Photo Epic: When it Rains it Pours - Albstadt World Cup XC 2019

May 19, 2019
by Andy Vathis  


Photo Epic presented by Topeak


The forecast was ominous, clear for the first half of the day, then right when the Elite Men went off it was supposed to deluge and deluge it did. The weather was cool and overcast for the U23 and Elite Women, then it turned into a battle royale for the Elite Men. Kate Courtney ran away with the win here at round one despite an early crash. Jolanda Neff took second place for the women with Yanna Belomoina moving up a few places late in the race to take third. In the Elite Men's race, all hell broke loose when the skies opened up and turned everything into peanut butter. The open grass took out many a rider as tires wouldn't clear. The day wouldn't go as hoped for many, including Nino Schurter. Staying upright was key to survival. Mathias Fluekiger takes the win for the men, followed by Mathieu van der Poel and Jordan Sarrou.

The first XC UCI race of the season is officially on as the U23s get the green light.
The first XC UCI race of the season is officially on as the U23s get the green light.

Antoine Philipp crushing the single track.
Antoine Philipp crushing the single track.

Philipp and Colombo traded spots a few times before the final stretch. The battle was theirs to fight as they pulled away from the rest.
Philipp and Colombo traded spots a few times before the final stretch. The battle was theirs to fight as they pulled away from the rest.

Vlad Dascalu had a strong start but an even stronger finish. He found himself falling back mid race before opening up the gas to make up for it.
Vlad Dascalu had a strong start but an even stronger finish. He found himself falling back mid race before opening up the gas to make up for it.

Filippo Colombo tore through the descents.
Filippo Colombo tore through the descents.

Saturday s U23 winner Filippo Colombo.
Saturday's U23 winner, Filippo Colombo.

Laura Stigger took the top spot for the U23 women.
Laura Stigger took the top spot for the U23 women.

Haley Baten took third for the U23 women.
Haley Baten took third for the U23 women.

Ronja Eibl takes second place for the u23 women.
Ronja Eibl takes second place for the u23 women.

Yana Belomoina pushed hard today and came away with third.
Yana Belomoina pushed hard today and came away with third.

Kate Courtney started the weekend with a win in XCC showing us what she has in the power bank.
Kate Courtney started the weekend with a win in XCC, showing us what she has in the power bank.

Emily Batty couldn t find the pace today. She left last season hungry and will look to bounce back in Nove Mesto.
Emily Batty couldn't find the pace today. She left last season hungry and will look to bounce back in Nove Mesto.

Jolanda Neff pulled off a clean holeshot.
Jolanda Neff pulled off a clean holeshot.

Courtney caught and passed Neff before the start loop was complete.
Courtney caught and passed Neff before the start loop was complete.

Jolanda Neff was just a little off the pace today and had to settle for second.
Jolanda Neff was just a little off the pace today and had to settle for second.

Kate had a commanding lead by the first lap.
Kate had a commanding lead by the first lap.

Kate Courtney weaves her through the crowds.
Kate Courtney weaves her way through the crowds.

Great result today by Haley Smith placing ninth. She s been climbing up the ladder slowly but surely.
Great result today by Haley Smith placing ninth. She's been climbing up the ladder slowly but surely.

Anne Terpstra rounded out the women s race in fifth place.
Anne Terpstra rounded out the women's race in fifth place.

Sina Frei just missing the top ten in her first Elite season race.
Sina Frei just missing the top ten in her first Elite season race.

Anne Tauber took fourth place today.
Anne Tauber took fourth place today.

All eyes on Kate.
All eyes on Kate.

Kate Courtney brings home win number one for the season.
Kate Courtney brings home win number one for the season.

Neff and Belomoina hug after the first day in the office.
Neff and Belomoina hug after the first day in the office.

The day was not with out it s scars.
The day was not without its scars.

Women s podium- Courtney Neff Belomiona Tauber Terpstra.
Women's podium- Courtney, Neff, Belomiona, Tauber, Terpstra.

Series leader and winner on the Day. Kate Courtney crushed it.
Series leader and winner on the Day. Kate Courtney crushed it.

Florian Vogel rounded out the men s podium in fifth.
Florian Vogel rounded out the men's podium in fifth.

The struggle was real out there.
The struggle was real out there.

Jordan Sarrou was on the hunt. He pushed Mathias Flueckiger most of the way to the finish.
Jordan Sarrou was on the hunt. He pushed Mathias Flueckiger most of the way to the finish.

Mathias Flueckiger sending as if it were dry out.
Mathias Flueckiger sending as if it were dry out, taking his second world cup victory.

Jordan Sarrou had a strong ride in the muck to take third today.
Jordan Sarrou had a strong ride in the muck to take third today.

Mathieu van der Poel was a favorite for the win today but it took him some time to get the engines warmed up. MVDP took second.
Mathieu Van Der Poel was a favorite for the win today, but it took him some time to get the engines warmed up. MVDP took second.

Two front flats ended Anton Coopers hope of a strong result today.
Two front flats ended Anton Coopers hope of a strong result today.

Mathias Fluekiger was first across the line at round one.
Mathias Flueckiger was first across the line at round one.

A well earned victory for Mathias Flueckiger.
A well earned victory for Mathias Flueckiger in such terrible conditions.

Maxime Marotte wearing all of the mud after the race.
Maxime Marotte wearing all of the mud after the race.

The white kit won t likely be white again.
The white kit won't likely be white again.

Shell shocked.
Shell shocked.

Not an easy day for Nino Schurter.
Not an easy day for Nino Schurter.

Men s Podium- Fluekiger van der Poel Sarrou Carod and Vogel.
Men's Podium- Fluekiger, van der Poel, Sarrou, Carod, and Vogel.


MENTIONS: @mdelorme @andy9


Regions in Article
Albstadt


124 Comments

  • + 202
 Pinkbike. Seriously. Amazing on getting such good content up in such a short amount of time. You guys rock.
  • + 24
 They lost a lot of merit by not leading in with “it Albstadt-ly Pours”

I’m kidding, this was very good. This is the kind of coverage that makes people like me wake up and start paying attention to XC. Thanks!
  • - 34
flag WAKIdesigns (May 19, 2019 at 22:59) (Below Threshold)
 @sirsamwellingtonthefirst: but all product of the year awards are rigged, let’s not forget that. Also Red Bull could step off. Awful soda and monopoly practices. All this free content isn’t really free. Cookies stealing your personal info all over the place #keepureyesopen
  • + 10
 @WAKIdesigns: if the product is free then you are the product.
  • - 14
flag WAKIdesigns (May 20, 2019 at 0:54) (Below Threshold)
 @Boardlife69: boycott free content! Pay!
  • + 63
 Do rad to see dropper posts and aggressive riding positions out there!

They haven't adopted fenders yet though.. how's that mud in your eyes? Surely worth 20 grams??
  • + 4
 Not worth the risk of caked-up fenders
  • + 6
 Can't go fast if you can't see! I would absolutely run a fender. Is there a rule against them? It does seem odd no one is using them.
  • + 6
 Yup. With skinny XC rubber lots of room for a Mudhugger front and rear. Smile
  • - 1
 If they put any sort of effective fender, something will surley get stuck between the tire and the fender. End of race.
Don’t look at DH with front feders, the xc race is 20x longer, mud and rocks accumulate with time.
  • + 3
 @RedRedRe: A basic flappy plastic mini-fender wouldn't accumulate enough muck to make that an issue. Being able to see would seem to be much more important.
  • + 24
 @jayacheess: these dont make much of a difference on xc bikes for several reasons. Their face is muddy because of the back wheel spray of the people riding in front.
  • + 1
 @vikb: You're assuming the frame has room and the seat stays can handle it.
  • + 4
 @Krispy-at-Go-Ride Fenders collect mud, and mud is heavy. 20 grams? Add another pound or so after it starts to cake up. And then what about mechanicals? Is that extra lost time dealing with the fender worth it? Not if you lose a podium spot.
  • + 1
 @jayacheess: yes it does. I had a stuck front wheel in a muddy race once. No fun at all.
  • + 13
 I guess they know what they are doing...
  • - 4
flag WAKIdesigns (May 19, 2019 at 23:07) (Below Threshold)
 @Kaspy: yeah you were telling me the same thing about dropper posts. I bet they also know what they are doing with magic alu bricks or taping muscles, sorry skin. Plastic fender makes a difference. So would a visor with a bit taped on top.
  • + 1
 If you want to see properly, wear goggles with a roll-off system. Also I'd indeed rather see mud spin off the tires than it getting compacted by the fender. Tires getting cakes was probably a bigger issue in this race than riders not seeing what's ahead.
  • - 1
 Totally agree - those with dropper posts looked like normnal mtb riders, not stiff legged roadies protecting their crotches from the saddle. Amazed to see how many still refuse to learn though.
  • - 8
flag WAKIdesigns (May 20, 2019 at 2:26) (Below Threshold)
 @headshot: same goes for Fort Bill DH and any other with longer pedalling section on even ground. The difference between mashing sitting down and standing is giant. Sure if you have 10 seconds to pedal, it makes no difference, but motorway in fort william is begging for a dropper. But XCers are incredibly conservative. As conservative as their sponsors. Look how long it took Scott to make Spark a good bike, 99% of other makers still have a thumb in their bum. Like Epic. Time for Spesh to make Epic Evo.
  • + 3
 The 20 gram fenders would collect hundreds of grams of mud.
  • + 1
 Didn't know they were moving the Paris Roubaix to Albstadt. The most technical part of the course seemed to be the 12" right handed drop off on the new wood bridge section.
  • + 3
 They are like elbow pads in Enduro - they are not "cool" so no one wants to use them but both save your ass...or elbows or eyes in this case
  • + 1
 The dropper posts were like they were first time riders using them... all the way down. I bet they wished they was a cheap simple technology to keep all of the mud from the front wheel out of their faces. If someone could come up with a lite cheap front fender like motocross I am sure downhill and enduro riders would eventually use it. LOL
  • + 4
 Everyone is talking about the weight of the fender & the mud that collects on it & somehow just ignores that it would keep about 250-400 grams of mud OFF OF THE RIDER.

If you're running a fender that can cake to the point of stopping, you're wheel is gonna stop regardless because it's the clearance in the arch & consistency of the clay that is the issue, not any fender. Have seen people sprint until a fork crown or rear seatstay just buried in clay & it was going to happen regardless.

Don't use your random nightmare example in this situation. All reasons to have a tiny flap on the front wheel to let you not lose 30 seconds during your race while screwing with your vision is 100% worth it.

XC racers are fanatical zealots regarding possible weight penalties with their equipment, so they do irrational and senseless things. Just because they all elected not to run one doesn't mean it's logical or scientific in the slightest. They're the biggest nutters on the circuit & illogical to a fault when it comes to these choices. To the extent that if you paid them a large sum to run a tiny fender, they'd mindfokk themself so bad, their results would plummet and have a negative placebo effect Big Grin

@mdelorme & @andy9 did you happen to see any riders that did run a fender & their outcome?
  • - 2
 @bizutch: fender takes 1mm of tyre clearance, what are we even talking about. There are some XC fans here that have argued for vibration damping bricks making sense...
  • + 0
 @bizutch: Now, that last sentence makes most sense of anything said here. So many people here claiming that fenders are so great about saving weight, keeping riders clean etc and even going as far as saying that the opposite is "irrational", "senseless" and even "not logical" and "not scientific in the slightest". Heck, even claims about keeping 250-400 grams of mud off the rider and saving 30 seconds on a race run.

Now, I eagerly await the "scientific" proof and research that supports these claims. It is what makes the comment section so beautiful Smile .
  • - 1
 @vinay: I am speechless, I can easily tell you a difference between riding with or without a fender, I don’t need a PhD for it. Riding with fender = less mud in the eyes. When it comes to the rear - fender = less chance of mud grinding away carbon fibre stays but that is less important for racing. I encourage you to replicate my experiment
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: That's a qualitative statement. I can get behind that. @bizutch was talking quantities and even claims science and stuff. 250-400 grams less mud on the rider, 30 seconds off a race run. I'd love to see someone back such bold claims, especially someone who states that whoever says the opposite would be "not scientific in the slightest". He doesn't need to have a PhD, I just patiently await his scientific report. Right here in the PB comment section. See, this is the "most progressive mountainbike community" after all. I love this shit.
  • + 3
 BS. Not using a MarshGuard type fender is just stubborness, like droppers. In none of the pictures I see a clogged tyre, just liquid runny mud. Also, fenders don't need to go mounted in fork's bridge, if risk of caking up. And no, a Marsh sized fender, won't collect hundredS of grams of mud unless it contains lead, there's simply no space for that much.
  • + 1
 @ismasan:

Agreed. How much do a pair of glasses weight that they tossed off when the rain came. I think I would take a few extra grams on the bike to be able to see where I am going and not have globs of mud in my eyes a few times a minute.
  • + 2
 @ismasan: as I wrote above, marshguard takes 1mm of tyre clearance... stubbornness, fear of taking “risks” while looking too much at what others do and not do, superstion. I will bet a hundred bucks that Emily Batty went for a dropper after seeing the video of Jolanda taking her over through a rock garden. She almost died while Jolanda flew through.
  • + 2
 @vinay: Do you skip read or something?

I indicated that riders electing not to run fenders doesn't have any basis in science, data, rationale, etc. It's all just made up mystical garbage. I don't have any "science" for 25-400 grams of mud. I made it up.

I wrote a satirical comment about all of it. 30 seconds was me making up a number. My point was to say that XC racers are obsessive & try any & everything to give them what they mentally perceive to be an edge when it comes to weight. The itty bitty things they do to their setup are just things that give them mental comfort. They don't go out & run multiple laps w/ & w/out a fender to confirm. They just do what they do to keep their brain in check.

Or am I misreading you and you're looking forward to people trying to scientifically evidence the pluses or minuses of attaching a fender & them indicating there is any "quantitative and evidenciary effect" on a racers time to run a fender versus not run one?

You sound like you took me seriously (I was not)...and I remind you...this is the net. Wink
  • + 1
 @bizutch: I must have skipped where you indicated that you made these numbers up just as much as I missed the interview where riders said "yeah we considered running a fender but it turned out to be too heavy". There really is a lot of science in sports. They create diets, calculate at what intensities people should train, how long and how often. When it comes to deciding what to use on their bikes and what not, I'm just surprised to find that it would make their ride easier and faster but they chose not to because it would add weight to the bike. So yeah as my comment started, it would actually be relevant to see a proper comparison. If there was a rider actually running a fender, how did that work out? More "scientific", get a test pilot in clean kit on an XC bike, weigh bike and rider and ride a couple of timed laps on an XC track. Weight the bike and rider again. Clean bike, rider and kit and do the same number of timed laps. Weigh again. Then do whatever statistics you feel necessary to come to a conclusion.

Just like you I expect that the rider with fender is going to be cleaner. I'm just not all that certain that it matters much. Unless the track has mostly bermed corners, the rider is going to tilt the bike for grip so mud flies next to the fender onto the face. There are just more ways for mud to land on your face. I personally prefer to ride with goggles and after a muddy ride I'm also surprised to find out how much has landed on there but funny enough you don't really notice when it is that close to your face. You're focusing further ahead and your mind fills the gaps in the image, constructed by all these micro-movements your eyes make. Eyes aren't cameras (where a blob of mud on the lens corresponds to a certain area on the sensor), that's the beauty of it.

But yeah, I'm serious here. Considering the discussion here, it is well worth a proper test. I can see both sides of the argument and I'm just curious how much it matters in the end.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: oh, and don't forget helmet peaks; CX, the discipline where it makes most sense, the one that mimics MX conditions with mud flying to your face from the guy ahead of you. Still, no one uses one. A true mystery...
  • + 1
 @vinay: so the thing with that testing is that no elite level racer is going to take that challenge & complete the study to determine it's results, let alone in a manner that is scientific at all.
It would be left up to the joe schmoe at a bike company to prove/disprove.
And every time we all read their findings in the industry, none ever conduct their "research" in any way that resembles actually scientific methodology.

In the end, the elite racer (the most technologically obsessed especially) have no trusted source to learn this stuff from.
  • + 1
 @bizutch: I think Joe Schmoe would do just fine. What we have now is that the pro-fender camp states that the pro athletes riding without fender have no scientific/logical/whatever reason to do so (ride without a fender). Yet at the same time this pro-fender camp sees no way to prove its point. Not in an experiment, nor in a comparison of riders riding the same muddy track. As I said, I do believe it sure must matter some. I'm just not convinced that it will matter much. Until now there has been no one who has managed to convince me that it does.
  • + 37
 Snot rocket, best image, and they are all awesome!
  • + 6
 A well executed snot rocket is unbelievably satisfying, but if it doesn’t go as planned... disaster.
  • + 6
 From now on I will use this snot photo for explaining to people at work what this XC racing thing I do is about.
  • + 4
 I came looking for the snot rocket comment. Found it.
  • + 19
 It would be cool if the red bull commenters did not talk about the women race during the men race. Xc and dh. A lot of people watch the replay and do not want to know the results. Thank you.
  • + 19
 Watch the women first
  • - 6
flag RedRedRe (May 19, 2019 at 19:16) (Below Threshold)
 @rastarALT: You obey. I don’t.
  • + 10
 OMG the whining is endless, how exactly do you want them not to talk about womens race? This is perfectly legitimate commentary. Replay sweethearts strike again.
  • - 2
 @RedRedRe They need to take a lesson from MotoGP.
  • + 19
 It's hard not to cheer for Kate. She's composed and hungry on the bike, composed and humble off the bike. Her post-race interview was as great as her performance (even with the tumble).
  • + 3
 Thought her interview oozed polished professional. I was a bit intimidated, I must admit!
  • + 3
 Such a nice change of pace of some other athletes. You can be confident AND humble.
  • + 13
 FLUECKIGER:
Finally matured. Went his own speed at the start instead then blowing up. Did not waste any energy in overstylized riding. I think the coming years - maybe even this year- it could be a battle between him and Kerschbaumer. Just like U23 from from years ago.

MVDP:
very cool to see him riding in the mud. If every race was super wet, he would win the overall. Dig the road TT position on the straight (5th lap) and it looked faster than others in the dh. Still needs to figure out well the differences between cx and mtb lines.

NINO:
The age and other priorities start to affect his performace. Still the favorite for the overall win.

ANTON COOPER:
Complained and ridiculized the track. It was too easy for him. Without any exciting features. Guess what. You are in Germany. It rains most of the year, and the soil is very similar to clay. Better to talk about the track after the race. Ended up 38 (?) while struggling to control the bike (even swaped the front tire for a mud spike).

Top 5 for the season in no paricular order:
NINO, MVDP (if he rides all races), FLUECKIGER, KRESCHBAUMER, + a french or a south american rider.

BIKE INDUSTRY:
We don’t need any more “innovations” this year.

RED BULL:
Would it be too much to show the team below the rider overlay text?
Please fix your site. Everytime I came to see a replay without knowing the results, I always end up in weird pages that show the winner. Luckly I start to see sites that show the race without showing the results.

Over and out.
  • + 15
 No need to tell fibs because Cooper being honest upset you. He didn't swap to a mud spike. He had a flat. Then a second one.
  • - 9
flag clink83 (May 19, 2019 at 21:25) (Below Threshold)
 @BigAlfonz: if he's so honest why wasn't he in the top 10?
  • + 8
 @clink83: Where in his course comments did he guarantee he would finish in the top 10?
  • + 7
 38th with two punctures on a “bad day” just shows how classy Anton is. The track is trash, everyone knows it. The thing that makes it hard is the high speed and amount of climbing by the end of the race
  • + 2
 @rrsport: Not taking away anything from Anton but put it in perspective Jolanda Neff won a race with two flats last year. The track was the same for everybody... high speed and lots of climbing, that's XCO.
  • - 2
 @bikeinbih: The track was a lot harder last year. If the course was like last year Anton might have done better yesterday, not worse.
  • + 3
 @magnusc: The men's race would have been a total carnage with lots of potential injuries. Not sure if the racers want to take themselves out at the beginning of the season or spectators want to watch riders running instead fo riding.
There are no 'ifs' the course was the same for everybody. One prefers one course the other prefers another one but the best riders can be on (or close to) the top on every course just like Nino and MVDP.
  • + 1
 @bikeinbih: I didn’t argue the course last year was better, only that Cooper would probobly do better if the course was like last year. When they ride Maxxis Aspen (hard pack-tires) in conditions like these the course can surly be more technical. Maybe we need a minimum weight-rule on tires to make the pros use tires with more grip, like the minimum weight-rule on road bikes.
  • + 14
 Chloe Woodruff. Freaking fantastic race to finish 6th! But no pic!
  • + 10
 The anti vibration fish oil stickers failed nino!
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: In XCM-races you often climb 1000 meter in one climb with absurd amount of steep climbs. Even with 50t on the back Avancini and the rest of the field had to walk to get up the steepest climb last WC when Avancini became world champion.

If Nino Schurter didn't use a 38t ring on the front he probably would not have won the sprint against Cooper in Albstadt 2018 and against Absalon in 2016. Absalon spinning out his Shimano drivetrain while Nino rides away from him winning happened more than once Wink

If you'd rather walk than ride in a race you probably haven't really raced very seriously …
  • + 1
 So the course organisers stuck in lots of man-made wood sections as the course was slippery in the wet last time it rained there. But then when it rained this time, quite a few crashed hard on these new man-made wood sections.

What next - pave it all ?

Its mountain biking, leave it natural, leave it with some risk and let those who want to tackle it and risk the risk get on with it.
  • + 5
 Really bad luck for Lars Foster
  • + 2
 Um. If its 100g’s of mud on your fender or 100g’s of mud on your face, you’re still lugging around 100g’s of mud.
Seeing is important, I’d def run a mud guard.
  • + 0
 When the f*ck is SRAM going to make a more compact 12 speed gear range? It's completely absurd that SRAM sponsored pros are having to run eagle on these bikes. Even with the 36 or 38 tooth rings most of the men are running, there is NO f*ckING WAY those guys are touching that dinner plate in a race scenario. It's a waste of weight and having to run that enormous cage increases the likelihood of catching a stick or smashing a rock. Its been 3 years of this eagle hype and its about f*cking time they started offering a variety of gear ranges again.
  • + 4
 Uh the 9-50 eagle cassette weighs ~360 grams, that's about a lb lighter than a shimano 11 speed cassette.
  • + 6
 @clink83: xx1 11 speed was 268grams... I’d certainly prefer the almost 100 gram weight reduction by not having a dinner plate
  • - 4
flag WAKIdesigns (May 19, 2019 at 23:25) (Below Threshold)
 The weight is not a concern, but they are definitely not using the dinner plate. Shimano is definitely hitting the right spot with 10-46 for everybody while 10-42 was more than enough for most elite folks. Those bikes with 30t front and 50t back are laughable. Rode 32t to 50 back on a Slash lately, spinned over 90RPM and it was a snail pace. After testing it on a few steep bits I Stayed on 42 for everything. Almost impossible to climb steepest stuff on such light gearing since the bike wants to loop out. And I had my sternum on the stem and the tip of the saddle in my asshole. Places where I just focus on mashing pedals I had to do my best to keep the front planted. No way to climb steep stuff I did on 34-40. 10-50 is catering to insecurity and incompetence. It should be a niche product as some may need it, but defo not a mainstream fab
  • + 7
 I dunno man, I'm definitely not going back to a smaller cassette after having used Eagle for a year.

When I first got the bike I had the same though, why would I ever use a 32x50? Come the first big marathon race of the year I ended up in that gear for a solid 20 minute block on the last climb, pawing at the bars for a lower gear. To be fair I was only moving at walking speed, but after 6 hours of racing being able to ride up something is generally more energy efficient and less likely to result in cramp than being able to ride it.

In shorter XC races, it's great being able to throw a bigger chainring on while still having a decently low climbing gear. A couple of years back when I had 11-40 XTR I distinctly remember getting dropped on a warp speed gravel track at the start of an XC national after spinning out the 32x11.

Granted, the big cog is a bit wasted on the top world cup hitters, but the top marathon riders in the world will be using every bit of that 10-50 without a hint of insecurity or incompetance.
  • - 6
flag WAKIdesigns (May 20, 2019 at 2:01) (Below Threshold)
 @padkinson: that is because top Marathon guys pedal riding down at 60km/h. Average XCer will not pedal on downs more than average downhiller and they use 34t front to 10t rear. Rarely 36t. I would not buy Eagle simply because I get tired when spinning so fast while riding so slow. I would need to use 165 cranks which would be detrimental on technical climbs.
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: Riding XC on a Slash, thats laughable! There are plenty of times I would like easier gear than 34-50, with my ftp @ +4,5watt/kg.
  • - 4
flag WAKIdesigns (May 20, 2019 at 4:18) (Below Threshold)
 @magnusc: If you gave me a 10-50 on a light 29" XC bike I would need 40t front and I would never be able to utilize the 10 cog unless I was riding down a Stelvio Pass. Sorry, the only thing that comes to my mind when I hear 30t on Eagle is "muscle atrophy". At 90RPM 30t front 50t back a 29" bike will ride at the speed of 4.6km/h. This is laughable. Anyone spinning that fast while going so slow looks like a Joey Dweebster.
  • + 9
 @WAKIdesigns: You need to find yourself some proper climbs man.

As an example, the final climb of Roc Laissagais, the first European round of the UCI marathon series, at which I finished 29th elite. The main bulk of it is 2km at an average of 12.9%, on draggy grass, and a sodding headwind as you came over the top. This takes place at the 75km mark of a 95km marathon, after about 4 hour of racing.

I went into the 34x50 at the bottom and didn't leave it for 17 minutes. Over that period I averaged 247w (kind of blew up just before), 6.9km/h, 160bpm, and 69rpm.

I also came past the women's leaders, who race a shorter 75km race, who were both walking.
  • + 2
 Neff was using the dinner plate sprocket in the race (in the zigzag climb) -- check out the coverage to see.

Yes she does like a high cadence, but even so, she felt she needed it in the race.
  • - 8
flag WAKIdesigns (May 20, 2019 at 5:27) (Below Threshold)
 @padkinson: First off nobody races stuff like that every day. I don't ask you to use Dh casing with cushcore on a XC ride even though it is more than suitable in some places. I find it a fair comparison.

Second as I wrote above, with Eagle anything below 34 and I'd argue 36t is playing hamster wheel. So what that you climbed it, while your climbing speed was crap since the objective was to survive a long race, not strive at climbing. I climbed as far as it was possible on Monte Altissimo at Garda on 32-36. Cannondale Jekyll 1ply NN and MM. That's like 1850m (Garda at 50m), done in 2,5h. Then Monte Tremalzo on fricking Liteville 602 with Super gravity MMarys in 4h from Riva (1702m). XX1 32 front. Not too shabby for a troll that doesn't ride. I am honestly getting bored with people telling me to get a real climb, because I have sht as steep and as techy as it gets around here and can easily pull an all day climb in Alps when needed, simply because punchy explosive style translates to endurance much better than the other way around. If I am to ride at snail pace and trust me 30-50 is fricking pathetic snail pace, I'd rather walk 1km/h slower. There are no medals for spinning like a hamster when riding at walking speed. No credit is given by anyone having a slightest clue about ridign a bike for ridiculous feats of "I rode to the top for 4 hours without touching the ground with my foot". Someone may as well want credit for pushing the bike up. And you are giving the example of bike Marathon which is further away from XC racing than Enduro.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: there are lots of times in XC I need something bigger than my 30x46...
  • - 3
 @othello: yeah, it’s only that she has 36 up front...
  • + 1
 on those super steep u-turns, zigzag climbs lots of guys and girls were using it, if you look at video. Some of them push 36+ chainrings, like i do, and use it a lot.
  • - 1
 @jimxc: there is a big difference between pushing a 36t to 50t and 30t - 50t... first is for people who shut up and pedal and want some buffer, the latter for home made experts and Joeys. Everyone who rode a single speed knows they are more capable than what the sand in their vajina tells them is efficient. If you ride 30-50 around my place, 65yr old runners will pass you on the way up a hill.
  • + 6
 Waki has more free time to spend on the internet than anyone I’ve ever heard of, and unfortunately for the rest of us he uses that free time to write novels about how strong and fit he thinks he is compared to everyone else while also complaining nonstop about everything. Pass....
  • - 2
 @TypicalCanadian: you know shit about me and my free time and the fact that most pros use 36 proves I was right all along about Eagle BS. Bite me. Expect 38t too. Funny bit is whether they use 10t...
  • + 5
 @WAKIdesigns: we all know you have free time since you write giant multi paragraph responses on every article. We also know you talk about how awesome you are a lot. Point proven.
  • - 3
 @TypicalCanadian: well no, But whatever makes you feel better about yourself Smile
  • + 4
 I'm certainly happy to have a 46 tooth with my 32t chainring for climbing mountains in Colorado that start at 9000+ feet. Those dinner plates have a place! Sometimes we start our rides with 2 hour climbs up here. I ran a 10-42 cassette for about three rides before I realized I was better off with a larger gear range. If I had to cash to switch to eagle with a 50t in back, I would.
  • + 1
 @WIPP3RMANN: yep, I have quite a few climbs here where a 30x46 isn't enough and I would kill for a 50t.
  • + 3
 Why did Langvad bail though? She had great short-course and then what?
  • + 2
 I'd like to know this as well. Maybe there's not enough recovery time before Nove Mesto, and the risk of injury was high.
  • + 1
 @greasyrider: They are paid to race. If she did pull out because it was to "hard" or she would be to tired for the next race, she needs to find something else to do.
  • + 2
 Nice trail bikes. Good read.
  • + 1
 Why did they throw in a screenshot of some zombie videogame?
  • + 1
 What sizes are those dropper posts?
  • + 1
 On XC bikes the droppers are usually 65mm to 100mm of drop, although some people have up to 125mm.
  • + 1
 you all know that there animal feces's in mud right
  • + 1
 Wow their eyes got fucked up.
  • + 2
 Mudguards?
  • + 1
 Kate this, kate that... what ever happened to E-M-I-L-Y???!?
  • + 1
 There was a minor slip-up that caused a bottleneck halfway through the start loop. Everyone from position, maybe, 15 all the way back got hung up. That’s how there were such huge gaps by the end of the start loop. My guess, she knew she was so far out of contention after the logjam that she decided to take it easy and save herself for Nove Mesto next week.
That said, I think Yana Belomoina got stuck back there, too, but she crushed it and ended in third by the final lap.
  • + 4
 She's doing keto, according to her Instagram. So my guess is that keto happened.
  • - 1
 @xvire: I saw that too on her channel and I smiled to myself... but give Emily a break. She’s listening to Joe Rogan while training. I wonder if she got into DMT yet Smile So leave Emily, go find a pic of Jana in bikini, she is beyond Keto, Paleo, Vegan etc, that’s so pasé - she’s doing the... Holodomor!
  • + 3
 Emily is the Anna Kournikova of cycling. I would bet good money she will be off Trek next year now that they have Neff. BTW fantastic pictures as usual.
  • + 2
 She was an expensive mistake in my fantasy team!
  • + 1
 @BMG: Emily is never a mistake, she is a treasure. Like Jolanda. Strong, skilled and beatiful! Makes me want to ride and pump out Watts. Unlike XC men.
  • + 2
 @Madtown: Possibly the highest paid rider in the field to never win a World Cup. More power to her.
  • + 0
 @PNdubRider: pfff, they race 6-7 times a year, let’s be honest, the whole setup is a joke. Gwin with his McLaren and Hilla Villa is ridiculous. But it’s sponsors money, not ours, if they want to pay, it’s their thing. At least Emily is a fantastic living commercial, she is easily in top 3 of the best in the business. Best among girls. Yoann Barelli isn’t best in Enduro but is defo a better ambassador than most other guys. Results are the main component, but they are not everything.
  • + 1
 It's a good thing they buffed out the course beforehand.
  • + 0
 lots of folks without eye protection. with mud slinging up from your tire that would be a huge concern
  • + 15
 Glasses were useless in the mud because they got covered. Flückiger chucked his glasses into the crowd half way through the start lap.
  • + 2
 Goggles with tear offs might be worth a try.
  • + 4
 @bikeetc: A fun thought, but with that kind of cardio, there’s no way to keep goggles from fogging up. Honestly, in those conditions it would probably start raining INSIDE the goggles!
  • + 1
 and prolly some human feces's as well enjoy that mud feces's in the mouth
  • + 1
 What happend with Nino?
  • + 7
 He hates weather like that.
  • + 16
 @jclnv: like in the mtns?
  • + 4
 I think he gassed it too much too early........then the rain and mud started.
  • + 15
 @jclnv: remember when you said Kate would be no match for Jolanda and Langvad? Kate must have just had more rest than the others...
  • - 7
flag jclnv (May 19, 2019 at 19:00) (Below Threshold)
 @LuvAZ: As the commentators said, that weather was very unusual for an XCO.
  • - 6
flag jclnv (May 19, 2019 at 19:02) (Below Threshold)
 @COnovicerider: She's flying right now for sure. Will that be the case by round three? Ummm...

Maybe those guys have learnt that kicking the crap out of each other for the overall all year doesn't lead to a good Worlds result so they're coming in undertrained. Looking at the relative results of everyone I'd say that's likely. Batty, Langvad etc are nowhere.
  • + 3
 @jclv - none of the top riders have undertrained. Just watch some of Batty’s YouTube videos and you’ll see she works her ass off.
  • - 2
 @COnovicerider: How many pre season races has she done?

Jolanda was doing a DH race a month ago...
  • + 2
 @jclnv: well she did just beat Neff at the second round of the Swiss Cup.
  • + 1
 AMAZING STUFF!
  • + 1
 #sh!tstorm
  • + 0
 Kate is so hot!!
  • + 0
 Easy track ae Anton ?

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