The Olympic discipline of mountain biking is one that unites souls. Between challenging climbs, thrilling descents and technical sections, it never fails to produce that cocktail of emotions we associate with cross country mountain biking. The history of the MTB in Val di Sole is relatively short. The first edition took place in 2008 and was later followed by the world championships. But in the intervening time, the pros have never taken a break from battle.
The undisputed ruler of the cross country trails in Val di Sole is Nino Schurter, who has won six of the last seven editions. As the years pass and adversaries change, Nino has always remained at the forefront. The Swiss ace is the natural favorite for this year’s cross country race on Sunday, August 4th.
There’s no shortage of contenders looking to claim that throne from Nino. Beginning with those who accompanied him on the podium in 2018, we have Italian champion Gerhard Kerschbaumer. He’s closely followed by the new "golden boy" of world cycling Mathieu Van der Poel.
Among the women, eyes are firmly focused on reigning champion Maja Wloszczowska. She won the event in Val di Sole in 2010 and 2018, while she finished second and third in 2011 and 2017 respectively. Those that stand in her way are Jolanda Neff, the winner in 2017, and the current world champion Kate Courtney.
The contenders will battle it out for victory on a 4 km circuit with 190 meters of elevation gain that undulates around the Daolasa di Commezzadura bike park. From the stones and roots to the adrenaline-inducing sections that never fail to delight fans, an exciting race is assured. The addition of the "Bear Forest" in 2018, and the inclusion of technically challenging sections mean the riders will be tested in every possible way. And this year with the finishing area extended, the fans have the perfect viewpoint from which to enjoy the spectacle!
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