Val di Sole World Cup Track Walk 2013

Jun 13, 2013
by Colin Meagher  
The journey from Fort William to Val di Sole begins at 6 or 7am the morning after the race. Team trucks make the drive to Newcastle to catch the overnight Ferry to Amsterdam. It s a bit of a sprint to make the Ferry as time is tight.
  The journey from Fort William to Val di Sole begins at 6 or 7am the morning after the race. Team trucks make the drive to Newcastle to catch the overnight Ferry to Amsterdam. It's a bit of a sprint to make the Ferry as time is tight.

Cabins on the Ferry to Amsterdam can be a bit snug--this ain t no Love boat.
  Cabins on the Ferry to Amsterdam can be a bit snug--this ain't no Love boat.

The MS-Mondraker team bus picking up the crew in front of the passenger terminal in Amsterdam.
  The MS-Mondraker team bus picking up the crew in front of the passenger terminal in Amsterdam.

From Amsterdam it s about a 12 hour drive in a car. In a bus well it takes a bit longer. Once at the pits all the team trucks need to clean the road trip grime off before setting up their pits.
  From Amsterdam, it's about a 12 hour drive in a car. In a bus, well, it takes a bit longer. Once at the pits, all the team trucks need to clean the road trip grime off before setting up their pits.

Building the pits on the big rigs is an all hands on deck kind of thing GT s build takes about 90 minutes.
  Building the pits on the big rigs is an all hands on deck kind of thing; GT's build takes about 90 minutes.

While the team pits are being built the riders start walking the track.
  While the team pits are being built the riders start walking the track.

Val di Sole is imfamous for the rock garden in the first woods. It s traditionally been a 10 meter wide affair but this year it s been taped a bit tigther so there s a definite line.
  Val di Sole is imfamous for the rock garden in the first woods. It's traditionally been a 10 meter wide affair, but this year it's been taped a bit tigther, so there's a definite line.

But just because there s a definite line it doesn t mean Joe Smith and Sam Hill can t talk line choice.
  But just because there's a definite line, it doesn't mean Joe Smith and Sam Hill can't talk line choice.

Oscar Saiz the DH coach for Giant dropping pearls of wisdom for Marcelo Guttierez.
  Oscar Saiz, the DH coach for Giant, dropping pearls of wisdom for Marcelo Guttierez.

Luke Strobel getting a feel for the dirt it s a nice blend of slippery dead pine needles on top with nice loamy dirt underneath. As long as it stays dry it should offer reliable grip. If it rains well then things will get interesting.
  Luke Strobel getting a feel for the dirt; it's a nice blend of slippery dead pine needles on top, with nice, loamy dirt underneath. As long as it stays dry, it should offer reliable grip. If it rains, well, then things will get interesting.

From the initial rock garden the track drops pretty fast. It s not as sustained steep as Champery but it s still steep. And what Champery lacked in technical Val di Sole has massive rocks and roots everywhere.
  From the initial rock garden, the track drops pretty fast. It's not as sustained steep as Champery, but it's still steep. And what Champery lacked in technical, Val di Sole has massive rocks and roots everywhere.

Did I mention massive rocks
  Did I mention massive rocks?

And steep root lines
  And steep root lines?

Markus Pekoll taking note of line choice in one of the lower rock gardens.
  Markus Pekoll taking note of line choice in one of the lower rock gardens.

Bryn Atkinson and Jill Kintner talking over options mid track.
  Bryn Atkinson and Jill Kintner talking over options mid track.

This is a new section of the track it s a steep twisting tobaggon run that drops down to an older portion of the track. Between the tighter taping job and a few other track variations leading to the Snake Pit the Val di Sole DH track has received a bit of a nip and tuck to keep it fresh. The lines seem to flow better but it s still a gorgeous monster of a track.
  This is a new section of the track; it's a steep, twisting tobaggon run that drops down to an older portion of the track. Between the tighter taping job and a few other track variations leading to the Snake Pit, the Val di Sole DH track has received a bit of a nip and tuck to keep it fresh. The lines seem to flow better, but it's still a gorgeous monster of a track.

The Snake Pit drops the riders into this bomb filled zone which remains essentially unchanged.
  The Snake Pit drops the riders into this bomb filled zone, which remains essentially unchanged.


Lower down the track is again essentially the same as it ever was but a few taping variations again make it fresh again.
  Lower down, the track is again essentially the same as it ever was, but a few taping variations again make it fresh again.

One significant feature to the new tape job on the track is to eliminate many of the multiple line choices of previous editions of this track. For example the inside line on the final steep open section is no longer an option rather that outside line is now the only line.
  One significant feature to the new tape job on the track is to eliminate many of the multiple line choices of previous editions of this track. For example, the inside line on the final steep open section is no longer an option; rather, that outside line is now the only line.

For the mechanics the long transfer to Italy from Scotland and the pit set up means a long night of bike building to come as riders will be starting practice at 9am on Thursday am.
  For the mechanics, the long transfer to Italy from Scotland and the pit set up means a long night of bike building to come, as riders will be starting practice at 9am on Thursday am.



61 Comments

  • 111 1
 Can't wait to see what lines sam cooks up.
  • 59 1
 if there aren't any inside lines, he will make one Smile
  • 2 0
 How they place a live camera on those spots above.
  • 16 1
 no tape stands in the way of the sam hill
  • 20 2
 Hears some food for though .. acording to my calculations Smile ..... last year Gwin got a time of 3:10.577 on this track, back in 08 Sam hill was 10 seconds a head of peaty who got a time of 3:14.74, however a crash near the bottom saw him get a final time of 3:15.0... Just goes to show how sam ruled at this track. Hope he has a good race to redeem that crash!
  • 11 3
 The track will have changed though so you can't really read to much into those times.
  • 5 0
 Watching Sam at the worlds a few years ago was one of the most amazing WC runs I have ever witnessed. The speed through the trees and rock gardens was unbelievable. Very excited to see what he can put together this year!
  • 2 1
 If you have watched this the uci logo has COCK slapped you twice already.
  • 2 0
 ..is to eliminate many of the multiple line choices.. WTF?
  • 47 1
 12th picture down, Guy in white t-shirt scoping more than just lines?
  • 9 1
 Yah look at those MASSIVE ROCKS!
  • 1 9
flag mountguitars (Jun 13, 2013 at 9:13) (Below Threshold)
 yeah, either the comment was meant for a different picture or the other way around. it just didn't fit.
  • 4 0
 he saw something better than lines.....
  • 1 0
 Lloyd, I wonder what were you scooping when you found it Smile
  • 1 0
 Mhmm yea, Josefe, "rocks"... Razz
  • 6 0
 Can't blame him. I wouldn't know anything about the track if I walked it behind her.
  • 46 3
 Im not sure why theyve defined the lines so much? Isnt part of the challenge to pick the right lines?
  • 16 1
 Agreed, the wider the better IMO and I thought normally the riders like that. I hope it rains also, will be a beast in the wet!
  • 7 58
flag cherouvim (Jun 13, 2013 at 5:26) (Below Threshold)
 No. I think that downhill racing should mean "ride fast" and not "find the fastest line".
  • 4 1
 The track is very dark and I think they've marked along the sharp jutting rocks to prevent major catastrophe? Hitting one of those will send countless riders over the bars and those are almost not visible to riders.
  • 6 0
 Maybe because of CG's crash last year?
  • 5 0
 Yeah i think there was too much paper work involved with CG last year. He did almost die twice!
  • 2 0
 Didn't Cedric crash because of a mechanical?

I think they may be taping it off tighter in order to keep the trail degradation to a minimum. I doubt it's going to have much affect on the action, although it does seem strange they got rid of that inside line in Sam's corner.
  • 5 0
 Opposite to what you'd think wider taping often leads to an even more one/straight lined track... At least when it's taped tighter there are less obvious lines to be picked rather than 'the main line'.
  • 18 0
 ooo... Sam Hill is gonna kill it!
  • 19 5
 sam hill please smile
  • 22 1
 I used to think the same until I met him last weekend, he's actually a really nice guy.
  • 6 2
 It looks like you can cut one name from the line "Joe Smith and Sam Hill talk line choice".
  • 12 1
 would anyone notice this on your rig?
www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22887729
  • 2 1
 highly unlikely. looks like in stealth mode. its even more quiet than my rode bike standing still.
  • 2 1
 I'd like that to replace my shuttle rig.
  • 9 1
 My job sucks the biggy.
  • 5 0
 Thats what she said. Ba dum chh
  • 4 1
 More wide taping for the people. If want to ride a luge track I will go and do that, for dh I want multiple line choices and margin for error. Hate it when tracks are so narrow that a wrong bounce of the front pretty much sends you off track.
  • 6 1
 I'm such a DH world cup fanboy. And lovin' it!
  • 5 1
 So much respect for the riders who ride this for your entertainment
  • 1 0
 Yah know, why do the take apart and put together the bikes when they are traveling place to place. it seems like they would have enough room in those giant double-decker sour busses to fit a few bikes in.
  • 1 0
 They check every component for damage and fatigue before every race, a mechanical failure could be catastrophic especially on a course like this so they might as well transport the bikes in pieces.
  • 1 0
 Yea I've read that they take these things apart and rebuild them all weekend anyway. So might as well break them down before transport.
  • 4 0
 after seeing this, try to imagine the sam hill run in 2008
  • 1 0
 I can't believe they've taped off the 'danny hart' line on Hills crash left hander. I'd dearly like to ride this course. What are the logistics if you're based in morzine for a few weeks?
  • 2 1
 ''As long as it stays dry, it should offer reliable grip. If it rains, well, then things will get interesting''. Interesting sure will be!
  • 3 0
 I'm so up for this that I've murdered another peanut...
  • 4 2
 So keen to see Danny get wild this weekend!
  • 1 2
 Yeah! Enough of this Hill obbsession!
  • 3 2
 Let the race begin! Good luck everyone.... Especially for the Sam Hill. He's back !!!
  • 1 0
 The race is it now weekend? Thanks gus ,good race the everyone..
  • 1 0
 Yeah this saturday??
  • 3 0
 Sunday!
  • 3 1
 GNAR
  • 2 1
 The racing season must be exhausting for teams and riders!
  • 2 1
 His watch matches the arrow.
  • 1 0
 Nooooo why did they eliminate the inside line on the final section!!!!!
  • 2 0
 Someone will still inside it...
  • 1 0
 is "tigther" even a word guys?
  • 1 0
 Thanks PB for these WC updates. Makes work suck a lil less. Salute
  • 1 0
 Looks super gnar a steep!Cant wait to see what the boys do haha
  • 1 0
 The snake pit! FOOKIN' GNAR!
  • 1 1
 I can't wait to see CG get some revenge!
  • 1 1
 Rockit______0^0______

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