It seems like it’s hard to go wrong with just about anything Italian…food, fashion, food, coffee, and the food…I remember going to Parma back in the day for a snowboard event…we drove down from Switzerland for the night…ended up blowing off the event and eating our weight in prosciutto and parmesan…love that. Oh yeah, and that little bike race over there this time of year, that doesn’t suck, right?
So when MAAP came to me with the idea that we’d shoot the new W16 collection somewhere outside of Milan…uuuhhhh, no brainer, "I’m IN!" was the short answer. We all knew that this would be a game changer for the image possibilities.
Although the original recce put us in Lecco, we decided to go big and head up the valley to the bigger mountains. Nestled down in Bormio for a week, we were literally surrounded by Giro climbs in every direction (and just so happens that Bormio was the first town that I shot snowboarding in Europe while I was there in 1993 for my first international trip for TWS Mag).
Three riders, five days, a thermal spa, and a closed (to cars due to snow) Stelvio pass out the door? And with a house full of the dopest MAAP Winter kit littering the chalet, all we needed to do was ride.
And then it snowed. A lot. We literally woke on day 2 to a powder day. Did I mention that this is where I first shot snowboarding in Italy? Felt like that all over again. Kitted up and ready to roll, Luke (Luke Parker, rider for State of Matter MAAP Racing) and Leo (Leonardo Moggio, Italian Pro on Cipollini Iseo Serrature Rime ASD) decided that local climb Bormio 2000 was a perfect starting point….wet roads to snow covered to sleet and ice...I was feeling the warmth from the back of the car as I watched the boys climb effortlessly in the morning light. By noon, the sun was out and the roads started to dry…and then we found the Mortirolo. Dude, that climb tho! Insane. Pantani memorial? Check.
The entire week went kinda like that…mid morning rolls to routes that either Luke had trained on or just classics like the Gavia, the Stelvio (which I road on a borrowed bike, with a 20kg camera bag, and a down jacket) and the Mortirolo again. We explored an epic climb up to Lago di Cancano and entered Switzerland twice..once through Livigno and then again over the Bernina Pass.
All said and done I think I clicked off over 20K images, ate some amazing Ravioli, averaged 5 doppio espressos a day, and wished that the week wouldn’t end. La Dolce Vita…no joke in that. I”m going back.