhill said goodbye to Steve Peat in his final competitive Fort William race after he announced his retirement earlier this year.
- Rachel Atherton equaled Anne-Caroline Chausson’s record of 9 consecutive world cup wins as she took the Fort William win by over 12 seconds.
- Greg Minnaar held off the rest of the field in the mens race to take his 19th world cup win and further cement his title as the most successful downhill racer of all time.
There were a few technical learning points that could have been considered from the event with all the riders struggling with traction in the dry conditions, Manon Carpenter and George Brannigan having big crashes but what I’ve chosen to highlight for this post are the multiple wall rides you see along the Fort William route.
Walls of Death
Wall rides are one of those skills that look easy (and to a large extent are) but if you don’t know what you’re doing it’s not going to end well and it’s going to hurt…….a lot. Don’t believe me? Watch the YouTube clip below…..
The key element of getting a wall ride right is making sure you get you and your bike horizontal enough to allow you to compress your bike against the wall. There aren’t many instructional videos about but some of the more informative ones are below:
Remember that practice is the key to developing any new skill and if you want to learn to ride better, you’re only 20 hours away!