Fort Bill: Four weeks to go

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XC and DH action from the 2005 Fort William World Cup

With less than four weeks to go to Fort William’s World Cup weekend (including Round Two of the Downhill and 4X events and Round Four of the XC series, there’s still snow on the hills of the Nevis Range. That’s not stopping the organisers working on the courses, though. Helicopters have been dumping gravel on the DH track to fill some of the holes caused by winter rains and to let the crews reshape some of the berms. Additions to the course include a huge wooden wallride and a new hip jump. There’ll also be improved spectator access to the lower section of the course.

The 4X and XC courses are receiving attention too. The first berm on the 4X is being enlarged, while the XC will feature an all-new technical section and a new bridge just before the return to the World Cup village. There’ll be no rest for the builders, either – as soon as the World Cup’s done they’ll be back, starting on substantial changes for the 2007 World Championships.

As well as the racing, Fort William is legendary for the accompanying entertainments. Friday night will see the official opening ceremony in Fort William itself, followed by Led Zeppelin tribute band Whole Lotta Led performing in the Nevis Centre. Then on Saturday it’s the Party in the Fort, with shops, cafés and restaurants open until 10pm and special catering, bands and entertainment carrying on up to midnight. The Peatbog Faeries will be headlining on the stage in Cameron Square, and the whole high street will almost certainly be buzzing.

It being a Bank Holiday weekend, several months ago would have been the best time to sort out some accommodation for the World Cup. If you haven’t booked anything yet, call Visit Scotland on 0845 225 5121. The race organisers are also maintaining a web page with the latest availability.

Anything else you need to know can be found at www.fortwilliamworldcup.co.uk.

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