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  1. #1
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    2020 World Cup XC

    Time to kick off a new thread! The first news about the teams and riders for the next season are starting to pour in:

    • Florian Vogel – 2 world cups wins, 2x European champion, 3 World championships medals, and 21 participations in a row at the World Championships – is getting retired.
    • BMC Racing team folds. The factory team is taken over by Absolute Absalon, with Titouan Carod and Filippo Colombo joining Jordan Sarrou and Mathis Azzaro (U23).
      Julie Bresset, Reto Indergand and Lukas Flückiger must find a new team.
      As his contract ends this year, Reto Indergand has been in contact early with another team. Lukas Flückiger however – who had a contract for one more year – is looking for a solution: either finding another team, riding on his own, or going back to a regular job.

  2. #2
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    I think this is correct

    2020 UCI MTB World Cup dates

    May 23–24: Nové Mesto, Czech Republic
    June 20–21: Vallnord, Andorra

    June 26–28: UCI MTB XCO World Championships – Albstadt, Germany

    July 27th - 28th: Olympics, Mens and Womens respectively.

    August 15–16: Lenzerheide, Switzerland
    August 22–23: Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada
    September 12–13: Val di Sole, Italy
    September 19–20: Les Gets, France
    All the gear and no idea.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mik_git View Post
    I think this is correct

    2020 UCI MTB World Cup dates

    May 23–24: Nové Mesto, Czech Republic
    June 20–21: Vallnord, Andorra

    June 26–28: UCI MTB XCO World Championships – Albstadt, Germany

    July 27th - 28th: Olympics, Mens and Womens respectively.

    August 15–16: Lenzerheide, Switzerland
    August 22–23: Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada
    September 12–13: Val di Sole, Italy
    September 19–20: Les Gets, France
    Barring injury, it looks like we will see MvdP race the MTB 4 times in 2020. After the Olympics, he'll head back to the road. Such a talent!

  4. #4
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    Sam Gaze out of Specialized...possibly going to Corendon-Circus...

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    Quote Originally Posted by carlostruco View Post
    Sam Gaze out of Specialized...possibly going to Corendon-Circus...
    He's leaving Quick-Step?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by NordieBoy View Post
    He's leaving Quick-Step?
    Looks like it...but riders only leave QS after team refuses tu pay up for spectacular seasons...that's maybe not the case here...

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    Quote Originally Posted by NordieBoy View Post
    He's leaving Quick-Step?
    He was only a stagaire, so it wasn't like he had a long term contract with them. Usually those contracts are only for a specific block of races, where the riders get the chance to prove themselves for a long term contract, or in his case try out World Tour road riding.

  8. #8
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    News are surfacing that he signed with Corendon-Circus


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    PFP is going to stick to off road for the foreseeable future.
    https://www.velonews.com/2019/12/new...he-road_503369

  10. #10
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    what is Annika Langvad going to do for 2020? Tokyo XCO doesn't seem to be suited for her.

  11. #11
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    I think she will take a run at Tokyo. And although she is not the same technical level as the best, the technical sections are only about a minute of the laps time. Meaning that she would probably lose 10s a lap on them. Anika at her best is more than capable of making up that difference and then some else where.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

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    Is anyone concerned about the trend to put wire mesh on wood ramps? It seems to me that it looks a lot like a cheese grater. The thought makes me cringe, especially at the Albstadt Drop at the round in Albstadt, Germany. (I think that's the name of the drop at that track) Ragardless, falling on any of those sections is going to do serious damage to the ride, I fear.
    Cheers!
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    Quote Originally Posted by emjayel View Post
    Is anyone concerned about the trend to put wire mesh on wood ramps? It seems to me that it looks a lot like a cheese grater. The thought makes me cringe, especially at the Albstadt Drop at the round in Albstadt, Germany. (I think that's the name of the drop at that track) Ragardless, falling on any of those sections is going to do serious damage to the ride, I fear.
    Its standard practice. If you have a better idea the trail builders would like to hear it.

  14. #14
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    It's official Same Gaze joins Alpecin-Fenix (formerly Corendon-Circus) alongside MVdP and Peter Fagerhaug.

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    ...and Neff suffers heavy crash while training...
    https://racing.trekbikes.com/stories...QVhIGNDo6kQIVc

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    From Jolanda herself: https://www.instagram.com/p/B6ijQGWg...d=usql9r9qxzll


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  17. #17
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    Yikes, that will take some major recovery time and effort. Those are the kind of injuries that are often seen in crashes here on the North Shore, it's a good thing she didn't end up with a spinal injury as well. Not the way she'll want to be starting an Olympic year.
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    Yeha pretty bad crash, hope she pulls through quickly... then again she'll probably be racing next week knowing her.
    All the gear and no idea.

  19. #19
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    Ha, just posted Neff news in old thread...I’m late to the party!
    Never underestimate an old man with a mountain bike.

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    I saw that news story on Pinkbike with the picture:

    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/yoland...ing-crash.html

    That's awful news. I hope she gets better soon and is back racing as well as before.

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    Looks like Catharine Pendrel is moving on from Orbea if I'm reading between the lines here:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/B6lXyZxl7ft/
    -DC, just some XC Bum from FL in NW Arkansas

  22. #22
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    It’s not just her...it’s the whole team...


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    Quote Originally Posted by emjayel View Post
    Is anyone concerned about the trend to put wire mesh on wood ramps? It seems to me that it looks a lot like a cheese grater. The thought makes me cringe, especially at the Albstadt Drop at the round in Albstadt, Germany. (I think that's the name of the drop at that track) Ragardless, falling on any of those sections is going to do serious damage to the ride, I fear.
    Its extremely grippy and gives you confidence even in the wet and mud. Skateboard tape is pretty worthless when its muddy.


    Feature: https://youtu.be/ZDZDZxUoeKY?t=6625

    We have a long downhill wood feature on one of our race courses that has stood the test of time. Its used in the leadville 100 qualifier which is often has horrible weather conditions.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlostruco View Post
    It’s not just her...it’s the whole team...


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    I wonder who's looking to pickup a talented XCO/XCM roster? Norco already has a few athletes under contract I believe on their Factory Team so not sure they'd partner with Clif. RM maybe?
    -DC, just some XC Bum from FL in NW Arkansas

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    For some reason RM came to mind for me too. Their whole adventure ambassador kind of approach seems to fit with Clif’s reformed structure. Maybe Niner? I gather they’re trying to reinvent themselves and have a big backer now, right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by PlanB View Post
    For some reason RM came to mind for me too. Their whole adventure ambassador kind of approach seems to fit with Clif’s reformed structure. Maybe Niner? I gather they’re trying to reinvent themselves and have a big backer now, right?
    Nash has been racing CX on a Specialized Crux and Catharine's instagram shows her on a Spesh Fatboy. I love Rockys, but the Epic may be a better choice in an olympic year.
    The poster formerly known as 800_lb_gorilla

  27. #27
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    RM has really changed focus to full support of EWS and BC Bike Race multi-day style racing, so they don't currently have the marketing focus of World Cup XCO. They still produce the Vertex and Element 29" XCO bikes, but it takes a lot of marketing commitment to make the bike sponsorship pay off. But, you just never know.
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    Didn’t Clif announce last year that they would no longer be focussing on XCO World Cups? When they brought he men onboard? I could be remembering this wrong... Sounds like it’s Specialized anyway. Seems like a good fit.

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  30. #30
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    ps
    how about a sticky for this thread?

  31. #31
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    ^I tried a mod that stickeyd the 2019 one...but so far nothing.
    All the gear and no idea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkpowa View Post
    Looks like Catharine Pendrel is moving on from Orbea if I'm reading between the lines here:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/B6lXyZxl7ft/
    She's on a Specialized Tarmac recently.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by peabody View Post
    She's on a Specialized Tarmac recently.
    Given this pic off clif pro team I’d say spez is the new bike sponsor.




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  34. #34
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    Ouch, both Jolanda and Pauline are out with injuries for at least 3 months. Certainly throws a lot of uncertainty into an Olympic season.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  35. #35
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    What happened to PFP?

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    Ok, I checked her Instagram. More of the leg thing.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/B7A3gHYi...d=5uprssx2o90l

  37. #37
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    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

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    Olympic years are always hectic, I wouldn't be surprised if they are not the only ones to have their plans wiped out.

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    I remember reading an interview with Pauline Ferrand Prevot from a while ago. Apparently it was super painful to pedal due to the iliac endofibrosis restricting blood flow in her left leg.

    What made it worse was that it took the doctors four years to diagnose the problem too. That must have been so frustrating as an athlete and even more so to think it had been fixed, only for it to return again.

    There was an update on Jolanda Neff's injuries too:

    https://racing.trekbikes.com/stories...ad-to-recovery

    Q: What do you know now, two weeks after your crash, about your injury?
    Neff: “My spleen is still in my body but it is dead. After the embolization where they plugged my artery to stop bleeding, there is no more blood flow in my spleen. It will remain in my body, but it is dead. The spleen is important for your immune system, but you can live without a functioning spleen. I have to be super careful now not to burst the plug in my artery. That would start internal bleeding and require emergency surgery.”

    Q: What are the most important steps for your recovery?
    Neff: “I cannot raise my blood pressure for next three months because I need to be very gentle with the artery plug. The medical staffed advised three months of very little movement to make sure my blood pressure stays really low. Hopefully, as an athlete, I will be able to recover a little quicker and take up cycling in less than three months.”

    Q: What does this injury mean for your 2020 racing schedule?
    Neff: “I will not race again until after March. I fly back to Switzerland next week to make plan with the Swiss Olympic team doctor, Patrik Noack, on how to go forward. The more I rest, the faster I recover.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by peabody View Post
    She's on a Specialized Tarmac recently.
    I would be interested in hearing how she likes the Specialized Epic FS and Epic Hardtail after she has some seat time on both.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stonerider View Post
    I would be interested in hearing how she likes the Specialized Epic FS and Epic Hardtail after she has some seat time on both.
    In a public forum, LMN will say she loves them ;-)

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    2020 World Cup XC

    So Sorry to hear the news of both PfP and Neff. Both are such fierce competitors that make the Women XCO so fun to watch. Praying for a full recovery for both of them.


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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by peabody View Post
    In a public forum, LMN will say she loves them ;-)
    Talking about equipment is an interesting tight rope to walk. If you are a sponsored rider or married to a sponsor rider you are never going to say bad things about equipment, at least if you want to keep that sponsor or get future sponsors.

    What I try and do is share information. Set-up, maintenance, what I find works in particular conditions, correct inaccurate information, ect... And if I think a product is good I am going to stay so. I am looking forward to helping Catharine dial in her new Epic. I have never really worked on one but I do know that when Orbea redesigned their Oiz a couple of years ago they put the Epic up with Scott as the bench mark.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    Talking about equipment is an interesting tight rope to walk. If you are a sponsored rider or married to a sponsor rider you are never going to say bad things about equipment, at least if you want to keep that sponsor or get future sponsors.

    What I try and do is share information. Set-up, maintenance, what I find works in particular conditions, correct inaccurate information, ect... And if I think a product is good I am going to stay so. I am looking forward to helping Catharine dial in her new Epic. I have never really worked on one but I do know that when Orbea redesigned their Oiz a couple of years ago they put the Epic up with Scott as the bench mark.
    Well said, LMN.

    I look forward to reading your comments on that bike.

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  45. #45
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    The marathon focused Trek Selle San Marco Team changed its name to Trek Pirelli and signed Vlad Dascalu (U23 World Champ) to focus on XCO

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    Stephane Tempier to race with Trek Factory Racing

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    Talking about equipment is an interesting tight rope to walk. If you are a sponsored rider or married to a sponsor rider you are never going to say bad things about equipment, at least if you want to keep that sponsor or get future sponsors.

    What I try and do is share information. Set-up, maintenance, what I find works in particular conditions, correct inaccurate information, ect... And if I think a product is good I am going to stay so. I am looking forward to helping Catharine dial in her new Epic. I have never really worked on one but I do know that when Orbea redesigned their Oiz a couple of years ago they put the Epic up with Scott as the bench mark.
    I have the new 2020 Epic Hardtail and absolutely love it. I hope Catharine does as well for the tamer courses when she's not on the Full Suspension. Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    Talking about equipment is an interesting tight rope to walk. If you are a sponsored rider or married to a sponsor rider you are never going to say bad things about equipment, at least if you want to keep that sponsor or get future sponsors.

    What I try and do is share information. Set-up, maintenance, what I find works in particular conditions, correct inaccurate information, ect... And if I think a product is good I am going to stay so. I am looking forward to helping Catharine dial in her new Epic. I have never really worked on one but I do know that when Orbea redesigned their Oiz a couple of years ago they put the Epic up with Scott as the bench mark.
    I'd be curious on your opinion of the Orbea Oiz now that Catharine is off it. Looking at it for my next bike....

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Afrobiker View Post
    I'd be curious on your opinion of the Orbea Oiz now that Catharine is off it. Looking at it for my next bike....
    I have been super happy with the Oiz. Both Catharine and I put some serious miles on our last year and the bikes are still in great shape. I will be riding putting another year on my Oiz.

    But to be up front, I am running a team that has Orbea as a bike sponsor.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

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    Anyone else think risveds is gonna stomp Courtney this year?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbadwrench View Post
    Anyone else think risveds is gonna stomp Courtney this year?
    People thought she was going to get wrecked by ______ this year. Didn’t happen.

    The two biggest threats to KC are going to have a hard time recovering/rebuilding in time for the Olympics.


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    I think Kate might dominate the season, but for the Olympics I think she will have fierce competition for that gold medal.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbadwrench View Post
    Anyone else think risveds is gonna stomp Courtney this year?
    Those two certainly look like the only healthy and on form top riders going into the season. However, both of them, at least in my opinion, are not at their best on steep climb courses.

    Risveds has only had three big wins in her career and all of them were on courses with low grade high speed climbs. Courtney has had 4 big wins and 3 of them were on low grade high speed climbs.

    Don't get me wrong, both are good on steep climbs but I think others will give them a run on those courses.

    And if Anika comes back on form all bets are off.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

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    Rissveds had a longer time off after the test Olympic crash. So form unknown.

    Kate looks to be going in on full speed with Annika also looks to be getting in the miles.

    Think we will see Sina up there to compete.

    And once again we will see a new superstrong women making it in to the mix that previously was not a regular podium.

    With both PFP and Neff out for a while, the races will have another characteristic

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    The Tokyo course looked quite technical to me in the October preview videos. My thought was that Jolanda Neff would be the clear favorite on such a course. But I think it will be hard for either PFP or Jolanda to get to top form in time for the Olympics I don't think Annika Langvaad has the technical skills for the course, even if she gets back on form next year (she's not young). Two years ago Emily Batty was knocking on the door also, then had a bad year in 2019, but perhaps she can come back in 2020. Overall, I guess Risveds and KC do seem to be the favorites. But crashes, stalls, and traffic jams could be major deciders. It could be really treacherous if it rains. So in reality there are probably about 10 riders who have a chance at winning, depending on circumstances.

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    Let's not forget that Pauline had bilateral surgery at the end of last January, and was very much at the top come the beginning of August.
    This year she has had unilateral surgery, a couple weeks earlier in the year, which she likely came into it with better form, and should heal quicker as the fibrosis wasn't as bad. May not quite be there for the first couple races, but I imagine she will be a very real threat at the olympics barring any other complications.

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    Good points. It would be great if PFP can make the same kind of return as in 2019, which was inspirational and thrilling to witness. I just hope there isn't chronic recurrence, and that she is not hindered from training as she did in 2019.

    We shouldn't discount the chances of other riders, including Yana Belomoyna, Anne Terpstra, Rebecca McConnell, etc. I don't know how the qualifying positions are decided, but I suspect the winner will have to come from the front row, possibly the second.

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    Throw Annie Last into the mix for a medal.

    The women’s field is stacked.


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    Batty has the technical skills to win on the tougher courses and while last year was not great, I'm hopeful she has a great 2020 and contends for some podium spots. I could see her being really strong in Tokyo.

    I'm also excited to see KC contend and represent the States. Other favorites for me are Annika and Catharine. When Neff and PFP come back I suspect they will bounce back fairly quickly.

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    While you are talking Olympics, does anyone know where the 2016 women's silver medalist stands for 2020? Will she be back this year? If so, don't sleep on Poland's Maja Wloszczowska...
    "Here! Comes! SHYA-TAH!!!!!"

  61. #61
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    ^here's hoping, she's still with the Cross team for this year, I hope she has a good year after being sick all last year.
    All the gear and no idea.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlostruco View Post
    The marathon focused Trek Selle San Marco Team changed its name to Trek Pirelli and signed Vlad Dascalu (U23 World Champ) to focus on XCO
    Vlad is a beast. His second half of a race is absolutely stunning. I would not be surprised to see him as a significant factor this year.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

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    Posting videos of your gym workouts seems to be the in thing for 2020. The more ridiculous the better.

    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/social...n-the-gym.html

    What is this Kate Courtney gym exercise for? Is this a regular exercise to do now? I'd never seen this one before:

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B6RK-p8A...ource=ig_embed

    .

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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    Posting videos of your gym workouts seems to be the in thing for 2020. The more ridiculous the better.

    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/social...n-the-gym.html

    What is this Kate Courtney gym exercise for? Is this a regular exercise to do now? I'd never seen this one before:

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B6RK-p8A...ource=ig_embed

    .
    I’m glad someone else thinks this! I guess it’s all about creating “content” these days...

  65. #65
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    Another good thing about Olympic years:

    Product releases. Tires, forks, frames, everything. Hoping some of the newer players (Goodyear, Pirelli) bring out some new rubber this year. And the old ones, too. When was the last time Continental put out a new tire?


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    Death from Below.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    What is this Kate Courtney gym exercise for? Is this a regular exercise to do now? I'd never seen this one before:

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B6RK-p8A...ource=ig_embed

    .
    This one is gold, I'm pretty certain its from the creators of the shakeweight.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9C88Ydagh0Q

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Another good thing about Olympic years:

    Product releases. Tires, forks, frames, everything. Hoping some of the newer players (Goodyear, Pirelli) bring out some new rubber this year. And the old ones, too. When was the last time Continental put out a new tire?


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    Two years ago they redesigned the Race and Cross King. I have a set of Race King Protection, and while it is an ultra fast tire, cornering is still MIA...

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlostruco View Post
    Two years ago they redesigned the Race and Cross King. I have a set of Race King Protection, and while it is an ultra fast tire, cornering is still MIA...
    The Cross King looks exactly like the X-King it replaced. I've never seen anyone riding one in person. The X-King was way undersized in 2.2 and a good volume in 2.4. But pretty vague in the cornering department. Knobs would fold over pretty easily.
    Death from Below.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PlanB View Post
    I’m glad someone else thinks this! I guess it’s all about creating “content” these days...
    With hindsight this Nino Schurter gym workout video from 2016 was hugely influential:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xW-nWnl5hYk

    What I wonder with these gym videos put out by professional athletes is who they're really intended for.

    I think at least a part of it with posting videos like that online is to put out a subliminal message to psych the opposition out. "This is how hard I'm training so I'm going to be even faster than you in the races this year than before."

    I'm still waiting for Mathieu Van Der Poel to post a video where he'll be doing something like backflips on a trampoline at the same time as squatting a 120kg circus barbell weight in response!

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    Florian Vogel to manage Specialized Racing Team...and apparently, just rumors, Mathias Fluckiger could join them...

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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    With hindsight this Nino Schurter gym workout video from 2016 was hugely influential:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xW-nWnl5hYk

    What I wonder with these gym videos put out by professional athletes is who they're really intended for.

    I think at least a part of it with posting videos like that online is to put out a subliminal message to psych the opposition out. "This is how hard I'm training so I'm going to be even faster than you in the races this year than before."

    I'm still waiting for Mathieu Van Der Poel to post a video where he'll be doing something like backflips on a trampoline at the same time as squatting a 120kg circus barbell weight in response!
    My take is that Nino had been doing interesting and weird stuff In the gym for quite a while, and when KC joined Scott/Red Bull she brought her social media savvy too, so visibility of these antics increased. Strong social media presence is really important for all these athletes, and these things are way more likely to get views than the 100th post of “athlete on bike doing intervals” in the offseason.

    That said I do think these exercises have merit. I’ve added focus on balance/core work on low-intensity days and have liked the results. My favorite (which I have NOT tried) is “cognitive load training” where someone yells math problems at you while you do circuit training. Idea being this trains you to think tactically while turning yourself inside out in a race.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    I'm still waiting for Mathieu Van Der Poel to post a video where he'll be doing something like backflips on a trampoline at the same time as squatting a 120kg circus barbell weight in response!
    He just needs to go visit Juji & Tom and it'll happen

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlostruco View Post
    Florian Vogel to manage Specialized Racing Team...and apparently, just rumors, Mathias Fluckiger could join them...
    I'd like to see that! Mathias rocks

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbadwrench View Post
    Anyone else think Risveds is gonna stomp Courtney this year?
    Watching her comeback last year was great and I was gutted when she flatted the last lap at Snowshoe. I don't know if Jenny can "Stomp" her all season long but the Shark better not get to close to the shore, I think there's a Stalking Tiger in JR just waiting to pounce.

    Other thoughts: Can PFP & Jolanda recover in time for the first race in May and the Olympics? I think PFP has a better chance of being ready. Jolanda, from what I've read can't even get her blood pressure up until late March. I hope both of them are back on top of their game by then but have some reservations about their early season performance.

    Can Annika bounce back? Last year I think she did herself in. She started out super strong at the Cape Epic and Sea Otter then went and did I bunch of Road Races. After that is was downhill. I think she burned herself out. I hope she doesn't repeat it. Age is also becoming a factor, she'll be 36 in March. IMPO, she's going to have to focus on one or the other, XC MTB or the Road. Fingers crossed on this one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrewBird View Post
    My take is that Nino had been doing interesting and weird stuff In the gym for quite a while, and when KC joined Scott/Red Bull she brought her social media savvy too, so visibility of these antics increased. Strong social media presence is really important for all these athletes, and these things are way more likely to get views than the 100th post of “athlete on bike doing intervals” in the offseason.

    That said I do think these exercises have merit. I’ve added focus on balance/core work on low-intensity days and have liked the results. My favorite (which I have NOT tried) is “cognitive load training” where someone yells math problems at you while you do circuit training. Idea being this trains you to think tactically while turning yourself inside out in a race.
    I remember years ago, I think it was Miguel Indurain who was asked about his training regime, and he said he rode his bike. I understand that there are probably benefits to gym work, core strength, etc. But for mountain bike riders especially, I don't think there's any substitute for riding. I would think that for every hour KC does in the gym flipping plates or whatever, it would be more valuable to be sessioning drops, working on bunny hop technique, or climbing efficiently in the mud. Look at how much time Jolanda Neff is able to gain on all the other riders on technical descents. Remember how KC herself won the 2018 worlds? She passed Annika Langvad when AL slid out on an off-camber muddy section and had to dab. These things are truly measurable, whereas the gym work...not so sure.

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    A couple more thoughts on the XC Olympic races:
    1. Does anyone know how start positions are determined? You want to be on the front row. I don't think it will be possible to win from the third row, no matter how strong you are. Take a look at the videos from the Oct 2019 test race--for the men's race, at least, the race was over for half the men at the first climb after the start.
    2. It will be hot and humid, maybe rainy, on race day. Which riders handle the heat the best? Which riders can handle slippery rock drops?

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    Quote Originally Posted by paramount3 View Post
    Remember how KC herself won the 2018 worlds? She passed Annika Langvad when AL slid out on an off-camber muddy section and had to dab. These things are truly measurable, whereas the gym work...not so sure.
    I agree with your premise on how important bike handling skills have become on modern XC Courses but not on where that race was won & lost, though still for the very reason you state, Technical Skills. Consider this if you would. If you remember Lenzerheide has a large rock feature about 2/3rds of the way around the course, aptly named "The Rock". Annika was taking the B-Route around it and thus giving up 7-10 seconds every lap by doing so. Multiply that by 7 laps and you've got a minimum of 49 Seconds given away. KC won by 47. So while she got passed on that final lap during that slip-up she gave the race away long before that due to her inability to navigate that technical feature.

    The Starting Grid for the Olympic XCO Races is determined by UCI Ranking IINM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Renzo7 View Post
    I'd like to see that! Mathias rocks

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    That's just a rumor I read @ esmtb.com which is a mountain bike focused website from Spain. I have him on social media but haven't caught a glimpse of what bikes is he riding...

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by paramount3 View Post
    I remember years ago, I think it was Miguel Indurain who was asked about his training regime, and he said he rode his bike. I understand that there are probably benefits to gym work, core strength, etc. But for mountain bike riders especially, I don't think there's any substitute for riding. I would think that for every hour KC does in the gym flipping plates or whatever, it would be more valuable to be sessioning drops, working on bunny hop technique, or climbing efficiently in the mud. Look at how much time Jolanda Neff is able to gain on all the other riders on technical descents. Remember how KC herself won the 2018 worlds? She passed Annika Langvad when AL slid out on an off-camber muddy section and had to dab. These things are truly measurable, whereas the gym work...not so sure.
    A counterpoint would be that we all know climbing steep tech involves lots of high torque and balance moves, and that gets much, much harder with fatigue. A foundation of core work and weight training would likely help keep things smooth and fluid (and therefore prevent things like dabs) late in a race.

    And it's not like KC is only doing gym work, it's just more likely to get views on Instagram than her riding a bike. Nino did a video some time back where he did a bunch of gym work, then headed off for a series of 6 minute VO2 intervals.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by paramount3 View Post
    1. Does anyone know how start positions are determined? You want to be on the front row. I don't think it will be possible to win from the third row, no matter how strong you are. Take a look at the videos from the Oct 2019 test race--for the men's race, at least, the race was over for half the men at the first climb after the start.
    I take it you haven't been watching Van Der Poel race cross all winter? That's basically what he's been doing every race.
    Kind of like playing an electric drum kit

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    Quote Originally Posted by Train Wreck View Post
    I take it you haven't been watching Van Der Poel race cross all winter? That's basically what he's been doing every race.
    Didn't Sagan also do this in Rio before flatting out? He made it from the back all the way up to Nino's wheel pretty darn fast.

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    I could be wrong, but in WC races, the start list can reach 100, and in the last Olympic Games it was 50 or something like that...

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    Quote Originally Posted by carlostruco View Post
    I could be wrong, but in WC races, the start list can reach 100, and in the last Olympic Games it was 50 or something like that...
    True

  85. #85
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    Mountain biking is restricted to 76 athletes total.

    Field size's are 38 men, 38 women.

    Start position is important but a rider can come from the back in a field that size.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

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    Wow! That sounds like a very reduced field.

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    Annika and Jenny will riding together at Cape epic!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skarhead View Post
    Annika and Jenny will riding together at Cape epic!
    Just read the news...very interesting!!!

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    ...and i other news, Bart Brentjes team changed it's name, but doe to space limitations, I won't write past team name nor new team name...

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    Now that's some great news! Thank you for the heads up.

    "Langvad and Rissveds will race the 2020 Absa Cape Epic as Team 31: Outride"

    I can't wait for March!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Augustus-G View Post
    Now that's some great news! Thank you for the heads up.

    "Langvad and Rissveds will race the 2020 Absa Cape Epic as Team 31: Outride"

    I can't wait for March!!!
    But will they have any competition in the women's category? Annika and (insert teammate name) has been so dominant recently that it hasn't been exciting to follow.

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    I understand where you're coming from but I tend to look more at the Rider vs. Course aspect for my enjoyment of the event.

    Not many teams on the Register at this time. Notables...
    Anne Terpstra & Barbara Benko
    Sabine Spitz & Amy McDougall

    PFP & Jolanda are out for sure, will KC return to the Cape?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Renzo7 View Post
    I'd like to see that! Mathias rocks

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    Pictures in social media show M. Fluckiger still riding a Thomus...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Augustus-G View Post
    I understand where you're coming from but I tend to look more at the Rider vs. Course aspect for my enjoyment of the event.

    Not many teams on the Register at this time. Notables...
    Anne Terpstra & Barbara Benko
    Sabine Spitz & Amy McDougall

    PFP & Jolanda are out for sure, will KC return to the Cape?
    "The MTB season itlself kicks off with the Sunshine Epic in Cypress. Kate Courtney will pair up with SCOTT rider Erin Huck"

    this is from scott-sram.com

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    Anton Cooper and Rebecca McConnell won the Oceania Champs.
    Sam Gaze had his first MTB race since the Cape Epic concussion but had to pull out. Still hopes to race the Nationals in a week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NordieBoy View Post
    Anton Cooper and Rebecca McConnell won the Oceania Champs.
    Sam Gaze had his first MTB race since the Cape Epic concussion but had to pull out. Still hopes to race the Nationals in a week.
    Hi Nordie,

    I don't know the source but Sam Gaze has raced XCO/XCC quite a few times since his crash last March. His first race back that I know of was Nove Mesto on 24 May 2019. He placed 116th, lapped out.
    He also raced:
    Vallnord - 05 Jul 2019 83rd Lapped Out
    Les Gets - 12 Jul 2019 94th Lapped Out
    Val di Sole - 02 Aug 2019 47th
    Lenzerheide - 09 Aug 2019 DNF

    Any video of the race(s)? Haven't been able to find anything, yet.

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    He's been doing some roady stuff, but keeping away from the risk of falling.

    Anton is Oceania and National Champ.
    https://www.sportsplits.com/races/XC...2020/events/9/

    Sam DNF'd again. Can't be good mentally if you're always thinking about not falling and risking hitting your head again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skarhead View Post
    "The MTB season itlself kicks off with the Sunshine Epic in Cypress. Kate Courtney will pair up with SCOTT rider Erin Huck"

    this is from scott-sram.com
    I wonder if they'll continue on the the Cape Epic together? That would make things Interesting. Cyprus will also be interesting to see how Annika has bounced back after burning out so badly last year. She's defending champ.
    This is the first time the Cyprus race will be a pairs event. Emily Batty & Evie Richards will also be there for Trek. Could be a nice prelude to the Cape.

    BTW, the scott-sram.com website needs to get a dictionary.
    It's "Cyprus" not "Cypress". Cyprus is an island nation. Cypress is a family of conifers. LOL

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    I think it’s brave to be doing the cape epic in an Olympic year as I feel it messes with your xco season.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Augustus-G View Post
    I agree with your premise on how important bike handling skills have become on modern XC Courses but not on where that race was won & lost, though still for the very reason you state, Technical Skills. Consider this if you would. If you remember Lenzerheide has a large rock feature about 2/3rds of the way around the course, aptly named "The Rock". Annika was taking the B-Route around it and thus giving up 7-10 seconds every lap by doing so. Multiply that by 7 laps and you've got a minimum of 49 Seconds given away. KC won by 47. So while she got passed on that final lap during that slip-up she gave the race away long before that due to her inability to navigate that technical feature.

    The Starting Grid for the Olympic XCO Races is determined by UCI Ranking IINM.
    As someone who was there and running all over the course during 2018 Worlds, I think the technical differences are overstated and the notion that the race was won and lost when Annika slipped out on the rooty climb is not correct. Yes, Annika lost time on the Rock and a few other technical spots every lap but made it back on other parts. The true difference-maker, in my opinion, was that KC had more in the tank and was able to sustain a stronger effort on the final lap. Annika apparently sensed this and made a massive acceleration on the big road climb to start the final lap to try to get a bigger gap. It was something to see. Kate couldn't match it; nobody could, and Annika pulled away on that climb. But her lead wasn't enough, and she couldn't sustain the effort and was exhausted by the final part of the lap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J-Flo View Post
    As someone who was there and running all over the course during 2018 Worlds, I think the technical differences are overstated and the notion that the race was won and lost when Annika slipped out on the rooty climb is not correct. Yes, Annika lost time on the Rock and a few other technical spots every lap but made it back on other parts. The true difference-maker, in my opinion, was that KC had more in the tank and was able to sustain a stronger effort on the final lap. Annika apparently sensed this and made a massive acceleration on the big road climb to start the final lap to try to get a bigger gap. It was something to see. Kate couldn't match it; nobody could, and Annika pulled away on that climb. But her lead wasn't enough, and she couldn't sustain the effort and was exhausted by the final part of the lap.
    But if Annika lost time in the technical sections on every lap and had to make it back on other parts, eventually the combined effect of those "make it back" efforts means more matches burned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boosted GP View Post
    I think it’s brave to be doing the cape epic in an Olympic year as I feel it messes with your xco season.


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    Yes, I wonder the same thing. But presumably they have a plan and they'll take a rest after the Cape Epic? Or is it possible that the Cape Epic could be a good training camp as long as you're not trying to win?

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    Quote Originally Posted by paramount3 View Post
    Yes, I wonder the same thing. But presumably they have a plan and they'll take a rest after the Cape Epic? Or is it possible that the Cape Epic could be a good training camp as long as you're not trying to win?
    Annika has been so dominant in the past at Cape Epic that if she has similar form and a strong partner, she could dial back the intensity a bit, make it a good training camp and still get the win.

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