A short time-out and we're right back at it. The World Cup travelling circus has had a couple of days to relax, debrief and think about the madness that was Val Di Sole 2019. It wasn't much of a summer holiday it must be said - early August in the European Alps has been pretty hostile so far, with evil dark skies and hammering rain. There are gaps in the cloud on the radar for the days ahead however and we can look forward to a dry timed training, qualies and possibly even finals.
The track is perhaps the best ever version of the Straitline course we've been treated to. Much to the delight of the majority, gone is the infamous rock garden of the upper slopes. Many a victim was claimed over the seasons in this section. A simple and short enough technical part of the old track, but one of the riskiest and hardest to dial in, causing a lot of big crashes in summers past. Instead, we have a detour that still gives racers something to think about. It includes a bunch of rocks and roots lurking in the long grass, sure to be excavated by the practice sessions of the coming days. The loamy forest section in the lower half of the course that was introduced for World Championships last year is still looking prime, although currently flowing with white water from the heavy rains. Several monotonous switchbacks following the road gap have been bypassed to accommodate a fresh, ultra-steep, widely-taped pitch through the forest that will certainly have riders guessing during the first practice session.
It's wetter than wet right now here in the Swiss Alps and much like Val Di Sole last week, riders able to adapt quickly to the drying conditions will get off the best start tomorrow and lay down times to beat in the timed training session. All eyes will surely be on all 4 virgin victors of the last round. Can Greenland keep the French revolution at bay? Can Cabirou claw back more points over Hannah in the overall Tomorrow we'll get some answers, but for now, pray for sun before everyone gets tendonitis in their umbrella holding arm. It's mighty moist.