Fabien Barel In The Penalty Box: Five Minutes For Shuttling

Aug 12, 2013
by Julian Coffey  
 
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Views: 20,362    Faves: 13    Comments: 3



Official Word from Chris Ball, Director, Enduro World Series

“Following a number of requests for information surrounding the five minute penalty issued to Fabien Barel in Crankworx Whistler we would like to clarify the situation. To avoid riders gaining an unfair advantage and to maintain the spirit of the race on the long liaison stages in the Whistler valley, Crankworx created a rule that outlined no outside assistance (including using a vehicle to assist) would be allowed during the event. This rule was further explained and clarified in a mandatory athlete’s breakfast scheduled on Friday morning and hosted by the Crankworx Whistler organisers. Rider’s who chose not to attend this briefing missed crucial information regarding course changes, details of shuttling and race specific information. We are not responsible for educating riders who choose to miss planned briefings. Following the submission of evidence by a number of sources and a discussion with Fabien where he cooperated fully, admitted to a lack of knowledge of the rule due to team communications and an admission of his use of a vehicle, the organisation chose to apply a five minute penalty to his race time, removing any advantage that may have been gained from his use of the vehicle. We are all now looking forward to an incredible race here tomorrow.”

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209 Comments

  • + 233
 Dont skip breakfast, most important meal of the day...
  • + 1
 You, Sir, have my upvote!
  • + 17
 It's still a really stupid rule. In a race, of course you can't shuttle. But this was in practice. Why can't he use a car to get to places more quickly during practice time???
  • + 54
 because it means he gets more practice than other people.
  • - 13
 ROFL!!!!
  • + 11
 Well then why wouldnt the other people smarten up and use cars too?
  • + 16
 because it's against the rules. Practice is a contentious subject in Enduro already.
  • + 37
 Because the original idea of enduro racing is to race the trails without intensive (or even without any) training rides. However I think that this rule gives an advantage to local riders.
  • + 12
 Right. The argument is that limited practice evens the field between people who can afford to show up a week (or more) and practice, vs people that can only afford to show up for race weekend. Locals get an advantage, but there has been efforts to limit that, by not announcing which local trails are on the course until immediately before the event.
  • + 8
 exactly, even if it wasn't what he would call shuttling, he would still have been fresher for some stages than others, therefore getting better practice on them. I think it's obvious, no shuttling, start from the start point, even in practice. 5 minute penalty was fair.
  • + 9
 I don't know if I would exactly call it obvious, with the differences between rules at different races. can't exactly pedal up liaisons that are lift rides. That's why it's important to go to rider meetings.
  • + 5
 what is a rather shady, the director did not clarify the exact situation as to what was being shuttled... he should have said in point form - uncle fab took his car, during practice day, to the start of a stage and that is not allowed.... but instead it was all blah blah... most likely because everyone would have said "what the fech?" He took the car to the start of a stage for practicing... this must be stated on the front page of what is allowed / not allowed.
  • + 15
 If he skipped breakfast, then he only cheated himself.
  • - 8
 There is just one thing to clean up the situation and it is organizers job, to write an official letter of apology to Fabien and give him back his deserved points and money prize. That's the least they can do. Otherwise, bye bye "relaxed spirit of Enduro".

Everyone makes mistakes and the best way of dealing with them is apology.
  • + 8
 Is EWS trying to get liked by the UCI?, also important rule updates can be relayed to the riders via instant messaging (be it sms or all the other crap that is around these days). they have definitely found the wrong guy to make an example of!.
  • + 3
 Lopes' going a-hole on Fabien on his Twitter. What a fkng mess... So what was it about with his parking skills?
  • + 2
 Sure enduro has a relaxed spirit, but nobody wants it to go the way of road cycling. We have to be harsh on these things, because otherwise people will just start taking advantage because they know they can. Same goes for dopers, I'm sure we're all well aware of the Megavalanche doping case...
  • + 9
 The worst thing about this story is that it was Fab's friend that betrayed him with the photo. With friends like that, you don't need enemies.
  • + 3
 i wish he had told who it was Smile ...and maybe race officials wouldn't even give him the penalty if they saw him driving a car, but since someone came to them with the photo expecting them to do smth. about it they did
  • - 9
 @mnorris122 you are an idiot along with 857 other people that have voted in this poll . IT IS A BIKE RACE not a bike race with the occasional shuttle to the top of the next hill. I think 5 mins was a fair penalty but if anything like that happens at race time , immediate disqualification .
  • + 0
 There was a photo of him riding without a helmet at one of the first races. It's a clear rule you have to wear it. Seems like he doesn't think rules apply to him.
  • - 18
 arrogant frenchmen
  • + 43
 I think this is BS. Anyone who has been to Whistler knows that driving along highway 99 doesn't constitute shuttling. If there was a rule stating that every rider involved in the raced had to start from the base of Whistler Mountain and pedal to every stage then maybe I could see it, but it doesn't say that. Somebody could have been staying/living at the top of Alpine Meadows sub-division approximately 2/3rds the way through liason stage 4 and would they be penalized? I doubt it. I know a couple of the riders that were in the event live in Alpine Meadows and they weren't penalized even though they live 5.5km from the base of Whistler Mountain and most likely would have started practice for stage 4 from their front door instead of going to the village first. they had an advantage just the same as Fabien. Some of the people commenting might not know the valley as I do, but I genuinly do not think that Fabien driving to Function instead of parking his car at the house he was staying at in Creekside could be looked at as shuttling. Would he have been penalized if he had his car parked in Creekside as well? Creekside is closer to the entrance of the South Flank Trail than the base of Whistler Mountain also, but how could you penalize someone for starting practice from their place of residence? A lot of the racers probably did practice with friends, those friends most likely wouldn't live in the village, but outside of it automatically giving them an advantage for driving to meet up with their friends to start their practice. None of the timed sections of trails could actually be shuttled to, everyone still has to climb up a forest service road or bike/hiking trail to get to the top (except the lift accessed stage).
  • + 3
 How "ROFL" can get neg-propped so much is beyond me. Pinkbike really is a bunch of tightly wound easily offended old people!
  • + 7
 It's just because it was an unnessecary addition to the conversation
  • + 3
 @mnorris122: So was lazyname's comment less then needful as well? He said something funny and I responded it too it. And judging on it's prop score, a lot of people got a kick out of it as well.

I agree this is serious stuff, but let's laugh a little as well.
  • + 2
 ONE sport , ONE rule
in the fisrt race in Punta Ala shuttling has been a major problem, It clearly shows the WRONG idea of enduro, the one that have made me leave competitions .
By this point of wiew 'till discriminate (also if an example) a perferct PRO like Fabien, the way is too long and unacceptable .
I am totally agree to avoid any kind of shuttle in enduro. but rules must be unificated,:
of course this is the first EWS edition, but this basic problem sholuld have been resolved before starting the game, and it was well known from everyone that opinions were too different from place to place
  • + 4
 I hope you do realize that Fabien "shuttled" to the bottom of the stage, not to the top. For fks sake that is the whole point why this situation is ridiculous. It was a start of an uphill stage. What is wrong with you people?!
  • + 4
 still a class act. there was nothing arrogant about his interview.
  • + 2
 There's always two side of the story and Greg Minnaar just blasted Fabien of doing this kind of stuff before. Sh*t just got REAL!!!!
  • + 3
 Hahaha... Minnaar goes to Andorra weeks ahead of time and gets to practice/race the brand new track ahead of all the other top guys. Now he's got a practically custom-tailored world champs track in his backyard, while the other teams are halfway across the world. How about counting *your* blessings instead of crying on twitter over a race you aren't even in? Bad form Greg! Hopefully Hannah, Gwin, Smith, or anyone else can shut him out in PMB.
  • + 1
 You are comparing apples and oranges. Two separate sanctioning bodies. Two separate sets of rules. One has no problem with people practicing before hand while the other does.

On top of that, there was a "test event" that a lot of people went too. Are you not aware of this?

I have nothing against Fabian (he's awesome), but this is a different conversation and has nothing to do the recent penalty.
  • + 3
 Did I say anything about rules or sanctioning bodies? I'm not comparing anything, I'm talking about Minnaar's character and the childish hit-job he and Lopes attempted on twitter instead of acting like professionals. It's just all the more hypocritical when you look at the advantages Greg has this season. I'm aware that the event in Andorra was a test, but it still gave him a huge leg up for the WC round. Publicly labeling someone a cheat and insinuating they're the next Lance Armstrong because they drove their car 1.5km down a f'ing highway to the trail-head is pathetic. Barel rode a killer race at Whistler, and the tiny fraction of energy he may have saved by not coasting his bike down to Creekside does not come close to warranting a 5 minute penalty, or any penalty at all IMHO. Especially given the murky nature of the rules about practice and the impossibility of any real "shuttling" of the stages.

BTW his name is spelled Fabien.
  • + 3
 Let me quote former FIA president - Jean Marie Balestre, from the F1 drivers meeting that was shown in the movie "Senna":

"(...)all drivers in the world are looking at you in the TV, because they think, stupidly, that you are an example... it is a big mistake, but they think that(...)"

Lopes, Greg have a full right to troll on the internet on anything and anyone. EWS organizers tried their best to make Enduro a relaxed, friendly event, they constantly speak of "the spirit of Enduro" - noble but utopian. Videos from DH World Cups show how fun it is, everyone hangs out with each other, all are friends. For me this is some fairy tale and for good reasons, but it's a denial of human nature in situation of competition. Those friendships are there because sport hasn't grown big enough yet. But big money are on the move in. It all fell down for me in interview with Sam Hill in F1rst when he said, "they don't care if they win, which place they take, as long as the beat me".

I think we should watch those things purely as a source of entertainment, and show of what is possible on bike, but not as a source of moral values, the gentlemen' sport. There's lots of people who want to see that "spirit" in gravity disciplines to feel better than roadies and XCers, isn't it? I too find it great in DH how relaxed it is around the finish compared to a road. DH racers have a beer and can chat to anyone, not disappear into their team-buses.

Another great quote from F1 world: "you don't have to be socially maladjusted towards your opponents, but in certain situations it might give you an edge over them"

I think we should all hope for the best, and keep that "spirit" up but shouldn't delude ourselves that we can run away from the "spirit of competition" where people will always push the boundaries of their bodies and their bikes, then human relations and rules
  • + 2
 Look again, that was not fab in that photo.
  • + 2
 Exactly dude, I mean creek side to function junction! I've walked it, it's bs def not worth the 5min penalty
  • + 1
 So in other words, by talking about Minnaar going to a test event that "anyone could have went too" then acting like it was cheating (when others went and it broke no rules), you are "NOT" behaving in just as childish a manner?

If you don't like how he handled the situation, say that and only that. But don't intimate that Greg is somehow cheating when it's clear he is not.

This stuff has been going on since Punta Ala and Greg and Lopes aren't the only ones to say something.
  • + 1
 Even Peaty and CG have been calling it out. There's a videos on Vital (I think) with Adam Craig calling out people cutting through the course illegally. This isn't just about shuttling, but people bending the rules to suite their needs.
  • + 0
 @BDKR can you read dude? Did I ever use the word cheating? I said he should "count his blessings" before publicly defaming other pros. It's called having some humility. The kinds of accusations he's throwing around are just way over the top for the scale of what actually happened, and he wasn't even there! He just went ahead and used is giant public soapbox to imply Barel is the next Lance Armstrong ( which implies drugs and a whole lot of other shit ). I don't have thousands of followers, or even twitter account. Perhaps if I did, and if I was the one who started slinging the mud around, then you might have a point.

Please don't put quotes around things I didn't actually say.
  • + 1
 Even though it is a little unprofessional, Minnaar can say what he likes, he didn't break any rules by practicing Vallnord before the race weekend. That's the key difference.
  • + 1
 well said, Waki
  • + 0
 @scriz: It appears I read and write better then you do.

Notice I said, "But don't intimate that Greg is somehow cheating when it's clear he is not"? The key word there being "intimate". One of it's definitions that you are clearly unaware of is "To make known subtly and indirectly; hint."

I "KNOW" what you wrote and my exact words are evidence to that fact. In short, you were hinting at it (better use a 50 cent word in this case).

Now if you weren't hinting, then why say "Hahaha... Minnaar goes to Andorra weeks ahead of time and gets to practice/race the brand new track ahead of all the other top guys"?

That said, if you think they are being less then professional, cool. But leave it at that instead of muddying the water with hints that would play on peoples ignorance.
  • + 2
 get a room already
[Reply]
  • + 87
 I agree with Barel that was a bad call from the EWS. He drove on the highway to the bottom of the stage, then rode up and down the stage and drove back. That's not shuttling. It's impossible to shuttle those runs...
  • + 6
 If this was the shuttle it seems an extreme penalty. Would have been good to have input from the organizers. If this penalty is considered unfair if he disputes it further maybe it can be reversed.
  • + 2
 no it's definitely too late now
  • + 11
 Exactly. So how many racers driving up from Vancouver Friday afternoon hung a left at Function Junction for a ride before heading into Whistler. Rules need to be clarified.
  • - 11
 Yooooooou sneaky French bastaaaard
  • + 1
 what happens in practice doesnt matter.
  • + 6
 From what he is saying, it sounds like he drove himself... Which is not shuttling... It is impossible to shuttle if you drive yourself, even if he parked at the top of the trails, so long as he cycled back to his car then he gains exactly 0m, and thus didnt shuttle. I would not have reacted so calmly...
  • + 1
 Not every racer has a huge team like Canyon behind him, so I think it's a very important rule to forbid shutteling, because people without a team, don't have the opportunity to shuttle, so it's a huge advantage for the rest. From what I know about the Canyon Team, I'm pretty sure they knew, they broke a rule. They were at some races of the German series and had been shutteling for weeks before every race.
  • + 1
 Actually, it's impossible to shuttle directly to the trail head, but stage 3 got a massive 3/4 of way up drop point where you can be shuttling. And it's all paved.
[Reply]
  • + 88
 Fabien is an absolute class act and true representative of the sport. I am definitely a fan
  • + 4
 well said
[Reply]
  • + 53
 dont penalize the guy for an honest mistake (which didnt seem wrong btw), especially the guy who is really pushing development of the race series.
  • + 7
 True. I don't know how they can justify a punishment for a rule so vague either
  • + 6
 I'm not going to pretend to know much about the specific rules in question here, because I don't. I have no idea if this was a bad violation or not. But I completely disagree with the idea that he should be given a break 1) because it was an honest mistake and 2) Because he's one of the top guys. You just can't have that. If you have rules, and someone violates them, intentionally or not, you have to enforce them. And you especially cannot start giving certain riders the star treatment. That's exactly how a startup race series like this can go to shit real quickly. I know it sucks sometimes but the rules and regulations are what give these things the structure they need to survive.
  • + 6
 not because he is the "star" rider but if he is amongst a bunch of other riders who made the same mistake, who didn't get penalized, then he should be the last one picked from that group. I agree that the rules are the rules and no one is above them, but all things being equal, he's a guy you want in your corner.
  • + 1
 Again I'm not familiar with all the particulars here, but if it was a bunch of riders doing it then the should be penalized for sure. I'm not sure why they weren't. I'm just saying that if rules are in place they should be enforced. Its the only way anyone will respect the rules. Now perhaps this is a stupid rule, and it should be changed. But while its in place there needs to be enforcement. I know that many people seem to think that Enduro is some like chill, riding with my bros type of deal but the reality is that a high profile racing series like this will always be a little more serious than that. It has to be to be taken seriously.
  • + 4
 Biggest problem with this specific situation is that the particular rule Fabien supposedly broke wasn't anywhere IN WRITING beforehand. It was given verbally in a briefing. That's not right at all.
[Reply]
  • + 49
 He handled himself very classy and its unfortunate to see what happened. On a side note, Tippie is still the man!
[Reply]
  • + 22
 Thank you PB/Tippie for this interview.

When I first heard of this i was shocked of the accusation. All the headlines made it "sound" like he got "caught" doing something wrong. But now that I saw this interview, I'm glad Barel was able to speak his peace. I have always respected Barel for being a class act all the way, and this video proves that in my mind. Sucks about how this all played out, but I have no doubt Barel will shake this off and come back even harder to prove he's the best.

Fabien, don't sweat this, keep strong, and keep destroying these stages!!

And I guess the old saying is true...with a "friend" like that, who needs enemies Frown
[Reply]
  • + 17
 all i've learned from this is that "enduro" isn't the chill, casual sport that everyone says it is. The bureaucrats have already taken over. Too many rules and debates: practice, course cutting, shuttling, equipment, assistance. Just let them ride bikes.
  • + 1
 I know what you mean. But I do think the rules are important to have in place though so participants can be granted a fair race. Unfortunately there are those who abuse situations without rules and ruin it for the rest. Just so happens that the rules in place are still in need of refinement. That, and the way the organizers handled this situation shows there us much to improve within the organization. But not to completely call them out as completely clueless, they are still young as an org. Hopefully they'll take this experience to help make better judgements moving forward. I think the organizers are lucky at how graceful Barel presented himself. Most people would be fuming and would make every effort to show it.
  • + 3
 But that's what an organized event is. How do you run a legitimate series without rules.
  • + 2
 I realize that when there is money/fame invovled, people will try to cheat. Just like Fabien did by climbing with his full face perched on top of his head. The euros take their racing seriously. I agree with some of the equipment/assistance rules as the last thing I want to see is the full DH setup where the mechs are spending the weekend bleeding brakes, rebuilding forks and shocks, and building wheels. But I don't understand the strict rules about practice. You just can't bang off 15 laps a day like you can of a 4min DH track. And I could go to my local XC race and "shuttle" the course the day before and not one single f*** would be given.

And let's be honest here, these enduro riders are mostly B-level or retired DH'ers or XC'ers milking some sponsorship money out of a booming segment and they should chill out. Good on them for finding their niche, but they are not the fittest or the fastest riders out there (though maybe they are the fittest AND fastest). I say this as a Ski Mountaineering racer, aka one who is not fit enough to race cross country, or ballsy enough to race DH/SG/Slalom.
[Reply]
  • + 20
 Retarded rules ruin everything. Just let them ride bikes.
  • + 4
 fuck the judges, this guy tell the truth and they screw him over because he is good, he should be punished but there is no excuse for singling him out and not applying this punishment to the other racers.
  • - 1
 Ya get it straight judge Judy. They all can shuttle or no shuttles allowd, can't single out the famous rider because he an easy target. Control the envionment better, don't let any shuttles near the corse. Anyone cheating gets to finish race without a seat and a front flat. Either that or use bear mace on a cheaters face. That should be a 15-20 minute penalty right there.
[Reply]
  • + 17
 Not shuttling. The most ridiculous part of this is that everything up until Fabian told his story was clearly made to be purposefully misleading.
  • + 2
 yup...so glad this interview was done so we can hear both sides.
[Reply]
  • + 16
 Fabian is a legend and will be a huge asset to the EWS despite what has happened to him this weekend. Such a professional, he will come back hard at the next round.
[Reply]
  • + 13
 This is so stupid that Barel got penalized. This is not "shuttling" this is just "commuting". I would have done the exact same thing if I was in Fab's situation and I don't think he should be penalized in any way.
  • + 7
 I'm surprised they didn't penalize him even more for most likely "shuttling" from YVR to Whistler in the first place!
[Reply]
  • + 11
 People can't read, cant listen obviously, he didn't get an advantage to ride more than anyone else, he if correct did not shuttle he got transport to the venue from his accommodation, if this is correct then shame on you EWS, so called friend, (BS) have even less respect for that person than before, because he used social media to backup his Finger pointing, thats about as gutless as it gets, I would happily tell him that to his face btw, Fabians team manager did attend the rider briefing and to him as to many others the definition of shuttling obviously was confusing. For example in case my English is not clear enough, travel to a venue from your accommodation is NOT SHUTTLING, " its transport"

If I had to ride from home to my local forest to race its 30kms one way Bullshit!

Shuttling is being transported uphill from trail base to a trail head period!

This was a stupid rule put together by muppets imo to deliberately mislead the foreign riders, yes they're have been murmurs of skullduggery at previous EWS rounds and this should be put to the sword!

I wonder if Fabian was also a target for this as well, if you have rules you must dish out punishment consistently and clearly to all, not one, this is what has destroyed road cycling and sport in general at professional level, lack of proper leadership, snipers with they're own hidden agenda's and imo they are the ones who have brought this to a head, shame on them.
  • + 1
 So Mav... you voted 'Too leniant - Should have been Dq'd' then?!
Wink
[Reply]
  • + 13
 Looks like a good opportunity for a poll!
  • + 12
 "Did Norbs REALLY get robbed?" "How LAME are bar-ends on a scale of 1 to 10?" "Should your grips match your MUSTACHE?!"... is there a button somewhere to turn off all these pesky polls?
  • + 1
 Yeah, the little gear on your homepage Salute
  • + 2
 Yup... the little button on the front of your PC.... time to get out and ride my friend!
[Reply]
  • + 11
 Hmm… It was a Lopes tweet that appeared very early in this debacle… Wonder if he was 'friend' with a camera.
  • + 2
 That does seem plausible.
  • + 1
 Someone else that saw 'that tweet' then! You actually make a really good point!! I know I certainly lost a bit of respect for someone who is meant to be a legend of the sport either way!
  • + 4
 lopes snitching??? huh what a surprise.
  • + 4
 Lopes is just jelaous that Fabien parked the car better than he ever could.

Let's do a witch hunt, who was the mysterious backstabber! Let's do a PB poll "who do you think told on Fabien?"
Lopes, Schley, Gee Atherton, Norbs
  • + 2
 Hahaha lol
Think we can rule out Gee because he was busy at MSA. If Dan was racing, he'd have something to gain.

My money's on Lopes, he's been bitching at Fab on twitter all week. Even before the 'shuttling'
  • + 1
 Brilliant! tup
[Reply]
  • + 7
 Total respect for a legend of the sport! Drove 1.5 km on a highway. If that gives him an unfair advantage then everyone else needs to train more. Lets not turn into the UCI! BIG fuck up from the ruling body, leave it behind and move on. No practicing on stages full stop. Everyone is a local somewhere.
[Reply]
  • + 9
 He broke the rule and a penalty is due. But 5 minutes for driving a flat section of pavement during practice is too harsh.
[Reply]
  • + 6
 Tippie you as the man, great questions and interview, Fabian, even if shocked initially as a fan we were still with you though initially disappointed, now its great to hear your side of the story and shame on the EWS for not clarifying exactly what you were penalised for rather than blanket generalisations and twitter feeds, also shame on the media for this! Fab your interviews are always class, informative and constructive, I was shocked and I wanted a DQ initially not for you but for the integrity of Enduro well if the organisers have no integrity to be consistent, set basic clear rules that all can follow, then they shouldn't don't throw rocks in glass houses, keep on the charge dude, have my respect always, lest you had the guts to come out, be clear, answer the hard questions and not hide behind the scenes or on twitter and a rule book written on a Starbucks napkin!
[Reply]
  • + 10
 Fabien gets Norbbed.
[Reply]
  • + 9
 Stop the press - Lopes is a douche
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Chris Ball; Didn't you learn anything from your time with the UCI? Riding/driving from creekside to function takes 5 minutes, no effort and in zero way impacted this race. Go back to the UCI if you only want to enforced asinine rules that desk jockeys come up with.
  • + 0
 Uci is good at rules and their interpretation, like when Rachel went off the tape in Windham, what costed Ragot the World Cup Champ title.
  • + 3
 to be fair you can`t really say Rachel got an advantage from nearly crashing her bike off course. and she won 5/6 races she started. so it was more than Windham that cost Ragot the world cup title, Rachel was on fire last year!!!
  • + 1
 To be fair, you cut the tape you get back to the point of the course where you did it. You have to respect the progress and the stage of the race. This what taping is for: to mark the course where the race takes place. Once you remove that rule, the taping is useless. Tape is a border, not suggestion. Rachel should have been DQd that day, but off course
[Reply]
  • + 7
 penalised for being honest when other riders got away with it is unfair but, I'm confused. was he penalised for driving to the start of the whole event or just one stage?
  • + 7
 Penalized for driving to the bottom of one of the stages when checking it out for practice I believe.
  • + 6
 practise! as in the event had'nt started?
  • - 2
 nope it was practice
  • + 7
 Practice, we're talking about practice. Not a game, not a game, but PRACTICE!?
  • + 4
 Haha, this reminded me of the Iverson interview too.

"We in here and we're talking about practice man?"
  • + 2
 We're talkin bout practice.....man
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Fucking outrageous, think of how much he is losing, his sponsors have lost probably the biggest opportunity to market themselves at crankworks and he has lost out insanely, he seems pretty well composed considering, i would be fuming!
  • + 4
 Well actually he's getting tons of coverage out of it, so I would hardly call it the biggest lost opportunity. Had he just had a bad race and finished outside the top ten he wouldn't have had as many interviews to do.
  • + 2
 Not all coverage is good coverage.

How awesome that everything related to bikes has just become sensationalist journalism about cheating. That's not to say this isn't cheating (I don't think it is, but rules are rules) but how typical to publish the controversy and let the facts come later. Way to go pinkbike.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 It was stated that the rule was not written. Why not? I don't understand how an organization or event can have rules that are not written. If it is gonna be inforced, then write the rules and have the riders sign and submit as part of the protocol before a race. If nothing else, make the breakfast meetings mandatory.



On the other hand, if riders understand that important info. is passed along at these meetings, they should be the professionals they are and show up.



Sounds like the event could be better organized, and riders could be a bit more responsible.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 he didnt suttle the run. he drove to the trail to ride it.....how do you get to a trail if you cant drive. i dont have a place to stay in whistler so i stay in bellngham and make the drive. if i cant drive to a whistler without it being called shuttling, then i have to ride my glory all the way from bellingham up the sea to sky to whistler...HA
  • + 2
 The rule was that you would have to drive to Whistler and pedal from there to the stage and back. Not to say it makes sense or doesn't, but that's what the rule was.
  • + 1
 But Function is still technically in Whistler, so how specific can that rule be? It's all pretty weird.
  • + 1
 The rule was clarified at the racers meeting that any pre-rides of the course for practice would have to start from the main Village. So driving to Function or Creekside or Alpine was against the rules. Official courses were released at 8pm on Thursday night, the Pro racers had their meeting at 8am on Friday morning.
  • + 0
 Such rule is stupid and impossible to enforce. Chris Ball said it himself in the interview with DirtTV before series started, that area of every competition is so huge that rules will be hard to engorce and they TRUST riders to play fair. So where's the trust?

That reminds me of typical behaviour of a parent that misinterpreted a behaviour of his kid, punished him, then saw his mistake but cowardly decided to stand by his decision, because he thought that by doing so he keeps his respect. No you moron, kid already saw that you are not right you just make a douche out of yourself.
  • + 1
 The rule can and was enforced by fellow riders. See your fellow riders breaking the rules? Document it and bring that forward. This is what happened, someone saw Fab drive to the trail head, took a picture and submitted it. Straight forward. A rule was broken. This isn't a debate about is the rule fair, Was it broken? Yes. Was it clear in print? No, it was made 100% clear at the riders meeting.
  • + 1
 It was a trail head of an uphill WTF man?!
  • + 1
 yes. the rule is lame . And i am 100% behind Barel , but then 5 min penalty is ridiculous. Something like 30 sec penalty would be acceptable and he would still be 3rd.
  • + 1
 btw some riders got 5 sec penalties. i wonder what for late stage starts? what you get for every min you come late ?
  • + 1
 The 5 second rule is for not keeping one foot on the ground at stage start till the horn sounds. It's the system used to ensure guys don't jump the start time. Start times are pre-set in 30 second intervals. There is a count down clock and for the last 5 seconds it beeps every second, on zero a horn sounds and that is when you go. Rule states you need to have one foot on the ground until the horn, no track standing allowed, or starting several feet back and getting a pedal stroke in before the horn. It's a pretty clean simple rule to follow, I am surprised guys broke it.
  • + 1
 how is timing system? some laser device at start/ finish?
  • + 2
 System is a timing chip on the race plate. Static countdown at the stage starts to your prescribed start time, then at the end of the stage the system reads your chip for the stage time. www.innovativetimingsystems.com
  • + 1
 At shirk-007. Yes, that's exactly what they said at the meeting, but they sure didn't enforce it that way. Graves admits quite specifically that they rode stage 4 from his house, which was nearby, not in the Village. Most people will tolerate even silly rules if they are enforced fairly. But silly rules and arbitrary enforcement is a recipe for a whole lot of negative feedback.
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  • + 4
 Enduro racing is going to come up against things like this a lot. I like that he emphasized that the EWS has been doing a good job on the whole, and i think they will learn from this and figure out more standardized rules which apply to all. In saying that, the nature of Enduro racing is that the tracks are going to change, and so the rules are going to change along with it. The EWS will learn from this how important it is to communicate better, and while it sucks for Barel, the riders will learn from it as well and i'm guessing not too many riders will be skipping the briefings in future. Sorry for Fabien being the martyr, but I think the EWS strategy of making an example of a pro rider worked.
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  • + 4
 I am genuinely angry by this. Before I was just angry because it happened in practice and you can't cheat during practice, now that I've watched this and seen the facts I think his time should have the penalty deducted. I wonder if Brian Lopes knew these full facts before posting harsh comments on twitter. Feeling for Barel, this was well out of order!! And what the hell is wrong with his friend???
  • + 6
 Brian Lopes thinks that Justin Bieber is cool guy. He even has Justin Bieber calendar. says a lot i guess..
  • + 7
 Lopes had to let his fury go after he smashed his car again while parking.
  • + 0
 lopes, minaar and peaty have all been complaining about Barel on twitter, hes got a rep for cheating at the EWS now, its the 3rd time hes been accused of cheating but the 1st time hes been punished
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  • + 5
 Last time tippie interviewed barel, both finished in the water...
the lack of "written rules" wakes me think of a constitution...hahaha !!
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  • + 3
 this is a question of comparison. If everyone else understood it that way, that they should start from Whistler on their bikes and pedal to the start of the loop, then Fabien actually gained advantage by conserving stamina. However, having written that, I understood this sounded like some speculative bullshit.

There should be rules, but they must be clearly outlined, and certainly not at a "breakfast briefing", that you can opt to miss.
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  • + 5
 Wow Fabien behaved like a true gentleman, so classy...The guy is a legend and should only be acknowledged as a true ambassador of the sport. Utter respect.
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  • + 3
 I know how hard Chris works, and I know how hard even local level races can be to organise. I know too that you need to uphold the rules, but there is a definite point where leeway needs to come into it, especially if you know that other riders have done the same thing and denied it, while another has held his hand up and said he did because of a misunderstanding. Yes, he should have been at the riders meeting but the 'shuttling' wasn't a malicious act, and that here is the key. A malicious act would have been deserving of disqualification, but as this wasn't, a token penalty should have been the most applied; 1 minute, maybe 2. Something to make the weekend harder but not impossible. I do think that the ball has been dropped here but equally do appreciate the difficulties there must have been in coming to the decision in the first place.
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  • + 7
 Was he supposed to ride his bike on the highway? Come on...
  • + 2
 Exactly, it's not even that safe to ride creek side to the village on the 99.
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  • + 2
 He took it like a champ. Classy. Seems no one wants to slag on Barel, but the EWS is probably doing itself a favour by laying down a clear precedent for the future. It get's awfully hard to enforce the rules if you start off hummin and hawing about it. Better to lay the smack down early, and get good behaviour down the line. Fabien my have been devoid of ill intentions, but we want potential future cheaters to know that the system will get them.
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  • + 5
 Take the bus and you will get a 20% discount on your penalty by saving the eviroment. That's what I heard....
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  • + 2
 Well worth watching the while vid. Fab is a f*cking class act. Calm and confident. He of course doesn't say it, but its quite apparent that EWS needs the backing and support of legendary top athletes like him far more than they need EWS.
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  • + 6
 Make the meetings mandatory by either rider or team representative.
  • + 2
 Agreed. Also, with the technology that exists, there should be at least e-mail/text updates regarding rule changes/updates.
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  • + 7
 Fabien got robbed
  • + 1
 He's the new norbs
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  • + 2
 What we, and Fabien, don't know is how clearly the EWS explained their definition of shuttling in the mandatory meeting. It sounds like the expectation was set that they didn't want people driving anywhere from the village. "I didn't know" isn't an excuse. I agree with him that the other riders doing the same should be penalized. Although, it doesn't sound like he had evidence to support his claim.
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  • + 2
 So the penalty for shuttling in this instance is even more stupid as Whistler Village is at 675m and Creekside is at 653m, and its a long time since I was there last but Function Junction is probably at a slighly lower height again. So he got a penalty for shuttling down!?!? He could have ridden on the highway in a little over 5 mins. This seems really dumb especially after all the shuttling that went on in the first round of the series. It also suggest that even though he was staying in Creekside he would have to go to main start in town only to head back out again on the road. This is an awesome race series and one that i am following with keen interest, hopefully more sense is applied before penalties are handed out and that there isnt other bad publicity for the series.
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  • + 3
 they wanna check passports wonder what the fine is to fly to the venue from a different country what a load off bullshit the guy who took the photo need his head stuffed up his arse, some friend what a wanker
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  • + 4
 I was in Whistler when this happened and was there when Fabian was first approached. He was not happy.
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  • + 4
 I still don't see that he did anything wrong. This is ridiculous, relax the rules and the fan base for enduro will increase
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  • + 1
 Barel, Peaty, Lopes, Rachael atherton have all been slagging off barel on twitter

It is the 3rd time hes broken the rules, so I think thats why theyve come down hard on him

If hed attended the rider briefing hed have known

Also there was loads of shuttling at rd 1- the course was open a week b4hand! and I think they are trying to make an example, well I suspect its worked

It seems that the cool kids at elite level dont like him, does it all go back to him riding DH for Kona when he broke the riders agreement not to go peakless just b4 his race run or blatantly wore a skinsuit when they were banned?
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  • + 1
 I have a different view than most here. I did not think Fabien's response was classy at all. He skipped a debriefing, and missed the information. He could have been driven to the same starting point as anyone else, and not been penalized. All he had to do was note he skipped the debriefing (as many riders do) but because of this, he missed a Whistler specific rule, and did actually violate the rule. I applaud him for being honest about it, but if you do the crime, be prepared to do the time. I think the team should have had someone at the rider's meeting, and relayed the information to the team. Whining that others should be punished, when there was no proof takes away from his class. In this situation, stating "I know others did it too, but they didn't come clean. I feel good about being honest, and hope any of the kids looking up to us understand its important to be honest, even when it costs us." would have been classy.
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  • + 1
 fabein shouldn't ride or race anymore....he could do better if he would be part of the organizing committee, perhaps one of the top heads, he is a great ambassador to the sport and knows so much about mountain biking, and he could say vas te faire encule salope, im the boss, don't you penalize me, I had breakfast already!!!! lol
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  • + 1
 it's just kinda a bummer episode...i think fabien is a great rider and a true sportsman who would not try to cheat other riders...but rules are rules, maybe these were not clearly spelled out...because of this episode, the rules with henceforth be very clear, so that is a good thing to come out of this...fab won't worry about this...anyway, looked like a very cool event from the PB video...but the trails up at whitslter are so good, how can you have a bad race course...anyway peace
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  • + 1
 I downvoted him by misunderstanding the rule. Hey if Im not at breakfast and I dont get to hear a rule supossedly so important, at least write somewhere. Im sure fabien is a top pro concerned about his job and has studied the rules of a new born series that he has helped create in a big way. Unification of rules. No advantages to big teams. As little practise as possible and most of all.... STOP BEHAVING LIKE UCI OR ILL BE ASHAMED OF CALLING MYSELF AN ENDURO RIDER!!!
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  • + 1
 I'm getting the feeling that Fabien might be a known rule-bender(don't want to call him a cheater) and they are looking for reasons to punish him. Throughout this series I keep seeing other racers mentioning "un-named french racer (not jerome)" illegally practicing and cutting lines. Nothing concrete or specific but if you follow along there have been many hints thrown out there. I also get the feeling from hearing Fabien speak that he might feel superior to everyone including the event organizers. Like he knows better than anyone. I'm betting he is an outspoken thorn in the organizers shoes always poking and prodding. They probably can't stand the guy and were more than happy to penalize him. Personally he seems like a very nice person and very intelligent but like most top level racers there is more than meets the eye. Who knows what goes on behind the scenes. Seems like there is some beef among the top level enduro riders, which probably stems from the lack of rules and guidelines creating too many opportunities to bend the rules which other racers might not feel as fair, creating conflicts. The race organizers need to have a better structure so there is less grey area. Yeah thats not the spirit of mountain biking, but when you are handing out fat pay checks to the winners, that means there is money involved and anytime that happens there is major conflict. I don't mean to bash Fabien, I think he is likely a genuine good person but people who come off as arrogant, even if there intentions are pure, can really piss people off, mainly the event organizers. This is all just my opinion, not based on any particular facts, but its how I've come to perceive things following this series
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  • + 2
 IF, and it's a big IF, but if what he's saying (and Tippie seems to agree) is true, I think that's way too harsh, even more so if it was not during the race.
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  • + 4
 Seriously? Who freakin' cares... what a stupid rule. I can't believe Peaty got wound up about that.
  • + 2
 Just when you thought it was safe to assume most mountain bikers are cool, you come to realize the sport has been invaded by closet lycra wearing roadie bitches, Whomever it was tweeted the picture of fabian's car needs a good slap.

The guys who dished out the 5 minute penalty need to take a look at themselves, shuttling is getting someone to drive you to the top of a very big hill that would otherwise leave you knackered if you had to ride up it, to those saying he gained an advantage as he could get more practice in.....really? It was a 1.5km section of flat road, you could ride that in about 2 minute's or less, he hardly gained an advantage, It seems a pretty pedantic judgement by the officials to slap 5 minutes on him.

Too me it seems as though this was too hastily judged, like anything that explodes on social media, everyone is too quick to judge before seeing all sides of the argument, the EWS has taken a step back this weekend, hopefully they learn from this as previously everything was looking extremely positive about the whole series.
  • + 2
 Those other pros narkin on people over social media are steadily going down in my esteem, I'm sad to say. It is unprofessional and a childish it's a display of lack of character, integrity, sportsmanship and lack of confidence in their own talent and ability as sportspeople.
If you as a respected top line sportsperson have a rule infringement complaint, make it through the proper channels not over social media, especially for trivial things like wearing a helmet on your forehead on a granny ring climb!(even this shuttling incident is well, stupid) #ProsbeingPathetic!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Seems fabien got screwed he's a pro though he will be back . Why do enduro riders even get practice anyway surely it should be the first time they ride the stage when they take to the start ?
  • + 1
 I think that would be too hard to enforce. Plus it makes for a more even playing field since there will already be riders more or less familiar with the course.
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  • + 0
 IMO shuttling should be allowed, thereby allowing people more practice taking some of the advantage away from local riders who can shuttle all the trails on the MT in the weeks before the race event window and pretty much memorize all of them. You are only timed on the downhills, so how you get to the top in practice shouldn't matter.
My other question is why did he not know that it was illegal? It says that it was mentioned in the riders meeting that morning that the Whistler/Crankworx event honchos decided to make this rule of no shuttling at this race, if it is part of the EWS shouldn't all of the races locations and stages have the same rules, and should not the rule be published and made available before the season even starts. You could be in the meeting and miss it because someone next to you is chatting with their friends and the orator just breezed over it or I have been a numerous races where they have a racers meeting in a location that nowhere near everyone can hear what is being said. People just wanna race, and rules like this that are not uniform throughout the whole series just leave a sour taste in everyone's mouth.
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  • + 5
 Lopes is such a whiner!
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  • + 4
 5 minutes penalty for telling the truth.. Nice good jod..
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  • + 1
 meanwhile his friend Greg tweets.......


Greg Minnaar ‏@GregMinnaar 14m
I love the sob story on @pinkbike. 3 of the 5 Enduro rounds you are accused of cheating.... Never smoke without fire!
  • + 1
 #SyndicateButthurt
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  • + 3
 Enduro, people just riding there bikes having fun! NOT! The "Pros" are already taking the fun out of it.
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  • + 2
 seems a bit harsh, practice day, staying out of town... maby he got penalised for being a party pooper for not being in town!
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  • + 2
 sorry, shuttling is shuttling... even if the definition isn´t very clear on the rules... he would get much more pratice, without effort
  • + 2
 You contradict yourself, if the definition of shuttling isn't made clear to all involved in the race then is the organizers fault. In such cases of ambiguity (misunderstanding of the rules) responsibility falls on the part the drafted the rules. Also if officials saw other riders doing the same and were asked to go back and start again then why didn't they apply the same punishment to Barel?

Perhaps the only good thing to take from this is that for 2014 EWS in Canada clear understanding of the rules among all participants will be top priority.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 He didn't say that at all ! He said averyone else should also be punished for doing the same thing he did!
  • + 2
 no proof and or no one else told the truth means they can not punish anyone else. You can't just punish someone because a punished rider said that other racers broke the rules as well
  • + 1
 yes it would be realy hard to prove anyone else did it too,because only Barel was incriminated by the actual photo of the 'crime'
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  • + 3
 Kinda bullshit if you ask me
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  • + 1
 I can see how the judges ruled that it gave him a slight advantage, but then they should have enforced the rule all around or at least minimized Fabien's penalty.
  • + 4
 My guess is that there was no proof that other riders took rides in vehicles during practice so they can not be penalized. Someone took a picture of Fabien's car and when confronted he told the truth and good on him for that. Though since he missed the morning meeting he didn't know he was confessing to breaking the rules. The other riders who may or may not have been confronted over this either a) didn't take a ride from anyone and Fabien is trying to minimize his mistake or b) they lied and said they didn't take a ride and with no evidence to say otherwise, the EWS can not punish them.

At the end of the day, i do think he should have received a penalty since he did break a rule. 5 minutes seams like an extreme though, something closer to 1 minute would have been more appropriate. It gives him a disadvantage but doesn't make a podium or even a win impossible
  • + 1
 At the amateur racers meeting on Saturday we were told to take a photo of any cheating if we wanted to contest anything, so stuff like course cutting, shuttling, or the helmet rules. Clear photo proof was needed ensure enforcement.
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  • + 2
 Fabien got robbed!!! Norbs is not alone anymore!!!
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  • + 1
 Practice, we're talking about Practice? not the playoffs? Practice, practice,....practice
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  • + 1
 Enforcing the "spirit on enduro" is not the spirit of mountain biking. Enduro will soon jump the shark.
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  • + 3
 LEAVE FABIEN ALONE!!!
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  • - 2
 The ews is not a uci event and is run by chris ball who might I add if he was not around there would be not ews at all! This is the first year it's been run and of course there will be some flaws in the rule book but at the end of the day if you have raced befor and you know about a basic race format you should know very well that trying to fine a loop hole in the rules it won't end well.
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  • + 2
 This guy is a great engenieer & athlete, what else you want?
  • + 3
 A true sportsman. Smile
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  • + 1
 Seriously, this is s**t that needs to be taken seriously...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcjoWL6hJg8
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  • + 2
 organisers, get a life please...WTF...!!
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  • + 1
 Whole situation is bollox.
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  • - 1
 As a pro he should have attended the briefing but at the same time its obvious he wasn't intentionally cheating. Punishment fits the crime.
  • + 9
 That's fair enough, but not punishing other riders who have done the same is BS.
  • + 4
 5 minutes punishment is basically a death sentence... EWS should have sacked up and DQ'd him if they really thought he cheated, instead they just made up another rule.
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  • - 2
 Rules of cheating.

1) dont get caught
2) deny everything
3) if you get busted own up to it and move on

Fabian is breaking the rules of the race AND the rules of cheating. Cant win many fans that way.
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  • + 1
 fabien was penalized for wearing one of those ghey urge helmets
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  • + 0
 Can anyyyyyone explain Enduro to me.???????? Maaaaaaarrrrrrrkkkkkeeeeetttttiiiinnnnggggggg!!!!!!!
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  • + 1
 Fabien I fully support you. And good on pinkbike for running this.
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  • + 2
 practice? PRACTICE?
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  • + 1
 he got burned...
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  • + 0
 Fair enough!
  • - 11
 His argument that everyone was doing it so he shouldn't be punished is garbage. Where have we heard that defence before in cycling?????
  • + 12
 He didn't say that at all ! He said averyone else should also be punished for doing the same thing he did! Same rules for everyone
  • + 4
 My apologies, he did clarify that he wanted everyone punished. I do think the punishment was harsh, yes he broke a rule but I think something closer to a minute would have been better. As for punishing everyone, they need proof to do that. Sounds like everyone covered their asses after the time penalty was handed down. Part of me wonders though if Fabien knew he was incriminating himself when he confessed to driving to Function Junction. Yes that is not shuttling but the rule was not against shuttling it was about receiving outside assistance including the use of a car at any point
  • + 1
 apologies accepted,hehe. no biggie. Smile my main argument in Barel's favour would be that this wasn't even during the race. but a day before and so he didn't gain anything by doing what he did. similar to the rule of cutting the course,now they evalute wheater you gained any advantage by doing so and if you didn't the run is legit
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  • - 1
 Still will Win,haha
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