Fort William has again won the award for the best Downhill and 4-Cross Mountain Bike World Cup events of the 2005 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup series.

Fort Bill gets UCI plaudits four years running

It is the fourth successive year that Fort William has been presented with this annual award.

The award is based on the votes of competitors, officials and media from all over the world who had attended events in Scotland, Belgium, Spain, Germany, Austria, Canada, Brazil, New Mexico and Italy on the 2005 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup circuit.

Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport Patricia Ferguson said: "Winning this award four years running demonstrates that Fort William has some of the best mountain biking facilities in the world and that Scotland is a prime location for hosting major events. There has been an explosion of interest in mountain biking with bikers and spectators coming from all over the world to ride our trails and to watch the best riders compete at the very best locations.

"We are a small country with big ambitions and as we move towards the World Mountain Bike Championships in 2007 – the year Scotland celebrates Highland culture and when Scotland makes the final push to host the Commonwealth Games in 2014 – we continue to realise those ambitions."

The 2005 event had 18 000 spectators over two days and there was n estimated economic impact to Fort William and Lochaber of £881,000."

Mike Jardine from Rare Management, organisers of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup events at Fort William said: "Four awards in four years is an amazing endorsement for Fort William and everyone involved. Eery year the Fort William World Cup has got bigger and better, so in 2006 we’ll have to keep pushing forward.

"This year’s event will also be a final dress rehearsal for the 2007 World Championships – which is likely to be at least twice as big as the World Cup in terms of spectators, and competitors, with live global TV coverage. We’ve got such a good team and the spectator support is so strong that I’m sure Fort William will once again deliver."

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