The DH track here in Val di Sole is one of legendary status, and rightfully so. It's a masterpiece that makes excellent use of some of the finest terrain in the world. It's rough, rocky, brutal and loved by all. Considering the quality of Val Di Sole's DH track, you might think that the XC course would be just as great, but in point of fact, that couldn't be further from the truth. It's as if the course designers here considered the DH track a crowning achievement and then decided to put their tools away when it came time to lay out the XC course. A 570-meter flat grass straight, which is more than ten percent of the lap, is just the first of many complaints. Half of this cross-country course seems to be made of taped-open, grass fields, and dirt-road, double-track climbs. This seems hardly in touch with the caliber of technical courses we have seen in XC in recent years. "Uninspired" is the word that immediately comes to mind. With all of the terrain available and a little more effort, surely something better could have been built. That said, this is a power course and those with the fitness will have the day. We enlisted T Mo to spice up the better bits and spared you most of the grass parts. There's also a special appearance by Loris Vergier. Let's get to it, shall we?
It starts and ends here.
All that tape in the grass. Sigh.
With more that one rider on it at once, line choice here will be difficult. Credit where credit is due.
Boom! T Mo doubles the 4X course section!
Some loose, pea gravel over the hard pack in these corners will be one of the most technical aspects of the day. Traction is tricky here.
This dry, pea gravel on hard pack is going to be tricky. Many riders have said it's the hardest aspect to come to grips with.
Rocks! They are over pretty quickly.
Singletrack pinch. it's time to show a bit of style.
T Mo uses ALL of the berm to keep exit speed up.
An open drop that runs next to the DH.
A big rock, with a couple holes after it, has a nice line to the right.
Loose loam. We only wish there was more of it in the track.
Love the rut and roots. Again, we wish there was more of it on the course. This isn't the gripe of just one or two bystanders. Many teams and riders feel this way.
Pedal across a golf course, anyone?
Hey, look! A dirt-road climb!
This seems a better option for a climb, but we are on a dirt road instead.
More non-technical climbing.
Joy of joys! Roots and rocks!
There is natural terrain here, just not a ton of it.
Cutting up to smooth out the corner into the roughest section of the track.
A couple whoops and the hardest parts are nearly over.
The exit of the best part of the track. Stay high to keep speed up and pump into the next little climb.
T Mo enters the crux of the course, a couple of rooty, natural, deep compressions.
Dolomite Rocks seems the only part of the course that had effort put into it. Seeing how the trees were all clear cut, perhaps it may have been better to let the natural terrain come through, and put that manpower someplace else?
T Mo agrees, Dolomite rocks runs in the wrong direction. Up would have been better.
A chute. With fluro point on a tiny stump.
At least they were nice and taped this one high.
That view though.
This one has a bit of punch at the beginning.
Get your party helmet on, the track just got rowdy!
Loris Vergier shows how granite steps are done. Cut to the inside and smash the following corner.
T Mo steps off the granite steps, which is a much better set up for the following corner.
If you are going to include a small jump, why tape it wide so everyone goes around it?
The intended activities are clearly stated.