Val di Sole preview: Everything you need for the first XC/DH double

TFR XC and DH are taking on an iconic course with a ton to prove

MTB World Cup doubles just have a special energy to them. The venues are bigger. The crowds are louder. And the atmosphere is all the more electrically-charged. 

The Trek Factory Racing-Pirelli XC and Trek Factory Racing Downhill squads are in Val di Sole for what is literally and figuratively their biggest race of the year thus far. Both squads have plenty to prove in the midst of a season that has been filled with ups and downs, from wins and young breakout performers, to ill-timed mistakes and injuries.

Val di Sole is a beastly challenge in both disciplines. The DH course is the steepest on the World Cup circuit, with gradients touching 40 percent. It features a section literally called “The Hell” for its brutal technicality. The XC course is designed to grind riders to a pulp, with lots of root-y, rocky climbs and descents. 

The action will be non-stop from Friday through Sunday. Read on to catch up on the season so far and get all the schedule and how to watch information you need to soak up the weekend.

Evie Richards is back in action.

Old friends return for TFR XC

Gwendalyn Gibson and Evie Richards are returning to Val di Sole after missing three combined World Cups due to injuries. Gibson broke her collarbone at Round 1 in Brazil, while Richards has been recovering from a concussion since Round 2. 

They’ll join Riley Amos, Madigan Munro, and Anton Cooper. Amos and Munro have been blazing fast on the World Cup circuit, with Amos recently being named to the United States’ Olympic mountain biking squad. Cooper is a steely vet looking to get back on track in Italy. This team is ready to put on a show.

Want to know more? Here are a few recent stories to help you get caught up:

Just a taste of what riders are in for.

Gwendalyn Gibson missed two World Cup races recovering from a broken collarbone.

XC Racing schedule for Val di Sole

Friday, June 14

  • Women’s Elite short track – 5:15 p.m. local / 11:15 a.m. ET
  • Men’s Elite short track – 5:50 p.m. local / 11:50 a.m. ET
  • Women’s U23 short track – 6:40 p.m. local / 12:40 p.m. ET
  • Men’s U23 short track – 7:15 p.m. local / 1:15 p.m. ET

Sunday, June 16

  • Women’s U23 Olympic — 9 a.m. local / 3 a.m. ET
  • Women’s Elite Olympic – 11:15 a.m. local / 5:15 a.m. ET 
  • Men’s Elite Olympic – 2 p.m. local / 8 a.m. ET
  • Men’s U23 Olympic – 4 p.m. local / 10 a.m. ET

One of the most fearsome venues on the circuit.

Bodhi Kuhn can taste that top 20.

TFR DH looks to bounce back

Last weekend’s World Cup race in Leogang was a tough one for the gang. Loris Vergier and Sacha Earnest want the top step of the podium, and they are more determined than ever to take it. Earnest even smashed Val di Sole last year for her first ever World Cup win. Meanwhile, Reece Wilson will be gutting out a shoulder injury, and Bodhi Kuhn is eyeing up his first Top 20 finish in the midst of an excellent first year as an elite.

Here are some more stories to help you get up to speed:

Getting bikes battle ready.

Loris Vergier has the moves to beat anyone.

DH racing schedule for Val di Sole

Friday, June 14

  • Women’s Elite qualifications – 12 p.m. local / 6 a.m. ET
  • Men’s Elite qualifications – 12:30 p.m. local / 6:30 a.m. ET
  • Women’s Junior qualifications – 2 p.m. local / 8 a.m. ET
  • Men’s Junior qualifications – 2:15 p.m. local / 8:15 a.m. ET
  • Women’s Elite semi-finals – 3 p.m. local / 9 a.m. ET
  • Men’s Elite semi-finals – 3:30 p.m. local / 9:30 a.m. ET

Saturday, June 15

  • Women’s Junior finals – 11:30 a.m. local / 5:30 a.m. ET
  • Men’s Junior finals – 12 p.m. local / 6 a.m. ET
  • Women’s Elite finals – 1:15 p.m. local / 7:15 a.m. ET
  • Men’s Elite finals – 2 p.m. local / 8 a.m. ET

Madigan Munro looking forward to another big performance.

Sacha Earnest won Val di Sole in 2023, and wants to do it again.

How to watch

For 2024, World Cup racing will be available for streaming on Max in the United States, Flosports in Canada, Eurosport Channels and discovery+ in Europe, and Claro in Mexico, Central America, and South America.

If you don’t see your country listed, or for more information, click this link to the UCI MTB World Series website

All of this weekend’s XC racing — both U23 and Elite, short track and XCO — will be broadcasted. For DH racing, you’ll be able to watch all of Saturday’s finals. You can follow live timing for qualis and semi-finals on the UCI website

For results and a glimpse behind the scenes for both squads, be sure to follow Trek Factory Racing-Pirelli XC and Trek Factory Racing Downhill on Instagram.