Competitions

Martina Berta aiming for another big result in Val di Sole

251


The Italian National Champion is ready for the home event of the WHOOP UCI Mountain Bike World Series, taking place in Daolasa di Commezzadura (Trentino, 14-16 June) six weeks before the Paris Olympic race. "Val di Sole has been a turning point in my career. The favorite for this year is Pauline Ferrand-Prèvot"

In the sporting parable of every athlete, there are days that indelibly mark the future. For Martina Berta this day was July 2, 2023, when she finished second, behind Dutchwoman Puck Pieterse and in front of her home crowd, in the final day of UCI Mountain Bike World Series cross-country race in Val di Sole, her career-high in the series.

Almost a year after that unforgettable day, Berta will be back at the Daolasa di Commezzadura racing field in Trentino, in Northern Italy, to take part in both the short track race (on Friday, June 14) and the cross-country race scheduled for Sunday, June 16.

Martina Berta made a recon on the Olympic track a few days ago, finding it to be quite different from the Val di Sole track, but she also found one relevant common point.

“Val di Sole and Paris are two different tracks. The Olympic track is an artificial ring, suitable for strong powerful riders, whilst Val di Sole is a typical technical and natural track historically rewarding all-round riders able to handle different sections requiring various interpretations. But I must admit the Four Cross-passage within Val di Sole track – always bringing a lot of fun – reminded me of some of Paris passages. To be honest until last year I didn't think Val di Sole was suited for for me, but now after finishing second, I changed my mind about it”.

"Val di Sole has a very demanding XC course, it doesn’t leave you any room to breathe. Both climbing and descending skills are very important, and after the effort on the climb you really need to find a way to follow the best trajectories to save energy for the following sectors. Making a difference in the descents is very difficult in Val di Sole: there you need to balance the need to go fast while also keeping a margin of safety. Last year I managed to do this all”.

Second place in Val di Sole made Martina Berta very aware of her abilities. "It was the turning point in my career. Of course I was in good physical shape, but it was the mental aspect that made the difference at such a high level".

Berta's UCI Mountain Bike World Series season started with little strides, but in Nove Mesto, in Czech Republic, the Santa Cruz Rockshox’s rider sent out some signals of her improving shape. "Pauline Ferrand-Prèvot is the favourite for the Val di Sole race, together with Puck Pieterse; and Alessandra Keller has also been impressive lately. Pauline, Puck, and Alessandra are the athletes to beat in Val di Sole".