bigquotes Your old road is rapidly agin', Please get out of the new one if you can't lend your hand, For the times they are a-changin'. - Bob Dylan

It hasn't been an easy few years for the UCI, cycling's international governing body. A couple of years ago it looked as if it was all going to spiral out of control amidst allegations of corruption and industrial-scale doping in road cycling. At the peak of that storm Brian Cookson ran an aggressive campaign for the presidency of the UCI based on promises to clean house and change the way the UCI did things, to try and wrestle the organization back away from the brink of disaster. Since he took the top job a little more than a year ago the media attention has focused on that struggle, but what about mountain bikes? We sat down with Brian Cookson to find out how he sees mountain biking's role in the UCI, the direction of the World Cup series and how the UCI is looking to handle the rapidly growing discipline of enduro.



The Brian Cookson interview



The UCI is a relatively small organization, stretched in quite a number of directions. What do you see as your balance between road and MTB?

It is not that small of an organization! We have about 100 people working for us in various capacities and we do have a dedicated off-road department with a manager. I want to say that mountain biking is an important, valid and valuable product for international cycling. Our role is to work with national federations, not just for road or Olympic disciplines but also downhill, 4X and whatever else we can support. One other thing this administration is trying to do since I took over is promote cycling as a pastime. Not necessarily elite cycling but also advocacy, pursuing investment to work with national federations trying to make cycling accessible for all age groups in all of the disciplines, and they are all equally valid.

In the media, we see more of your work on the road because of the issues you have been dealing with recently. From the outside, the perception is there is a stronger road focus.

Historically that was the case, road cycling has been around a long time and it is the highest profile certainly, but I want to believe that mountain biking in any of its disciplines, any of its branches, is no less important. It is different and can attract a different group of participants. There is a lot of crossover as well. I’ve been involved a little bit in mountain biking, not a huge amount, but I’ve organized mountain biking races back in my British Cycling days from the very birth of mountain biking during the late '80s, early '90s. I felt it was a valid discipline. At the end of the day, it is about people; we are not all about business at the UCI, we are an international federation, our job is to promote cycling in all its glory, in all its wonderful forms. I do not feel mountain biking is any less valid than road cycling or track or anything. One of the most exciting things I’ve ever seen was the downhill World Cup at Fort William. I admire their skills - it is cycling and we love all the disciplines.

There are some big changes coming in the World Cup structure – can you talk about that at all?

We are reviewing what is most effective in all of the branches of the sport. What I can say is that we have a MTB commission composed of people that are directly involved in all the branches of mountain biking and we are willing and interested in looking at what those people recommend. We have gone out of our way to find the right people to contribute to those commissions. I also need to say as well that there is at least one woman in each of those commissions because that is one of my manifesto commitments. As an organization, we are not top-down driven. We are listening to what is coming through from the people who are directly involved in mountain biking, using their advice and trying to build on it and help them succeed in their goals.

What do you see as the UCI's on-going role in the WC? In road cycling the UCI is the governing body but the promotion and management of events is passed to ASO and companies like that, while mountain biking is handled in-house by the UCI.

It is sub-contracted to national federations and so on, like the World Cup track events. I think it is something we should be proud of and pleased about. If you look at downhill, outside the UCI World Cups, there are not many major, serious competitions as far as I’m aware. We have been quite successfully pro-active and effective in helping downhilling get to the state that it is in now. With the downhill World Cup and World Champs, those are quite clearly the highest level that is out there. That is not achieved by people sitting in this office alone, that is done by a setting of standard working with promoters, working with national federations, mountain bike associations, etc. Like Rare Management in Fort William, sorry for mentioning a British one to begin but they are the ones I know from my own background. There are people out there that we can facilitate and who we are facilitating. I see people saying, "The UCI doesn't care about mountain biking," I think actually the UCI has been really successfully pro-active in helping mountain biking, downhilling, cross-country, etc, to get to the state that it is in now.

There is an argument that the World Cup downhill is under-sold at the moment. It is “presented by Shimano”, but there is no title sponsor, the feeling is that it has not reached its full commercial potential, for instance there is no sponsorship external to the sport. What do you see as the way forwards for that?

We have got some good partners involved. Red Bull Media House are involved as a production partner, Shimano are one of the biggest manufacturer of sporting goods in the world. They are serious people. We can always do better. One of the things we have been doing in the last few months is re-organising our marketing department to have a more professional approach to sponsorship securing, and venue securing and all that sort of stuff. At the end of the day, professional sports are in a very brutal market place. It is driven by viewing numbers on TV, by spectator numbers and so on. It is not as easy as saying what should be done. We are in a marketplace and we have to, between all of us, try and get better results. I accept that criticism but the world is not a simple place when it comes to professional sports.

The TV is a good point. It is one of the questions seems to come up regularly. Surely there is a strong argument that downhill is one of the disciplines that has the most potential for a mass media audience: there is the drama, the short format, it is easily understandable. The question is about securing mainstream TV coverage. In many sports, in the first instance someone needs to pay to place it with the TV channels and later companies start to pay for the TV rights. Is that an investment the UCI can make? How would you look to address that?

I do not want to sound defensive on that. We are really interested with working with colleagues to look at ideas and so on. The UCI has invested a lot in TV coverage of DH over the years - on our own YouTube channel, working with Red Bull Media House. I think there is more that can be done; I think we had good TV coverage when we had world championships and so on. World Cup TV coverage is a bit more difficult. Getting into that mainstream TV with dedicated sport channels is definitely more expensive and very much driven by viewing numbers. We will continue to look at opportunities to invest more if we can, especially if there is a return. Again I do not want people to feel like we only want to make money out of it, because we are not; we are driven by helping all the disciplines develop. As I keep saying, professional sport in TV and media coverage is a brutal marketplace, very much driven by viewing numbers, by sales of newspapers, by clicks on internet sites. I’m happy to be a pioneer about what we can do better, that’s why we have a mountain bike commission, that’s why those people are working together. I’m sure we can do better.



The Brian Cookson interview



Who sits on the MTB commission at present?

We have people from the different branches of the sport. We have people from the industry, riders’ representatives - downhill is represented by Greg Minnaar, for instance, Georgine Gould represents cross country, then there are people like Brian Jolly from Canada who has been involved in promotion for many, many years. There is a whole list, it is not a huge commission but it is a great network of abilities, they are people who know what they are doing, but we can always do better.

If you look at Moto GP or Formula 1, high-end racing series, they are covering 18 to 20 stops a year, while the World Cup downhill is only seven this year. Why is the World Cup downhill such a short series?

There is a discussion to be had about what the optimal number is. We have to find venues and promoters that are capable and suitable to organize events at the required standards, courses that are to the appropriate standard and so on. There are a number of venues that are well-tried and tested and they are the ones that are in the seven rounds at the moment. We are very keen to expand that number if we can. What is the optimal number? How many rounds can the teams manage for instance? It is really similar to a number of other situations, like, for instance, women's road racing, you can not just click your fingers and go from position A to position B, you have to go through a series of progressive steps. We are doing that now, we have more rounds, and we are looking at some format changes for the future. I’m optimistic that we can go on. I’ll be surprised if we get to 20 DH rounds in a year for instance, but we could get to eight or ten.

What sort of format changes are you looking at, at the moment? What are you considering?

We are looking whether we can do more combined rounds of downhill and cross-country in the same venue. We are looking at enduro events, maybe bringing that into the UCI a bit more. The mountain bike commission met earlier this week, I was not there and I do not have my fingers in every pie in that level of detail. We will make some announcements when we think the situation is ready.

It has been noticeable in downhill this winter that some women have been struggling to find rides. What do you see the key to expanding women’s racing?

The position I’m taking on women's competition in all branches of cycling is that what is important is to listen to women’s voices, to involve them in the decision making process. I see great things happening, like Rachel Atherton sponsoring downhill rounds for youth women in the British mountain biking. Those kinds of things can really help. When you start to grow the participation then it makes more sense for an organizer to include more events, to make more opportunities, then the teams start to show more interest and maybe they will want a woman downhiller on the team. We have been given women as much equality as we can, we gave equality in the prize money, same race length (time), both race on the same day and on the same course, same TV coverage for both, god growth of U23 women category. We’ve got the mixed team relay as well that shows women and men can compete and interact in that sort of format together. We will take any opportunity we can to further women’s role in mountain biking but we are proud to have had this for 25 years since the first World Cup Championships and World Cup.

Would you consider, for instance, incentivizing in the team rankings? Or does that get a bit complicated?

There is a parallel here with the road scene: there are a lot of people saying that we should have all the top teams have a women’s team or we should have all the top road events have a women’s event as well. I think it is not necessarily the way to go, because I think it means treating women a second grade. There are sponsors out there that I’m sure are more interested in having a women’s team rather than a men’s team. To force a men’s team to have a second or third team, that’s not good, women do not want to be second grade. Women should be there in their own right. I’m not much for rules that compel someone to do something that is desirable in that sense. It is much better if they do it because they want to do it, not because they have their arms twisted, and if they've got their arm twisted they won't do it in a satisfactory way.

One thing you mentioned in your manifesto is DH as an Olympic sport.

I think this is a long-term possibility. Since my manifesto, the IOC president, Thomas Barch, has had his 2020 review, they have ruled out certain things, particularly bringing many new disciplines into the games, so I have to say in all honesty it is a pretty long shot.

So there is no roadmap at this stage. What sort of obstacles are there for inclusion?

The obstacles are around the IOC’s wish to control the number of events, number of medals, the number of participants. To look at venues, downhilling, for instance, requires mountainous terrain, or at least sufficient downhill length. You'd obviously have to have another venue. All of those things are problematic. But I think the problem is that there are more and more different sports that are pushing to try and get into the Olympics, so it is really difficult to say, "We want another discipline altogether in the Olympics." We have already got XC in the games and it has been quite successful. We will keep pushing where and when we can for those things. It is not just downhill; it is cyclocross as well, and so on. For the foreseeable future it is going to be very, very difficult to get downhilling on the program though.

To come on to enduro, which is probably a big question for you. The international enduro series was intended to be originally a UCI project. Do you see that as a missed opportunity?

I do, absolutely. I think what has been done on enduro is very valuable; it is great part of the sport. It is growing in popularity, I can see the advantages and benefit of it. And in many ways, it is something I’d happier if we were more proactively supportive of it. The door is open.

Since that project shifted outside the UCI and the EWS was established it is fair to say that it is going from strength to strength. What is your approach toward that series? How would you like to see the future of the UCI and EWS?

I’d like to have a closer relationship with them. I think it is regrettable that relationship broke down in the past. discussions are taking place between our two organisations. I think we can offer them some benefits. Enduro is growing and increasing in popularity as a discipline and series of events. Our business is about encouraging people to ride bikes, so if someone is doing that well, let’s see if we can get an association and help them do it even better. I’m not trying to close them down or compete with them. Our job is to try and work with people who are doing a good job and they obviously are.



The Brian Cookson interview



There are some technical questions about enduro at the moment. I do not know if you followed the British Cycling ruling where they removed enduro from their event race calendar. This seems to be largely an decision driven by their insurers, as they do not differentiate between enduro and downhill at present. Is this sort of situation something the you feel the UCI could help the federation deal with?

Let me try to make more a general comment rather than a specific one, as I do not know the specifics of this particular situation. First of all, the number one priority has to be the safety of the participants. Part of that are insurance requirements, risks assessment as well. My understanding of enduro is that timed sections are predominantly downhill sections, I can understand why an insurer might scratch their beard and say, “It is a downhill race, separated by some easy bits of cross-country.” I can see why they might require a certain level of safety and a certain risk assessment and so on. If there is a way we can assist in that in term of expertise, I’m sure we will be willing to do that if we can. It is not our job to interfere in the day to day running of the sport in a national federation that is their territory. I respect the decision-making structures that they have and we need to be careful not to counteract or to overrule local and national instances.

If you look in Europe and in the US there is quite a variety of different approaches to enduro. In France, enduro is a federation cup. In the UK, they are actually taking that step backwards. In Germany it is not recognized, in the US it is not recognized. It seems to be a prime place for the UCI to support federations.

We do support the federations, but as you said there are different circumstances in different countries. That is one of the interesting challenges about MTB, isn’t it? It is quite an evolving group of disciplines. When I think of the downhill community, if I can call it that, and the cross-country one, they are quite different groups of individuals. Those things are evolving all the time, you had the 4X, now you have relays, you have enduro and if you are more traditional, you have cross-country. And all of those things make mountain biking quite dynamic and an interesting branch of the sport. But that is also why it is problematic to come up with one-stop solutions for all the various problems that arise. There are some fantastic events that have evolved in their own sweet way, like the Cape Epic, as it is different again from the traditional cross-country and it is not an enduro event either and there are a few that are like that. For governing bodies to try and get their heads around that rapidly evolving set of circumstances is tough, just when they think they have got a fix on it all, the mountain biking community says, "We don't actually like that any more, we want to do it this way now." It is quite difficult for a governing body to get its head round, but let’s try and work together, try and be sympathetic, take the advice from the people who are involved in the sports from the different branches, from the different interest groups. They won't always agree, in fact they will disagree quite a lot of the time, but let’s try and get a consensus on what is the best for the different, dynamically expanding branches of the sport of mountain biking.

For you, would that include technical development as well? I was talking to a bike designer recently and he was asking if we could get rid of the technical regulation to build weird, wonderful machines that are the pinnacle of the sport?

What we are not trying to do with the technical regulations is stifle innovation, quite the contrary. What we have is an equipment commission - we have the industry involved in that, we have some teams involved too. It is quite focused on changes on road bikes at the moment, with disc brakes being talked about and so on. But we are looking at other innovation as well. Specifically with mountain bike-related stuff, that has been left to the mountain bike commission. If there are issues coming through there, it is something we should look at. What we are trying to do is get a level playing field. What is part of the excitement of cycling are the technological advancements and the innovations that this brings. But, you have seen this on the road and on the track, we do want to make sure people are competing on something that looks like a bike and the person on it looks like a bike rider. That is different in downhilling than in cross-country, in track and in road and so on. A road and track equivalent might be a full fairing, I wouldn't like to see that. The downhill equivalent might be a bizarre, ultra-long wheelbase thing with huge amounts of suspension. I don’t know, you know more about that than I do. We always have to make sure there is a balance between rider and machine in term of the end result, it should not just be about who has the best machine, it is about the person who has the best machine and has the best skills and the best athletic abilities. Those are things that need talking about and they are worth thinking through and that is why we have technical regulations.



The Brian Cookson interview



On the participation side, one of the main things coming through Europe at the moment is e-bikes. It looks like a big shift in the participation, especially in mountain biking in terms of getting people who would not have considered it before onto bikes. Is that something on your radar?

From a leisure point of view, we have no problem with that. People who want to add an electric motor to a system that’s fine. If it helps them get to the countryside that’s great. In competition terms, we always want cycling to be a sport that is not assisted by motors of any sort. You could say we have electric gears, but it's not the same, the propulsion of the bike, the handling of the bike, has to always be the result of human effort not from any motorized propulsion. They are in effect mopeds, it should fall on the FIM... If it makes people happy, if they enjoy it, there is nothing wrong with it, but we are about bikes. They are driven by the human body not by an electric motor or a diesel motor, a 2-stroke or whatever. If we ever lose that, I do not think that is cycling anymore.

On a topical note, there was a note from the UCI at the Lourdes DH WC, with a safety ruling banning on-board camera from WC as things stand.

This is a safety argument, pure and simple. There is nothing about rights or any of that, this is purely about safety. It is pretty obvious that putting a camera on top of a helmet that is not designed to hold the camera is going to compromise the safety and integrity of that helmet. What we have said, and I think it's quite sensible, is that if a manufacturer says it is ok to do this and shows us the certificate that it is ok to do it with this or that camera, then that’s fine. In one way we are giving a nudge to the helmet and camera manufacturers, if they want to do this kind of stuff it needs to be better integrated into the equipment. I’ve read some crazy things on the internet saying the UCI is only interested in filming rights, it is not about that, it is about safety. We have all heard rumours about individuals who have been brain damaged in skiing because of such cameras and if there is a possibility of that happening we need to do something about it. I've seen commuters on their bikes with these things on their heads and I just think, "That's crazy, if your head hits the deck with one of those between the floor and the polystyrene... That's not something I'd choose to do myself." Our job is to make sure a potentially hazardous activity has its danger minimized, the safety of the competitor is something we always give great priority to.

These were our questions for the UCI, but coming very soon we will have an Ask Us Anything with them, which will be your chance to ask the questions you want to see answered.

MENTIONS: @ucicycling




243 Comments

  • + 278
 Guy makes a master politician. This is truly genius carrying on here without saying a DAMNED thing. Having taken the time to read this interview, I now know nothing I did not know before. And I have even less appreciation for the UCI--which is really saying something.
  • + 77
 Yep, so many words to say absolutely nothing at all. Awful politician answers - Between him and McQuade before him, sheesh, what is wrong with the UCI. :/

Seeing the way they handle road cycling, I really hope they stay far, far away from MTB.
  • - 16
flag poah (May 7, 2015 at 0:51) (Below Threshold)
 suggest poor interview technique also
  • + 83
 To me he seemed like a great guy who is definitely interested in mtb (he did drop some pretty detailed facts). Obviously he can't say everything and isn't aware of everything that's going on (if there's 100 people working there), which might make him sound like a bullshitting politician, but just the fact that he accepted to conduct a long interview for a small mtb-only website shows his interest and dedication in the off road disciplines.
  • + 68
 I am not so sure - the cynical part of me thinks that it is all 'empire building', and trying to expand their sphere away from their *very* tainted actions in the road arena in recent years. It is all PR to regenerate the UCI name. When you read it, he says very little of substance.

I look at the rules and regulations they have introduced for the road scene, and it is frankly crazy, and something I'd hate to see in DH, Enduro and the like. As a quick example:

- Socks (and shoe covers) used in competition must not exceed the mid-distance between the ankle and the knee
- Technical innovations must first be disclosed to and approved by the UCI (think about this one!)
- Compression wear or fabric with 'coatings' of any type is banned
- Enforcing 'horizontal position of the forearms' when a rider is on a TT bike (nearly all riders have an exemption as they all have different limb lengths, morphology, so the rule doesn't actually work..)
(- No disk brakes)

Err, they are saying how long socks should be?! But they gave a free pass to all the dopers for most of the 90's and 2000's... I'd hate to see this kind of useless intrusion in MTB.
  • + 8
 That's to avoid huge (arguably "unfair") advantages in aerodynamics. They did the same in swimming a few years ago with that fancy full body Speeso swimsuit.
Not just the UCI
  • + 51
 does he even boost?
  • + 11
 True, but in swimming you have 8 lanes, the races are only 'minutes' long, and everyone wears the same suits from ~3 manufacturers, so it is easy to check. The difference was *huge* in real terms (double digit % improvement on previous records), so something had to be done.

I am not sure how you can enforce this in the cycling peloton in a GT (and also how much time could be gained) - They have trouble inspecting even 15% of the bikes, let alone every single person's kit too. The rules makes less sense also as it doesn't apply to rain or weather protection gear. (There is also no real regulation to say that weather protection should only be worn in certain types of conditions too... only that rain jackets can't be black!)

For me, all this just muddies the waters on minute technicalities, and goes against the very spirit of MTB, from the Klunkers and free spirits that started it all.

The UCI have 'ignored' blood doping for decades, AICAR and new drugs are not being tested for, TUE's for cortisone and god knows what else being granted all over the place, people are training on purpose in areas with very little testing (South Africa, Tenerife), problems with Blood Passports are being overlooked (machine calibration errors...) - I really dread their involvement in MTB, but it looks like it started already with the helmet cam issue (I agree with the principle, but it could have been handled and explained much better).

Just makes me sad that the circus could come to us Frown
  • + 37
 I don't agree. I think he said quite a bit -- he was very definitive on e-bikes, women's involvement on the various UCI boards and on the topic of forced female teams (about how we don't want to be second string), which he's very spot on about. He was also very clear about national federations having to stand up, and honest about the rapidly changing face of DH and MTB. We do change a lot, in fact, look at the last 5 years alone.

I also think that to do his job well, one must bean excellent politician; that's how he avoids pissing anyone off. You and I both know what politics do here locally in Utah; imagine that on an international scale. I think you have to look for the answers, but he did say quite a bit. He also gave us a definitive answer for Olympic inclusion, and the name of the man responsible for that.
  • + 38
 To be honest, they are probably speaking to the wrong person. If you went to the CEO of General Motors, and asked them about the technicalities of one specific model of car, they'd also not be able to divulge much. This guy is probably primarily a man manager who sets the guidelines. He's realistically not going to have much involvement with the running and progression of gravity mountain biking. Like he said, they have a team of people who have a manager - that'd be the best person to speak to.
  • + 9
 How about interviews from team managers as well as promoters from ft bill and msa. I would like to know how they view the current state of dh. Viability and profitability are key with or without the uci. One stop shopping is not always guaranteed quality. Might be a be careful what you ask for situation.
  • + 1
 The UC...who! !!! Gives a sh_t!!!! He said it very clearly, MTB is too dynamic to be put in constraits of a business suit and office dweller!!! So go ride your bikes and evolve the sport untill it is boring and stagnet and marketable to idiots who will watch it on TV.......really people is that what we really want....I ride a mountain bike so that I dont have to follow the rules, such as stop signs, lights, one ways, COPS, pedestrians, old farts and their cars, etc, etc, etc.......you want a race series.....grass roots! as MTB is!!!!
  • + 23
 We're still trying wheel sizes and axle lengths so this might take a minute
  • + 61
 He lost me when he said mtb is a product. Theres enough corporate shit in this world - we dont need it in mtb too. Props to the Fest series, EWS, Crankworx and all the other great things happening without the UCI.
  • - 11
flag jclnv (May 7, 2015 at 8:15) (Below Threshold)
 I didn't read the article but I agree, the UCI is doing a great job.
  • + 7
 Well said Bryce I agree
  • + 8
 give him sometime, I honestly think his responses were somehow political or corporate BS, but he is just starting...

is he the same guy that was in British cycling? most of the top DH racers nowadays are from GB so we definitely have to give him some time
  • + 5
 @Marc2211 the UCIs mishandling of doping scandals is my main concern about them. However I'm not sure that as things stand anyone else is doing any better. The EWS has already had a half arsed suspension for doping and action sports organisations like the X Games don't have drug testing at all.

For my sins I also follow road racing and while I'm sure that plenty of dodgy stuff is still going on I believe that measures like the biological passport have had some positive effect.
  • - 2
 @mrpowerjd I was thinking the SAME thing! Granted, I do not know him, and this is my only experience with him, however, he seems like he does an OUTSTANDING job of blowing smoke up our a$$es

Maybe I am missing something, but who cares about the UCI and regulation of DH/Enduro? Why not create our own series, by riders for riders...
  • - 3
 Seriously. He asks questions HE should know the answer to: "How many races can teams manage?" He knows little about things he should absolutely be aware of in great detail: "I'm not aware of the specifics of this particular situation..." He "wants to say..." or "wants to believe..." or "wants to think..." rather than saying or believing or thinking.

Dude comes across like a limp dick who didn't do his homework for an interview by the single biggest MTB website in the world, and seem completely ill-equipped to take our sport forward.
  • + 0
 put dan atherton's hardline on the wcdh schedule....and keep it there or hire mayweather promotions...
  • - 3
 looks like a roadie and a lawyer, probably never had dirt in his wounds... i don't like him, and i read the first few replies from him and he was just repeating this B.S. about how he thinks MTBing is important but wouldn't really say how he is changing anything or the emphasis he will put on it or any plans for the future.
  • + 2
 I'd believe him more if he hadn't said some almost blatantly untrue things. He wants to prove the UCI is listening? Fix the "sanctioned races" rule & the trouble it's causing,in the US & elsewhere. instead his response is: " It is not our job to interfere in the day to day running of the sport in a national federation that is their territory. I respect the decision-making structures that they have and we need to be careful not to counteract or to overrule local and national instances."

Really? cause that's opposite of what you're actually doing.
  • - 1
 blah blah blah we aren't doing enough for mtb
  • + 15
 the olympics need dh more than dh needs the olympics.
  • + 7
 fuck the olympics. keep it underground
  • + 10
 Seriously. The Olympics are a blight to every city that gets them, Barcelona has something like 5 arenas crumbling into the ground unused, some huge amount of debt STILL, & that's just one example. Literally no city has come out on top financially since the '60s or something.
  • + 5
 UCI has done a terrible job of managing its main sport, European stage and classics road races, we should be thankful they don't meddle in ours much farther than World Cup. The fact that they missed the enduro boat demonstrates that UCI is not necessary. Who do you think is paying the salaries of those 100+ UCI employees in that fancy modern building?

@stacykohut, Fully agree. The Olympics have chased after the young and restless with sports like snowboarding but they really missed the boat on DH MTB. That is no loss to DH.

@groghunter you are incorrect; the Olympics have been a boon to at least some cities.
  • + 1
 the only one was denver in recent times... i think... i'm not 100% on that
  • + 1
 grog hunter- calgary did good , im sure lake placid did well also , but i know that montreal was bust and just paid off the olympic debt like a year or 2 ago.
  • - 1
 finish line explosions and monster girls are waaaaaaay cooler than the olympics.

let it go mainstream, but keep it kinda white trash..............like sx.

dh doesn't even need the uci to do that.

i'm still bummed dh1 didn't take off.............
www.dh1.tv

brap.
  • + 2
 @jfloren Find me one example of where a city broke even, or came out ahead, as I cannot. Athens & Sydney both report that they broke even, but the numbers don't hold up to scrutiny, montreal was a bust, sochi was a nighmare, we already discussed barcelona, etc. The problem is that these things are costing something like 40 billion-with-a-b dollars to host now: it's unrealistic that any city would recoup that kind of expenditure. If you google "olympic debt", the articles about how much it's screwed cities over are legion.
  • + 1
 its usually the winter olympics because they already have the slopes. its usually cheaper to host but you make less money... but yeah, Hosting the olympics isn't a good business plan
  • + 2
 London 2012
  • + 2
 @groghunter. One example: Los Angeles, 1984.
  • + 1
 So @acmilan1899 & @jfloren the problem is that those numbers are suspect. How much infrastructure cost has been spent on the mostly empty arenas in LA? Barcelona is supposedly a win too, but they don't count the economic impact or infrastructure costs of those arenas that are rotting into the ground there. Basically, the only people who have access to real numbers for this stuff have absolutely every incentive to massage them to show a profit, the rest of us will never know the real cost.
  • + 76
 Bring back 4x. That is all.
  • - 4
flag bikerm (May 7, 2015 at 0:52) (Below Threshold)
 In all honesty, 4X never truly caught my eye. Considering it was only the bastard love child of dual slalom and BMX racing, it never could be as interesting as the already established sports it intended to emulate. When people glamourize 4X, they are remembering the glory days in which you could see Gee Atherton racing on the 4X course the night before the DH Finals the same weekend. But downhill changed, and all the big name crossover athletes who previously competed in both events were forced to narrow their focus to one event if they were to remain competitive. People forget how dead 4X was in the last few years, attracting far less spectators on site and online, with pitiful courses that could be ridden on a BMX, save perhaps one rock garden. Let 4X rest in peace, if the UCI wants to bring back something similar, bring in enduro or even dual slalom.
  • + 28
 Seriously?
  • + 5
 What in the hell are you even saying, bikerm?
  • - 5
flag Kerrypert (May 7, 2015 at 2:12) (Below Threshold)
 enduro? thats my favorite
  • + 46
 Bring back dual slalom and you would probably get a lot of the big name DH racers crossing over to compete in it like they used to. That would make it fun to watch.
  • + 12
 I enjoyed racing 4x so much more than racing DH. With DH it is all about the clock, who can be that 100th of a second faster. Even though the terrain and the speed they do on it is interesting, the concept of going down one by one, only competing against the clock isn't very exciting in my opinion. I much more enjoyed when you really have to battle the other 3 riders on the same course, that brought real excitment into racing in my opinion. Because you will do whatever it takes to overtake the person in front of you, and the person behind you has the same attitude about overtaking you. It's really a battle between the riders personally and how they try to tactically beat the other rider. One of the sickest moments ever in bicycle racing is still where Michal Merosi crashed and than overtook the other riders while jumping over them out of a wallride, and winning the race.
  • + 0
 dual for sure. 4x takes such a unique track that may never get used outside of a race.
  • + 7
 Maybe if there's no 4X series, here in the UK we have possibly the best national 4X series in the world! Three winter series too this last winter. At my local bike park the 4X track gets PLENTY of use, even by non 4X riders. And despite not being used for the nationals...
  • + 2
 That's great, but it might be isolated to your region. I have no idea if anyone in Canada (for example) is willing to put on 4x races, nor if anyone is actually interested in racing them. Not everywhere is open to building machine built courses.
  • + 2
 This why events such as the Sea Otter Classic and Crankworx reign supreme. You do see athletes crossing over between disciplines and it's awesome to see that. I know it's not like the old days where you'd see Cedric Gracia and Jared Graves battle in not only DH, 4X, DS in a given weekend event, but at least it's a step in the right direction.
  • + 5
 In my opinion 4x and or dual slalom should be brought back on a local level. I am not saying that it wouldn't be cool to see on a world cup level again but i just don't honestly see that happening. Just isn't enough money in it to make it worth while to the supporters/sponsors of a world cup. But on a local level i think would be really cool. Dual slalom/4x would make a perfect mid week hangout/race for a local scene. quick easy and fun format that is fun for spectators/family to watch.
  • + 1
 slalom would be easier to build and participate in for a wider age class and skillset range. pumptrack challenges on small portable tracks for local events for shops to go co-op on and run in conjunction with a series would be great for a scene
  • + 2
 @Bikerm - where have you heard that you could ride a WC 4x track on a BMX? A TV coverage maybe? TV lies. Fort William 4x track may look pretty mellow in TV, but I've been there and it's incredibly hardcore. Rougher than the famous JBC, I'd dare to say, you don't see on photos how many stones are there under the surface.

Attractiveness for spectators? Again, in TV - maybe it is nothing special. But get out to watch a race live and I guarantee you, that you won't find that much emotions in any DH race. I've been on WC in both disciplines and the atmosphere at 4x is amazing. At DH too, of course, but seeing only few secs of every racer's run didn't move me deeply enough and it would be nothing without amazing crowds making the entertainment.


@WayneParsons - it really depends on what kind of track you're thinking about. A WC track are rarelly ridden because of the roughness, difficulty and fitness-demands, but local-level tracks are great for everyone. Lots of flow, nice jumps, and plenty of possibilities to keep your progress on... what else would you need? Wink Unfortunatelly, the best tracks to race are often too demanding to ride on a daily basis.
  • + 2
 +1 Bring back 4x
  • + 54
 Off course this guy is a bit of a politician, you'd have to be to do that job. I thought his interview was OK and was impressed by Pinkbike's questions. It's not a common opinion on here but I dislike the extreme sports industry and am happier if MTB is associated with disciplines like cyclocross and track cycling than if it's marketed alongside freestyle MX or monster trucks etc. There are lots of issues with the UCI, but still better than any alternative I can see
  • + 23
 You're probably going to get slammed for your opinion, but I agree. The 'action sports' segment of Athletics is often easily distracted by the mundane, a little trashy, and tends to lean more towards show than substance. The UCI as a governing body has given DH guidelines and, although I really wish they would step up and invest in TV broadcasting (because that's what it would be: an investment in a growing discipline), I understand where they're coming from as a business and a cycling body federation.

I loved Mr. Cookson's definitive answer on E-bikes... Absolutely loved that one. I think we have a lot of growing to do, but the first step is to be professional about it -- we have to be passionate, but we also have to combine that with a detailed understanding of how passion does not keep the lights on. Business pays the bills, and smart business will keep us in the ring as long as we do our part. We have to have an equal mix of patience, passion and compromise to keep DH in the eyes of the organizers, and local and national federations have to step the hell up. It's not just up to the UCI, but every rider and every license holder out there. Vigilance and commitment is the price we pay keep our sport alive.
  • + 4
 I can't see DH ever making it to a mass audience via TV broadcasting because in all honesty I think its too boring (with the exception of Mr Warner). I've seen some DH shown on Eurosport before and even though I was big in to DH at the time, I switched off after 5 mins. It was only mildly interesting when the last big names were making their runs and even if the course is spectacular, you've had enough after seeing the same camera angles repeatedly. I think to the average viewer, TV fails to capture the atmosphere of a WC and also other elements like gradient and terrain which make it impressive. Perhaps they could take a leaf out of F1's book and include elements like live POV footage (if ever possible) and more crowd/staff/expert interaction to give some context, especially as a mass audience would have little idea about the names to watch and format.
  • + 7
 Dudes driving cars around an oval repeatedly get huge TV ratings and big sponsorship money. I don't know how you can possibly think downhill is boring viewing next to that, or golf, or baseball, or...
  • + 1
 Fair point, but all those sports already have a large audience who are generally very aware of the format, teams, news and talk surrounding the sport, some of which comes from the interaction with the people involved. The BBC coverage of the Masters had interviews with the likes of Spieth and walks of all the holes, and I expect they do pit walks in Nascar and look at set ups. If they applied some of that to the live DH coverage (which as far as I am aware they don't already do) then it would be more interesting and give viewers something to look out for.

I love watching the 'webisode' vids from the Specialized XC and DH teams and the Atherton series cause you got a look behind the scenes and how the riders where feeling.
  • + 37
 " If you look at Moto GP or Formula 1, high-end racing series, they are covering 18 to 20 stops a year, while the World Cup downhill is only seven this year. Why is the World Cup downhill such a short series?"
----
Was that a serious question? Do you know how expensive it is for teams to travel the world? Especially small teams on tight budgets. If you want 20 races, you can say goodbye to any parity left in the sport. It will be nothing but the same two or three teams big teams at every race and then a bunch of local national racers.
  • + 36
 Yes, it was. These aren't just questions I pulled out of the air, they were researched and I spoke to a number of people far closer to the circuit than you or I.
  • + 20
 Please, do tell names... Look at the womens field in Cairns last year. Look at the turnout and then go ask around why there was basically half the entries of a European WC.
  • + 0
 Well as Jamminator points out, thats probably a mistake considering this grass roots readership
  • + 4
 Having more rounds would potentially reduce the numbers of riders at each event due to cost, travel logistics and injury (unfortunately). It's not really feasible for most of these athletes to train and compete at world class events for 20 weekends. Most of them are pretty mentally exhausted just from the current length of season with the amount of travel involved.
  • + 20
 He didn't say we should do 18-20 races a year, I personally would like to see more racing. for e.g. this gap between france and the uk race is huge! can easily have another race in between this time. Another austrian destination or Marribor?

Its not far between this places.

I think though it must be hard on the racers with home nation events too which i guess then take up the time between the UCI stuff. Shame there isn't enough coverage to watch it.

On a side note, the redbull online coverage is shocking! They need another 5 cameras up that mountain as a minimum. We see them leave the start gate and then the next time we see them is at 2.30 in or so.. So i think it needs to be covered a lot better Wink
  • + 0
 Frost and Paxman eat your heart out...
  • + 1
 I can see the issue with world cup rounds expanding, but I don't see why these' tried and tested' venues are dropped year to year. I know that europe is already seen as too central for the world cup circuit and I agree a more international spread is needed, but tracks like Val di Sole/Schladming etc should be staples for very good reasons. France has given us two exceptional world cup tracks in the past two years that riders and spectators love, but it doesn't seem like they will be routinely included. I know Leogang invest a lot to have a round and are a good venue for spectating/ amenities etc but it's no secret the riders don't rate it at all. I am realistic and see the constraints of a limited funding series in a sport in its infancy, but that is all the more reason to get the basics right.
  • + 7
 @mattwragg I don't care one way or another about the UCI, but I thought you asked some good pointed questions and I pushed through a pot of coffee to get through the yawn inducing bland answers...


UCI to EWS; we're ready to pollute the awesome effective series you've created anytime you'll let us....
  • + 2
 great questions! @mattwragg good stuff.
  • + 2
 @10 rounds would be ideal. At least 1 within 2-3 weeks of round 1!!!!!
Big bear, ca would be an ez addition, then off to colorado, then canada, then ny,..or similar order.
Eventually mainstream tv will change to internet based, but this requires btr usa economy=btr world economy.
The ioc dead set vs new sports in near future blows.
  • + 3
 The camera coverage in the DH events do need to be improved. I hate how they don't cover some of the coolest parts of tracks at times.

I do think 20 rounds is a bit much but would like to see a couple more and all disciplines combined on the same weekend to make the overall event more epic.

Getting more coverage/viewers/event spectators can help the circuit grow and travel more by providing more overall income.
  • + 5
 Every sport has an optimal number of rounds, spacced an optimal amount of time apart, based on how quickly participants can recover from injuries, & how quickly participants can recover from each event. Look at the NFL: not a year goes by that some excellent team isn't decimated by injury these days, & you can see how tired some of the teams are by the end of the season: they've added too many games to the season at this point.

DH could probably easily support another few rounds. There still needs to be a few that are a few weeks apart, in order to give riders with serious injuries the chance to recoup, but that can easily be handled by taking advantage of locations with longer riding seasons, & making the season longer.

It could be argued that if riders have the time for very many mid-season races, then that's definitive proof there's the potential for more events in the season, when you're talking about the top level of a sport.
  • + 3
 Well considering top F1 teams can sum up aprox. 500M / year for expenses, its easy to see how they can afford 20+ GP's a year.

I don't really know a Factory's DH team budget, but i'm pretty sure it's not even close.

A 10 round calendar IMO would be perfect.
  • + 1
 easily a fair question. more rounds is something most would like. maybe not easily possible but not having huge gaps between the rounds could help tv appeal and marketability. definitely worthy of discussion, perhaps nothing will come off it but you never know there could be improvements to be discovered. good thing the workings of the world are not run by forum sniping.
  • + 1
 I think that having few downhill races is a good thing. With how much fatigue and injury are involved in this sport, I don't think that the racing would remain competitive or safe in a much longer series. Also, like Jamminator mentioned, it is very expensive to travel a team. Lastly, every race is high-stakes when they are limited. My favorite sport is basketball. In the NBA a regular season loss doesn't mean very much which can make the regular season less exciting at times. However, I really wish that there were more than just 7 stops.
  • + 31
 good questions. Well Done Matt Wragg
  • + 2
 @mattwragg thanks for getting this done.
  • + 27
 He did say one thing that was correct, "...They are in effect mopeds, it should fall on the FIM... If it makes people happy, if they enjoy it, there is nothing wrong with it, but we are about bikes. They are driven by the human body not by an electric motor or a diesel motor, a 2-stroke or whatever. If we ever lose that, I do not think that is cycling anymore."
  • + 6
 +100000
  • - 4
flag Matt-W (May 7, 2015 at 13:19) (Below Threshold)
 says UCI who have a problem with roadbikes with motors in races. ROFL.
  • + 3
 Amen. Anything with non human propulsion its no longer a bicycle and I wish they'd stop grouped with cycles. e mtbs are essentially very weak motos. yuk
  • + 19
 Grassroots, it's all in the grassroots. Suit's Are tied up in meetings and boards, it's up to us small players to change the game and make People say "what is that, i wanna do that".

Look @ FESTseries, by riders for riders. No crankworx get me stiffer than the FEST.

There's a Swedish saying, "allt går bara man vill", everything is possible if you want to. Just Dont expect a suit Will do it for you, cuz' They wont.
  • + 4
 amen!
  • + 18
 I have a lot of things to say about this, and once I've had a coffee I'll make a go of it, but just briefly..

..Those things are evolving all the time, you had the 4X..

Yes, yes we did, & we still do, but (sorry Alliance) it's dying and that process started the moment they were cut from the WCs. To present this as a natural consequence of the sport evolving is absurdly disingenuous.
  • + 17
 "We are really interested with working with colleagues to look at ideas and so on."

Brilliant. We're not actually doing anything, we're not doing anything with colleagues, we're not even looking at ideas, but we're really super-duper keen to work with people to look at ideas. And stuff.
  • + 17
 I quite enjoyed reading Mr.Cookson's interview. He seems like a humble sensible fellow!
  • + 12
 I'm going to go against the grain here and say that i think it was an excellent interview and very candid from Brian Cookson (finish reading before you start spamming the neg prop button)

That said, he hit the nail on the head when he pointed out that it's difficult or near impossible for an international organization like the UCI to adapt to the dynamism that is mountain biking. the UCI does bring some value added here to downhill (international recognition, organization, standardization, promotion etc) but as we have seen with the EWS, an organization that is not the UCI could fill that void with arguably better results.

And the obvious conclusion that i draw from that is that it doesn't make sense for them to be involved in the sport.
  • + 11
 Lost me in the opening paragraph, "Mountainbiking is a valuable product"... Sure its a tough gig, sure you gotta be political at that level and im sure hes a nice dude n'all but nothing good will come from an organisation that sees our sport as a product.
This backed up by how amazing the EWS is and its still only an infant, this is what comes from people with passion in their eyes not dollar signs. No wonder his door is now open to the EWS, the UCI simply had no idea of what a great product it would have made.
  • + 7
 Of course it's a product. Everything that isn't tied down is a product in a consumer-based economy, and MTB is definitely a product. Selling MTB is selling a product and to fund High school and introductory bike programs, more trails, more races, increased athlete programs, research and development and innovation, we have to sell MTB. That makes it a product, and pretending it isn't one is just blind. As I said above -- passion is good, but it won't keep the lights on. We need to stop trying to find reasons to be angry and instead, mold MTB's future into one that everyone is invested in.
  • - 5
flag donpinpon29 (May 7, 2015 at 4:22) (Below Threshold)
 his name is cookson and he calls mtb a product. hahahaha
  • + 3
 Don't be so obtuse. As he clearly states multiple times, the UCI's purpose is to promote cycling in all disciplines and get people involved in sport at the leisure and competitive levels. People that aren't mountain biking aren't just sitting on their sofas wishing they had something to do with their time; mountain biking is an expensive sport in all of it's aspects: bikes, kits, maintenance cost serious money, and there are costs of time: time to commute to the trail/venue, time to actually ride, time to improve to the point where it's not painful and exceedingly difficult. There are quite steep learning curves for mind and body. All these factors go into selling the sport to possible future participants, sponsors, viewers, and media corporations. All of these people want some return on their investment in mountain biking. It is a product to all of them, and you should be glad there is someone promoting our family of sports that understands that.
  • + 14
 I once worked for the UCI. It's a tough place to work, every Friday was 'Let Loose in Lycra'. Enough said.
  • + 14
 at least he has been to a DH world cup at fort bill!
  • + 13
 I think his car broke down nearby and he came by to ask for help.
  • + 12
 This guy could have said he was going to send every pinkbike commenter $100 bill and I have feeling people would have still complained about him.
  • + 5
 You have a good point. However, we MTB'ers (and BMX) have often been an afterthought at best, a piggy bank to rob and give to the road side of cycling at worst to the UCI. I am not bashing road cycling here. I am commenting on the lack of support and perceived disdain the UCI has consistently shown non-road cycling over the last say 20 years. One or 2 interviews and a year or less good will will not resolve this. UCI has a long way to go to regain our trust and/or prove themselves.
  • + 4
 Personally i wouldn't feel that was enough to repay the damage UCI has had on MTB over the last 15 years.
  • + 9
 That could possibly be the best interview I have ever read on PB. Great job, honestly. I thought his answers were generally very well thought out, and fair to MTB & the governing bodies of the respective countries. Obviously the real deciding factor will be the future actions, which speak oh so much louder than words... but I appreciated hearing Cookson's thoughts regardless.
  • + 11
 NEW RULE Whoever runs downhill world cups must have been to hecklers rock at some point no exceptions
  • + 12
 i cant wait to see what TEAM ROBOT asks the UCI!!!
  • + 7
 I watch F1 and motogp. Honestly as entertaining as they can be DH is often far more more entertaining to watch, so yes it's massively undersold IMHO.

MX, Street motorcycle and roadie friends I have who have seen DH Gropro footage from the likes of Ratboy in DH races have blown their minds! They're like 'WTF!!! This is insane!' If you can't sell that, well I'm lost for words, :-(
  • + 9
 I wanted to ask a question: I am terribly stupid... so can someone explain me, why do we wish for the Downhill to have coverage of magnitude similar to what road cycling has?
  • + 2
 Oh, WAKI.
  • + 2
 That's an interesting explanation, what was the tone of that "Oh?" Was it Oooooooh, oh or oHhhhh? Give me some clues, throw me a freaking bone here. I'm terribly stupid for overthinking it I know. I can't watch porn for that instance because I am too desperate for reasons to perform certain actions, and even plot aside so much stuff makes no sense what so ever
  • + 6
 I agree with WAKI. Whats up with super coverage or making it to the Olympics?
  • + 2
 It's not a direct answer to this question exactly, but I'll copy and paste here what I wrote on FB to you, and then suggest you go back and read the article from last May about how to save DH Racing (www.pinkbike.com/u/ambatt/blog/how-to-save-downhill-racing-and-downhill-as-we-know-it.html).

It's just an opinion, mind you, but an opinion I feel is very valid, especially when you take into consideration how much money we burn through as an industry on some really stupid stuff that could be spent elsewhere, getting more people on bikes. And isn't that the end goal? To make the world a more awesome place?

"Well, WAKI, that's an excellent question. Personally, I'm pushing for increased athlete valuation. I'm also pushing for increased broadcast rights to present DH as a spectator sport and give the masses inspiration to at least get on a bike. I'm currently trying to get more women and more kids involved, and to have them feel appreciated. I also am pushing for better trail building, more trails and more clear distinguishes between skills trails and an even amount of all; I'd love to see trails purpose built for our user base. Beginner trails might get someone into the sport, but the intermediate and advanced trails keep them in it. But that's just what I push for.

What is your 'more'? What would you like to see more of? Less of?"
  • + 1
 Essentially, everything takes money, but money is just a series of numbers. More trails = more money. More races = more money. More development programs, HS bike programs, youth outreach programs = money, money, money. Right now, we're not efficiently spending what little cash comes into the sport, and instead, it feels as though we're running around in circles like a bunch of headless chickens.

Why NOT broadcast it or try to get it jnto the Olympics (which Cookson has clearly said wont happen in this lifetime, so scratch that), especially if it means getting more people on bikes, and interested in spending their money in the bike industry? It's not selling out if everytime someone buys a bike, they're buying into a lifelong passion and community. That's the difference -- it's time to invest in ourselves, our athletes and our future.
  • + 6
 I imagine one of the biggest challenges with DH as an olympic sport would be finding suitable venues, especially for olympics hosted in cities without any nearby terrain. You can easily throw together an XC course just about anywhere, but a proper DH track at an olympic level would be much more difficult to pull off.
  • + 3
 I just wanted someone's opinion and yours is always a valuable one. I have no opinion because I am fine with the sport and my own riding as it is. What I don't like is people asking me stupid questions about Downhill and extreme mountain biking. I also deeply despise mass sport coverage which is a fake, not having anything to do with sport, rather arena for commercials . Finaly I do not believe in any form of cycling as a healthy activity. In genera, in reality, sport and physical health are rarely linked together.

So I guess it is racers whohave most realistic need for growth of the sport. As to my "more" I referred to a prevalent instinct of a human being, every life form of trying to expand in all possible
ways, but we are rarely aware of that. We do not want a particular thing, we want undefined more
  • + 4
 @ambatt the points about money and attracting more riders are valid, but personally I am under strong impression, that ANY sport, that becomes an olympic discipline (i.e. through rapidly growing spectatorship, making it attractive to broadcast), gradually turns into some horrid combination of more doping/money/marketing and less sport. Being a niche sport has its advantages.
  • + 1
 I am actually not buying "money" argument at all. Conversion of everything to money is not my game, at least as long as we at the same time talk higher values of being in nature, helping kids, inspiring people and other transcendental bullcrap half of blogs and articles on bikeweb treat about. I don't give a flying fck if someone earns more money on MTB than they do today. Duality is a trap but I will say it none the less: in a way Red Bull is promoting our sport as no one else,MTB is what it is today, it is so far thanks to them, to a big degree, but in another way, it is a real chemical crap sold to all sorts of people, including kids in ethically questionable ways. Give kid a coffe and you are a terrible immoral parent, give him energy drink and mah, just make sure he doesn't drink too much too often. And it is this way in many situations in all forms of sport. The end justifies the means, it's a fact and the only sad part about it, is that we act according to this prinicple and we like it - no sorry not that one this one is sad: we just say we don't.

Just to say when I stopped to need more: 2010. 6" bike with good geo, dropper post, good brakes, good suspension - trails? We advocate for them and build them ourselves.
  • + 2
 Agree very much with your last sentence yxbix and also Waki first post. You can tell by a lot of the anti-authority "down with the suits" type comments here on PB that most people want to keep it a bit more grass roots and fueled by the love of the sport where possible. I am grateful for the organisation and structure bodies like the UCI add but also love that MTB is a little under the radar of most people. Being niche has its own attractions compared to being the same as everyone else.
  • + 1
 I don't mind if there are more pros earning more money and more companies earning more money on mountain biking - this is what it comes down to so let's not add ideological substance to it, as there is none. The true value, whatever it is for you, is with you on the trail or on the race track, and it does not get better by gigantic complicated schemes and gears going on in a tiny relation to it. I took more than 10 people into the sport now, did it make me feel better? No. Did it make them feel better? How the hell do I know, most of their bikes stand now unused in their cellars, attics, garages. Two smartest of them never bought a bike after they rode with me on borrowed ones. Perhaps if they haven't found MTB before by themselves, it just wasn't meant to be. I don't like inflating stuff, coming up with ideas like saving souls by introducing them to MTB.
  • + 1
 If you're of the bend thats wants to "grow" the sport or profit from it I get that and wouldn't work against you but having seen other "sports" I love go this route and have big $$$ come into it I'm not convinced how great it will be. I doubt anyone here got in to DH or DH racing for fame or a 6/7 figure income, but if they can get that good for them. If the $$$ influx resulted in lower price better quality parts/bikes I'd like it more but the laws of economics rarely result in that happening. Not seeing DH races on a major network but being able to still find them online suits me fine. I respect DH WC racers far more due to the fact that they train as hard as any athlete and take it just as serious for far less $/stability. More orgs more rules more people more politics more hassles less sight of what it all started from.
  • + 1
 money has nothing to do with it. look at xgames. it took getting ALL current extreme sports together back in the day to get some coverage. Now once in a while you get a bmx comp or skate comp on TV. MX is the same but has grown quicker in the likes that it has a similar layout to nascar. Americans like races in circles. Maybe one day there will be an E-Bike offroad track race! more plausible than mainstream WC DH coverage. 1. it's a world cup. venues all over the world. 2. bikes are stupid expensive. 3. not everyone has access to mountains/bike trails 4. a million other reasons.

It used to be on OLN in the late 90's early 2000's with crappy coverage but that was awesome! theres a reason it didn't make money/sense to be broadcast. i'm sure people lost their shirts on that investment.

Online format is perfect, maybe netflix will pick up coverage one day. they seem to grab at the low hanging/cheap fruit.
  • + 2
 Money isn't THE issue? So I guess the reason 99% of ALL gear associated w ALL "action sports" is made in asian sweat shops is because we just love giving those people low paying jobs in questionable conditions?
  • + 1
 @ov3r1d3 well it is, but indirectly. It's viewer base, im assuming thats the key target. If there were millions of people watching the live feeds online, i'm 100% positive we would have tv coverage of Live DH events on TV. (then trickle down would occur where larger companies would make deals with bike companies/athletes etc) and commercial deals would be made.
  • + 2
 Quite honestly, I believe that we live in the era where companies are extremely effective in gaining marketing grounds to push their products to wider and wider groups of consumers. Then mountain biking is known for generating little revenue, as compared to other sports like Tennis, Skiing, not mentioning comparison to other industries like automotive. Hello, Adidas is gigantic, spend incredible amount of money promoting their running gear, shoes, while all they push to MTB with their own logo is glasses, then maybe two people saw their jersey on Hans Rey or Richie Schley. Basing on that i think that potential investors know well enough what they can get out of MTB and if they haven't invested yet, then it is for a reason. MTB is a niche and I think some people could do a better job and live a happier life utilizing what we already have, even with slow growth prognosis. rather than believing that one day DH will be anywhere near best air time on major sport station. If MTB would be worth investment "they" would already be here and we would be up there, but "they" aren't, so certain ideas remind me of trying to convince MTb community that if we all hold hands and close our eyes we will inflate a small party balloon to the size of Hindenburg.

Money is not in MTB, never will. Ask shop owners how much they earn selling bikes and bike components vs accessories, all sorts of riding gear, helmets, shoes and clothing.
  • + 1
 I totally agree with @ambatt and great article How to Save Dh
  • + 2
 I love that so many of you are like "it's not about money!" and then turn around and say that yes, at some point, it's always about money, but still insist that the sport stay small and niche and... Do you ever just stop?! For Christ's sake! Instead of getting all existential and pretending to be deep thinkers, why don't you just realize that at the end of the day, it IS a 'product' and it IS just bike riding.

Bikes do some amazing things all over the world, but generally, that extreme good is often funded by money that comes from the inner circle of the bike industry, not faeries that rain cash from the sky.

Also: please, PLEASE work on your reading comprehension. I specifically said (scratch the Olympic idea from Cookson's statement) and focus on broadcasting. So much focusing on wrong details instead of the overall theme of the message.

This is why I stopped commenting on this f*cking site.
  • + 4
 There are too many holes in this. Valuation isn't real. it's assumed valuation of something (I trade stocks, and see it all the time, you have shit companies that are highly valued and vise versa). The valuation of mtb in general, not even specifically a niche, is extremely low. Almost off the radar. The fact that we have people like the UCI as a grounds at all for keeping the dh scene alive and refiined is a miracle. they could drop it and focus on road and xc and they would probably be better off. Mountain biking will always be a niche because of the product of the bike itself being complex, expensive and specific as well as location. the majority of people on earth live in cities away from mountains. you bring a motocross track into a city? bam! you have millions of viewers because they come to the people in ways MTB never will. get over it @ambatt it is what it is.
  • + 1
 @ambatt, the very point I was making since the beginning is we are where we are, how much further and why?How far do you want the magical entity known as "the sport" to go? Is there any specified goal that would satisfy you personally? How much do you want MTB or DH alone to grow? Until you or your friend gets so sponsored that she doesn't need to do other job aside of racing? That MTB job gets you 3 cars Dodge Viper, own ranch and house on Hawaii? That you get Whistler quality bike park in Utah? Pumptrack in every school backyard? DH comp every weekend somewhere in 2h drive distance? 15+ DH world cups every year? Watched on ESPN? Recaps on HBO? Gwin on Jimmy Kimmel? V10 carbon in XXS 20" for your kid? Enve rims for 50$? Give me some tangible goal, happening, not just more, faster, further with we need more money from somewhere for something bike related and then everything will be fine.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns unfortunately more isn't more in this case. All of these ideas and points are so out of line with reality. We, the core users who bike frequently can't control these things, like some think we can. i'ts Apple McSuit and all his millons of buddies driving volkswagen tdi's to the driving range on weekends and watch baseball and poker on TV. IF they all started streaming DH events, then it would grow. but it's not so it isnt. it's the chicken and the egg of sorts, but not really because the chicken's been laying eggs for years and no on gives a shit.
  • + 2
 Reading these comments (and many of them make legit points) is like watching your turn signal syncopate w the car in front of you at a stop light, seems everyone is having their own conversation for the most part. Of course when I say $ Im not comparing MTB let alone DH to an industrial complex, or saying profit margins are huge, they aren't for most. I mean the way a razor or car company bring $ when you get a level of exposure and what they expect for their money and how that affects the way MFGs go after a broader market. More demand brought in that form usually results less focus on the quality and people who will ride no matter what to more on volume, IE a snowboard made by a company that loves riding and you can go see where they proudly make boards to $100 mass produced asian garbage that saturates the market. Shortly after the trend wanes the masses leave and now the handmade company that used to employ riders is having the asian garbage branded w their name on it just to stay afloat. You can't stop it but you don't have to embrace it. Lastly theres enough $$$ to be had that these road guys/gals will do some shocking medical cheat procedures to themselves just to win and its been tolerated for a long time pretty sure all commenting aren't in a big hurry to see the DH riders stooping to that level to bring in that $$$.
  • + 2
 i agree with you fully @ov3r1d3
  • + 2
 WAKI, we both know I've already answered those questions you have; now you're just trolling intentionally and, again, lack the reading comprehension to have proper discourse, so I'm walking away. Thanks for the fun while I'm laid up, fellas. Wink
  • + 2
 Overall I don't feel an urgent need for this sport to grow but here's a couple of good reasons:

1) more women in grassroots mountain biking

2) more money supports more women in elite racing

That has to be a good thing in my mind.

But anyway, patience is what is needed. Technology will make MTB racing far more accessible. What we saw with Freecaster and now taken onwards by Redbull is just the beginning. Wireless tech, drone tech and camera tech are all storming forwards and this means the cost and ability to expand coverage will grow. Personally I also look forward to something closer to realtime timing, rather than two splits. This combined with realtime POV footage would show exactly who's fast where. Awesome

These things will come.
  • + 6
 Great idea to meet this man ! Good questions too ! Thanks for this interview Matt ! Smile Anyways, just want to say, they should make neck braces mandatory (at least in WCs...), instead of regulate the use of POV cameras during races ! I think all of us do love this kind of videos because this is an affordable way to enjoy the tracks at racer's speed (not only Claudio's previews but I also love Ratboy's ones !), so it's good for both us and the industry because it stimulates riding and then expenditures ! I mean, everything in our sport, not only bikes, but also parts, clothing, bikepark passes etc ! They have to complain with both riders' wishes and amateurs' wishes, and enhance safety where the real priorities are (spectators, neck braces). Smile
  • + 1
 It's "comply", not "complain" ! Sorry for the mistakes ! :$
  • + 5
 "If you look at downhill, outside the UCI World Cups, there are not many major, serious competitions as far as I’m aware."

Here's a few...

BDS (and other national cups)
IXS cup
Crankworx (ok, not just dh)
FEST
Rampage

Look at the bigger picture and see that there are big competitions out there that regularly attract the worlds best riders and get decent coverage. (I admit, not as much as the world cups, but still a lot!) UCI isn't the centre of the cycling universe you know!
  • + 5
 The ban on helmet cams is an idiotic knee jerk reaction. If a helmet can't withstand landing on a plastic mounting tab then it would be completely worthless when rammed into sharp rocks. The camera itself immediately snaps off due to the mounting hinge tabs being tiny pieces of plastic. All that remains is the taped on mounting tab. It's about as dangerous as the plastic tab on goggle straps. This irrational fear was created by bad reporting after the Michael Schumacher skiing crash. A reporter spoke with Schumacher's son and then theorized that the camera mount could have been the problem. There was never any evidence or even an expert suggesting that the camera or mount was dangerous. The reporter, Moncet later recanted that theory after the story blew up and got repeated as fact around the globe.
  • + 9
 * Skip article and start reading comments
  • + 5
 Please remind me..... why do we need the UCI again? What value do they add?

How about an organization separate from the UCI that can help bring some marketing, organization and economies of scale to the efforts behind the types of cycling that we're actually interested in (mountain cycling)? Like the current races and events put on by Crankworx, EWS and World Cup downhill.

Let UCI focus on shaved legs and EPO. Remove World Cup Downhill from the UCI but bring the sponsors (eg. Red Bull, Shimano) with.

Would be nice to see FMB World Tour, EWS and WCDH under the same management totally separate from the UCI dickweeds.

Burn the UCI to the ground. From the ashes we will create a new world...... a better world.
  • + 1
 I don't know why you got downvoted. This is the same question I came here to ask. Seems like they're really only concerned with road racing, which is totally fine but why does mountain biking need to be run off the corner of their desk like an afterthought?
  • + 1
 I would also like to know this, what do the UCI bring to DH or MTB in general and why do they need it (honest question because I don't really know anything about the administrative or $$ side of the sport). Also would like to know how long are people going to wait until the DH World Series is created.
  • + 8
 Cookson is answering these questions like a true politician, yuck! : /
  • - 5
flag rideonjon (May 7, 2015 at 0:51) (Below Threshold)
 The real question is,does this guy even ride a bike?I doubt it,our sport is being represented by people who can't even relate.
  • + 6
 You could always just Google rather than asking a rhetorical question. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Cookson#Involvement_in_the_sport_of_cycling
  • + 6
 UCI Drinking Game: Every time ol' Cookie says "We can do better" or a variant of that - Drink!
  • + 6
 Could be a lot worse I think. He seems to have knowledge and interest in the sport , he could be totally dismissive.
  • - 14
flag spookyrider09 (May 7, 2015 at 1:23) (Below Threshold)
 he sounds just like another overpaid bureaucrat, probably would have done good in todays election
TORIES = UCI
  • + 10
 The original comment is a very fair one. Of course there is a lot to be done but can you imagine Mcquaid even getting involved with PB in the first place? Progress is there, steady, but it is there
  • + 3
 Personally, I love watching both WC XCO and DH. They are solid, exciting formats that I would love to see more of (and compete in) them here in the US.

I'm sick of the boring, slow "endurance" racing that has taken over America. Races should be fast. Keep XC races less than 2 hours and make the course tough.

Enduro is a great format, but it's killed traditional DH racing here in CO. I am also skeptical of the format's need to keep courses secret until right before the race. It seems lame to ask that racers either take time off work to preride or potentially race blind, which is just outright dangerous.

Olympic DH would just suck, as summer games don't often have any suitable mountains near by, and you know they'd come up with some awful bastardized format.
  • + 2
 "I felt it was a valid discipline."
Thanks for that......
The UCI would do well to stick to what it knows. I think that there is space for an international MTB federation, covering ALL types of mountain biking, not just "downhill, cross country etc"
  • + 6
 That building shows where all those fees are going
  • + 3
 It was a gift from the association of EPO manufacturers.
  • + 4
 "We are looking at enduro events, maybe bringing that into the UCI a bit more."

Nooooo! Leave the EWS alone! It's doing just fine as it is.
  • + 2
 "mountain biking is an important, valid and valuable product for international cycling"

And that right there is probably the real issue with UCI. At the end of the day, biking is all about fun, freedom, challenge, stoke, getting out in nature, and any of the zillions of awesome reasons people get out there on two wheels. For the head of UCI to look at that variety of awesomeness and have so little passion for it all to declare one of the branches of the sport and important, valid and valuable product as if he were the CEO of Procter & Gamble talking about one of their detergent brands and how its an important piece of their brand portfolio - well, that right there gives you a good idea of what the issue is with "governing bodies" in sport.
  • + 2
 The way he words his answers kind of bugs me, like when he says stuff like:
"I want to say that mountain biking is an important, valid and valuable product for international cycling."
"I want to believe that mountain biking in any of its disciplines, any of its branches, is no less important."

You know, I want to say he's not spouting lip service. I want to believe he really thinks mountain biking is important.
  • + 1
 We MTB'ers (and BMX) have often been an afterthought at best, a piggy bank to rob and give to the road side of cycling at worst to the UCI. I am not bashing road cycling here. I am commenting on the lack of support and perceived disdain the UCI has consistently shown non-road cycling over the last say 20 years. One or two interviews and a year or less of good will talk will not resolve this. UCI has a long way to go to regain our trust and/or prove themselves by not only talking about it, but proving with a) support and b) a distinct approach to rules, regs, etc. that reflects the flexibility and approach to all things off-road cycling is. This often in stark conflict to road approaches. Example: regulating trivial things such as Jersey colors or sock length.
  • + 1
 I have a GoPro, and the adhesive mount breaks away very easily. I can't really see it doing any damage unless you landed directly on it. Any other angle, it would pop off and be out if the way and not interfere with the helmet's protection. It's popped off on me several times already just by barely snagging on tree branches, and the force it imparts on my head and neck before braking away is very minimal, so minimal that in one instance I didn't even realize I had lost it until a mile down the trail.
  • + 1
 He did not answer the question about why so few races per year for DH. Is it really that hard to find venues? It is not like you need a F1-class site, facilities and standards...... It is not like there are not enough lift-equipped places in the world neither.... Or is it more related to the fact that the venues do not get to make money out of it but lose instead?
  • + 4
 Holy building batman, no wonder race entry fees and licenses keep getting more expensive. Sigh
  • + 3
 Invest in highschool mtb. That is the future. The varsity leval is insane and the best of the best will one day come from there.
  • + 4
 Came here for the comments. Was not disappointed.
  • + 0
 Great interview! I still find it hard to believe that POV cameras increase the risk of head injury any appreciable amount. Usually those things snap right off in a crash, and even if it didn't, what's the difference between the camera and a rock on the course? If the UCI is so concerned about rider safety (which i appreciate), WHY AREN'T NECK BRACES MANDATORY?!?
  • + 16
 There is no medical consensus on the effectiveness of neck braces. But that is a topic for another day.
  • + 5
 I believe the issue is with the mount,if the camera breaks off the mount remains creating a pressure point.
  • + 13
 my sony broke off perfectly when I went OTT a couple of weeks ago, just like my collar bone and ribs did lol
  • + 7
 The camera ban is necessary. Right now its just stuff you glue on your helmet and no one knows the consequences. Helmet manufacturers will consider the mounting points and the effect the camera has in a crash situation. Next gen helmets could be proven to be safe with cameras attached, which is a good thing in my books.
  • + 3
 Just think back to cam Coles crash a season or two ago when he bounced off the top of his head twice, what if he was wearing a camera? Would his injuries have been even worse?
  • + 1
 Surely the difference between two helmets would be bigger than having a camera on it, id expect a troy lee d3 with gopro to be safer than a cheaper £100 lid, surely pressure build up is not an issue as the helmet would be dispersing the energy around the head anyway, as is said its the same as a rock so ban those too!
  • + 4
 If things like camera mount bother your sense of security then the solution is simple - stop riding your mountain bike, it is dangerous as hell. Sit on your couch at home and watch others doing it instead. Football fans do it since tens of years and it has led to a dramatic development of the sport.
  • + 5
 @mattwragg Thanks for conducting such an in depth interview. As for the issue of the efficacy of neck braces... I was unaware of the lack of concrete, emperical evidence in support of braces. I just assumed (like many others I'm sure) that they worked (at least to some degree). Anyway, thanks for inspiring me to read a little bit about it. Definitely an interesting issue Smile

I found this article to be pretty good: www.dirtrider.com/features/the-neck-brace-web-component

If there are any other articles/studies (that avoid anecdotal evidence) regarding the issue, I'd like to read them.

Cheers
  • + 6
 @Workhardplayharder I did some research on the topic at the start of last year - talking to Dr Leatt and Alpinestars head of development, but haven't had time to really get into the subject as it's gets very, very complicated with conflicting views from various parties, and then race season started so I had to hit the road...
  • + 4
 There is no difference between the camera and a rock on the course and the is exactly why it's dangerous. Would you prefer to land your head directly on a rock during a crash? If not why the hell would you want to essentially ride around with the rock on your head?
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns

Of course people are concerned about their safety thats why they wear helmets in the first place, no one would glue bulky solid stuff to their back protector. Just because you don't understand the consequences it doesn't mean they can be neglected.

@alazamanza

It's not just about the pressure, with a camera + mount you an object on your helmet which can for example tilt your head when hitting a stone, tree or whatever resulting in neck injuries.

Video about certified an non certified helmets : www.vitalbmx.com/videos/member/ARF-Presents-Certified-vs-Non-Certified-Bicycle-Helmet-Impact-Test,43560/kylecarlson,363
  • + 3
 A interesting view on neck braces. orthopaediciq.org/why-the-leatt-brace-is-dangerous
  • - 1
 @estate - do you have any reference on how dangerous a camera/ camera mount can be? It may be a report of some case of some injury. Smells of "unknown unkowns" to me, but I am opened for enlightement.

@ric2020 - there is a big portion of scientific research papers contradicting each other in all disciplines of science, health and nutrition in particular. Science can't save us from ourselves, nothing can. First we believed God can, now we are in the era where people have faith in science. Corruption of science is ever present, from straight forward lies, to biased research, because in the current climate, huge portion of knowledge is generated on grants from private companies. If let's say Nestle owned company pays for research on health effects of some substance in their products, let's say soy lecitine, then good luck with reading negative stuff about it. Therefore we cannot expect Leatt or any of the safety gear producers, introducing those kinds of products to say it's either bad or not doing anything. Even companies that don't do neck braces won't say anything to not shoot themselves in the foot, in case they'd like to make one in the future.

We have to sort it out for ourselves.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns , not saying I fully agree with the article, but I did find it interesting. Like you say we need to make our our mind up until some definitive unbiased peer reviewed evidence and research is published. Due to the complexity of this subject, I don't expect that to be anytime soon!
  • + 3
 I don't have a report or a reference saying it is actually dangerous / may compromise safety. But I don't have one saying it is safe either.
But I have litte piece from GoPro:

"We have not done widespread testing of different helmet brands, in most instances a camera will more likely dismount than damage the helmet. Our policy is that it is up to the customer to ensure their camera is mounted safely and securely, we can not accept any liability regarding the way that a mounted camera my impact the user’s safety in the event of a crash."

and from Specialized:

"We think it’s a bad idea to have a camera “hard mounted or bolted” to the helmet, as this may increase risk by adding leverage to rotation in an impact. Standards often state that “protrusions over 5mm in height, off of the surface of the helmet, must break away in an impact.”

And the difference between hard mounted and glued on are slim
Basicly it is tinkering with your main safety device. Just like no one would drill holes into his helmet to create a better ventilation.
  • + 0
 How about the... visor?
  • + 2
 since the visor is not retrofitted by the customer I'm sure they included it in the testing and found it to be safe.
  • + 1
 I am not so sure, but that's just the feeling in the gut. When I look at my Gopro mount and visor on my TLD D2, I'd say there is no way it is harder for camera to detach under impact than that stiff visor.
  • + 2
 Why don't they just use chest mounts...? No safety risk there.
  • + 0
 I want a chest mount in the shape of xenomorph "being born"
  • + 1
 @bkm303 I'd hate to crash wearing a chest mount
  • + 1
 Why? A chest mount can't break your neck like a big lever hanging off your helmet can. Worst case, you get a big bruise on your chest.
  • - 1
 I like how we play their game by discussing it Big Grin
  • + 1
 how is a helmet cam going to break your neck?

chest cam crashing into your sternum isn't my idea of fun.
  • + 2
 A helmet cam can break your neck because the camera or the mount can get caught on something. Part of how a helmet works is that it is smooth and allows the head to slide along the surface upon impact. If you have an object stuck to the helmet it can get caught on the ground.
  • + 0
 Aaaaand branch cannot get caught under the visor? Ok guys, who cuts the bullsht here?
  • + 4
 If a branch gets caught under your visor it's going to hit you in the face.... ie very close to the fulcrum of the lever that is your head/neck. Less leverage... and to be honest there's not much you can do about getting hit in the face. Teletubby helmet cams are an increased risk because it's basically a lever that wants to snag things in a crash. This is the exact reason people have warned against using them in skiing too. A helmet is supposed to let your head slide without inducing rotation (to the extent possible).
  • - 1
 If he could still talk, Michael Schumacher would tell you that wearing a helmet camera increases the risk of injury.
  • + 0
 bkm303 - I totaly get the point of camera being additional hazard, but it is hard to estimate how problematic it is. It's very easy to remedy it, by making non durable mounts. That is agreat opportunity of makers to stand out for a moment - uuuu we have SMS - safe mounting system.

But as to the visor a cut branch sticking forward can hypothetically get caught under it if only for a moment before it rips it off, yet still manage to get you off the bike and do some damage to your neck by pulling your head back. How do I know this? because it happened to me but my visor was seriously shattered in some of the previous crashes so fortunately it fell off easily? I still got a nice pull on my head and barely managed to stay on track. Since then I cracked another visor but this time I did not put it together with duct tape, it's just cracked. The visors on open face helmets (like TLD used to have) are shorter than standard ones because they were promoting eating ground and losing teeth. Not mentioning that it can get smashed down and block your vision - So visor is an issue. I just mean if we talk of cams, let's talk visors too.
  • + 2
 @mattwragg i would love for PB to get into the topic of neck brace efficacy at some point. I have head, leg, arm, shoulder, back and chest protection but have held off on a neck brace because of the conflicting studies on these.

tons of people swear their neck brace saved their neck from being broken, but how do they really know? they can't exactly recreate the fall perfectly to test it. if there was no downside to wearing them, i would probably get one just in case, but it seems there is increasing evidence that neck protection increases clavicle breaks.
  • + 0
 Would you rather break your neck or your clavicle?
  • + 1
 I broke my clavicle not wearing a neck brace two weeks ago Frown
  • + 1
 I have broken my clavicle before aaaaaand even though that totally sucked and I hated it, I'd rather break that than my neck.
  • + 1
 Right, but that's my point, you don't know if it actually prevented a broken neck, it may have prevented nothing and caused a clavicle break
  • + 1
 I wasn't wearing a neck brace
  • + 1
 I obviously wasn't talking about you poah
  • + 1
 Wearing a tele tubby helmet cam exponentially increases the likely hood of head/neck trauma as a result of the athlete wanting to look cool in the footage, and therefore assuming more risk, in order to make up for the fact that they are making a complete ass of themselves
  • + 1
 Proof?
  • + 2
 It seems, from the answers above, that the UCI is purely concerned with getting a consensus on everything and not pushing for anything in particular. :-/
  • - 1
 Great interview, well at least great questions, you've got the feeling Cookson heard amore bout what's happening in Gravity MTB here than his last 2 years at the head of the UCI. Shame to hear the door is shut for DH to enter Olympics though, when you're talking about coverage, money, place of women in the sports, I'm pretty sure a lot of these issues would disappeared after becoming an olympic sport... On the Enduro side, apart the rainbow jersey I don't see what the UCI would add up to the current EWS, maybe some dull venues where people would ride a XC bikes as their weapon of choice.
  • + 2
 I do love the fact that 4X gets so mentions even thought this was an Interview with the UCI about DH and Enduro....
  • + 1
 "The UCI is a relatively small organization" The UCI is more than just mountain biking guys, and road racing is a hell of a lot more popular.
  • + 1
 I do mtbiking becouse it makes me be/feel free. I don't need all that shit which tells me what kind of socks I'm supossed to wear.
  • + 1
 quote: "We are looking whether we can do more combined rounds of downhill and cross-country in the same venue"

WHY?
this alone shows how out-of-touch the UCI is.
  • + 2
 ??? I always thought the rounds that weren't combined were odd.
  • + 4
 OLYMPIC DOWNHILLING
  • + 1
 where do I get a DOWNHILLING BIKE?
  • + 2
 next to the ENDUROING section
  • + 1
 GOPRO KILLER
  • + 1
 Nice he thinks "it" is a valid discipline. Pity I don't feel the same about road racing.
  • + 2
 UCI, go away, you're annoying
  • + 2
 Weir bikes with Long wheel base and lots of travel for downhill? No way?
  • + 1
 I understand the reasoning behind no helmet cams, but does that mean Chestys are still legal?

I prefer that view anyways.
  • - 1
 the UCI are a joke, they DONT care about anything to do with offroad cycling, they just want the doe, everything else is irrelevant?
offroad cycling needs to go in its own direction, well away from the leaches of the UCI
  • + 2
 They don't really care about road cycling either, at least not in the way of being passionate about it. It's all about turf, influence, revenue.
  • + 1
 Well I thought that was a great interview. Good questions and good answers. Thanks
  • + 2
 Cool building. Bet that cost a buck or two.
  • - 2
 The UCI is a joke! Not even going to read this article as my brain is probably going to melt. Such a money grab and they have useless idiots trying to run the company. I bet majority don't even get out on a bike! Stop trying to lead the mountain bike industry in what direction you think is best and just let the industry take it own route. Keep the road cycling spandex to yourselves. Bring back 4X and introduce more exciting disciplines to the mountain bike industry, maybe partner with the Olympics for downhill, and only then will you be appreciated Madder
  • + 2
 I scrolled striaight to the comments.... WAAYYY more interesting!!!
  • + 1
 Did I miss the question about why that ridiculous apparel/team clothing rule exists?
  • + 1
 And... he lives about 5 minutes down the road from me!
  • + 1
 Classic Lip Service. Guys a dick.
  • + 1
 The guy said it himself "Must do better"!
  • + 1
 fest series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • - 1
 I'm actually shocked about the camera/commuter comment!
We all know camera mounts are desighned to release in a crash to avoid any interference with helmet doing its job
  • + 2
 Really? How do you know that it is safe? No studies have been done and the helmet industry and the camera companies admit they have not studied the issue and will make no claims that a helmet mounted camera is safe. In reality, it is more dangerous to wear a helmet mounted camera than it is to not wear one.... but the UCI ruling was to make sure the UCI is not liable if an athlete is injured due to a helmet cam. Hence the athlete waiver and required written statement and insurance from the camera manufacturer.
  • + 1
 What does the uci have to do with commuting,
  • + 4
 So gopro mounts have release settings now?? Cuz I was under the impression that you just glue em right on. Part of the point of a helmet is that it slides along the ground rather than forcing your head to twist or snap back. A camera mount would interfere with that pretty badly in a crash.

To me the real question is... why the hell don't they just wear chest mounts??? Makes the video look better IMO, more aero (if you care about that), and poses no safety risk.
  • + 2
 I cracked two ribs with a chest mount. Never again
  • + 1
 @garcmol I hear you dude. They give a great POV but hurt like f*ck when you crash.
  • + 1
 CHEST MOUNT BABY!!!!!!!!! but cracking two ribs with one sucks. I guess bar mount then? I'm pretty sure they let that in?
  • + 2
 better cracking ribs than getting dain bramage
  • + 1
 Where is the HQ of UCI loctated?
  • + 1
 Aigle, Switzerland.
  • + 1
 Long live crankworx.
  • + 1
 depressing read.....
  • + 0
 uci is poisson for mtb
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