Nate Parsons in Val-di-sole

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

The Bikeyard 4x team rider Nathan Parsons travelled to Italy for the final round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.  Here’s his round up of the event. 

The Bikeyard 4x team rider Nathan Parsons travelled to Italy for the final round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.  Here’s his round up of the event.

After a busy season of racing it was finally time for the World Cup finals so I packed my bags – destination Italy.   Val-di-sole in the Dolomites mountain range was my home for the next week. After driving from the airport I arrived Wednesday afternoon ready to sign on and walk the 4x track. From what I could see the track was the same as last years layout with the only changes being made was that the track had been resurfaced.  It was to be a big talking point as it looked like a hardcore surface which would usually be used as a sub base on BMX track which was very stony looking and loose.

Thursday came quickly and was soon time to get my bike built up and get my kit ready for the first session of practice. Lets just say first practice was a shock with the temperature reaching 32 degrees everyone was making use of the uplift service.  From the first run down I loved the track despite never riding on such a loose surface anywhere ever before it felt  good and got plenty of full  runs in after hitting the pro line which was really causing some problems for riders due to the surface being  deep in places  and also very flat takeoff’s. 

Friday came and although there were a few black clouds and a few crackles of thunder it was to be another scorcher for practice and qualifying. I was feeling good in practice despite the conditions of the track being tough with it being hard to really find any kind of grip on the loose surface but it was the same for everyone. On the good side there was a racing line appearing which gave a lot more grip around most of the corners and through the pro line. After a very cautious qualifying run I ended up finishing in 42nd after also getting a flat tyre in the rock garden. 

Saturday turned out to be the hottest day so far and due to the cross-country was running late it meant there was no uplift for most of practice, which meant walking up so made sure to keep the fluids up. Practice time went very quick and I was feeling happy with my lines that I had been practicing with all the other Brits the evening before. First race I had 3rd gate pick which left me with a lot to do as Milan Pesko and Felix Beckeman were inside me and both had good gates. The Gate dropped and we all came into the first corner and I went high and cut on the inside and came out in 2nd and manage to hold Pesko off to the finish to go through to the next round. Next I had Guido Tschugg , Beckeman and  Pascal Seycoux and I was in  lane 4. My Gate was not great and went for the same move again but couldn’t make a place and ended up trying a few moves but couldn’t make anything stick which meant I was out but happy with my riding. Definitely my most enjoyable World cup of the season with some of the greatest racing I’ve ever seen. Thomas Slavik took a well deserved win, what a incredible final.

Thanks to everyone that has helped me and made  this season happen, bring on 2012!


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