The European summer is in full swing, and the UCI World Cup season resumes in Italy this weekend. The good weather also brings a wave of marathon races across Europe, with the prestigious Dolomiti Super Bike kicking off in two days’ time. Ariane Lüthi and Alan Hatherly both line up this Sunday, hoping to put their hard work over the past month into practice.
While Team Spur is set up in the Dolomite region of Italy, we face very different races for each athlete when the tape is dropped at their respective start lines.
Ariane is in the heart of the Dolomites for the Dolomiti Super Bike Challenge on Sunday, and essentially on her own battling the tough terrain and keeping her competitors in check. Our Swiss superstar has a few big training rides at altitude under her belt and is excited about the monstrous 119km journey, with over 3300m of vertical climbing. Whatever the outcome, it will be a solid building block towards the UCI Marathon World Championships, which are being hosted in the region in September. Ariane is up early on Sunday at 07:30 for her race.
Alan will be lining up for the fourth round of the UCI U23 World Cup series in Val di Sole and will have Team Spur support trackside for every grueling lap, to hand over bottles, shout timing splits and deal with any mechanical emergencies. The Italian track suits the young champion, with sharp climbs and fun descents. Alan is enjoying the addition of a new jump line to the otherwise familiar track. Despite being in the “Valley of the Sun”, the weather hasn’t played along, with intermittent cloud cover and afternoon thunderstorms throughout this week. We are hoping the track holds up for a dry run when the world’s fastest U23 mountain bikers battle it out at 10:15 on Sunday morning. Keep an eye on twitter for our updates.
Since it’s Friday, check out this stunning video edit posted recently by the organisers of the Raid Evolenard, which Ariane Lüthi won on 10 June.
You may have to brush up on your French, but it is a brilliant insight into the terrain riders cover in a typical Swiss Alpine marathon event – it’s no wonder the Swiss produce such powerful mountain bikers. We hope it gets you inspired to ride your bike this weekend, if not book a ticket to Europe!
Source: Team Spur
Image: Michal Cerveny