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How Fast Are The Pro XC Racers? | Neil Donoghue Vs Titouan Carod


(explosion) – Just how fast is a
cross-country pro racer? Well, I’ve been invited by Shimano to come to the south of France to race a BMC pro Titouan Carod. Titouan’s young racer. He won the under 23 overall
World Cup championship twice. His first year in elite,
he finished sixth overall. 2018, he had a third at Mont-Sainte-Anne, fifth at Stellenbosch, and
seventh at world champs. He’s legit. He’s a new school
cross-country racer riding a new school cross-country bike. (slow synthesizer music) (moves into high energy music) I walked by the bike. For this task, we’re both gonna be riding exactly the same bike, the BMC Fourstroke. A pretty special bike and
a leader in a new type of cross-country race bike. It takes influence from
longer traveled machines to be as fast as possible. Up, down, and of course cross-country. 100 millimeters of travel,
a relaxed head angle, a six millimeter stem, and an
integrated dropper seatpost. The bike that Titouan races
on the World Cup circuit. We both have the same
gears, Shimano XTR 1×12. Although Titouan is
pushing a 36 chain ring on a 10-45 cassette compared to my 34 with the same cassette,
and I am fine with that. So Titouan, you are quite
new really to cross-country. You’re a young rider, but
it looks like the trails nowadays are super gnarly. Some very technical sections. How hard are these tracks? – Yeah, they are all in whole the part in the uphill and the downwheel. Now in the cross-country race, the technical is a very important part. – And the bikes, this is
quite useful I would say, you’ve got a really short
stem on these Fourstroke BMCs. That’s 60 mill on one medium bike. Got an integrated dropper post, how much are you using the
dropper post when you’re riding? – Always, in the
cross-country race always. Just for two meters or just
for one meter sometimes. Always, I use always. – And we’re running 1×12
today as well, so you’ve got a pretty big chain on there. That’s a 36. – 36, yeah. – Be running the big set, so 12-speed. What is that, it’s a 10-51? – Yeah. – Do you change your chain
at all during the year or is that a 36 on constantly? – No, it’s 90 berth and
36, and maybe when we have a flat race or we use 38, but 90 persons is 36. – And you don’t miss
having the front, back, and two chainrings? – No, no, no. (slow dramatic music) (moves to intense drum music) (majestic music) – [Neil] We’re in the south of France, at a special facility, the French Federation’s
training facility built to replicate the axial
course at 2016 Rio Olympics. It’s got a challenging single
track, manmade rock gardens, short and long bursting climbs. Only an elevation change of 150 meters, but it’s either up or down. There’s no place for a
lazy downhiller to rest. (relaxing music) The case just slightly
different to our normal race. Rather than do a time trial,
I’m gonna set off first. It’s gonna be a handicapped race. Two minutes later, Titouan’s
gonna come after me, chase me down, see how
soon he can catch me. And we’ll see if I can actually make it two laps of this track. (flaps lips) – [Titouan] Oh. – [Neil] Hang on. – Three, two, one, go. (Neil exhales) (gravel crunches) (upbeat music) (grunting) (very fast music) (gravel crunches) (heavy breathing) (upbeat music) (gravel crunches) (exhales) (laughs) Go. – Wow, nice one, dude. Well, that was one of the
hardest things I’ve ever done. (Titouan laughs heartily) Wow, my foreword did
great, 10 seconds downhill. And it was pretty obvious you were faster down there as well. My riding just went
completely out the window when I was redlining, I
just couldn’t stay on. – Oh, yeah. – I couldn’t pick a line,
I was all over the place. Oh, man, that was hard. I did a lap and thought
I wasn’t going to make it ’round in the second lap. (laughter) I thought to just back it off. I almost crashed on the last descent. It’s so hard to ride technical
stuff when you’re redlining. – Yeah. – Don’t know how you do it,
so consistently as well. (exhales profusely) So I made it. Titouan beat me by 00:5:40 back to here. Never mind the two minutes at the start, he caught me after 00:7:40 faster. What, an 11k ride, so not a very big ride. Let’s go back to the shed,
let’s take a look at the data and see the real raw deal. How it turned out. Okay, so how badly did I get beaten? So I’ve used Strava to
really pull apart these laps, take a look at some segments. Start with the first segment, so it’s an underlaying
bit, the tacky downhill, and a short climb. Lap one, I did it 00:02:20. Titouan did a 00:02:03 so
pretty significantly faster. And if you go into more detail just on that short downhill
part of that segment, I did a 00:00:31, Titouan did a 00:00:30. So faster even on the
downhills and that was as close as I got when every single segment, it was about 12 segments to this lap, and it was faster everywhere. What about a short but tough
climb that would be max effort but with some technical riding
and tight corners in it? That one I did a 00:01:51,
Titouan did a 00:01:25. Not too disappointed with that actually. I guess I’m not too bad. But now, let’s look at lap
two because I absolutely bombed on lap two. I’m super insta-red on lap one. And if you look at the overall times, which we’ll do in a second. You’ll see I was a lot slower on lap two. So onto that segment, I
did a 00:02:28 on lap two. So eight seconds there, not too bad. Titouan did a 00:02:13. So he dropped 10 seconds, but
it was still significantly faster than me. On the downhill section, I
did a 00:00:37, so six seconds slower than I was first lap. Titouan did a 00:00:31,
so pretty consistent. Best time I did on the first lap. And for that short, punchy
climb, I went up to 00:01:57. Titouan did a 00:01:25,
exactly the same as he did on his first lap. So obviously super consistent. And that was obviously
a lot shorter than your average axial race. But if you could keep that
pace up for those two laps, pretty immaculate. And what about total lap times? My lap one was 20’23”, lap two 22’37”, so a minute and a bit slower. Add it up to 43’00” total. Titouan did a 17’31” lap one. Lap two, he did slow down to an 18’26”. His total was 35’57”. I think Titouan went super
hard on that first lap to make sure he did
catch me and then maybe relaxed a little bit. But obviously his times are
really, really consistent. So obviously really, really fast these pro cross-country racers everywhere. I did try and stick with
him on the downhills and when I was tight, but
it just wasn’t happening. So fair play. Do I have any excuses? Well, of course I do, I’ve
gotta have some excuses. I would say my finish is a bit average even for my standards,
but fair play Titouan, this is off-season. He’s not been training. He starts training in
about two weeks time. So even for him he’s not in his peak form and he still absolutely smoked me. Well, thanks to Titouan. That was really hard,
but it was amazing to see just how fast you guys are. – Thank you, thank you. Hey guys, if you want
to see the first look of the BMC Fourstroke, click here. – If you want to see an
old video of Nino Shirts and versus buy one, click over here. Hit that subscribe button and give us a thumbs up
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