World Champs… you know the score. One day, all or nothing, do or die, the gold medal, the rainbow stripes… the pinnacle of the sport of downhill. In its 33 year history (34 if you count Fort William 2023) there have only been 15 winners of the senior men’s title. It’s a race where anything can happen, with some riders planning their whole season around just this one day.  

For the INTENSE Factory Racing team we only had Dakotah Norton on track representing both us and team USA. Aaron Gwin and Seth Sherlock were both still recovering from injury, and Joe Breeden unfortunately missed the cut for the highly competitive GB team. So all our attention was on Dak… no pressure!
There had been a few changes to the track, in places it had been made a little ‘easier’, but Fort William was its usual brutal self. If the boulders, slabs or roots didn’t get you, then the wind and rain probably would… and come race day for the top 60 or so racers the rain did come. It was stinkin’! 
We are still waiting for news from Dak, but from what we can tell he had a pretty solid run, coming down +3.726 seconds back from eventual winner Charlie Hatton, who was nervously sitting in the hot seat. Tenth place and highest place US rider at the World Champs is no mean feat, especially in such poor conditions. Dak will have wanted more, but Worlds is never an easy race. All attention will now be focussed on the next round of the World Cup in Pal Arinsal, Andorra, at the start of September. 

As always, congratulations to all the newly crowned World Champions, Charlie Hatton, Vali Holl, Henri Kiefer and Erice Van Leuven.