Well, it seems a company called Gracenote has done some number crunching, and it’s predictions for the 2021 Olympics, if they happen at all?
XCO men’s category:
Nino Schurter (Switzerland)
Jordan Sarrou (France)
Mathias Flückiger (Switzerland)
XCO women’s category:
Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (France)
Jolanda Neff (Switzerland)
Kate Courtney (USA)
That seems way too obvious to me. I hate to say it, but aside from PFP in the women’s category, they sure aren’t taking into account the most recent winners of pre-World Cup events. I think this a perfect example of just analyzing past data gives you results that just don’t add up. As much as I’ve loved watching Jolanda and Kate over the last few years, I just don’t see either of them winning. I think it’s going to be one of the younger ladies pushing for the gold.
For the men, once again, while Nino has always been the safe bet, his age has finally caught up to him. I can easily see in with a medal, that’s not hard to imagine, but I think another gold medal is not going to happen. Van der Poel will be hungry, but will he be ready? If he shows up to all the World Cup races as prep, he might be. He didn’t race at the 2020 races, and I think he might find Avancini and Fluckiger even harder to beat than in 2019. Not to mention the young guns who are moving up fast. Vlad Dasculu, the new Specialized signings, and others. And his weird Tour de France debut will also confuse things.
Overall, I’d not be surprised if out of those 6 racers the big data analysts predicted, only 2 actually end up with a medal of any kind. Fingers crossed they have the race and we can move on with what I like to call “the Olympic Distraction” year.