Downhill on Monte Bignone

I’ve always seen the visits of famous riders to my home as “ordinary,” but when the historic Downhill event in Sanremo was organised, it engaged me to the point where I almost saw it as my own event, one that belonged to me.

Nowadays, everyone calls that trail ‘La Downhill,’ which is quite natural considering the continuous influx of riders from various nationalities who often travel for days to reach this world-famous track. Certainly, it has undergone many changes due to the erosion of time and sometimes out of necessity to adapt to the type of modern trails: faster, more rhythmic, and more technical. However, at its core, it’s still the same track that witnessed victories during the golden era of riders like Vouilloz and Barel, as well as the countless training sessions of riders like Gee Atherton, Danny Hart, Greg Minnaar, Steve Peat, and all the others that come to mind.

I’ve spent the majority of my training on that trail, and every time I ride it, despite all the efforts I put in, I feel that it’s not enough. It can’t be enough to compare myself to those riders I admired as a child, the ones who have written the history of downhill riding today. It’s like a sixth sense that’s activated, a feeling that this track has witnessed numerous training sessions and countless riders pushing their physical limits and their bikes to the edge, and I can’t resist the desire to push beyond my own capabilities.