The Fun Police are out in force over in Livigno and what could have been the biggest event over here for years is now a distant dream.

Words & Photos: Alex Boyce

With the recent news that the Red Bull Wide Open was cancelled, brought

dismay and confusion to the professional riders who were signed up for

the race. We wanted to understand why the problem occurred and what

the race actually was going to be. So, we took a track walk down the

almost finished race track to have a look at some of the features and

we also managed to chat to some workers and locals who were involved

in the project.

The beautiful valley in Livigno recently hosted the Nine Knights event but the Red Bull Wide Open is off the cards for 2014.

Livigno is a very sports orientated town in the middle of the Italian

Alps. With the last World Cup race being in 2005 and only dirt

jumping competitions in recent years, the most recent being the Nine Knights a few weeks back.  This event was going to be a showcase event for Livigno and would have brought the world's attention to what is fantastic riding area.

The race track itself was built with the idea of 6 riders riding next

to each other at high speed at and over very large features. The

original plans for the track meant that it would be between 4 and 7

metres wide at various sections. However, to build the track, earth

and rocks were moved outside of the race line which apparently caused

problems with the Livigno Forestry Service. After complaints from

a well known local who apparently informed the Forestry Service, the

track was shut down when it was 90% complete, despite the 200,000 Euro

cost of building the track, (Ed - unconfirmed cost). The huge loss of bookings to the tourist sector, and all of the logistical plans made by competitors, sponsors and spectators, on top of this, the damage to reputation of Livigno to successfully host a sports event.

The course looks huge and no doubt would have been a big draw for both crowds and the media.
The event may have been cancelled but Dirt decided to take a look at what could have been

When we walked down the track we were blown away by the extreme nature

of the race line. From the start, there was a 50 metre drop which

would have fired the riders into a high speed berm and table top

section, which is insanely difficult and we couldn't even walk down

it, let alone ride. The middle section of the track was a continuous

line of berms and gap amazing 4-5 metre gap jumps with very high

consequences for any rider that made an error. The lower section of

the track which was almost complete had a road gap jump of at least 10

metres and would have sent riders into a finish area.

There is no doubt in our minds that this race would have been one of

the most extreme MTB events in Europe within the last few years. The

fact that ridiculous bureaucracy and short sighted political interests

caused a monumental loss to everyone makes it much harder for all

those involved to want to organise events like this in the future.

The environmental impact was negligible as the race line was built on

a ski piste anyway and would have remained as a important part of the

infrastructure in Livigno for years ahead.

Check out the gallery of images right here...