Although the beauty of nature contributes a lot to the fascination of mountain biking, man-made optimizations or purpose-built trails simply raise the fun level. No surprise, bikeparks are booming and new purpose built trails are created by local bike communities. So, I have visited some of the most renowned fun spots this year to get a taste: Bikepark Winterberg, Bike Republic Sölden and Finale Ligure.
Winterberg and Sölden are skiing resorts that utilize their ski lifts and cable cars in the summer months for mountain biking. Flowy lines on hard packed dirt are carved into the hill featuring berms, wall rides, jumps, drops and all other kinds of fun elements.
The trails in Finale Ligure are nestled into nature and built or optimized without usage of heavy machinery. To get to the top you book a shuttle or you pedal up to access the epic descents through the coastal mountain landscape.
The verdict: I had a blast in Winterberg and Sölden and almost got addicted to the signature runs like the Teäre Line. However, for a whole week I definitely prefer Finale Ligure. Not only because of its mediterranean flair, but also because of the spectacular natural setting, e.g. on the Cro Magnon Trail. Sort of natural fun. I can feel it still…
October is the perfect season to visit Finale Ligure. The temperatures of air and seawater are still decent and about the same level and the trails are usually in good shape. The EWS final in early October probably contributes to a certain degree to the great trail conditions. Anyway, my 6th trip to Finale was marvelous again. This time the crew was a bit more downhill oriented, so the vertical meters downhill were multiple times the uphill meters and we enjoyed most of Finale’s brillant signature trails: Rollercoaster, Sentiero H, Madre Natura, Crestino, Little Champery, Oribago and the Downhills to Varigotti. Finale simply is the MTB-mecca in Europe.
Just two weeks after the Enduro World Series came to Finale Ligure to stage the final round of the season we continued our series of trips to Finale. This splendid, complete package that Finale has to offer is simply hard to beat: besides the unique Trail network with its flowy, roller-coaster-like trails there are nice beaches, cool cafes, good restaurants, plenty of shops, historic buildings, organic olive oil plantations, fantastic ice cream and much more to excite the whole family.
The local committee to maintain and develop the trails has done an outstanding job over the last years and has shaped or reshaped numerous purpose built trails. There are plenty of alternatives when you start your descent at the NATO-base or from Melogno.
The Kill Bill lines down to Calice Ligure are a thrilling alternative to the Caprazoppa Trails to finalize a tour from Melogno to Finale. Kill Bill is a sort of climax to the Roller Coaster Trail from Melogno as it is even steeper and tighter.
The Supergroppo Trail starts from the old NATO-Base but is longer than the other runs and includes as well some uphill parts. It was built in 2014 and served as an epic stage in the Enduro World Series race. Altogether 11 km of beautifully flowing singletrack trail that ends in Orco Feglino.
I have the strong feeling that this wasn’t my trip to Finale Ligure…
Finale Ligure (Italy) is probably my favourite mountain biking mecca in Europe and fall is just the perfect season to be there. The temperature is still warm but not as hot as in summer. And as well the water temperature at the beach is still decent for a refreshing swim after a long ride. The combination of awesome singletrack trails, scenic landscape, culture and beach is unique.
After hitting several of the best MTB-trails in the world this summer, Finale Ligure seemed to be the adequate spot for my season finale.
The trails from Melogno, Pian dei Corsi and Terre Rosse are rollercoaster-like. In fact, at least 2 trails in Finale are even called rollercoaster. Pedaling up all the way to the old NATO-base to access the fantastic downhill runs to Orco Feglino and then up again to descend to Final Borgo is an epic ride of 46 km and 1750 meters of elevation gain. So, I was happy to enjoy some shuttle rides in addition to the epic loop. Thanks, Hendrik and Isa, for the lift and the company!