Race Report: BDS Round 2 Fort William

Race Report: BDS Round 2 Fort William

Nevis Range opened their wooden side door to the masses on the Monday before the race. I was up there with Sick Skills bright an early for some top notch coaching on Monday, Tuesday and Friday. It was great fun working with some quality riders and it also gave me a good gauge of the track before the race. Sneaky practice masquerading as work is where it’s at. It does have it’s downsides as after many runs my first blister of the year blossomed.

Thumb Blister

This is the reason all my left hand gloves are stained red.

The British Downhill Series has a heck of a pull this year and lots of the top world teams rolled into Fort William for the race. Competition was going to be fierce. I took things easy and cruised out a few runs to get a good feel for hitting the track at speed. It was rough and I knew racing was going to be tough.



Due to worries about the weather for Sunday the organisers decided to run the seeding runs on Saturday which was fine by me as I was feeling good on the track. I wasn’t expecting too much and just wanted to post a smooth run. Everything went well, hit all my lines, threw some tidy wips and gave the fans a few one handed pointers… and rolled into 11th. With the level of competition I was really surprised with my positioning. It actually made me a bit nervous for race time as I realised I could do quite well.

Fort William Berm

Keeping things low, fast and a little bit squint – Photo: Kris Anderson


I woke up on Sunday and the weather seemed to be playing ball. Not glorious but at least it wasn’t raining. Headed up for my race run and started warming up. I was keeping an eye on Adam Brayton as I knew I was going down just after him. Turns out I got it wrong, I was just before him. Queue hilarity for everyone else. I rushed over to the start, quickly pulled of my jacket which pulled off my gloves with it. “30 seconds to go”. Franticly try to turn the gloves the right way round and put them on. “20 seconds” Fumble around with my neck brace and fasten it up. “10 seconds”. Knock the bike down into 3rd, spin the pedals to make sure it’s settled. “5..4…3…2…1”. Stuff goggles on, clip in and sprint off the line! Erratic start to what was actually a pretty good run. I tried to give it 100% all the way down but the fitness levels weren’t up to the task. Mint top section but was just a passenger for the bottom.


ben wip tissot sick skills fort william bds jump

Paul Cram Photography


Still managed to throw a little wip for the fans. So I ended up in 15th, not the best but i was pretty happy with my consistent smooth runs.


Race over and a week to recover before Glencoe. Game on.



Mountain bike racer extraordinaire. Owner and CEO of Sick Skills. West Scotland skid champion 1998.

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