The dust has settled in Izu but a lot of riders may leave the city feeling unsettled after the Tokyo 2020 Olympics test event. While most Olympic xc courses are tame and relatively flat affairs, the Japanese venue looks set to be a real test for riders and it has already taken some victims. With steep climbs, mandatory jumps and burly rock sections, any roadies looking for a soft option next year are going to be bitterly disappointed. This is, without a doubt, a mountain biker's course.
It was a Swiss double on Sunday as Schurter and Neff came out on top but a top World Cup field was chasing them hard. It came down to a sprint between Schurter and Koretsky in the men's race while Neff finished 1:46 ahead of her compatriot Sina Frei.
The riders are now spending some time unwinding and exploring Japan but this is just the start of the hard work. They will take home all the footage and data from the event and begin to plan their offseason, aiming to peak at the end of July as they return here and race for medals. Let's take a look at some more footage and catch up on all the news from social media from over the weekend.
Pauline Ferrand Prevot
Pauline Ferrand Prevot was caught out early in the race and will head back to France for surgery on a broken nose. She is apparently a big fan of the course though and will no doubt be one of the favorites next year for medals.
Kate Courtney didn't even make it to the start line after a crash in training that required 6 stitches. She elected not to race but seems to be back on her bike today judging from her Instagram stories.
Here she is earlier in the week nailing one of the bigger drops on the course.
The final medal contender who didn't race after flying over to Japan was Jenny Rissveds. She crashed in training but we haven't heard any further details at this point.
Here's Braidot's view of the first climb of the course. Riders will be straight into the action in 2020 as they sprint off the line and up this grassy incline. Click on the right arrow to see some other tech sections of the course.
Koretsky finished 10th in Rio but found himself in a sprint for the win against Schurter yesterday. Here's his view chasing Titouan Carod through the rhythm section and up the steep bridge.
Here's a reverse angle from Maxime Marotte showing the speed the French team has coming into the feature.
The Canadian medal winner in Rio gives her view of the burly rock garden.
Her compatriot Peter Disera took a spill in the same spot. Thankfully he walked away unscathed and raced to 13th.
Frenchman Titouan Carod was one of the smoothest we've seen through this section.
Terpstra, the winner in Vallnord, finished off her season with a strong 3rd place. Here are some clips of her sessioning the features in training.
Here's the start of the men's race from yesterday. The clock is now ticking, just nine months until we're back here again.