Amazing views here in the Dolomites from the top of track. Italy has such a variety of landscape throughout the country, being green, lush and tall up here in the North and hot, sandy and built up in the South.
The crew have descended upon the valley of the sun here in Italy to prepare for the World Cup rolling into town.
Italy, welcome to the Dolomites…the sun is shining, the trails are prime, so get out on your bike and top off the day with a coffee, beer and an ice cream! While your here, come get some World Cup action.
Its great to be at a race with great facilitates on site. Top notch media room, showers and toilets, modern gondola and a train to the door step from the village. The advantage of being at a ski hill for a race.
Team Madison Saracen head upward to the top the track for an up close look of the track at hand here at VDS World Cup.
There have been plenty of races here at Val di Sole and all the momentos lying around subtly remind you of them. This one dating back to the 2008 World Champs where it saw Gee and Rachel take the win. Will it be a repeat this year around?
Sun shining and the teams are all rolling in from the 17hr drive from Fort William. Weather looking to be stunning again this weekend, lets hope it holds!
Bulls Racing manager, Jorn Hessen, catching up work after his long drive over from Fort William, this along with juggling a team of riders, working race logistics and developing a prototype DH bike, he sure does have it cut out for himself.
New UCI rules have allocated track walk between 2 and 4 o'clock. This means it an absolute motor way when you go for your hike. You try stopping a line through here!
After wheely big disaster at Fort William, Mat Simmonds will be looking to win this one. Having been looking super on form all season, it wont be long until you see him standing on top of the podium!
Roots, rocks, loam and steep pretty much sums up Val di Sole. Making use of several tracks from over the years and a few tweaks on last year, expect fast times and some loose riding.
Val di Sole gondola running sweet and with a pretty quick running speed there wont be any queues this weekend. A smooth running uplift is the success of any race and being able to fit 8 in each one is even more a bonus.
With Manon Carpenter taking 2nd place in Fort William, she will be looking to improve to first place and take the overall from Rachel. A tyre change and a suspension retuning for this track to combat the steep terrain and loamy ground is on the cards for Manon.
Open throughout the summer for all disciplines of riding, Val di Sole has several DH track to make use of. For obvious reasons the World Cup is making use of "Extreme" track that Val di Sole has to offer, would be rude to make it easy for these guys!
Noel Niederberger sounding confident whilst on track walk today, and after two wins in two weeks Im not surprised. But over confidence can be dangerous too for a young rider.
You know its steep when the safety nets are up. Winding down the track in sections, this red net will be catching some loose pinners this weekend.
Steep and long sections going to be putting down some flat out speeds
Bit of a triple treat weekend, with the DH, 4X and XC all on one mega weekend. A bit of unscheduled XC training on the taped out course, only real way to scope all your lines
Females in the sport are increasing every year and XC is no expection. Large pack of girls at this weekends XC.
Mondraker Team all ready set up with the bus and the grand stage that comes with it, just putting the finishing touches inside and getting onto the bikes
Devinci team mechanic, Nigel Reeves already onto stripping bikes. Pleased with the bikes and excited to be running new black box parts, along with the new rear mech, he is waiting to see this bike grace the top spot on the podium!
Tracey Hannah chilling out in the pits after her track walk. Its great to see her back on the bike after breaking her femur and twice her collar bone, this could quite possibly be her come back year. Giving the Polygon bikes a thrashing this season and achieving a solid 9th place at Fort William, Tracey will be looking to improve this round.