The first year we built the 4X track for the Vigo World cup in 2005, was a real challenge. It took 5 attempts to get the job done due to various problems with protestors and local politics. Work had to stop for many reasons including a sit down protest from a group of archaeologists. One actually threw himself in front of the digger! The reason? There are some ancient stone carvings in the rocks at Coruxo, the hill where the World Cup takes place. The archaeologists didn’t want us trashing the carvings, which was fair enough. We were building our track over 400m away but that was too close for the archaeologists. Anyway, to cut a long story short, finally, the work went ahead. The second year at Vigo, there were more political problems and government injunctions, but the organisers managed to get it all sorted and the race went ahead.

For this year’s race, the government finally took away permission for the 4X track for archaeological reasons. They only told the organisers 2 weeks ago, just 5 weeks before race day! I went straight out to Vigo to check out spots for a new race track. One possibility was next to the beach outside the official hotel but it was too short, virtually flat and 5 miles from the downhill – not good for teams or spectators. They’ve now got a spot on the same hill as the DH. It’s much steeper than the site of the old track and finishes in a big bowl-like amphitheatre. Should be cool. I’m hoping that the track will be 400m long with a steeper, more DH style first half and a flatter bottom half with a pro section. I fly out again this Sunday to start building. Check back next week and I’ll keep you posted on the progress through the build.

The photo shows the hillside as it looks now. Trees will be coming down this week (Eucalyptus trees so don’t worry, they need to come down anyway. They suck all the moisture out of the ground preventing other native species from growing.) The guy in the pic is Guillermo, the Vigo race organiser. The jumps you can see are remains of an old motocross track.

Saladini leads. World Cup 4X, Maribor, Slovenia