2013 Val Di Sole – UCI WC DH #2 – Qualifying and Final Results
Val Di Sole – UCI WC DH #2
photos: Daniel Klose
Video: Red Bull – Val Di Sole Replay
DirtTV – Finals
Sunny skies allowed racers to enjoy another dry World Cup race today. The dry conditions made for a fast track but also claimed numerous riders along the way. Andrew Neethling and others bit the dust before the weekend was finished.
Drew Carters goes down hard in the dry conditions
Roots became more and more exposed as the weekend progressed.
Dry conditions exposed more roots
Many riders love running Spikes at Val Di Sole. Spikes aren’t just for muddy conditions. Even when things are dry the spikes help grab traction in the loose soil.
Gee Atherton ran spike tires this weekend
Loic Bruni has really progressed quite a bit in the off season. Often when a Junior graduates to the Elite class it takes them some time to find additional speed to be competitive. Loic has wasted no time in finding this extra speed as he claimed 4th today.
Troy Brosnan has been getting up to speed quickly this season and he got a solid result this weekend. 5th at the end of the day ahead of team mate Aaron Gwin (6th).
Sam Hill was looking fast all weekend but a crash in the finals ended his chances at success here unfortunately.
Greg Minnaar is a true competitor and always seems to find the extra pace necessary come race day. He took third place today after a challenging qualifying run.
Greg Minnaar hits the fast berm at the base of the course
Australian Dean Lucas is used to the dry terrain and excelled here today. 1st in the Junior category.
The women had their hands full this weekend with the steep and rough track.
Myriam looks for a good line
Myriam Nicole navigates her way though one of the rooty sections on course. 5th at the end of the day for her.
Steve Smith knows how to get things done on race day. He’s been busy nabbing podiums this year. 2nd at the end of the day.
Gee Atherton knows how to put down a fast race run. For the second week in a row, he took the top position.
Gee Atheron railing a turn
As each Atherton crossed the finish line, it was all green for Gee and his sister Rachel.
Pro Men Podium
Pro Women Podium
Val Di Sole - The famous ending section that many riders and fans love
Day 2 – Qualifying
Qualifying takes place today (Friday) given all of the events lined up for the weekend (XCE/Eliminator/etc). Qualifying Results are in and the results aren’t too surprising.
Sam Hill is on mission with new focus. It’s hard to say he isn’t back to the top of his potential as he’s performed amazingly well so far this season. Aboard his Nukeproof (you can buy his bike / TLD kit afterwards as part of a cancer raising fund), he put down a solid qualifying result in 5th. Look for this guy on the podium come race day.
Gee Atherton matched his sister’s top qualifying spot and seeded in first. His team mates have the perfect guy to follow given how well he’s been doing this year so far onboard his GT.
Gee Atherton - #1 qualifier
Aaron Gwin was off to a rough start this season but seems to have found his speed again. Moving to a larger frame size proved to be a good move for him as he qualified in 2nd place in a stacked field. The table is set for race day.
Video: Aaron Gwin Interview with DirtTV
Austin Warren is one you may have seen do quite well in the USA and he’s been given the chance to try his hand on the World Cup circuit more. This is his first time racing in Val Di Sole and he qualified 25th in the pro men (+11.6s). He’s riding for the Pivot Factory Team and to be honest this is his first real push to do the full World Cup circuit. Last weekend, he pulled a 30th place at Ft. William. Not bad for a first timer considering he hasn’t had any experience racing in Europe yet.
Austin Warren and Mick Hannah
With the new formation of a specific Junior race category this year, many younger riders are able to get some great experience without having to directly compete for a spot in the Elite field. Crashes are all too often but it’s part of the learning process.
Junior Class crashes are all too common as they learn - Jorba
Video: Epic TV Qualifying chat
Video: DirtTV Qualifying
This is Jay Fespermann’s first outing as well on the World Cup circuit. He’s a fast Junior and is still learning the ropes, especially on some of these European tracks. Yeti brought him onboard and he has been showing promise even though the picture might lead you to think otherwise. More learning going on here as well.
Phil Atwill (Madison Saracen) seeded in the top spot for Juniors. Not a small task given the talent pool of this category. He has been looking focused this weekend so far and it showed in his seeding results.
Phil - Top Junior in seeding
Remi Thirion has been on a tear this year. Onboard his Commencal / Riding Addiction bike with BOS suspension he’s been one to watch. Following his good result at Ft. William, he continues to push into the ranks. He qualified 11th in Elite.
Remi slashing through the course
Marcello Gutierrez has been given a great opportunity onboard Giant Factory Offroad this year and he’s been taking full advantage of it.
Norco’s Jill Kinter is doing the full World Cup circuit and she’s been gaining valuable experience. She’s still relatively new to downhill but has many skills on the bike that’s been proven.
Brook MacDonald is always been one to watch. On board with Trek this year, he appears on a mission. Watch for this guy on the podium come Sunday. He placed well in qualifying, 4th, in a stacked field
The Val Di Sole track is running fast and riders were getting loose thoughout the day. This corner alone has claimed numerous riders throughout the year. Johannes Fischbach is typically seen as a 4x specialist but here he focuses to stay onboard his downhill bike.
Fischbach gets loose
Danny Hart is one of our favorite riders to watch on a bike. He was one of the few riders seen pedaling along the bridge. Expect Sunday’s final to be a fast one! 6th in qualifying.
It wouldn’t be a complete report without mentioning Richie Rude. He’s a Junior that is allowed to race in the Elite class. Seeded in 23rd. Yea, he’s fast.
Richie Rude Jr.
We showed you some sneak shots of a Ohlins shock yesterday, here’s some more.
Ohlins prototype shock
Ohlins prototype shock
Steve Smith On Val Di Sole
Day 1 – Practice
Things are heating up in the world cup circuit as round 2 takes place this weekend at the famous Val Di Sole track. Keen followers of the World Cup circuit are well versed in the challenges this course brings to riders as it is not only steep but very technical. Riders like Sam Hill, Gee Atherton, Aaron Gwin, Marc Beaumont, Rachel Atheron, and others have had memorable experiences here.
DirtTV Practice – Day 1
With the revisions made to the course this year, it appears to be even more technical right out of the gate. Watching the helmet camera video of this years’ track with Claudio doesn’t capture the true technicality and steepness of this course.
Respect is earned on this course!
This venue has had some great moments for riders, some good and some bad. Danny Hart blasting the turn in the final descent, Sam Hill riding on the ragged edge in his Iron Horse days during Worlds, and countless other moments are all part of this venue’s history that many enthusiasts and racers still remember today. Re-watching the 2012 videos from this venue recap just how awesome this course is. The 2011 video below also shows some of the highlights of this track.
Sam Hill – World Championship Run 2008 Freecaster Replay
To no surprise, GT’s Rachel Atherton is looking comfortable on course already. She excells on these technical tracks and is already on a high from last weekend’s win in Ft. William.
Rachel Atherton is all smiles here
Richie Rude is still a Junior but is racing in the Pro Class given his results from last year. He’s one to keep an eye on as even qualifying in the Elite Men is no small feat these days.
Richie Rude doing his thing
If there’s a course that Danny Hart can do on, this one is almost the perfect one. He’ll be one to watch again this weekend.
Danny Hart is on a mission
Aaron Gwin had a lot of success here in 2012. Can he repeat his results? His Ft. William results should have him hungry to do well on this track that he did so well on last year. Given the way the competition has stepped up this year, it won’t be a small task for Gwin.
Marc Beaumont has had a win on this track as well before that many people seem to forget. So don’t forget this year in case he wins again!
Troy Brosnan excells on tracks like this. Another one to add to the watch list
Bike setup is key on this course and Troy Brosnan talks a little bit about his setup in the video below.
Testing is something that many companies take seriously and there is no better place than a World Cup to test some products. Add in the awesomeness of Val Di Sole and you have an even more compelling reason to test. Prototype testing a shock with Ohlins/CaneCreek (as seen below) appears to be onboard Mitch Ropelato’s bike.
Testing suspension is key for progressing
Stay tuned throughout the weekend for more coverage from Val Di Sole. Special thanks to Daniel Klose for the pictures you’re seeing here!