Big October for Fort William
As we head towards autumn you would be forgiven for thinking it was time for tourism businesses to take a rest, particularly after the busy year Fort William’s No Fuss Events have had in 2018. This is certainly not the case for the Outdoor Capital of the UK, the destination brand for Fort William and Lochaber. In October 2018, Nevis Range Mountain Experience and No Fuss Events will play host to two international mountain bike events at the world-class bike venue – The European Continental Enduro Series on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 October and, the annual global showdown of, the World 24 Hour Solo Mountain Bike Championships on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 October.
Shona McMillan, Destination Manager for The Outdoor Capital of the UK, Lochaber Chamber of Commerce’s successful tourism brand, which was recently announced as one of the title sponsors of the WEMBO 24 Hour Championship, said: “The development of successful events during the shoulder months in the region has long been a part of the Outdoor Capital of the UK’s strategy. It is this type of activity and international profile event that ensures we maintain our position as the leading year round destination for Outdoor Adventure and Sport in the UK.”
In recent years The Enduro World Series has changed the way mountain biking is perceived, the reputation of the World Series is global and has showcased some of the most incredible riding destinations in the world. The penultimate round of the all new EWS European Series was hosted in Zermatt, Switzerland, just over a week ago and with entries to the final round almost at capacity all eyes will once again be on Scotland to see who is going to be crowned European Champions for 2018.
Chris Ball of Enduro World Series, said: “We’re delighted that Fort William will host the closing round of the new European Enduro Series. Scotland is the Perfect Stage and we look forward to the final round in October.”
WEMBO, the World Endurance Mountain Bike Organisation, was formed in 2011 to make sure that athletes who wanted to race the 24hr format had an annual event to ensure a World title. Since its formation over 1200 riders from 39 nations have participated. In 2018 riders from 23 countries will be represented with the current male and female world champions likely to face some stiff opposition.
WEMBO Founder, Russ Baker, said: “We are looking forward to a great WEMBO World Championships in October. WEMBO brings riders from all over the world together to decide who are the best Solo 24 hour racers. This year we have possibly the best Elite field ever assembled. Scotland and No Fuss Events will put on a great show for everyone, following on from the success in 2014.
“Some have raced each other before but many bring new faces to the event, and a new spectacle for the riders and spectators. This year there are several excellent 24 hour riders who have decided to step up to the WEMBO world level. Taylor Lideen and Kaitlyn Boyle from Arizona set race records in the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo this year and travel the Atlantic to make their first WEMBO appearance. They will be going up against reigning world champions Canada’s Cory Wallace and Italy’s Gaia Ravaioli, while seven times World Champion, Australia’s Jason English, the world greatest ever solo 24 hour rider, returns to challenge for the title he lost to Cory Wallace in Italy last year. Joining them will be Finland’s Matti Tahkola and Scotland’s Naomi Freireich as the current WEMBO European Champions, together with double Australian Women’s Champion Kate Penglase. But much of the excitement comes from the relatively unknown riders who lay down a challenge to the established champions, as Gaia Ravaioli did in Finale Ligure in 2017.
“And this is just the Elite field! We also watch to see the contests in the age-group and single-speed categories between new and returning riders.”
Nevis Range is a world-renowned venue for mountain biking and the Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup has been massively successful and important to the area since 2002. The fact that in 2018 alone it will see the Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup (Downhill), EWS European Enduro and the World Solo 24hrs shows the diversity of riding available to all mountain bikers of all disciplines and experience.
Chris O’Brien from Nevis Range said: “We are delighted to partner with No Fuss and host what we are sure will be two fantastic events. We’ll be working hard to demonstrate that Nevis Range is much more three dimensional than our world famous downhill course. We can’t wait to see that unique highland energy that always appears during a Fort William event!”
Frazer Coupland from No Fuss Events said: “It is going to be an amazing couple of weeks. We are delighted to welcome the support of the Outdoor Capital of the UK destination and the ongoing support from EventScotland.”
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and EventScotland is delighted to be supporting the European Continental Enduro Series and the World 24 Hour Solo Mountain Bike Championships through the National Events Fund.
“Over consecutive weekends this October, Scotland’s world-class mountain bike scene will be on show, highlighting the spectacular Nevis Range and reinforcing the area’s reputation as the Outdoor Capital of the UK.”