Preparation for a World Cup is massive…a logistical nightmare, organising crew, communicating with the UCI…its a hard job, but someone has to mow the lawn I suppose.
Fox Racing Shox are at hand at every World Cup this year to ensure your suspension is running in tip top shape. Offer tuning and servicing to all their athletes but also all Fox owners, they are flat out! [audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/2_audio.mp3 "]
Dropping into the start gate and practice begins. A steep chute builds your momentum for the roots and rocks below. Into the depth of the forest and the steepness that comes with it!
Catching up with Greg Minaar, he talks us through his track walk, first practice, and how he is looking forward to the weekend! [audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/4_audio.mp3 "]
Looking on form, French rider Remi Thirion will be looking to improve on his 17th place finish at Fort William. Can't help but think he is feeling a little hot right now in full length jersey and pants!
Another one keen to get on to that podium top spot is Brook Macdonald. Steep, rooty tracks are surely up his street and they must make him feel like he's at home in New Zealand!
After missing out on the win at Fort William, Danny Hart has come here to win. Audio clip from Danny about his Fort William experience. [audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/7_audio.mp3 "]
A bridge in the top section is going to be a leg burner come race pace. Brendan Fairclough taking it easy this morning, even taking a saddle over this one.
Not too many flats here at VDS but the exposed rocks are sure to catch out a few mechs and rotors this weekend. I saw that sight several times today and I'm sure it wont be the last. Get yourself down to the Shimano truck bud!
Loamy, rooty and dusty conditions here in Val di Sole and with the weather looking like its going to hold we are surely in for a winner! [audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/10_audio.mp3 "]
Rachel Atherton looking comfortable on the track in the morning, but the ever changing track features could make her reconsider her lines come qualifying.
The high end and spacious Lapiere pits is by far one of the best around. Mountain biking and DH especially has come on ten fold in the last 5 years and with pits now starting to resemble Moto GP level who knows where it will be in 5 more years...
Cut spikes are on the cards for most people this weekend. Spikes are good to help cut into the loamy earth and on a track where maintaining speed isn't really an issue, riders can affrod to run a slow rolling tyre. But the burning question is how much do you cut them down by!
Rachel's mechanic, Andy Lund, talks us through set up changes he has made to Rach's bike in preparation to this round [audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/14_audio.mp3"]
USA…USA…USA! Turnbars, skids, and high elbows graced the hill this afternoon with the XC Eliminator. A format where four whippets race each other around a short circuit, two advance, until they reach a final where winner takes all.
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Practice at Val di Sole may well have started a day earlier than at Fort William but the session times have been much shorter in order to fit around the other events that are also taking place. Understandably a lot of the riders don't seem to be keen on this, and neither are all the media guys who are desperately trying to capture the action in such a short space of time. And remember, qualifying is tomorrow/Friday!
Make sure you keep an eye out for the audio clips in the gallery!