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Olympic MTB: transferrable skills?

Cyclo-cross seems unlikely to make it as an Olympic sport in the foreseeable future, but MTB cross country is in.

On the face of it, the skillsets for the two sports look similar, so has there ever been a concerted effort to cross over from one event to the other? If Van der Poel were to have put his mind to it since the end of the CX season, could he have been a contender?
 
Armchair cyclist said:
Cyclo-cross seems unlikely to make it as an Olympic sport in the foreseeable future, but MTB cross country is in.

On the face of it, the skillsets for the two sports look similar, so has there ever been a concerted effort to cross over from one event to the other? If Van der Poel were to have put his mind to it since the end of the CX season, could he have been a contender?
vdP tried, but didn't find the front of a big race. His early results looked good, but he was flying from CX and the dirt guys were just building. I wish that he would have stuck it out a bit longer. Frischknecht had by far the best results in both disciplines (and that was when XC was 2+ hours).
 
May 11, 2009
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Armchair cyclist said:
Cyclo-cross seems unlikely to make it as an Olympic sport in the foreseeable future, but MTB cross country is in.

On the face of it, the skillsets for the two sports look similar, so has there ever been a concerted effort to cross over from one event to the other? If Van der Poel were to have put his mind to it since the end of the CX season, could he have been a contender?

Here in Colorado riders (including some top international CX riders) ride both MTB in the summer and CX in the winter.
 
I'd say the riders have slightly different characteristics. The top MTB guys tend to be quite small (similar physiques types to GC riders). The top CX riders seem to be more rouleur types - think Lars Boom & Stybar.
 
Apr 8, 2012
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It has been talked about for many years, petitions even made. CX should be in the olympics if road, track, and mtb, and BMX are. The IOC has always had a hard time justifying it for the Winter games since all the sports featured rely on the snow or ice as part of the "field-of-play". Odd man out.
 
What you say is true, but CX can be raced on, at least somewhat, snow, or in a snowstorm, or on slush, frost, etc. It often is. Though I can see how some may view it as a "between" sport.

This really sucks though because to me it's a sport with true winners by delineation - put another way, there is no judging. The person who crosses the finish line first, is the winner. Compare this to so many Olympic sports, and the controversy that has come from judging. Even some BMX is subject to that.
 
I think MvDP will have a big year this year....he had a few good races starting so far back last year but as he gets to move up in the grid it will help immensely.
I do think the disciplines have a lot of transferable skills, but the men are so specialized in their racing it's hard to crossover and have a lot of success when you aren't living and breathing it.
You see quite a lot of crossover with the women. Even Neff has started racing the CX World Cups and is doing quite well despite starting from the back row.