Val di Sole becomes Italy’s XC MTB training center for World Championships and Olympics
The journey of the Italian National Teams in preparation for the 2023 Mountain Bike World Championships and the 2024 Paris Olympic Games has started in Val di Sole and Val di Peio. From May 18th to 21st, the first training camp for Juniors took place in Val di Peio, under the guidance of National Team Coach Mirko Celestino
Val di Sole and Val di Peio have been chosen by the Italian Cycling Federation as training center for the National Cross Country MTB Team in preparation for the 2023 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships and the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
There is a natural connection between the Italian capital of Mountain Biking and the Italian Cross Country national team: Val di Sole has established as the absolute benchmark for top-notch MTB competitions in Italy over the years, becoming a regular venue for the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, to take place in 2023 from June 29th to July 2nd in Daolasa di Commezzadura, and having hosted no less than three UCI MTB World Championships in 15 years, with a fourth one coming up in 2026.
Under the guidance of Team Coach Mirko Celestino, the Italian Cross Country athletes of different categories will travel to Val di Sole and Val di Peio for several training stints, benefiting from high-altitude training in the weeks leading up to the UCI World Championships in Glasgow. The Italian National Team will seize the varied offer of MTB trails of Val di Sole and Val di Peio, as well as the tailor-made hospitality for athletes and active lifestyle enthusiasts, with the collaboration with the Terme di Pejo (Pejo Thermal Baths) to provide a significant added value. With its top-quality treatments and dedicated facilities for athletes, Terme di Pejo has developed into an absolute excellence for sports-focused treatments in recent years.
Peio was also the location of the first training camp under the new agreement, involving twelve junior athletes, both male and female, from May 18th to 21st. The following training camps are to take place from July 9th to 31st (Women and Men Elite), and from July 23rd to August 8th, with Juniors and Under 23 categories.
“For our national teams, we always aim for the best”, commented Cordiano Dagnoni, the President of the Italian Cycling Federation. “That’s why we are pleased with the agreement with Val di Sole and Val di Peio for the preparation of the upcoming Olympics. The dedication of these places to cycling is very clear to see in their top facilities and technical trails. The Trentino region, with its ability to collaborate at the local level, reaffirms its position as the home of cycling; we are bound to those places by a deep and sincere friendship.”
“This land has everything in place to be the ideal training center for the upcoming UCI World Championships and the Paris 2024 Olympics”, said Mirko Celestino, the Italian Cross Country MTB National Team Coach. “During the first training stage, we have had the opportunity to explore some of local tours and trails in Val di Sole and Val di Peio and discover the facilities and hospitality of the Terme di Pejo: all of that has exceeded our expectations. This venue is a real heaven for offroad activities, from every point of view.”
During the first training stage in Val di Sole and Val di Peio, the Junior athletes focused on technique, which is increasingly important in modern Cross Country, also riding the trails of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup venue in Daolasa di Commezzadura.
“We are delighted that Coach Celestino’s athletes have found the ideal environment in Val di Sole and Val di Peio to nurture their Rainbow and Olympic dreams”, commented Fabio Sacco, Director of Val di Sole Tourism Board. “Our valley, the only Italian destination to be recognized as UCI Bike Region, has everything to welcome the athletes who will represent our Country in upcoming international events in the best possible way. We are honored to embark on a shared path with the Italian Cycling Federation and to be part of a great project towards the Paris 2024 Olympics”.
Satisfaction was also expressed by Gianpietro Martinolli, the Councilor for Tourism and Sports of the Peio Municipality: “We are honored to have been chosen by the Italian Cycling Federation as training center for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. We are delighted to provide the national team with a territory dedicated to sports, which hosts international events every year while offering top-class bike courses and services all year long. The quality of our cycling and outdoor infrastructure was decisive for the Italian Cycling Federation, from the trail network to the Terme di Pejo, whose attention and focused services for sports and active people have now been well recognized for years.”