ROOTS (and Rocks) OF ALL EVIL - Val di Sole World Cup DH Track Walk

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Val di Sole, Italy. To the downhill mountain bike race fan, the words conjure up images of steep, dusty, bike-and-body-destroying World Cup racing. And in 2018, those mental pictures will continue, just without the dust we've grown accustomed to over the last few years. Oh and some of the trees and gaps are gone, too. The track designer and long-time maintainer, Pipo, is no longer at the helm of course preparation. There has been some work done on the mountainside (for reasons we do not know at this time) which removed some of the giant, shade-providing trees. The new exposure to the trail has left most of the dust and loam vacant from the trail leaving behind a maze of slippery roots and massive boulders. The course is more brutal than ever, and as Aaron Gwin noted, it's as rough as the day after racing last year. Ironically and sadly, one of the best natural features has been tamed down. The infamous boom-boom-huck-gap (copyright, Sven Martin), is now a groomed, bike-park feature. As grumpy, old DH fans, I guess we loathe change. But we're willing to accept those change if it makes the racing better. Time will tell and we're certainly glad we don't have to stick our knobs in the start gate to attack that piece of insanity know as the Black Snake this weekend! -gordo

‚ÄčSven Martin, @maddogboris, Dan Hearn and Lee Trumpore deliver the goods.

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