UCI MTB World Cup #6

26 – 27th Aug 2017

Val di Sole

Italy

 

FINALE

The sensational and last major international competition finale went down in Val di Sole, Italy also know as The Valley of sun for downhill and cross country riders.The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Finals 2017 runs over a great 2 days, where the best riders challengers each other on this technical track. This is one of the most demanding tracks in the world. With many slopes and whines in to a fast flow section with banks, a thrilling road gap and several jumps with a counter slope landing. It then leads in to the woods where all the fun begins. Roots, rocks and higher slopes you name it. The XCO track in Val di Sole has adrenaline written all over it

Isla started was 1st up in the U23 Woman’s race. Feeling strong and relaxed  with two top ten finishes this season. Hitting the 5th place and maintaining good pace we knew we are in for good results. Kate Courtney led into lap one, followed by Sina Frei, Evie Richards, Martina Berta and then Isla. After a few desents Isla battled for 4th place. By the fifth and final lap, Isla was looking very comfortable in 4th. Near to the finish line she high fived the crowd with a big smile.

READY

On the Thursday the team went practicing in the scoring heat. They made sure they are ready for game day and prepared for the boiling sun in this stimulating race.

SET

On Sunday, it was a beautiful day to race on the course.  Isla started was 1st up in the U23 Woman’s race. Feeling strong and relaxed  with two top ten finishes this season. Hitting the 5th place and maintaining good pace we knew we are in for good results.

HEAT

Kate Courtney led into lap one, followed by Sina Frei, Evie Richards, Martina Berta and then Isla. After a few desents Isla battled for 4th place. By the fifth and final lap, Isla was looking very comfortable in 4th. Near to the finish line she high fived the crowd with a big smile.

Not forgetting about Annie Last in the Elite Women’s Race. We all had our fingers crossed for another World Cup Win and above overall podium win. Annie kicks off with a remarkable start by leading the pack. After the loop was completed we had Mariske in 45th and Annie in 3rd place. It was exciting to see Mariske back in action again. After the 1st lap riders needed to stay hydrated and drinks lots of fluids.

Annie last had a situation which made her lose time. She was forced to make a pit stop to fix her burped rear wheel.  Mariske was focused and had a solid start as ever. She settled into around 50th position, jostling for positions on each climb and descent. Bad luck struck again though, this time not a mechanical but a bee sting! Annie fought against the roots, up & down slopes and the heat to get back in place but it was a struggle – finishing at 24th place was not the result we were hoping for.

This race was a serious fast and the furious.  With the Dolomiti Rocks in the way Martin Gluth started the race and after the 1st lap he was 45th place. Martin is always consistent in his races. The heat didn’t make things easier but he pushed through strong and after 7 crazy laps he finished 53rd place.

The ladies now travel to Cairns, Australia, for the World Championships. Good luck ladies!

Martin was content with his battle, after some disappointing results in the previous rounds. He showed a strong performance in Val di Sole and fought each lap with regular times to keep his position in the race. Seven fast and furious laps concluded with a solid 53rd place.