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UK bike champ rides Saughton Skate Park to launch international competition

by Catie Guitart [April 6, 2012]

UK bike champ rides Saughton Skate Park to launch international competitionWorld downhill champion Danny Hart showcased his skills at Edinburgh’s Saughton Skate Park to launch the 2012 Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup.

The 21-year-old braved wintry conditions and wet ground on Wednesday to ride with local bikers ahead of this summer’s international event.

Danny said: “It is good to be the current champion, but it is the end of the season, so I’ve put all that behind me.

“I have trained hard all winter for this season. I’ve had to do a lot of media stuff, so there was a lot to fit in the winter. I wish the ground here was dry as it would be so much easier to carve around.

“When I’m not biking, I do a lot of motorcross in the winter. Anything with two wheels is my cup of tea.”

BMXer Ruben Gourley is a regular at Saughton. The 13-year-old was surprised to find out a champion biker was riding in his local park.

“I come to Saughton almost every week. We came this morning hoping to ride and it was horrible weather.

“A guy came up and told us that a pro downhill biker was coming down.

“Saughton is really good skate park. It has everything you can think of – street bowls, big bowls, over verts. It’s all good.

“My grandparents live up in Fort Williams and I have been up to see the competition once. Downhill biking is cool. It is pretty nuts. You are just blown away – some of the stunts the guys do are immense.”

Pierre Maupiliere, 24, came down to the park specifically to see Danny in action. He plans on travelling up to Fort William this year.

He said: “I knew Danny was going to be here as I saw it on the Forth William World Cup Facebook. He is very fast, especially on the wet ground.

“My brother is coming over from France to go up to Fort Williams to see the competition with me. We both used to do a lot of riding back in France and we thought it would be a good idea to see the pro guys.”

The international competition in June in Fort William sees more than 250 riders from 25 countries battling down the notorious Nevis Range course. This year, eight British World Champions from the past six years will be taking on some of the most elite bikers during the two-day event.