It's been three years since we wrote the first preview of the XC course in Val di Sole and, well, that first one wasn't so glowing. The biggest complaint was that the course seemed an afterthought compared to the marvel that is the DH track. Knowing that there's terrain here to build something truly great, that first course seemed like a bunch of open grass and a few quick forrays into the woods with not much of that magic that the DH track had. Granted, there isn't a ton of space to put the whole thing in the woods and make it accessible for spectators, but it fell short.
Fast forward three years and we are happy to say that they've put some real effort into the course, using what little parcels of natural terrain there are and making the most of them. The track now snakes back on itself more in the woods, the turns are tighter on the climbs, and the climbs are punchier. There are more roots and rocks and loam to be had, too. Out in the open, there's still lots of grass, but the bike park descents have been spiced up with more drops and rollers.
The 2019 course has come a long way and should make for more exciting racing. Take a gander at some of the improved bits with us.