Extreme sports enthusiasts flocked to Fort William in their droves to take in the World Cup of downhill mountain biking.
More than 22,000 dedicated fans flocked to the Lochaber area to capture a glimpse of the 250 elite riders battling it out for the title of world champion, with the event taking place at the famed Nevis Range ski area.
The weather let rip for the 18th instalment of the event, delivering wet and windy conditions almost unknown to some of the competitors, who hailed from 24 nations all across the world.
Since the competition’s inception in 2002, more than £40 million has been delivered to the Scottish economy, with an estimated 330,000 avid mountain biking fans heading to Fort William to take in the excitement.
Paul Bush OBE, Visit Scotland’s director of events, said: “Fort William once again provided the perfect stage for an epic weekend of mountain bike action and it was fantastic to see the crowds out in force supporting the event.
“The Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup is hugely important for the Highlands and for Scotland.
“Given the important role events play in our visitor economy, we are proud to be a long-term supporter of it.”
Frenchman Amaury Pierron returned to the Lochaber venue to successfully defend his crown, after scooping top prize for the first time 12 months ago.
He was not without stern competition, however, pipping Australian Troy Brosnan and fellow Frenchman Loris Vergier to the post by just 3.5 seconds.
The women’s event proved to be even closer with British rider Rachel Atherton claiming the downhill crown by a margin of just two seconds.
Organisers praised the hardy fanbase that again provided an electric atmosphere full of passion and noise to spur the riders on to success.
Local councillor Andrew Baxter added: “On Sunday afternoon the place was just bursting with people.
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“Although I am slightly disappointed with the weather, it is clear that competitors and spectators still think it is a fantastic place to see and compete in downhill mountain bike racing – and long may that continue.”
In total, there are eight stages to the competition, taking place at varied locations across the globe, with the second stage of the downhill event taking place at Fort William, alongside the 4X divisional races.