Gallery: Cyclocross meets ski resorts in stunning Val di Sole World Cup debut

World Cup cyclocross took a spectacular twist in the mountain town of Vermiglio.

The cyclocross World Cup broke new ground with a debut trip to the snowy mountains of Val di Sole on Sunday.

The Italian resort regularly used for mountain bike and ski racing brought all the spectacular scenery and hard-packed snow organizers had been hoping for as the UCI pushes for ‘cross to become a part of the Winter Olympics.

Fem van Empel and Wout van Aert slipped and skidded to victory in two races that became a series of individual time trials as riders battled the unprecedented conditions.

Ever-changing lines in constantly reshaping snow and difficult low light meant that running, hanging feet and dancing front wheels were a constant. One second of inattention led to a frostbitten fall, and while some riders took slo-mo slides into race barriers, others went ankles over bars in more spectacular get-downs.

Van Aert, van Empel, and Maghalie Rochette all showed their stoke for the snow in post-race interviews.

“This has proved you can do cyclocross wherever you want,” van Aert said after his third dominant victory in three races. “You can do it in a park in one of the biggest cities in the world, or you can do it in the mountains like today. I think we proved a lot today and I’m glad I could be a part of it.”

Here’s hoping Olympic chiefs were listening in.

This is how it looked: