World Series Downhill MTB racing comes to Fort William this weekend. Here's how to watch all the action live in the US, UK and elsewhere

 Deprela at Fort William.
Deprela at Fort William.

The best downhill mountain bike riders head to Fort William's legendary downhill track this weekend (3-4th May) for the first of seven rounds of the 2024 Whoop UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Series. With some major course changes made (more info below) from last August's downhill World Championships, it's shaping up to be an exciting watch for fans making the pilgrimage to Fort William and for those watching at home on their TVs or computers.

Fort William has to be the most stunning and picturesque location for a downhill MTB World Cup (I'm Scottish, so slightly biased). I've been a regular over the years and my top tips for spectating at Fort William article gives you the lowdown on actually being there.

However, if you're an armchair fan I've also got you covered with the best ways to stream this weekend's action wherever you are on the planet. So read on to find out everything you need to know to watch the world-class downhill MTB racing at home...

Viewing in the US

Since the demise of GCN+, watching live cycling in the US had looked in jeopardy, but announced back in January that they will be picking up the reins and streaming live cycling. Happily, that includes all race weekends of the Whoop UCI Mountain Bike World Series.

The subscription plans start at $9.99 or $15.99 for ad-free viewing, and you also get access to US sports coverage including MLB, NHL, NBA, and U.S. Soccer.

Laurie Greenland at the 2022 Downhill World Cup
Laurie Greenland at the 2022 Downhill World Cup

Viewing in the UK

For downhill fans in the UK, watching live is fairly easy – the event will be shown on Eurosport TV channels as well as the Eurosport and Discovery+ apps. The Junior racing and Elite semi-finals are also available for free, streamed live on the UCI Mountain Bike World Series YouTube channel and its website.

To view the Elite finals on Sunday though, you’ll need a subscription to either Discovery+ or Eurosport. Discovery+ is £6.99 a month and you'll get much more in-depth coverage and access to all the Discovery+ sports content.

This includes the Giro Italia, lots more cycling, and also exclusive football content featuring the business end of this season's UEFA Champions League and other European Cup competitions. So in my opinion it's the best option. If you only want the Fort William coverage, then you can join for just one month and cancel the subscription to avoid paying again.

Rider leaving the start gate at the 2022 Downhill World Cup in Fort William
Rider leaving the start gate at the 2022 Downhill World Cup in Fort William

Watching with a VPN

For viewers in a country with geo-blocking, with a bit of internet trickery live streaming the event is still an option. By using a piece of simple software called a VPN (virtual private network), it gives users the ability to change their IP address and location. It means that you can easily switch your location to one streaming the event live, such as the UK, and access on-demand content or live-streaming coverage.

Setting up a VPN is as easy as downloading, installing and selecting the location you wish to use. There are plenty of VPN choices, but our tech-savvy colleagues at TechRadar recommend Express VPN for its ease of use and privacy, which starts at $6.99 a month. Other top VPN providers are SurfShark and NordVPN.

Rider at 2022 Downhill World Cup
Rider at 2022 Downhill World Cup

Weekend race schedule

Wherever and however you choose to view the action in Fort William it all kicks off on Saturday with the Women's qualification up first, followed by the Men, Juniors and then the semi-final runs. Sunday is finals day and I've attached the timings (in BST) below to help plan your viewing.

  • Saturday 4 May

  • 12:00 – Qualification, Women

  • 12:30 – Qualification, Men

  • 14:00 – Qualification, Junior Women

  • 14:15 – Qualification, Junior Men

  • 15:00 – Semi Final, Women

  • 15:30 – Semi Final, Men

  • Sunday 5 May

  • 11:30 – Final, Junior Women

  • 12:00 – Final, Junior Men

  • 13:15 – Final, Women

  • 14:00 – Final, Men