Drama in Nove Mesto: Men U23 and Women Elite - 2016 XCO World Championships

Jul 2, 2016
by Irmo Keizer  
As crowds gathered in the Nove Mesto venue, the buzzing of rollers could be heard throughout the pits. Anxious riders, warming up. Some making last minute adjustments as the World Championships is about to start for them. Spectator's eyes peer into team setups, hoping to catch a glimpse of the riders. The speaker announces 'riders, make your way to the call-up boxes' as the clock ticks away.

The men's U23 field gets ready.

Cooling vests ice packs umbrellas. Anything to bring down that core temperature.
Cooling vests, ice packs, umbrellas. Anything to bring down that core temperature.

Christoph Sauser supporting the Specialized riders. Sam Gaze getting ready for the race.
Christoph Sauser supporting the Specialized riders. Sam Gaze getting ready for the race.

The clock is ticking for the men s U23 field. Simon Andreassen is ready.
The clock is ticking for the men's U23 field. Simon Andreassen is ready.

U23 mens start.
U23 men's start.

Koretzky Gaze and Carod battle their way up the big hill. Gaze would eventually be the victor.
Koretzky, Gaze, and Carod battle their way up the big hill. Gaze would eventually be the victor.

If you have to lead the XCO race by motorbike you might as well have some fun. To be fair though he almost lost it here.
If you have to lead the XCO race by motorbike, you might as well have some fun. To be fair, though, he almost lost it here.

Straight pines a mob of screaming fans and one mean hill. Nove Mesto is one hell of an XC venue.
Straight pines, a mob of screaming fans and one mean hill. Nove Mesto is one hell of an XC venue.

France s Titouan Carod is off to a furious start. Simon Andreassen and Sam Gaze cling on.
France's, Titouan Carod is off to a furious start. Simon Andreassen and Sam Gaze cling on.

Sam Gaze styling it up.
Sam Gaze styling it up.

Take a look back see where your competition is.
Take a look back, see where your competition is.

The World Champs are a party for some but a day to forget for others. This Russian rider crashed hard faceplanting on a rock.
The World Champs are a party for some, but a day to forget for others. This Russian rider crashed hard, faceplanting on a rock.

Drama in Nove Mesto - Men U23 and Women Elite
A faceplant in the rocks is not something you want for any rider.

Lots of fluids were needed to keep from cramping in the heat today.
Lots of fluids were needed to keep from cramping in the heat today.

Drama in Nove Mesto - Men U23 and Women Elite
Hey, Czech fans. You rule.

Sam Gaze had the legs today.The Kiwi fought hard to take the gold.
Sam Gaze had the legs today.The Kiwi fought hard to take the gold.

Koretzky kept riding hard trying to get a gap in. Gaze followed with ease and overtook in the following lap.
Koretzky kept riding hard, trying to get a gap in. Gaze followed with ease and overtook on the following lap.

Lines everywhere if you want to overtake.
Lines everywhere if you want to overtake.

Sam Gaze did not buckle under the French pressure. As soon as he got up front he powered away.
Sam Gaze did not buckle under the French pressure. As soon as he got up front, he powered away.

Victor Koretzky takes the lead before Sam Gaze and Titouan Carod.
Victor Koretzky takes the lead before Sam Gaze and Titouan Carod.

The illustrous rainbow jersey remaines out of reach for now.
The illustrious rainbow jersey remains out of reach for now.

A moment to behold. Gaze crosses the line claiming the world title.
A moment to behold. Gaze crosses the line, claiming the world title. Victor Koretzky takes silver and Marcel Guerrini bronze.

Sam Gaze U23 men world champion.
Sam Gaze, U23 men's world champion.

The Gaze.
The Gaze.

As cheers for the men's U23 race settled down, the time had come for the women's field to make their way to the start boxes. With every single top rider present, it was a tough one to call in advance. Would we see Jolanda Neff dominating, or would Pendrel step it up again? Showtime ladies.

The German federation appreciates the summertime.
The German federation appreciates the summertime.

Hot and humid today. Best to keep the sun off your neck.
Hot and humid today. Best to keep the sun off your neck.

Gunn-Rita s sun wishing his mom good luck.
Gunn-Rita's son wishing his mom good luck.

Ex downhill pro Mio Suemasa on her titanium bike. She rode lines faster than anyone else on the circuit.
Ex downhill pro, Mio Suemasa on her titanium bike. She rode lines faster than anyone else on the circuit.

Emily Batty and Bec Henderson warming up at the back of the Trek Factory Racing team stand.
Emily Batty and Bec Henderson warming up at the back of the Trek Factory Racing team stand.

Pick your spot. According to ranking the top ten gets to decide where they start on the front line.
Pick your spot. According to ranking, the top ten gets to decide where they start on the front line.

Drama in Nove Mesto - Men U23 and Women Elite
Humid and hot. Riders opt for cooling their core.

Last minute pedal adjustments for Yana Belomoina.
Last minute pedal adjustments for Yana Belomoina.

Batty was focused today.
Batty was focused today.

Will it hold Clouds gather at the start of the women s elite race.
Will it hold? Clouds gather at the start of the women's elite race.

Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesjaa crashed with Pauline Ferrand-Prevot moments after the start snapping her handlebars as she tumbled to the floor.
Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesjaa crashed with Pauline Ferrand-Prevot moments after the start, snapping her handlebars as she tumbled to the floor.

Bad luck at the start for Gunn Rita forced her out of the race.
Bad luck at the start for Gunn-Rita meant she was forced out of the race.

Jolanda Neff s early charge backfired as she had to drop soon after. May we remind you she did win the World Champs marathon
Jolanda Neff's early charge backfired as she had to drop soon after. May we remind you she did win the World Champs marathon?

You like sausage boy
You like sausage boy? Being hungry in the Czech woods should not be a problem. Unless you're vegetarian that is.

Annika Langvad s strength is incredible. She powered away from the field to claim an impressive win today.
Annika Langvad's strength is incredible. She powered away from the field to claim an impressive win today.

Maja Wloszczowska powers up the climb in Nove Mesto. After Langvad took the lead she chased and gained ground before a flat stopped her from advancing further.
Maja Wloszczowska powers up the climb in Nove Mesto. After Langvad took the lead, she chased and gained ground before a flat stopped her from advancing further.

Two To go for Annika and she was well in front and riding smooth.
Two To go for Annika and she was well in front and riding smooth.

Catharine Pendrel and Emily Batty remained close together throughout the race.
Catharine Pendrel and Emily Batty remained close together throughout the race.

Maja Wloszczowska is in form but bad luck struck again as she flatted when riding in second.
Maja Wloszczowska is in form, but bad luck struck again as she flatted when riding in second.

Lea Davison nailed her line through Mitas Choice. Davison steadily worked her way through the field to take second place today.
Lea Davison nailed her line through Mitas Choice. Davison steadily worked her way through the field to take second place today.

Catharine Pendrel charging the Rock n Roll section.
Catharine Pendrel charging the Rock n Roll section.

Czech Favorite Katarina Nash took seventh today. A solid result for starting four rows back.
Czech Favorite, Katarina Nash took seventh today. A solid result for starting four rows back.

Emily Batty s hard work is paying off. The Canadian rider is right up there and it seems a matter of time before she will find herself on top of the field.
Emily Batty's hard work is paying off. The Canadian rider is right up there and it seems a matter of time before she will find herself on the top step.

Annika Langvad is your 2016 XCO World Champion.
Annika Langvad is your 2016 XCO World Champion.

Lea Davison in second.
Lea Davison in second.

Maja W oszczowska fought hard to get back to bronze after her flat but Emily Batty would hold her off in a dramatic sprint finish.
Maja Wloszczowska fought hard to get back to bronze after her flat but Emily Batty would hold her off in a dramatic sprint finish.

Emily Batty claims bronze by the narrowest of margins.
Emily Batty claims bronze by the narrowest of margins.

Pauline Ferrand-Prevot has had a tough season after coming back from an injury. She crashed twice today but still managed to finish in 18th.
Pauline Ferrand-Prevot has had a tough season after coming back from an injury. She crashed twice today but still managed to finish in 18th.

That moment when Emily Batty realized it all came together.
That moment when Emily Batty realized it all came together.

Pendrel congratulates Batty at the finish.
Pendrel congratulates Batty at the finish.

Lea Davison and Annika Langvad thrilled. Well done ladies.
Lea Davison and Annika Langvad thrilled. Well done ladies.

Maja s season is plagued by setbacks. Keep your head up Maja. Your luck will change.
Maja's season is plagued by setbacks. Keep your head up Maja. Your luck will change.

When it all goes terribly wrong at the last possible minute. Maja was shattered at the finish.
When it all goes terribly wrong at the last possible minute. Maja was shattered at the finish.

Tears flowed but her fans took away some of the pain.
Tears flowed, but her fans took away some of the pain.

The UCI anti e-dope tablet. Made in the batcave.
The UCI anti e-dope tablet. Made in the Batcave.

World Champ
World Champ.

Drama in Nove Mesto - Men U23 and Women Elite
Your women's elite podium. Annika Langvad, Lea Davison and Emily Batty.

The one two for Specialized. Today was sweet indeed.
The one-two for Specialized. Today was sweet indeed.

Drama in Nove Mesto - Men U23 and Women Elite
Bronze for the Canadian star. Full Rio focus.

Drama in Nove Mesto - Men U23 and Women Elite
See you tomorrow Nove Mesto. It will be a blast.



193 Comments

  • + 152
 A little more emphasis on Annika Langvad winning, than Batty coming 3rd would be nice.
  • + 12
 seriously. the batty show is great and all, but why is the podium shot focusing on her only?
  • + 185
 I may be wrong but Pinkbike might be a Canadian site Wink root for locals!
  • + 108
 Pinkbike is a Canadian website and chose to focus on the Canadian athlete. Any other site would do the same for their home country athlete.
  • + 19
 @WAKIdesigns: I agree with WAKI
  • + 56
 You're not gonna hear me complain.
  • + 42
 Canadian site, lots of Emily batty training videos over the past few months, rad chick. Sure someone else won but if you're a Pinkbike reader you know Emily because she is a Pinkbike article poster.
  • + 42
 I think I know why the focus on Emily. Emily Batty.
  • - 1
 Redbull wants their sweetheart to get more exposure.
  • + 18
 Pinkbike.ca
  • - 21
flag klinkekule (Jul 2, 2016 at 19:17) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns: yeah, wouldn't that be nice. Let's root for all the major sites rooting for their locals, instead of who actually wins. Sounds like a brilliant plan. Cue x amount of articles featuring obviously talented, but not quite there yet competitors rather than the ones who after years and years of hard work finally earns the right to carry the rainbows. Thumbs up indeed.
  • + 3
 @fernrob: No, that's Amanda Batty. Not Emily Batty.
  • + 14
 Because the world needs more Batty!
  • + 7
 @klinkekule - I'm affraid that if you want justice you must wait for the second coming of Christ Wink
  • - 8
flag MagnePange (Jul 3, 2016 at 2:47) (Below Threshold)
 @pbuser23411: It´s an international site.
  • + 7
 @klinkekule: you may want to avoid dirts website then
  • + 16
 cause batty is hot maybe lol
  • + 12
 @lyophilization: Because shes easy on the eyes!
  • + 14
 Give me a fuking break. She is on the way to the top shelf and yes she is our Canadian hero so suck it up buttercup. This site is located in BC, CANADA.
  • + 5
 @madmon: Ironic that there is significantly less coverage of a woman who actually lives in BC and has multiple world titles in the same discipline, though.
  • - 1
 @LeDuke: it's the patriarchy
  • + 9
 @pbuser23411: The author is from Netherlands, its an international site based in Canada. I've always thought the coverage unbiased; but photographers have to be opportunistic, they just cant cover everyone equally every race. Emily is a certainly a crowd pleaser, and also the only mountain biker I have actually had an email conversation with; before she was mega-famous.
  • + 0
 @SteveDekker: it's just some social justice bollocks. Emily doesn't deserve this kind of envy and self-importance driven horse crap. I am surprised no one mentions fat shaming, why only slim girls are allowed to race? Coincidence?
  • + 13
 @SteveDekker: We have to make choices as to which photos go up. What we want to show is the emotions we witnessed. Annika was in a league of her own and deserves every bit of credit for it. However, the stories unfolded behind her are a big part of what made this final so special. Maja and Sabine's flat. Emily and Maja's sprint. The women's podium is pretty awesome; all three ladies work so hard to get to where they are today. And, all of them have personalities to match their performance.
  • + 6
 I think it's just awesome to see Batty on the podium at Worlds!
  • + 2
 I have to agree it was kind of noticeable how much the coverage was to one rider. I realize PB is a Canadian based operation but it's a global website and I've never noticed any other instances of Canadian rider bias before.
  • + 7
 If I am not mistaken, when you count the pictures of during the race and post race finish line/podium Annika and Emily are pretty much even. I think they gave Annika due credit, if anyone didn't get reasonable coverage it was Lea.
  • - 10
flag a-r-c (Jul 3, 2016 at 15:49) (Below Threshold)
 Amazing how attractive the women are in xc. All the girls in dh and enduro look like gargoyles!
  • + 8
 @a-r-c: uh dude, Manon Carpenter is far from looking like a gargoyle!
  • + 4
 @a-r-c: lots of the ladies are cute!
  • + 3
 Because Irmo and Matt loves her eye lashes.. nyahaha
  • + 4
 Canadian site
Canadian racer
Site contributor
Fan favourite

Seeing the logic now?
  • + 1
 @Oh-My-Sack: man..... THAT pretty.... more pink "batty" bike ! hehehhehe
  • - 1
 @atrokz: forget it.
  • + 6
 The main reason we like Emily so much is because she's a great ambassador for women's mountainbiking. A couple of years ago womens mtb had a bit of a tomboy-ish image. But all these series and interviews with Emily totally push away that outdated view of women's mtb. A girly girl with a great personality and good looks shows that mountainbiking is cool for every type of women. Emily makes mountainbiking sexy. and that's what we love about her.
  • + 3
 @Mattin: No doubt, and I completely agree, but there shouldn't be more emphasis on that than the woman who actually took out the race - the world championships no less. There was some tripe posted by one of the photographers up the thread somewhere about taking the photos that best captured the emotions of the race or whatever, but that is transparent as glass, the whole article has clearly been geared towards the point that you make, which is a bit of a kick in the teeth for Annika. There's so many opportunities year round for sexy, fun, charismatic photos and edits, the world champs isn't one of those in my opinion. I should add, Batty is an absolute world class athlete on top of all that - and she's proved it, but so has Annika and Lea.
  • + 1
 @ajayflex: this is a bike site, not Mel Gibsons movie where honor and valor prevail in the end... yes there was more emphasis on Emily Batty, she is Canadian and she is pretty, and this is a Canadian site. And who gives a sht anyways? We don't even know if Annika is bummed about this. She just won a gold medal in World Championships and she is supposed to seek recognition in a photo editiorial on Pinkbike to feel fulfilled? - what is wrong with you people?! Are you out of your fkng mind?
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: No I'm not out my f*cking mind. But it does say a lot about our community when good looks get more attention than hard work. Its juvenile, and tiring. Mel Gibson... honor and valor... if you need to try and compare this bleedingly obvious issue to that, then you need take your head out if the sand. Its only prevelant in womens sport. If it happened in the mens events, youd all lose you f*cking minds.
  • + 3
 @ajayflex: I must just be old and senile. I think Annika is gorgeous and the smile she wore crossing the finish line priceless.
  • + 3
 @ajayflex: oh yes you are out of your mind. This editorial is just a set of pictures and you are trying to find some underlying dynamics as if Pinkbike along with the photographers were agents of the Patriarchy who knew exactly how and what to cater to us readers, who see no problem with that because we feel a cool buzz when looking at pictures of Emily. All that to achieve what and by whom exactly?! I'm not going to write, what I think you think, out of respect to girls here.

It's a set of pictures, good pictures of great athletes at a great event. Go practice your puritan justice in places where it works. Like a church or social justice Facebook page. Fk...

I tell you what, if there is any of the girls bummed by what has been presented here, it's Emily, I bet she can't believe how could this have been blown to such proportions. And I tell you why you are a social justice wanker, because you say that if this was about men we would not be fine with it, but I tell you that you are upset only because Emily is exceptionally pretty, she drives a Porsche, has her own series and is generally successful. That's your problem. Wel, I shown each episode of her Ambitions series to my daighter, guess I am an agent of patriarchy trying to bring my daughter down.

I can't believe I am writing this. Bunch of jealous unfulfilled fks.
  • + 2
 @ajayflex: Oh come now. I wonder if you even watched the race video. The third place finish was where the drama was. It was a hell of a race and the coverage here on PB was outstanding.
  • + 2
 @SteveDekker: An incredibly exciting race and finish. The complete agony of defeat was moving.
  • + 2
 let's step away from the nationalism. this was such a magnificent race. one of the best I've seen in the women's field for a long time. everything you could ask for. the riders fought to the bitter end and I tip my hat to them.
  • + 0
 @ajayflex: I totally get your point and would agree with it if it would have been blown out of proportion. In a 20-30 picture article there are 2 close up shots of Emily. And there's also a shot of everyone who's on the podium. It's not like they only uploaded the pic of Emily being third and no pics of the #1 and #2. So it's not out of proportion.

I don't blame Emily for getting a bit more than average attention though. She doesn't only end up very high in the score boards, but is also one of the best ambassadors for women's mountainbiking. I think her videos convince more women into mountainbiking than any other ambassador of our sport.

Could compare her a bit to Matt MacDuff for example. He doesn't even do contests so no rankings, but we love him for his attitude, all the sick projects he does and of course his insane riding. A real ambassador doesn't necessarily have to be the one who always ends up first in races.
  • + 0
 @Mattin: the initial post was a pretty unloaded, general observation. Then the internet happened...
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: You spew out that shit then accuse me of looking for underlying dynamics?
  • + 2
 @ikeizer: Watched the race again last night while riding my rollers (thunderstorm here...blah). Best moment of the race, for me? Watching how excited Annika got for Lea. She was jumping up and down with her arms in the air waiting for Lea to cross the line. A close second was Batty's disbelief that she'd actually won a bronze medal. She was completely stunned for a little while. The men's race, while great to watch, ended with a "Meh. Ok. Cool." for me.
  • - 1
 @ajayflex: Couldn't agree more bud, stupid Yanks (or Canadians, same diff) using the World Cup to promote their own, riding on Annika's coat tails, it's disgusting.
  • + 1
 @LeDuke: that was cool indeed. The men's race did not come close to the women's, I totally agree.
  • + 50
 Is carbon really worth it when your bars snap and you can't even finish the race? A lot to sacrifice for a few grams..
  • + 25
 Not to mention a snapped carbon bar is the last thing you want to fall on in a crash :s
  • + 9
 Can't believe that a manufacturer would make a bar that light that it would break that easily. Hope they don't sell them to the public!!!
  • + 33
 Carbon bars snap as often as carbon deniers win any race, anywhere.
  • + 44
 It's because the mechanic didn't use a torque wrench on that zip tie... lol
  • + 14
 Not sure how it broke but having seen the crash durrig the race it could of been many things. Foot of other rider, wheel of other bike etc... not sure I would blame it on being made of carbon, anything can fail even the titanic...
  • - 20
flag Thustlewhumber (Jul 2, 2016 at 17:52) (Below Threshold)
 The only two carbon bars I would trust are Enve and Deity.
  • - 5
flag jclnv (Jul 2, 2016 at 18:21) (Below Threshold)
 @Thustlewhumber: I would trust Syntace before both of those.
  • + 6
 @Thustlewhumber: raceface, chromag to add to the list. There are great carbon bar options other now
  • + 2
 Get that lady some SixC's! heh.
  • + 2
 @teamweee: Apparently it broke as a result of the crash. I did not witness the crash itself though.
  • - 1
 I will never use a carbon bar or post. The pain is too quick and unavoidable.
  • + 9
 thin 150gr carbon bar is the problem... not the carbon...
  • + 4
 @Lagr1980: If it was the bar I'm thinking it was, try 100g.
  • + 6
 I think we can Tune into the idea that it was one of those sub 100g bars that come with no testing and no warranty...
  • + 1
 @daugherd: They are all making carbon bars now. The offerings from any reputable company are going to be good now. Raceface, enve, chromag, renthal, answer, deity, Easton etc.
  • + 4
 @sino428: They are all made about the same, laid up on an inflatable nylon mandrel which can leave wrinkles and flaws inside maybe leading to failure of the finished bar. Thats why the carbon usually fails where the rise starts; its the point where, because of the curve and size change its most prone to the mandrel deforming causing a flaw. The Thomson bars are laid up on a solid EPS mandrel which makes it more consistent, less likely to have flaws and so consistently stronger. Makes sense. But they are like 200 grams. All those other bars are good too.
  • + 2
 @SteveDekker: ahh you beat me to it and answered my question in one. I thought pretty much all carbon bars are created equal except the Thomson ones. Remember reading about it but thought at the time it was just more marketing hype. But as it was thomson it did arouse my curiosity.
  • + 0
 This is why I have trust issues with carbon bars. It's probably irrational, but look at that thing!
  • + 1
 For sure xc carbon bars are way too on edge. I have Raceface SIXC downhill carbon bar on my bike and this thing will never break.
  • + 2
 @dirtremedy: Gimme. I break!
  • + 1
 @therealtylerdurden: Been riding Sixc bars for DH/AM for 4 years now, same bar. They're strong.
  • + 38
 That rock garden + a high seatpost = the stuff of nightmares. Much respect.
  • + 21
 Thanks for the great coverage! The end of the Elite Women's race was so exciting with the two flats and the sprint for third. I can't believe how bad it would feel to get a flat so close to the finish line...
  • + 7
 Holy crap I wish I saw that. Sucks for Maya, Jesus, how do you cope with that? She needs to ride with Peaty...
  • + 6
 @WAKIdesigns: Frankly, that wheel change is what cost Maja that bronze. Surprised there's no discussion about exactly how long that wheel change took. If its costing medals, then it needs some focus.
  • - 2
 @Kapricorn: mneee, that's like analyzing could haves, should haves with trajectory of the asteroid that killed dinosaurs... She flatted, flats happen.
  • + 4
 QR 135 and she woulda had the Bronze.
  • + 3
 @Kapricorn: yeah the changing of wheels in wc xc is something that needs to be looked at. The round in france with Nino having 2 flats and 2 very slow wheel changes. I know its easy to say sitting on my couch watching but its a crucial aspect of any long duration sport with wheels. They have designated areas where they can change wheels etc etc but it seems like a mad scramble when they come in rather than a planned coordinated procedure. .........easy said than done though i guess
  • + 2
 @slowrider73: His mechanics are usually the best at it. I've seen them do 17 second wheel changes.
  • + 1
 @LeDuke: yeah i thought he would have a good team. I guess with so many variables in mtb its a really hard one to call. Nino sure looke pissed though. .......well as pissed as Nino can look!
  • + 1
 It wasn't only how long it took, but her mechanic also sent her back out with the chain on the 10t..! She could barely even turn the crank over from the dead stop. The mechanic blew it for her, took too long, wrong gear when she left the pit. A grip shift and half spin of the crank would've saved her a couple more seconds on the course. Also, not to get too roadie, but batty didn't hold her line very well on the spint...
  • + 0
 @mattsavage: grip shift or Shimano drivetrain with Shimano shifter... XTR up shifts 4 gears at once.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Yeah, but she's on Sram... On the trail, it's negligible, but in the pit it's just a flick of the wrist, Two hands, one on the shifter, one on the crank, half a second and she's back in the right spot.

Regardless, he blew it just as much as the tire.
  • + 1
 Or maybe she should ride tubulars in the first place...
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Nino flatted twice at La Bresse on his tubulars...
  • + 0
 @mattsavage: really?! Fk... I don't follow XC (I don't follow any sport really, Excuse me my ignorance) but I thought they are almost unpuncturable.
  • + 17
 Saw Batty - clicked... Congrats to all. As much as I do not like XC, I sure appreciate the skill and determination of the athletes. And it's good to see some mt. biking features in the trails, even if contrived and strange looking.
  • + 4
 The vast majority of the mountain biking population rides XC. Unless you're shuttling, taking lifts, or wear a full face a good portion of the time, it's XC.
  • + 1
 @LeDuke: XC as in full on XC racing. Spindly mt. bikes, lycra, suffering up the hills as the primary focal point.. That's what I mean by "I don't like XC." The vast majority of mt. bikers ride 5" travel, full suspension bikes and prefer the down side of gravity's pull. I submit that the bulk of Mt Bikers climb casually to enjoy the downs. I call that trail riding. The competition version of it has been called...enduro.
  • + 4
 @herzalot: They go downhill as much as they go uphill and the whole thing is timed that's called racing. On a 3-4km loop is basically trail riding.
The vast majority of mountainbikers with the 5-6" FS bikes droppers posts and baggy shorts - myself included - would be happy if they could ride downhill like these racers in lycra and saddle in the sky. They are athletes and on the top level very exceptional ones.
  • + 1
 @bosnianrider: Of course they are. These athletes are exceptional. I said so above. All I said is I do not like XC riding. I will try to clarify. I do not like donning a full lycra kit, riding spindly bikes with weird/twitchy geometry, counting grams and riding in Type A personality fashion. That said - I think these athletes are amazing in skill, courage, dedication and determination.
  • + 21
 F*ck me, XC looks painful
  • + 12
 Amen. I love chairlifts.
  • + 2
 Hurts so good though!
  • + 3
 @Session603: you're a short step away from e-bike, my friend. . .
  • + 0
 @Session603: I love lamp.
  • + 15
 Pumped to see Canada podium but I'm more impressed with Maja and her push back to fighting for third after a flat.
  • + 4
 She gave it all. Both girls deserve loads of credits.
  • + 14
 My favourite part was the motorbike
  • + 3
 Now THAT, if I am not mistaken, is an ebike! Big Grin
  • + 3
 @ryetoast: You are not, it is Wink
  • + 1
 Looks like a electric KTM......
  • + 14
 Well done Sam - doing us Te Miro & Cambridge locals proud!
  • + 6
 You guys been doing so well in DH, good to see great results and future in XC too!
  • + 4
 @iamamodel: And bmx racing! (Junior men world champion)
  • + 11
 Love the pics, but no mention of Sabine Spitz?
  • + 3
 You are right, too much late night editing. It has been submitted to editors as it should be in.
  • + 4
 Yes, holding onto 3rd until a last round flat, what could have been!
  • + 4
 @bashhard: Her performance remains incredible. Determined as can be. No question for me as to who should go to the Olympics on Germany's team.
  • + 2
 @ikeizer: Spitz and Gunn-Rita are heros of mine for kicking ass whilst in the 40+ group.
  • + 2
 @zephxiii: ditto to that, those two ladies are legends already!
  • + 7
 American Pride is high right now, Very Very stoked for American Lea Davison! And that fist pump she did at the finish gave me goose bumps. High Five! Olympic XC and BMX is going to be great.
  • + 8
 The xc races are looking more proper! Most riders I know couldn't clear those rock gardens on a 160mm trail bike.
  • + 1
 Actually some of the riders made the comment they'd like to ride one there as well.
  • + 4
 It's so unfortunate that Maja flatted in the last five mins of the race. All the girls are deserving of medals, they all work equally as hard. Fortunately for Emily, she was consistent, riding within medal contention for the entirety of the race, all it took was a mistake from another rider in front of her. Emily Batty brings attention to the sport. Whether you agree or disagree, she is deserving of a medal; she is a fantastic role model and inherently brings mainstream media attention to the sport which in turn provides growth. She is an incredible ambassador for mountain biking. The Elite Women's race was the highlight of the weekend!
  • + 7
 You know you made it when Chris Sauser holds your umbrella Big Grin
  • + 8
 RIGHT THE FUCK ON LEA!
  • + 5
 Amazing pics of the women's race! Really convey's the spirit of the racing. So glad to see such high quality photographic coverage of XC!
  • + 3
 the entire race was awesome, the rotation of the riders among the first positions made it very hard to predict the end it had. I just wish the track was more focused on technical parts and less on paved areas.
  • + 7
 Yeaaaaah Emily!!!
  • + 6
 Such emotion in the photos, what a great article!
  • + 2
 Maja was robbed!!! Unbelievable. Spitz too. Silver and bronze should've been theirs. I'm also never gonna ride with a carbon bar. Ferrand Prevot did well to finish top 20 considering a start crash and that faceplant! Congrats to Annika.
  • + 1
 Maja's mechanic robbed her... Who the fuque sends their rider back out of the pit in the 10t?! I hope he's fired...
  • + 7
 Those sausages........
  • + 2
 The woman's race in my opinion was easy more exciting, Nino is just to dominate! The battle for third was awesome, bad toner to get a flat but the girl from Poland fought hard.
  • + 1
 Any chance these will ever get narrated in a more story-like fashion? It's a lot more fun when I don't know the outcome of the race by the 3rd picture.

And having watched it, you lose a lot of the drama of what happened, e.g. sabine spitz, maja's last-second disaster to almost-3rd.
  • + 4
 That looks like some serious stokage. Also, Womens XC racing may be the sickest thing I've ever seen
  • + 3
 dear pinkbike redactors, you shouldn't use 'drama' with ease in any 2016 headline articles. only half of the year but to many broken hearts
  • + 1
 Inside my heart is breaking, my make up may be fading but my smile still stays on. Show must go on.
  • + 3
 My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies, Fairy tales of yesterday, will grow but never die, I can fly, my friends! The Show must go on!
  • + 4
 Brutal for Maja after riding so well on that crappy hardtail. Deserved second.
  • + 4
 Awesome! This has been awesome coverage for all the xc Champs. Love it!
  • + 5
 Maja!!!
  • + 4
 Good to see Meatloaf serving the sausage
  • + 14
 Brat out of hell
  • + 16
 Sorry, that joke was the wurst.
  • + 0
 Don't get me wrong Emily Batty is awesome rider but she deliberately blocked Maja on the sprint pulling over slightly to the left knowing dam well she couldn't beat her on all out sprint finish!! It's racing end of the day but still bit cheeky though. Well done to all the riders that's got to of been the most interesting race I've seen in past two years
  • + 2
 I would like to see the riders rocking a dropper post in order to hammer the downhills. Probably has more to do with the course though...
  • - 1
 Ever notice how whiney the enduro and dh women are about trying to live up to societies standard of beauty while competing and yet these xc ladies pull it off with such grace. Much respect for the xc girls and shame on the whiney ones. #ugly goes right to the bone.
  • + 1
 maybe noticing is part of the problem.
  • + 3
 That was an AWESOME FINISH.. I'm glad I was able to watch it.
  • + 0
 How about mentioning the other Canadians that were there? They didn't do horrible, and the fact they went to worlds says a lot.
  • + 2
 Does anybody know which bike Mio rides?
  • + 3
 Says "Litec" on the top tube... www.litecjapan.com
  • + 2
 @AvgJoe:

Thank you!
  • + 1
 @AvgJoe: Thanks!!!
  • + 1
 oh and my secret love ♥ Pauline FERRAND-PREVOT has a broken face, I will cry.
  • + 1
 Just like Gaze to take the rainbow jersey. Wonder what sausage boy thought of the Gaze victory.
  • + 3
 Good work Lea Davison!!!
  • - 2
 @WAKIdesigns so according to your logic why does pinkbike bother even covering riders from other countries since its a canadian website. So last world Cup round they should have shown only the canadian riders and not the picture of the winners on the podium. The fact is theyre only featuring emily so hard because she has a pretty face and is more marketable and is sponsored by major bands pushing her marketabilty. Its kinda sad how theyre taking away credit and exposure from the gold and silver medalists for reasons that i mentioned above. So i guess when germany wins the euro the welsh media should put a picture of wales as the headline cause they suprised everyone?
  • + 0
 You have the full right to be offended. You must wait thought for the justice and good to be spread among those who most deserve it. Your view on justice is indeed a noble and reasonable one. Once Jesus comes back, you shall be risen from the grave and see justice and he will punish her, make her ugly and take Porsche from that overhyped posh btch. He will also punish the facetous and careless me, for the blasphemies I spread and the reasons for which I like to follow Emily and Maja. Beatiful young girls riding bikes faster than me. Our Lord Jesus will allow you personally to push me into a pot of boiling satans sperm. Justice shall be made once and for all!
  • + 1
 What a great race. Lots of pain, suffering and dramatic finish. XC at its best
  • + 1
 Batty on a 27.5? Seems to suit her size much better.

And MIO! blast from the past indeed!
  • + 2
 Go Annika great victory
  • + 1
 OUTSTANDING PICS ! Great job by the editor - feels like i was there.
  • + 1
 THAT dude's neck in the specialized photo's gonna give me nightmares.
  • + 1
 I got a fever. And the only cure is more Batty.
  • + 1
 the women's race was incredible. Bravo! Superb show.
  • + 1
 What is up with the moto leading the 1st lap?
  • + 1
 they clear the course. They usually ride every lap...I think
  • + 1
 Props to Mio for moving from DH to racing XC at the highest level.
  • + 0
 That reminds me, I have a left over sausage in the fridge! What a great way to start the day.
  • + 1
 damn... how come we dont get spectator crowds like that in the USA?
  • + 5
 Because everyone thinks of their XC rides as "trail" or "AM", and don't feel a connection.
  • + 0
 @LeDuke: spectator factor at most races it pretty weak --- mostly just bottom feeders looking for free shit and crashes and or just friends, family of the people racing. pretty pathetic actually turn-outs.. I hope to change that a little at least with a project I have in the works at a location where I plan on host enduro / all mountain races.
  • + 3
 Europe loves their bike racing... In the US, they'd rather pay to see their shitty nba team come dead last in their conference...
  • + 1
 @LeDuke: I wish I could prop that comment 100 times
  • + 2
 in all honesty, if you dont ride, bike races are pretty boring to watch. much the same way nascar is boring as f*ck to non-fans.
however, calling any person watching a race, regardless of why they are there, a bottom feeder, isnt going to increase viewership. hope you plan works out though. if its successful maybe you could write an article on here?
  • + 1
 @lyophilization: first let me say, bottom feeders is a general term I'm using and doesnt apply to just bikers. I see it all the time at other sports and public events too.
if I were profiling, it's mostly the young people looking for free stuff who may or may not actually have any true interest in the event/race itself. IMO, Craiglist users are bottom feeders too and it's not really intended to be a cut down on people it's kinda the same as calling someone a "bargain hunter" or "Attention Kmart Shoppers". When I had the bike shop in Ashburn VA, I had a special area in the store where I would toss random products, blems, used items and stuff that just never sold. I had several guys and gals who watched that table like a hawk and I swear, the only times they bought stuff was when it was an item from that table. Man, I could go on and on with some funny stuff about that table. Some of the goof ball things people bought.

getting back to people at race events --- man, that's so true... non-bikers at heart, why would they go to a race? bike races has got nuttin' compared to what you have at baseball, hockey, soccer and football games.
even tennis and golf which is an individual sport. gees the difference in the player income and money earned by the industry I bet is pretty extreme compared to the bike industry.
It's always baffling to me the incomes the pro ball players are pulling in... just yesterday, I saw on ESPN, some ball player just signed a $40 million deal...
FOR TWO YEARS!!!
40 frikin million dollars for two season of play.
HOLE - E Crap, are you kidding me? and that's just one player on the team.

biking will never reach that kinda of status that's for sure..
  • + 2
 Yeah Lea!
  • + 1
 Was afraid to open the article :O ...
  • + 1
 Good stuff! Outstanding coverage! Hope everyone heals up ok!
  • - 1
 Everything for the cool looks Ms Batty? With a chinstrap that loose she can wear a basecap and have the same effect.
  • + 0
 maybe she screams while biking to intimidate other riders? youd need the extra room for that.
  • + 1
 GOOD
  • + 0
 Carbon bars can suck a big fat one! And Camel toe!
  • + 1
 Marry me Emily
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