As always, Val di Sole provided a monumental challenge and riders were puzzling all weekend. Pierron ended up the victor but with just 0.6 separating himself and third-placed Danny Hart, it was anything but easy. At no point was Pierron the fastest man but his consistency in each sector, never dropping more a second to the fastest rider, saw him through to claim win number three.
Val di Sole fastest lap
Split 1 - 54.322 Hart
Spilt 2 - 61.153 Greenland
Split 3 - 29.909 Shaw
Split 4 - 38.132 Shaw
Split 5 - 30.807 Brayton
Total - 3:34.323
Winning Run - 3:36.788
The track has five splits, the first two a minute long and the remaining three all around 30 seconds. Luca Shaw won the most splits and actually won the bottom half of the track by a significant margin - putting three seconds into everyone but Pierron. Let's dig into the stats and see the story of Val di Sole.
World Cup Geek stats gallery - Val di Sole 2018
Hart takes the lead out of the gate but Estaque is right on his heels. Bruni and Brosnan are right up there and Pierron, as so often, lurks not too far back. Greenland loses a fair chunk of time up at the top with plenty of making up to do. Despite ending up on the podium, Shaw is nowhere to be seen.
What a split from Greenland! Nearly a second ahead of anyone. Hart, Bruni and Pierron are choking in his dust then there’s another gap of nearly a second until the rest of the pack. Shaw is on the board this time but 2 seconds back.
Split 2 - State of Play
With half the track already done and dusted, a gambling man would call the podium all sewn up at this point... just goes to show there’s no such thing as a predictable downhill race. Hart and Greenland are neck and neck for the win with Bruni, Pierron and Estaque squabbling over the remaining podium spots. The rest of the field have over a second to make up if they want to get on the box. Shaw peeps his head over the parapet but still has 2.8 seconds to find for a podium spot
Shaw makes his move and pulls out 0.4 on the leaders on the shortest sector of the track. Mark Wallace also has a great split. Bruni, Greenland and co all fall 0.4 back. Thomas Estaque has a shocker and loses 1.4 after being right up there up until this point.
Split 3 - State of Play
Greenland and Hart are still the men to beat but Bruni and Pierron have both started to gain ground on them. Estaque now sits in no-man's land on the last podium spot. Mark Wallace leads the rest of the pack, less than a second back. Shaw moves up to within the top ten as he opens the afterburners.
It's another burner from Shaw and only Pierron can hang with him. This 40-second sector proves to be super-decisive as Bruni crashes out and Hart and Greenland see their challenges for the win slip away as they both lose a second.
Split 4 - State of Play
How close can you get coming into the finish?! With just 30 seconds of racing to go, the top three are separated by 0.04 seconds. Pierron leads for the first time and Estaque and Shaw will now battle it out for the final two podium spots
There's very little to separate them in the flat-out run-in to the finish line. Brayton deathgrips hardest and just about stops Shaw from claiming his third successive sector. Pierron secures the win by staying right on Shaw's tail. Hart and Greenland both fade, throwing away that vital shot at a win.
Haf a second may look like a comfortable win for Pierron but it was anything but as the riders entered the final split. Shaw's heroics saw him punch into fourth at the last gasp, just ahead of Estaque.