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Video: Complete Carnage in Loudenvielle | Story of The Race with Ben Cathro

Sep 4, 2023
by Pinkbike Originals  

Ben Cathro with the biggest stories from this weekend's downhill race.

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Member since Feb 15, 2012
1,153 articles

  • 134 1
 Epic race track, exciting race, and much improved commentary with the addition of Gwin. This is where we give kudos to the powers that be, right? Or do we only address their decisions when we hate them?
  • 11 10
 I’m not really paying attention to DH this year but what’s up with gwin not racing? Is he injured?
  • 7 0
 @nskerb: I forget which race, but he broke his hand or elbow in a practice.
  • 3 0
 @borlowski90: lenzerheide
  • 30 7
 Comments about the broadcast quality account for 90% of this season's race-related comments. Are we going to do this forever? Change sucks and then it doesn't. The end.
  • 15 1
 @BenPea: yeah it would be nice to go to the comments and actually see discussion about the race instead of constant moaning about the broadcast, take what you can get and enjoy the unreal racing that is still happening.
  • 3 2
 @liveslowdiewhenever: It is not like comments really do add a lot anyway, even during the RB period I would often reduce the volume or mute and enjoy the riders.

At least there is an option to get only ambient sound, the moaners should use that and shut up.
  • 3 0
I've used ambient sound because I don't like the commentators. Focused on great racers and the last race in Loudenvielle was excellent.

The encouragement of the spectators and the sounds coming from the bike are the best commentary.
  • 1 0
 @opignonlibre: wait really? How do we get that? I’m using gcn+
  • 12 1
 @BenPea: no we'll probably just complain until it returns to high standard that was previously upheld.

that said Gwin completely crushed it in the booth. the little bits of backstory he was able to provide on athletes and technical breakdown of how they navigated key sections was exactly the kind of thing most of us want to hear. not Cedric repeatedly yelling something about going faster or Rick using his signature phrase "to the good." these guys need to walk the pits and talk to the guys like Rob used to do.
  • 1 0
 @shandtke: I am using eurosport, suprised if GCN+ would not allow it
  • 5 1
 I don't even know where i can watch it anymore.
  • 4 0
 @shandtke: When the video is playing, click on what looks like a speech bubble in the lower right corner and you will get the options
  • 2 0
 @mcharza: Thanks for the info! This is a game-changer. Unless they let Gwinn continue to commentate I'll be watching all the races with the ambient sounds on.
  • 88 0
 Ben's breakdowns are always worth the watch.. even if hes just drawing d***s on the screen.
  • 44 1
 Cathro and Gwin would be an outstanding commentary duo. Use your industry contacts and get it done please PB.
  • 31 0
 I think both would prefer to be injury-free and racing
  • 25 0
 Nice to see Cathro having access to the race footage. It really helps to understand what went on. Also agree with the value of AG's contributions to the commentary. It felt like the shoe fit so let's hope that we get to benefit more from that in the future. To me it feels like all the building blocks are there for some first-class coverage of the downhill World Cups. Let's hope that they learn from this season and come back next year with an improved package.
  • 25 0
 Kudos to Discovery for having Aaron Gwin there. Hope it continues, and when he's back get another current and injured rider in there. Should have done the same for the women's.

Made such a nice contrast with proper analysis instead of the repetitive "she's really strong", "he's on a run" that we get from Cedric and Ric.

Highlight for me though was Daprela's crash....and his reaction. Most mortals would have been not even standing up after a crash like that, let alone looking around for your bike to keep racing.
  • 2 0
 it will be interesting to see how Daprela gets on this week. Hopefully he's not too injured and can race. Not sure how old this rule is 4.18.018 UCI ELITE MTB TEAMS have the obligation to participate with minimum 1 rider at all UCI World Cup events. If this is not the case the UCI ELITE MTB TEAM status is removed immediately and the team is not able to register as a UCI ELITE MTB TEAM for the following season. In this case there is no refund of the registration fees. That would leave just Hugo in jumiors for the Commencal team. I think there is a injury provision for Amaury and Myriam since they have missed 3 races. or they could start to use a replacement rider
  • 2 0
 @bgoldstone: Classic UCI rule
  • 5 0
 It was nice to have something other than screaming and fake hype. He gave a really nice insider point of view.
  • 1 0
 @bgoldstone: he's out with a broken hand
  • 25 1
 Ben is just sooooo excellent! Top flight analysis paired with entertaining commentary and story-telling. Great job this week- best one ever
  • 23 0
 Good shout out to Gwin. I really enjoyed Gwin's commentary. I do appreciate how injured riders are brought in for commentary this season.
  • 14 0
 Think my computers broke as it seems there’s a PB article with no comments.

Either that or I’m spending way to much time on PB at the mo.
  • 16 0
 I liked Gwin's commenting but I'd rather watch him racing.
  • 4 0
 Dude he was riding really well last year too.
  • 13 0
 Gwin killed it.
  • 1 3
 Gwin's bukkake... please stop it.
  • 8 0
 The third mistake of Dakota was perfection and commitment broo!!. I saw the whole race in that curve. Only Dakota, Bruni and Bernard tried but Kerr he landed short, and Bruni touched the rock a bit but saved it. Dakota flew into the corner clearing the drop! entering the Curve line like no other, without hitting the greasy area that Kerr and Hart did. Definitely a podium race mistake.
  • 4 0
 I've been missing the red bull highlights show from previous years, thanks pb for giving us some good content. I suppose it would be a stretch too far to get cathro doing similar stuff for the enduro as well?!
  • 7 0
 Good commentary all round.

''..can you smell the green?''
  • 6 0
 lol, the groans from Rick and Gwin after that were priceless
  • 3 0
 Hey Ben, there were 32 riders in the final. If Finn had finished last he wouldn't have scored any points. Hard to say if he could've stopped, pushed back up to where he exited, then get back up to speed within a minute, as that's what he would have to have done in order to finish in front of Dunne and score points.
  • 2 3
 I think that rule needs looked at, it promotes anti racing and not taking risks if you're riding for the points. If someone goes off the track, penalize their time 2.5 seconds for the number of posts they miss unless it looks like a deliberate course cutting move or they completely cut out a section of track, in which case it warrants a DSQ. How many people make mistakes and go off line and nothing happens because they don't leave the track, but then you leave the track, because you're out control the same as everyone else and you get DSQ'd for it unless you want to stop and push back up, in which case you lose the race. Imagine this, Jackson ends up winning his first World Cup overall in the opening year, which is huge. But he only wins it by a handfull more points than Finn and everyone knows that Finn should be the overall winner and only missed out thanks to blowing his feet off and missing some posts, losing the WC because you didn't stop and push back up is so dumb, it's a rule that suits cross country not DH. Or Bruni wins another WC overall thanks to that.
  • 7 0
 @on-the-move: That rule has been in the rulebook for DH, Enduro and presumably XC for a long time. It doesn't promote "anti-racing", it just makes it a level playing field. You're all riding the same course, not being able to pick and choose which bits you do or don't want to ride.

It isn't always about gaining time either, it could be minimising risk. Taking a 2.5sec time penalty for avoiding a potentially risky part of track would be worth it for a lot of riders, especially with how consistency is rewarded in the overall now (with semis and finals).

F1 has subjective track limits rules, and almost every race there's talk about how they are or aren't enforced, how stewards made the decision over who gained time and whether that was right or wrong or not - would you want a title decided by a random UCI official deciding if someone intentionally left a course, for example?

The rule as it is now is clear-cut, and that's why it's been a part of the rules for so long. Everyone knows what it is, and if you make a mistake and go off course you pay the price.
  • 2 0
 Did Finn actually realise what he did? I like the reusable posts in most of the course but dont they also have some tape they could use to make it clearer?
The rule is fine.
  • 1 0
 Jackson at 9.45??
  • 1 0
 @Stickyson: Was wondering the same and waiting for them to say he got DQ'd as well. Maybe that clip was from practice or something?
  • 2 0
 @NealWood: 1st clip was practice
  • 1 2
 @CleanZine: He isn't picking and choosing what part he wanted to ride, he made a mistake that pushed him off the track and immediately tried to get back on it but was way down the course just like that. Like I said, if you're deliberately cutting the course you get DSQ but if you f*ck up and end up off it, it shouldn't be a DSQ.
  • 1 0
 @on-the-move: My point still stands that you're making a black-and-white decision come down to a personal opinion on the part of whoever is officiating. In racing that is almost never a good thing, and as many sports have shown (again, F1) it ends up worse off for being that way.
  • 5 3
 Considering the low numbers in womens elite they should extend the time between riders to allow each rider to have more screen time.

For example Pheobe Gale started, I looked away and the next second shes at the finish, I’d wondered if I’d blacked out and missed her run.
  • 3 0
 this was stated on the downtime pod les gets pre-race, but apparently they ran 4 minute gaps between the women during finals, the largest gaps ever given for womens racing. if bits of runs were missing that would be on the producer, who by all appearances frequently just picks which camera to cut to next at random.
  • 3 0
 What a amount of adrenaline, crashes and hot moments for such an "easy boring track that grandmothers and grandfathers could ride".
Thanks Ben for this excellent report, as always.
  • 4 0
 At least ten of the finest bike riders on the planet being ejected by the track, some of the comments here before the race were ridiculous. Hope it stays on the calendar
  • 1 0
 @HankHank: They're call coming from people who have never watched a go pro of the stuff they ride that they think is steep and then look at it and realize it's flat af compared to what these guys ride.
  • 3 0
 Brilliant job breaking it down for us!
  • 3 0
 Amazing content as always Cathro!
  • 3 0
 Very very good race review Ben
  • 4 1
 Thank you Ben
  • 2 0
 Excellent Ben Cathro and team
  • 2 0
 Cheers Ben, always a treat to watch these.
  • 2 0
 Ben Cathro you have won the internet today.
  • 4 3
 Does Ben realize his line drawing between the 2 rocks is seriously PG
  • 2 2
 Btw would it be hard to for race marshals to show the riders where to get back on track when they miss the tape?
  • 2 0
 nice content !
  • 5 7
 Do we not talk about how tight kit is getting. Bruni especially is basically in a skin suit over a skin suit. Thought that was banned. Also. Defo a weiner......
  • 8 0
 He's smart, having tighter clothes could be the difference between winning and not winning when fractions of a second seperates 1st & 2nd.
  • 2 0
 This was discussed in the commentary during the race.

As Cedric rode in the skin suit era he said gwyn and rik would call him a liar but nico vouillioz’s skin suit was saving him 5 seconds in just one section of the track, he did name the track but I can’t remember it.

He went on to say those skin suits weren’t just tight lycra but made from the same fabric and by the same company that was doing the dh skier suits at the time
  • 3 0
 I think the rules were it had to have like an inch of loose material. I think by having all the body armour underneath they might have been able to get around those rules
  • 2 0
 > he did name the track but I can’t remember it

Kaprun I think.
  • 3 0
 There are no longer rules around not wearing skin suits. These rules were removed this year.

Page 26 of the UCI MTB Regulations document, big red section which is a removal. assets.ctfassets.net/761l7gh5x5an/6qYIYIddcAPjN248n7tVDI/0537c489c50ee75d80d7948610c3a02a/UCI_MTB_Rules_-_Part_IV_-_ENG_-_V05.2023.pdf

Here is the text that is now no longer in force:

§ 3 4.3.011
> Jersey
> The jersey shall be a long-sleeved shirt whose sleeves extend down to the rider's wrists. Jerseys used in downhill events should be of a type specifically designed and sold for use in BMX Racing or Mountain Bike downhill events. Jerseys designed for road cycling, skinsuits, or one-piece suits comprising the jersey and the pants/shorts are not permitted for use in downhill events.
The jersey must be either close fitting around the waist or must be tucked into the pants before the start to not cause interference.

> Pants
> Long pants or short pants combined with suitable knee and shin protection are authorised. Such long or short pants should be of a type that is specifically designed and sold for use in BMX Racing or Mountain Bike downhill events. Long pants of the type described above must be of one-piece construction and made of tear-resistant material. They should cover the entire length of both legs until just above the shoe or ankle. Short pants of the type described above must be of one-piece construction and made of tear-resistant material. They should be worn together with suitable leg protection, that covers the entire knee and the entire shin until just above the ankle. (text modified on 1.01.23).
  • 1 0
 @cypher74: check out picture of Ben Cathro in PVC coated skinsuit back in 2008 at fort william

I heard an interview with Ben a few years back and he said that the time savings with this suit was a few seconds, which is massive in DH racing.

I personally don't want to see DH go back to skin suits. It makes more sense to wear kits that are mostly the same as what the public can buy.
  • 1 0
 @vesania: I agree. And it's been more than just this year. They've been creating tighter the last few years. Odd that I've been down voted for suggesting we are in danger of heading back to skin suits (I was aware the materials are different).

Its nearly like some of you perverts want them back!

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