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Ida Jansson’s Top 3 bike destinations

Ida Jansson is Sweden’s next rising star of MTB XCO, taking on some of the most challenging tracks at the highest level of racing, and scoring several impressive World Cup results along the way. Her competitive lifestyle takes her to some of the dreamiest spots out there and shows her some of the best trails the world has to offer. These are her Top 3 bike destinations.

Livigno, Italia

Located at 1900 m.a.s.l. in a beautiful corner of the Italian Alps, Livigno is a true bikers paradise for all abilities and disciplines. It’s a place where you can take the road bike out for a spin in the morning, shred amazing singletrack on your mountain bike in the afternoon and enjoy breathtaking views at the same time. The picturesque town of Livigno is busy with boutiques, cafés and restaurants, and with a nearby airport it makes for the perfect getaway bike destination.

“I just love everything that Livigno has to offer and the riding is absolutely amazing! It’s such a vibrant place with a mix of people doing all kinds of sports, creating a fun and inspiring environment for training. Also, I have a weak spot for Italian food, nature and culture.”

When to go: June – August.

Ida’s riding tips: Livigno has a huge trail network with Downhill and Enduro tracks for all abilities, as well as a big lift system to get you out and about. Purchase a lift pass and go explore all the different trails in the area regardless of what kind of bike or skill set you have – there is something for everyone. If road riding is more your thing, you should ride up the famous mountain pass “Pass di Stelvio”, a classic stage in the Giro Di Italia, located close by.

Ida’s travel tips: Go visit the café “Latteria di Livigno” that has some of the best coffee and gelato in Europe. They also produce all of their own ice cream, yoghurt, cheese and other dairy products in-house, which are then sold in the local food stores.

Stellenbosch, South Africa

An out-of-the-ordinary bike experience in the Western Cape province of South Africa, Stellenbosch delivers amazing mountain biking as well as a buzzing atmosphere thanks to the centrally located university, surrounding wine yards and pulsating city life. With temperature as high as 40 degrees in January and February, it is the perfect escape from Swedish winter.

When to go: Winter.

Ida’s riding tips: Stellenbosch is surrounded by several different nature reserves with amazing bike trails. You pay a small entry fee and can then enjoy their fun, flowy trails built specifically for mountain bikers all day long. “Jonkerhoek” nature reserve is a must if you go, as well as the popular trail called “G-Spot Trail”.

Ida’s travel tips: Stellenbosch is an amazing place for mountain biking, but I would not recommend going there for road riding, as there are no cycle lanes or roadsides wide or safe enough for training.

Sölden, Austria.

The alluring Alps, the peaceful town centre and the friendly locals puts Sölden up there as a top destination for both mountain bikers and road bikers. The popular ski resort is open during summer and has a bike park full of fun, challenging trails to explore. For roadies, the surrounding mountain passes also have some great climbs to tick off. As a bonus, compared to Swedish fells where temperatures remain fairly cool, the Alps get really nice and hot in summer, adding an extra touch of holiday-feel to the destination.

When to go: From April till the end of September, with summer temperatures peaking in June and July.

Ida’s riding tips: Sölden has a ton of trails that you can both pedal and take the lifts to, as well as some long, beautiful road rides. The perfect place if you like riding in hilly, alpine landscapes.

Ida’s travel tips: Riding or taking the lift up to the glacier and eating “Kaiserschmarrn” – an Austrian thick pancake served with icing sugar and apple jam - is a must. Another fun activity for rest days is the adventure park “Area 47” located just outside of Sölden. It has everything from diving towers and climbing to kayaking and canoeing.