Rider Perspective: Cost vs Benefit at the Czech XCO World Cup

May 29, 2014
by Emily Batty  
Rider Perspective Header

Action shots of Emily Batty at the Nove Mesto XCO WC event by Matt Delorme.

As some would say, "Mont Sainte Anne is the cathedral of XCO Mountain Bike Racing," and I would have to say that the Czech World Cup course is the new benchmark for XCO racing. "A true race track" really describes round #3 of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Series in the Czech Republic. The track was relentless with its multiple, measurable, short ups and downs over the technical terrain which I found myself looking for seconds everywhere.

Action shots of Emily Batty at the Nove Mesto XCO WC event by Matt Delorme.

Action shots of Emily Batty at the Nove Mesto XCO WC event by Matt Delorme.

In downhill they consider the risk vs the reward, and in XCO we are always considering the cost (energy output) vs the benefit. This is why I consider Czech a real race track, because it forces you to make these decisions that can really be the difference between 1st and 2nd.

One of these decisions was which bike do I race? I was on the fence all week whether to ride the Trek Superfly full-suspension or the Superfly hardtail. The full suspension offered energy conservation and a more bullish descending style on the downhills, whereas the hardtail offered pure stiffness and climbing capability on the uphills. Both climbing and descending are very important considerations to take into account while on the Czech course and both bikes do each very well. I needed to be exceptional at everything so I went with the Superfly FS in hopes of being strong on the ups and collecting a few seconds on the descents.

Action shots of Emily Batty at the Nove Mesto XCO WC event by Matt Delorme.

Action shots of Emily Batty at the Nove Mesto XCO WC event by Matt Delorme.

Although I chose the right bike for the race track in Czech, I was stuck on cruise control finishing a #bigshit 18th place! I was climbing alright and I descended okay, with no mistakes, although nothing really clicked like it should have, like it did three weeks prior in Australia.

You know when you are "on" and nothing really matters except crossing that finish line with the best time possible? Well, I just couldn't find that even though I prepared properly, made all the right decisions in the weeks leading into the event. My training was spot on and I raced well from start to finish, but still, the outcome was poor.

Action shots of Emily Batty at the Nove Mesto XCO WC event by Matt Delorme.

It doesn't happen too often, although these are the races I have to remember to measure performance by my own personal output rather then the result outcome. Sometimes we just have an off day and you have to make the best of it. Having a bad race totally sucks but it just makes the good ones twice as rewarding and hopefully I can turn "on" in time for Germany next week.

-Emily Batty

Action shots by Matt Delorme.

www.emilybatty.com
www.trekbikes.com

Action shots of Emily Batty at the Nove Mesto XCO WC event by Matt Delorme.



56 Comments

  • 33 3
 It's nice to hear when a pro can't decide on a HT or the fullsusp. I know those are first world problems, but it shows that each bike really has pros/cons for the race. At least I am not alone when it comes to how to setup my ride for a race.
  • 42 4
 Sometimes I can't decide whether I should go to the shops on my Demo or my Stumpjumper
  • 7 6
 @MarsTheGuy; It depends as to whether the guy you want to impress at the bike shop is the mechanic or the salesperson.

Emily Batty remains one of the most beautiful women on the pro-circuit and definitely the highlight of all Pinkbike contributors.
  • 24 3
 Im not gonna lie NorthVanMan, that comment about emily batty above AND having a picture of Emily Batty sitting there as your FEATURED item on your profile is just a bit creepy... Lets keep pinkbike about the bikes.
  • 3 1
 Have you seen the other pics on his profile? the guy's a perv so what!!!
  • 5 0
 I guess if Emily Batty's sex appeal is what guarantees a little XC coverage on Pinkbike, and therefore I don't ever have to check cyclingnews or velonews, I'll take it.
  • 3 1
 Why did PB delete all the posts about why this was featured on the front page? Is PB afraid to admit their weird obsession of anything Emily Batty? I think their deletion of those posts only supports that idea.
  • 1 0
 "Here at PB we've got some great riders that are sharing their experiences (highs and lows), Jared Graves, Emily Batty, Cam Zink, Geoff Gulevich and more. It's tough to put yourself out there when things don't line up, but we thank all the riders when they do." This is what was posted to me be one of PB's moderators. Apparently they can't handle any other opinions but their own
  • 1 0
 Lol dont criticize the authors or you will be exterminated!!!
  • 3 1
 Scott, I have come to learn that pinkbike censors ALOT of info, Matt Wragg has deleted a comment I posted, thanking a vet in iraq and relating to him, I was in the Marines. I think some of the moderator's powers go to their heads...
  • 2 0
 Preston- he thanks you for your service but not for your posts, apparently, haha. I guess some of the mods care a bit too much about how they want people to perceive this site, instead of letting the actual members of the site share how they're perceiving it. If it was overly brutal, unnecessary language, then that makes sense but it seems the mod's personal tastes of what they want presented overrules the many people who actually make up the site. Personally if I featured content on the site and the content got so much opposition, I'd stop featuring the content but of course it's still on the site for those who want to view it... and I just spent too much time writing/thinking about something so stupid/meaningless. I'm going for a ride, haha.
  • 1 3
 There is NOW WAY Emily Batty should've been on a full suspension bike for this race in the first place! Period. She only weighs 100lbs (45kg)!!!!

I know this comment won't be popular opinion here amongst larger travel trail mongering riders, but there's no legitimate way a FS would outweight a HT for her. There were only a handful of actual drops. Most riders were riding FS for the roots, which a FS would have minimal impact on her weight - certainly not with properly inflated tire pressures.
  • 3 0
 Full sush also helps when climbing technical sections by maintaining better traction.... just saying
  • 1 1
 Wow. Someone (who's "Jammin") doesn't seem to understand the purpose of suspension, or that spring rate is adjustable to any rider weight, even if they're only 100 pounds. Suspension has nothing to do with drops, and everything to do with bumps and hits while both tires are on the ground (like the roots that you do mention). Once tire pressure is suited to her weight, and suspension sag/spring rate is adjusted for her as well, the forces that activate her suspension are on an equal plane with heavier riders. Suspension activation is all about mass/inertia. She has lower mass, so she has lower shock pressure (spring rate).

Heck, if we're arguing HT vs FS in relation to rider weight, a HT is a worse decision most every time because: the lighter the rider, the more easily they will get bounced and bucked out of their saddle with each bump BECAUSE they have lower mass/inertia, with no (properly adjusted) suspension to negate the bump force.
  • 15 0
 "Stop sitting on the drinks! Those are for glasses, not asses."
  • 21 7
 Reading this article cost me two minutes if my time and no benefit!
  • 24 0
 welcome to the internet
  • 3 1
 Writing this comment lasted another 1 minute :]
  • 25 17
 What was the point of this? Starts out by talking about which bike to use then says that it really didn't matter as she was having an off day. #bigshit? That's what i'd give this article.
  • 3 2
 give her a brake wouldn't you take a job writing about bikes even even if you weren't an author/ wordsmith/ able to express your own emotions?
  • 5 0
 Stick to what you know....I'm certainly not about to enter any world cup races anytime soon. This article was dismal and had no point.
  • 4 0
 I don't think she needs a brake. She obviously didn't need to slow down more. Maybe she needs a break though.
  • 4 1
 It's Emily Batty... PB seems to have a really weird obsession with her and to promote every little thing she does on the front page.
  • 2 1
 What she wrote was a real world understanding of what this race was like, the decisions to make about it, and how things played out. If you can't understand the situational realities of being a pro and how sometimes things just don't workout for whatever reason...then that's just a fail on you.
  • 1 0
 @zeph. She the only decision she mentions is which bike she was going to use then complains about finishing in the top 20. Not sure how finishing in the top 20 is deserving of #bigshit.
  • 1 0
 Here at PB we've got some great riders that are sharing their experiences (highs and lows), Jared Graves, Emily Batty, Cam Zink, Geoff Gulevich and more. It's tough to put yourself out there when things don't line up, but we thank all the riders when they do.
  • 1 0
 @zeph no, she *started* to write that and didn't go anywhere with it. That's why ppl are complaining. I was pretty stoked after the first paragraph but there was practically no content after that. She talks about cost/benefit and how the course was full of important decisions, then only mentions one and barely discusses the outcome. Article had awesome potential, and I think she's done a good job with the others. This one seemed half-assed.
  • 11 3
 Only time I have ever been interested in XC, thanks Emily
  • 3 3
 Being really really super duper ridiculously good looking helps. Heck of an athlete though, and I love hearing ANYTHING about bike setup/choice in any racing discipline. Good work PB.
  • 4 0
 "As some would say, "Mont Sainte Anne is the cathedral of XCO Mountain Bike Racing," and I would have to say that the Czech World Cup course is the new benchmark for XCO racing."

Flattering, given how our, um, slightly backward little country compares to Canada (as far as trail-building efforts go). Will hope to see Mme. Batty in Nové Město again. Hopefully sans the #bigshit tag Smile
  • 2 0
 Hey zire, what a great race! The track, the camera coverage and the spectators were awesome! Don't talk your country down, the "neighbor's grass" is not always greener. Smile
  • 7 3
 I have seen some video footage from the Race on youtube and was shocked that so many bikers do difficult/technical sections on foot - not on bike (mostly cause no Full-Sus bike and cold blooded calculations). IMO, there should be penalty zones (especially on RockGardens and Downhills) for bikers that have no courage to cycle down and do those sections on foot. Walking on race course is a shame for MTB. MTB is about technical cycling not running with bike over big stones or steeper slopes. I propose 30sec for every "step of the bike" in selected penalty zones. Such solution would show w WHO IS THE REAL MTB CHAMPION!
  • 2 0
 I absolutely agree about the 'shame for MTB', but here is a nice section on my local trails that shows a good solution. This is footage of a WC round. The descent you can't see is a steep rock slab that is impossible to walk down in cleats. If you take the B line, you lose four or so spots (as the rider at 1.12 will find out):

vimeo.com/1640611
  • 1 0
 Watch them on redbull they explain everything.
  • 2 2
 This is unfortunately why I think xc sucks. I am all for the theory of it but in reality it is fitness wins rather than best skills/fitness wins. Should be challenging in skill and this aspect unavoidable
  • 2 1
 I always get a kick out of these type of comments. I'd love to see weler try and ride that steep uphill section with slippery roots and moss just past the double track crossing at Novo Mesto, after he's been riding near V02 max for an hour already. My money says he couldn't make it up it without walking.
  • 1 0
 @supermike306

So there are lots of reasons walking running in a MTB race that are valid and there are penalties for walking... its called walking your not going fast than the riders especially if you have to remount the bike and clip in. Look at where Pendral had to jump of and walk on the bridges, she didn't do that because she couldn't ride them, but the rider in front of her was having a bad technical day and on the lap before she had caught the ride had fallen and Pendral opted to walk to because getting stuck behind the rider who was in front if they baffed the bridge you have tangled them both up, however the rider made it this time and Pendal had to eat the time for her dimount run remount.

Also "This is unfortunately why I think xc sucks. I am all for the theory of it but in reality it is fitness wins rather than best skills/fitness wins. Should be challenging in skill and this aspect unavoidable"

Seriously did you watch the Mens race.. are you saying the Winner Nino did not have the best skills? He was the fastest descender and was whipping almost every jump, but I guess cause he can also climb the hills that doesn't count for some reason?
  • 1 1
 Yeah, I know how everyone defending skill in xc cites nino, but he is an exception and his success in xc is largely due to fitness not the fact he can whip. My argument is that with very little skill you are likely to still be able to do well with the right level of fitness. Your point about getting off and having to walk due to someone in the way is also kind of my point-if someone with slightly better fitness outclimbs you then often you will get caught behind them in a technical/descent part in an xc race.
  • 1 0
 Have super-wide rock garden ascents and descents that way the better technical riders will be able to overtake the slow or walking riders.
  • 5 1
 "What was the point of this? Starts out by talking about which bike to use then says that it really didn't matter as she was having an off day.."

Totally agree.

Article is essentially: Chose a bike didn't matter which one anyway. Felt ok, placed lower than hoped.

Seriously could do with padding out with more thoughts and insights. Literally included no more info than my sentence above. Favourite parts on the track? Where was time being made or lost? How did team mates do and feel? What would you change for next time? How did it feel riding through the crazed supporters on the climbs? etc etc etc.

I realise the result must have been deflating to Emily but there needs to be more content for a front page article. This was more of a depressed tweet
  • 2 0
 With you there. It started off really strong, was hoping to hear some more discussion about the track, specific cases where line choice/effort level choice made a big difference, bike choice.... anything really.
  • 2 0
 I thought the exact same thing. " I prepared properly, made all the right decisions in the weeks leading into the event. My training was spot on and I raced well from start to finish"... Usually not what you hear from a professional athlete after a finish that's well below what they're capable of and what they expected. I'd never judge her for lack of talent or effort, but the mentality of "there's nothing I could have done better" seems kind of flawed in her position.

I really don't understand the point of this piece other than a few pretty pictures.
  • 6 1
 People on here are ridiculous with the "she's so hot" stuff. Maybe skip a couple rides and go talk to some females once in a while. f*cking creeps.
  • 3 0
 I enjoy the new track philosophy. womans race was a shut out with the winner beimg up 3 min. once you see that on the board im sure it crushes your spirit a little.
  • 5 0
 i guess she didn't hear that song in her head
  • 3 1
 Getting a little defensive PB? With all the comments here about "how hot she is" and mine gets the axe because it seemed like an athlete whinging because they finished in the top 20 instead of the top 3...hmmmm.
  • 1 0
 Emily ... Full sus.. or hardtail ?? Which one is more fun... decision made ! Keep on shredding Smile Thanks for the incite*.
  • 3 1
 More of this please PB.
  • 2 1
 Great column. Keep em coming.
  • 1 0
 If Emily Batty isn't there. You just wish you participated EWS.
  • 1 0
 Great article Emily!
  • 8 9
 Man, whoever had the idea to do this column...
  • 5 13
flag Motoracer31 (May 29, 2014 at 14:02) (Below Threshold)
 everyone is scrolling looking for that money shot. Not seeing it and then just thinking of a comment about how hot she is.
  • 22 0
 Put it away.
  • 7 0
 What is wrong with the water in Milton Ontario?
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