Social Roundup: Medal Contender Injuries and Burly Rock Gardens - Tokyo 2020 Test Event

Oct 7, 2019
by James Smurthwaite  
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


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.



Jenny Rissveds


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.



Danielle Braidot


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.



Victor Koretsky


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.



Maxime Marotte


Here's a reverse angle from Maxime Marotte showing the speed the French team has coming into the feature.



Catharine Pendrel


The Canadian medal winner in Rio gives her view of the burly rock garden.



Peter Disera


Her compatriot Peter Disera took a spill in the same spot. Thankfully he walked away unscathed and raced to 13th.



Titouan Carod



Frenchman Titouan Carod was one of the smoothest we've seen through this section.



Anne Terpstra


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.


74 Comments

  • 144 0
 Thank you Japan for stepping it up and making a proper XC race course! That course looks awesome!
  • 8 1
 Japanese is awfully humid in the summers too which should increase the rate of attrition.
  • 24 0
 Oh man, this actually looks like mountain biking! So cool. I'll actually watch this!
  • 2 0
 Yup. My wife grew up about 20 km from this site. It is STICKY in the summer, yuck.
  • 7 0
 looks superb.. hopefully the TV coverage will be as technically superb as everything else they do!
  • 2 0
 Agree, Japan did step it up. amazing course building. athletes ride is any wether.
  • 107 5
 Maybe if we see more of this at the pro level the dirt roadies that are part of my local scene won't cry so loud when we build a drop or a jump.
  • 3 9
flag Aksel31 (Oct 7, 2019 at 6:43) (Below Threshold)
 *Stares in Elon Musk*: "That actually happened ???!!!"
  • 13 0
 @Aksel31: I did an XC race in Nanaimo at the start of the season. A mix of trails, some steep loose up hills, some flowly downhill and one reasonably technical black rated section. There's a fair chance the black section would be a blue in Whistler, Squamish or Pemberton. Either way, I hear a few of the mens field complaining about the difficulty and overtook a few more as they ran their bikes down. I suspect they just felt embarrassed at the number of 13-15 year old boys and girls who rode that whole section cleanly.
  • 81 7
 Can’t be xc looks far too rad
  • 54 1
 A bit of lightweight knee protection during practice would make sense . If a practice fall takes you out of the race the it is a lose/lose.
  • 17 0
 Kate Courtney should have read your comment before tackling this track.
  • 43 5
 Wow! When did XC became so gnarly?
  • 13 2
 Trek be like: Trash supercaliber project,
I repeat trash the supercaliber project... call Mike Levy, we need an expert on upforking Top Fuel... Yes Cross Country is dead, Down Country is officially an Olympic discipline.
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Thankfully the new top fuel is 120/115, and I don't think it has reaktiv either!
  • 28 0
 this stuff should be mountain biking... This is good Smile
  • 25 3
 Man, I'd have to walk so many parts of this course! XC is getting out of control.
  • 52 0
 I'd say that XC is turning "BACK" into being an MTB thing. ;-)
  • 26 0
 @BDKR: agreed, there wasn't one vid I watched that I didn't want to be on this course! The Japanese should be building all the courses!
  • 4 21
flag RoadRunner13 (Oct 7, 2019 at 12:13) (Below Threshold)
 @BDKR: actually if you take the name, "cross country", which is... crossing the country. Not doing some enduro like stuff, with huge rock gardens, 2 meters high jumps... So no, this is not really XC anymore.
  • 10 1
 @BDKR: agreeeed, when roadies can dominate a race that means the track is not really made for mountain bikes/ing especially with today's bike technology and engineering. When a course requires a dropper post and full suspension that should be the norm. Hard-tails and long ass seat-post should be an exception...
  • 4 0
 @RoadRunner13: The country where I live is all mountains. Fairly big rocks and lots drops if you want to cross it...
  • 1 0
 @RCzer: There's a lot of mountains, but all is stretching the truth. There's a whole heap more prairies than there is mountains (based off your flag, that is).
  • 16 0
 Victor Koretzky's video.. holy crap the speed! There is some high risk if they catch a pedal on that boulder wall, and I think that g-out turn after the drop is going to get blown out pretty quick.
  • 10 0
 Gnarly! Cannot wait for the race. Can we get an interview with the builder/team behind the course design, please? All purpose built mtb courses should be like that. Fantastic!
  • 11 0
 Now thats a proper XC course!!
  • 9 0
 My first thought on seeing this track was about miniature golf. But in watching the vids some, it's actually pretty rockin!
  • 11 1
 It looks like this course was designed by a landscape architect.
  • 9 0
 That looks amazing. Gotta really build up the cardio! If this is where XC racing is going, I want in!
  • 2 0
 I may start dabbling in XC not just racing Enduro!
  • 5 0
 it's japan - wouldn't expect any less from them and they didn't dissapoint..... ........ p.s. - read prevot's post about her crashing because of other people - hope they didn't do it on purpose and hope all injured mend well
  • 7 0
 Nobody's gonna say this XC course was too tame, that's for sure. The course is just beautifully crafted, impeccable. Leave it to the Japanese.
  • 9 2
 Full face helmet and knee pads mandatory for this XC event!
  • 5 1
 Look at that, a course that actually represents a mountain bike trail! This looks super fun and challenging as hell. Maybe using some armor and not running super long stems or semi-slick tires would help at this course.
  • 5 0
 At this rate, the Japanese should build all XC courses for UCI. This race will be exciting to watch.
  • 4 0
 Be careful what you wish for...the Japanese could turn XCO into an episode of MXC. Which might also be really entertaining...
  • 1 0
 @JVance: haha qualifiers with the overweight office workers
  • 6 0
 Tough as nails Ladies !
  • 5 0
 I want to ride this so bad! that rhythm section looks $!
  • 3 1
 I believe the video posted fro Victor Koretzky is from Titouan Carod because Koretzky is riding a white Orbea Oiz and not a BMC FourStroke (that's Carod bike) but maybe they switched for a test drive
  • 2 1
 that climb into grass??? and then all the rocks looks like a stupid idea. Gives the lead riders who make it clean because they started in front a HUGE lead over everyone who gets bunched up, stuck and have to get off their bike because the person in front of them can't go either... lame start

ALSO, why the F? would they lay SOD on a mountain bike course...?

Don't get it.
  • 5 0
 As some one that has set up many race courses. The grass is like riding in glue. Great test of fitness, sure might look stupid but if you don’t have the elevation for a long climb, make a short grass climb.
  • 1 0
 @sunringlerider: I guess if it's freshly mowed...? But long wet grass is about the opposite of glue in my experience?

At any rate that's not my point. It's a mountain bike race, if the climb is too easy then add rocks, ledges, branches, etc. If it's a drainage issue than add waterbars or submerged blocks, wood slats. If grass is truly what's needed than plant wild grass, not SOD. Just like any mountain bike trail, not a grassy park ...
  • 4 0
 i cant even describe how fun this place looks to ride.. WOWWWW!!!!!!
  • 3 0
 When you realize you still have a lot of work to do on your cornering skills...
  • 3 0
 I love on Koretsky Video,
"There has been an earthquake", the Japanese announcement went to English.
Rad coarse indeed!
  • 8 5
 more like an enduro track then XC
  • 4 1
 Definitely requires a down-country bike
  • 3 0
 Man-made rock gardens are sketchy!
  • 2 0
 When your work computer blocks Instagram and you can't see a single one of these photos.
  • 3 0
 Shit, makes me wanna ride XC!
  • 2 0
 wow. well that was unexpected. if it keeps going like this, the EWS boys are gonna start dominating the olympics.
  • 2 0
 "hahaha f*ck that". Disera sounds just like me when I crash!
  • 3 4
 Course looks good now, I guarantee it gets 'SANITIZED' before the Olympics. Alot of racers from other countries are going to be intermediate bike handlers at best. This is why they have TEST Events.
  • 5 4
 This is what XC looks like now? Jesus. In my day we rode trails in the woods...
  • 1 0
 Pluses, its flow-y. Minuses, its too slick. It looks like bombing through a city botanical garden.
  • 2 0
 We're gunna start seeing XC Specific pads soon. Wink
  • 2 0
 XC guys and gals are gnarly!
  • 1 0
 Where the heck is Mr. Blevin's sick manual clip through the boulders??
  • 1 0
 That was some smooth riding! Skills.
  • 1 0
 Down Country is a real thing..
  • 3 4
 Kate Courtney’s bike appeared to have snapped; notice the chain stays and seatstays.
  • 7 0
 Notice also, the tire Wink
  • 6 1
 It does appear that way. However, check out the wheel. It’s also broken. I believe it’s a digital camera thang instead of a frame break.
  • 5 1
 @ellstruth: It's probably the stitching of the 360 degree camera that's she's using.
  • 1 0
 @jamessmurthwaite: Maxxis Pilot? Never heard of it...
  • 2 0
 @ellstruth: Definitely looks like a jacked up photo. Or someone on the track used a water jet to break that frame.
  • 1 0
 @jamessmurthwaite: it was a little tired okay... XD
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