One of Scotland's biggest cycling events could go ahead this year - but without spectators. 

The Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup has been held for almost 20 years at Nevis Range.

But UCI Mountain Bike World Cup organisers today confirmed that if the event takes place on the scheduled dates of 22-23 May, it will be without spectators.

A spokesperson said: “Whilst we all desperately want a return to the usual Fort William crowds and the amazing atmosphere they create, despite the progress of vaccination and planned easing of lockdown restrictions, the reality is that the World Cup on 22 and 23 May will not be possible with spectators in attendance.

"Spectators have been at the heart of every World Cup and have made it the much admired Classic it has become."

In the past it has drawn crowds of more than 20,000 spectators over a weekend of competitions.

They added: "A closed event will never be the same - but as with every other sport, if the competition is to take place it must be under very different conditions.

"We continue to work with the UCI and relevant authorities to find a way of running the World Cup behind closed doors but this still presents numerous challenges that are, as yet, unresolved.”

Existing ticket holders will be able to claim a full refund or carry forward to 2022 when there will hopefully be a full return to normality - complete with crowds cheering on the best riders in the world.

Last year's event was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.