Social Round Up: XC Athletes Arrive in Tokyo for the Olympics

Jul 20, 2021
by Sarah Moore  
Pauline Ferrand Prevot doing the French proud and into the fourth spot on the podium.


A glimpse at the team kits and custom bikes in the final days before the Tokyo Olympics.


Loana Lecomte
There's no doubt that Loana is the favourite coming into these Games with four World Cup XCO wins to her name this season.


Nino Schurter
Road gaps and skids for the 2016 Olympic champion in his final build up to Tokyo.


Kate Courtney
A brand new Scott Spark in a special Supersonic colorway for Tokyo for Kate Courtney. She'll be competing in a matching teal Scott helmet instead of her usual Red Bull helmet.


Pauline Ferrand Prevot
One last MTB training session at home for Pauline.


Victor Koretzky
A peek at Team France's cycling kit for the Olympic Games.


Jordan Sarrou
Jordan Sarrou is another athlete practicing road gaps ahead of the technical Tokyo course.


Rebecca McConnell
Rebecca McConnell is keeping the rhythm as close to normal as possible to a regular race weekend, minus the not-eating-for-almost-12-hours-on-the-travel-day part.


Laura Stigger
Laura Stigger in her Team Austria colours.


Henrique Avancini
Henrique Avancini skipped the last two World Cups to focus on preparing entirely for Tokyo. We'll see if it paid off in a week's time.


Catharine Pendrel
Catharine Pendrel will be headed to the Games without six month old Dara.


Malene Degn
Malene Degn ready to travel in her Team Denmark apparel.


Eva Lechner
Eva Lechner with Luca Braidot, Nadir Colledani and Gerhard Kerschbaumer in the Italian colours.


Anne Tauber
The Netherlands will be represented by two women (Anne Tauber and Anne Terpstra) and two men (Milan Vader and Mathieu van der Poel).


Anne Terpstra
All orange for Anne Terpstra and her Ghost Lector FS.


Haley Smith
Gold maple leaves for Canada's Haley Smith.


Alan Hatherly
Cannondale teammates Alan Hatherly and Manuel Fumic prepare to represent South Africa and Germany.


Mathias Fluekiger
Mathias Fluekiger has had an excellent season so far with two perfect weekends in a row at round 3 and 4 of the World Cup. Will he be able to fend off Tom Pidcock and Mathieu van der Poel on the mountain bike?


Jolanda Neff
From injury, back to the podium, to injury again. We can't wait to see what one of the toughest competitors in the field brings to Tokyo.


Sina Frei
Sina Frei is ready for take off with the strong Swiss team.


Evie Richards
Evie Richards will be competing on Team GB alongside Tom Pidcock.


Haley Batten
An incredible first half of the season has us wondering what Haley Batten can do in Tokyo.


Christopher Blevins
Representing the USA in the men's race will be Christopher Blevins.




81 Comments

  • 37 1
 It's great to see the MTB athletes representing at the Olympics, it makes on hopeful and happy.
  • 18 4
 Camera

• Tokyo Acclimatization www.pinkbike.com/photo/20988092
• Loana Lecomte's Bike www.youtube.com/watch?v=XceLJ7aEM3o
• Math Flückiger's Bike thoemus.ch/tvs/ganbaru

more information available only on Pinkbike+
  • 2 0
 Book

• Anne Terpstra's Bike www.instagram.com/p/CRMg_L_HhnW
• Eva Lechner's Bike www.instagram.com/p/CRYQx9LrpIP
Mathieu van der Poel will not travel to the Olympic Games until Thursday. He's training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber (aka. Seishin to Toki no Heya).
  • 22 15
 I know it means a lot to the athletes, but I really find it hard to put much emphasis on the Olympics anymore. There are so many more worldwide championships that seemingly mean more or at least just as much the Olympics.
  • 7 0
 Many more? Like what?
  • 31 5
 How hard was your emphasis on the Olympics before? Does the IOC know you’re feeling this way? Because the future of the Olympics will likely depend on the things you type online.
  • 5 3
 @xTwoSnakesx: World champs happens yearly, world cups.
  • 13 4
 @Jordansemailaddress: Is the point of the comments section not to express opinions about the article?
  • 15 6
 @PTyliszczak: yes of course. This may not be you, but I just find it funny when people talk down on the Olympics with varying levels of condescending attitudes. They all seem to think they’re the first ones to have the criticisms they do. They’ll come and go, but there will still be the Olympics. It represents a lot more than a world championship. It’s a celebration, not only of the sport, but of the human race. Yes, it usually brings a whole list of negative impacts along with it, and almost every host nation ends up guilty of some atrocity during the games. But, it’s usually just exposing problems that already existed. I haven’t been. I also haven’t been to Crankworks, and while that represents the most amazing and exciting pinnacle of mountain bike competition( the kind I’m interested in), if I had the opportunity to go to either, it would be the Olympics without hesitation.
  • 2 1
 @xTwoSnakesx: like the Daytona 500 of coarse!
  • 2 1
 @PTyliszczak: nope, the point is to talk about covid, politics, and pinkbikes not so "inside"..."outside" influence. Hahaha sorry, had to bring it up.
  • 3 1
 Things like rugby, tennis, baseball, golf ... sure. But the Olympics is clearly the most important thing for the vast majority of the events contested, including the core sports like athletics, swimming, gymnastics, weightlifting, rowing, etc. I am heavily involved with the local trampolining scene, and I can tell you they think the OIympics is the tits. As for XCO, I reckon at least some of the athletes would choose Olympic gold over winning the world champs or world cup overall. Especially on a course which is maybe harder than anything they have raced.
  • 2 0
 @Jordansemailaddress: You must be havin' a laugh!
  • 4 1
 @PTyliszczak: Do you know any world class athletes personally?

Ask ANYONE who has ever competed at this ultra elite level and an olympic appearance, and maybe even a medal is worth more than any world cup....At least as far as the 40ish elite MTBers, Roadies, Swimmers and skiers who I have known and who competed at this level.

Maybe its fun to be salty and cynical online, but the olympics is still THE dream for many. many athletes.
  • 3 2
 @thedirtyburritto: following this logic, Olympics is the thing for athletes, not for spectators. Why bother with all the broadcasts then?
To me it seems like the Olympics are an archaism, they will go away together with classical TV broadcast, while cities will be more and more reluctant to host them. TikTok generation doesn't need any of these
  • 1 0
 @xTwoSnakesx: Many, more...well, like any weekend race in any other city on earth...the games are broken in so many ways (as compared to say, 20 years ago). The big for instance was the rule (from the past) that did not allow "Pro" competitors. At this point, certainly in the US the OTC(s) and the money spent on the centers are simply a massive waste of money with no benefit at all to sports other than the esoteric ones that no one cares about (such as hammer throw).
  • 4 0
 @eugen-fried: those people who are tiktok generation now probably dont care much about olympics… but they wont be tiktok generation forever, as people grow older they become more conservative and nationalistic.. in todays ultraglobalized world olympics is one of the few things that is global, yet also national and “patriotic” for lack of a better word.. and i think that will be needed more and more.. broadcasting will change.. but media is just, you know, the medium, not the essence
  • 2 1
 @eugen-fried: Then go watch stupid tiktok videos, i will watch great races in swimming, athletics and cycling.
  • 1 0
 @Skarhead89: enjoy, I don't have TikTok, so I'll just go for another ride
  • 3 0
 @PTyliszczak I mean simply from a numbers perspective, you get a shot at an Olympic medal once every 4 years vs multiple opportunities for WC wins and yearly world champs wins. The list of Olympic gold medal winners is much shorter than either WC, so understandably highly coveted
  • 1 0
 The "World Series" but it's generally dominated by American teams.
  • 3 0
 The issue I have with the Olympic games is that they allow professional athletes to participate. That alone discourages me from following the events.
  • 1 0
 @sebmx: That is my exact issue as well. I am not certain but I read (today) that it was LA that started the slope...but, in 1989 I did not want to get a pro card because I wanted to be eligible for the games (and training at Springs). I may be incorrect about LA and what not...but it was on the internet, it must be true.
  • 3 0
 @JustAnotherRiderHere: Sounds about right. Didn't it begin with the US basketball team?
  • 1 0
 @sebmx: That's the first one I remember.
  • 9 2
 The Olympic concept is still great. The countries best athletes competing against each other. True global event. It has to be one of the greatest honors to representing your country.
  • 5 10
flag tigerfish50 (Jul 21, 2021 at 6:57) (Below Threshold)
 The Olympics are a festival of corruption, nationalism is the curse of humanity and the athletes are driven by personal ambition. Apart from that, it's all total beauty as long as you're in the construction business and not bothered by wasted resources and the obligatory kickbacks to bureaucrats.
  • 3 1
 Sending their most doped up athletes that will pass a piss test
  • 1 3
 @FULL-SEND-ER: But apparently they can't pass a Covid test.
The Japanese people are righteously angry how their government has bowed to corporate interests and allowed the games to go ahead - putting everybody's lives at risk. I won't watch a minute of it.
  • 9 0
 Malene challenging Dangerholm.
  • 3 0
 Beat me to it....those quads are monstrous!
  • 8 1
 Lived in Tokyo for 2 years. Good luck with the heat and humidity. It's a pure hell from July to September.
  • 4 2
 Laughs in Midwest.
  • 4 2
 @piranah: Tokyo is worse. Osaka even more so.
  • 2 0
 @twozerosix: yup, I'm from Malaysia, right on the equator. Hot and >90% humidity all year round but I still suffered in Tokyo summer, I couldn't wait to escape the city
  • 1 0
 @DoisforDonuts: Been to Japan a lot, but in spring and fall, but never experienced the summer heat/humidity there. Malaysia is one of the hottest places w/ a ton of humidity I have been and it was in April. HK and Philippines is brutal in the summer as well.
  • 2 2
 90s is hot?
  • 2 0
 @DoisforDonuts: that’s saying something! I think it’s the combo of climate and the city concrete and heat of 20M other people.
  • 2 0
 @DoisforDonuts:

Yahoo Sports cited a column written immediately after Tokyo landed its bid for the games back in 2014. The column by Robert Whiting took issue with Japan’s claims of mild temperatures in late July and early August.

“I have been to Manila, Bangkok, Jakarta, Phnom Penh and Singapore in mid-summer and in my experience Tokyo is the worst of them all,” Whiting wrote. “The only conceivable places that are worse would be staging the games in, say, Death Valley, California, or the Horn of Africa.”
  • 3 0
 I really hope these gals and dudes ride trail/am bikes when they are out for a ride with friends/casual ride for fun. Hitting one of those road gaps on those set ups is something else, super legit, but why?. Thats like the punishment for losing a game of cards or dice between friends.... hahaha here you go, good luck with your bars lower than the top of the head tube.... SO MUCH RESPECT AND APPRECIATION, but damn, that has to be super weird/scary. No thanks.
  • 3 0
 And right before the olympics too. Balls for tempting fate!
  • 1 0
 I imagine their set-up is super dialed, and they have hundreds if not thousands of hours on the same bike. It's really not that sketchy, I've seen a junior racer ride dirt jumps clipped in on his XC bike. The only difference was that he could do massive suicide no handers. Maybe if they didn't have a dropper it would get scary, but XC bikes nowadays really aren't my dad's 1999 Stumpy that he crashed the first time he took me downhilling.
  • 1 0
 Or, you know, it's just riding a bike for them.
  • 1 0
 XC racers just tend to be better overall riders than the rest of us.
  • 4 0
 Now everyone knows what my IG feed looks like.
  • 2 0
 Instagram account list of TOKYO 2021 MTB XCO participants
iimonodakeosekaikara.blog.jp/archives/27811952.html
  • 1 0
 Good lookin out, cuh
  • 2 0
 As much as I am stoked for the athletes. Fuck the UOC right in the bum bum.
  • 2 0
 *IOC
  • 1 0
 That Danmark outfit must have a parallel existence as the corporate identity clothing of some hotel chain somewhere around the world. I really dig it though.
  • 3 0
 Dutch team, minus MVDP.
  • 1 0
 Not arriving until Thursday.....
  • 2 1
 How much carbon dioxide is produced by a million likes? Is this peak thumb-forefinger evolution? Celebrate humanity
  • 2 0
 Looks like Kate is finally using a dropper!
  • 1 0
 Kate or Leona?

Kate Courtney has used that ugly heavy AXS dropper for years. Leona Lecomte is somewhat notorious for saving weight by skipping the dropper.

Having said that, Leonas new "Massi" looks like a tank.
  • 1 0
 French medals probably in perspective but no french lines in perspective. BORING!!!
  • 1 0
 Did Jenny Rissveds decide not to race in Tokyo? Her IG vibe is way too chill.....
  • 1 0
 are you not allowed to wear Red bull helmets in the event?
  • 5 0
 I guess you represent country, not your team so there are some special rules (your bike but national kit, your helmet but national colors and so on)?!
  • 4 0
 Why would you want to wear a Red Bull helmet at the Olympics?
  • 13 0
 @warmerdamj: Redbull needs to buy some small country and change things up for the Olympics.
  • 1 0
 @kusa: ahahah true sry i had a complete brain fart then
  • 2 0
 @kusa: When Frischnecht is involved, the helmet your National Federation wants you to wear can be an issue. Just ask Jenny Rissveds.
  • 1 0
 Not really; certainly not the usual colour scheme. However, I recall a recent Winter Olympics, and an Austrian skeleton slider, wore a black & dark grey helmet, with the Red Bull pattern on it.
  • 3 1
 Nino for the win!!
  • 1 0
 Didn't see Emily Batty on the list...perhaps she just hasn't arrived yet?
  • 1 0
 She didn’t make the team.
  • 1 0
 @extratalldirtrider: Say what? I could have sworn I saw that she did.
  • 1 0
 @extratalldirtrider: On closer look, you're right, but only because Canada didn't get many slots in the 2021 Olympics (looks like only three riders altogether for men and womens are going).
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