The Fort William Downhill Endurance
No Fuss Events today (Thursday 31 January 2008) announced the launch of the most extreme downhill mountain biking endurance race in the UK.
The Fort William Downhill Endurance will be staged on the internationally renowned downhill track at Nevis Range near Fort William - home to the 2007 Mountain Bike World Championships - on Sunday 7 September 2008.
As one of the longest and most physically demanding courses on the international mountain bike race circuit, riders of this gruelling event will need physical strength, quick reflexes, superb bike control and an unerring eye for the right line as they speed down the 2.82km track. They will also need huge amounts of stamina in order to ride the track as many times as possible in six hours!
The Nevis Range Downhill course is a full-on, flat-out, no-compromise charge down the face of Aonach Mor, the 9th highest mountain in the UK. A succession of big jumps and bumps, berms, drop-offs, rock slabs and technical natural sections provide plenty of challenges for the riders, all the way from the top gondola station (at 655m) to the magnificent finish section above the Nevis Range car park.
Frazer Coupland, from No Fuss Events, said: 'The Fort William Downhill Endurance is a new and totally unique event to the UK and it has already captured the imagination of some of the key players in the downhill community. It will be a fresh, new and different event, whilst challenging enough to be completely in keeping with the gnarly hardcore scene normally associated with downhill riders.
'This will be a fantastic event for spectators too. With great access onto the course from both the top gondola station and the Nevis Range Car Park, excellent spectator viewing points the length of the course, and a restaurant and a café, friends, family and hard core downhill fans will be able to soak up the adrenaline fuelled atmosphere in style, whilst cheering on the riders as they complete this awesome challenge.'
In normal downhill races riders race individually against the clock. For the Fort William Downhill Endurance riders will use a Le Mans style mass start. After a short run to the event tech area downhill bikes will be collected and ridden uphill to the Nevis Range Gondola's Tower Nine – about three quarters of the way down from the top. Riders will then race as fast as possible to the bottom where they will catch the gondola to the traditional start of the track at the top station. From here it is simple - as many descents as possible in six hours! Each descent will be timed with the cumulative descent times counting in cases of equal descents.
The idea of the event is not only to test endurance but also reliability. Participants will only be allowed one bike and a list of itemised spares to see them through the whole event. At the bottom of each run participants have the opportunity to enter the tech area to carry out any running repairs, replenish fluids and to take a breather.
There will be time penalties for riders who have to change wheels, forks, bars, frames and other major components. Also participants will not be allowed assistance in the maintenance of their equipment from outside the tech area.
No Fuss are delighted to announce that Dave Hutchens, a well known face on the Scottish Downhill scene, will assist the team in the organising and running of the event.
Dave Hutchens said: 'This unrivalled event will combine both the skills and the endurance of the riders and the reliability of their bikes. The Downhill course at Fort William is well known for being one of the toughest courses. This event will add another dimension for extreme sports enthusiasts.'
The race is just one of a gruelling series of open endurance sports events organised by Fort William based adrenaline junkies No Fuss Events. Other events on their action packed 2008 event calendar include the Three Tens Series and Relentless 24 (cross country mountain bike endurance events at venues across Scotland) and The Big Ben Nevis Triathlon. No Fuss will also reintroduce the legendary Glen Nevis River Race to the Fort William and Lochaber this year. Participants have to negotiate a 2-mile stretch of the icy cold River Nevis on an air-bed (Lilo), navigating the Gurgling Gorge, the Leg Breaker and the Lower Falls Leap! To date, however, no other event in the No Fuss programme combines the intense levels of technical skill with a stubborn relentless test of riders' endurance and nerve than the Fort William Downhill Endurance.
All No Fuss events are geared towards both participants and families, with entertainment and music for all and an après event party for those who can still summon up the energy!