Val di Sole - Course Walk and Pit Check

Aug 17, 2011
by Colin Meagher  
Christoph Eichinger pilotintg the XC Bandit Central Haibike Camper Van Pit to Val di Sole from Munich. Traveling through the alps means lots of tunnels claustrophobic passengers and drivers need not apply.
  Christoph Eichinger piloting the XC Bandit Central Haibike Camper Van/Pit to Val di Sole from Munich. Traveling through the alps means lots of tunnels; claustrophobic passengers and drivers need not apply.


All roads lead to Rome. But not in this part of Italy. But one does lead to the World Cup Finals at Valle di Sole.
  All roads lead to Rome. But not in this part of Italy. But one does lead to the World Cup Finals at Valle di Sole.

Tuesday evening a large amount of teams had already moved in and setup. Val Di Sole living up to to its name.
  Tuesday evening a large amount of teams had already moved in and setup. Val Di Sole living up to to its name.


Check the beading on the welds of this Santa Cruz V-10. Spotless right That s because that would be a nice bit of Carbon Newness for the Syndicate boys. That s right Santa Cruz has gone full carbon on the V-10
  Check the beading on the welds of this Santa Cruz V-10. Spotless, right? That's because that would be a nice bit of Carbon Newness for the Syndicate boys. That's right, Santa Cruz has gone full carbon on the V-10.

An 8 inch rotor is 203mm and provides gobs of stopping power. So what do you get if you re a black box racer on a stupidly steep track 220mm. Or 8.66 inches. Maybe that s overkill but then again the guy who wins rarely complains about having too much braking power.
  An 8 inch rotor is 203mm and provides gobs of stopping power. So what do you get if you're a black box racer on a stupidly steep track? 220mm. Or 8.66 inches. Maybe that's overkill, but then again, the guy who wins rarely complains about having too much braking power.


Bikes get a full head to toe before being re-built. Ricky Bobby Peaty s wrench gives the steerer on Mr Peat s steed a sharp eye. The crown race he eventually decided needed replacing. It s almost obsessive attention to detail like this that makes this team so damn good.
  Bikes get a full head to toe before being re-built. Ricky Bobby, Peaty's wrench, gives the steerer on Mr Peat's steed a sharp eye. The crown race, he eventually decided, needed replacing. It's almost obsessive attention to detail like this that makes this team so damn good.


Val di Sole sees the return of Santa Cruz Syndicate s Dougie Fresh one of the more storied wrenches on the circuit. Given how hard Rat boy was on his Bash guards last year here Doug s already retro fitting an extra guard onto Bryceland s new carbon swing arm.
  Val di Sole sees the return of Santa Cruz Syndicate's Dougie Fresh, one of the more storied wrenches on the circuit. Given how hard Rat boy was on his Bash guards last year here, Doug's already retro fitting an extra guard onto Bryceland's swing arm.

Given the roots and rocks on this track mechanics in the know are already lacing up sets of replacement wheels. Paul Miles of Giant Factory Racing is tucked away in the zen moment of building the perfect wheel. To house music.
  Given the roots and rocks on this track, mechanics in the know are already lacing up sets of replacement wheels. Paul Miles of Giant Factory Racing is tucked away in the zen moment of building the perfect wheel. To house music.


Blenki s Mechanic Jack is likewise knee deep in a wheel build. In fact nearly every DH team pit has someone tasked with nothing more than lacing up at least 2 extra sets of wheels. This place eats them like candy.
  Blenki's Mechanic, Jack, is likewise knee deep in a wheel build. In fact, nearly every DH team pit has someone tasked with nothing more than lacing up at least 2 extra sets of wheels. This place eats them like candy.

It rained yesterday but the duff is so thick and dry that it soaked it all up in no time leaving the track loose and a bit dusty. Add in how steep this track is and it s no wonder that Luke Strobel s cutting down a set of Schwalbe Dirty Dans for tomorrow s practice.
  It rained yesterday, but the duff is so thick and dry that it soaked it all up in no time, leaving the track loose and a bit dusty. Add in how steep this track is and it's no wonder that Luke Strobel 's cutting down a set of Schwalbe Dirty Dans for tomorrow's practice.

Racing here means a lot of prep work and not all of it to the bike or on the bike. but rather fine tuning the engine. And tuning that up means a visit to the MS-Evil Pits and an appointment with Martin the Masseur. There s no more capable of a physio on the circuit.
  Racing here means a lot of prep work, and not all of it to the bike or on the bike., but rather fine tuning the engine. And tuning that up means a visit to the MS-Evil Pits and an appointment with Martin the Masseur. There's no one more capable of a physio on the circuit.

Mitch Delfs has forked over his hard earned dough for the privilage of racing here in Val di Sole and picks up his number plates and such .
  Mitch Delfs has forked over his hard earned dough for the privilage of racing here in Val di Sole, and picks up his number plates and such .

The start.
  The Start.

The course walk starts with safety first.
  The course walk starts with safety first.

Troy Brosnan gets up close and personal with the local wildlife.
  Troy Brosnan gets up close and personal with the local wildlife.


The course saw a few tweaks--the typical nip here tuck there--but mostly seems to be composed of rocks roots and the occasional Utah white gangster rapper.
  The course saw a few tweaks--the typical nip here, tuck there--but mostly seems to be composed of rocks, roots, and the occasional Utah white gangster rapper.

Yup. Roots. Rocks. Repeat.
  Yup. Roots. Rocks. Repeat.

The one flavor of this track--other than roots and rocks--is sustained loss of elevation. This bitch is steep as the Ozzie National DH army demonstrates.
  The one flavor of this track--other than roots and rocks--is sustained loss of elevation. This bitch is steep, as the Ozzie National DH army demonstrates.

The track has an old school feel to it with the distinct lack of man made berms booters. etc. It s just big and rough. And bloody steep.
  The track has an old school feel to it with the distinct lack of man made berms, booters. etc. It's just big and rough. And bloody steep.

It s deceptive but there is a massive G-out here that is going to wreak havoc on lesser riders.
  It's deceptive, but there is a massive G-out here that is going to wreak havoc on lesser riders.

Avoid the orange bits here. Unfortunately they are right in the line and while they look widely spaced just add warp speed and brake pumped arms and mix well with blown rims in short order you realize they are not spaced as far apart as you d like.
  Avoid the orange bits here. Unfortunately, they are right in "the" line, and while they look widely spaced, just add warp speed and brake pumped arms and mix well with blown rims; in short order you realize they are not spaced as far apart as you'd like.


Matt Scoles mentally threading the needle as he gazes down the piste.
  Matt Scoles mentally threading the needle as he gazes down the piste.


These french XC bandits seem a bit lost. Take a wrong turn mates
  These french XC bandits seem a bit lost. Take a wrong turn, mates?


This message makes no sense...
  This message makes no sense...


...unless you meet the course designer s dog Teo. He pees on that rock every time down the track.
  ...unless you meet the course designer's dog, Teo. He pees on that rock every time down the track.


Ahhh Gwin s Gap is the name of this natural booter. Speculation was rampant as to whether or not he d have won here last year had he not gone off the bike on the landing.
  Ahhh, Gwin's Gap is the name of this natural booter. Speculation was rampant as to whether or not he'd have won here last year had he not gone off the bike on the landing.


The booter up above--the one that took out Sam Hill--is no longer part of the track rather the riders will now have an off-camber right turn at warp speed to contend with. Stated Chris Ball the UCI s technical DH delegate Every year there was a spectacular crash here. After some discussion we decided we simply didn t need that anymore. But we didn t want to make too easy.
  The booter up above--the one that took out Sam Hill--is no longer part of the track; rather the riders will now have an off-camber right turn at warp speed to contend with. Stated Chris Ball, the UCI's technical DH delegate, "Every year there was a spectacular crash here. After some discussion, we decided we simply didn't need that anymore. But we didn't want to make too easy."


Stay tuned for more action all weekend from Val di Sole!


53 Comments

  • 29 0
 The section photographed with the caption " Yup. Roots. Rocks. Repeat." looks mental! Amazing track!
  • 2 0
 Agreed, nothing manicured about this trackā€¦. and it looks awesome as a result!!
  • 3 2
 i just got a hard on for that track. looks like so much fun.
  • 6 0
 For as scary as it looks, it still looks like it would be super fun to ride. I love seeing tracks like this that separate the men from the boys.
  • 10 37
flag Sysics (Aug 18, 2011 at 0:05) (Below Threshold)
 "220mm. Or 8.66 inches. Maybe that's overkill, but then again, the guy who wins rarely complains about having too much braking power."
The rotor doesn't affect the breaking power or am I wrong? The break got the same power at 160mm or 200mm, the only difference is the increasing temperature. This affects the breaking power.
So far so right?
  • 10 2
 @Sysics: no the bigger the rotor the greater the moennt one is generating on slowing the wheel. An additional bonus is that the larger rotor has a greater surface area so will also disipate the generated heat more effieciently (heat generated divided by surface area ). There is also the additional bonus of greater braking effect with less lever effort (or finger and arm pump).

Generally manufacturers spec the smallest possible rotor on consumer bikes because less material mean lesser costs and lighter claimed bike weights, most people are not descending Val Di Solle so do not need 220 mm rotors and larger rotors are more likely to contact a rock or other obstacle and be damaged during one's race run/ ride down a track in a bike park.
  • 13 0
 Wrong, the larger the rotor the more leverage the brake has = more power.
  • 14 1
 I have read several articel's and the "aha-effect" came early. The breaking point moves outward within a larger disk which expresses in more breaking power. Simple physic!

Thanks guys Smile
  • 3 2
 Google is your friend ! xD ^^
  • 1 2
 @sysics- FAIL! at least you have learned now!
  • 1 0
 larger rotor + saints = cracked rear triangle.
  • 15 0
 that is one cool dog haha :b
  • 1 1
 Agree, I was just like "what the f...?".
  • 10 0
 my tires pinch flatted just looking at those rocky/rooty sections
  • 7 0
 Now thats more like a world cup DH track..
  • 2 0
 "Mitch Delfs has forked over his hard earned dough for the privilage of racing here in Val di Sole" ..... Sure has, and obviously couldn't afford a razor, now has some serious wolverine action in progress. That will help him shred the tracks.
  • 5 0
 check back to when the carbon v-10 came out and the said a carbon rear triangle was " NOT NECESSARY"
  • 4 0
 Youre right. But... You have to admit, this carbon swingarm is just plain BADASS. Eek
  • 7 1
 What's your point? Carbon front triangle isn't necessary either.
  • 2 1
 So why doesnt Rat Boy Bryceland get the carbon rear-end? That one of his has still got some "old school" welds!
  • 1 0
 Just ride a carbon dh bike and you will realize how awesome it is. I'm sure that v-10 is lighter than my fury.
  • 4 0
 It's the world champs as the next race, cost is not an object of discussion. By looking at so many products like the whole line of Enve, Easton carbon wheelsets, ridiculous prices of latest high-end disc brakes, the answer is simple: people will buy the most expensive stuff with a grin on their faces, no matter if there's no performance gain. Sc might as well put diamonds in there, and people will die to buy it. Luxury!
  • 4 0
 This is one of the best world cup DH tracks on the planet
  • 4 0
 Great to see the Aussie juniors out in force
  • 1 0
 Good also to see Rhys Willemse with the juniors and showing them some fast lines.
  • 4 0
 THAT IS BEYOND INTENSE :O
  • 1 0
 Wow, I'd hate to bail on that rock section!! Amazing how these guys just blow through it. Now that the season is sewn up - I'd like to see some great racing - Gwin, Minnaar, Gee and Peaty. Can't wait!!
  • 4 1
 Great looking track and a great looking dog!
  • 3 0
 Looks like a sick track for the Gwinning finale!
  • 3 0
 please tell me sam hill is racing
  • 2 0
 yeah, without that corner to stop him, he will be a machine!!!
  • 2 0
 Peaty was on a good run here last year until he ran into a tree. I'd love to see him on the podium this weekend!
  • 3 0
 looks like it would be fun to ride just scary as shit to race
  • 1 0
 Looks like Rachel Atherton needs to work on her signature. The track looks great! What a way to end the season.
  • 2 0
 that rock/root section looks deadlyyyy!!!!!
  • 2 0
 holy shit that track looks pretty insane! id be scared to ride that!
  • 3 0
 Fuck!!!
  • 2 1
 I dont see how thats ride-able. It looks down right dangerous. I guess thats why they are the pros and im a joe. Go Aaron!
  • 1 0
 ride in new mexico
  • 2 0
 I want to ride that course so bad right now Big Grin
  • 6 0
 I want to walk down it. Or fall down it.
  • 1 0
 it would be neck to neck batle Gwinn vs Minnar if only Gwin not seal yet the world cup title
  • 3 1
 this has Gwins name all over it!!!
  • 1 0
 That's beyond insane. Can't wait to see this go down!
  • 1 0
 that's rocks and roots are insane!!!
  • 1 0
 Insane........!!!!!!
  • 4 0
 Shame they had to mellow out that last corner of doom.
  • 1 0
 That course looks amazing, let the battle commence!!!.
  • 1 0
 I am scared to even look at that track, I admit
  • 1 0
 Nice writeup. loving this 'PB Widescreen'
  • 1 0
 nice and gnarly!!
  • 1 2
 I'm sure it's a lot longer but it looks like Highland's track in NH- root to root to rock etc
  • 1 0
 lol Ricky Bobby

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