Downhill's Decision Makers on the Future of World Cup Racing

Nov 27, 2018
by James Smurthwaite  
Loris Vergier s front wheel kicks off the ground as he digs into the final turns. He slipped down the standings from 2nd to 4th in the overall.

In the past six years, the UCI downhill mountain bike series has built to something close to its mid-90s peak. Six years after Red Bull took over the broadcasting rights, the live views have increased sixfold, including a rise of 50% in the last season alone. A big, headline sponsor is on board, top racers are able to negotiate six-figure salaries and, with the advent of social media, the sport now reaches more people than ever before.

Downhill is also starting to push its boundaries again. While last year’s push by Red Bull to create a more TV-ready package by fiddling with the start order left commenters foaming, the introduction of a new round and fresh tracks for next year was met with round all-round praise.

There are three men who take the lead on the future of downhill, Simon Burney, the UCI mountain bike co-ordinator, Christoph Tritscher from Red Bull Media House and Martin Whitely who acts as the team representative. We asked them for their thoughts on the big talking points of the 2018 season and where they see mountain biking heading in the future.




Start order shuffles

The most controversial change from the 2018 season was the introduction of a new race order format. From round one in Losinj it started to unravel as Brook MacDonald became the first unprotected rider since Mick Hannah in 2011 to qualify fastest but ended up starting mid-pack. With the rule scrapped for next year, we wanted to know if there was any chance of it returning.

Simon Burney, UCI

"Yeah, we got that wrong. Television really wanted to go with the World Cup leader always being the last rider down. They felt that other sports did it and it worked for those sports so we changed the regulation and then we did Losinj quali. The issues with the start list for the finals got such a heavy reaction: “this is crap, this isn't going to work, blah, blah, blah”. We literally had an emergency meeting with television that evening, and changed it to what we eventually did for the whole season.

"We had a situation where we could tweak the meaning of a reg but we can't change the way it's written during a season because of the process we have to go through. So we went through the season but I think everyone agreed that it wasn't right and for next year we're back to the protected riders and the fastest qualifiers in reverse quali order. The fastest qualifier will always be the last rider down.

Brook Macdonald cruising to the shuttle. It was always going to be a win it or bin it today.
Brook MacDonald on his fateful Losinj race day.

"I think television just thought that the sport wasn't willing to make big changes, that we were kind of a little bit stuck in traditional ways and I think they quite liked the idea of making some big changes but I don't really think with the reaction we got that the sport was ready for it."

Christoph Tritscher, Red Bull Media House

"So the whole start order thing this year, especially in Losinj, ended for me personally a little bit too early because the discussion started after qualifying so we never saw a race in this format.

"I still think it would have been great to test it with the World Cup leader starting last to see how it develops, I think there could have been a lot of interesting stories happening during a race with lead changes and everything like that. Of course, we also need to think how the protected riders are integrated, that's one major topic that is key for the sport in general.

"One fact is sure, we always try to give input to the UCI from a media perspective, what would make sense to help the product, in this case downhill mountain biking. But of course, the decision needs to be taken by the UCI.

"The whole discussion in Losinj was big, I love discussions but the decision was not made by us. Our idea was the World Cup's leader starting last but suddenly it was not Aaron Gwin starting last, it was Dean Lucas starting last. It was completely mixed up of the idea that was there two years ago but this was not ideal I would say. Now the UCI has a rule put in place that suits everyone and I look forward to see it morphing this year, or next year.

"Sometimes you need to risk like Formula One risked it in the past with the points for example. Risk needs to be involved to develop the sport further and see if we are on a good way or see if anything needs to be changed."

Martin Whiteley, Teams Rep

"I think Simon's right to say it’s best to put it behind us. I was a bit disappointed to see mid-season we couldn't change it more but we at least changed it in Croatia to have the fastest of the protected riders to go last.

Gee was riding confident in the mud and narrowly missed the win by just over a second.
Gee was also caught out by the regulations after qualifying fastest La Bresse.

"From a team point of view, and from my point of view having been in the sport from the beginning, there is something about earning the right to be the last man down the hill. Fastest on Saturday, last down on Sunday is something that we've had in our sport for a very, very long time. It's a tradition and it's very hard for someone who's coming in new, comparatively, and with a TV product they're trying to produce to understand there is a fan base and a tradition within our sport that has to be respected. More so, I'm one of the biggest fighters for five rider podiums, which is something Red Bull wanted to stop when they came in. It makes sense for us and that's who you're here to film.

"Sometimes there's a trade off when you bring in TV production. They're trying to heighten the product that they think will appeal to a wider audience so they come up with these ideas. We should never stop them from doing that because one day they'll think of something we've never thought of that actually makes great sense. In this case I think all the teams were on board with saying, whoever is fastest on Saturday goes down last on Sunday, so that's our position."

Track selection

Tracks are always a contentious issue in World Cup racing and, with an extra round and three new venues over the next two years, the future looks bright going forwards. We wanted to know if this was something we could expect more of in future.

Simon Burney, UCI

"Honestly it always depends on who bids for World Cups. We want to create the classics but I still think you need to give other races an opportunity to become a World Cup. Even if we go the same places year after year, like Mont Sainte Anne for example, we still try to encourage the organisers to throw new sections in that keep it interesting.

"I think we had 26 or 28 organisations this year that were interested in a World Cup and I think we ended up with 15 or 16 actual bids for 10 events. There are always new ones but there a lot of people who say I really want to do a World Cup but then they see what's involved and they maybe they don't have enough money or enough people or they don't have the infrastructure or something.

"Where we are now, we're totally limited by television budget. I think from a UCI point of view we could go one or two more but Red Bull have a budget they have to stick to and right now their budget allows us to do 10 events. And quite rightly, they've got production standards that they have to adhere to so they won't reduce costs to add more races. They want to make sure they've got a few good ones rather than a lot with not as many cameras or people or not as good a job."

The majority of this track is just full-on unfriendly.
Losinj was the first new track in years.

Christoph Tritscher, Red Bull Media House

"It's something that is budget related in the end because you can't go everywhere you would like to go. What is important for us is the mix of courses. I think especially this year and in '19 we will see a really good mix of courses. We will see natural courses, we will see steep courses.

"What we would like to see are courses like Losinj and La Bresse from a length perspective. Losinj for me was the perfect example because it was the first time in mountain bike downhill history where you can see a race from start to finish with the right start interval. Lourdes is also an example of a race length wise, which is great for us, you only have 20-30 seconds that you miss.

UCI visit on Maribor World Cup DH track from left Christoph Tritscher Red Bull Media House Simon Burney David Vazquez and Maribor WC director Iztok Kvas. Photo by Emrah zbay.
UCI visit on Maribor World Cup DH track, from left Christoph Tritscher (Red Bull Media House), Simon Burney, David Vazquez and Maribor WC director Iztok Kvas. Photo by Emrah Özbay.

"It will never be possible to cover Fort William from start to bottom. Technically it will be a huge investment first of all but secondly, and everyone forgets this, it's the start interval. The maximum start interval is 3:30 and Fort William is more than four minutes so it is not possible to do it within the time frame we have now.

"I am looking forward to 2019 to see how everything works there with the different kind of courses we have. Of course, for me personally, I would love to see one short course where we could do start to finish again but this was one of the things. Losinj for me was awesome, I liked the atmosphere there, I liked the course. I think it's good to have a mix of courses and everyone loved it."

Myriam Nicole with the quaint harbour finish line in the distance.
Not a second of the race run missed on Losinj for the top riders

Martin Whiteley, Teams Rep

"When it comes to a World Cup, my only criteria is that the tracks aren't all similar. To be a great World Cup champion, you have to be great on every course. As Aaron Gwin has often been quoted, he can never understand why there are some riders that can be amazing and win on one track one week and then you go to another track and they'll be 13th or 18th. He said if you're going to be a World Cup Champion you've got to be great on any track.

"Everyone was slamming Losinj before we went there but it turned out to create great racing but it's completely different to Mont Sainte Anne and it has to be like that. I would hate to see seven generic, homogenous tracks that have all fallen to criticism of the UCI, riders, teams saying hey you need to do this, that or whatever.

"I think there is a real benefit in having some classics but you do have to mix it up. When we went to Croatia, some went there for testing, some went there with a little headscratching but it's part of making our sport exciting.

"What everyone has to bear in mind is that unless someone is putting their hands up to run these things, we're not going to go anywhere. I get really tired of answering: "why don't we go to Schladming?" because no f**** person is holding their hand up to hold it there. You want to do it, you go and do it but if you're not prepared to take the financial risk, and it can be a big one, then stop complaining.

"One thing I'm a bit critical with, and I'm not going to be popular with this, is Fort William. When it's windy on a sunny day, we can't get to the top and you can't explain that to a television audience that doesn't see rain and mud. A couple of years ago we were talking about people pushing their bikes up to the gate or somewhere and to try and race from there. That to me is a big issue. It's a venue that has been there a long time but one day we're going to be hit with problem. There's no way I think that the teams would allow one round of the World Cup to be decided like that. We'd probably ask, like they did in MotoGP this year, that the round is cancelled but we shouldn't be in that position, and as much as the Fort William crowd is the best crowd, I'm nervous about a day where it's a beautiful sunny day but because there's wind, we're not having a race, that doesn't translate on the computer screen to people.

"The other thing on that is the bike park thing. We have to remember that bike parks keep the industry running, they help keep fans on bikes. We need more races and bike parks are a way in which you can hold races at a local level and if you're not holding races you can at least ride your bike. So we go visit those venues, we modify the track, we don't just run the single bike park track, we've got separate sections that are built for the race but some of the best races, as far as how close they are and how entertaining they are, are on those tracks. Leogang delivers year in year out with drama and high quality racing so I don't really follow that line of thinking. I think as long as it's one course in a seven course menu it's not a big deal. If they were all the same, then yes, I'd definitely have a problem."

Another one bites the dust.
Despite the doubters Leogang is far from easy at race pace.

Field size

With both men and women's fields on race day being cut by 25%, we wanted to know if this was where it was going to stay or we could expect, like some conspirators suspect, a gradual decline in numbers until we have a field size closer to Formula One.

Simon Burney, UCI

"I think it will stay as is now for a bit, it did what we needed it to. We were finishing the race earlier and I think two or three times for sure if we'd had last year's schedule we would have got caught out by the weather again.

"We were trying to finish as early as we could and by tweaking a few little things we were finishing exactly an hour earlier than we were before. Mountain weather comes in late afternoon in a lot of places and it worked really well.

"We still wanted to reduce the overall field size a bit so pressures on the course and training times were reduced. It might come across as a bit elitist but the World Cup is the top competition and we wanted to make sure the best people were in there. It's not like sport for all, you can't just show up to a World Cup. You have to get out there and prove yourself before you can enter.

"You've still got to give people an opportunity but I think right now the balance is good. I can't see any reason to go less than 60. I'm sure people were grumbling on websites but to me, to my face, it was all good."

 Kashima. Thursday is the busiest day of the weekend for the race support crews with riders and teams swarming to get forks and shocks serviced.
There is still no shortage of riders at a World Cup.

Christoph Tritscher, Red Bull Media House

"We are on quite a good level now with the 60s. This is my personal opinion right now, but I think 80 was too many people because it is a World Cup and not like an IXS Cup. In skiing, you need to be good in the European Cup to get in the World Cup and I think a similar situation would be good in downhill racing as well. If you have continental championships and then you get to the state where you can race in the elites, the best people should race in the World Cup.

"I think right now the TV product we have with 25 riders live, I think this works really well. Improvements should always happen and we are in constant exchange with UCI teams to talk about what's possible. I think especially in downhill there could be more possibilities I think."

Martin Whiteley, Teams Rep

"The teams were quite behind the idea to do 60 and that's not because we just worry about our top riders and don’t worry about independents or anyone else, many of us have riders that don't pass top 60 or even top 80, especially our development riders. All we're doing is reducing the number of riders on Sunday that are on track, and pre-course training on the morning, from 80 to 60, as we've done with the women the year before.

"You're not reducing the number seen on TV and you're not reducing the number that can enter a World Cup event, all you're doing is saying that 20 less will pass through on Sunday. Sorry for that but that increases the level because people have to work a lot harder to get into that final. I think it brought about a better final day because we now have four finals - junior men and women and elite men and women, we bring that to the fans, and we have to do it in a concise way so it won't be getting dark in South Africa or, as we've shown many times, we get Alpine summer thunderstorms rolling in at 4:30 and they tend to really disrupt the racing.

Loic having a little fun and drifting it into the finish coral.
The Lourdes washout of 2017. Would it have been avoided with a smaller field of riders?

"Now we're finishing at 4 or just before 4 and that has another couple of benefits, that allows pack up, because it takes a lot to pack up our pit area and pull all that apart and it also allows the fans to get on the road and get home because many of them have the multi-hour drive home, so there's a benefit to getting the race done before 4 as they do in cross country and the easiest and most logical way to do this was to look at field size and start times.

"I think to go down from 60 to 40, there might be some teams out there that think that's a great idea but I still think while you've got 45 teams with riders engaged and investments being made, 60 is a pretty good number to ensure that everyone gets a shot at the final. It's always looked at and there's nothing to say you get a couple of years at 60 and then the majority of the voices go back to 80, who knows but it's always reviewed but for now it felt pretty good."


MENTIONS: @rossbellphoto @davetrumpore @natedh9



Must Read This Week

159 Comments

  • + 173
 So Christoph Tritscher, why is it so hard to say "Sorry, messing with the start order was mistake." We respect "Sorry" more than contrived excuses.... it didn't work at any of the races. The biggest travesty: missing Martin Maes winning race run out of the live feed in La Bresse! come on... JUST SAY SORRY!
  • + 36
 Ya. I hate to hear things like "the sport just wasn't ready for it". That's a cop out - just say that it was a silly decision and you're sorry for it.
  • + 8
 Because the UCI is nothing but sanctioned silliness, so why would they be able to spot that 20-ton splinter in their pupil?
  • + 11
 The ego is hard to conquer. Yes it was a total fuck up, not one person liked it, the captain is sinking with his ship thinking it might still float. Sad. So sad.
  • + 4
 @Boardlife69: I also think saying that the WC is limited to the amount of locations because of budget is BS. For how much the UCI requires a resort to pay to host an event you know they have the cash. With planning you could set up a series of races between a couple continents and rotate them from year to year. Say Europe and Eurasia one year then the Americas and Europe the next. It's not really a WC when you have 5 races in Europe and one in Australia, Africa, etc.
  • + 13
 Not a UCI fan, but they admitted they were wrong and are changing it. There's no need for a professional organization to apologize for trying something new (if it doesn't have serious adverse effects on people). Sometimes ideas fail, that's just how business works.
  • + 5
 A report on Future of World Cup Racing & no mention of wheel sizes, whats happening?
  • + 7
 @aljoburr: it's already been settled a few months back...mix is ok.
  • - 1
 @coyotecycleworks: I do believe it when he says venues don't have the money it takes to have it the way they're having it now. But I'm wondering, what would we lose if they'd do it for less money? My (very uneducated) guess is that it would be harder to film, it would probably be harder for the audience to go up the hill and the track would be less prepared. If that'd be the case, it wouldn't bother me one bit. Sure some fans have become used to instant gratification. They want to see the thing live, I get that. I just used to read the race reports every other month in Dirt and got the Earthed dvd at the end of the season. And later of course you had several journalists who made their own edit for a magazine (like the Parkin brothers for Dirt) or for a trade team. So you'd get to see it the next day. If we'd go back to that in turn for more races then I'm all for it. To be honest I still can't be arsed to watch that much screen in a single go so I rarely or never watch the live stream. I read the reports and if there is a video available of a good run then yes I may go and watch that. But eventually I still need the Hurly Burly book.

TL;DR: If more races mean cheaper races which imply losing the live feed then I'm all for that.
  • + 5
 Why is an apology so important?
  • - 5
flag Rubberelli (Nov 27, 2018 at 22:00) (Below Threshold)
 Why apologize if you don't think you made a mistake? I agree that the WC leader should go down last. They are the most likely to win, not the top qualifier. It probably should go leader first, top qualifier 2nd, #2 WC third, #2 qualifier fourth and so on through the protected riders.
  • + 1
 @me2menow: well stated
  • + 1
 @me2menow: Agreed.

@Rubberelli: I do think the fastest qualifier should go last. If you're going to have qualifiers, it makes sense to make them as relevant as possible. For the past decade or so riders could gain points by qualifying well, so that was a major improvement over the way it was before. But getting every rider the opportunity to be the last to race in the finals (and getting all the exposure that goes with it) is a great motivation to do well in qualification. Finally, I'd argue that the WC leader is most likely to win. It is the fastest qualifier who has at least proven to be the fastest on that particular track the day before the finals. The WC leader has only proven to be most consistent over the previous rounds and may very well not even has won a single round. Finally of course, a great athlete could have missed the first few rounds due to injury and then later did poorly because of a mechanical. Now I see that your alternating start order solves some of that though I think it is going to be hugely confusing because obviously a good number of protected riders is going to qualify well anyway.
  • + 1
 @vinay: protected riders would race in whatever is the highest postion they are allowed to. Then their other spot would be eliminated and the order would bump up. Protected riders should also be able to give up their top spot and go to the end (first) if they want, which they might if they are injured.
  • + 1
 @coyotecycleworks: nice point, WHY is no WC race in Asia? Maybe Taiwan or Thailand? i think it will be interesting!
  • + 1
 Modern corporate marketing. Never admit fault, deny deny deny. The second I heard him say " I think there could have been a lot of interesting stories happening during a race with lead changes and everything like that" yeah, there already are Christoph, what with the person in the hot seat changing and all. Also, your name is Christoph and you don't have an oxford graduate level understanding of the english language or how to present yourself as at least that intelligent? The f*ck Redbull, you pick names out of a hat or actually look at resumes?

And who the f*ck says it all needs to be live? Delay the motherf*cker a little and show us every run. Not like it's ever really live anyways, invest in some telcom infrastructure you cheap bastards.

And your drink tastes like dirty socks smell. Monster Energy actually tastes good you lazy f*cks.

Redbull offers free and shitty partial coverage of too many sports. The drink isn't healthy, for f*cks sake someone else out bid them.
  • + 1
 @matzx: I believe there was a race in Japan years back but I feel like China, Japan, Russia all have some great spots
  • + 7
 As Redbull already have the cameras up on the hill and everything set up, why not show is the top three juniors runs?
So much talent now in the juniors I’d love to watch their runs, even if it’s just highlights. Surely it would encourage more teams to have junior riders especially in the women’s field knowing that their runs would make the broadcast.
  • + 1
 @Rubberelli: you must be new to this DH thing?
  • + 1
 @ColquhounerHooner: I've been watching for several years.
  • + 71
 Agree with all changes and points made, these guys have all done great things for DH and the series is definitely on the up and up. 50% viewership growth in one year is huge and will bring more big sponsors so more venues might apply and more money for riders through bigger purses and sponsorship deals.

Also props to Red Bull Media House on the production side this year. Losnj especially with the entire track shown was so cool to see.
  • + 15
 The series is awesome at the moment, I love the coverage and how pro it's getting.
  • + 18
 Thanks to everyone involved in making dhwc on rbtv great.
If the riders are stoked and the racing is exciting, I dont care if parts of the track are missing from the tv coverage. The longer tracks seem more exciting as there is more suspense. I felt a bit let down by one of the short tracks ( sorry cant remember the one) Redbull tv, length does matter!
  • - 1
 According to Redbull an upward tick of 50%. I dare you to corroborate that number with any other entity. ISP's and Nielsen sure as f*ck aren't reporting those numbers.
  • + 35
 "Sometimes you need to risk like Formula One risked it in the past with the points for example. Risk needs to be involved to develop the sport further and see if we are on a good way or see if anything needs to be changed."

This is a very worrying quote to hear. Please, for the love of all that is sacred, do not follow the lead of Formula 1 in ANYTHING! If ever there was a sport that has destroyed itself by listening to the corporate manufacturers and over reliance on fan surveys, it is Formula 1. They have gotten rid of almost everything that made it great screaming v10s, gravel traps, grid girls, unpredictable reliability and introduced crap like DRS, the Halo and a never ending host of gimmicks to improve the spectacle.

Listening to what the fans think they want is a terrible idea and so is listening to corporate manufacturers who are just trying to use the sport as a PR exercise. There are people who understand everything that makes the sport great and they should be listened to. Get Peaty, Voulliouz, etc to thrash it out. They know better than anyone and then let the PR people work around that vision, not the other way around.
  • + 56
 What?

V10s got rid of because the new units are more inline for filter down technology going to road cars and it’s what the engine manufacturers wanted

Overtaking would be pretty damn hard without DRS since following a car reduces your downforce and makes you slower

Gravel traps are no longer the safest method of slowing a car down

Grid girls are about a change in public perception and where women are seen in the sport, also makes it more family friendly

Unpredictable reliability, I don’t see how this is a thing they worked out by rules, funny enough every team wants to finish every race

The halo is a safety device, maybe you should tell riders not to wear full face helmets and goggles cause it doesn’t look cool?

Honestly your opinion is invalid, formula one has changed to get a greater viewership, increase safety and decrease costs (or the big teams would dominate even further)

I’m glad they are trying things, they admitted it didn’t work but hey at least they tried something, the worst thing any sport can do is stand still and rest on its laurels
  • + 7
 Exactly - spot on. Tritscher can’t seem to just apologise and say we made a mistake and move in like the UCI guy and you are so right about F1 it is a joke now and it losing viewers so to cite that as an example as he did is laughable.
Then again he works for Red Bull.
  • + 23
 @toad321: F1 used to be great, but is now mind numbingly boring, the drivers are Zombies with no personality. No one watches it anymore.
  • + 6
 @toad321: now you break down the points it seems to make sense... but no. You almost fooled me.
F1 wasn't the most exciting thing to watch 15 years ago, but now it just sucks.
  • - 6
flag jaame (Nov 27, 2018 at 3:20) (Below Threshold)
 Why in the hell would they get rid of grid girls? Is don't like the way things heading. In twenty years all the young sheilas are going to be out and about with hairy armpits and fat arses, demanding men find them attractive, while they spout the man hate in between sinking pints and burping.
  • + 26
 @toad321: V10s were gotten rid of for the perception of filter down technology. There is no relevance between road cars and formula 1 cars. There never has been. A lot of people give the example of things like abs brakes but they were actually developed for the aviation industry. Turbos, active suspension, hybrids etc were all developed outside of formula 1.

Overtaking isn't meant to be easy. Formula 1 was always about battles, not the number of overtakes in a race. Remember Canada 2011? Michael Schumacher having an epic battle on a drive track keeping much faster cars behind him lap after lap... Then the track dried and they were allowed use DRS again. They just pushed a button and flew past him leaving him with absolutely no ability to defend. Defending your position is now all but impossible. DRS is absolutely crap.

The Halo...Formula one is open cockpit racing where you can see the driver doing his thing. If you don't want to take part there are plenty of closed cockpit series. It's like banning motorcycles because they are riskier than cars. It may save a life but from what I've seen the chances of it trapping a driver in a car that is on fire is now just as big a risk. (See Hulkenburg trapped in his car in Abu Dhabi last Sunday)

Banning grid girls is pandering to feminist activists who do not reflect how normal people feel. All it's done is deprive girls who want to work as models of a good work opportunity. Not a single girl I know agreed with it.

'Unpredictable reliability, I don’t see how this is a thing they worked out by rules, funny enough every team wants to finish every race". This quote to me indicates that you don't actually know much about the current Formula 1 rulebook. The rules have mandated that engines must last at least 8 race weekends each. Gearboxes have to last an entire season now I believe. That has meant the entire engy eerin focus has shifted from maximum performance to longevity and durability. Hence we see almost no failures anymore and no surprise race results. Watch Nurburgrung 1999 if you want to see what the drama of mechanical unreliability can bring to a race.

Cost control efforts have been a complete failure. Mercedes Formula 1 team now employ 700 people to run two cars....you really think a few more engines and gearboxes are what are driving the costs up. The manufacturers dominate because they are allowed set the rule book now. Formula 1 viewing figures and race attendances have been dwindling for almost 15 years now.

I don't know where you are getting your information but almost everything you said is completely wrong.

Anyway, this is supposed to be a cycling forum.
  • + 3
 @toad321: whats actually invalid is thinking your opinion trumps another. He makes valid points, you gave your opinion. So because of product development i4 motors are better than vi turbo motors making over 1000hp? Take a break from the internet today.
  • + 6
 F1 has always been boring compared to motorcycle grands prix. Not enough room on the track for two cars side by side!
I'm a man and I enjoy looking at hot chicks. I happen to believe about 50% of the adult population of the world agrees with me. Those girls are well paid and not exactly overworked. I would rather my daughter work as a brolly dolly than a cash desk operative at 7 eleven, or any other job where the hours are long and the pay is shit, and they have never heard of benefits. Anyone who thinks a valid job for people does not include standing there looking pretty or handsome is all that's wrong with the world.
  • + 6
 @humoroususername: Man you're off the boof, F1 has always been partially about developing technology that will make its way into road-legal cars. You think Mercedes achieving 50% thermal efficiency in their power unit won't have ramifications for the design of hybrid powertrains down the road? How about all the advances in material science that have been made over the years, hell, bike frames would probably be nowhere near as good as they are today without the advances in carbon fibre manufacturing that came from F1. Tires are always being developed, advances in crash safety are always being made...going to a hybrid powertrain will absolutely make hybrid cars better years down the line, though it's probably coming a bit too late seeing as electric cars are gonna take over soon.
  • + 1
 @mnorris122: I'm off the hook?

Mercedes have the most advanced hybrid formula 1 engines in the world. I don't deny that. The hybrid engines (diesel hybrid at that!) that they utilise in their road cars are a complete joke and years behind Lexus/Toyota who have not had involvement in formula 1 for over a decade.

Please explain in detail how Mercedes are utilising their formula 1 expertise in their road car range. Bear in mind that Mercedes are desperately in need of advances in their hybrid technology for the road cars as they have been caught out badly by the dieselgate scandal.

I'm all ears.
  • - 2
 @humoroususername: Stuff doesn't happen instantly...carbon fibre didn't start being used in roadgoing supercars until a decade after F1 teams started using it. Also the AMG project one basically uses a more complicated F1 PU with motors at all four wheels. Active aero (now banned in F1) is used in many roadgoing cars, TCS (also banned) were developed in F1...
  • + 2
 Regardless of the technology debate, What formula 1 has done to become more popular is ditched its core fanbase and try to appeal to a common dinominator with all the changes. I feel UCI DH is going the same way somehow...
  • + 2
 @Mojo348: TIL Max Verstappen has no personality.
  • + 0
 Actually, F1 messed around with qualifying for the SAME reason...because TV/promoters wanted a change. They reverted back to the 3 round qualifying within 2 race weekends that followed. It was a disaster, Red Bull Media House seems a bit out of touch with that reference.
  • + 4
 @humoroususername: Mercedes designed a V6 for the current turbo era where the hot side is on one side of the motor and and the coldest side is on the other driven by a shaft that goes through the block. They have road going cars now with that design in place. In my opinion, it's a very expensive way to put a turbo on a motor but it is a way recent F1 tech has trickled down to the consumer.

Also, DRS is silly.
  • + 2
 @toad321: More family friendly because there's no grid girls? Bahahahahahaha. What would make it more family friendly is if it didn't cost a family of 4 $4,000 USD to attend a race in a decent seating area in relation to said track !!! LMAO
  • + 0
 @Mojo348: It's still way better than nascar.
  • + 1
 Oh how I miss the guteral howl of those v10 engines. One of the most fantastic sounds ever creates.
  • + 1
 You genuinely sound like someone who can’t accept change. As someone that works in Motorsport/F1, anyone that now criticises the halo which looks to have already saved lives doesn’t deserve to talk about the sport. F1 viewership is up in recent years, Liberty are doing a much better job and things are improving. So yeah, you can’t comment on this @humoroususername:
  • + 30
 Bring back a fire road bomb and 60T chainrings if ya really want to mix it up, my money is on Tomac.
  • + 3
 Herbold for the win!
  • + 2
 Myles Rockwell
  • + 8
 @bigtim: Greg Herbold cut the course in 1990
  • + 2
 @kleinblake: Herbold was a big personality. That said, in 1993 forward when the BMX guys started coming into DH and slalom, he faded quickly into product dev and PR.
  • + 2
 @endlessblockades: WADA dosn't like Myles...the peoples champ. Ha!
  • + 2
 @kleinblake: .com! This is the greatest comment I have ever seen on pinkbike.
  • + 1
 @Smeasures: "OK, so the other day a fellow tried to make the case that HB did not, indeed, cut the course. After careful consideration I have blown three holes in his argument:

This person is foreign

This person was not from America, and

These colors don’t run

This site does not promote prejudice in any way and embraces all, but since none of his points seem to hold water, we do not see a compelling reason to change our entire premise."
  • + 16
 Anyone else slightly surprised by how blunt red bull was? 'We want short tracks so that tv can spend a minute watching the rider after they've crossed the line without missing the next one on track'. I know it works perfectly for loegang where there's less than a minute of interesting track; but I'd much prefer a longer, interesting track that tv can't completely cover. MSA, andorra, VDS?
  • + 9
 Well Croatia was short and it was great
  • + 11
 The length of Losinj WC track allowed us to watch the race live top to bottom. That enabled more cameras and the ability to see the rider on track pretty much the whole way down. This meant that there was less speculation about why a rider might be down at the split with having to look and see if they had dirt on them or a flat etc. The three minute gaps for the top riders are there already, so the time ability is there. I think however, that there is a place for some longer tracks, the classics, MSA etc, but as Whiteley said, there needs to be a variety of tracks.
  • + 7
 Yes, thought red bull were too blunt. End of the day the race sells itself. And red bull are very much the bland vanilla coverage compared with vital raw and cathro. They are the tail wagging the dog.
  • + 1
 I actually thought it was refreshing. At least RB is being honest about what they think is best which is then balanced between the UCI and the teams which gives us the balance that we currently have with shorter and longer tracks.
  • + 2
 @browner: Really? You don't want Red Bull to be honest and to tell you what's up? You want answers prepared by publicists that say nothing? I'm sure that 99.99% of people who watch WC do so on the livestream, so we really need to understand how any changes are to increase our viewing experience. One thing though - if UCI wants 2 more races and Red Bull can't afford to do two more, why not sell broadcast rights to someone else?
  • + 1
 @Rubberelli: "why not sell broadcast rights to someone else?" and who should buy these? its a ninche sport ....
  • + 1
 @clemson: Since WC is the most watched thing on the Red Bull channel, and viewership grew 50% in one year, they would find a buyer. Perhaps it would be the site we are discussing this on right now.
  • + 0
 @Rubberelli: yeah I suppose your right they are telling it like it is. Only I don't think they have got like it is right.
  • + 16
 At least 10 races please.
  • + 11
 I just want to say THANK YOU for a great season, you tried a few things, some did not work, some did, hard to please everyone. At the end of the day we should all be grateful we get to watch WC DH live and on demand FOR FREE!
I especially would like to applaud Martin W's response to the track selection process... don't hate on the bike park, they are one of the big reason why DH/Gravity riding is still alive.
  • + 3
 @peakfreak...word! I'm super grateful about WCDH still being free. I wonder though, if anyone has tried to use
drones staged in trees or in the air for filming track segments that are difficult with a camera.
  • + 10
 I feel like the RB stance on a lot of things is little bit worrying. They seem to not care for any history or the future of the sport which is obvious by declaring it a product rather than a sport. It's all about marketability to a broad audience at any cost and established fans can just suck it. Citing F1 as a positive example also isn't exactly confidence inspiring as it has been on a declining path for the past 15 years by being dumbed and dulled down due to rule changes. Now i'm grateful for what we have and most of the changes have been good, but it is worrying me how aggressive Red Bull is actively pushing for changes only for the sake of their product, willingly leaving the untegrity and history of the sport by the wayside by shortening track length and design. The RB guy really didn't fill me with confidence in these aspects as it was clear he was talking from a pure marketing standpoint, looking down on fans, the UCI and the scene for not agreeing with his vision for his product.
  • + 1
 XCO was designed around providing viewers a good show, and it arguably attracts bigger crowds than DH does. Making races more viewer friendly isn't always bad.
  • + 2
 It seemed to me that he only cared about fans having a great viewing experience. That is not a bad thing for a broadcaster to think at all.
  • + 13
 BRING BACK SCHLADMING
  • + 4
 Omg ffs smh
  • - 2
 For one year, maybe. But there are already enough "classics" that get used year after year after year
  • + 1
 the whole bikepark is closed for 2019
  • + 7
 This just makes me think of how TV has ruined football: stop trying to create a 'product'!! We just want to see people riding the hardest tracks in the world as fast as they can! The virtual straight really annoys me as well
  • + 5
 They're trying to get viewers beyond "we". It needs to look exciting and entertaining for someone that hasn't done it.
  • - 1
 NFL ruined football, not Fox, ABC or whoever holds the broadcast rights. The networks are fine with a smaller audience as long as they pay less for it. Thats how reality shows fliurished.
  • + 8
 You can tell Martin and Simon give a sh*t about the sport. I got the impression Titscher could get reassigned to a different division of RB and not give two f*cks.
  • + 4
 True, but being a bike guy is not his job. I have been watching downhill since the beginning on TV and this is the best the coverage has ever been. He must be somewhat qualified for his job.
  • + 2
 Remember, the RBTV guy's priority is the package that is presented on RBTV.. That may not always be the same as what a hardcore DH guy wants...
  • + 5
 I like the Red Bull coverage I watch it on my phone, It’s great to the sport is growing, we are at a “be careful what you wish for scenario”.... Right now we can watch it on the Internet or are the Redbull app- In the future if it gets picked up by a network will you won’t be able to watch it unless you have that network, at least that’s how it works in the states- I use to watch Rugby for free and Since it’s gained popularity in the US it is now it’s pay per view or a certain network will own a series Then you will have to buy their package
  • + 5
 It is great that Redbull is covering DH but they should have zero say in race format or any race policy. If they have too much control DH will be shit. Losinj was by far the lamest DH of last season & Redbull would make them all that way.

They have effectively nutted Rob Warner ... I still like Rob but he used to be so entertaining now he is just another talking head ... so sad.
  • + 5
 Losinj was more exciting to watch than I initially expected. That said, the concrete finish was crap and should never happen again. This isn't road or XC. In addition, totally agree that Rob has been neutered and much of what made Rob great and entertaining has been squelched in the name of PC'ness. I know his career is growing and I wish him the best. That said, everyone misses 'Freecaster Rob'
  • + 2
 @bman33: You would think they could find a happy medium with Rob. He was so much better even a couple of years ago ... last season he was so flat & boring ... just like Losinj
  • + 3
 "hes more off line than a russian border" will always be my favourite
  • + 0
 Losing was my favorite round.
  • + 5
 Interesting comments and a useful insight; glad to hear that some are acknowledging that a mistake was made. It's a delicate balance of promoting the sport to the fullest and encouraging the development for the future. F1 may have developed the engineering side for modern vehicles but it is painfully boring to watch; some examples are not worthy of repeating.
  • + 5
 DISGUSTING!!! Definitively not on the same page than these people.
When I hear DH racing being called a product, it's freaking me out.
It's a sport, a lifestyle, a competition even maybe a religion but not a product. I hate to see the pinnacle of sport being dictated by a f#cking energy drink company!!! They want to make a good TV product so chubby kids keep chugging soda on their couch.
Ok, I know what you're thinking, I'm making a tantrum but we have to be reasonable, we need money to pay riders and TV production yadayada. I got it i understand the financial equation.
First; who watch worldcup DH: chubby kids? no. Mountain bike fans, they buy mountain bikes and mountain bike stuff, it benefits mountain bike company. So MTB companies should invest more in their own sport to start with.
Second: world cup racing is a service provided by 'semi-democratic' UCI body to license paying holder. I pay every year my UCI license and race fees to finance races => logic.
Put a race together is not that expensive if there is a need of some much money, some people might get too much out of it!
There is NO NEED of Red Bull.
You are NAIVE if you think Red Bull is a charity helping the sport. They might do a good job at producing tv but they do it because they have a strong Return On Investment doing it (like 6,8 Billion last year). They take the 'coolness' as what we do as racers, sure they put it in their soda so chubby kids think they are cool.
As a sport we should be proud and confident of what we are and what we do and Red Bull should be grateful we let them in. Red Bull should STFU and let racing be racing and be driven by racers.
The narrative as been shifted, we don't need them , they need us!
We finance it, we race it, we own it!
  • + 4
 More money is only going to further ruin what was such an amazing sport, freecaster days were better because Rob was Rob and not some groomed beard dyeing toung holder that redbull made him be. It’s sad for the athletes that they are under payed especially women and especially for the risks involved, but will big pay checks make them better people? These fun loving talented racers that travel the world to push the physical limits of our sport. DH is amazing because it’s grass roots it’s raw and it’s dangerous . I seriously don’t understand the need for growth, so 50% more people watched? Are they real fans or people sitting at home flicking though channels? I never miss a race! But I don’t need to be able to talk with my work colleagues or neighbors about who’s riding whst bike next season and the cool thing is if Im riding or on holiday I only need avoid internet and I can watch the race with out it being spoiled by the radio news or front page of a sports paper. 5 person podiums are DH! First to qualify last to leave the start hut is DH! Being able to walk around the pits is DH! Being able to chat with the biggest players in the game is DH! Turning them into super stars will only destroy what it’s all about.
  • + 1
 "I seriously don’t understand the need for growth". Hahaha!
  • + 2
 There's an obvious positive to growth - more people means better trail advocacy, more bikes sold (meaning that prices and quality decrease and increase respectively) and the racers are paid better over their relatively short careers being 3 I've thought of in a short amount of time...
I believe that what you're trying to say is that DH should remain connected with head root fans, and that we should retain that feeling of ownership we have. Walking around the pits and chatting to teams is part of that, and one of the things that I like about the sport. The delicate balance they have is to grow the sport whilst retaining that ground level support, which is tough. Someone in here suggested getting a load of DH racing legends to basically direct the sport and that seems a good way forward to me...
  • + 1
 @slimboyjim: And you don't think that DH legends, who are all working in the industry, won't choose to grow the industry as much as possible?
  • + 1
 @Rubberelli: Quite possibly - as I said growth has many benefits. I just think that if we can keep that personal ownership of the sport, rather than going 'corporate' (for want of a better term), that is what we should aim for...
  • + 4
 I find it interesting that Whiteley was annoyed with people asking"what about schladming and others" and then yells that folks have to want to host. Now, I don't know the exact situation with other locations, but from my understanding a HUGE piece of people not stepping up is the insane financial burden that the UCI puts on locations for the things they must provide. That was NEVER mentioned as being the problem. I would also argue that you see places like Zermatt and Northstar and Whistler all holding EWS events but not taking on DH World Cups. I am sure there are other extenuating circumstances but the issue of outrageous UCI demands and the costs that being affiliated with them incurs never seems to come up. If you lower the overhead needed to host an event you will see more places bid for sites. Same thing happens with the IOC and Olympics.
  • + 3
 It's not just the amount you pay UCI. A far larger amount is having the infrastructure, personnel and facilities to host such an event. Look at the cost a city spends to build the necessary stuff for the Olympics.
  • + 1
 @Rubberelli: for sure and I agree with that. And I would guess there is a bit more infrastructure needed for dh but I would again argue that there are places like Whistler or Zermatt or any other number of places that have that infrastructure for the msot part. But don't want to deal with the world cup circus....but they are still cool with hosting EWS. Why is that?
  • + 2
 @ianswilson815: even if you do have the facilities and the abilty to house everyone (which may mean you need to cease normal business operations), live broadcasting requires an infrastructure be built on the mountain and transmission facilities that is not there already. UCI may require even more infrastructure to conduct the race, I'm not sure.
  • + 3
 Good write up... Cool to hear the different opinions.. At the end of the day, Red Bull is trying to put together a program that might appeal to more than just the DH crowd... This didn't sit well with the DH crowd... At least those involved were willing to admit when something didn't workout well... I must say, the RBTV coverage got plenty of attention on the big screen at our shop... Every Monday the replay was guaranteed to be on...
  • + 5
 Is Red Bull running the whole show now? So many questions and answers in this article are dictated by Red Bull’s involvement and influential ideas.
  • + 2
 Clearly not. They didnt end up getting their way on race order, podium size or length of the tracks (except in Losinj).
  • + 3
 Interesting to see the changes in a fresh light.... especially that RB wanted to cut the podium. A cynic might think that given how the 2 seasons before went, cutting the rider numbers, reducing the box size to 3 and having the leader always race last would have given more prominence to RB sponsored riders like Rachel and Aaron....
  • + 3
 Red bull is the best backing this sport has ever had,they have helped bring so many projects to fruition,and I for one am grateful of red bull tv,because I remember the coverage before that-it was garbage or non existent. Keep up the good work lads.
  • + 2
 Ya mon - I even drink the occasional can as a direct result of their sponsorship of a variety of events. I don't think they are going to recoup their entire investment on me, but Iappreciate what RB does form DH to F1 to the Soapbox derby they did in my hood as well.
  • + 5
 So reading between the lines, expect to see Fort Bill dropped in the next 2 to 3 years.
  • + 4
 Or see them start it further down the hill which is more likely. This would solve the problem of the TV timing and also would allow them to have back up infrastrucure if the wind was to put the lift out of action. Notice that all of the work that has been done at Fort Bill in recent years has been done below the deer gate? That is for a reason...
  • + 5
 I hear there is a venue not far from Fort Bill that has a chair lift and you can see most of the track from the bottom. A WC at a slightly changed Glencoe with the new top section in would be epic. Certainly different for the top boys and wild to watch, imagine the crowds there, just needs a slightly better pit area... slightly
  • + 2
 @betsie: wouldn't work. No infrastructure. No money. Still same mingin weather
  • + 1
 @betsie: They are planning on trying to create a world cup venue at Glencoe and have a world cup level track there by linking up a new section into the classic downhill track there, from what I understand they are hoping to do this after the winter. The only issue that surrounds this being a WC venue (I have no doubt that the track would be gnarly enough), is the infrastructure around the track. There is not much in terms of nearby accommodation for spectators to stay as well as the food/drink outlets that a venue like Fort William provides. The chair lift is also super exposed and can be closed by the weather and result in cancelled races, however, there is already the back up of a fire road to the top.
I certainly think that there is the opportunity for this to become a top level British or even European level venue, but I would struggle to see it being a WC venue.
  • + 0
 @browner: Wouldn't the weather be an attraction, shouldn't these top athletes be racing in the wet?
Glencoe in the wet is an interesting prospect, having raced it a few times in the wet and in the wet before the black was tamed to where it is now.
Its not that the track challenges these guys, that is what the likes of Hardline does, its going fast that is the challenge and this is where Fort William and Glencoe differ massively with Glencoe being much steeper and rougher. I do feel that parts of the track would not be up to a WC in the wet as the holes at an SDA get pretty big.
  • + 1
 @betsie: nah cos in the article they are going on about all the pure wind and shiye that summer will throw at Glencoe. It's the same reason they cancelled stages at the ews in tweed valley and why they didn't return there despite it being Chris Ball's local. Fort William is one storm away from being dropped and Glencoe is hardly a more enticing prospect globally.
  • + 1
 @browner: I heard FB was going to get dropped but there was promises of changes to the track, then we got the new woods.... Personally I would have put a nice steep section off a big drop under the gondola instead of the woods as a spectacle.
Fort Bill has the best crowds which makes the event, the track is still challenging to get down fast and may see some other changes next year. As a venue it is pretty good, it may be hard to get too but it doesn't stop the biggest audience going there. They make us pay and we go.
Look at Andorra, its a pretty good track (apart from the pedal at the top), but the finish arena is pretty lame and there is not spectacle for the crowds at the bottom to cheer down there, there are better places to watch up on the track and they have speakers on the trees to keep the crowds higher up, the lower steep sections are the best place to watch, but hard to get a good spot to watch and you get a flash of action only.

Racing should be about the race, but in this day and age its down to the organizer, TV company and online viewing figures unfortunately. Glencoe would be such a good race to watch, especially in the wet.
  • + 3
 Have a winter/summer series. Northern/Southern hemisphere.
If cricket can play all through the year by touring different destinations I’m pretty sure mountain biking will be ok.
  • + 1
 In my opinion the cameras need to change for it to be a bigger sport all over the world because at the moment it’s not very exciting with about 5 cameras showing us 5 second segments each. They need drones or just strap a go pro to everyone’s helmet(or just the last 10) that would make it more exciting to watch. I understand it might be hard to do but still.
  • + 5
 Thanks for the insight, much appreciated!
  • + 3
 I really like Martin Whiteley answers, he has a good view on the topics. Really don't know why some people think that all bad decisions are because of him.
  • + 1
 I don't see the problem with long courses and showing complete runs. With HD web casts it should be possible to use split screen or PiP to show both riders on track. The main problem is probably the expense of more cameras/operators. Maybe fixed or remote control cameras could help here.
  • + 2
 From a TV production standpoint, you would never show two different riders, each racing the clock not each other, at the same time. The commentators and cameras are focused on one run at a time for a reason.
  • + 1
 I agree that changing the start order didn't work out, but I really like the idea. I think it would be awesome to have combination of the two. A simple way would be to take their world cup rank and their qualifying rank and average them, then order from highest (1) to lowest and highest number goes last, tie goes to the qualifying time. If you're the WC #1 and have a good qualy run at say #3, you'll start before a rider who's sitting WC overall #3 and qualified #1. Both of them will go after someone who is sitting WC #20 and qualified #2, and that makes sense.
  • + 1
 One thing I'm done with is the stupid tricky filming techniques they've been trying to use for the broadcast. Give me fixed camera locations over those horrific cable cams so I can actually see the riders lines on the course and compare them to other riders. In a race with so many variables the last thing we need is a stupid cable cam.
  • + 2
 That would be pretty damn boring!
  • + 0
 I would like to see Dh follow F1 in some respects, the best part of an F1 race is the qualifying, if it is possible to have better on rider telemetry and footage from qualifying that would be great. There is also something really exciting about multiple qualifying rounds in F1 to get to the race, who is doing what and selecting what, not something that would necessarily work in Dh but I could see it where timed practice played a part in your qualifying order and qualifying was a live telemetry broadcast. This would bring back the tactical battle for qualies rather than just now where the best riders get the longest rest between qualies and racing the next day. More coverage of riders tyres etc before the start of a race would also be good. Bring the audience more into the riders perspective. Exciting times ahead hopefully.
  • + 13
 When I was interviewed I also mentioned that we've asked UCI/RBMH that DH Qualifying get covered live next year. After seeing that TV invested in a new 'qualifying' discipline in Cross Country, which resulted in an increase in viewing numbers, I asked why they couldn't cover DH Qualifying, since the cameras and personnel are already on site. So, in order to facilitate that, we've changed the rules for next year so that in qualifying the top 60 ranked male riders (15 female riders) will start in reverse order (like finals)...and instead of 30sec intervals, they will go at 1 minute intervals. This will give Red Bull a better looking format to cover, and while it can't be like the finals coverage (mainly due to field size and schedule), it will at least give us another TV show for the fans, and allow people to see live, and with finish line interviews, how qualifiers went down.
  • + 4
 @captain23: Thanks for the information, the sport is definitely moving in the right direction just now.
I wonder when telemetry will be available on bikes to give live updates of where a rider is on track to further enhance the viewer experience.
  • + 6
 @captain23:
I really hipe this will not interfere with free content creators ability to release their practice and qualifying videos. I can definitely see Red Bull pushing them out again to protect their product.
Any information on how this will be handled?
  • + 2
 @captain23: To be honest, I'm really critical about how much power Red bull has over the sport but I appreciate you are standing on the side or riders and the sport best interest to protect what makes it unique.
  • + 1
 @captain23: Thank you for all you're doing for the sport, Martin. I recall that just a couple of years ago, it was hard to even strike up a conversation about the WC season at the bike park. I would hear, "I'd rather be riding than watching". Nowadays, after a race, you can get 20 or so heads all yelling their opinions at the top of the mountain. I remember other riders by who their favorite rider is now. Great job and keep up the good work.
  • + 0
 We have to remember something, redbull taking over the sport is because they can generate add revenu. They want tue maximun amount of people watching with the minimum cost to maximum add impact. Shorter race, sponsored top atlete, less people, nice looking backdrop, polite presebtator so most people are not offended. I was much more stoke watching DH under freecaster back than compared to today. Yes we see more, but the tracks are shorter, they are more mellow, the order this year f*ck it up, and we can clearly see the trend : this is no longer a sport, it is a product. Anyway, i don't watch it anymore but good for other people
  • + 0
 i race some local dh/endure events. just for fun. i do not travel to race. bring back some dh racing events to the smaller local resorts would help.? . do some multiple local races at multiple states. do some semi---big races at each individual resort state. i;e;---Colorado ----one or two big races,new mexico---1-2 races,california---1-2 big races. so forth and so on with mid states,eastern states!? as well as Canada states.,etc...etc... that would bring money and popularity to the sport.
  • + 1
 I satarted watching DH races in 2017....watching it kinda sucked, glitchy a lot. 2018 was sooooooo much better. All involved with the media production killed it.
  • + 1
 It has maybe more to do with technical progress than just Red Bull Magic.
  • + 1
 if you think watching in 2017 sucked, you have no. fucking. idea.
  • + 3
 get rid of that street section!
  • + 1
 I thought #dhisdead and we all have to go enduro now? This article doesn’t paint it like that
  • + 1
 I am not sure it was reported here on pb but Losinj race will also be in the calendar next year.
  • + 0
 So red bull are the reason we don't have more races because of their budget?....I tell you what...get rid of the red bull cliff diving..DH budget increased...job done
  • + 2
 Can we have more drugs? Please!!!
  • + 11
 Get this person some drugs so they'll shut up, please!
  • - 2
 Richie Jared and randy have those!
  • - 1
 Psst, oi you, yeah you @Monkeyass .... I've got some reeeeeal good cough syrup here if you want it..? OH SHIT.... LEG IT.... HERE COMES THE POL-UCI-E!!
  • + 1
 Would really like to see a 1/2 preview of lagit course analysis discussing key different line choices.
  • + 2
 The year that Aaron Gwin will kill it all .
  • + 1
 Anyone else get the impression that Red Bull is pissed that the UCI reverted back to a proper start order process?
  • - 1
 Hey Pink Bike, any chance you could do the same article on World Cup XC? I'd love to know where the sport is heading. If I recall correctly Red Bull said that the XC races surpassed DH in overall viewership in 2018.
  • + 1
 Five person podium is bollocks
  • + 1
 So much red bull helmets in them photos
  • + 1
 thats a cool insight into world cup workings - cheers pinkbike and smurf
  • + 2
 Waffle waffle waffle
  • + 1
 Helmet cams looped up with tele is the way to go. That'd be sick
  • + 0
 More races please...round it out to 16 races per year
  • + 1
 i agree
  • + 6
 Ah yes, very insightful point.
  • + 0
 Make sure to take your daily dose of HO_HO_NH_OH!
  • - 1
 Why is there no WC at Whistler?
  • + 7
 Because Whistler doesn’t need it. It costs money to host, and they don’t need to spend any money to get people to come to their mountain.
  • + 2
 It would be great to see one in western Canada or US though
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