World Cup racing is brutal. Close to 200 elite male riders gave it their all at the Fort William Downhill World Cup. Only 60 make the cut for the finals. The first World Cup in Lourdes, France offered very few practice runs, leaving riders guessing about lines, braking points and speeds. When crashes happen they tend to be big and when you’re on a good one you might catch up on the rider in front of you. But all these struggles make for good challenges and when the hard work finally pays off, it tastes so much better.
From the start of the DH project we knew we wanted to design a bike made for racing and dreamed of eventually racing at the highest level, at World Cups. Being there now with Douglas, KJ, Luke, Ryan and everyone involved in the 555 team is a wild adventure with so much to learn. It’s an amazing journey to see the four individuals trying to connect all the dots, becoming one with their bikes and finding the right setups for race runs.
In this second episode of our Downhill Project we take you along for a ride on the roller coaster that is World Cup racing. (Missed the first episode? You can find it here.)
One of only a few training runs in Lourdes
Spending time with the bikes during the weekend to make sure everything runs smoothly
Luke less than a second of the cut for the finals on his quali run on Saturday
Ryan before dropping in for his debut elite World Cup in Fort William
In front of his home crowd he finished 51st, what a day!
Luke flying into the finish arena and taking the 23rd position, we’re still speechless.
Photos by Ross Bell
Video by Sleeper.co