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Olympic MTB Race

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Moderator: Red Rick

Olympic MTB Race

02 Aug 2016 17:43

I can't imagine anything but a battle between the same three guys who have dominated dirt since the last Olympics. Barring a mechanic or unforeseen physical issue, I see Nino as the favorite for GOLD.

Sagan is creating a buzz but I don't see him being in the battle for medals.
jmdirt
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Re: Olympic MTB Race

02 Aug 2016 18:30

jmdirt wrote:I can't imagine anything but a battle between the same three guys who have dominated dirt since the last Olympics. Barring a mechanic or unforeseen physical issue, I see Nino as the favorite for GOLD.

Sagan is creating a buzz but I don't see him being in the battle for medals.



Have to agree with all you say there.

I'd be mighty surprised to see Sagan at the pointy end of the field....he is the kind of guy who likes to surprise though.
Amazing form in the TDF......perhaps he can hold that through to the Olympics? Different beast though!

As for the "Top 3" XC guys.....gotta wonder why there is massive amounts of daylight between them and the other 75 competitors on the circuit?? The only way they get beat is if one of them has a major off and / or mechanical.
I mean, Nino punctured twice in one event and managed to get back to the Podium.....not normal perhaps and I even considered opening a thread in the Clinic to discuss....but that place is an echo chamber nowadays with the same 8-10 posters crawling over each other to say the same stuff day in and day out.....and then get banned :D
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03 Aug 2016 10:45

It's going to be very interesting that's for sure. Because it's the Olympics there are going to be people who aren't there as they don't get selected and there are going to be people who probably have no business being in the race. The course itself looks pretty easy, a couple of rock gardens and a couple of tricky climbs to put people off but it's not up to the standard of most WC XCO tracks. There's a good wide track at the start which should allow the top guys (possibly Sagan, I'll discuss him afterwards) to get out front of the also rans and avoid the pile ups.

I think it's now a big 4; Schurter, Absalon, Kulhavy and Marotte with a few guys nipping at their heels. Any of these guys could take it but Nino is obviously the massive favourite and rightly so. I'll be interested to see if anyone takes a hardtail. I'm guessing not, FS bikes are so good and light these days that it almost seems silly for pros not to use them, but that long run in to the end may make someone think about it.


Sagan... Lets just say from the start that I'm not a big fan of his inclusion although I've definitely warmed to him as a rider. The threads in the PRR section seem to be populated by roadies who know nothing about MTB and think it needs a boost from Sagan, yet he's hardly even been mentioned on most MTB sites I read and even then only as a passing comment. He also has pretty much no recognition outside of road cycling, so the only people he's likely to attract are road fans, it's not like he transcends the sport. Sagan winning would be massively detrimental for MTB in my opinion, it would show that a road rider, albeit one of the best, can just move across and grab a gold medal. It also seems a pretty arrogant move, similar to Van Der Poel and we all know how that worked out...

He's going to be gridded at the back so he'll have to work harder than any of the big names to get out front and he needs to do that if he has any intention of winning a medal. Working your way through an WC XCO field out on the real track is ok because all the riders have the skills needed to navigate the course, that's not necessarily the case at the Olympics and you can't let those 4 riders and the few others get a big gap on you. He's then going to have to keep up on the technical stuff, which we really have no indication that he is capable of doing, and keep up on the climbs. I don't think it's a coincidence that the big names who come from MTB to road turn out to be good climbers and Climbers with a kick; Evans, Peraud, Froome, Ferrand-Prevot, Rasmussen. Personally I think Sagan's best chance is to keep in touch and take a sprint finish, but I really can't see him staying in touch with Nino et. al. light it up either on the hills or the downhills. I think top 10 is achievable if he can stay on his bike as he is obviously an extremely talented bike rider, but podium seems completely out of the question.
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User avatar King Boonen
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03 Aug 2016 16:45

With regards to "Technical Ability" - Sagan was World Junior Champ on the MTB in 2008 (no idea of the course or his competition) So, I'm wondering if he's lost those skills over the past 8 years or not. I'd say not, because he still MTB's in his down time and raced a couple times this past year.

I agree with you KB - I doubt he can climb with the top 3-4 guys and I also doubt he can rip it down hill like they can also (in control).

I'd love to see him prove me wrong though :D
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03 Aug 2016 19:40

I agree with you guys too. Sagan has great bike handling ability but the top mtb guys (XC) can hold their own with the downhill riders - Sagan can't. He will be helped by the relatively easy course, though. I also hope he doesn't win. I wouldn't mind at all if after this race and finishing mid-pack he decides to spend more time in mtb, before retiring from road in 6 or 7 years time and going full time mtb, which he clearly enjoys more. Absalon has shown that age can be ignore in XC sometimes.
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03 Aug 2016 19:42

Don't forget Fugslang too, when talking about ex-mtb riders. He also moved into that type of rider, just with less kick.
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Re:

04 Aug 2016 08:33

JackRabbitSlims wrote:With regards to "Technical Ability" - Sagan was World Junior Champ on the MTB in 2008 (no idea of the course or his competition) So, I'm wondering if he's lost those skills over the past 8 years or not. I'd say not, because he still MTB's in his down time and raced a couple times this past year.

I agree with you KB - I doubt he can climb with the top 3-4 guys and I also doubt he can rip it down hill like they can also (in control).

I'd love to see him prove me wrong though :D


8 years is a long time, I lose my MTB skills level in a couple of months. Obviously I'm not Sagan, but I'm pretty comfortable on the rough stuff. The hardest part is maintaining those skills when your heart rate is 195bpm. The races he did were just a couple of national Czech races as far as I remember, the level is obviously fairly high there but it's not WC XCO. His Junior WC win was in Val Di Sole, from memory it's not a tough course, but then neither is Rio. His competition was good, but none of them have stepped up anywhere near to what he has.


He's not going to get blow out the back of the group, he's much to strong for that to happen, but I think top 10 at best is reasonable and that is with the caveat that his skills are up to scratch.

Brullnux wrote:Don't forget Fugslang too, when talking about ex-mtb riders. He also moved into that type of rider, just with less kick.


Good one, I've no doubt missed out several others too.
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User avatar King Boonen
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04 Aug 2016 20:26

When is the race? parcours?


Thanks.
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04 Aug 2016 23:30

I was just reading the story about PS preriding the OLY XC course, and got to thinking how significant it is that the World Road Champ is switching disciplines 'mid' season.
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05 Aug 2016 04:01

I think Simon Andreassen should go quite well maybe top 10"and Anika will win the womens race.
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Re:

05 Aug 2016 14:56

Escarabajo wrote:When is the race? parcours?


Thanks.


21st of August, 17:30 CET - last day of the Olympics. Parcours I have been depending on KB
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09 Aug 2016 21:29

FUNNY! A local guy was at the Hole 50 race in WY that PS did before heading south. The guy said that PS is totally beatable...PS beat him by ~40 minutes! :0
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Re: Re:

10 Aug 2016 21:22

King Boonen wrote:
JackRabbitSlims wrote:With regards to "Technical Ability" - Sagan was World Junior Champ on the MTB in 2008 (no idea of the course or his competition) So, I'm wondering if he's lost those skills over the past 8 years or not. I'd say not, because he still MTB's in his down time and raced a couple times this past year.

I agree with you KB - I doubt he can climb with the top 3-4 guys and I also doubt he can rip it down hill like they can also (in control).

I'd love to see him prove me wrong though :D


8 years is a long time, I lose my MTB skills level in a couple of months. Obviously I'm not Sagan, but I'm pretty comfortable on the rough stuff. The hardest part is maintaining those skills when your heart rate is 195bpm. The races he did were just a couple of national Czech races as far as I remember, the level is obviously fairly high there but it's not WC XCO. His Junior WC win was in Val Di Sole, from memory it's not a tough course, but then neither is Rio. His competition was good, but none of them have stepped up anywhere near to what he has.


He's not going to get blow out the back of the group, he's much to strong for that to happen, but I think top 10 at best is reasonable and that is with the caveat that his skills are up to scratch.

Brullnux wrote:Don't forget Fugslang too, when talking about ex-mtb riders. He also moved into that type of rider, just with less kick.


Good one, I've no doubt missed out several others too.


Kessiakoff also. And Rosa.

King Boonen, and others, who do you see as favorites for the women's race?
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Re: Re:

10 Aug 2016 22:58

ciranda wrote:
King Boonen wrote:
JackRabbitSlims wrote:With regards to "Technical Ability" - Sagan was World Junior Champ on the MTB in 2008 (no idea of the course or his competition) So, I'm wondering if he's lost those skills over the past 8 years or not. I'd say not, because he still MTB's in his down time and raced a couple times this past year.

I agree with you KB - I doubt he can climb with the top 3-4 guys and I also doubt he can rip it down hill like they can also (in control).

I'd love to see him prove me wrong though :D


8 years is a long time, I lose my MTB skills level in a couple of months. Obviously I'm not Sagan, but I'm pretty comfortable on the rough stuff. The hardest part is maintaining those skills when your heart rate is 195bpm. The races he did were just a couple of national Czech races as far as I remember, the level is obviously fairly high there but it's not WC XCO. His Junior WC win was in Val Di Sole, from memory it's not a tough course, but then neither is Rio. His competition was good, but none of them have stepped up anywhere near to what he has.


He's not going to get blow out the back of the group, he's much to strong for that to happen, but I think top 10 at best is reasonable and that is with the caveat that his skills are up to scratch.

Brullnux wrote:Don't forget Fugslang too, when talking about ex-mtb riders. He also moved into that type of rider, just with less kick.


Good one, I've no doubt missed out several others too.


Kessiakoff also. And Rosa.

King Boonen, and others, who do you see as favorites for the women's race?

I think that the woman's winner will be somebody who is on no one's radar. How about one of the Masters like Dahle or Spitz?
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Re: Olympic MTB Race

12 Aug 2016 21:43

Course map:

Image

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JToIw88YEM8

I'm not a fan of the artificial courses. But the racing could be great, who knows. Aesthetically it makes me want to vom.
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Re: Olympic MTB Race

13 Aug 2016 09:24

Should be this

Image
User avatar ciranda
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Re: Re:

15 Aug 2016 00:37

Brullnux wrote:
Escarabajo wrote:When is the race? parcours?


Thanks.


21st of August, 17:30 CET - last day of the Olympics. Parcours I have been depending on KB

Thanks.
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Re: Olympic MTB Race

15 Aug 2016 00:58

red_flanders wrote:Course map:

Image

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JToIw88YEM8

I'm not a fan of the artificial courses. But the racing could be great, who knows. Aesthetically it makes me want to vom.

I don't follow the sport too much lately, but isn't this course too technical? maybe too many obstacles.

I used to follow the sport when Hesjedal was riding. LOL.
Last edited by Escarabajo on 15 Aug 2016 13:03, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar Escarabajo
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Re: Olympic MTB Race

15 Aug 2016 07:07

Escarabajo wrote:
red_flanders wrote:Course map:

Image

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JToIw88YEM8

I'm not a fan of the artificial courses. But the racing could be great, who knows. Aesthetically it makes me want to vom.

I don't follow the sport too much lately, but isn't this course looks too technical? maybe too many obstacles.

I used to follow the sport when Hesjedal was riding. LOL.

if i recall correctly, few XCO WCH guys described it as fast and not too technical (compared to world cup parcours). could be wrong though - i only saw few rock-gardens and those looked pretty plain/flat on top so no problem there.
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Re: Re:

15 Aug 2016 08:53

ciranda wrote:Kessiakoff also. And Rosa.

King Boonen, and others, who do you see as favorites for the women's race?


Late reply, jut back from a long break in the middle of nowhere, France. :)

The Womens race is going to be a tough one to call I think compared to the mens:

Pendrel
Batty
Ferrand Prevot
Langvad
Wloszczowska
Davison
Dahle Flesjaa
Nash
Neff
Henderson
Belomoina

All of them have a chance and I'm not sure who the course is really going to favour. Purely because they have two top riders I'm going to plump for a Canadian, just don't ask which one!
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