Photo Epic: Golden Oldies from Nove Mesto

May 24, 2020
by Matthew DeLorme  



This weekend would have been the season opener for the XC World Cup in the tall pine forest of Nove Mesto, which is perhaps the best XC venue of them all. Long punishing climbs, tons of roots, and rock gardens that often cause chaos to make it the gem of a course that it is. Then there are the fans, a hoard that travels through the woods with the race with chain saws, air raid sirens, and noise makes of all other imaginable forms. Here's a bit of a look back of Nove Mesto past, and hoping we get to return in the fall.

Nino Schurter takes fourth place on the day.
Nino Schurter takes fourth place on the day. STXC 2019

20 minutes at that pace can leave you hurting.
20 minutes at that pace can leave you hurting. STXC 2019

Kate Courtney skipping down the Mitas rocks without anyone else in sight.
Kate Courtney skipping down the Mitas rocks without anyone else in sight.

Kate Courtney was two for two after her strong performance in Nove Mesto going into the break in 2019.
Kate Courtney was two for two after her strong performance in Nove Mesto.

Van der Poel up front while Schurter watches his chances at an attack slip away. MVDP would eventually take his first World Cup win.
Van der Poel up front while Schurter watches his chances at an attack slip away. MVDP would eventually take his first World Cup win.

In 2019 Mathieu van der Poel got the best of Nino Schurter.
In 2019, Mathieu van der Poel got the best of Nino Schurter.

Haley Smith kicked off 2019 with a bang. She started with a top 10 in Albstadt and then achieved a third place finish in Nove Mesto - her first podium.
Haley Smith kicked off 2019 with a bang. She started with a top 10 in Albstadt and then achieved a third-place finish in Nove Mesto - her first podium.

The back and forth between Schurter and MVDP was one for the books.
The back and forth between Schurter and MVDP was one for the books. 2019

Ronja Eibl took second for the U23 women.
Ronja Eibl took second for the U23 women. 2019

Women s podium - Courtney Henderson Smith Frei and Degn.
Women's podium - Courtney, Henderson, Smith, Frei, and Degn. 2019

Marika Tova was in near shock when she came across the line in third.
Marika Tova was in near shock when she came across the line in third. 2018

Malene Degn has a touch and go moment on the BMX section on lap four but brought it back.
Malene Degn has a touch and go moment on the BMX section on lap four but brought it back. 2018

the lovely ladies of Czech......
The lovely ladies of Czech...... 2018

Emily Batty found her fire today and rode to an impressive fourth place finish.
Emily Batty found her fire today and rode to an impressive fourth-place finish. 2018

A gassed Nino after edging out Cooper in 2018

Inches. Schurter and Cooper try and tear eachothers legs of as the head for the line.
Inches. Schurter and Cooper try and tear each other's legs off as they head for the line. 2018

The 2018 elite men s photo finish. Both elite races that year were action packed.
The 2018 elite men's photo finish. Both elite races that year were action-packed.

Annika Langvad completely cooked after a long sprint fending off Jolanda Neff.
Annika Langvad completely cooked after a long sprint fending off Jolanda Neff.

Annika Langvad and Jolanda Neff s fight in 2018 was as good as racing gets. It boiled down to a drag race down the finish straight.
Annika Langvad and Jolanda Neff's fight in 2018 was as good as racing gets. It boiled down to a drag race down the finish straight.

Sam Gaze ran into trouble early with a crash and a front flat. He hung in there but he was too far out from a tech zone to make it back into contention.
Sam Gaze ran into trouble early with a crash and a front flat. He hung in there but he was too far out from a tech zone to make it back into contention. 2018

Cat and mouse games - After a full throttle battle between the two all race long Neff tried her luck to get Langvad to bite but ended up being the cat who couldn t claw back.
Cat and mouse games - After a full-throttle battle between the two all race long, Neff tried her luck to get Langvad to bite, but ended up being the cat who couldn't claw back.

Keeping cool before the heat.
Keeping cool before the heat. 2018

Tempier dragging Marotte up the long climb. Tempier finished sixth on the day and Marotte took fourth.
Tempier dragging Marotte up the long climb. Tempier finished sixth on the day and Marotte took fourth. 2017

Nove Mesto takes the pressure off you as long as you aren t Jarro.
Nove Mesto takes the pressure off you as long as you aren't Jarro. 2017

Nothing was holding back Nino. Like he never skipped a beat.
Nothing was holding back Nino. Like he never skipped a beat. 2017

Up the center. Over and Over. It takes it s toll.
Up the center. Over and Over. It takes its toll. 2017

Eat your sausages for strength because you re not likely to find a vegetable in the near vicinity.
Eat your sausages for strength, because you're not likely to find a vegetable in the near vicinity. 2017

Petter Fagerhaug racing home on the final lap.
Petter Fagerhaug racing home on the final lap. 2017

Evie brought the home fan club out.
Evie brought the home fan club out. 2017

Evie Richiards bombing Mitas Choice during an early race lead. A crash in Rock N Roll would lead to a hard effort that in the end cost her the race.
Evie Richards bombing Mitas Choice during an early race lead. A crash in Rock N' Roll would lead to a hard effort that in the end cost her the race. 2017

Once Kate Courtney made the pass she turned on the afterburners and never looked back.
Once Kate Courtney made the pass, she turned on the afterburners and never looked back. 2017

The crowds were next level. Racers ears are going to be ringing for days.
The crowds were next level. Racers ears are going to be ringing for days. 2016

Reveling is hard work. Best to take a union break and have a beer.
Reveling is hard work. Best to take a union break and have a beer. 2016

Jaroslav leading Nino up the hill on lap one.
Jaroslav leading Nino up the hill on lap one. 2016

The one two for Specialized. Today was sweet indeed.
The one-two for Specialized. Today was sweet indeed. 2016

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. 2016

Lea and Catharine pushing up the big hill. Catharine was having a top five ride until fellow Canadian Emily Batty over took her.
Lea and Catharine pushing up the big hill. Catharine was having a top-five ride until fellow Canadian Emily Batty overtook her. 2016

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. 2016

Gunn Rita retires early after a start crash.
Gunn Rita retires early after a start crash. 2016

Sabine Spitz was in good shape until lap five when a mistake in Rock and Roll cost her some time.
Sabine Spitz was in good shape until lap five when a mistake in Rock and Roll cost her some time. 2014

Face plants in rock gardens with a cross country helmet are slightly unnerving. After smashing his face on the rock he got up an kept going like it was nothing. He is assuredly feeling it tonight.
Face plants in rock gardens with a cross country helmet are slightly unnerving. After smashing his face on the rock, he got up and kept going like it was nothing. He is assuredly feeling it tonight. 2014

Dan McConnell takes on water through the tech zone. McConnell had a great start jumping out in front and then settled in about nineteenth place until the diesel engine kicked in and he started to plow through the field. McConnell took fourth today.
Dan McConnell takes on water through the tech zone. McConnell had a great start, jumping out in front and then settled in about nineteenth place until the diesel engine kicked in and he started to plow through the field. McConnell took fourth today. 2014

Nino Schurter started back on the second row today and quickly moved into first place during the start loop. The World Champ never looked back and took an easy win here in Nove Mesto. Looks like a time off did him some good.
Nino Schurter started back on the second row today and quickly moved into first place during the start loop. The World Champ never looked back and took an easy win here in Nove Mesto. Looks like the time off did him some good. 2014

Today was Pauline Prevot Ferrand s break out ride. The LIV Giant rider broke free early and amassed a 2 50 gap by the time she crossed the line.
Today was Pauline Prevot Ferrand's break out ride. The LIV Giant rider broke free early and amassed a 2:50 gap by the time she crossed the line. 2014



14 Comments

  • 36 0
 I love how much coverage that xc is getting, regardless of whether there is a season or not. Please give xc this much attention when it is back. Also, STXC should be XCC.
  • 9 0
 XC is often underrated. It may not be as fun to watch as DH, but those men and women are super fit and the tracks can get pretty technical.
  • 7 27
flag WAKIdesigns (May 24, 2020 at 7:26) (Below Threshold)
 Also Gravel. Please more gravel
  • 4 1
 @WAKIdesigns: and cyclocross!
  • 4 11
flag WAKIdesigns (May 24, 2020 at 12:56) (Below Threshold)
 @GiantSpecializedEddie: I can’t believe I was downvoted for gravel. Peasants!
  • 10 0
 @Jacquers: So underrated.

The more I've been in mtb, the more respect I gain for XC. When I first started all I cared about was whips and descending as much as possible. Which don't get me wrong, is proper fun, and no shame. But there is wayyyy too much shade thrown at XC from people riding huge bikes down dusty sidewalks.
  • 1 0
 @Slowjams: I agree, and I also think that I don´t respect just XC or just DH or any modality but cycling as a whole; riding bikes is fun, if you are lucky enough to do more than one modality then you can see the whole picture.
  • 10 0
 Emily Batty brakes with her middle fingers - Weird!
  • 5 0
 I tried that for a few rides, it's like IPA beer, an acquired "taste" and not for me
  • 3 0
 MHP used to do the same, so I wonder if that's where she picked it up. Whatever helps keep small hands in control I guess.
  • 2 0
 Its from 9sp era when the upshifts were only reachable by index finger. How novel to be able to shift up AND down by thumb
  • 1 0
 Based on performance, I think Frei will be the next Big Thing in Womens XC.
  • 4 0
 Could be but it's going to be a long uphill battle. Especially if Jolanda & PFP recover fully, Annika doesn't burn herself out again road racing, Kate builds on last year, and the foreseeable continued rise from the depths of Jenny "The Phoenix" Rissveds. Not to slight the other half dozen or so ladies that are right on the edge of being a regular at the sharp end of things. No matter how it all pans out, it's almost a sure thing we're going to see some great racing.
  • 1 0
 Refry Season.

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