It couldn't have been set up better. The two greatest riders of the past decade on probably the best track of the decadeĀ in a quickdraw Mexican standoff.

Training, injuries, rocks, roots, berms, glory and defeat, all for this
wc_vds_2017_f0a9362

What a track it is. This year some corners have been reinforced and some berms built up but the heart remains pure - it's as rough as your nan's bunions. The Black Snake is a three minute assault on body and bike that will constrict thighs and forearms and happily gobble up anyone who isn't throwing the front end in fully committed.

Never change Val di Sole
World Cup #7 Val di Sole 2017

This was probably the slowest and busiest trackwalk of the year. Not only is there so much to look at on this track, every root and rock could be so important. Whether you're fighting for the number one plate or not, any points you pick up here could make a difference. Yes, first and third are separated by only 77 points, but 10th and 42nd are only 200 apart - it could all change in a heartbeat.

wc_vds_2017_f0a9356
wc_vds_2017_f0a9356
wc_vds_2017_f0a9338
wc_vds_2017_f0a9338
wc_vds_2017_68i8234
wc_vds_2017_68i8234
wc_vds_2017_68i8577
wc_vds_2017_68i8577
wc_vds_2017_f0a9282
wc_vds_2017_f0a9282
wc_vds_2017_f0a9283
wc_vds_2017_f0a9283
wc_vds_2017_68i8270
wc_vds_2017_68i8270
wc_vds_2017_f0a9291
wc_vds_2017_f0a9291
wc_vds_2017_f0a9272
wc_vds_2017_f0a9272
wc_vds_2017_68i8490
wc_vds_2017_68i8490
wc_vds_2017_f0a9325
wc_vds_2017_f0a9325
wc_vds_2017_68i8558
wc_vds_2017_68i8558
wc_vds_2017_68i8506
wc_vds_2017_68i8506
wc_vds_2017_68i8512
wc_vds_2017_68i8512
Two wins already for Tahnee this year and she must fancy herself on a track as techy as the Black Snake
wc_vds_2017_68i8485
Is it time for the non-quali party already?!
wc_vds_2017_68i8313
Out in the open, these roots normally take the brunt of the erosion, expect deep holes come Sunday
wc_vds_2017_f0a9299
wc_vds_2017_68i8318
wc_vds_2017_68i8318
wc_vds_2017_68i8290
wc_vds_2017_68i8290
wc_vds_2017_68i8460
wc_vds_2017_68i8460
wc_vds_2017_68i8430
wc_vds_2017_68i8430
wc_vds_2017_68i8400
wc_vds_2017_68i8400
Matt Walker has brought a 29er this weekend, could it be the edge he needs to overcome Iles?
wc_vds_2017_68i8112
wc_vds_2017_68i8101
wc_vds_2017_68i8101
wc_vds_2017_f0a9309
wc_vds_2017_f0a9309
wc_vds_2017_68i8096
wc_vds_2017_68i8096
wc_vds_2017_68i8324
wc_vds_2017_68i8324
wc_vds_2017_68i8223
wc_vds_2017_68i8223
wc_vds_2017_68i8583
wc_vds_2017_68i8583
wc_vds_2017_f0a9266
wc_vds_2017_f0a9266
wc_vds_2017_68i8008
wc_vds_2017_68i8008