The 10 Biggest Controversies of the Past Decade

Dec 10, 2019
by Ed Spratt  
Ten years is a long time in mountain biking and with plenty of changes to bikes, tech and racing. As we roll into 2020, it's been interesting to take a look back at some of the biggest stories from the past decade; in no particular order here are 10 of the most controversial ones.




1. The X-Games Slopestyle event


The X Games is the Olympics of the extreme sports world but despite its inclusion at the first event in 1995 and a few smaller showings in later years, mountain biking never made a big mark on the festival. For 2013 however, there was big news as the X Games announced MTB would get its shot with Slopestyle added to the roster.

Getting Ready

Initially, the organizers released a great concept design for the course that looked like it was going to offer a decent challenge to the riders but the final result wouldn't quite be up to the standard riders anticipated. The problem lay in the geography of the host city, Munich. Despite it being held on the biggest hill for 50km around, a flat-ish course with an uphill section greeted the riders above the Olympic Park. Riders struggled to get speed for the jumps and it limited the tricks they could perform, Sam Pilgrim said he felt he would have to have been a 4X racer to hit the satellite dish properly.

Following the disappointment about the course, riders were next treated to strong winds on finals day. Gust of up to 35mph swept through the course and riders reported landing 5 feet to the side of the big starting drop. They were stuck between a rock and a hard place - do they drop-in in front of a live audience of millions and end up riding like Joeys, or delay the event waiting for better conditions?

this was the third obstacle a very technical step-up after a quick and fast berm.

It wasn't until 8 pm, 5 hours after the scheduled start time, that the competition could begin. Only 6 of the 10 riders who made it to finals elected to take a run and, despite knowing they couldn't put on the show they wanted, did so because they believed in the future of slopestyle - Cam Zink even did 2 runs with a separated shoulder. Unfortunately, the standard wasn't what had been hoped for and a perfect storm of course and conditions meant that the competition was filled with crashes and dead sailors. A post mortem with all the riders can be found here.

Unfortunately Pilgrim didn t find the feeling with the course. Bummer cause he was among the favorites.

Overcoming the tough conditions to take the gold medal was Brett Rheeder, who laid down an impressive run to beat Brandon Semenuk and Andreu Lacondeguy for the top spot. Since 2013, MTB has not returned to the X-Games.

Views: 49,192    Faves: 525    Comments: 25






2. Adam Brayton's Bike Getting Ridden On Track in Cairns by a Spectator


During the 2014 World Cup DH in Cairns British rider Adam Brayton took a huge spill that caused him to rip open his leg with a wound that would need 18 stitches (including five internal ones). For a rider with the nickname Gas-to-Flat, this is an unfortunate occurrence but surely not enough to be one of the most shocking stories of the decade.

It was actually the sequence of events that followed that sealed this crash as a moment to remember in the history of the sport though. Ben McGowan, a spectator, decided he would come to Brayton's aid and take Adam's bike to the bottom of the course while the racer was being bustled into an ambulance. But after being spurred on by a wild crowd he decided to do it via the rest of the World Cup course with no riding gear. When he hit the next whoop section, he flew off the bike and then caught a ride in the same ambulance as Brayton as they were both taken off to the hospital.


The internet did its thing and Ben took a bit of a pummelling in the comment sections as people accused him of trying to steal Adam's bike. However, Brayton and Steve Peat quickly set the record straight and thankfully Ben made a full recovery.

bigquotes"Yo, just hit a tree in my run, spectators were awesome couldn't thank them enough. The guy who took my bike down was a good man, no idea why he hit the whoops but I don't blame him they were sick. I think he's ok though he was in my ambulance on a spine board and was pretty k'od but that's all I know I'm going to pop down to hospital tomorrow and see how he's doing" Adam Brayton

bigquotes"Ok everyone, this is Ben Bunny McGowan, he is the reason I got a 2nd run yesterday and I just chatted with him about his injuries. He has 2 broken vertebrae and a dislocated shoulder, (in his words"all fixable") he was doing @adbrayton a favour by taking his bike to the bottom, he didn't steal it!!!! The rumours are now cleared up and I want to say heal fast Ben, no probs about my re run!! I needed it. Cheers.Steve Peat





3. EWS Doping Suspensions


In 2018, full-scale anti-doping testing was a rarity at EWS races, but at the third round in Olargues, France, nine riders were called by the French Anti-Doping Agency to be tested. It was later found that both Richie Rude and Jared Graves returned an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) from the tests in Olargues.

Both riders say they ingested the banned substance Higenamine and Oxilofrine without any intent to cheat. Rude would later reveal that he believes he ingested the banned substances while drinking from a fellow racer's water bottle after running out of his own supply. "I ran out of water after many hours in the saddle on Day 2 of the EWS Round 3 in Montagnes du Caroux, France. After climbing to the top of the stage, a fellow racer offered me a drink from a water bottle that was filled with a mix of water and dietary supplement. Fatigued and dehydrated, I took a few drinks from the bottle."

Richie Rude is back There was no stopping him once the stage wins started piling up.

Rude returned to the EWS earlier this year for the Canazei round of the EWS after serving an eight-month ban from racing. Graves is yet to return to racing after stepping away from racing to battle cancer at the end of the 2018 season, but he announced he was cancer-free in June this year and is looking to return to racing early next year.


Martin Maes is another EWS rider that has faced a suspension after anti-doping tests came back positive at both the Rotorua and Tasmania rounds of the 2019 EWS series. He received a 'non-intentional' suspension.

Maes returned an Adverse Analytical Finding for Probenecid, a masking agent prohibited by WADA. Probenecid is named under S5 of the WADA list as a Diuretic and Masking Agent; it is a specified substance, which means that it can be ingested accidentally and in some cases can result in a more lenient sanction.

The explanation for the drug being found in Maes' system is apparently because of an injury the Belgian rider received at the NZ Enduro at the beginning of March. Dr Tom Jerram, who gave the drug to boost the effect of antibiotics, said that the leg wound was "life or limb-threatening", at the time both Maes and his team manager Mark Maurissen wanted to double-check the drug wasn't banned but there was apparently no phone signal.

Martin Maes calm and collected before the start

As the drug was prescribed by a trained doctor, the GT team applied for a Therapeutic Use Exemption with the UCI, which would all Maes to take a prohibited substance without punishment because it is a medical need. The UCI denied this request on June 1, after the failed tests, but they did accept that the drug would not have enhanced his performance and was administered by a doctor so handed down a more lenient punishment than the maximum possible two-year ban.

Maes was tested again in Madeira (May 12th) where he returned a negative. The UCI imposed a 90-day suspension starting from the weekend after Madeira and ended the weekend of EWS Whistler. He had his early-season wins from Rotorua and Tasmania removed but he kept his win from Madeira.

Even a little rain on Saturday evening couldn t derail the Maes Train.





4. The Rocky Roads World Cup Sponsorship

The carbon number plate mount is not a Yeti designed item but rather the creation of one of Jared s friends from back home they are taking orders...

In 2011 the UCI announced a new headline sponsorship deal for the World Cup series with the Belgian news website Rocky Roads for the 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons.

But all was not quite as it seemed when rumours started appearing that the news website was not making its payments to the UCI throughout the 2012 season. Despite this, Rocky Roads remained as the title sponsors for the series until the end of the season when people became even more suspicious about the future of the Rocky Roads news network and its relationship with the UCI.

In November 2012, the website for Rocky Roads stopped producing content in most languages. On December 18, it posted its last ever piece, only available in Polish. At the same time, the journalists working for the site began leaving and it was revealed that they were not being paid for their work.

German mountain bike media site mtb-news.de investigated the mysterious sponsor and cast doubt on the original claims that Rocky Roads received 221,000 unique visitors each day were false and that the Belgian company had been buying followers across their social media accounts.

All RockyRoads branding had been removed by the first round of the 2013 season in Fort William.

Team CRC at the World Cup in Val Di Sole

Original press release from the UCI:

The International Cycling Union (UCI) today signed an important sponsoring contract with the Belgian company RockyRoads Network.

Under this agreement – confirmed in Champéry (SUI) during the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships – RockyRoads Network will become the title sponsor of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Thanks to this partnership, RockyRoads Network will benefit from significant visibility during all rounds of the UCI World Cup presented by Shimano.

The UCI President, Pat McQuaid, welcomed the signing of the new contract: “This partnership between the UCI and RockyRoads Network for the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup confirms the importance of this series of high-level competitions which over the last few years has already become well established throughout the world. The UCI and the cycling family look forward to welcoming this new sponsor for the World Cup. They have previously demonstrated its support for the discipline by becoming a partner of the 2011 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Champéry.”

In 2012, the “RockyRoads UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano” will include 10 events in nine countries (South Africa, Great Britain, Belgium, Canada, the United States, France, Norway, Czech Republic and Italy). More than 4000 riders from 48 countries will take part in the different mountain bike specialities.

The owner of RockyRoads Network, Sietse Schelpe, commented “We are very happy to sponsor the World Cups, and are really looking forward to this partnership with the UCI. From the start, our aim was to support off-road biking and make the sport more accessible to the general public. We strongly believe that this sponsorship is a great step in that direction.”

RockyRoads Network is the largest European on-line biking platform for the mountain bike, BMX, trials and cyclo-cross disciplines. Its team of 10 journalists and photographers covers Europe’s main off-road events. Its headquarters is in Antwerp. Each day, more than 221’000 unique visitors consult the Belgian website, which is available in four languages (English, French, German and Dutch).





5. Aaron Gwin leaving Trek World Racing


We all love the offseason shuffle as riders look for new contracts and move from team to team but at the end of 2012, there was a team change that blows all the others out of the water.

Aaron Gwin had an incredible stint with Trek, taking nine wins and four podiums in just two seasons, so it was no surprise when his contract coming to an end that he would have plenty of other offers. But Gwin had already signed a letter of intent to Trek World Racing in June stating he would be with them for another three years. Based upon this the team manager Martin Whitely had built a program, of riders, sponsors and support staff around the inclusion of Gwin.

All was not as it seemed when Gwin suddenly announced he would be racing for Specialized in 2013. This came as a shock to the mountain biking world as well as Martin Whitely and 23 Degrees. They were not notified in advance of the announcement and with just weeks until the UCI team registration deadline they had to rush to build a team to race in the following years World Cup series.

Following the news of Gwin's departure, there were threats of lawyers and court cases as both sides argued over the legality of the letter of intent and Gwin's decision to leave the team. The public correspondences are laid out in full below:

Aaron Gwin first once again in qualifying. The man is untouchable right now.

bigquotesI did not breach any contract. I'm writing this public note to hopefully shed a little light on what's actually going on with my move to Specialized.

Reports that I broke my contract with 23 Degrees/Trek World Racing are false.  My contract expired.  The one-page letter of intent I signed said there would be a “full length contract” with “precise terms” coming in the future.  The 16-page contract that showed up in late November was not signed by me because it was not the deal we had made. I have moved on to a team that gave me the contract I wanted, and these are the facts.

The press reports are inaccurate, unfair, and one-sided. Because 23 Degrees has hired lawyers and threatened to sue me, my lawyers have told me not to say anything for now. While riding for Trek, I lived up to my contract and gave them my 100% effort and full commitment.  I intend on doing the same for Specialized.

As for now, I want to let my fans know that my offseason training has been going great. I love my new bikes and I'm more excited to race this year than I ever have been. Big thanks to the Specialized family for such an amazing opportunity and support. I hope everyone understands that I cannot talk any further about this at this time, but I felt like I needed to clear the air a bit, without getting too much into the legal stuff.

Thanks to all the fans who have stood behind me.
Aaron Gwin

bigquotesOn the first point Aaron is absolutely correct. He did not break his 2011-2012 Agreement with us and I have never said he did. There are reports out there from people who’ve misinterpreted these things and I’m glad Aaron has come forward to put forward his side, as I will try to do now. Our relatively small MTB community loves a bit of drama in the offseason and I’m afraid we’ve given them this one on a silver platter.

Let me just be quite clear on a key point. From the 9th of August when Aaron signed the 3 year Letter Of Intent with 23 Degrees and up until the 15th of December, I worked tirelessly in putting together a team and infrastructure around Aaron that would allow him to continue with the amazing record of results he’d been accruing. That involves putting together the team sponsors, hiring athletes and staff, all of whom believed as I did that Aaron would be racing for us as we’d not heard anything different until December 15.

To learn this so late, just a week away from the holiday season and with the UCI registration dates looming, was to say the least, shocking. It's hard not to react emotionally to such news and I concede that this is a big part of the issue here: that people have reacted emotionally, including me.

My main objective with releasing our company Statement after Aaron’s announcement of his move to Specialized, was in part to answer the flood of enquiries I’d received overnight (including ones like, ‘What are you doing about this?!’), but also to show our sponsors, investors, staff, riders and fans that we had been totally surprised by his decision to leave TWR, and that we would investigate our options. After all, on one hand I have a star rider who has decided for whatever reasons that he will not ride for us, and on the other hand, I have the interests of those who are engaged by us for 2013 to protect, to ensure their jobs are safe, and that the sponsors have continued faith in my company to deliver a quality race team. That’s my primary obligation, and I realize that the headline for many was the words ‘legal action’, but for me that was only part of what needed to be considered.
Martin Whiteley

bigquotesDespite the fact that on August 9 of last year, Aaron Gwin signed a legally binding Letter Of Intent with our team for the next three seasons, his agent wrote an email to the team in mid-December stating he had decided to race for another bike brand. Mr Gwin confirmed his agreement with our team in public statements, and he and his agent repeatedly confirmed the existence of, and commitment to, the agreement in written correspondence with us. Yet, only weeks before the team was required to submit the official team roster to UCI, Mr Gwin informed the team that he was abandoning TWR in total disregard of his contractual obligations. 23 Degrees






6. Kate Weatherly Claiming Her First World Cup Podium

Best result yet for Kate Weatherly taking home third.

Kate Weatherly is the most prominent transgender athlete currently competing in mountain bike racing, and this year claimed her first World Cup podium with a third place in Leogang. The debates about transgender athletes, inclusion, and fairness are both complex and contentious, with some riders, team managers and fans expressing concerns that trans athletes carry over biological advantages and that this creates an unfair playing field. Others athletes, industry insiders, and those tasked with understanding the issue for the UCI and IOC are supportive of transgender athletes and their ability to compete.

This isn't a new controversy for the sport though. Last decade, Michelle Dumaresq also attracted the ire of her fellow racers when she began winning Canadian National races and became Canadian National Champion. BC Cycling suspended her license in 2001, only for it to be later reinstated by the UCI.

Transgender athletes compete under UCI rules that have been in place since 2003 and state that transgender athletes must have total testosterone levels below 10 nmol/L during and for at least 12 months before competition. Earlier this year, the UCI announced it was considering lowering the limit to 5nmol/L, a move that was welcomed by Weatherly.

UCI Statement:

The consensus drawn up by the working group will enable the UCI to take into consideration, in line with the evolution of our society, the wish of concerned athletes to compete while guaranteeing as far as possible equal chances for participants in women’s competitions.

The text concerned will be submitted for approval by the UCI Management Committee with a view to application in 2020. The UCI will adapt its regulations in accordance with the new guidelines.

The UCI shares the conclusions reached by the participants, who included representatives of transgender and cisgender athletes. The conclusions notably state that if a Federation decides to use serum testosterone to distinguish between male and female athletes, it should adopt a maximum threshold of 5nmol/L for eligibility for the female category.

bigquotesI think it’s a good change, as I’ve said in previous interviews and discussions the old policy’s testosterone limit was really too high, since cisgender female athletes usually have 0.5-2.5 n/mol of testosterone, and 10n/mol is much higher, 5n/mol is still high but it’s a step in the right direction. It won’t be an issue for me as I have completed blocked testosterone and usually test at around 0.4 n/mol so still much lower than the top levels.

I won’t be competing next year due to the recovery time my neck requires, however I would be able to if I desired.
Kate Weatherly

The UCI are encouraging further scientific research into the issue to ensure a fairer playing field for all athletes. We will continue to update you as its policies and practices develop.

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7. Josh Bryceland Leaving Racing


In the mid-part of this decade, Josh Bryceland was a downhill racer in the ascendancy. In 2014, he picked up two World Cup wins on his way to the overall title and only just missed out on winning the World Championships after flying past the landing of the final jump and breaking his foot within metres of the line. He recovered in 2015 and picked up his third win in a season he that saw him finish every race in the top 10. Then, in 2016, his pace all but vanished.

His best result that year was a 6th at round 1 in Lourdes and he spent the rest of the season struggling to even make it into the top ten. Rumour started swirling until Claudio Caluori announced live on air that Josh would be quitting racing at the end of the season.

While Claudio initially reported the Josh was leaving racing because he was worried about his environmental impact, Josh later clarified that he was simply jaded and unmotivated to race anymore, instead preferring to spend his time riding, producing content and spreading positivity in the mountain bike community.

bigquotesI’m more motivated than ever to just ride and progress. I just felt a change this year and I’m not that down racing World Cups anymore. I tried my best all year to get into it. Because I’m a chilled riding style guy it doesn’t help people thinking I wasn’t putting effort in but no doubt going at it.

Despite leaving racing in 2016, Bryceland stayed with Santa Cruz creating videos for the brand with the 50to01 crew. But every good thing has to come to an end and in 2018 he would move on to Cannondale to start his own team of young riders to develop future riding talent, although he is still riding Santa Cruz's carbon Reserve wheels.







8. Mountain Bike Melees

Lopes Kabush

After a tough four days of racing during the Trans-Cascadia 2017, the podium featured Geoff Kabush, Chris Johnston and Brian Lopes. There were plenty of smiles and everything seemed perfectly normal until the punch.


In an odd turn of events, Brian Lopes decided to reach across the send his fist into Geoff Kabush's midsection. It was all over in seconds and there isn't even a big story of rivalry behind it. Find out exactly what went down in 2017 from the two men themselves (taken from our 2017 interview with the two riders).

bigquotesI can give you the facts. It was the last night celebration at dinner and we were having some fun. I took the win, so I was pretty excited. We had a little presentation in the dining tent and I sprayed some champagne. Lopes being Lopes, I wanted to get him with some champagne. He sprinted out of the dining tent, and me and Chris [Johnston] nearly ate shit on some tent wires chasing after him. Well, Lopes circled back and I was going to try and get him again with the champagne because I hadn’t gotten him very well, but he ran up into his hotel room, where he was staying for the last three nights of the event.

A little while later the organizers wanted to set up some portraits of the winners and the top three finishers—this was in the parking lot. After much work trying to get Lopes out of his hotel room, he finally came out. I was still trying to have a good time and I had the champagne bottle with me and he [Lopes] could tell that I was still up to some mischief, so he very seriously said to me that he would "punch me in the f*ckin’ face" if I got him wet again with the champagne bottle because he was wearing his last clean set of clothes and he planned on traveling in them the next day and he was pretty serious.

So, we proceeded to take the podium photo. I still had the champagne bottle in my hand and he told me, "Don’t f*ckin’ do it! Don’t f*ckin’ do it!" ….but.... I just couldn’t resist. And, yeah, so I poured a little champagne on him. Luckily for me, he didn’t punch me in the f*ckin face. And, well, you saw the video from there…
Geoff Kabush

bigquotesBasically, the short story is that we had the podium, we all got the champagne and I had no intention of spraying anyone. Geoff turned to me, right away, and I tried to run, but he got me pretty good. So, after that I went up to my room. I had to download some footage from my GoPro. My pants were all soaking wet, so I changed into my last set of clothes. Ten minutes later, someone came up and said they were doing more photos because they’d set up some lighting in the parking lot. I said, ‘Alright, but tell those dudes they better not spray me because I am in my last set of clothes and I’m getting on a plane tomorrow.’

So, I walk down there and the first thing I see is Geoff walking around with the bottle of champagne still. So I looked at him and told him, ‘Dude, don’t spray me. I’m in my last set of clothes.’ And he just kind of looked at me with this look that said, I’m going to get you.

So, I said to Geoff, “Dude, I’m serious. Don’t spray me. I’m going to f*ckin’ punch you if you spray me.”

So then we huddled under the lights for the photo. Geoff was in the middle because he won. He put his arms up above both me and Chris and I just had this feeling—because he [Geoff] still had that champagne bottle in his hand—that he was going to friggin’ pour it on me. Now, I’m not even looking at him because I’m looking at the cameras, but I’m telling him “Dude, don’t do it. Don’t do it, Geoff. I’m serious. Don’t do it.”

And the next thing you know, I have champagne running down my head and down my last set of clothes so I f*ckin’ turned around and punched him and that’s pretty much it. I felt like I’d warned him—asked him—three of four times not to do it and he still went ahead and did it. I walked away after that.
Brian Lopes

That wasn't the only high profile fracas between mountain bikers this decade though. Details are more sketchy on the other one but what we do know is that a fight erupted at Mont Sainte Anne in 2015 with Josh Bryceland, Sam Dale and Gee Atherton all involved. We've since asked some of the parties involved what happened but nobody is willing to talk about it.





9. The Fort William Bog


In 2017, World Cup courses were being criticized for becoming too easy, too bike-park-y and not a patch on the classic tracks of yesteryear. Step forward to Fort William and its accompanying inclement weather. To shake up its tried and tested formula, the dig crew in the Scottish Highland decided to include a totally fresh woods section that quickly turned to a bog when the weather rolled in. Riders faced a new challenge each run as the slimy, shifting mud hid a maze of slippery roots and deep holes.

On race day big names went down and some of the riders even walked that section. The debate then played out over social media as some riders felt it was an unfair lottery while others enjoyed the old school challenge. 12 months later, the entire section had been paved over and turned into a more conventional rock garden, but Fort William proved it can still bare its teeth after more than a decade on the circuit.





10. The Coastal Crew's 'Skeptical' eMTB Video

Views: 70,030    Faves: 516    Comments: 24


The Coastal Crew are some of the most 'core' riders going in the mountain biking world. After all, who can forget their Kranked 8 section, Norbs aka Norby getting robbed at Rampage, or the Motive film as examples of how they bought their own unique flavour of BC riding to the larger mountain biking world?

But when Dylan Dunkerton and Curtis Robinson released an eMTB video, people lost their collective shit. Questions around land access, trail erosion and what it meant for the 'soul' of mountain biking all came to a head and the Coastal Crew bore the brunt of it in a vicious comment section.

bigquotesNo, we are under no contractual obligation to ride this bike whatsoever, nor were we pressured to create media around it. Despite what everyone may think, we aren’t padding out bank accounts just because we are riding an e-bike. The gist of this whole project is the fact that we were just as skeptical as everyone else. I believe all bikes are fun, and for me, there was no denying the fact that the Levo would be a ton of fun to putt around town to and from the beer store – honestly, that’s all we planned on using it for. But now, after riding one the way we want to ride, we have realized that’s not just some stupid gimmick. People have had it crammed down their throats that e-bikes can climb very well. No one needs to know that anymore. They need to feel that their ride down won’t be compromised by the added weight of the motor.Dylan Dunkerton

Pinkbike's own stance towards eMTBs has evolved over the years. Regardless of our personal opinions about them, we consider pedal-assist bikes to be part of the fabric of the sport now, and it's our job to cover them. However, we still understand that a lot of our readers just don't want to hear about them, so we introduced filters this year to allow readers to customize the content they want to see. Our guide on how to filter your own news feed is here.






As is tradition, here's the part where you tell us what we missed. See you in the comments!


280 Comments

  • 227 7
 Norbs got robbed.
  • 12 1
 Came here to say the same thing
  • 18 2
 Again! Like meta-robbed. It’s like the “Inception” of being robbed.
  • 23 0
 It was a simpler time.
  • 32 9
 Norbs got Robbed first. He’s a pioneer.
  • 10 6
 @jmc361: meta doesn't mean what you think it means....
  • 24 2
 @makripper: An article about controversies, where an infamous controversy does not get included, creating a (tounge-in-cheek) new controversy is pretty squarely in the wheelhouse of meta...
  • 20 0
 @kit-nz: Right. Essentially, Norbs was robbed was robbed.
  • 4 0
 @NoahColorado: I mean, it's in the article...
  • 3 2
 @kit-nz: look up the definition...
  • 10 0
 @brianpark: So we got robbed of Saying Norbs got robbed, got robbed?
  • 11 28
flag viatch (Dec 10, 2019 at 16:26) (Below Threshold)
 i dunno whats dumber, that drunnk aussie fan or the trans movement...BOTH
  • 11 0
 PB should write another article called“The men who got robbed in Rampage history”
  • 5 0
 @makripper: I actually did and was surprised by how specific it is. Guess i learned something new today. I'll never forgive you for that.
  • 4 0
 @viatch: Anddd...Letterkenny pipes in
  • 2 0
 Pinkbike is now the latest gossip rag!!!!!
  • 117 5
 The biggest controversy (to which everyone seems used to) are wheel sizes. Especially 29'.
  • 5 0
 Fair point.
  • 58 2
 As the saying goes, "pick a wheel size and be a dick about it"
  • 16 20
flag WAKIdesigns (Dec 10, 2019 at 11:18) (Below Threshold)
 29” wheels were a big subject around 2010 and just recently with DH bikes getting them. But nowhere close to Ebikes...
  • 23 1
 @matt-15: Dick or not a dick, but I want to buy new FR bike with 26' wheels and I cant :O
  • 5 0
 @Chillyzi: I'm currently building up a 26"

Granted, it is a dirt jump bike but still
  • 8 1
 And Boost.
  • 29 2
 I think that wheel size isn't that controversial. If you want to go fast, 29". If you want to have fun ride your bike.
  • 4 5
 @Chris97a: haw haw, that was good.
  • 13 3
 @Klainmeister: Boost was just a way of getting people to buy new bikes and ditch their old "outdated" ones. Change my mind
  • 37 5
 it always seems that 29er guys are the most vocal and pushy about it I find. Went to a shop and the sales guy was like "29ers are the best. I'll never go back. they are way faster" I respond. I don't ride fast. I jib and play and come from bmx. his response... "THEY ARE FASTER!!!!" bro... I don't even bring a watch with me, how would I time myself to be sure. he almost lost his shit.
  • 9 3
 @gorideyourbikeman: As a bike salesman, I always tell everyone looking at MTBs both the advantages and disadvantages of each wheel size. I myself prefer 27.5, and don't dismiss the fact that 29ers are almost always inherently faster, but going as fast as I can isn't the way I like to ride

faster =/= better
  • 15 2
 @matt-15: I'm arguably the slowest rider around. I sit there pedalling in a trance sometimes while drooling in my granny gear on flat ground, taking in the trees and the birds and the bees, happy on my "small wheels". sales guy picked the worse person to push 29's on and couldn't take the hint. and when asked why all the 27.5's are sold out and only has 29's on the floor he had no answer.
  • 5 0
 @Chillyzi: banshee
  • 3 0
 @Chillyzi: I’m building a “new” enduro bike this year for myself and it’s a 26” Orange Alpine 160.
  • 2 0
 @matt-15: your the only one. Every bike shop I walk into push 29ers all day long. Some don’t even carry 27.5. You have to order it.
  • 1 1
 It wasn’t a E-Bike video that started the controversy, the idea of E-Bikes in general
  • 3 1
 Electric "bikes". People have come to terms with wheel size. Redefining biking itself is more problematic.
  • 6 0
 @matttauszik: Man, I have no problem with redefining. I can understand e-bikes, I can understand even 45' wheel size if someone feels that it helps him to ride faster or slower - whatever. I'm just pissed off that 26' is out of the game, for reasons not entirely related to the mere efficiency of cycling, but rather economics.
For FR 26' is the king and the Red Bull Rampage Bike Check shows this clearly.

Btw. Anybody remember the last team with 26'? Santa Cruz - Ratboy almost won with all 27' riders. If not crash at last race he would win World Cup (2016?).
  • 1 0
 Reminds me of that time there were recumbents in the Tour... thankfully, roadies don't "experiment" unless it involves a wind tunnel.
  • 4 1
 @Chillyzi: I rode my 26 a bunch this season, super fun. Looking for a new fork and dropper. I don't give a shit what other pp do with their time, but putting a motor on something makes it not a bike. Kick and scream all you want about it, but it doesn't make it so.
  • 1 0
 @werics: and chemistry.
  • 1 0
 @Chillyzi: Whyte makes a kids bike with 26" wheels, which makes me happy, as my son shouldn't be on 27.5 wheels at 10 years old.
  • 1 0
 @krka73: L'oof
  • 112 1
 11. The word "downcountry"
  • 19 0
 Enduro sure got people going too
  • 4 0
 I would have thought testing two trail bikes in the Down Country category, and two XC bikes, and I guess really only having one bike that was really downcountry that didn't even win the test... Smile
  • 84 1
 No SICK Bicycles or Whyte Bikes/Rich Energy?!
  • 36 2
 The Whyte bikes thing wasn't very controversial, trademark disputes happen all the time. Sick bikes? Don't give the little c*nts the credit.
  • 16 0
 100% sick bikes should have been on the list. I'm sure there are people who still have not received a refund!
  • 14 0
 well, 100% of the audience agree they're c*nts, no controversy at all.
  • 1 0
 Controversy not douches
  • 1 0
 @stumphumper92: Still waiting for my t shirt off there crowd fund lol
  • 68 0
 Too early for the good comments, I'll be back in a few hours
  • 69 2
 Nothing controversial about Bryceland leaving racing. Live your best life man!
  • 26 0
 Wasn't the controversy because Claudio announced it before Ratboy wanted to? And then he (rightfully) was pissed about it? Or am I thinking of something else?
  • 6 1
 But where is the promised content with cannondale! 2 x 3 minutes in a year... Super refreshing edits though! But we want more!
  • 6 0
 @Clem-mk: His instagram has tons of recent short little clips.
  • 6 1
 But what about that time he waggled his dick at the Athertons? That sounded kinda hilarious.
  • 3 1
 @toast2266: this is what queued the Sam Dale fight. Apparently Dale broke Gee’s jaw with a punch.
  • 6 0
 @iduckett: I think it was cuz Claudio made a weed joke as well about Josh.
  • 15 1
 Not controversial but using his environmental impact as reason for quitting was low key brilliant. I use it to this day for slacking at work or around the house
  • 6 0
 @mrgonzo: lol I can just picture you sitting on the couch with a beer justifying not cutting the lawn to a wife/girlfriend. This is my favourite thing from today.
  • 4 0
 The rumor that he left because of his carbon footprint is the controversial part.
  • 68 2
 Brian Lopes punch is the best. Absolutely the best. Nothing better, not even controversial. Just hilarious.
  • 16 4
 It's so Lopes. Does anyone have a reputation for being as onerous?
  • 52 3
 Am i the only one who just sees two guys playing around here? Kabush earned it. My buddies and i carry on in similar joking fashion all the time and no one gets hurt. Sure Lopes took it pretty far but it doesnt need all the public "Controversy" as indicated in this article. Its funny,
  • 12 3
 @HurricaneCycles: but Lopes always takes it that far. He's the bro-ist bro in MTB and always has been.
  • 6 1
 given how many times a day the guy showers, soaking his last outfit was always gonna send him over the edge LOL!!
  • 8 0
 That looked like some frat boys just messing around kinda punch, lol. Would have been way better if lopes fully Bumrushed him after the pic
  • 16 20
flag NorCalNomad (Dec 10, 2019 at 15:07) (Below Threshold)
 Classic Lopes being a dick
  • 55 2
 @NorCalNomad:

I beg to differ. Kabush being the dick there; you drench someone in their last set of dry clothes after they have asked you not to, and you get everything that is coming to you, simples.
  • 15 1
 Shoulda clocked him in the face.
  • 31 2
 @NorCalNomad: if a grown man tells another grown man not to pour champagne on him or he’ll punch him...don’t cry foul when you get punched.
  • 6 0
 @orientdave: exactly. drunk guys do stupid shit, thats not controversial.
  • 1 15
flag bulletbassman (Dec 11, 2019 at 7:50) (Below Threshold)
 @orientdave: I'd like to see someone try that arguement in court.

"Judge, I told the guy if his dog shit in my yard one more time I was going to murder him and his family, I didn't even bother murdering his kids".
  • 5 0
 0 controversy. 1 person says “if you do x I am going to punch you.” Other person person says “I accept the cost of doing x” and does it... and then gets punched. Tale as old as time.
  • 4 1
 @nyhc00: I don’t think he cried foul did he?
  • 2 1
 @deez-nucks: you are correct, i was making a general statement.
  • 3 0
 @bulletbassman:

Sure; if you want to take my statement to mean that murder is included in "you get what's coming to you", that is your prerogative.

The rest of us here who are aware of figurative speech, realize that the statement "you get what's coming to you" is not a cover all for everything and anything.. For an excellent example of figurative speech, try watching "12 angry men", and the "I'm gonna kill him" scene.
youtu.be/1fsFQ2gF4oE?t=209
  • 1 2
 @orientdave: while I still
Extremely disagree with the idea Kabush had it coming my example was meant to be humorous and not taken seriously
  • 1 0
 @sspiff: *Bonerous
  • 62 1
 I’m loving all these best of the decade things. They should do them every year!
  • 13 13
 You understand what a decade is right?

Kinda a bar spin without letting go.
  • 20 1
 @H3RESQ: whoosh!?
  • 7 0
 Or is that whoosh for me?
  • 4 0
 @H3RESQ: ha nice n old-school
  • 52 0
 Judging aside, I think a far more important discussion (Controversy?) with Rampage was around rider's well being. After the 2015 Rampage and Paul Bas' life getting changed there were some pretty real emotions. Add to the list Mark Matthews and few others I know the real consequences of an event like that settled in and watching Rampage after that became a little less funt owatch IMO. I think following the big riders meeting and Red Bull listening to them 2018, 2019 have come a long way in supporting riders better. I would say that was/is controversial though- remember Zinc's 2015 rant? (which was a rant in the best way as he was honest, emotional, and as someone who had a lot invested). It is a weird thing to watch people in our community risk their lives for something awesome but that brings in a lot of money for a lot of people not hucking meat off cliffs and then when you hear how some are treated in the wake of that...like having to start go fund me's for life saving medical interventions they needed... it doesn't sit great.
  • 7 1
 Yeah definitely a paradigm shift over the last few years.
  • 3 0
 snl1200- That's the US medical system, can't blame Red Bull, blame the insurance companies and the most expensive medical system on the planet. Yeah riders were upset at the format, Red Bull listened and changed the format according to the riders' wishes. I don't see how that's a controversy, more of growing pains on the most unique and true freeride event in MTB history. Also I find it strange how people find Rampage hard to watch. There has always been a risk of severe injury or death, ever since the first Rampage.The highs wouldn't be there without the risk of the lows. Its no different than the FWT except multiple people have died competing at those events. Its the nature of the game. Its fine if that turns you away but it shouldn't come as a shock that big mtn riding is very risky and always has been. There's always a chance you'll witness something you don't want to.
  • 3 0
 @scott-townes: I agree with most of that Scott. I would say where it was controversial during the decade was at the point when a lot of athletes were feeling immense social and professional pressure to compete and represent at the event without the support or compensation it should have warranted. I think it was controversial in that there were a lot of different viewpoints, some of them very public, and certainly some big decisions to be made. For sure it had growing pains- but those were also controversies and turning points- think back to when it was a Diamond event for the FMB and riders, like Sam Pilgrim for example, were kinda ushered into it as part of that and needed the points for their overall standing on the tour despite the event being so different to the rest of the tour. It's not a controversy IMO in the sense of it being a huge error etc- rather a controversy in that there have been lots of conflicting and converging viewpoints over the years, lots of emotion, and absolutely I'm stoked to see it make it through.
  • 1 0
 @snl1200: Ewwww diamond stop. Grosss stop it!
  • 44 0
 What about the time Pinkbike didn't put Danny's WV run in the Top 20 Greatest Race Runs of the Decade?!
  • 33 0
 Controversial? Or just that we blew it lol
  • 38 1
 The size of Danny Hart’s balls and how that impacts on how he sits.
  • 11 2
 Or maybe that special anatomy of Yoann Barelli's balls? But neither of them is really controversial. Just hard facts!
  • 32 0
 According to PB comments, every Rampage result in the last 10 years has been controversial
  • 1 0
 can't agree more
  • 28 4
 What, no controversies over the industry creating new "standards" in search of money?
  • 21 4
 Boost spacing is the biggest pile of crap and we were told to eat it with a smile.
  • 4 0
 "Most annoying New Standards" will be a whole new Episode. Or poll.
  • 6 12
flag hardcore-hardtail (Dec 10, 2019 at 13:17) (Below Threshold)
 @friendlyfoe: You obviously have never compared a non boost 29er to boost, you can feel the difference immediately...
  • 12 4
 @hardcore-hardtail: I've never even ridden a 29er and have no real desire to. I'm just still bitter because when I decided to replace the fork on my 27.5 Trance I had to replace the front hub on a 1 year old wheelset because of boost. Noticed 0% difference.
  • 2 1
 @friendlyfoe: Almost all major hub brands (DT, Hope, i9, King, etc.) have adapters for standard to Boost front. I am running an adapter now for my hubs and works great.
  • 2 0
 @bman33: the adapter is roughly a third of the price of a dt350 front hub so I just went ahead and replaced it. Most of those adapters also call for the redishing of the wheel which would offset the cost of just having the thing rebuilt
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: fair enough. I build my own wheels (worked with a custom wheel place for 10 years) so that part is mute for me. My hub is an i9 so the adapter wasn't a big deal comparatively at $20
  • 1 0
 Throw in water bottle placement while you're at it
  • 1 1
 @friendlyfoe: I feel ya, I bought my first premium wheelset with I9 torch hubs literally weeks before boost was released. I never thought it would catch on with 27.5 but look at us now. I still love my Altitude with torches and those wheels are rock solid, gonna take a big hit when I sell it this year but I got my use out of them.

It probably wasn't necessary for 27.5 but it was a game changer for 29ers.
  • 1 0
 @hardcore-hardtail: that's probably fair and I definitely would not know. My memory (which is probably wrong) is that when boost was released that it was advertised as being like 3 percent stiffer. Total BS to make it so wheels weren't forward compatible for a difference only the very top pros would notice. Obviously the bigger the wheels the bigger the difference, so if you say it's noticeable on wagon wheels I'll take your word for it. Still gonna be grumpy though haha
  • 2 1
 yeah.
how about dub cranks? they slipped that one in there under the door.
careful buying new a BB or cranks.
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: actually i would say it was 15mm that was the needless standard, as 20mm was great for everything. Still pissed at fox for that
  • 27 5
 PB, the 2 biggest controversies have surely been the reinvention of the wheel 26>27.5>29>mixed and freakin eBikes
  • 5 1
 I agree about the wheel size debate and thought it would have been on this list for sure.
  • 4 0
 Not to mention plus size tires!
  • 10 1
 @hardcore-hardtail: 75% of the people who were yelling about plus tires are running 2.6 tires on wide rims now. They know they live in a glass house.
  • 6 0
 @groghunter: 29ers was the same. Everyone hated them, then overnight it changed and people loved them!

It's funny for bike companies like Giant who started a 29er, got hate, dropped them, tried to stick to 27.5 then got hate for not bringing in a 29er!!
  • 1 0
 E bikes fo sho
  • 2 1
 @groghunter: right!? I still love my 29 x 3.00 too bad tire options are becoming extinct...
  • 22 0
 New controversy: @brianpark hates slopestyle.
  • 22 1
 I might be the last person on the internet who is emotionally invested in slopestlye Noah.
  • 5 0
 @brianpark: dunno...seems weird that you'd exclude it from your feed.....the evidence is right there Brian jeewizz!
  • 2 10
flag luckynugget (Dec 10, 2019 at 14:49) (Below Threshold)
 don't you know this site's about sticking seats up into your rectum now, no jumps or talent allowed here
  • 21 0
 I guess closing Heckler's Rock at Whistler wasn't a big controversy after all...
  • 7 0
 And killing the GLC drop...
  • 5 1
 @bishopsmike: GLC drop was def a trademark drop. However, I actually like the step up there now much better in terms of riding enjoyment. My 2 cents...
  • 20 0
 No Paul Aston and the exploding Enve rims?
  • 16 1
 Thought about including it, but didn't want to insert ourselves into the article that way.
  • 25 2
 @brianpark: keep destroying stuff and in a few years you can have top 10 things that Pinkbike editors broke. Levy has at least two prototypes under his belt...
  • 2 0
 @brianpark: insert - cheeky
  • 19 0
 I think they forgot @protour
  • 5 0
 Kill the demo!! Wait without a chain it works good
  • 15 1
 It may not seem like a big deal now, but 1x drivetrains provoked a lot of disagreement for most of this decade.

I say good riddance to multiple chainrings, but I'm sure somebody'll post something about how they still love their rigid, no dropper, tubed, 26" wheeled, chainstay u-braked 3x6 bike and their sweet Ovaltech rings-'cause they're too core for Shimano......Suntour all the way!!
  • 5 2
 ride your own ride. for some, it's a budget thing. Not everyone want's to ride that type of rig but are out there anyway on 90's beasts. went through that all last year and had snobs looking me up and down on there YT's and Santa Cruze's that they're making payments on. yet we're on the same trail...
  • 9 0
 What's an MTB/X-Games article without a clip of the original hokey a$$ed event in 1995...as semi embarrassing as it looks, we were all hungry racers looking to make our mark in a fairly new sport, get paid any way possible and gain some exposure and television time. So of course when ESPN came up with this event many of us jumped on board...Of course Downhill Mountain biking never returned so technically I'm still defending champion. Lol That said I collected a check from ESPN for $10,000 and the exposure enabled me to make a descent salary the following year...The 90's were a special time in the sport...But yes this made for TV event had a pretty lame course by even the standards in 1995, but 24 years later...I'd do it all over again.
youtu.be/gxkVUw0jdQU
  • 11 0
 Lopes and Kabush was not a controversy. Both of them told the same story and Kabush took his shot and sucked it up.
  • 8 0
 X Games isn't what it used to be anyway. It is a giant ramp in an arena.

Where is triple verp roller blading? Where are the skydiving parts? Boogie boarding? Spike ball? X-treme jacks?

At least two of those were real.
  • 1 0
 #childofthe90's
  • 10 0
 What about IMBA vs Sustainable Trails Coalition?
  • 5 0
 More like IMBA versus mountain bikers.
  • 9 0
 a letter of intent cannot be legally binding. If it were then that would just be a free pass to offer a sh*t contract.
  • 9 1
 I forgot about the doping suspentions
  • 6 7
 Me too, but I still haven’t forgotten that fat pig face from Rocky Roads Smile
  • 24 10
 Not me. Completely changed the outcome of the season. Maes' suspension was ridiculous.
  • 14 11
 @onemanarmy: maes STORY was ridiculous !
  • 14 0
 @onemanarmy: was it though? Staying consistent with rule enforcement is necessary. He'll get over it and life will go on with the precedent set. If he was given a pardon then that would be used in future arguments forever and exploited by future athletes to push the boundaries of what is and isn't legal.
  • 23 7
 @Tmackstab: He's already moved forward. Did you not notice his results at the end of the year?

Did you pay attention to how his situation went down? He didn't ask for a pardon... he asked for permission using the proper channels as soon as they were available to him. He was forced to make a choice for the benefit of his health and could not ask for permission due to a lack of connectivity. It has nothing to do with performance gains. He didn't accidentally ingest something and ask for forgiveness.

If you think that athletes won't always push the boundaries of performance gains and legality regardless of where that line is then you haven't been paying attention to athletics... well... since the beginning.

I don't think a single athlete would have complained if Maes was given an exemption. And even if they didn't give him one I think they could have handled the discipline differently without completely "caving". They could have wiped out the result of that race and let him carry on for the season.

The other guys... caught intentionally or accidentally ingesting. Water bottles. Whatever. Fine do what you gotta do there.

Maes... Maes got hosed.

I hope he comes out this year and sweeps the entire season.
  • 1 1
 Aren’t there still positive tests from that day we have yet to be informed of?
  • 5 1
 @onemanarmy: I am not saying he is but would if he was lying and the team paid off the doctor? If this was road UCI and I suggested this as a possibility it wouldn't seem too far fetched. At the end of the day he had a banned substance in his body, not much more to say really. The outcome obviously sucks.
  • 3 4
 There was a real double standard : maes had a medical condition, he documented it, and got 90days and cancelation of his results. RR was suspended during winter so he only missed a couple of races.
  • 5 1
 The controversy with EWS and doping was also their own rules. They were on a high horse, lifetime ban from any doping, but once their top riders were caught, they forgot about their own rules.
  • 6 3
 @eluder: Official statement from Dr Tom Jerram, who treated Maes in NZ for the leg wound. He is not a physician appointed by Maes or the GT team. He is an NZ based emergency medicine specialist who was volunteering at the event. Is he lying too? Why would he? Just how much money do you think Maes or the GT team would have "paid him off" to write this?

"I am a Specialist Emergency Physician, and have been practising Emergency Medicine for over 15 years. On March 8th -10th 2019, I was acting in a voluntary role as a event doctor on the New Zealand Enduro, a backcountry mountain bike race in Marlborough, New Zealand.

On the afternoon of March 8th 2019, I was reviewing and treating a number of riders who had been injured in the day’s racing. Mark Maurissen approached me, and asked me to review Martin Maes, who had sustained a significant laceration to his right pretibial area (lower leg) during the day’s racing. Martin had sustained an approximately 5 centimeter long vertically orientated burst type laceration to his lower leg. There was significant soft tissue damage, and the wound was grossly contaminated (conditions were particularly muddy that day) I irrigated and debrided the wound extensively, applied a topical antiseptic solution, and sutured the skin using 4 x interrupted sutures. I was concered about a significant risk of infection given the wound location, tissue damage, and initial contamination. At that point I dispensed a course of flucloxacillin (an antibiotic) in a standard dose (500 milligrams 4 times a day for 3 days with a goal of preventing infection). I gave Martin standard wound care advice, and planned to follow him up in 2 days

On March 10th 2019 at around 10 am, I reviewed Martin’s wound. At that point, he had a clearly established serious infection surrounding the wound, despite the prophylactic antibiotics. This infection had developed over the last 24 hours. I removed 2 of the sutures, draining a small amount of pus, and irrigated and further debrided the wound. A higher dose of antibiotic was clearly indicated, as the infection was significant enough be life or limb threating if left unchecked. My standard practice in a case like this is to give a higher dose of flucloxacillin in combination with a medicine called probenicid. In this case, probenicid acts to reduce the excretion of penicillin type antibiotics from the kidneys, thus boosting the blood levels of antibiotic. These higher levels of antibiotic are particularly important for treating serious infection, and I do not believe Martins infection would have resolved without them. The only other option would have been hospitalisation for intravenous antibiotics, which carries its own set of risks and costs, and would not necessarily be more effective than adding probenicid.

I provided Martin with a prescription for 2 grams of flucloxacillin 3 times a day for the next 2 days (dropping to 1 gram 3 times a day for a further 5 days), and probenicid 500 milligrams 3 times a day for 7 days. I discussed all of this with Dr Julian Balance, an Orthopaedic Surgeon also volunteering as a race doctor. He agreed with the management plan as above.

Both Martin and Mark asked if the medications I were permissible for racing. I informed them that probenicid has no performance enhancing effects, and as far as I was aware was not a prohibited substance for racing. I checked this with Dr Balance, as well as Dr Sam Grummitt (another of the race doctors), neither of whom were aware that probenicid was a prohibited substance. There was no cellular data coverage at the event to enable us to check this. Martin began vomiting that afternoon, likely as a result of the higher doses of flucloxacillin, which often cause significant gastrointestinal upset. At that point we discussed referring him to hospital, and elected to give him a trial of an anti-vomiting drug prior to this. I dispensed 4 milligrans of ondansetron, which settled his vomiting, and enabled him to take the prescribed antibiotics.

I understand Martin made a good recovery, and was able to race 2 weeks later. I also understand that Martin returned a positive urine drug test for probenicid at that event. I have subsequently learned that probenicid is on the UCI prohibited substances list, and has previously been used as a masking agent, although it has no performance enhancing effects.

The probenicid I prescribed Martin was clearly medically indicated and I would do so again given the same clinical scenario. I believe he would have experienced a significant impairment to health had I not prescribed it, with the potantial for life threatening spread of infection. Had I known it was a prohibited substance, I would have been happy to fill in a therapeutic exemption form. I am confident that there was no performance enhancing benefit from the prescription, and in fact the severity of the infection was likely to have been detrimental to his performance in the next few weeks—Dr Tom Jerram
  • 2 0
 @mikkosinisalo:
This!!! All the talk but when it comes to enforcement of rules with possible negative economic and moral consequences then the buck stops here. Pathetic.
  • 2 1
 @wildedge586: the problem with high fly values is that they are high fly values that work great in Disney and Tarantino movies but not in reality. Doping control is necessary but it does not require bullshit of spirit of fair play. All it requires is a set of reasonable rules determining what is forbidden to use and what are the consequences. Then reasonable evaluation of cases when rules have been breached. High fly values tend to paint world back and white which makes great viewership for idiots.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: and who makes reasonable rules? The wealthy powerful teams with an armada of lawyers (Sky/Ineos) who make positive tests go away by changing the permitted threshold like froomes salbutamol. Pathetic again.

All the others detected, tried and rightfully penalized riders must think its a joke they were handed bans and froomy gets away untarnished.

Same would/will happen in mtb. Privateers gets caught, serves the ban, has no means to contest the verdict. Factory team rider gets caught, manufactures a plausible explanation, walks away free.

No Disney/Tarantino logic needed.

I am very sympathetic towards GT and Martin Mae's but the penalty was fair and deserved. Allow a loophole once with proper grounds and it's impossible to revoke your stance in the future.


He could have sat out the next competitions since he knew after medical consultation about the drug in his body is on a list and they had no TUE for it. He and GT chose to risk competing and getting tested and therefore deserve punishment.

Afterall he was racing under UCI rules since his DH teen years and knows the rules /should have a staff that does.
  • 2 0
 @wildedge586: you cannot cheat human nature and social mechanics. People cheat and lie because it’s a function of efficiency. The risk vs reward calculation is done carefully. The Consequences are taken by those who are capable of taking them. Always. People with power and money can afford being above the law.

Russians got their arse kicked by WADA because they operated like an arrogant thug trying to show the world or at least to China the size of their dick by winning Gold medals. They don’t do much business with other nations, they are sitting there like a drunk dad but with trigger to nuclear weapons and a potent conventional force. China is like a kid that used to be bullied, but now they got money and they do business with the cool kids from America and Europe who happen to make the rules. Considering Putin values Olympics so high, it was also a good political punch into his belly. There are not many risks involved with excluding them.

Team sky is such a great business, if they existed in Armstrong era and Lance rode for them, he’d never get caught. Not sure if Froomes competitiors think it’s a joke, quite a few are on similar programs and have been in the board rooms reprimanded... to be more careful.
  • 4 0
 I had forgotten about the ebike content filter. So I switched it on. Then I wanted to come back here to say thanks for reminding me. But since this article has an "ebike" tag, it had disappeared :-)
Wheel size not being part of this list is definitely one of the biggest controversies of this week.
  • 6 2
 How are 29ers and E-bikes not top 2 on the list?
While all of the items on the list are controversial there is no way they have been debated/argued about as much as these two subjects.
  • 4 0
 Come on, a Salami giving an opinion about 29ers and eBikes..... Does my dropper post give opinions about vegan sausages and synthetic steaks?
  • 2 2
 @softsteel: your being a salamiest. Not cool bro.
  • 8 1
 Number 11: ebike World Champs on moto track.
  • 11 0
 Not so much controversy as tragedy...
  • 6 0
 @brianpark:
You misspelled 'hilarious'.
  • 7 0
 Greg Herbold cut the course in 1990!
  • 5 0
 We stayed ages watching that carnage in the woods at Fort Bill. That was an unbelievable weekend.
  • 13 7
 11. Literally any PB headline favoring an e-bike.
  • 8 3
 No one mentioning how Ben McGowan got completely fuking wrecked on those whoops! That shit is gold.
  • 3 0
 That was wild.
  • 11 0
 And I've still got metal in my spine to this day....
  • 1 0
 I feel guilty, but I watched that video about five times. Last one I slowed it down. It was brutal.
  • 2 0
 @Spannerbunny: You A PB legend now .. enjoy Wink
  • 7 3
 what about Brook McDonald's crash in Mont Saint Anne ? though it was quite controversial about the way they were organized ...
  • 16 0
 I'm not sure there was any controversy; pretty much everyone agreed that it sucked.
  • 9 4
 E-Bikes, namely pedal-assisted bikes, are dope! It's gonna get better over time, especially with the battery technology.
  • 2 0
 Why don’t trainers have a printout on the banned substance list. It’s kinda ridiculous. Because if I were a world class athlete, I wouldn’t want to have to worry about what I’m taking, especially if it came down to phone signal.
  • 7 3
 For me the biggest controversy is BY FAR the industry meticulously killing 26" by stop mass producing frames and forks.
  • 4 0
 First Pinkbike article that I have read it all
  • 4 1
 Tell me your 27.5/29 stories again, they're so interesting. Here's an idea, buy what you want to ride and shhhhhh
  • 2 2
 whilst i would love it if Ratty was still racing world cup, i think his cannondale crew is wicked. my only doubt would be whether those bikes are actually cool enough for a team that sick.
  • 2 5
 As expected he made a joke out of environmental virtue signalling.
  • 22 19
 Solution: Mens, womens and trans categories.

there. solved it.
  • 4 15
flag poakes (Dec 10, 2019 at 15:49) (Below Threshold)
 That's hate speech!
  • 1 1
 So whats the solution to the bathroom problem?
3 bathrooms everywhere?
  • 3 2
 @DDoc: no bathrooms. just a communal hole in the ground in all public squares and outdoor areas.
  • 2 2
 @poakes: funny how hypocrisy went from being reviled & hateful to being inclusive & loving ... still scratching my head on that one. Or at least when I’m not busy trying to defend true freedom of speech as originally defined by the foresight of the truly wise USA forefathers. What was old, is new once again.
  • 1 2
 @TheUnknownMTBR: There is no free speech on the internet. Social media sights and comment sections are moderated and if your opinion isn't aligned with theirs they give you the boot. You better encourage mental illness and ignore science otherwise the keyboard warriors will get ya!
  • 1 0
 A lot has changed in last 10years, how much will happen in the next 10?
Will we have human brains in robot bodies racing bikes?
  • 1 0
 I think the biggest embarrassment award should go to the announcers in the xgames video - "wow he spun his bars AND did a frontflip! WoW!"
  • 1 1
 Totally forgot about lopes throwing a punch like a little bitch and then just standing there as if Kabush would actually engage haha. Thanks for the reminder PB, gave me a great chuckle this morning.
  • 3 1
 The rise of the enduro bro.
  • 2 0
 stop playing with your food brett!
  • 14 16
 PB still ignoring human biology and drug pharmacokinetics to rationalize Maes testing positive at Derby Tasmania >14 days after his last alleged dose of probenocid.

He was taking a masking agent at least a week longer than his official timeline and yet PB keep regurgitating this ignorance mistake narrative. Wont someone at least ask Maes on the spot how he could have had probenocid in his blood 14 days after he supposedly stopped taking it?
  • 10 3
 So why did they grant him a "non-intentional" suspension then? Are you saying that your knowledge of science is better than that of the WADA? And that it was that easy to put one over on them?
  • 3 4
 He was taking massive doses to stop that infection.
  • 4 2
 If two doctors at a word level event tell you to take something or you might lose your leg, or worse, you do it.
Do you know how long probenocid stays in your body after you stop taking it?
If you think Maes was trying to cover something up, you're a muppet.
  • 5 3
 @JiminOz: facts and math are hard? I have already (as well as others) compared the reported timeline from Maes' press release and then calculated the cumulative drug metabolism and excretion times for probencid (half life at most 5 hrs in a sedentary, higher in active individual) and guess what. He would have had none in his entire body well before derby (which was 14 days after he allegedly stopped taking probenocid).

This is not an opinion this is a pharmacokinetic fact!

Thus the official story is bs. Maybe some journalists (ie PB) should investigate and interview key informants (pharmacologists, infectious disease experts [here], uci/wada testing people, Maes). Alternatively you can continue to blindly support a bogus story from Maes and blindly ignore contrary evidence.
  • 4 3
 @ppp9911: So Maes is winning at the start of the year. Cue the "he must have been cheating, he had banned substances in his system" cries, even though he had a more than ligitimate reason.
Guess what, he was winning again by the end of the season too. Is he still cheating? Think he isn't being tested and scrutinised even more closely now?
People are so quick to point the finger.
Maybe the guy is actually just extremely bloody good!
  • 3 4
 @ppp9911: Official statement from Dr Tom Jerram, who treated Maes in NZ for the leg wound. He is not a physician appointed by Maes or the GT team. He is an NZ based emergency medicine specialist who was volunteering at the event. Is he lying too? Why would he?

"I am a Specialist Emergency Physician, and have been practising Emergency Medicine for over 15 years. On March 8th -10th 2019, I was acting in a voluntary role as a event doctor on the New Zealand Enduro, a backcountry mountain bike race in Marlborough, New Zealand.

On the afternoon of March 8th 2019, I was reviewing and treating a number of riders who had been injured in the day’s racing. Mark Maurissen approached me, and asked me to review Martin Maes, who had sustained a significant laceration to his right pretibial area (lower leg) during the day’s racing. Martin had sustained an approximately 5 centimeter long vertically orientated burst type laceration to his lower leg. There was significant soft tissue damage, and the wound was grossly contaminated (conditions were particularly muddy that day) I irrigated and debrided the wound extensively, applied a topical antiseptic solution, and sutured the skin using 4 x interrupted sutures. I was concered about a significant risk of infection given the wound location, tissue damage, and initial contamination. At that point I dispensed a course of flucloxacillin (an antibiotic) in a standard dose (500 milligrams 4 times a day for 3 days with a goal of preventing infection). I gave Martin standard wound care advice, and planned to follow him up in 2 days

On March 10th 2019 at around 10 am, I reviewed Martin’s wound. At that point, he had a clearly established serious infection surrounding the wound, despite the prophylactic antibiotics. This infection had developed over the last 24 hours. I removed 2 of the sutures, draining a small amount of pus, and irrigated and further debrided the wound. A higher dose of antibiotic was clearly indicated, as the infection was significant enough be life or limb threating if left unchecked. My standard practice in a case like this is to give a higher dose of flucloxacillin in combination with a medicine called probenicid. In this case, probenicid acts to reduce the excretion of penicillin type antibiotics from the kidneys, thus boosting the blood levels of antibiotic. These higher levels of antibiotic are particularly important for treating serious infection, and I do not believe Martins infection would have resolved without them. The only other option would have been hospitalisation for intravenous antibiotics, which carries its own set of risks and costs, and would not necessarily be more effective than adding probenicid.

I provided Martin with a prescription for 2 grams of flucloxacillin 3 times a day for the next 2 days (dropping to 1 gram 3 times a day for a further 5 days), and probenicid 500 milligrams 3 times a day for 7 days. I discussed all of this with Dr Julian Balance, an Orthopaedic Surgeon also volunteering as a race doctor. He agreed with the management plan as above.

Both Martin and Mark asked if the medications I were permissible for racing. I informed them that probenicid has no performance enhancing effects, and as far as I was aware was not a prohibited substance for racing. I checked this with Dr Balance, as well as Dr Sam Grummitt (another of the race doctors), neither of whom were aware that probenicid was a prohibited substance. There was no cellular data coverage at the event to enable us to check this. Martin began vomiting that afternoon, likely as a result of the higher doses of flucloxacillin, which often cause significant gastrointestinal upset. At that point we discussed referring him to hospital, and elected to give him a trial of an anti-vomiting drug prior to this. I dispensed 4 milligrans of ondansetron, which settled his vomiting, and enabled him to take the prescribed antibiotics.

I understand Martin made a good recovery, and was able to race 2 weeks later. I also understand that Martin returned a positive urine drug test for probenicid at that event. I have subsequently learned that probenicid is on the UCI prohibited substances list, and has previously been used as a masking agent, although it has no performance enhancing effects.

The probenicid I prescribed Martin was clearly medically indicated and I would do so again given the same clinical scenario. I believe he would have experienced a significant impairment to health had I not prescribed it, with the potantial for life threatening spread of infection. Had I known it was a prohibited substance, I would have been happy to fill in a therapeutic exemption form. I am confident that there was no performance enhancing benefit from the prescription, and in fact the severity of the infection was likely to have been detrimental to his performance in the next few weeks—Dr Tom Jerram
  • 2 5
 @ppp9911: Official statement from Dr Tom Jerram, who treated Maes in NZ for the leg wound. He is not a physician appointed by Maes or the GT team. He is an NZ based emergency medicine specialist who was volunteering at the event. Is he lying too? Why would he?

"I am a Specialist Emergency Physician, and have been practising Emergency Medicine for over 15 years. On March 8th -10th 2019, I was acting in a voluntary role as a event doctor on the New Zealand Enduro, a backcountry mountain bike race in Marlborough, New Zealand.

On the afternoon of March 8th 2019, I was reviewing and treating a number of riders who had been injured in the day’s racing. Mark Maurissen approached me, and asked me to review Martin Maes, who had sustained a significant laceration to his right pretibial area (lower leg) during the day’s racing. Martin had sustained an approximately 5 centimeter long vertically orientated burst type laceration to his lower leg. There was significant soft tissue damage, and the wound was grossly contaminated (conditions were particularly muddy that day) I irrigated and debrided the wound extensively, applied a topical antiseptic solution, and sutured the skin using 4 x interrupted sutures. I was concered about a significant risk of infection given the wound location, tissue damage, and initial contamination. At that point I dispensed a course of flucloxacillin (an antibiotic) in a standard dose (500 milligrams 4 times a day for 3 days with a goal of preventing infection). I gave Martin standard wound care advice, and planned to follow him up in 2 days

On March 10th 2019 at around 10 am, I reviewed Martin’s wound. At that point, he had a clearly established serious infection surrounding the wound, despite the prophylactic antibiotics. This infection had developed over the last 24 hours. I removed 2 of the sutures, draining a small amount of pus, and irrigated and further debrided the wound. A higher dose of antibiotic was clearly indicated, as the infection was significant enough be life or limb threating if left unchecked. My standard practice in a case like this is to give a higher dose of flucloxacillin in combination with a medicine called probenicid. In this case, probenicid acts to reduce the excretion of penicillin type antibiotics from the kidneys, thus boosting the blood levels of antibiotic. These higher levels of antibiotic are particularly important for treating serious infection, and I do not believe Martins infection would have resolved without them. The only other option would have been hospitalisation for intravenous antibiotics, which carries its own set of risks and costs, and would not necessarily be more effective than adding probenicid.

I provided Martin with a prescription for 2 grams of flucloxacillin 3 times a day for the next 2 days (dropping to 1 gram 3 times a day for a further 5 days), and probenicid 500 milligrams 3 times a day for 7 days. I discussed all of this with Dr Julian Balance, an Orthopaedic Surgeon also volunteering as a race doctor. He agreed with the management plan as above.

Both Martin and Mark asked if the medications I were permissible for racing. I informed them that probenicid has no performance enhancing effects, and as far as I was aware was not a prohibited substance for racing. I checked this with Dr Balance, as well as Dr Sam Grummitt (another of the race doctors), neither of whom were aware that probenicid was a prohibited substance. There was no cellular data coverage at the event to enable us to check this. Martin began vomiting that afternoon, likely as a result of the higher doses of flucloxacillin, which often cause significant gastrointestinal upset. At that point we discussed referring him to hospital, and elected to give him a trial of an anti-vomiting drug prior to this. I dispensed 4 milligrans of ondansetron, which settled his vomiting, and enabled him to take the prescribed antibiotics.

I understand Martin made a good recovery, and was able to race 2 weeks later. I also understand that Martin returned a positive urine drug test for probenicid at that event. I have subsequently learned that probenicid is on the UCI prohibited substances list, and has previously been used as a masking agent, although it has no performance enhancing effects.

The probenicid I prescribed Martin was clearly medically indicated and I would do so again given the same clinical scenario. I believe he would have experienced a significant impairment to health had I not prescribed it, with the potantial for life threatening spread of infection. Had I known it was a prohibited substance, I would have been happy to fill in a therapeutic exemption form. I am confident that there was no performance enhancing benefit from the prescription, and in fact the severity of the infection was likely to have been detrimental to his performance in the next few weeks—Dr Tom Jerram
  • 2 3
 @JiminOz: thank you for reguritating the talking points. Still does not change the FACTS that he tested positive at derby 14 days after he allegedly stopped taking probenocid. You are about on par with those people who site anti-vaccine propaganda sources with no scientific basis as evidence against vaccines.
  • 2 1
 @JiminOz: On last time from the bs timeline you copy and pasted above:

Overlaying the timeframes we can ask the following question:

If Martin took 7 days of Probenocid at 3x500mg starting on 3/11 (likely started on 3/10 actually) how likely would he be to still have it in his blood at the Derby event?

The half life of probenocid is 3-8 hours at that dose and the derby event started on 3/31. Using 3/17 as the last day that he took the probenocid and assuming a 8 hour half-life how likely would he be to still test postive on 3/31 (14 days later)?

Calculating the total does and the halflifes we estimate that on March 31st he would have had ~0.0000000003mg in his entire bloodstream (ie 0.3 Billionths of a miligram) in his entire body.

So in a 50ml draw of roughly (1% of average human total blood supply) there were likely no more than 0.000000000003mgs of Probenocid in this sample.There are no molecular or mass spec tests that are sensitive enough to detect even an order of magnitude higher amount of probenocid.

The above calculations ignore excretion (via urine from the kidneys), probenocid would have been out of Martin's entire body at least 7 days before Derby (he could have plausibly tested positive at rotorua based on the public statement).
  • 2 1
 @ppp9911: Firstly, I reposted the statement in error and can't remove it. Once was enough though.

Your response says more about you than than anything else - in your mind it doesn't compute and the numbers don't add up so therefore, Maes must be cheating and have something to hide.

Do you have all the facts? How do you know he didn't take further antibiotics and probenecid after the initial 7 days? A serious infection often takes more than the intial dose - the first treating doctor stated that after his initial antibiotic treament the infection was worse 2 days later. So do you know if he took if for longer than said in that initial statement? Saw another doctor to get some more? For all your facts and figures, you haven't even managed to spell probenecid correctly.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Probenecid

Maes tested clean of anything at Madeira (12th May) and did pretty well there! He wasn't notified of the Adverse Analytical Finding by CADF until 21st May. How did he know to stop "cheating" if he hadn't yet been caught?

You'd rather call into question the integrity of a top athlete, his team and several independent doctors with nothing to gain but trying to help someone not lose their leg.
  • 2 1
 @ppp9911: like I asked above (and you never answered) why then was he granted a ‘non-intentional’ punishment? Don’t you think the people at the anti doping agencies, who do this for a living, can do the same basic calculation you can?

What that suggests is that your simple math does not take into account all factors involved. Because if it was as simple as you make it out to be that he cheated, surely they would have given him a more sever penalty.
  • 4 2
 what about which bike looks more like a session?
  • 1 0
 They forgot the biggest, when your mom entered a DH comp. The celebration party was dope becuase of her.
  • 1 0
 Manon Carpenter mid-season retirement from racing. Missy Giove bike-rep-as-drug-mule.
  • 3 1
 Wrong, 1. E-bikes
  • 1 0
 This article is the most controversy packed post ever on PB!
  • 1 0
 What about sick bycicles? Lmao
  • 4 3
 Hahahah. Snowflakes need e-mtb content filters. Bahahahahahahahhahahahah
  • 4 5
 Oh the drama. With all these mind altering events to contend with, how is one to move on with life?
  • 1 0
 Ride down is my video!
  • 2 3
 Not mentioned: Rachael Atherton dislocated her shoulder in the Fort William bog, ending her winning streak and title streak.
  • 6 0
 How is that controversial? Surprising? Yes. Controversial? No.
  • 3 6
 "we consider pedal-assist bikes to be part of the fabric of the sport now".. I believe it's part of the activity, certainly not any type of fabric.
  • 6 0
 Not yet, but soon. Anyone who rides my Levo is instantly converted and starts thinking about buying one. Most guys say they will most likely buy one in the next 1-3 years as a replacement for their current DH bike that doesn't get enough use.
  • 24 26
 Lopes is such a dickhead Dead Horse
  • 1 0
 jesus flatlander is that what you got out of it ? kabush is retarded for f*ck s sake
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