Champery World Championships 2011 - Day 3

Aug 31, 2011
by Ian Hylands  
 
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Just another beatiful day at the office.
  Just another beautiful day at the office.

Duncan Riffle makes his way out of the start gate for team USA.
  Duncan Riffle makes his way out of the start gate for team USA.

Aaron Gwin. Judging by his speed on the track already he is the man to beat once again this week. Aaron has a quiet confidence about him this week. No swagger no trash talk. A man on a mission.
  Aaron Gwin. Judging by his speed on the track already, he is the man to beat once again this week. Aaron has a quiet confidence about him this week. No swagger, no trash talk. A man on a mission.

This could very well be your new Elite Women DH Champ. Floriane Pugin has been coming on strong all season. Home soil here for Pugin too. The only possible wrench in the monkey works is the fact that it s supposed to rain--no surprises it is after all Champery--and she rides clips. And the legendary Champery mud will clog clips in seconds.
  This could very well be your new Elite Women DH Champ. Floriane Pugin has been coming on strong all season. Home soil, here for Pugin, too. The only possible wrench in the monkey works is the fact that it's supposed to rain--no surprises; it is, after all, Champery--and she rides clips. And the legendary Champery mud will clog clips in seconds.

Loic Bruni is rocking the number 2 plate but beating out Troy Brosnan is likely going to be a tall order.
  Loic Bruni is rocking the number 2 plate, but beating out Troy Brosnan is likely going to be a tall order.

Ben Reid shows everyone what happens when you jump the hip to flat. Into the trees and a cloud of dust you go.
  Ben Reid shows everyone what happens when you jump the hip to flat. Into the trees and a cloud of dust you go.

Luke Stroble is killin it for the USA amp MS Evil. Laughing joking and having fun all the way down the track.
  Luke Stroble is killin' it for the USA & MS Evil. Laughing, joking and having fun all the way down the track.

Brendawg takes to the air on his shiny new ride. I haven t seen him this excited to ride his downhill bike all season. Watch out he could be a sleeper in Switzerland.
  Brendawg takes to the air on his shiny new ride. I haven't seen him this excited to ride his downhill bike all season. Watch out, he could be a sleeper in Switzerland.

Needles gets loose in the dust up top. Rain is on tap for tomorrow and traction may actually get better when the track tacks up.
  Needles gets loose in the dust up top. Rain is on tap for tomorrow, and traction may actually get better when the track tacks up.

A little bit sideways...
  A little bit sideways...

A relaxed Syndicate team on the uplift with none other than Gary Perkin the Vital MTB ninja. Enjoy the sunshine boys the forecast is for rain.
  A relaxed Syndicate team on the uplift with none other than Gary Perkin, the Vital MTB ninja. Enjoy the sunshine, boys; the forecast is for rain.

Ben Reid try 2. This time he stayed on track .
  Ben Reid, try #2. This time he stayed on track.

This does not look like the side of an elevator shaft but I damn near had to use crampons and ropes to perch here for this shot.
  This does not look like the side of an elevator shaft, but I damn near had to use crampons and ropes to perch here for this shot.

Marcelo got 4 runs in somehow this morning. He is serious about doing well here in Switzerland.
  Marcelo got 4 runs in somehow this morning. He is serious about doing well here in Switzerland.

Luke Strobel sending it with some NW flair.
  Luke Strobel sending it with some NW flair.

Again the man to watch. Funny how this track doesn t really look steep from this angle.
  Again, the man to watch. Funny how this track doesn't really look steep from this angle.

Super fan here was riding the chair up and down all day during practice and sniping away.
  Super fan here was riding the chair up and down all day during practice, and sniping away.

Swiss MTB fans redefining the term give it more cowbell.
  Swiss MTB fans redefining the term "give it more cowbell."

Caffeine really does run the MTB world. Benno of Specialized Factory racing rocking the new Italian machine.
  Caffeine really does run the MTB world. Benno of Specialized Factory racing rocking the new Italian machine.

The captain of the good ship GT Steve Spencer working hard to keep things loose in the GT pits.
  The captain of the good ship GT, Steve Spencer, working hard to keep things loose in the GT pits.

Big Mike at Fox Racing Shox using the by feel torque setting.
  Big Mike at Fox Racing Shox using the "by feel" torque setting.

Brook MacDonald s bike s seeing a new set of decals every day courtesy of Christian the lead wrench at MS-Evil.
  Brook MacDonald's bike's seeing a new set of decals every day, courtesy of Christian, the lead wrench at MS-Evil.

Not a whole lot of rocks on this track to put a wheel out of true yet somehow Sam Blenkinsop found a way to keep Jack busy. Most be all the body english Blenki puts on the bike.
  Not a whole lot of rocks on this track to put a wheel out of true, yet somehow Sam Blenkinsop found a way to keep Jack busy. Most be all the body english Blenki puts on the bike.

Brake bleeds. Jacy s favorite activity. At most races bleeds only happen if racers have an issue of some kind. On this track they re pretty much mandatory at the end of each practice. Champery is hard on brakes.
  Brake bleeds. Jacy's favorite activity. At most races, bleeds only happen if racers have an issue of some kind. On this track, they're pretty much mandatory at the end of each practice. Champery is hard on brakes.

The entire track here has TV cables strung up and down it. Coverage should be exceptional. There s even a relay station in this hut halfway up the mountain. Freecaster won t be around for the World Cups next year according to owner Ray Dulieu due to budget concerns. At least they are going to go out in style
  The entire track here has TV cables strung up and down it. Coverage should be exceptional. There's even a relay station in this hut halfway up the mountain. Freecaster won't be around for the World Cups next year, according to owner Ray Dulieu, due to budget concerns. At least they are going to go out in style!


Must Read This Week

82 Comments

  • + 38
 No freecaster for DH next year?
  • + 4
 Yeah... The TV rights are for sale..
  • + 54
 maybe they'll come back as "paycaster" and their budget concerns will go away
  • + 4
 They tried that a year or so ago and everyone complained. So the teams and UCI stepped in a paid them a whack of money (don't quote me on any details) and they made it free. Obviously it's not working...
  • + 19
 How much? If everyone on PB donated donated a few quid to Freecaster, surely they'd get it? C'mon, community!
  • + 22
 Id be up for donations, Freecaster has done wonders for the sport.
  • + 19
 if the rights get sold to a TV channel, I'll be stopping my dad watching that shee-ite sport named... "golf"... on a weekend.
  • + 51
 I'm pretty sure that golf is not a sport.....
  • + 19
 TV means no Warner and that would suck big style. I'd happily pay Freecaster to watch WCs without tech glitches.
  • + 11
 No worries, i am sure you will still hear him shouting "look at the time" where ever you are...

Hopefully coverage is sorted or next year.
  • + 3
 im so stoked to see this World Champs broadcast
  • + 26
 it's highly (highly) unlikely this would happen. But imagine the rights were bought by BBC (american equivalent?) . It would bring the sport into new era. More money. More sponsors. More events. It would awesome. I'm not saying Freecaster is shit. I'm saying that this sport has so so much more potential than 5 camera's strapped on the hill. I know Eurosport do the events (well some at least). But it's not brilliant coverage. This great sport deserves the coverage like F1. Unlikely in the near future, but imagine coverage of qualifying, and have presenters, like Mr Barel. and have pre-race topics and things like that. So don't take this the wrong way.. But maybe it's not an awful thing if someone else has a crack at it. My ideas are a long shot at the moment, but i can see it in the future, Our sport being big. I'm not dissing Freecaster at all, because they have done wonders for DH and 4X and even XC. My ideas. Cheers for listening haahahaa. Jonah Smile
  • + 2
 so true
  • + 7
 Yeah why does tour de france get so much more coverage than off road biking? Not cool!
  • + 10
 Would you really want downhill turning mainstream though? Sponsorship dictating results, corruption and the whole celebrity bullshit side? I personally think it would ruin the sport. Compare the atmosphere at Ft William now with a few years back; Back then it was a huge party on the hill - lads, beer and banter, a proper troop of supporters, now its steadily turning into a family outing and gentle clapping - Yeah maybe thats a little exaggerated but you definitely notice its lacking something that was there not so many years back. As with all opinions though, maybe its just me.
  • + 5
 when i saw no freecaster i literally just placed my head in my hands and started crying
  • + 13
 ^ Take your skirt off mate, eat some concrete.
  • + 1
 People with ideas like you Steezysix make the world better, count me in. Let's free Freecaster
  • + 12
 Interesting to read the comments on the forum. I keep reading that people would happily fund the coverage but to date for the worlds we have registered 700 pay per view passes, we need 5000 to cover costs .... so much to the business side of things. As to coverage, you all think MTB deserves TV coverage but the reality is that the sport attract 100.000 viewers world-wide online, that is not an audience for TV and hence MTB World Cup will not make it to TV any time soon. The only option is to grow the popularity of the sport first and show big numbers on the web, then some satellite and cable TV channels might show interest but they will not pay rights nor fund the TV production which is stuck with 5-7 cameras per race as long as there isn't a sponsor willing to fund the world cup and then we're back to square one, no sponsor is interested unless there is an audience. For the last 5 years, I've invested with Freecaster to grow the sport and yet the numbers just don't add up. There aren't enough viewers and thus not enough sponsors and thus not enough revenues. If the coverage is to have a future on Freecaster it will be down to the fans and so far for the worlds I'm counting 700 not the thousands that one would expect are out there. So if you want to play an active role, buy your pass and get your friends to join. If we sell more than 5000 passes for the worlds, then maybe we can reassess the options for the future
  • + 7
 The big problem to buy a pass is that, despite of the fact that you want to see it, sometimes the show doesn't deserve what they cost. To pay just for the race and nothing else is a little short. Paying a pass one would expect a special program talking about the race before it, remembering some data and statistics (oh, everyone love this...), graphics and all that stuff, interviews... as sweeneyrider says. Something that make you think "Race day, man. Popcorn, beers and my couch. I'll stay at home". But pay just for the bare race... I don't see it. Yeah, it cost money but if you want to have people paying for it you have to deserve that.

This doesn't remove the fact that freecaster is one of the very few places which had tried something with MTB sport and we are grateful for it.
  • + 2
 Ray-freecaster, it's now 701 purchases. I was going to purchase a couple of hours before the race but your message was a call to arms for me. If each race attracts 100,000 viewers online does it make the streaming viable at $2-$3 per race? I for one am willing to pay $20-$40 per race for two hours of viewing and Robs commentary.
It's six months until next season starts and I'm hoping an appropriate outcome is achieved between now and then. I'd hate to return to the days when I got into MTB (around 1997) when seeing World Cup footage was a fantasy. The service Freecaster has provided has been fantastic and I'm immensely grateful. What Freecaster has done for the accessibility of viewing MTB racing cannot be under estimated, and to those complaining about a fee, you don't know what you got until it's gone. Thankyou Ray and the team at Freecaster, I'm extremely appreciative Smile
  • + 1
 no freecaster=no rob warner.... Frown
  • + 1
 tv rights for sale? Ill buy them!! £20 first bid
  • + 1
 I would purchase a pass to watch the World Champs without any hesitation if it weren't for the technical glitches i've experienced with Freecaster to date... some of these may be due to my own band width in my location... but others like audio problems, timing problems, and 100% absent minded (although comical) commentating are on freecaster.. so I am hesitant to pay. If the coverage was reliable, complete, and a bit more in-depth.. i'd sign up for Champs and every WC weekend, happily and without hesitation. Just making the point that quality of delivery is another factor when it comes to drawing in the numbers... one (potential) viewer's opinion anyways.
  • + 1
 I'd like to buy a pass to watch the world champs but the weekend it's on is the weekend i move house and thus have no internet connection, epic fail! It'll be a shame to not have freecaster next year, but i for one would pay for it if the option were there
  • + 2
 Add another pass purchased to the tally. Watching live streaming world cups, listening to Rob and crew, the whole waking up early when it's in Europe. I just don't want to imagine life without that. Now I just have to hope our Whistler condo has the wifi's this weekend! Cheers Freecaster, we love you!
  • + 1
 ray-freecaster, why dont you start a season long pass of twenty bucks or something. i believe that may work and then five bucks a race maybe?
  • + 1
 Yeah I have to agree that 30 euros just for raceday is a tat bit heavy on the budget for a 'privateer' ... What I am wondering though - the are a couple of multi-million dollar corporations like specialized, santa Cruz, etc which benefit from these a lot due to their products being advertised (picture by how much the sales of TREK must have gone up after this season) - therefore I wonder why they don't step in and help funding because its only in their interest to do so??
  • + 1
 Purchased! I have watched every race for the past few years. There is nothing like waking up to "LOOK AT THE TIME!"
  • + 1
 I've watched every race for the last few seasons and can't express how much joy Freecaster has brought me and my riding buddies. So for that i thank you.

@Ray-Freecaster I am planning on paying for the service come race day, as I'm sure many others are. i don't think you can count the number who have pre-paid three days before the race as a good representation of the amount who will pay come race day. If possible could you comment after the race and let us know how many signed up and if you broke even. I agree with many others that it would be such a loss to not have the coverage next season so it would be nice to keep the lines of communication open with the fans and let us know what it would take to keep you guys providing the service.

Roll on Sunday...
  • + 2
 Road gets more coverage than DH because it generates more money... for every grom out on a $3000 dh bike being awesome shreding the gnar in his sam hill replica TLD pajamas, there's five fat dentists out riding $10,000 road bikes. As long as the majority of downhill riders are teenage douchebags downhill will flounder for mainstream coverage... it's were snowboarding was in the late 80's right now... and even 20+ years and after huge progress, even snowboarding isn't all tha mainstream. DH has a very long way to go in terms of its image before it'll ever be mainstream.

As far as paid freecaster goes... and with apologies to Ray but, if they put out a product worth paying for, the budget concerns would take care of themselves. Their video is occasionally choppy, their bandwidth mediocre, and their camera coverage on track is questionable so basically, it's not a product anyone is goign to be too excited about paying for. Case in point, the freecaster site won't even load right now and the Rob Warner course preview took my 50mbps connection 5 minutes to buffer... Rolleyes I downloaded a 6gb copy of Solidworks last night in 20 minutes but an 8 minute video takes 5 just to start buffering, not awesome at all...

If DH ever got enough exposure for Versus or someone bought the rights and broadcasted it in HD like they do the TdF, I'd take that over shitty internet video any day of the week but the reality is, it's just too small market for any broadcast organization with the infrastructure to do it justice to be bothered with covering it.
  • + 1
 just to follow-up on my previous comment.. I couldn't resist and purchased the pass to watch the Champs.. even though I don't seem to have the bandwidth to watch any of the other videos on Freecaster (course rides, 4X replay, interviews, team vids, etc).. somehow the live feed streamed just fine.. What an awesome show... The women's race was a complete gong show with no correlation between times / commentary / and the rider on screen.. but of course that was due to the expedited starting gaps and a whole bunch of passing.. the beginning of the men's also provided confusion but some great entertainment at the same time.. lots of passing.. 'dual DH'.. big props to the guys ripping on single crown SX trails (insane!) and the MRI comments were pretty hilarious... by the time the top 20 were rolling, it was just awesome... after Hart's run, Nigel and Rob were basically speechless for Athertor and Minaar.. and Gwin's run was tight.. too bad about his crash as it would have been good too see if he could have pulled in that second or two... but with Danny's lower 1/2.. hard to imagine. Brett Tippie's camio appearance had me in stitches... I think Nigel does a good balancing act to help keep Rob on topic and to bring a bit more technical commentary to the show... also, the camera coverage was the best i've seen yet by far... overall, awesome show.. thanks and hope to see it back with even more improvement next season.
  • + 10
 lets have a better look at that "s-works" demo!
  • + 2
 beat me to it!
carbon demo?
  • - 31
flag ricardoPT (Aug 31, 2011 at 12:20) (Below Threshold)
 its not a s works demo or a carbon demo,as far as I know is the new status
  • + 1
 isn´t that a sexy machine dude ? Smile i want One..
  • + 1
 Cardon front end and aluminium rear end
  • + 2
 Christo is there anything about bikes that you dont know??
  • + 1
 it was on dirt or vital I think
  • + 3
 That is clearly not a Status. There doesn't seem to be nearly the media or fanboy hype around the Carbon Demo that there was around the Carbon Session a couple of months ago.
  • + 4
 because carbon is becoming standard, i dont get why everyone jizzed when the heard about the v10c when gt release their carbon bike the year before to no hype at all
  • + 1
 When Gwin raced on the Session 9.9 at Mont Sainte Anne earlier this summer, it got almost as much coverage as the race itself!!!!
  • + 2
 It just depends on whether the bike companies give the websites and magazines a lot of info or not.
  • + 1
 ...And which companies the sites get support from.
  • + 1
 On that link from Whitetux . . . look at the pictures and the photo of Sam and his demo, it looks SO raked out compared to Troys.
  • + 3
 We saw the carbon Demo at Crankworx a month or so ago for those that were paying attention. You can see it here it doesn't look like much has changed since then, these ones just have nice shiny paint on them.
  • + 1
 The only reason the Session got a lot more coverage is because the man of the moment (and probably many more....) Aaron Gwin is riding it!
  • + 3
 No Home Soil for Pugin. France is (very) close and the Savoie flag on her helmet looks like a swiss flag but it's not. But I guess there'll be plenty of french guys (me!) to support her and all others actually
  • + 1
 I was gonna say that.
She might not live far from Champery/Switzerland, France is her "home soil", not Switzerland.
  • + 1
 Really want to see someone beat Gwin for once (fantastic athlete but is anyone else abit fed up?) and would be stoked to see Loic beat Troy, but these are all dreams..
  • + 1
 The UCI have just announced a three year sponsorship deal with “RockyRoads Network, the largest European on-line biking platform for the mountain bike, BMX, trials and cyclo-cross disciplines” . Sounds like Freecaster.tv is out which is too bad.
  • + 3
 Brendan Fairclough back in a Troy lee designs d3 helmet too! That makes the whole team back in them.......just can't beat a d3.
  • + 1
 I thought Brendan was gonna be rockin the new Carbon Specialized Dissident lid???
  • + 1
 I want freecaster! I like seeing how freeking fast these guys are. I really liked the side by side clips.If a politician can raise 600 million to blow on bs,freecaster can be saved.
  • + 3
 no freecaster! wtf why? id happily subscribe to the whole season if i means i get to it live or re runs!!!
  • + 0
 I remember when the BBC did coverage one year, apparently they had so many complaints from the arm chair football beer belly brigade as it was on when footy should have been on, so they didn't bother again.
  • + 3
 That's upsetting. This sport is so much more entertaining than ball sports. I don't know how it is there, but it is VERY rare to catch WRC on the television. Instead we get nonstop Nascar, how is Nascar cooler than WRC?!
  • + 1
 i dont get that either, each time i tune into Motors TV (there is some sort of such channel in my network, apparently its American), they are showing Nascar again. Like WTF? these guys are just doing endless and endless laps on a circle boring as hell. And even on the days of WRC races - say hello to Nascar.
  • + 4
 BRENDAWG FOR THE WIN!!!
  • + 1
 i hope hes got his agression back, hes one of the best to watch
  • + 1
 Such an awsome stile
  • + 1
 Come on Guys... who has a Millionaire Daddy to buy those Tv rights ???? Frown no DH world Cup on Freecaster next year Frown Pleeeeease Kill Meeee Frown
  • + 2
 awesome shots!! i would be gutted if freecaster doesn't do coverage of the world cup next year Frown
  • + 1
 Some fabulous photos there, making me VERY jealous not to be in attendance, but guessing it will be one hell of a last outing for Freecaster and one I won't be missing
  • + 1
 C'mon Minnaar, be the one to wear the stripes next year. Kill it tup
  • + 1
 does anyone know what time it will be on freecaster in cali?

I feel llike i'm gonna be getting up as 5am or something, haha
  • + 1
 so what do u guys think about the new spez bike? Hope they keep on selling the demo.
  • + 1
 They're still selling the alu. Demo's for 2012, the lineup is on Spesh's site now. But man, carbon Demo's are just... plain... BOSS... Eek
  • + 2
 Damn I love these photographers segments! Thanks PB
  • + 2
 what? no more LOOK AT THE TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • + 1
 the world cups will never be the same again...
  • + 1
 That's worked out real nice that the shot of Jack truing the wheel is right at the 'Precision hand built' sticker.
  • + 2
 i would put that camera strap round my neck if i was him!!!
  • + 1
 haha I know, I always think the same thing when a see a review of a camera on youtube and theyre waving it all over the place
  • + 1
 I think sam is going to go for it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! cheers
  • + 1
 Whoa, what bike is Floriane Pugin riding? It sure aint a Gambler..
  • + 1
 Is that a Fox specific vice grip that Big Mike is using?
  • + 1
 They're made by Knipex. Flat jaw, adjustable and self ratcheting pliers. Awesome for working on stuff with smaller wrench flats!
  • + 1
 Specialized Espresso Cups! Boss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • + 1
 aaawwwh f*ck This !!! i can´t take it.. gonna catch a Plane to Champéry
  • + 1
 Luke Strobel is a hoss.

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