The UCI Revives the Mountain Bike Eliminator World Cup

Feb 16, 2017 at 13:04
Feb 16, 2017
by Pinkbike Staff  
 
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Crowned World Champion a week earlier Sam Gaze rocks the rainbow stripes in Lenzerheide.

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is pleased to announce the return of mountain bike cross-country Eliminator (XCE) to the highest level with the launch of a new UCI World Cup in 2017. All the rounds will be characterised by city-centre competitions.

The series is made possible thanks to the UCI’s partnership with City Mountainbike, organisers specialised in the staging of XCE events in urban settings. Their events have been registered on the UCI International Calendar since 2012. City Mountainbike will be responsible for all aspects of the event organisation, such as the course set-up, official timing and television production.

Raced over short and technical courses in heats of four riders at a time, XCE is a mixture of cross-country Olympic, for the type of course, and four-cross, for the format.

The discipline, which featured on the programme of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano for three seasons (2012 – 2014), will now have a series in an enhanced format. XCE, present since 2015 at national and continental level and at the UCI World Championships, will set out to conquer city centres throughout the six-month season.

There is no such thing as an easy start. Full on high pace maxing out.

From May in Volterra (Italy) to October in Beirut (Lebanon), the 2017 UCI Mountain Bike Eliminator World Cup will visit eight cities in seven countries from three continents.

2017 UCI Mountain Bike Eliminator World Cup calendar

Volterra (ITA) – 5-6.05.2017*

Columbus (USA) – 3-4.06.2017

Waregem (BEL) – 24-25.06.2017

Bangkok (THA) – 29-30.07.2017*

Winterberg (GER) – 26-27.08.2017

Apeldoorn (NED) – 2-3.09.2017*

Antwerp (BEL) – 23-24.09.2017

Beirut (LIB) – 15-16.10.2017*

*Pending confirmation by National Federation

The XCE season will finish with the 2017 UCI Urban Cycling World Championships, which will feature XCE, trials and BMX Freestyle Park. The first edition of these Worlds will take place in China during the final quarter of the year, as part of the partnership signed with the group Wanda Sports [press release] for the development of cycling in China. The exact venue and date of these World Championships will be communicated at a later date.

The UCI Mountain Bike Eliminator World Cup will offer nations qualification points for the UCI World Championships, and the two events together constitute an attractive calendar that does the discipline justice.

In line with the strategy to develop women’s cycling implemented by the UCI since the election of Brian Cookson in 2013, the UCI Mountain Bike Eliminator World Cup will offer equal prize money for men and women.

Speeding through for another larp

UCI President Brian Cookson said: “I am delighted by this partnership with City Mountainbike, which enables us to relaunch a discipline that is spectacular and popular with fans. With this new UCI Mountain Bike Eliminator World Cup, we confirm our desire to bring our sport to where the public is, in the heart of cities. As with trials and BMX Freestyle Park, Eliminator requires minimum logistics, which fits in with the desire of cities to organise events that use temporary installations. The international character of this first edition proves that the format appeals to cities throughout the world and we are delighted by that.”

Kristof Bruyneel, Manager of City Mountainbike, declared: “City Mountainbike is proud to have been chosen by the UCI to set up this new UCI Mountain Bike Eliminator World Cup. As organisers, we will use our know-how, recognised by XCE community, and contribute further to the discipline’s expansion throughout the world.
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105 Comments

  • + 107
 Why don't those money grabbing bell ends at the UCI bring back 4X? As well as being better entertainment than XCE it would make the perfect Olympic sport. Short rounds, easily man made courses that don't degrade quickly like DH tracks do, and it negates the argument I've heard that DH relies too much on technology and equipment to be an Olympic sport.
  • + 34
 Yep, this 100%. XCE is a weird and crap version of 4X racing. f*ck it, let's have dual slalom while we're at it.
  • + 28
 Do you really want a Olympic 4X? Doesn't a sport at that level should represent what people do? Because 4X isn't what 99.9% of us are riding/racing. And to the untrained eye of almost everybody,it would look like big wheeled BMX.
  • + 7
 @nozes: I think it would be good for DH and Enduro, at least here in the UK. British Cycling only care about medals - if there were medals to be won in 4X they'd plough money into facilities that would also be ideal for bringing on the next generation of all round riders. Also 4X is a lot cheaper - if races were hardtail only, for example, kids without rich mummies and daddies could get into competing on a level playing field.
  • + 1
 @rsbromley: the targets for track golds are easier to reach then 4X DH enduro were many other variables can effect results unlike in the velodrome
  • + 14
 UCI has their finger on the pulse of mountain biking!! Hahaha! What a shit show. Redbull should take over the WCDH and then we can be done with these turds
  • + 5
 Lebanon and Thailand were not places I thought to see associated to a UCI series when I woke up this morning.
  • + 11
 @dangerwank: can't forget about Columbus Ohio. That's pretty much the gooch of America. Haha
  • + 2
 @nozes: yeah - like swimming 50m in a pool - jeez mate
  • + 1
 @dangerwank: I upvoted just cos of your username
  • + 4
 @nozes: I was only thinking about how crap XCE was next to 4X and not considering the Olympic angle at all, but come to think of it, why not? It's a really visually exciting race format, as @rsbromley points out it's not massively technology dependant, and what's more it's not particularly venue dependant either - you don't need the best part of a mountain for a good 4X track, most places (with notable exceptions obvs) would have a hill nearby big enough for a decent enough track. And so what if it is similar to BMX? There are tons of running events in the Olympics and they are all pretty similar right?
Also there are a lot of niche Olympic events that very few people do, like horse dancing for instance.

Of course it's never going to happen, but would be a cool event and there aren't many reasons why it couldn't work well.
  • + 4
 That being said, I do know someone who does horse dancing and don't actually (personally) know anyone who races 4X.
  • + 3
 Horse dancing... ???????????? Dressage is kinda f*cking retarded eh?
  • + 6
 @nozes: just like boarder X and ski X at the winter Olympics eh?

@alexhyland nobody you know rides 4X? That's odd, most people I know race 4X

All completely chicken an egg debates, 4X is small because not enough people ride it or not enough people ride 4X because it's too small???
4X is a great sport an deserves to be WAY bigger than it is but, 4X is also a very hard sport both physically and mentally an THATS why it's small, a lot of people just can't compete and in a sport where winning is everything...
  • + 2
 @nojzilla: to be clear, I think 4X totally kicks ass, it's just that I'm personally not involved in any sort of racing scenes. That was just, like, an aside, cos horse dancing seems mad niche to me.
  • + 1
 Also, I more or less suck, so 4X tracks pretty much scare the shit out of me.
  • + 3
 @nozes: bobsled racing is olympic ...
  • + 1
 @erbsforlife: it's actually in reference to Columbus Georgia.
  • + 83
 Nothing captures the spirit of mountain biking more than pedaling around city centre streets...
  • + 8
 ...with treated pine logs in random places.
  • + 51
 Mountainbikes in city's..
Same stupid idea as DH in malls i guess.
Why not make an underwater event? UCI BlubbBlubb Cup?
  • + 10
 Does that mean we see Emily in a bikini?
  • + 8
 @Murbahman:
And Greg Minaar in speedos? The horror.
  • + 4
 Why not call it the Sponge Bob cup even? Get the kids into it.

I have a ground breaking new idea, how about mountain bike races in the woods? You know, like we used to do it. I don't think the UCI understands anything other than road racing, this MTB shit is just way over their heads, too much to process.
  • + 3
 the idea of downmall is in my opinion quite fun. gets more people into mtbing. but xc in the city? that's just plain stupid
  • + 1
 @darkmuncan: yeah - just as I thought - 29'er "hardtail"
  • + 34
 Hey remember when the UCI canned 4x for this?
  • + 63
 Pepperidge Farm remembers
  • + 13
 yeah i member
  • + 2
 the north remembers
  • + 1
 double
  • + 26
 Perfect event for Ellsworth and Brian lopes.
  • + 21
 Well, there you go USA, you got your UCI MTB stop... Hello Ohio!
  • + 13
 Come for the mountain biking, stay for mayonnaise in just everything
  • + 1
 @vespertilianus: my kind of place
  • + 19
 Who cares?
  • + 17
 I think xce is dope actually so I'm pumped. But that's just me
  • + 4
 You are not alone I loved watching the xce coverage.
  • + 8
 I loved watching XCE, but only when it was on real mountain bike dirt courses. I'm not interested in watching them race on pavement
  • + 4
 @TejasXC: Damnit that's a good point....
  • + 2
 @TejasXC: I mostly agree but there were a few good city courses. The one where they flew down the church steps was pretty good. And this one: www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRuCEsk9SVQ
When the courses are rad, XCE rocks, when they aren't it's meh. Who is going to do them when they aren't attached to an XCO race?
  • + 10
 @aquanut: watched that footage, I struggle to see how that is even considered mountain biking... Lycra clad cyclists sprinting down cobbled streets? Cyclocross is more like mountain biking than that. Lame UCI won't support enduro but push this?
  • + 8
 @SonofBovril: would you seriously want uci behind enduro?

Enduro has evolved into the beast that it is because there has been no uci intervention.
  • + 0
 @aquanut: 2 smooth 15 foot declines, 1 smooth 15 foot incline, and a couple speed bumps. That shit was gay af. Bring back 4x damnit!!
  • + 1
 @aquanut: That was embarrassing to watch. As a random fun event that happens the day after an actual mtb race since all the riders are in town - fine. But as an actual UCI discipline? Make it like a speed trial (as in trials riding, ie. obstacles) or indoor moto enduro course (www.riderfiles.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/2014_Vegas_EX_overall_550.jpg). Something so that it's not just people riding their XC bike on the road.
  • + 2
 @dangerousdave: they just took the idea of bike messenger races, gave them xc bikes, closed the road, put 4 instead of up to 20 people in the ring and made it lame. this isn't remotely entertaining to watch
  • + 2
 @leopaul: and no one has to slam beers, downs shots, or gets spanked by a dominatrix...
  • + 16
 Where is Trump when we need him?
#banxceliminator
#make4xgreatagain
  • + 15
 He would make the greatest 4X course....just spectacular....yuge, yuge jumps. I would like to apologize to the rest of the world on behalf of the educated population of the USA. Sorry about the coming apocalypse. We didn't vote for him.
  • + 23
 Trump is into US border cross eliminator
  • + 2
 @packfill: no need to apologize, in my opinion the problem is the media and everyone who tries to prevent any form of real political conversation.
  • - 2
 @aaa1:
BUT THAT'S RAYSIS!!!!........
MILK IS RAYSIS!!!!..........
  • + 3
 @packfill: Coming apocalypse? Ffs.. You do realize that if Hitlary won, there'd be civil war in 5 years max, right?
  • + 2
 @therealtylerdurden:

SJW will never understand anything. They are like children that don't get that toy, so they just sit on the floor of the store, crying.
  • + 3
 this was my escape from political discussion. i guess i can start the rant about e-bikes on a yahoo news story
  • + 0
 @packfill: Unfortunately the media is controlled by the people who didn't vote for him so he's being made to look bad every step of the way, your media sources are the biggest concern, they manipulate whatever audio and footage they have to their own end. Trump just conveys the ideas that the majority of people in the western world want carried out, as we're all a bit over the whole terrorist thing that was started in the first place by your previous corrupt governments actions and the cia.... But anyhow, 4x would have been a good idea, this xce sucks maximum grandpa balls
  • + 1
 I regret myself, there's no point...
  • + 10
 I'm sure the media is clamoring to cover XCE in Beirut.
  • + 16
 ....or Columbus. reminds me of Wayne's World "hi, i'm in Delaware..."
  • + 1
 Beirut is rad...but the flow trail at the near by Zaarour club ski center is radder!
  • + 4
 Send it back to the depths of hell where it came from and bring back 4x. No but in all seriousness XCE races were really tame a few years back, the biggest obstacles were like the stairs which none of the xc racers gapped anyway. These new XCE races better be either way radder or erased from mountain bike history.
  • + 1
 I think the key is going to be capturing the races so they don't look like a procession. Take this world's course. www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNVeMNKLen8 There's nothing on it that screams 'technical', but at the speeds they're going, it requires amazing skills.
HD has made a huge difference for all racing, I hope it improves coverage of XCE. They will need to require everyone wear a gopro so there can be POV replays shortly after the race.
  • + 1
 @aquanut: that was actually enjoyable to watch.. But I don't see that being replicated in a city.
  • + 4
 I first came across this when in Meribel for the dh worldcup, it's hard to out into words how poor it was. How do we go about getting a new governing body for dh, 4x, etc
  • + 1
 Ask Redbull nicely?
  • + 1
 @therealtylerdurden: red bull would probably sponsor, but not organise it
  • + 1
 @leopaul: you've got a point, but you never know!
  • + 6
 Beirut..Sa-WEET! Hezbollah can provide the entertainment
  • + 4
 Is this April Fools?
Who is going to race these. XC racers will not and gravity riders (who would probably crush these) have better things to do with their time.
  • + 7
 "gravity riders (who would probably crush these)"

Do you care to elaborate? I don't follow your logic here. It's an xc course.
  • + 3
 @dglass: XC racers train for a 1.5hr race, Gravity racers train for a 4 minute race.

The training that gravity racers do makes them a lot faster in short efforts (up and down) then the training that XC racers do.
  • + 1
 @WhatAboutBob: Fair enough. I wasn't thinking of that. I wasn't getting at gravity riders not being fit, was just thinking people who train for up would be better for up. Can totally see what you are talking about though. Would be an interesting experiment...
  • + 1
 @dglass: Gravity racers do not get enough credit for how fit they are. I just finished a ride with a World Cup XC racer, an EWS racer, and a World Cup DH racer. It was the DH racer who was turning the screws on the climbs.
  • + 1
 @WhatAboutBob: Sample size of 1 but I catch your drift. Sounds like you have some good riding partners.
  • + 6
 Wow Urban cycling I'm intrigued wankwankwank
  • + 6
 UCI are fucking idiots and should fuck off
  • + 2
 They are, they should !!
  • + 2
 I just looked and the bloke who heads the UCI gets over £22,000 a month salary !!
He's British.
  • + 2
 @konabigshed: Unbelievable, shocking..... is that really true ?
  • + 1
 @jacobite321: According to Wikipedia yes, his salary is just under 340 ooo CHF, their head counters are in Switzerland.
  • + 1
 @konabigshed: the average swiss with a univerity degree has a salary of about 130.000 CHF. UCI is a pretty big company. keep in mind, they also do road cycling. i actually thought his salary would be higher
  • + 1
 @leopaul: I understand you have to reward the brightest minds etc but I think a Governing Body should be very different than a profit making company. Due to the recent revelations in the UCI, FIFA, and World Athletics I have developed a deep mistrust of such organisations and it's hard to believe they have the best interest of their members at heart. Is it fair to say that the UCI's main interest is elite level road biking and therefore downhilling, for example, is not proportionally represented? Is there a publication in existence detailing finances and how it's spent?
  • + 4
 Even the dude in the first picture seems disappointed.... Alas, make slopestyle an olympic sport! Definitely the most acrobatic and impressive thing to watch.
  • + 1
 Seems like a 2016 decision! Go home UCI, you're drunk.

I can't speak for the rest of the world, but there are loads of 4x riders in the UK, many actively enjoying riding 4x tracks outside of racing environments.

Why would you deliberately ride a mountainbike round a city for fun other than in a freestyle discipline?
This discipline is pointless, like riding road racing bikes round your local XC loop, and sends the wrong message about the sport.

4X called, they want their world stage back.
  • + 3
 Why does it have to be on pavement? I would watch it if it was on more MTB/dirt centric courses with rocks and roots
  • + 3
 Does it not seem slightly contrary an to hold a mtb in a city on pavement? Seems not like a mountain..
  • + 2
 @VwHarman: Well road has gravel grinders, so we get pave purveyors.....#sad
  • + 3
 damn lycra lizards
  • + 2
 Ugghhhhh... Palm slaps forehead. WTF. Really?
  • + 3
 bees knees
  • + 2
 In all honesty, why? Just why?
  • + 1
 China in particular and urbanization in general is why. "The XCE season will finish with the 2017 UCI Urban Cycling World Championships, which will feature XCE, trials and BMX Freestyle Park. The first edition of these Worlds will take place in China during the final quarter of the year, as part of the partnership signed with the group Wanda Sports [press release] for the development of cycling in China."

China is creating a super league for real football that is making offers to poach top talent from Chelsea etc. The UCI wants to bring cycling to cities in China to get a piece of those dollars. They are bringing the sport to the people. Will it work? If it does, will it lift all mtb ships? I highly doubt it, but the reasoning behind this are fairly clear.

Let's say you don't follow F1 at all. How many courses could you name? For most people it would be Monaco and that's it. That course is visually stunning, but there is NO passing, so the racing is lame . IF this works (big if) it could be a similar trade-off.
  • + 2
 Bangkok and Beirut?... sign me up!
  • + 1
 NO MORE XCE. BRING BACK DUAL/4x
  • + 0
 Bad idea XC on the city? So what all of you thinks about the Urban DH events? C'mon...
  • + 1
 If it has a four lane road gap or on-ramp step down I'd watch it
  • + 1
 watch some videos of XCE in the city. it's a bike messenger race, on xc bikes with the roads closed and less people. it isn't remotely entertaining to watch
  • + 1
 This top picture tho. Soooo badass...
  • + 1
 Must be promoted by Specialized - Lycra, weird sh$t - hmmm
  • + 0
 My junk shake brings all the boys to the yard!
  • + 1
 Eliminator = POS

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