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August 19, 2017
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  • Andy B

    Its unfortunate but happens quite often in mountain bike racing.. putting everything into one race and hoping it’ll all go smooth is not a good recipe
    Ive ran that same tyre combo for a few races.. never had a problem

    • jules

      I guess there’s an inference that he may have opted for speed and low tyre pressures in the mud, which may have contributed to punctures on the rocks. And that he lacked the finesse of the leaders in picking precise lines to avoid spiking his tyres.

      I love mountain biking, but as a mostly roadie it always takes me a while to get my eye in after a while off the mountain bike. I think Sagan did really well here, all things considered.

      • Andy B

        For sure! I’m very impressed he made the front so quickly

        I go through phases on and off the mountain bike (both racing and riding)
        i’m usually very sketchy for the first few rides, its much the same with testing the right gear.. that can take quite some time to prevent having issues in a race

        Having said that you could run the same setup one day and have no issues, next day take a different line/have less luck and have a flat
        Shows why Mountain Biking can be so tough to put it all together on the day

  • Dave

    While Sagan is no doubt a good cyclist and his stage wins in the tour impressive, the relevance of these to mountain biking is questionable. I am not sure that the long slower pace of road rides necessarily translates to the fitness required for the flat out short climbs and descents of XCO mountain bike races. I am sure he could have done better with out the mechanical problems, but to beat Schurter who targets all his training to suit mountain bike courses seems unlikely. Guess we will never know.

    • jules

      getting a good position at the start of XCO races is crucial. he was in the lead selection until he flatted. I’m not saying he’d have beaten Schurter, but a lot of the full-time MTBers would have been thrilled with that start.

    • dypeterc

      I don’t think his aim was beating Shurter or even medal, rather Top 10

  • Rob

    He did better or just as well as other “full time” mountain bikers. Not a failed experiment and really, it’s his choice to race whatever bike he likes.

    Would love to see him give CX another go (or maybe even throw his beefy thighs over a Penny Farthing)

    • Dave

      And certainly a worthy move for the Slovakian federation to roll the dice. The best “full time” MTB rider they have struggles to crack the top 50 in World Cup races.

      • Teresagwallace3

        <<hp.. ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????::::::!il795r:….,……..

  • J Evans

    Conclusion: should have done the road race – much more chance of winning.

    • Saeba R.

      If you raced either race again you could get a different result.

      • Andrew O’Neill

        Road – Absolutely, different result each time. But XCO, disagree – Nino wins every time.

    • James_Casper

      Easy to say in hindsight …

      I could also say Sagan had much more chance of crashing and injuring himself if he contested the road race.

  • Andrew O’Neill

    I want to qualify my comments by saying: 1. I’m a massive Sagan fan, 2. I race both on the road and MTB & 3. I watched every MTB XCO World Cup in the last 5 years.

    I was hugely disappointed when Sagan flatted. Not because I thought he would do well, but it robbed the top MTB guys of the opportunity to prove how good they are!

    Sagan had an amazing start on Sunday, admittedly aided by wide start loop and smaller field, but he still had to put down the watts to get to the front. However, to suggest that without a puncture, he would’ve had a chance at a medal, purely based on the fact that he was in the top 3 early, is a little bit ridiculous.

    That’s not to say Sagan isn’t a great rider – on road or off – but XCO is such a specific cycling discipline, it’s just not possible for someone that hasn’t been focussed on it specifically, to do well at the elite level. Sagan is an all-round strong rider, good for the one-day classics and is a strong sprinter, but he’s not the best climber, nor the best time trialist.

    So for me, to say that “he was at the front for the first lap, and he’s won stages at Le Tour, so he would’ve held on and possibly won”, is the same as saying, “he was with Froome for the first 2 Km up Mont Ventoux, so he probably would’ve beaten Froome to the line”, or “he matched Tony Martin through the first split on the TT, so he would’ve held on”. See, both a bit silly, no?

    XCO is just a very different type of effort. Sprint, brake, accelerate. Sagan would be what? 85kg? That’s a lot of weight to accelerate out of every corner and over every technical section on an XC course.

    Other points to raise – Koretsky also punctured at the start of lap two, still made the top 10. Fontana who punctured at the same time as Sagan (and hasn’t been in great form), was nearly 8 minutes ahead of Sagan when he was pulled from the race.

    But that’s just my view. I’m sure many will disagree and that’s cool. Still feel sorry for Lami for being left out of the Slovakian team…
    XCO and punctures/mechanicals go hand in hand. Avoiding punctures through line choice and technique are certainly relevant, but you can still be struck by bad luck. But two punctures in the race may point to something, but it also may not.

    • Saeba R.

      In principal I don’t disagree with you. And it is a shame we did not get a clear look at Sagan.

      However keep in mind:

      It wasn’t just that Sagan was up front, int was that others were trailing behind.

      Also not just that Sgan punctured, it was where he punctured. Also that he punctured twice. So there is no clear comparison to others.

      And Sagan wouldn’t weigh anywhere near 85kg. Sorry, but that is a very poor estimate.

      I’m personally hoping he shows for some World Cups in the near future.

    • mh

      Sagan is far from 85kg ;)

      Sagan himself stated for Slovak media that he would probably end up in top 10 without the puncture (and that medal was unlikely).
      I think that’s honest evaluation.

      In any case it’s a pity that the puncture deprived us of the spectacle.

    • ebbe

      I agree with you Andrew. People are reading a bit too much into this “he was in front after the start loop”. Sure, on most XCO World Cup courses the start is crucial and/because it’s difficult to overtake, but in Rio that certainly wasn’t the case. I think the favourites were aware of this. We clearly saw it in the women’s race as well: Linda Indergand had a massive lead in the first laps (at some point over half a minute I think?), but still finished 3 min 12 behind the winner in the end. The Rio course is open, wide, fast, and not too technical. Perfect for riders to come back / close a gap / make up time. A medal for Sagan in XCO was as much out of the question as that laughable “double gold” (RR + ITT) for Froome people were talking/dreaming about was.

  • dypeterc

    Interesting tire combo. I run that setup in the dry. Surprised that a Renegade had enough traction for the conditions especially that doughy looking start loop. I would’ve gone Fast Trak/Fast Trak for the added traction and the weight difference isn’t that significant. I also run about 14-16 psi (1-1.2 bar) in my tires with no problem but I only weigh 130#. Renegades do seem a little more prone to pinch flats than FT’s especially right at the bead/sidewalk junction. No amount of sealant will help you out of that.


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August 19, 2017
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