We’re back again in the heart of the Dolomites in Canazei, the landscape here is awe inspiring. It’s a World Heritage site for a reason, spectacular. The locals tell me that the reason Canazei is special is because of the mountains and their culture. There is a local language here that isn’t Italian, not a dialect. It’s taught in schools here, and something the locals hold dear. Mountain biking here is growing in a big way, with an open-minded team of people the sport is growing. There’s a new project to build many more natural tracks to steer away from the bike park world that we currently live in.
The race itself covers 50km and offers 3000m of descending that is spread out over six stages. There’s a mix of very long trails, short natural tracks and bike park jumps. The race is split between lift access and pedaling. With well over 500 entries, from 13 different countries, it’s clearly a race to get excited about.
Wow. The peaks towering way into the clouds.
Sheer rock faces that make the summit inaccessible except for the most experienced climbers.
Stage one is straight into some of the best bike park dirt I've ever seen.
One impeccably decorated house.
The ATM machine was even advertising the race!
A fun flowy start to stage one.
The top of stage one snakes down across ski pistes.
Tight steep corners prove to be challenging after a long stage.
Local organiser, William Basilico tells us more about the race...
Can you tell us a little bit about the tracks this year?
The tracks this year are a little bit different, we have about 75 percent of new track. We have also put in a brand new trail in a very special valley which riders must pedal up to, this makes the race more complete for Enduro. Every year we want to give the riders something new. This is part of a new project we have to build eight new natural trails, in the next two years.
Stage 1/5 is super long, we’re expecting times over 10 minutes. Can you tell us about that?
We know this stage will not be easy, it wasn’t our first choice of trail but we couldn’t race the original stage we decided to use a very long trail to test the riders. I think for the riders it will be fun, yet challenging. It has everything in it, it starts in the bike park, then drops down into roots and technical section then onto some steep sections. We want to create a race that is difficult, with trails equal to the EWS which is something we’re hoping to organise in the near future.
Alex Lupato, switching to a brand new set of coil Ohlins forks...
Most of the stages in this race are lift assisted.
Big open meadows to pick up some serious speed in.
And then on to some tight technical sections in the woods.
One of the fresh loamy sections of trail.
The Gherig twins are here 'queuing for the bike wash', they're here helping out on the women's riding camp.
The Women's day today was finished off with a BBQ at the incredible hut next to the pump track.