What could be better than a holiday to Finale Ligure, Italy? A holiday that includes an entry to the iconic Bluegrass Trophy of Nations race, complete with full pro tech support courtesy of Vittoria Tyres!
We caught up with the lucky winners from Vittoria’s competition to see how they found racing with a pro set up behind them on Europe’s most iconic trails.
Twenty-seven-year-old Ares from Spain only started racing enduro in 2021, but by 2022 was taking part in international competitions and scored an impressive three podiums that year.
She said of her race experience with Vittoria in Finale: “I liked it very much! Because there are all types of trails in Finale, you can ride flow or very technical trails; trails with black loam in the middle of the mountain or trails near the sea on the same day.
“My favourite part of the Vittoria Experience was living a race like a professional team. As a racer, I only had to worry about racing because everything else was organised and planned for me.”
Ysaline Van Kampen
Swiss racer Ysaline Van Kampen hails from Champery, Switzerland and has been racing for six years. With a background in alpine ski racing, 24-year-old Van Kampen, said she was blown away by the trails in Finale.
“The trails chosen for the race were so much fun. Very long stages like I have never done before. And my favourite of all, DH men, more known as “DH Uomini”, was crazy with all these rocks.
“The best part of the weekend was the race itself. Starting on the stage with the encouragement from the Vittoria team and with the boys was something special. All day long, we remained a big team of six riders, just enjoying every minute of this race. And at the end of the race, finding out that we were second on the Team Rider Trophy and I was second on the Solo Rider Trophy, it was just the cherry on the cake!
“What Vittoria brought to us was the support, but not only the material support, it was the surrounding and cheering support that was so good to have!”
Forty-year-old Vera Ramon hails from Italy and made the switch from racing cross-country to enduro as it required less time to train. Ramon found the Trophy of Nation race very physical, but said having the Vittoria team behind her made all the difference.
“The race was hard for me because I’m not very trained in pedalling, so I suffered on the
uphills and also on the length of the downhills. But I had a lot of fun and loved the experience. The best moment of the race for me is always during the descent, because it puts me to the test and I feel really free to do anything.
“The Vittoria team is fantastic, they accompanied us in everything, it was fantastic to get to the end of the trails and have all kinds of support, from breakfast to after dinner.
“The best part was undoubtedly being able to race this race with the Vittoria Team jersey, but also having met some excellent teammates to see again in their area, and the professionals of Vittoria Team, especially the expert mechanics.”
Gabriele Wolf is no stranger to racing, having raced in the Italian domestic Superenduro series, as well as some EWS events. The 28-year-old from Italy said having the support of a pro team behind her made a big difference to her race.
“The best part of the race was racing with a pro set up, it really helped me to focus only on riding and having fun, with the support of the new tyres for the weekend and the mechanics who were ready for any problem. The time with Vittoria was a good one - it was really like being in a small family with the same goals, who were believing in you and pushing you to have a great race.”
Italian racer Daniele Bartalucci is another experienced racer, and the 32-year-old says they love to ride in Finale.
“I consider the trails of the Finale area magical. Finale Ligure is a wonderful place and, even though I don’t live near it, I always come here when I can.
“This year’s race was something incredible - nice but really very, very demanding. In the race, the favourite moment was probably on Men’s DH. I arrived in the last part of the stage to people who encourage you and that’s something beautiful. It helps you not to think about how tired you are at that moment - I was really so gassed!”
“Having competed with Vittoria’s support was truly something indescribable. One of those things that I won’t forget because they made me feel like a pro in a race like the Trofeo della Nazione in Finale Ligure. I honestly don’t know the best thing about the Vittoria experience - there are many. From the really super team, to dinners all together, to laughter, I would not know what to choose, the whole experience was something magnificent.”