Despite being part of the UCI’s revised schedule, the Val di Sole World Cup got cancelled last week. We take a look at the event’s best moments.
Val di Sole has given us some truly unforgettable racing from day one. A real beast of a track whether it’s wet or dry, the track will floor plenty of riders, with a select few who can get their minds ahead of the track and really attack the Black Snake.
Here’s our pick of the best of the Valley of the Sun.
Sam Hill shows the World how to ride Val di Sole
The reigning World Champion, Sam Hill, rocked up to a bone-dry Val di Sole and showed how you go about picking apart one of the most technical courses on the planet.
A full five seconds up at the first split despite a flying run from one Steve Peat, Sam would look to be riding a magic carpet down this infamous hillside, only to come unstuck on the grass once he’d done all the hard work.
Aaron Gwin rides a different track in 2012
Having won five World Cups in 2011, Aaron Gwin looked to carry that momentum into 2012 and boy did he… He missed the win in South Africa at the opening round but come Val di Sole, the gloves were off.
A full six seconds up at the first split, Warner and Cunny couldn’t get the words out fast enough. Measured aggression from the Californian flying the Trek Factory Racing flag would see him cross the finish line over eight clear of second place.
Mondrakers take a clean sweep in 2016
Danny Hart would put in a stormer of a run with only two riders left at the top of the hill back in 2016 and collect his second Elite Rainbow jersey in the process with yet another attacking run on an infamously steep hillside.
Three seconds up on his team mate Laurie Greenland, and five up on third place Florent Payet would make it a clean sweep of the Elite Men’s podium for Mondraker.
Athertons do the double double
After bagging a historic double home win in Fort William, Rachel Atherton had done the early work to do the same again by putting six seconds into Emmeline Ragot in Val di Sole.
Gee Atherton, having qualified first was primed for making history again, and when it mattered, he went after it like a man possessed. He’d cross the line just over a second up on Stevie Smith to make it a double double for the Athertons.
Come 2008, they’d do the double again at the World Champs, with a little help from Sam Hill as you’d see above.
Cabirou and Greenland take their first wins
That first World Cup win is no doubt something that a rider will never forget. Imagine doing it at Val di Sole too. That’s what Laurie Greenland and Marine Cabirou would do in 2019.
While Laurie had been knocking on the door here for a while, he’d still to hone is wild, attacking style until he snatched the win from Loic Bruni in a wild, attacking run. Marine Cabirou would walk away from Italy having put 12 seconds into Tracy Hannah… What. A. Win.
Greg Minnaar snaps his V10
You don’t often see downhill bikes coming apart at downhill races, certainly not the frames but after giving the head tube a mighty old twist under load, then humming it at a fairly solid-looking wooden post, Greg Minnaar’s V10c finally gave up the ghost.
Imagine what the data would have said if he’d had telemetry on the bike at the time?
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