Practice Photo Epic: Rough Riders - Val di Sole World Cup DH 2019

Aug 1, 2019
by Dave Trumpore  



Photo Epic presented by Five Ten


After a day of rain and thunderstorms during track walk, the Val di Sole lived top to its namesake once again as racers took to the track for the first day of training. Gone were any sign of the previous day's moisture, and with roots bone dry and the loamy dirt during back to dust, the pace was high right from the get-go.

The track in Val di Sole always makes for a bit of puzzling with multiple line choices and lots to think about the entire way down. Even though riders may look and feel fast, there is no other track on the circuit where we see just about everyone stopping to watch their competition through nearly every section. By the close of the day, riders were beginning to gain confidence and some of the bigger gaps that we've seen in past years were once again beginning to be tackled with speed. Some of the lines riders take are simply mind-boggling as they launch themselves, fully committed, into some of the roughest sections of track you will ever see. Where the margin for error is measured in millimeters.

The close of the day would see the customary timed training session, and while it's no sure indicator of everyone who has things dialed, it was still a great chance to read between the lines and see who is feeling confident. For the women, it is no surprise to see Marine Cabirou and Tracey Hannah battling at the top, and after their close race in Les Gets we fully expect to see them pushing each other once again here in Val di Sole. For the men it would be last round's winner and the winner here a year ago, Amaury Pierron, who would top the timesheet with all-time great Greg Minnaar just fractions behind. Also of note was the top performance by Davis Trummer as he continues to turn heads this season, and 9th by Charlie Harrison who is returning from scaphoid surgery.

Tomorrow things get real though with qualifying points on the line and the last extended training sessions, where riders will really begin to get their racing lines dialed and push the limits of speed down Val di Sole's Black Snake.

Italian peaks over the Valley of the Sun.
Italian peaks over the Valley of the Sun.

All calm in the Commencal pits as Amaury Pierron prepares for a wild day on the hill.
All calm in the Commencal pits as Amaury Pierron prepares for a wild day on the hill.

Tracey Hannah limbers up before doing battle with the roughest track on the circuit
Tracey Hannah limbers up before doing battle with the roughest track on the circuit

The final adjustments getting dialed in before the trying to tame the Black Snake
The final adjustments getting dialed in before the trying to tame the Black Snake

Loic Bruni has one three rounds already this year and was second just a few weeks ago in Les Gets. To say he is the favorite would be an under statement.
Loic Bruni has won three rounds already this year and was second just a few weeks ago in Les Gets. He might be the favourite here.

Laurie Greenland loves picking apart the track here and sorting out the fast lines and was all smiles before heading up for the first runs of the day.
Laurie Greenland loves picking apart the track and was all smiles before heading up for the first runs of the day.

Luca Shaw gets prepped for a day of deep dust up in the Italian forest.
Luca Shaw gets prepped for a day of deep dust up in the Italian forest.

It s a frustrating place to be knowing you have the speed but crashing out. Mike Jones knows what he needs to do with 4 races left to make it count.
It's a frustrating place to be; knowing you have the speed, but crashing out. Mike Jones knows what he needs to do with 4 races left to make it count.

Tracey Hannah once again with the number one plate ion her bike and a commanding lead in the over all points. But she will certainly be pushed this week by Marie Cabirou.
Tracey Hannah once again with the number one plate on her bike, and a commanding lead in the overall points. But she will certainly be pushed this week by Marie Cabirou.

Jure Zabjek back between the tapes after missing out on the last 2 rounds.
Jure Zabjek is back in action after missing a few rounds due to injuries.

Kaos Seagrave laying it flat in the morning light.
Kaos Seagrave laying it flat in the morning light.

Danny Hart keeping it rubber side down. Just.
Danny Hart keeping it rubber side down. Just.

Marine Cabirou looks good to take on Tracy Hannah here with a 1st in TT this afternoon.
Marine Cabirou looks good to take on Tracy Hannah here with a 1st in TT this afternoon.

David Trummer is riding with more and more confidence now. 3rd place in timed training 0.5 seconds back from Pierron.
David Trummer is riding with more and more confidence now. 3rd place in timed training, 0.5 seconds back from Pierron.

Greg Minnaar is hungry for redemption here after missing out in 2018 through injury and after in a mechanical took him out of the title fight in 2017.
Greg Minnaar is hungry for redemption here after missing out in 2018 through injury and after in a mechanical took him out of the title fight in 2017.

Brendan Fairclough already getting well involved on the first lap of the day.
Brendan Fairclough already getting well involved on the first lap of the day.

Vali Holl starting the day off right with a cup of style.
Vali Holl starting the day off right with a cup of style.

Florent Payet having a wild moment in the deep dust.
Florent Payet having a wild moment in the deep dust.

Charlie Hatton out of the shadows.
Charlie Hatton out of the shadows.

Already with the top TT time of the day with a 3 48 Pierron was the last man on the mountain scoping yet more ways to go fast.
Already with the top TT time of the day with a 3:48, Pierron was the last man on the mountain scoping yet more ways to go fast.

Loris Revelli knows this track like the back of his gloves. A 5th place TT shows he does mean business in the coming days.
Loris Revelli knows this track like the back of his gloves. A 5th place TT shows he does mean business in the coming days.

Finn Iles has slipped down the ranks a little of late and will be on the hunt for a solid score at the weekend.
Finn Iles has slipped down the ranks a little of late and will be on the hunt for a solid score at the weekend.

Seth Sherlock leaves a trail of dust in his wake en-route to 4th in times training.
Seth Sherlock leaves a trail of dust in his wake en-route to 4th in timed training.

Tracy Hannah needs this win for a comfortable ride the remaining races but Cabirou looks like she might have other ideas.
Tracy Hannah needs this win for a comfortable ride the remaining races, but Cabirou looks like she might have other ideas.

Greg Williamson was one of the only riders opting for this line over the massive boulder near the start of the woods.
Greg Williamson was one of the only riders opting for this line over the massive boulder near the start of the woods.

Adam Brayton was one of the wildest on track today. He ll be looking for a strong showing here to bolster his chances of making the GB squad for World Champs.
Adam Brayton was one of the wildest on track today. He'll be looking for a strong showing here to bolster his chances of making the GB squad for World Champs.

Laurie Greenland was on the throttle and looking confident on this bombed out track.
Laurie Greenland was on the throttle and looking confident on this bombed-out track.

Johannes Von Klebelsberg popping out of the dust.
Johannes Von Klebelsberg popping out of the dust.

Vergier attacks another smooth section with all the aggressive fluidity with which he is blessed.
Vergier attacks another 'smooth section' with all the aggressive fluidity with which he is blessed.

Brook Macdonald and Val di Sole are a match made in heaven. The track here brings out the best in Brook s riding style.
Brook Macdonald and Val di Sole are a match made in heaven. The track here brings out the best in Brook's riding style.

Vero Widmann will be looking to take down Italian rival Farina here on home soil and only a podium will do.
Vero Widmann will be looking to take down Italian rival Farina here on home soil, and only a podium will do.

Mike Jones coping with the super harsh contrast on his last TT lap of the day.
Mike Jones coping with the super harsh contrast on his last TT lap of the day.

Pierron getting animalistic with it and roaring to a 1st place in the TT.
Pierron getting animalistic with it and roaring to a 1st place in the TT.

Remember the first time you heard the name Hugo Frixtalon It was last year here in the mud for qualies. Can he repeat in the rain tomorrow
Remember the first time you heard the name Hugo Frixtalon? It was probably last year here in the mud for qualies. Can he repeat in the rain tomorrow?

Charlie Harrison got stuck straight back into it on his return from injury.
Charlie Harrison got stuck straight back into it on his return from injury.

Luca Shaw with a fresh look on track today he looked comfortable up on the hill too.
Luca Shaw with a fresh look on track today, he looked comfortable up on the hill too.

Bryan Pfeiffier scoops up a loose moment on the entry to the woods after the open section.
Bryan Pfeiffier scoops up a loose moment on the entry to the woods after the open section.

Tracey Hannah shaving distance off the track by cutting inside on this bank.
Tracey Hannah shaving distance off the track by cutting inside on this bank.

It s great to see Monika Hrastnik back on the bike in Val di Sole.
It's great to see Monika Hrastnik back on the bike in Val di Sole.

Will it be a head to head showdown for the rest of the season between Loic Bruni and Amaury Pierron
Will it be a head to head showdown for the rest of the season between Loic Bruni and Amaury Pierron?

Italian national champ Elenora Farina will be looking for an all or nothing kind of run in front of the home crowd on Saturday.
Italian national champ, Elenora Farina, will be looking for an all or nothing kind of run in front of the home crowd on Saturday.

Thibaut Daprela is already keeping an eye on his time compared to the elites before jumping up to that category next season.
Thibaut Daprela is already keeping an eye on his time compared to the elites before jumping up to that category next season.

Lucas Cruz will be looking for another podium finish this weekend.
Lucas Cruz will be looking for another podium finish this weekend.

Nina Hoffmann floating through one of the fresh sections with ease.
Nina Hoffmann floating through one of the fresh sections with ease.

Home race for the denim hero Johannes Von Klebelsberg he put down a quick timed training run today in 8th.
Home race for the denim hero Johannes Von Klebelsberg, he put down a quick timed training run today in 8th.

Kate Weatherly went 4th in timed training.
Kate Weatherly went 4th in timed training.

Reece Wilson went well here last year and is knocking on the door of a big result this season.
Reece Wilson went well here last year and is knocking on the door of a big result this season.

It ain t easy out there that s for sure.
It ain't easy out there, that's for sure.

Never give up.
Never give up.

Modifications are in full effect while awaiting the inevitability of moisture tomorrow.
Modifications are in full effect while awaiting the inevitability of moisture tomorrow.

There were wheels being repaired everywhere in the pits. The Black Snake doesn t spare anyone.
There were wheels being repaired everywhere in the pits. The Black Snake doesn't spare anyone.

The clouds began to build in the afternoon it looks like we ll be seeing some rain tomorrow.
The clouds began to build in the afternoon, it looks like we'll be seeing some rain tomorrow.



19 Comments

  • + 55
 Vale Di Sole: What all the other tracks want to be when they grow up.
  • + 21
 Good memories of this race, in 2013 Steve Smith was on his way to his overall win and he took second at Val Di Sole, a few days later we walked past him in the local mall.I selfishly went up and asked him if he would meet my son, who was 15 at the time. He graciously agreed and took a few minutes to speak with us, he asked questions of my son about riding in Whistler and bikes in general. I have this feeling Mark is going to do well in this race, Stevie will be looking down scoping lines for him!
  • + 14
 Another great Photo Epic!

Very interesting listen from @downtimepodcast with Sven Martin, hearing the effort these guys go to, to get us this content.
Certainly does a fantastic job at getting us all (esp. on the other side of the globe) engaged in the events!

Would love to see PB do a tech article on tyres!
Such a huge variety being used, as seen in the pics, makes me think to an average Joe (like myself) any tyre that is not flat will do *LOL*
  • + 4
 "Would love to see PB do a tech article on tyres!"

Me too.

Esp on the Michelin DH range.
  • + 1
 I'm glad you enjoyed the podcast @GLOB-2018
  • + 8
 Seth Sherlock has E13 LG1 chain guide with lower slider, but look at the chain. His chain is about to come off the front chain ring.
  • + 1
 great spot! Maybe it's a 'discontinued' item that his mech grabbed at the last minute. That sort of thing is going around Razz
  • + 6
 chaos seagrave looks like some poisonfrog ot of southamerica
  • + 1
 *Kaos
  • + 1
 @lognar: thx ye, i went a bit too far i guess
  • + 1
 This will be interesting. Loic is off the Maxxis rubber that he has been winning on since going #mulletbike. Looks like Specialized got their 29" DH casings in..
  • + 3
 ..and insert foot, looks like he just went to a DHR front upon a better look.
  • + 2
 Best course on the circuit! Great pics.
  • + 1
 I can almost hear the rims protesting in some of those images...they are that good.
  • + 2
 Interesting that Vergier running 27.5 wheels.
  • + 1
 Amaury and the "never give up" guy only ones not wearing long pants. hmm
  • + 3
 Yet no shorts for the finals. #aero
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