At Eurobike, after they’d each signed hundreds of posters, T-shirts, hats water bottles and whatever else people put in front of them, we sat down for five minutes with Olympic Gold medalists Jenny Rissveds and Nino Schurter, and asked a couple of questions.
SRAM: Has it even sunken in yet that you won the Olympics?
Jenny Rissveds: For sure it’s a dream coming true. Already just to get the opportunity to go there — to qualify for the Olympics — was a dream coming true. And then I went to the race, and I wanted to just get experience…try to get some experience of an Olympic Games. Of course I wanted to do my best, and see what result could come out of that. Yeah, I had a really good day on the bike. Mentally as well…I was strong.
SRAM: Did you know right away that you were going to have a good race?
JR: I could feel that I had it quite under control, but anything can happen. But I can say I felt strong, I had a good mind and, when it was two laps to go, I felt like, I can go for the win. On the last lap I made an attack and it turned out — the Gold Medal.
SRAM: Nino, how about you? Has it even sunken in yet that you won the Olympics?
Nino Schurter: It was a huge target…you planned it so long and the day comes and then it’s so quickly over. Still now, somehow, I can already believe it, and somehow it’s still, just… Is it really true?
Yeah, you train for four years for this event, and then it’s over. I’m really glad everything came together on this day. It needs quite a lot — a perfect day, and you need to have a bit of luck. And then, if everything comes together, it’s amazing.
SRAM: Did you have any bad moments in the race? Any times when you thought your Olympic dream might be over?
NS: Yeah, once in the downhill, I nearly crashed. It was right after I attacked. It was a bit of a scary moment. And, of course, you never know if you’ll make it through — you maybe have a mechanical…you never know 100-percent sure until you are at the finish line.
SRAM: What’s one thing you would say about Eagle?
JR: For me, it’s quite a difference from last year. I mean, on courses with a lot of climbing, in previous years I went with a 30-tooth chainring. And now I’m on a 34 chainring. For me, that’s the biggest difference — I can ride with a bigger chainring and keep the momentum a little bit better. It has worked out pretty good — the whole season, actually. I’m happy to have been involved with it from the beginning. It’s so cool.
NS: It’s amazing. Especially for Rio, it was a big advantage. Compared to other guys, who ride on Shimano, I just have a bigger gear range. It was one of the important things for Rio — for the success.
SRAM: What chainring did you ride?
NS: Thirty-eight. So I had a really big gear, but also with the 50t I have still a small gear. I don’t have to do any compromises anymore. I know if I come to a sprint finish, I know I have big enough gears. If, on the really steep climbs, I want to relax a bit and ride a high cadence, I have a small enough gear. That’s really good to know — and it gives you some confidence.