The team flew out to Italy on Tuesday morning for round 2 of the UCI DH WC. While having a day to chill and get the bikes prepped on Wednesday it was time to register and walk the course come Thursday. The track as usual in Val Di Sole was mental! Steep, deep dust and possibly the roughest course on the circuit, with a few new sections included for this year! The team were excited to get practicing.
Friday practice would be Dan’s first time back on the bike since his injury; he severely tore the ligaments in his ankle 5 weeks previously at a Red Bull training camp in the UK. Defiantly not the easiest track to come back on and try get up to speed within a day!
Practice went well with all riders gradually getting their speed up on the ever changing course. Due to the deep dust we swapped between the Schwalbe ‘Muddy Mary’ tyre and the ‘Dirty Dan’ full spike. In the end we all stuck with the trusted Muddy Mary! Dan was riding with 1 flat & 1 clip pedal as he still couldn’t ride properly on clips with his ankle, not the ideal setup but he made do none the less.
Come qualifying on Saturday afternoon everyone was confident for a good result. Greg was looking forward to improving on his great result last year where he finished in 34th. Unfortunately due to various problems all 3 riders were just outside the top 80 cut off mark so didn’t make it into Sunday’s final. With a super competitive field many professional riders didn’t make it in either. An unfortunate finish to the week but we all took positives and it was an impressive come back for Dan.
Next up is Fort William for the 3rd round of the WC, a track that all the riders enjoy and have put in some impressive results there in the past.
Thanks to the team sponsors for the continued support: Nukeproof, Schwalbe, Nema, Eight.ie & Phunkt photography for supplying the amazing photos.