Photo Epic: Practice - Val di Sole DH World Championships 2021

Aug 26, 2021 at 14:48
by Dave Trumpore  



It's World Champs week, and we couldn't ask for a better venue. Time and time again Val di Sole has stepped up and delivered dramatic racing, be it a World Cup final or World Championships, and when titles are on the line, the infamous Black Snake is one of the best courses around to see who can rise to the top.

Lots of work has gone into the track since racers last visited in 2019, mostly in the form of massive rocks being used to armour up some of the steeper sections. In years past, the track would deteriorate rapidly over the week, especially when dry. The end result was a blown-out and trashed track come race day. The hope is that the reworked sections will keep the same rough and rugged feel as always, while also withstanding the beating the fastest riders in the world deliver.

It's still not a track for the faint of heart, with blind crests into rugged chutes throughout, and many many big gaps into roots and rocks that leave only millimetres as the margin for error. Commit and stick it and you have a shot at the medals. Hesitate and you won't be seeing rainbows in Italy.

Deep summer in the Italian mountains no bad place to be for bike racing or otherwise.
Deep summer in the Italian mountains, no bad place to be for bike racing or otherwise.

A little self-wrenching with the GOAT at the Syndicate pit.
A little self-wrenching with the GOAT at the Syndicate pit.

A silver medal for Greenland here at Worlds 2016 and third place last race in Maribor to prove he s still a top threat for the medals once again.
A silver medal for Greenland here at Worlds 2016 and third place last race in Maribor to prove he's a top threat for the medals once again.

Black snakes carpeting the floor of this much feared and respected classic track.
Black snakes carpeting the floor of this much-feared and respected classic track.

Everyone is chasing rainbows this weekend
Everyone is chasing rainbows this weekend

The UK is a mostly flat nation after all. Name that junior...
The UK is a mostly flat nation after all. Name that junior...

Greg Minnar looking to take home his first World Champs medal since 2015
Greg Minnaar looking to take home his first World Champs medal since 2015

Laurie Greenland is on form currently and has always done well in Val di Sole
Laurie Greenland is on form currently and has always done well in Val di Sole

Nina Hoffman is also back after a huge Les Gets misdemeanour and is hoping her shoulder is close enough to full strength to go medal hunting.
Nina Hoffman is also back after a huge Les Gets misdemeanour and is hoping her shoulder is close enough to full strength to go medal hunting.

Junior womens contender Leona Perrini attacking out of the gate.
Junior women's contender, Leona Perrini, attacking out of the gate.

Vali Holl looking for some redemption after a disappointing World Champs last year
Vali Holl looking for some redemption after a disappointing World Champs last year

Tahnee Seagrave sending the big natural stepdown on her second run of the day
Tahnee Seagrave sending the big natural stepdown on her second run of the day

Marine Cabirou continues her road to recovery after her huge crash on the Les Gets road-gap.
Marine Cabirou continues her road to recovery after her huge crash on the Les Gets road gap.

Myriam Nicole looks fast and confident here in Italy
Myriam Nicole looks fast and confident here in Italy

Loic Bruni on the gas right from the start
Loic Bruni on the gas right from the start

Amaury Pierron loves this track and knows what needs to be done to win in Val di Sole
Amaury Pierron loves this track and knows what needs to be done to win in Val di Sole

Dakotah Norton is back at it after COVID forced him to sit out the last round
Dakotah Norton is back at it after COVID forced him to sit out the last round

Loris Vergier fresh of a win in Maribor looks fast and confident
Loris Vergier, fresh off a win in Maribor, looks fast and confident

Monika Hrastnik amongst the roots and rocks
Monika Hrastnik amongst the roots and rocks

Nik Nestoroff in full US regalia and looking for a strong showing here in Italy.
Nik Nestoroff in full US regalia and looking for a strong showing here in Italy.

Luca Shaw hucking small gaps big for team America.
Luca Shaw, hucking small gaps bigly for team America.

Thibaut Daprela through the new rock section
Thibaut Daprela through the new rock section

Legend of life Dean Lucas hauling his piece of aboriginal artwork down the hill at max velocity.
Legend of life, Dean Lucas, hauling his piece of Indigenous Australian artwork down the hill at max velocity.

Benoit Coulanges pinned as always
Benoit Coulanges pinned as always

Luke Meyer-Smith looking to continue an amazing elite debut year after his big top 20 last time out in Maribor.
Luke Meier-Smith looking to continue an amazing elite debut year after his big top 20 last time out in Maribor.

Great to see the man and myth Amaury Pierron back on track and getting up to speed for the remains of the 21 season.
Great to see the man and myth Amaury Pierron back on track and getting up to speed for the remains of the '21 season.

Thibaut Daprela may have the World Cup series lead but will that make him a bit too cautious to go for gold here We do doubt it.
Thibaut Daprela may have the World Cup series lead, but will that make him a bit too cautious to go for gold here? We doubt it.

Val Di Sole is never a gentle one.
Val di Sole is never a gentle one.

Danny Hart looking to celebrate his Worlds 10 and 5 year anniversaries the only appropriate way to do so.
Danny Hart looking to celebrate his rainbow stripes' 10 and 5 year anniversaries the only appropriate way to do so.

Marine Cabirou out on track and up to pace right away.
Marine Cabirou out on track and up to pace right away.

Finn Iles is still struggling with his injured hand so will probably have a low profile in qualies tomorrow saving his strength for the big day.
Finn Iles is still struggling with his injured hand, so will probably have a low profile in qualies tomorrow, saving his strength for the big day.

Some random South African racer here to roll the World Champs dice.
Some random South African racer here to roll the World Champs dice.

Matt Walker pulling for one of the do or dirt rock gaps on track
Matt Walker pulling for one of the do-or-dirt rock gaps on track

Henry Kerr was another talented wild card in the top 20 last race here repping team Ireland on account of his mother s family.
Henry Kerr was another talented wild card in the top 20 last race, here repping team Ireland on account of his mother's family.

Mark Wallace upping the anti for team Canada coming into one of the many fast and ferocious sections of track.
Mark Wallace upping the ante for Team Canada coming into one of the many fast and ferocious sections of track.

Give him a kerb-sized rock Dakota Norton will produce the style goods.
Give him a curb-sized rock, Dakotah Norton will produce the style goods.

Inside lines too keep it out of the rough and avoid the dust
Inside lines to keep it out of the rough and avoid the dust

The new rock sections are holding up well and adding a new element to this classic track
The new rock sections are holding up well and adding a new element to this classic track

Finn Iles looking to bring a medal back to Canada this weekend
Finn Iles looking to bring a medal back to Canada this weekend

David Trummer keeping it tight to the trees in one of the roughest parts of the track
David Trummer keeping it tight to the trees in one of the roughest parts of the track

Classi Val di Sole
Classic Val di Sole

Dante Silva doing it for the USA
Dante Silva doing it for the USA

Marine Cabirou through the first rough bit of woods
Marine Cabirou through the first rough bit of woods

Jackson Goldstone is on a hot streak in Juniors and would love to cap of an awesome season with some rainbow stripes
Jackson Goldstone is on a hot streak in Juniors and would love to cap off an awesome season with some rainbow stripes

Spain s Alex Marin hammering his last training lap of the day.
Spain's Alex Marin hammering his last training lap of the day.

INTRO OUTRO shot
See you again tomorrow for seeding runs



17 Comments

  • 41 0
 Greg has the experience to not over cook it on this track and bring it home I think. That would be unreal.
  • 2 0
 You were correct.
  • 30 0
 Pretty sure I don’t use my DH bike the way it was designed to be used.

But it’s sexy and cool so I’ll continue my ways.
  • 24 1
 Happy to see Dean channelling the Aussie First nation energy! Much respect!!!
  • 7 2
 And of course the broken handlebar would be on an Intense... Oh boy.
  • 10 0
 They just can't catch a break. Or..
  • 2 0
 Hopefully it broke during a crash, not while riding, causing a crash. Personally, I stopped running carbon bars on all my bikes. The perceived benefits not worth the risk IMHO.
  • 5 0
 it’s time for a canadian win let’s go jackson finn and mark
  • 4 0
 The chasing rainbows shot is incredible.
  • 2 0
 The UK is a mostly flat nation. That's ok for Jack Piercy, he lives in that part of the South of France that breeds enduro riders like rabbits
  • 3 0
 wow first lol, Dean Lucas' bike is fire Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Val di Sole never disappoints Smile Track looks bad, dusty, with beautiful large roots. May the best win!
  • 2 0
 Superb photography, many thanks!
  • 1 0
 The hell is the deal with the U.S. not getting coverage of the race?
  • 3 0
 You can watch it on Flo Bikes
  • 1 0
 Why KHS is using a Trek frame instead of a KHS frame ?

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