With the top three in the Downhill NPS series all scoring DNFs, some new faces found themselves on the podium for Round 3 at Fort William. Steve Peat separated his shoulder in the 4X, and Dan and Gee Atherton both came off in their race runs. That left the way open for Neil Donoghue (MBUK/Santa Cruz) to take the win. He didn’t have an easy job, though – his winning margin of 0.06seconds over Dan Harper (Commencal/Ricochet) was apparently the closest in NPS history. Will Longden (MBUK/Santa Cruz) was third.
Peat and the Athertons managed to maintain their positions at the top of the series standings, though, with Peat out in front with 296 points.
Not quite as much drama in the women’s race, with series leader Rachel Atherton only managing third at Fort William. Race winner Helen Gaskell has, therefore, closed the gap to just four points. Tracy Moseley was second on the day, but her international commitments put her well down the series standings.
As well as the main events, there are a couple of extra challenges going on during the downhill series. First there’s the Elan Bikes £1,000 bonus scheme – the cash prize is to be split between all the riders who win their category in all six rounds. You’d think that that’d be quite a feat and, well, you’d be right. But five people were in the running after two rounds. It’s all changed now, though – only Dan Hart in Juveniles can still pull off the cash-winning feat. He’s still got to win the next three rounds, though…
There’s also the grass-roots-friendly Fox 40 Challenge (sponsored by Mojo Suspension) – whoever comes 40th overall wins a pair of Fox 40 forks. This time the lucky winner was Iain Cookson.