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Social Round Up: After the Rain at the Crans Montana XC World Cup

Jun 21, 2024 at 10:14
by Sarah Moore  
Samantha Dugon

Trek Factory Racing

Traxx Media

UCI MTB World Series

Samara Maxwell

Emilly Johnston

Anne Tauber

Alan Hatherly

Haley Batten

Kate Courtney

Jordan Sarrou

Jenn Jackson

Loana Lecomte, Luca Schwarzbauer, Thomas Griot

Stephane Tempier / Decathalon Ford Racing Team Manager
Course preview after the rain...

Author Info:
sarahmoore avatar

Member since Mar 30, 2011
1,472 articles

  • 77 0
 Perhaps Maxxis Aspens weren't the best choice.
  • 22 1
 The Lacroix of MTB tire tread
  • 2 0
 @tashlama: bro hand me another la croix, yeeeeaaaaaaahhh
  • 4 0
 Bring back the Medusa haha! I Loved them.
  • 12 0
 @tashlama: Fun fact. Instead of putting treads on an Aspen they actually just put them near a Minion for a bit to get that "essence" of tread.
  • 2 0
 watt do you mean LOL
  • 53 5
 I feel for the athletes that got injured, but the unwillingness of XC athletes to change equipment for a course like this is part of the problem. "Soft tails" with 60mm of travel and semi-slick aspens seem completely unsuitable for this course. Surely a 120/120 bike with light trail tires like a forecaster / rekon is a better choice when conditions are slippery and steep like this, even if the rolling resistance is higher on pavement.
  • 31 1
 Agreed, but speaking as someone out there making "good choices" with a 120/115 bike and mud tires, a lot of it is still a skating rink. Where there's ruts it's manageable, but in some places the mud just pushes flat over hard ground or roots, and with the gradient there's nothing you can do but slide
  • 2 0
 @jackkson: Fair enough! Hopefully more ruts form to make it more rideable. As someone on the ground, do you feel like most others have modified their equipment, or are many still riding what they would on a dry and/or less challenging course?
  • 1 0
 @jackkson: "Make good choices" was running through my head watching the clips
  • 7 2
 If they’re unwilling to “upscale” to mud tires, or trail bikes; it would be nice to see them use actual MTB helmets and back protection. The U23 racers might be too naive to think about it logically, but it would be good if they had someone on their teams to help make choices like this. Marginal gains don’t matter if you get a concussion or worse.
  • 2 0
 @swabag: it’s my preride mantra ahah
  • 3 0
 I hear you and we'll see soon what the podium looks like and then we'll know what tires were right for the race. If I had to bet, you're still going to see skimpy tires in all podium positions cuz that uphill is a beast.
  • 13 0
 @maximell: on Thursday it was dry for men’s training then started raining during mixed, then was a mudpit by women’s, so I think some people got caught out. Friday was consistently just muddy, and almost everyone on muds barring some of the younger riders and privateers here on their own may that not have spare wheels with mud tires, the means to swap tires easily, or proper mud tires at all. So it’s even harder for them to stay on top of conditions when they change. Also an Aspen with super low pressure and an insert climbs almost as well as a light mud tire at moderate pressure, so a lot to consider.

Plus, just jitters on new course for almost everyone.
  • 1 0
 @jackkson: that's right but most of the slide off points are quite benign
  • 2 11
flag simonusedtoskate (Jun 21, 2024 at 13:39) (Below Threshold)
 Basically roadies with small knobbles. You can’t reason with these people.
  • 7 0
 Riders sticking with the static seatpost on this track is mind blowing to me. At least put a light 125mm on there. Maybe they enjoy a saddle in the stomach while taking a drop?
  • 8 1
 @maximell - You assume that all these riders, even the front guys and girls, have immediate access to different bikes. That is definitely not the case. Most of the teams have their race bikes, spare parts and in some teams spare frames but they dont bring a bunch of different style bikes.
  • 29 17
 the rain sucks, but it is, what it is. MSA was the same way last year.

But I am all for the gnarly track. If MTB XC wants to be taken seriously, they cant continually have roadies show up and go right to the top. It makes it it look second rate: oh these are the guys who can't cut it on the road. Needs a shift to: these are the guys who can ride the a mtb trail, and dust your ass on a climb.
  • 51 6
 I'd give a kidney to watch clips of all the mediocre riders who say things like "if XC wants to be taken seriously".


The least technically proficient of these riders is so much better a bike handler than your average enduro-bro that it isn't even funny.

For the record, I like the more techy tracks as well. But XC should be taken seriously in any case; just like Enduro and DH pros are also really aerobically fit, XC pros can really ride a bike.
  • 27 1
 What 'roadies' have come in and dominated? If you say MVDP and Pidcock you're dead wrong. They were the best of the best in cyclocross well before touching the road. i.e. they have insanely good bike handling skills to match their endurance which plays well in mtb. Pauline has always done a mix of road/cyclocross and mtb and is probably one of the best all around riders on the planet.
  • 14 2
 @tommyrod74: Correct on all of that. And if we're being honest, the super techy courses rarely produce the most entertaining racing. The first two races in Brazil were super exciting from start to finish specifically because there were big non-technical sections where people could overtake, groups could form and work together to pull back the leaders, etc.

Contrast that with VDS last weekend, or MSA in years past, where the winning strategy is just to get up front early and stay there while the chase groups get jammed up on narrow sections and impede each other. I love tech elements in these courses but the racing is just better when the field isn't strung out by lap 2.
  • 11 1
 @bkm303: I totally agree. At the end of the day, handling skills are incredibly important, but this is supposed to be a discipline that combines skill and fitness. Unsurprisingly, high-level downhill and Enduro racing also combine skill and fitness, just in different proportions.

I also have found over the years that people who complain that cross-country racers don’t have any skill are generally the kind of riders who don’t have much fitness or skill, although they might have a little more skill than fitness.
  • 6 0
 @wilsonians: This is a good point that probably won't generate a counter from the uninformed original post. Pidcock, in particular, has one of the best technical skillsets of any racer, in any discipline, ever. I would say that the technical skillset that typically is more relevant to XC has contributed to his success on the road in the world tour as well, as evidenced by his monster descent on Alpe d'Huez at the TDF a few years ago. Pauline is another great counter. She's been winning mountain bike races for over a decade on all variety of courses. Nino is the most decorated mtb racer ever -- where's his roadie background?
  • 1 0
 @RogerMexico: Nino has raced on the road with the Swiss Team in the past, and they all train on the road.
  • 2 0
 @bkm303: totally called it for last weekend
  • 17 3
 Watch Puck's preview. The course is a mess. Reroutes and unrideable climbs.
  • 5 0
 Are the drops onto the wooden logs out? Don't see it in Puck's video and haven't seen it in any social media today.
  • 2 0
 @dougfs: Good catch, just checked Tempier's preview and they're not there either www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzwf2XQR6Bk
  • 5 1
 Tempier's preview shows that just the right line on the rock drop is open for preRide:
youtu.be/lzwf2XQR6Bk?si=lmqm4xlqJ2eNM9mw&t=647 (timestamped 10:47)

Log feature is taped off:
youtu.be/lzwf2XQR6Bk?si=OpnnA3vmUIDil-Hw&t=362 (timestamped 6:02)

cc: @sarahmoore
  • 1 0
 That's a down country course for sure
  • 10 2
 do race rules require the riders to actually compete with a bike? If I were unsure about grip and worried about injury before the Olympics, I'd show up to the line with just a swimsuit and running shoes
  • 28 0
 Yes actually. USAC DQed me from a Halloween cyclocross race because I dressed like a runner and ran the whole thing without a bike.
  • 4 0
 @beeeefkirky: lol, damn
  • 6 0
 @beeeefkirky: Could you bring a Brompton and wear it as a backpack?
  • 8 0
 @beeeefkirky: What if you'd at least ran the entire thing while holding a bike? Serious question, even though it clearly doesn't sound like one!
  • 3 0
 @bigdood: we_demand_to_be_taken_seriously.jpg
  • 5 0
 @bigdood: I think that would be okay. From my memory of how it was explained to me, you must have a bike in your control when making progress on the course. So running with a bike would be fine, but dropping the bike, running a lap, and picking it back up would not be. This was over a decade ago so take this with a grain of salt.
  • 1 0
 @beeeefkirky: I was thinking that, especially given some of the CX courses and conditions I've seen back when I was living in Portland, but hell if I could recall specific rules!
  • 4 0
 I may sound like a broken record, but can we watch these races anywhere? Wasn't the U23 supposed to be broadcast on Youtube? It's not on Eurosport either. I got used to that WB doesn't cover enduro racing but please show XCO to the fans.
  • 3 0
 XCO U23 is on YouTube
  • 2 1
 Oh, ok. My mistake. So to be correct: please show the short track as well!
  • 9 2
 Run a real front tire racers...
  • 1 1
 If they’re unwilling to “upscale” to mud tires, or trail bikes; it would be nice to see them use actual MTB helmets and back protection. The U23 racers might be too naive to think about it logically, but it would be good if they had someone on their teams to help make choices like this. Marginal gains don’t matter if you get a concussion or worse.
  • 2 0
 That crash on the third clip was heavy
  • 1 0
 Coming in HOT!!
  • 1 0
 Ha this is going to be a hike-a-bike race LOL, This is going to be long, slow and entertaining.
  • 1 0
 Then crashes edit doesn't represent the majority of riders... don't mind a track with it!
  • 1 0
 Based on the U23 results so far, a down country bike still wasn’t the fastest choice.
  • 5 4
 DHF + DHR combo should solve this tricky And slippery situation..
  • 9 1
 Cut the middle man. Straight to Shorty/Wetscream combo
  • 1 0
 atleast roadies cant be on top in their first year
  • 4 4
 Would love to see DH racers on hardtails make this course look tame

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