Sophie Riva is a young and talented athlete from Valle d'Aosta racing for the Ancillotti Team who, with commitment and perseverance, in recent years has achieved very important results in enduro, but also with the Italian DH Team. Last year, racing the Bluegrass EWS Finale presented by Vittoria, she won the title of Enduro World Series Champion in the Under 21 category.
Sophie trains a lot on her home trails, but she loves Finale very much and when she can, she makes an escape to ride on Finale Outdoor Region's trails.
Hi Sophie, nice to see you again in Finale! Are you here in training with your Team?
Hi there! This time I came here alone, my grandparents have a house in Finale and since I was a little girl I spend my summer holidays here, at Bagni Nautico. Now it's a bit cold at home and I only go skiing, so I came here for a few weeks to train in the sun!
Last year's Finale race was very important for you...
Yes, it was! Here in Finale last year I secured the Under-21 title in the Enduro World Series, so yes, I am very fond of Finale!
Photo Credits: Nicola Damonte
You are the first Italian woman to have won an EWS title (apart from Louise Paulin, who we consider to be Italian, even though she says she is Swedish!). A big responsibility. How are you preparing for the new season?
It will be a bit hard this year because I also have to study a lot, but I am training. When I was at home in Valle d'Aosta I used to do a lot of ski mountaineering, otherwise I train indoor and in the gym. Now luckily I'm here so I can use my bike a lot. On the calendar this year there are almost all the EWS rounds , we'll see which ones I won't be able to do according to the dates of my exams.
Will you still ride in the Under-21 or elite category this year?
For this year I have decided that I will still ride in the Under-21 category. I had a bit the idea to try and apply for elite status, but with my exams it's better to wait for this year.
So you will be defending your title and aiming to get into the Italian Team for the Trophy of Nations in Finale?
Yes, I would love to do it! To find two other Under 21 girls to make a team, or maybe just to be selected to represent Italy!
What is your favourite trail in the area?
There are too many that I like! These days I'm riding a lot on Madonna della Guardia. It has been mantained and I must say I like it really a lot!
Definitely a good training. Or are there other trails that are more suitable from a training point of view in your opinion?
As far as technique is concerned, other trails that I like a lot and that are very good for training are the ones in San Bernardino. Those are tough! If you can ride those well it means in my opinion that you really know how to ride a bike!
That's true! Have you heard about FOR YOU CARD? What do you think about the project?
Yes, I discovered it at the EWS in Finale last year because it was given as a gift to all the athletes in the race. I think it's a great initiative because trailbuilding has always been a bit of a voluntary activity, but it's good to have some money for the care of the trail network. Not everyone who goes out there thinks about the maintenance behind a trail. Just the leaves can be a problem, then if there are a thousand passages a day, it's obvious that the trail suffers a lot. In Finale there are a lot of trails, the area is huge and in my opinion this is super fair. If we all want to go out and have fun with our bikes on beautiful trails, it's important to use the card.
Thank you Sophie! We wish you the best for the season and look forward to seeing you in Finale Ligure!
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