Practice Photo Epic: High Altitude - EWS Val di Fassa 2019

Jun 28, 2019
by Dave Trumpore  



Photo Epic presented by ODI


Beautiful Val Di Fassa, in the heart of the Dolomites, plays host to the fourth round of the Enduro World Series with some amazing stages and even more incredible views. Add some blazing summer sunshine and you have an instant recipe for another classic race.

Riders didn't have much of a chance to enjoy the incredible views on the first day of practice as they spent the majority of the time in the trees on stages 1-4. A mix of fresh cut tracks and some of the valley's classic older trails made up the majority of these stages, with plenty of switchbacks and steep chutes that the European races have become known for. Many riders have been struck by the sheer variety of the stages on offer, from loose and open to tight, steep and technical, and at well over 2000m in elevation, it's nice to be getting to ride the chairlift for the first time this season.

The final day of practice ahead of the MET Val Di Fassa EWS was a bit more relaxed as riders only tackled what will be the final stage of the race - Tutti Frutti - the most iconic in the region which is also designated as the Queen Stage in Canazei. In total, the five stages and liaisons will cover 41km and the one day race features an incredible 3000 meters of descent.

This weekend’s race is sure to see the action ramp up as the series reaches the midway point of the season, and riders shift their focus towards their overall series ranking. Florian Nicolai now leads the men's ahead of Jesse Melamed and Remi Gauvin, while Isabeau Courdurier has a commanding lead over Noga Korem and Morgane Charre. This is also the first of the big mountain races this season with the longest stages we have seen in the series so far in 2019. And with venues such as Les Orres, Whistler and Zermatt still to come it will be the riders who excel this weekend that may very well carry that momentum through the remainder of the season.


Can you spot Canazei in the back ground It s a long way to the finish.
Can you spot Canazei in the background? It's a long way to the finish.


We ve said in a few time before but it s worth repeating... What a place.
We've said in a few time before but it's worth repeating... What a place.

Isabeau Courdurier on the big wheels this weekend.
Isabeau Courdurier on the big wheels this weekend.

Lot s of bike prep going on as riders have had over a month off to ride and train without the regular maintenance they receive from mechanics on a race weekend.
Lots of bike prep going on as riders have had over a month off to ride and train without the regular maintenance they receive from mechanics on a race weekend.

After a 3rd at the last round in Madeira Ella Conolly s has been getting a little extra TLC from the crew at FOX.
After a 3rd at the last round in Madeira, Ella Conolly's has been getting a little extra TLC from the crew at FOX.

Lots on riders and fans are looking to see how Richie Rude gets on at what will be his first race of the season.
Lots of riders and fans are looking to see how Richie Rude gets on at what will be his first race of the season.

ALN taking in the incredible views of the Dolomites from the top of Stage 5.
ALN taking in the incredible views of the Dolomites from the top of Stage 5.

Series Leader Florian Nicolai not hanging about to smell the flowers on Stage 1.
Series leader Florian Nicolai not hanging about to smell the flowers on Stage 1.

Cody Kelley always goth the style when the cameras are out in practice.
Cody Kelley always got the style when the cameras are out in practice.

Jose Borges finished at the podium last round on some more familiar terrain but will no doubt be on pace to be a contender here in Italy.
Jose Borges finished on the podium at the last round on some more familiar terrain, but will no doubt be on pace to be a contender here in Italy.

Last rounds third place finisher Ella Conolly drops into stage 5 and some epic views.
Last round's third-place finisher Ella Conolly drops into Stage 5 and some epic views.

So far this season Isabeau Courdurier has been unstoppable.
So far this season Isabeau Courdurier has been unstoppable.

Stage one is a mix of bike park roots rocks and loam. It s also pretty damn long.
Stage 1 is a mix of bike park, roots, rocks, and loam. It's also pretty damn long.

Remi Gauvn sending some big steep gaps in the woods on Stage 3.
Remi Gauvin sending some big steep gaps in the woods on Stage 3.

Miranda Miller leans in on the uber fresh stage three.
Miranda Miller leans in on the uber fresh Stage 3.

Table Top Thursday with Robin Wallner.
Table Top Thursday with Robin Wallner.

Mark Scott gets shapely on stage three.
Mark Scott gets shapely on Stage 3.

When in doubt air it out.
When in doubt, air it out.

Adrien Dailly avoids the death stump on stage four.
Adrien Dailly avoids the death stump on Stage 4.

Noga Korem notches the peaks of the Dolomites.
Noga Korem against the peaks of the Dolomites.

Bex Baraona sits 4rth in the overall right now but is very much capable of pushing her way up into third this weekend.
Bex Baraona sits fourth in the overall right now but is very much capable of pushing her way up into third this weekend.

Caro Gehrig finding speed on the alpine of stage one.
Caro Gehrig finding speed on the alpine of Stage 1.

Ree Morrison won a stage in Madeira and if she can find consistency through the day she will be a podium contender.
Rae Morrison won a stage in Madeira and if she can find consistency through the day she will be a podium contender.

Jesse Melamed only has one podium finish this season but his consistency has landed him 2nd in the overall.
Jesse Melamed only has one podium finish this season but his consistency has landed him second in the overall.

Wyn Masters attacks stage five. There s some damn fine scenery too.
Wyn Masters attacks Stage 5. There's some damn fine scenery too.

Sam Hill dropping a foot and showing the loam who s boss on the fresh cut Stage 3.
Sam Hill dropping a foot and showing the loam who's boss on the fresh cut Stage 3.

Not too many riders can handle a switchback as fast and stylish as Dave Macmillan.
Not too many riders can handle a switchback as fast and stylish as Dave Macmillan.

Innes Thoma gets going on stage five.
Innes Thoma gets going on Stage 5.

Kevin Miquel hurtles to the valley floor below.
Kevin Miquel hurtles to the valley floor below.

ALN slides about on the hard packed and marbly hiking trails that make up part of Stage 1.
ALN slides about on the hard packed and marbly hiking trails that make up part of Stage 1.

Morgane Charre has given Isabeau Courdurier a run for it on a few on the stages this year and is hungry to get a win in Canazei.
Morgane Charre has given Isabeau Courdurier a run for it on a few on the stages this year and is hungry to get a win in Canazei.

Eddie Master gets pitted on stage four. Can Eddie pull off another podium tomorrow
Eddie Master gets pitted on Stage 4. Can Eddie pull off another podium tomorrow?

Katy Winton is testing the waters. While she won t be racing tomorrow it s been a good test for her to see where she is at.
Katy Winton is testing the waters. While she won't be racing tomorrow, it's been a good test for her to see where she is at.

Pedro Burns going big on stage one.
Pedro Burns going big on Stage 1.

Foot out flat out on stage one.
Foot out flat out on Stage 1.

Josh Carlson posting up and over the roots on Stage 1.
Josh Carlson posting up and over the roots on Stage 1.

Jackson Frew dives into the epic stage five.
Jackson Frew dives into the epic Stage 5.

Ella Conolly through the trees on Stage 4.
Ella Conolly through the trees on Stage 4.

Richie Rude has been flying in practice and here he leads out teammate Shawn Near on Stage 5.
Richie Rude has been flying in practice, and here he leads out teammate Shawn Near on Stage 5.

Much lift access. In this heat no one is complaining.
Much lift access. In this heat, no one is complaining.

Pedro Burns cools off in a little glacial run off.
Pedro Burns cools off in a little glacial runoff.

Time to clean off all the dust and do it all over again.
Time to clean off all the dust and do it all over again.

Work work work. The job is never done for the mechanics on a race weekend.
Work work work. The job is never done for the mechanics on a race weekend.

Check back tomorrow for al the action of what will surely be an incredible race
Check back tomorrow for all the action of what will surely be an incredible race


Regions in Article
Canazei


22 Comments

  • + 24
 So good! Thanks @Odigrips for sponsoring this rad photo essay. Also, thanks for inventing the Elite Pro grips.
  • + 2
 give a thanks to Curtis Keene as well for those grips
  • + 20
 Some seriously epic photos here
  • + 5
 Yes! Photo epic well and truly lived up to its name here! Top work guys!
  • + 7
 What an amazing place to ride. I would crash just looking at the scenery instead of the trail.
  • + 4
 Would of been stoked to see a Richie and Martin shoot out. I just one race where all the top contenders are there. Lots of injuries this this year. And suspensions..
  • + 2
 hows the irony on that
  • + 2
 @gonzoracing: only in an Alanis way.
  • - 5
flag CM999 (Jun 29, 2019 at 2:49) (Below Threshold)
 Why? Rude is convicted of taking a known performance enhancing drug. Why are his sponsors watung to be associated with him still?
  • - 2
 Please don't mix up these two names. Same headlines, very, VERY different stories.
  • + 1
 Epic area... as it seems! When i went hiking the dolomites a few years back almost every trail was suspended for cyclists, wonder if this is all-round-the area....... I know there's a bikepark "Cortina D'Ampezzo" nearby but around the "tres combines" (?) not one trail was allowed for cycling... correct me if i am wrong however!
  • + 2
 Having been there over 10 times now, riding in is pretty limited for good single track unless you head to a bike park. Most of the riding is hiking trails that you can ride on. If you want an adventure, there are some great rides with plenty of hutte time available during the rides, which means good food and beer in the middle of a ride while having incredible mountains around you. You just have to go there knowing this. Amazing place and am going back there in September.
  • + 2
 "Bex Baraona sits fourth in the overall right now but is very much capable of pushing her way up into third this weekend" Sadly not out with broken ribs and gashed elbow Frown
  • + 2
 Such a bummer .... Found this out about 10 min after this story was published :-(
  • + 1
 @davetrumpore: Gutted for her. Top job from you and Matt on the photo's
  • + 2
 I have been there as a kid, now I want to go back with my bike! Beautiful place!
  • + 3
 Incredible pictures! Kudos to @DaveTrumpore and @MatthewDelorme!
  • + 1
 what's in the bottom of Rae Morrison's steertube?
  • + 1
 It’s an expanding plug so she can use the steerer as storage
  • + 0
 Cody Kelley ‘s style is there when there are no cameras around also. I bet he Eurotabes’ in his sleep!
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