A gentle spin down the valley to our uplift for the day- a heli!
Bikes going up
Riders dropped above the clouds
A bit of hiking and a bit of biking to get us even higher to our first stage of the day.
Top of stage one, singletrack twisting out of sight, leading into as fast as you dare chundery access road before dipping into more singletrack, flat out!
A traverse along the valley took us to stage 2, fun woodsy singletrack and some sneaky switchbacks photo Ross Bell. We continued our way down to the valley floor stopping at Chiuro for lunch then hopping on a shuttle to the Aprica pass, up a ski lift for the final stage of the day. One of my favourites of the week. Rooty goodness!
Day 6: Aprica
Up the ski lift again to the first stage of the day, switchbacks, loam and moss putting a smile on our faces!
A repeat of the final stage of yesterday to finish the day and the week. Trying to stay focused after a big week in the saddle. photo Ross Bell
A couple of Fuji podiums rewarding some very deep efforts. Another great training camp- I lost count of the number of sprints we did above 2000m! Exploration of a new area with stunning vistas, top Italian hospitality and riding with new and old friends made for memorable week.
Sitting between legends T-mo and Natalie Schneitter Photo Ross Bell
Day 3 to Switzerland via Livigno
A shuttle to Foscola pass at 2400m dropped us straight into the first special stage. Peddle to the metal for about 7minutes with minimal descent was a tough start to the day! Trying to keep the flow and dodge cowpats the priority. Photo Ross Bell
Ed not so sure about that one as a race stage!
A beautiful transfer down to Lake Livigno then up the bike park lift to traverse along the valley to our next stage. Trying to avoid at least some of the rocks on stage 2, a fun flowing track, photo Ross Bell
It's all ok again after a 20minute stage through Swiss woodland to finish by a lakeside with some gelato!
Re fuel at 4star swiss hotel. James Shirley and I in our natural habitat - the dessert buffet!
Day 4 Back to Italy; a beautiful start before the going gets tough! A day of Alpine passes.
Straight out of the hotel and all aboard the Bernina Express train
On our way through the clouds
Just when you thought the views couldn't get any better, pin sharp lake reflections.
Descending from the top of the Bernina pass was stunning. Then a big climb to get to our lunch over the Viola Pass
The time pressure was on as the group had been told if we didn't make the cut off the final stage would be cancelled and we'd have to descend down the road! So with a quick bite to eat we pressed on.
A little route finding after missing a turn off. Ed and Tracy on map duty. A tasty little descent before another epic climb to the Verva pass.
Phew we made the cut off, but feeling broken! However it wasn't just us, when a current XC world cup rider and several World champs are also struggling, maybe the day has just been set at the hard end. Unbelievably we had one more climb to go before the final stage to the finish. Over 2000m of climbing all up, one tough day! photo ross bell.