“We wish to leave no stone untouched”
These the words of Hubert Pallhuber, the head coach of the Italian national team and himself a world XCO champion in 1997.
“We are here to carry out detailed preparations to best face the many different sections of the race. In this way we hope that all will turn out well on the day of the race itself and we need to bear in mind that the team will only arrive in Val Gardena shortly before the race.” Not all of the team members know the route well and therefore it is essential that they get to grips with those parts of the route which will be fundamental in securing a good performance.”
The Italian Federation, FCI, has called up a few select mountian bikers for the intensive training camp in Val Gardena:
– Johnny Cattaneo (Team Selle San Marco-Trek)
– Damiano Ferraro (Team Selle San Marco-Trek)
– Elena Gaddoni (Scapin Soudal Pro Racing Team)
– Tony Longo (Bianchi I.Idro Drain)
– Daniele Mensi (Scapin Soudal Pro Racing Team)
– Samuele Porro (Silmax X-Bionic Racing Team)
– Luca Ronchi (Repartosport-Leecougan)
– Daniela Veronesi (Torpado Factory Team)
Although Johnny Cattaneo will be missing due to illness.
The Italian stars are out every day on the World Championship route from 7.30 in the morning to 4.00 pm. These days together are also useful to establish arrangements between the athletes, coaches and mechanics, for feedzones and pre-race preparations.
By working hand in hand with the athletes the mechanics have realised that to tackle the steep climbs of the HERO,a 28 tooth rather than 30 tooth front chain ring is better. The greater the number of teeth the more complicated it will be for the athletes to overcome the super challenging ascents which are a prominent feature of the Sella Dolomites. “This said, we are naturally looking at the best way to adapt all to the particular characteristics of the individual biker” added the coach.
Some of the riders have just returned from a high altitude training session in Livigno and for this reason are staying in accommodation up at 2,000 metres and not with the rest of the group at Selva di Val Gardena.
The main features of the HERO are the length of the route and the climbing. It is these features that the national team’s marathon specialists are focusing on in their preparation, knowing that little time is left before the home crowd will be cheering them on on 27 June. The mens race is 87 km long with 4,700 metres of climbing and the women’s race is 60 km with 3,400 metres of ascent.
Next week Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesjå, the Norwegian Olympic Champion and five times Marathon Word Champion, will be training in Val Gardena.