After some incredible World Cup racing, it is now time for the biggest MTB race of the year as some of the top XC racers head to Tokyo to fight for a gold medal.
So what can we expect to see from the games in Tokyo? Next week will see Loana Lecomte looking to build upon her nearly unprecedented dominance of the Women's field. Mathieu Van Der Poel also returns to XC racing after his hugely successful stint in the Tour De France. The course in Tokyo could be one of the toughest riders face with the test event taking out some riders with either injuries or mechanicals. Temperatures and humidity are high in Tokyo right now making it an even tougher challenge for the World's best.
The course in Tokyo provides plenty of challenges for the rider with rocks, jumps and drops spread across the course. Riders found it challenging at the test event with more than a few injuries and mechanicals. We aren't sure if there were changes to the course since the test event, but it still looks like a great challenge for the racers fighting for the Olympic gold medal.
Here are some drone videos from a local news organization.
What Happened at the Last World Cup?
The last round of the XC World Cup is Les Gets provided one of the toughest challenges for the riders with an already technical course made even trickier by a lot of rain and mud. It was Loana Lecomte and Mathias Flueckiger who bested the conditions, but it was not an easy race for anyone.
Previous Olympic Winners
Elite Men: Nino Schurter
Elite Women: Jenny Rissveds
Elite Men: Jaroslav Kulhavý
Elite Women: Julie Bresset
Elite Men: Julien Absalon
Elite Women: Sabine Spitz
Elite Men: Julien Absalon
Elite Women: Gunn-Rita Dahle
Elite Men: Miguel Martinez
Elite Women: Paola Pezzo
Elite Men: Bart Brentjens
Elite Women: Paola Pezzo
See the complete entry list for the Tokyo Olympics here
The weather is looking very hot and humid for the riders next week, with a high chance that things may get slippery with a thunderstorm predicted for Tuesday morning.
Monday, July 26
- Men's RaceCloudy with a few showers in the afternoon // 33°C // 73% precipitation // wind 15km/h Tuesday, July 27
- Women's RaceA thunderstorm in the morning; otherwise, clouds giving way to some sun and humid, becoming breezy in the afternoon // 32°C // 51% precipitation // wind 20km/h
Weather forecast as of Thursday, July 22 from Accuweather
How to watch
The Olympic XC racing is set to start on Monday with the Men's racing kicking things off before the Women take to the course on Tuesday. Check out the timings and where you can watch below. Monday, July 26
• 23:00 PDT / 2:00 EDT / 7:00 BST / 8:00 CEST // Men's Olympic XCTuesday, July 27
• 23:00 PDT / 2:00 EDT / 7:00 BST / 8:00 CEST // Women's Olympic XCSee what time the events will be taking place in your city using timeanddate.comUSA
To watch the Olympics on TV in the US, you’ll need access to the television networks of NBCUniversal. To stream it online, check out the NBC Sports app, NBCOlympics.com, and Peacock. Australia
The Seven Network has broadcast rights in Australia. You’ll be able to catch all the action on TV via Channel Seven, 7mate, and 7Two, and livestreaming is available via 7Plus. Canada
To watch in Canada, you’ll want to check out national broadcaster CBC/Radio-Canada. CBC Television has TV coverage, while CBC Gem, the CBC Olympic site, and mobile app will have live streaming. UK
There are two host broadcasters in the UK: the BBC and Eurosport. BBC is a free option, and will include content on BBC TV, BBC Red Button, BBC iPlayer, plus the BBC Sport website and app. Eurosport is a paid option and can be accessed both via TV and via live-streaming options.You can view a full list of broadcasters here. Cycling Tips have a fully detailed breakdown for all the other cycling event at this year's Olympic games here.Note: Please check for broadcast times with your local provider.
In the Men's race, we have put Mathieu Van Der Poel as our top pick, following his huge success in the early stages of the Tour De France Mathieu pulled out earlier than plan to fully prepare for the games. If Mathieu is fully recovered and used to racing XC again, then we think he will take the Olympic gold. In second place we would put Mathias Flueckiger, who has had an incredible season so far and now sits number one in the UCI XC World rankings. Mathias is a fan of technical courses so he will be right at home in Tokyo, but we have not seen him go up against Mathieu Van Der Poel since the first two races of the year. Our third pick for the men is Tom Pidcock. Just like Mathieu Van Der Poel, Tom missed a few World Cups this year and he had a tricky time in Les Gets after coming back from a big injury. If Tom can match his incredible speed from Nove Mesto earlier this year then he will be one of the top riders next week.
In the women's field, it would be pretty hard to bet against Loana Lecomte. Loana has won every World Cup race this year by some pretty big margins and won the French National Champs by over one and a half minutes on Pauline Ferrand Prevot. Pauline has had a slower start to the season than normal, but she has been building her training for the Olympics. We wouldn't be surprised to see her back at the very top, but Loana is carrying a lot of momentum and confidence into this year's biggest race. The current Olympic champion Jenny Rissveds is our pick for third place as she has seen results improve over the season to take second place in the tough last World Cup race in Les Gets.
1 // Mathieu VAN DER POEL
2 // Mathias FLUECKIGER
3 // Tom PIDCOCK
1 // Loana LECOMTE
2 // Pauline FERRAND-PREVOT
3 // Jenny RISSVEDS
(actually twice. That mini was a righteous choice)
It is going to be an amazing race that's for sure.
www.nbcolympics.com/schedule/sport/cycling This link incl. all cycling
*Throws the horns in the air and head bangs.
His apology seems honest and reasonable.
Im poking at Crysvb a bit because he seems to be intentionally trying to make a bigger deal out of this than necessary.
Does seems as though Amaury messed up pretty good. Bummer.