World Cup Fort William
World Cup Fort William
World Cup 2019 - Fort William
June 02 — 2019 | Fort William
It was one hell of a weekend in Scotland. After a six-week break from Maribor, the Syndicate returned healthy and hungry to the western Highlands. Luca Shaw bounced back from his collarbone injury just in time for the weekend, Loris stayed sharp and consistent over the break despite taking a big slam at the season kickoff, and Greg showed up on the hunt for his eighth career win on this track. Fort William would prove to be a chance to hit the reset button and get things back on track for the remainder of the season.
Like Peaty’s Top 40 karaoke selections,the rain hit hard and fast early in the week. By the time Friday rolled around, the riders were geared up with their raincoats and ready for a wet practice. Mixed feelings circulated throughout the pits about track conditions and bike setup. One thing was for certain: the wooded section midway down the track had turned into a boggy unpredictable mud pit. This made tire selection tricky - mud tires offered better traction in the muddy bits, but dry tires would better suit a majority of the track and roll faster on the heavier pedaling sections towards the bottom.
While practice was exactly that, qualis was a different story. The boys were ready to grab some points, get acclimated to the track at speed, and gain some confidence heading into Sunday. Greg kept it fast and safe to qualify 9th, after missing out in Maribor Luca was back in good form with a 15th place qualifying run, and Loris would be the fastest man on Saturday qualifying 1st leading into finals.
More rain and wind battered the start house for the women’s contenders but by the time the top men were set in the start house, the weather broke from the downpour and the sun even started shine for a bit. With the lead changing four times in the top ten race runs, this was probably one of the most exciting finishes to a World Cup we’ve seen in a minute.
Luca was first up for the Syndicate. The Dinoshaw would put together a clean race run for his first time back between the tape, but it wasn’t enough to shake up the podium positions. He would slot into 35th on the day. We’re sure this is less than Luca was looking for but everyone’s happy to have him back, healthy, and on the hunt.
Cool, calm and collected, Greg was next up. His run started in the red by a small margin and stayed that way until the final splits and the final section. The GOAT needed to pull back .7 seconds and he set to smashing his pedals through the final section and into the lead by .13 seconds. It was enough to dethrone Matt Walker from the hot seat. With only eight riders left at the top and Loris set as the closer, all signs pointed towards a strong result from the Syndicate.
The last eight runs were wild. Greg’s time would be bested by Fin Iles, Fin’s time would hold until Troy Brosnan, and then Brosnan would immediately be knocked out by Amaury Pierron, and then it was Loris’ turn. The number one qualifier put together a run that was strong and fast, but not quite fast enough; he was just half a second off second place and three seconds back from the lead. Ultimately, Loris would go 3rd on the day and Greg would finish his weekend in 6th, just one step off the podium.
After a rough start to the season, the Syndicate put two riders in the top ten this weekend. The wheels are back on track and the guys are climbing the ranks once again. We’re just one short week away from Leogang, and it’s sure to be a good one.