By Rob Jones in Fort William, Scotland
The Mountain Bike World Cup moves to the Scottish Highlands for round number four in the cross-country series, and number two for the gravity riders. The cross-country and 4-Cross events take place on Saturday, with the downhill on Sunday. Friday's weather was cold and raining non-stop - making for a less-than-enjoyable day of training; but the weather forecasts all call for it to clear overnight and warm up considerably for the rest of the weekend. Everyone has their fingers crossed.
The cross-country circuit is almost identical to the one used in past years - about the only change is a small bridge put in to get over a section that is under water. Despite the rain and mud, riders report that the whole course is rideable. "I just finished a lap without unclipping once" said Kiara Bisaro (Team R.A.C.E.), adding that, "It is muddy, and some of the descents are pretty slippery, but it's not like last week; everything is completely rideable."
Bisaro was commenting on the race in Spa, Belgium, which turned into a running circuit, with thick gluey mud forcing riders to run even on some downhill sections.
Liam Killeen (Specialized), the local favourite (even though he is British, not Scottish), also has praise for the circuit. "It's a riding course so, no matter what, the race will be a real mountain bike race. I don't think it favours any particular type of rider - there are fast bits and technical sections - so it will take a good all round rider to win here," he said.
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