Twice junior champ set for senior sensation

Airborne: competitors at the Mountain Bike World Cup scaled the heights in Fort William. Picture: Gary Williamson
Airborne: competitors at the Mountain Bike World Cup scaled the heights in Fort William. Picture: Gary Williamson
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AUSTRALIAN rider Troy Brosnan is hoping to reach a career high point on his favourite Fort William track this afternoon.

Brosnan finished first in qualifying at the UCI World Cup downhill event in the Highlands yesterday and is looking to make his mark at senior level with a prestigious victory at the highest level.

The 20-year-old, who rides for Specialized Racing DH, said: “I was delighted to finish first in qualifying at Fort William. It’s the first time I’ve ever achieved that and it really whet my appetite for the race on Sunday.

“It was a very tight race but I managed to beat the English rider Danny Hart by 1.1 seconds and it was a great boost to my confidence.

“The weather was just right and it was an incredibly competitive event, so I had to be at my very best. It has always been a great venue for me. I won the Junior World Cup event in Fort William in 2010 and 2011, so it would be amazing to achieve a victory at senior level up here.”

Brosnan, whose parents were both road bike racers, admits he has been delighted with his progress in the sport this year.

The former world junior champion recalled: “Fort William is the third World Cup event of the year, and in the previous two I finished ninth and fourth, so to win one would take me to a whole new level.

“There’s obviously a big gap between junior and senior racing so I’ll prove I really have ‘arrived’ if I can replicate today what I achieved in the qualifying.

“If I can hold my nerve and get a similar time I’ll have every chance of winning.

“I really love Fort William and the crowd have been brilliant with me. I’ve got a few Aussies who follow me around the world and they’re great, but I really appreciate the backing of people who don’t really know me but love the sport.

“It genuinely will be a dream come true for me if I can take victory in this event and the absolute pinnacle of my career. If I win I’ll be taking everyone in the team out for a big dinner and it will be as late a night as Fort William allows.”

Brosnan and Hart were the two fastest qualifiers at the Aonoch Mor course, with the former’s compatriot Samuel Hill in third place.

The highest-placed Scot was Unior Tools rider Ruaridh Cunningham, who was the 13th-fastest qualifier.