THE MOUNTAIN Bike World Cup is set to return to Scotland for the first time since before the pandemic.
Following two years of cancellations, the action will take place on Anoach Mor at the Nevis Range ski centre.
Riders including Reece Wilson, 2020 Downhill World Champion, and Matt Walker, 2020 Overall World Cup Champion, will battle it out for the Downhill World Cup and 4x Pro Tour titles.
This will be the 19th time the Fort William event takes place, with over 21,000 expected to enjoy the action over the weekend of 21st–22nd May, cheering on 250 riders.
The return of the event this year is expected to provide a £4m benefit to the Scottish economy as mountain bike fans return to Fort William.
Since its launch in 2002, the award-winning event has contributed over £43m to the Scottish economy as a whole.
The return of the Fort William UCI Mountain Bike World Cup also has a new main partner for 2022.
Online bike retailer Freewheel.co.uk is sponsoring the event as well as being part of the Madison Saracen Team, one of the leading UCI Elite Teams.
Matt Walker, 2020 Overall World Cup Champion, said: “Fort William is a real highlight in the calendar and I can’t wait to get back up there this year and compete.
“The fans are always incredible and after two years away, it’ll be great to compete in front of them again and feed off the energy and noise they provide.”
Reece Wilson, 2020 World Champion, said: ““It’s fantastic to have the Fort William World Cup back for 2022. It’s such an iconic venue and never fails to deliver exciting racing.
“There are not many tracks that challenge you the way Fort William does, and I always enjoy riding it. I’m excited to get it underway!”
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Scotland is one of the best places in the world to experience events and after the challenges of the last two years it is great to have the Fort William UCI Mountain Bike World back.
“Events play an important role in our communities, as they allow us all to connect, enjoy and share memorable experiences.
“The Fort William UCI Mountain Bike World Cup will provide the perfect stage to showcase what Scotland has to offer as we build towards hosting the inaugural UCI Cycling World Championships next year while also supporting the wider recovery to tourism and events in the Highlands.”
Mike Jardine, of organisers Rare Management, said: “It’s great to be back in the Fort this year.
“It’s always exciting to welcome all the fans and the world’s top riders to Scotland but this year feels extra special after the challenges of the previous two years.
“There’s no better place for a downhill mountain bike showdown and it’s a fantastic chance for us to all give a huge Fort William welcome to two wonderful home riders in Matt Walker and Reece Wilson, who enjoyed brilliant success in 2020.”