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  1. #1
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    2013 World Cup Thread

    That was a pretty wild start to the World Cup season in Germany.

    The elite women's race had quite a different mix of front runners. Marianne Vos making a very credible 11th place showing for a 57th place start. Emily Batty was the top North American rider in 6th even after stopping for a wobbly front wheel change.

    The elite men's race was wilder in the rain. Absalon was doing well with over a 1 minute lead until his rear derailleur wound up wrapped into his wheel and then something broke off completely after he carried his BMC off track and threw it on the trail in disgust. Not sure why he kept carrying it out along the trail after leaving the course immediately and short cutting the course. Max Plaxton finished in an impressive 7th and Kabush in 15th, the top two North American riders. Surprise winner was Australian McConnell in a very strong sprint at the line.

    Replays were up, but the women's race doesn't have content until about the 1:16 point in the race

    Replay: UCI Women's XCO from Albstadt - Video | Red Bull Bike

    Replay: UCI Men's XCO from Albstadt - Video | Red Bull Bike
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  2. #2
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    It was interesting all the way till the finish. Poor Julien, saw his expression and he wasnt happy. And McConnell was probably as surprised as everyone else. My favourite Maja 2nd, so happy enough
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  3. #3
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    Never fails, as soon as the announcers say that someone has the race wrapped up, something catastrophic usually happens to the leader.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2013 World Cup Thread-fullscreen-capture-5192013-125124-pm.jpg  

    2013 World Cup Thread-fullscreen-capture-5192013-125051-pm.jpg  

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    After watching the race two questions came into my mind?

    1) Why does american Cat1/Pro racing not mirror the WC circuit?
    2) Why are spare bikes not allowed?

  5. #5
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    Excellent questions. I've often wondered the first one. I've done a fair bit of racing, across several states, and I think only one course, in OR, was a WC-style, 6km loop, lots of viewing opportunities venue. Americans are obsessed with this idea of making everything they do "Epic". Epic rides, epic races, epic whatever. Long courses, big laps. I don't want my races to be "epic"; I'm not here for a damn photo op of some scenic vista. I want to crush people's souls and leave them in my wake.

    The second one has roots in the idea of "self sufficiency" within the sport of MTB. Run whatcha brung mindset. Again, the "epic"-ness thing comes to mind, for me. The 40km, single lap races that used to represent WC racing no longer exist, nor do the logistical limitations, but people want to hang on to that for some reason.
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  6. #6
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    1) A lack of interest? or more of the "who cares about the UCI anyway" viewpoint

    2) the rules... (and practical reality of not being able to move number plates and transponders in a competitive time)

    § 6 Technical assistance

    4.2.045 Technical assistance during a race is permitted subject to the conditions below.

    4.2.046 Authorised technical assistance during a race consists of repairs to or the replacement of any part of the bicycle other than the frame. Bike changes are not permitted and the rider must cross the finish line with the same handlebar number plate that he had at the start.

    4.2.047 Technical assistance can only be given in the feed/technical assistance zones.

    4.2.048 Spare equipment and tools for repairs must be kept in these zones. Repairs and
    equipment changes can be carried out by the rider himself or with the help of a teammate, team mechanic or neutral technical assistance. Small items such as an inner
    tube or a small tool may be handed up from the feed/technical assistance zones.

    4.2.049 In addition to technical assistance in feed zones, technical assistance is permitted
    outside these zones only between riders who are members of the same UCI ELITE MTB team, UCI MTB team or of the same national team.

    Riders may carry tools and spare parts provided that these do not involve any danger
    to the rider himself or the other competitors.

    ...and one pertinent to today's commentary during the race, why the riders were spraying water on their own bike.

    4.2.042 The spraying of water on riders or bicycles by the feeders or mechanics is forbidden
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill View Post
    Never fails, as soon as the announcers say that someone has the race wrapped up, something catastrophic usually happens to the leader.
    Apparently, rear carbon dropouts completely broked off.
    I'll bet BMC is probably changing molds as we speak and going to X12 through-axle.

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    2013 World Cup Thread

    If you go to 1 hour 42min on the Redbull video there's a slow mo shot of where Julien Absalon's bike broke. He appeared to be just riding along beforehand. The rear derailleur looks to have broken but the bike was still intact.

    The rear wheel came out of the frame when he threw it down a slope in anger shortly afterwards. After the throw the frame is clearly broken as the entire rear derailleur is detached as he drags it away.





    Until then he looked to be going really well.

    It was quite a good race I thought. There were several changes of the lead and it wasn't a procession where you could predict the results from who got the best start either. The slow motion riding shots worked well too.

  9. #9
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    I'm of the same mindset as Le duke, the WC type races are so much better for everyone involved, spectators, racers, promoters, team sponsors. It's just better, but I can see how the american view point of wanting things to be epic could come into play.

    As for spare bikes, it works for cross very well. I don't see any reason they can give each rider 2 plates and transponders.

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    It's not a matter of being "epic." Of all the races I've done this year, they have varied from 4.8 to 7.5 miles in lap length. Some are more spectator friendly than others but no one is watching except for family and teammates and it certainly isn't being televised. The thing is the pro/open winner is still finishing at between 1:45 and 2:00 in most of the races which is in-line with what the UCI wants for XCO courses.

    The pro course at bear creek is 3.4 miles but the citizens course is 7.5 miles. As a citizen racer who is not going pro and most likely won't podium, I want a course that gives me value for my entry fee and also spreads the racers out as there will most likely be more of us on course at one time than the pros.

    The UCI wants short courses so they are spectator and TV friendly which makes sense because they are the cream of the crop and need sponsorship money to survive. It wouldn't matter to the pros if they did 6 laps or 1 big lap, the same guys would finish at the top barring any mechanicals.

    Saying that all amateur race courses should be like the world cup courses is like saying that little league players should be playing in the same stadiums as pro teams. It's not necessary because it's not televised and the crowds aren't there, not to mention the logistics as many amateur races use established trail systems in the US. I'm sure land managers would love a promoter saying they need to cut new trails to make it more like the WC races.

    Bike changes go against the spirit of mountain biking where self sufficiency and individualism were key elements. Mountain biking evolved separately from the other disciplines in cycling. Cyclocross evolved as an off-shoot of road racing and it makes sense that there are bike changes because you can do a bike change in a road race where it's more a team sport. CX bikes are also basically modified road bikes although that line is getting blurred more and more.

    The reason there aren't any Americans at the top is not because of lack of talent or racing on the wrong length course but because of the lack of a cycling culture in the US. If a kid shows athletic ability in the US they are guided to high profile sports which includes baseball, basketball, and football but also track sports. There is no cycling culture here as there is in Europe.

  11. #11
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    On short courses you would be lapping or pulling riders very quickly, not something the typical amateur paying $50.00 a race wants to deal with.
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  12. #12
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    At the pace that WC races run, if you're more than 500m from a tech assistance zone when you have a major failure, you're done anyway by the time you run/carry the bike back to the tech zone to get a major repair done. You'll lose so much time between the run and the repair that you'll be way back in finishing position or will pulled at the next 80% station.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill View Post
    At the pace that WC races run, if you're more than 500m from a tech assistance zone when you have a major failure, you're done anyway by the time you run/carry the bike back to the tech zone to get a major repair done. You'll lose so much time between the run and the repair that you'll be way back in finishing position or will pulled at the next 80% station.
    It's more about duration of the race, IMHO.
    I can remember 2-3 years back, when races were 2 hours long, guys having mechanicals or two and still coming back to top 10, even top 5 result. Nowadays,
    as you said, you're screwed even with two tech zones (just look at Nino and his fork problem on Sunday).
    Also, gone are the days of smart riding and properly pacing yourself, just full gas from start to finish (with maybe 1 lap exception), or as long as one can.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mucker View Post
    It's not a matter of being "epic." Of all the races I've done this year, they have varied from 4.8 to 7.5 miles in lap length. Some are more spectator friendly than others but no one is watching except for family and teammates and it certainly isn't being televised. The thing is the pro/open winner is still finishing at between 1:45 and 2:00 in most of the races which is in-line with what the UCI wants for XCO courses.

    The pro course at bear creek is 3.4 miles but the citizens course is 7.5 miles. As a citizen racer who is not going pro and most likely won't podium, I want a course that gives me value for my entry fee and also spreads the racers out as there will most likely be more of us on course at one time than the pros.

    The UCI wants short courses so they are spectator and TV friendly which makes sense because they are the cream of the crop and need sponsorship money to survive. It wouldn't matter to the pros if they did 6 laps or 1 big lap, the same guys would finish at the top barring any mechanicals.
    I disagree. Short, occasionally technical climbs on a shorter, multi-lap course are a lot different than a 5 mile long fireroad climb on a Frischknecht-era course. It's a different skill set, different physical requirements, and a different rider who is going to excel at each.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ojos Azules View Post
    Apparently, rear carbon dropouts completely broked off.
    I'll bet BMC is probably changing molds as we speak and going to X12 through-axle.
    From the pics, dropouts seem in place, only hanger is missing from what I can see. Mud can make weak hangers more easily snap, but perhaps he caught on something, he was flicking that bike all over the place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rivet View Post
    On short courses you would be lapping or pulling riders very quickly, not something the typical amateur paying $50.00 a race wants to deal with.
    Agreed!
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  17. #17
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    That might be the biggest difference between UCI World Cup races and any other MTB race series, there are no amateur racers in the World Cup XCO series.
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    I don't blame the american courses for the lack of talent on the world level. We just don't have the talent pool that Europe does.

    The money issue is not an issue for me. Some of the most fun races I've ever done were short track XC with tech sections thrown in that were difficult but still really fun when you nailed them, basically mini versions of WC circuits. I'd much rather pay for that excitement and fun than just pedaling through a bunch of boring singletrack with a couple of tech features that you don't see enough times to really be able to pin them when you're red-lined.

    Lapping is an issue in cross but most of the time (at least at the local level) they let lapped riders finish. Unless it's nationals or a UCI pro/1 field. I don't really think that would be an issue in the amateur field because you might get three sandbaggers that lap the field but the officials can easily keep track of that.

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    I thought the men's race was superb. Absalon looked in masterly form, very smooth, controlled and confident on those horrendously slippery downhills and schooling the lot of them! - Even popped a Vouilloz-style endo turn around one hairpin Right then they swapped to interview the injured but nicely prophetic Manuel Fumic: "anything can happen"...well a minute or so later it did! and the bad luck struck Julian. Too bad I wasn't so keen on him carrying his broken bike down the track with his handlebars sticking out with no regard for the other rider trying to get past, though -Not cool.

    As much as I enjoyed the finish, I felt really bad for Gutierrez on that last section. He rode so well only to have it stolen at the last minute by an Aussie with a rocket up his rear end. That finish was fantastic viewing - Blinding performance by McConnell and poor Guiterrez had absolutely nothing in the tank to answer with in that last sprint.

    Will be interesting to see what happens next week, seems like a lot of the front guys are not on form atm: Nino -some kind of mechanical? Fumic - broken collarbone, Fontana - Injury a few weeks ago, Kulhavy - some kind of crash (he hurt his jaw?) Hermida - illness?

    Thought the commentary by Bart Brentjens and Rob Warner was very good too - I think Warner is behaving himself so they'll let him commentate at Rio I think he would have spotted that snapped seatpost, unlike Boardman! (even if he can't pronounce "Man-Well"

    Hoping to watch the Women's race tonight, trying not to read spoilers, I really hope Red Bull will keep the women's race replays up this year...

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    The Red Bull coverage of the xco is the only sporting event I watch on tv. Love it and love rob Warner's commentary. Like the way they always pair him with a well spoken, knowledgeable European too, it makes for a good double act.
    Thought Sundays race was great and not the Nino show I expected. Bet Nino, Absalon and Kulhavy will be fighting hard next weekend.

  21. #21
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    The men's race was great, I really enjoyed it... thought it's crap for the trail stewards, I love watching a muddy race.

    In regards to the UCI style course, the TMBRA has leveraged it for quite a few Pro/Cat1 races this year and it's received great reviews from the riders and spectators.

    As a mid-pack Cat 2 guy I don't get to experience that style too frequently (only Waco comes to mind) but I really enjoy it.
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  22. #22
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    Re: 2013 World Cup Thread

    Lady's race was awesome with a 5-woman battle going into the final lap. Quite a few fresh faces at the front and some surprisingly mediocre performances by other stars. I was very impressed by what I saw from Maja, I predict a great season based on that. I'm happy for Eva, it's cool to see her at the front in both WC MTB and WC CX. Marianne Vos did great for starting at the back, she definitely could (will?) win one of these.

    Men's race was surprising. Started off looking like business as usual with the Swiss getting an immediate gap on the field. Then when they lost it, Julien dropped the hammer and it was again following a familiar script. I was bummed his bike blew up. Then the race was animated by a surprising cast of racers not normally at the front. It was impressive when Jaro revved his engine and dragged the chase group to the front. Great work by the winner, he did not expect to be fighting for a WC win but obviously is no stranger to how to maneuver into 1st across the line!
    It will be interesting for sure to see how both the ladies and mens usual cast of favorites respond this weekend.

    I love this stuff.

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  23. #23
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    OK Red Bull, you're learning, instead of missing the first 1:30 of the women's race, you lost the first 1:30 of the preamble on the women's race at Nove Mesto. But why not sort that out before you start creating the video stream by sending colour bars and then start the recording once things are sorted and streaming smoothly.
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  24. #24
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    The Nove Mesto women's race looked a lot more conventional in finishing order. A couple of surprises at the finish, but overall the usual suspects up front for most of the race. Ren Chengyuan played Marianne Vos' role this week coming from the back into 11th for much of the race.

    Red Bull TV - UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2013: Nove Mesto, Czech Republic

    And the men's race was pretty wild too. Max Plaxton 5th and Geoff Kabush 7th. Two Canadians in the top 10 in a World Cup race.

    Red Bull TV - UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2013: Nove Mesto, Czech Republic
    Last edited by rockyuphill; 05-26-2013 at 02:36 PM.
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    2013 World Cup Thread

    Here are the links to the Nove Mesto XC races on redbull.tv. It's odd that they're buried away in a sub menu whilst the Eliminator races are headline billing. Even finding these links to post here took several tries on the Red Bull website.

    Men's XC Nove Mesto
    Replay: UCI Men's XCO from Nove Mesto - Video | Red Bull Bike

    Women's XC Nove Mesto
    Replay: UCI Women's XCO from Nove Mesto - Video | Red Bull Bike

    I thought it was ok, not as interesting as the muddy and wet race last week though. The course seemed to be a mix of wide forestry road with occasional piles of rocks placed at intervals for some variety.

    On another note. If you were to mix together all the energy drinks that like to sponsor extreme sports nowadays (Red Bull, Monster Energy, Rockstar Energy Drink etc), and then drink it, would you become awesome at sports or would it lead to death?
    Last edited by WR304; 05-26-2013 at 03:40 PM.

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    the course in nove mesto was actually a lot more fun in real life, than what it looked like in TV.
    there definately were some of the most challenging uphill parts in it and pretty fast downhill sections.

    i think it looks a lot different if you watch a whole round from the riders perspective - in this case kenta gallagher.



    if you would like to have more informations or videos for the next race in val di sole, feel free to place your wishes and comment

  27. #27
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    I'd like to see the course statistics. Elevation gain, percent grades, length.

    These races are meaningless without knowing what they're racing. I look online, and can't find a thing.
    Note to self: 85% of FTP for 20 min.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregg K View Post
    I'd like to see the course statistics. Elevation gain, percent grades, length.

    These races are meaningless without knowing what they're racing. I look online, and can't find a thing.

    good point, the statistics for every race do exist, but are hard to find most of the time. would be good to include those informations in the video track explanations

  29. #29
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    So. Absalon on a 29er, wider bars, no bar ends, Fox fork. Things have changed.
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  30. #30
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    Course Info...

    Nove Mesto

    Albstadt
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    After watching the mud bath....it did provide some interesting racing...

    I would suggest the addition of a mudhole/slough just before the sprint to the finish...

    It would difinately add some spice to the finish and make what is normally a relatively boring swing into the final straight exciting.

  32. #32
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    2013 World Cup Thread

    The best cross country mountain bike TV coverage that I've seen was by the BBC at the 2012 Olympics. On some of the rock gardens they had rail cams which ran alongside the riders. It blew my mind having the camera running at rider speed, giving a fantastic perspective of how the top riders float over the obstacles.

    A couple of pictures of Julie Bresset and the cameras at the 2012 Olympics





    Medal picks XC

    The other camera shots that worked well in the first race from Albstadt were the super slow motion ones where the camera followed one rider and you could see the bike's tyres dancing around, the suspension working and the total concentration on the rider's faces. It's a lot like when you have the similar cornering shots from MotoGP races and you can take in all the drama and skill involved.

    Something else that could potentially work well would be live gauges on screen.

    Here's a youtube video from a California criterium to give you an idea of what the real time gauges look like. 5:45 of the video is the best bit.

    "2011 E4 Cherry Pie Criterium in beautiful Napa, CA"

    <iframe title="YouTube video player" width="640" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/X4YlYoOyMNw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    The overlaid gauges showing the rider's power meter and speed data in real time were added to the video footage using Dashware software.

    Software - DashWare | ChaseCam

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    thanks WR304 for the great feedback!
    olympics was amazing to watch on tv, and you can definitely see that this track was build for tv. the rockgarden looked dangerous and hard to ride on camera, but was a lot easier and less dangerous than the rockgarden in nove mesto. (which didn't look as hard as it really was by far)

    for most of the tracks, it's nearly impossible to implement rail camera systems, simply because there's too much forest around, or other obstacles in the way - plus, those kind of systems do cost a lot of money.
    but the tracks already got a lot better for tv in the last year, and i'm sure that the bar can be raised quite alot in the next years to come as well.

    i also really like the idea of live information on screen with speed/watts/altitude and so on, that's something to work on.

    thanks a lot for your feedback!

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post

    On another note. If you were to mix together all the energy drinks that like to sponsor extreme sports nowadays (Red Bull, Monster Energy, Rockstar Energy Drink etc), and then drink it, would you become awesome at sports or would it lead to death?
    Not only death but it would taste nasty.

  35. #35
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    When you have pre-ride course videos, such as the one posted above, you want a stable platform to record from. A full suspension bike with a helmet cam mounted on the side of a full face helmet seems to work best.

    If you watch this Gopro video from the 2011 Megavalanche the footage is quite smooth, even on the very rough sections. The helmet cam is mounted at around eye level for a natural perspective so that you can see exactly where he is looking and he's riding a full suspension bike. For recording you could maybe use an open face motorcycle helmet with a camera attached to the side. The helmet wouldn't show on the footage but the camera position would give a nice view when played back.

    Part 1: Megavalanche 2011 Top Race (Part 1 of 4) - YouTube
    Part 2: Megavalanche 2011 Top Race (Part 2 of 4) - YouTube
    Part 3: Megavalanche 2011 Top Race (Part 3 of 4) - YouTube
    Part 4: Megavalanche 2011 Top Race (Part 4 of 4) - YouTube

    Something that you increasingly see in mountain bike videos also are overhead shots using RC drones. Some of those could be interspersed perhaps, giving a different perspective on sections of the course.

    Sea of Rock on Vimeo is a good example (4min 45sec)



    Links are from this thread:

    Favorite Internet Mountain Biking Videos

    .
    Last edited by WR304; 05-31-2013 at 09:36 AM.

  36. #36
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    On the plus side, the increased number of cameras that Red Bull regularly bring to the party compared to the first couple of years of World Cup streaming footage where there might only be 3 cameras, is already a huge improvement. Not the Olympic level of coverage to be certain, but then again 40-50 cameras is pretty extravagant for an XCO race.

    Often camera locations are picked for the excitement value (the risky stuff) but it would be handy to have a racer's input on camera locations because there might be other locations where over taking is more common, or there might be more strategically important locations that aren't as exciting, but would be interesting for spectators.
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    I really enjoyed the Olympic coverage and liked that course. I heard a lot of complaints that the course was too easy and said it was an CX course. I have yet to ride on a WC course, but it looked pretty difficult to me. I think maybe it looked easy because the riders riding it made it look easy. I bet most of us on here would not make it look so easy with either walking up/down certain sections or riding the brakes a lot more.

  38. #38
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    Nino's gap
    2013 World Cup Thread-nino.jpg

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    thanks for the input!
    the gopro runs will always stay a bit more shaky than the enduro ones, since no rider will want to ride with a fullface helmet when training on the course , but we are working on getting nice and smooth perspectives.
    the olympic xco track was pretty easy compared to the other worldcup runs for the pros, but the rockgarden still looked quite hard on tv, which is exactly what you want.

    the XCE race will be broadcasted live tonight by the way on redbull.tv - and it's the best one yet this year! a really steep uphill, nice downhill on the 4cross track and a long finish sprint - it'll look great on tv.

    another thing we can do, is a live commentating during the run. claudio caluori obviously does this with style

    Course Preview: Val di Sole - Video | Red Bull Bike
    Last edited by mtbikenews; 06-13-2013 at 04:36 AM.

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    Newbie question, are most of the bikes being used in these races 29er HTs?

  41. #41
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    In theory, a HT wastes no energy in a pedal stroke, therefore more consistent power than a bobbing FS bike. The person's engine is the biggest key because many guys on FS bikes beat HT riders any day of the week. Just look at a Adam Craig.

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    Cool Nino pic.

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    I figured out the Red Bull WC coverage last year. And have watched every single race (Men's and Women's) ever since. Thank you RB for bringing us these races!!! I think the point about making the citizen/amateur race courses is an excellent idea. I race in a series here in Utah and we had a short course race here a couple of months ago. The pace was fast and furious but super fun. We also had lots of spectators and they lined the course and helped create a super awesome atmosphere. If spectators cannot enjoy watching a race, how do you create the bike racing atmosphere? BMX is pretty popular here in USA partially because a spectator can watch the whole thing. A kid can come see and get excited to try it. I don't think the point is to make the course as challenging as the WC ones. Just similar length.
    A few other thoughts: This year they are doing a much better job creating Eliminator courses. The new Nove Mesto course was sweet! The Val Di Sole course was also excellent. But seriously, what's it going to take for Miha Halzer to finish one of these?! But the charges he made on the hills were impressive!
    As for the where are the American's? Wells is still fast, but way past his prime. Our new hero seems to be a young kid named: Howard Grotts. He is working his way up the ranks in the U23 field. He is racing on the Specialized Factory Team. Keep your eyes on him.
    Lastly...I'm really tired of Nino...

  44. #44
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    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

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    I admire Nino a lot, but It's getting a little boring seeing him win every race the last few years. Glad to see Nash and Batty on the podium in the women's race! The girls race has been way more entertaining each time thus far.

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    Red Bull does a great job of providing coverage and replays. Has anyone seen better coverage of the crash during the start? Giger snapped the head tube completely off the top and down tubes on his frame. Would love to see how he managed that.

  47. #47
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    2013 World Cup Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by 3forks View Post
    Giger snapped the head tube completely off the top and down tubes on his frame. Would love to see how he managed that.
    Watching the replay right now actually and around the 20 minute-ish mark they interview Giger and they show a close up of his bike. The frame is intact but it looked as though the fork steerer snapped....the head tube and everything else on the frame looked intact.
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  48. #48
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    2013 World Cup Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by 3forks View Post
    Red Bull does a great job of providing coverage and replays. Has anyone seen better coverage of the crash during the start? Giger snapped the head tube completely off the top and down tubes on his frame. Would love to see how he managed that.

    Watching the replay right now actually and around the 20 minute-ish mark they interview Giger and they show a close up of his bike. The frame is intact but it looked as though the fork steerer snapped....the head tube and everything else on the frame looked intact.
    Kappius Components Ambassador - Ping me a note for a discount code

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    I'm loving all this coverage, just finished watching the DH race. I still need to watch the women's XC. Nino's bike is super dialed.

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    2013 World Cup Thread

    I thought the coverage of Val di Sole worked quite well. I like watching the natural courses far more than the artificial ones where all the obstacles are man made. The men's XC race was close again.

    Start list with race numbers:
    http://m.cyclingnews.com/features/va...-start-lists-3

    The commentators mentioned that Jaroslav Kulhavy had been doing a lot of road riding and speculated whether that might not be helping his technical skill so much. He looked to be better than at Nove Mesto but still not as smooth as Nino Schurter and Julien Absalon. You do have to wonder if Jaroslav Kulhavy's bike setup, with its super low handlebars, is putting him at a disadvantage on steeper descents.

    The other thing to watch out for in the men's race replay is Marco Fontana's baggy shorts. They looked like he was maybe having problems with them in this race. Near the end of the race his shorts were falling down quite badly (he had a skinsuit on with lycra shorts underneath). It wasn't shown on camera but they were possibly catching on his saddle on the descents.

    The women's race wasn't as close as the men's race but it wasn't bad. Catharine Pendrel looked to be trying to copy Nino Schurter's race style and tactics (go out hard from the gun and sprint up everything out of the saddle) but she couldn't sustain it for the entire race like he does.

    The slow motion shots were good. Here's my favourite (go to 42min 35seconds total time on the women's XC Race replay). This is Elisabeth Osl (Ghost Factory Racing Team, race number 20, Austria) on the steepest descent. The expression on her face changes as she starts the descent. It goes from "this is ok", through to "this is a bit sketchy", "through to aaaargh!" . I've tried to do some screenshots from the stream below. Look at the brake levers and the logos on the rear wheel. She didn't actually crash either so I'm supporting her for the rest of the year now.

    http://www.redbull.com/en/bike/athle.../elisabeth-osl

    http://www.ghost-bikes.com/heroes/fa...cing/lisi-osl/









    In the women's race there were some things that I wasn't sure about. Does anyone know what they are?

    In this picture Esther Süss (Swi) Wheeler - IXS Team is wearing two black straps beneath her knees. They look like they might be some sort of knee supports for her knee caps?



    In this picture Jolanda Neff (Swi) Giant Pro XC Team is wearing two black straps on her elbows. Are these something similar or could they be sweat bands?


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