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Top XC Racers Criticize Last-Minute UCI Rule Change Around Elite Start Order at Worlds [Updated]

Aug 11, 2023
by Ed Spratt  
You don t need to understand Swiss German to have an idea of what Nino Schurter was saying to his compatriot Mathias Fluckiger.
Nino Schurter is among the 40-strong group of pro racers who are not happy with the situation.

The UCI has come under fire from a 40-strong group of some of the world's best XC racers as it has reportedly changed World Championship ruling on XCO start orders 24 hours before the Elite races kick-off.

Right in the middle of the racing at Glentress, it appears the UCI has made a last-minute change that shakes up the hard-earned World Championship grid positions that were based on overall UCI ranking, instead following a similar rule used for World Cups that allows "riders ranked in the top 10 of any individual UCI world ranking of any cycling discipline" to sit between 33rd and 40th on the grid. This rule will see the unranked Mathieu Van Der Poel move from pretty much dead last at the start to a far improved grid slot as he ranks 6th in the UCI Road rankings.

2023 World Cup start order rules

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2023 World Championships start order rules

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A list of riders including the likes of Nino Schurter, Jolanda Neff, Rebecca Henderson, Maxime Marotte, Loana Lecomte and more have all signed a statement calling out the UCI on the last-minute rule change stating: "It's great to have big names from different disciplines in our sport and we can't wait to race against them. But we are really not happy how the UCI is treating our discipline by changing rules regarding start position one day before the race."

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The full statement from the rider representatives

Jolanda Neff has also added to the official statement, pointing out that she believes the UCI has not fairly applied this late addition to the rules as Kata Blanka Vas (who is ranked inside the top 10 in the world for cyclocross) had to start 47th on the gird in the U23 Women's race and finished in 5th. The implication from the riders appears that the UCI only intended this rule to apply to the Elite races, and the biggest winner from this will be Mathieu Van Der Poel.

photo
Jolanda Neff's additional comments

Nino Schurter posted on Instagram that "The point at this time is not whether or not the rule being applied is fair, unfair or suitable - this is a topic for another day. The concern is the way and timing that UCI has applied and enforced this rule. And the consequences that follow for indicidual riders and teams with Olympic games quota positions likely to be impacted."





Update: August 11th at 2:45pm PST.

The International Mountain Bike Trade Team's Organization (IMTTO) has provided us with a letter they sent to UCI President David Lappartient ~9 hours ago. The text of the letter is reproduced below.

Dear Mr Lappartient,
On behalf of the UCI Elite XC Teams which IMTTO represents, we wish to write to you and formally register our anger and disappointment for the recent decision by your office to change a rule impacting tomorrow’s start order for the Elite Men’s World Championship XCO race, a single qualification race for next year’s Olympic Games in Paris.

The rules for start order were made clear at the beginning of the season, and all riders, except 2, have followed those rules, and competed in the relevant events required to score UCI ranking points for a better start position, critical in this discipline as you well know. The recent rule change made this week, and outside of the Management Committee meeting and agenda, and represented by the attached communiqué, essentially changes a critical rule after the Olympic qualification procedures were published.

We understand that your Sports Director, under your instruction, was told to call the staff at the XC World Championships this week in Tweed Valley, to make sure that riders Mathieu Van Der Poel of The Netherlands (current World Road Cycling Champion) and Peter Sagan of Slovakia (former World Road Cycling Champion) be given these priority start positions, when under the rules published for season 2023 they should start in positions 102 and 103 as they have not competed in enough events to have a relevant MTB ranking at these World Championships.

The attached start list shows they now have positions 34 and 35, alongside Thomas Pidcock (GBR) who not only raced the Spring Classics on the road and the Tour De France but competed in enough MTB events to assure this better start position.

Furthermore, according to the attached communiqué, please explain how Peter Sagan with a UCI Road Ranking of 311 qualifies for an improved start position under this new change.

The XC Elite teams met last night and were shocked by this decision which not only shows us that autocratic decisions seem to be made on a case-by-case basis regarding an Olympic qualifying event, with disregard to the athletes that choose this discipline as their primary profession, in favour of road riders of a high profile seeking an Olympic start if not assured one in their primary professional discipline. Mountain Bike XC cannot be seen as “back up plan” for Olympic spots for athletes from road racing disciplines.

We urgently seek a review of the decision process and an explanation as to how this has come about so late prior to this important 2024 Olympic single qualification race.

Sincerely,

Martin Whiteley
Chairman, IMTTO

The UCI has not yet responded to our request for comment. We will update this story as it develops.

Author Info:
edspratt avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2017
3,245 articles

256 Comments
  • 266 1
 Honest question, is there any governing body of sports that isn't completely incompetent or corrupt?

UCI, IOC, FIFA, not to mention all the national governing bodies. I can't think of a single one that doesn't regularly have massive logistical f*ckups. I guess profit is the goal and athletes are just a means to an end
  • 58 0
 Their perspective is that athletes come and go, while the sport and its events will stick around. Athletes are merely pawns in their business model.
  • 26 4
 You know you've fucked up when you're known by an acronym.
  • 4 0
 No.

Also: remember Rocky Roads? Wink
  • 3 0
 The common main competence of said organisations is to make a shitload of money, with strong achievements in making bad decisions and rules "to bring the sport forward"
  • 22 3
 @scott-townes: strictly speaking, UCI is an initialism, not an acronym, but I get your point.
  • 13 0
 And the FIA.
  • 30 1
 It's definitely not limited to just governing body of sports. I'd say governing bodies, in general
  • 10 0
 Speaking of shitty/inconsistent rules, paging Gary Bettman (NHL overlord) to the chat.
  • 6 1
 @twonsarelli: I think he gets a pass because FIFA is an acrinym and that's the benchmark for shitf*ckery.
  • 6 0
 @TranceAllez - National governing bodies depend on their nations' governments for accreditation. The way out of this BS is for member nations that have had it with the corrupt and inept BS to band together and force serious reforms in their national governing bodies, which then will ripple through the international bodies. Problem is, unless it's something truly egregious (think the Russian doping scandal in Sochi, or the sexual abuse scandal in gymnastics), it's really hard for national governments (i.e., legislature and executive) to devote attention and resources, forgo patronage opportunities, and put aside political differences. So all this crap keeps going on in the shadows.

So to address your question as to whether there are any non-shitty governing bodies in sports - none that are dealing with sports where there's any chance of making money or going to the Olympics or otherwise latch on to something big.
  • 4 4
 You can certainly add the FIA and FIM to that list. Maybe it's just governing bodies based in France.
  • 9 1
 @BlackVR: i learned two absolute truths when traveling in europe - cars are way cooler over there, and it's still totally ok for everyone to disparage the French.
  • 21 3
 @cuban-b: The only nation Europe hates more than the French is Britain. Which is fair, we deserve it, but we also despise the French over everyone else, so it all evens out
  • 7 3
 @ROOTminus1: @cuban-b , as my Irish, Welsh and Spanish (Spain) friends often say: "everyone shits on the French" Big Grin
  • 1 0
 TRUTH!!!!!!
  • 8 12
flag gatogordo2 (Aug 11, 2023 at 16:27) (Below Threshold)
 @ROOTminus1: IN canada no one likes the quebecois either that reside in there own province.
  • 2 0
 Don't forget the FIA
  • 8 0
 The UCI sucks. Period.
  • 13 0
 Dick pound.........
  • 5 0
 @BlackVR: Well, the IOC and FIFA are international governing bodies headquartered in Switzerland, and those two have a*sholery and corruption down to a fine art...
  • 4 1
 @BlackVR: they’re based in Switzerland. The French pet of Switzerland tho.
  • 1 0
 WOW!
Sounds just like CORRUPT FIFA soccer rule changes, manipulations!
Totally BS>
Some ones getting paid a lot of ... $$$$ ..
  • 2 2
 @twonsarelli: strictly speaking, that does not matter in the slightest.
  • 1 0
 @dlford: I think that problem falls on the incompetent refs.
  • 2 0
 PGA TOUR!!!
  • 13 3
 @ROOTminus1: bullshit! You f*cked up with Brexit but other than that you Tommies are alright. The French on the other hand...
  • 1 0
 @Maxipedia: Hahah yes lmao, that was an apocolyptic comments section
  • 3 6
 @ROOTminus1: I like the French
  • 6 6
 @ROOTminus1: I think that you have forgotten how much the Germans did to make themselves unpopular across a lot of Europe.
  • 6 0
 @sargey2003 + all: Come on guys! You're only 1 step away from reaching the Godwin's law
  • 2 2
 @ROOTminus1: I think you're mixing up England and Britain...
  • 2 1
 @dlford: Former IIHF president Rene Fasel is a close friend of Putin.
  • 2 0
 @g-42: UCI HQ is in Switzerland too (Aigle).
  • 4 0
 Well, sports governing bodies trying to create stories that sell is definitely nothing new. What actually surprises me is how amateurishly UCI made that move. All other governing bodies would have quietly made that move in the last winter break.
  • 1 0
 @eekamouse: I think you just took that little bit closer…
  • 6 0
 @twonsarelli: Well, I leanred something today on PB thats not bike related. "An abbreviation is a truncated word; an acronym is made up of parts of the phrase it stands for and is pronounced as a word (ELISA, AIDS, GABA); an initialism is an acronym that is pronounced as individual letters (DNA, RT-PCR)."

Oh yeah, I almost forgot SABFDUCI
  • 6 2
 @gatogordo2: speak for yourself not everyone in Canada. Some of the best riding adventures and nicest people I’ve met have been in Quebec.
  • 4 0
 @Mobrown: pinkbike- the perfect mix of love for two things: bikes and pedantry!
  • 1 0
 @ROOTminus1: I always thought they hated America the most.
  • 4 0
 @FuzzyL: so when the US wanted to break free from the UK the French help them out. Then when we start squabbling with the Germans the US help us out. Then when the Germans pick a fight with the French we help them out and when we need help ourselves the US helps us out. What goes around comes around
  • 2 0
 @sargey2003: oh come on that’s just a flash in the pan compared to the squabbling between the English and the French over the centuries. Also don’t forget what the UK did was not much different. The key difference is that we won so wrote the history books. Doesn’t stop other countries disliking us for it though.
  • 6 0
 @ROOTminus1: Like Englishmen and Scots! Or Welshmen and Scots! Or Japanese and Scots! Or Scots and other Scots! Damn Scots! They ruined Scotland!
  • 3 0
 @Muckal: i think hating other countries reveals more on the haters countries than on the hated one...
  • 1 0
 @kegron: so what does it reveal on basically every country in Europe?
  • 1 1
 @Muckal: I thought the Swiss strictly insist on not hating any other country. Not even those (or at least the regimes) which are supposed to be hated. I think Iceland is pretty chill too.
  • 1 0
 @kipvr: I agree that French still see the English as the worst nation, but plenty of other European nations have differing views. The Spanish and the Greeks have good reason to despise English tourists but we’re not their number one hated nation.
  • 7 4
 I'm gonna sound pretty Marxist here but is there anything that capitalism can't destroy?
  • 3 2
 @gatogordo2: shut up dude, you dont speak for Canada and you are an embarrassment for Canadians
  • 4 2
 @mkul7r4: I got your back!
  • 2 1
 @neroleeloo: lol just we’re kidding around garçon
  • 3 0
 @Mobrown: then wtf is EDR??
  • 3 1
 @HughBonero: it's a Dick Pound thing
  • 3 0
 @HughBonero: EDR is over my head. Maybe I can break this down with a little haiku.

Want money money
Quick rule change not so funny
Steamy pile of poo
  • 2 2
 @gtrguy: exactly "in quebec" where they should stay
  • 3 0
 @gatogordo2: I will concede they did a great job of modeling it similar to France - I was once yelled at for not speaking French while in Montreal lol
  • 2 0
 @cuban-b: Or participants and contributors in their business model.
  • 3 0
 @roco13: agree. That is the ultimate goal for athletes and the organization. I was just being cynical - tongue in cheek - if you will
  • 2 0
 @cuban-b: I was only playing devils advocate and did appreciate your tongue and cheek perspective. I can see both sides and b/c you have Peter and MVP as some of the biggest names in cycling that can generate so much more attention to the sport. I was personally stoked when I saw Peter S in there but I do think it would be cool for him to start in the back like Pidcock did when he jumped in and he worked his way up the ranks!
  • 1 0
 @gtrguy: exactly right
  • 1 0
 @ROOTminus1: Agincourt! Trafalgar! That’s all we got to say bout that. Aside from the fact that you guys let us win our revolution because we’d always be trading partners and friends anyway. (No one over here even wants to consider that) Because you guys still had the French to deal with back then.
  • 1 0
 @ROOTminus1: That is funny.
  • 97 3
 Can’t wait until crankworx is the default racing series for all dirt disciplines
  • 15 0
 They got a long way to go, but I do agree a structure that thinks things through and asks riders for more input would do nothing but good for the sport.
  • 16 1
 I don't know why, but I find Crankworx hard to watch. UCI is also hard to watch this year...

Grassroots/local racing is still the most interesting and fun to be at.
  • 41 1
 All it would take is Redbull adding 5-6 rounds to the Crankworx series to put some serious pressure on the UCI series. UCI DH would lose all their non-seeded riders practically overnight.
  • 5 0
 Nowadays I find watching myself ride in FPV the most exiting, I even hear Warner in my head at the end of the trail, LOOK AT THE TIME!!
  • 8 1
 @k2enemy: "I don't know why, but I find Crankworx hard to watch. "

I think it's the over the top commentary in the Slopestyle that puts me off
  • 5 2
 To play deviled avocado:
Brendan was Robbed
Robin was Robbed

Redbull judging is clearly bias. They show favoritism to the same riders over and over.

Imagine a world where the first backflip on a bike is done and the person doesn't win the competition? I guess because it was done by a girl, and we've been watching dudes do it for a decade, it doesn't carry the same weight?

Meanwhile everyones at the events to see backflips...

the king and queen of crankworx is the only thing more idiotic than the "speed and style" format.

If there's not a clock redbull can not be trusted to come to the correct conclusion even when that conclusion is painfully obvious.

All that said? Still streets ahead of UCI.
  • 1 0
 @k2enemy: same with a lot of professional sport I reckon. Rugby is a rule dominated pisstake with 60% of clock time used for mucking about, football hollywoods ruining matches with diving to “win” penalties. Test cricket or rugby league are still true enough to their respective codes to watch at the highest level, but in general live, grassroots sport is a better watch. The margins for error being wider make for a better spectacle IMO.
  • 4 0
 @coney: The new changes to Rugby Union are designed to stop a bit of the pissing about, let's see at the World Cup if they work.

I'm not really a football fan, but I find the women's game better to watch as there aren't as many theatrics
  • 2 0
 Yeah, we'll see. [safa voice] rrrrrunning rrrrugby is what we all want. the '22 women's rugby world cup was good for that reason - they can't kick that well so it's not really a tactical option for them = more running/tackling/passing/actual skills = a better watch. and we won it, which always helps lol
  • 88 0
 To make things fair could they remove a ramp from the course at the last minute too?
  • 11 0
 Didn't need a ramp this time...
  • 78 1
 I’m surprised they just don’t hand the rainbow jersey to MVDP so he can make “history”!
  • 14 2
 I'm surprised Pidcock didn't sign it too, but I guess he's still trying keep distance from Luca Schwarzbauer after that dominating overtake on the final corner of the short track
  • 31 0
 @ROOTminus1: If I was Pidcock I'd be salty as hell considering how far back he had to start last year, and that he basically gets nothing for having bothered to show up for some XC races this year. Plus last year the front row guys basically used his starting position to jam him up in a bottleneck in the first lap. He had to fight hard to get up to the leaders.
  • 11 5
 Give him a 1 lap advantage and let him wear his rainbow jersey from the road. “Champions advantage” if you will. It will make for great tv!

This is sarcasm for the people who will downvote without me explicitly saying it is a joke.
  • 11 3
 Someone "made history" at Crankworks Slopestyle recently too. Just sayin'
  • 16 2
 @Austink: I'm downvoting for the stupid disclaimer
  • 12 2
 @ROOTminus1: Pidcock would have started in the 7th row without this change in the rules. Now he's in 4th.
  • 7 2
 @CalamityJake: I blame the need for sarcasm disclaimers on American comedy shows that always explain their jokes.
  • 7 9
 @ROOTminus1: Riding straight into someone is a „dominating overtake“ now?

But yes, Pidcock better keep his distance from Schwarzbauer after that stunt.
  • 9 6
 @FuzzyL: It was Pidcock's corner
  • 3 0
 @L0rdTom: I dont understand
  • 6 7
 @JonnyTheWeasel: Pidcock was nowhere near the racing line when he crashed into Schwarzbauer. Schwarzbauer couldn‘t leave him any more room than he already did and still Pidcock rode into his front wheel.
  • 14 2
 @FuzzyL: Luca took the corner quite late, so tight on entry and drifted wide leaving a gap between him and the apex of the corner. Tom was approaching with more pace off the straight, took a wider entry to the corner to cut into the apex and the gap Luca left open. As soon as Schwarzbauer realises he left the door open he tightened his turn but Pidcock was half a bike length ahead, with pace on a loose off-camber corner. Luca turns in as Tom drifts out, contact is made and Luca goes down out the two of them.
Tom was riding aggressively but I'd say fairly. It's the final corner for world champs medal, if you can't ride aggressively in that moment, racing is not the career for you.
It's a racing incident, hence the Commisaires don't intervene.
  • 1 2
 I don't think this late change is right but mvdp is still in the 4th row and you still gotta race
  • 3 5
 @ROOTminus1:
No no, we didn't saw the same race ^^ Pidcock was at the inside at the entry of the turn and that's why he went wide at the exit. Luca was on the regular line (wide/inside). Luca should certainly let Pidcock pass but i think he didn't had the time when TP bomb exploded into him...
  • 6 3
 @FuzzyL: Racing line?? This isn't Formula 1! TP makes the corner first taking the inside line. Schwarzbauer doesn't realise he's there and turns in. That straightens TP out resulting in the contact.
  • 76 0
 Freaking drag them, Jolanda!
  • 31 0
 Thank you @pmhobson! Not many comments about how they burned the women racers who deserve the same accommadation! BS!
  • 37 0
 Reason #421 to root for Jolanda Neff- she calls it like she sees it!
  • 57 0
 The problem is not the change of rules per se but the timing so shortly before raceday. They somehow tried to open the gates wide open for lads like MVP and Sagan to get further to the startline within hours before the race and obviously did not apply it to all racers. That is a shitty move from the UCI and proves once again what a corrupt organization it truly is.
  • 37 1
 And you can at least make an argument about MVDP having a shitload of overall UCI points... how many results has Sagan had this year??? Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to see them both in the race but Sagan absolutely belongs on the back row if there's any pretense of fairness/rules.
  • 51 0
 Color me shocked that UCI would do something like this. Shocked I say.
  • 8 0
 Captain Renault : I'm shocked! Shocked to find that gambling is going on in here."
  • 4 0
 @rcrocha: 3 Literally just watched that last night! Great comment. Smile
  • 34 2
 Maybe the some of the federations could use their top DH riders with UCI points as blockers or hitmen/women off the start line. Charlie Hatton blocks Nino into the first corner while Pidcock rails off Charlie's inside.
  • 3 2
 Haha. I was thinking the same thing.
  • 4 0
 Or they could just get some knights in for some XCO jousting
  • 2 0
 Start turning up to road races in groups of 10.
  • 3 0
 Pretty sure BMX or 4X racers would do a better job at this.
  • 2 0
 Goons!
  • 1 0
 Like NFL XC lol
  • 31 0
 I have some ideas to make it fair:

1. Starting order should be first come, first serve. It works pretty well at the fast food drive-thru.

2. All athletes should compete in all disciplines for points which cumulatively determine female and male/open Champions Of The Universe each year. (Prizes may include: Mount Rushmore style monuments to their greatness, but a prize purse of no more than $5,000 USD).

3. An athlete must use the same bicycle for all events.

4. If racers camp in line for a better starting position, all personal effects must be carried along during the ensuing race. Thus informally incorporating #bikepacking to the Worlds schedule.

If the changes are implemented by 2024 I'll waive my consultation fee, thanks UCI
  • 4 0
 Genius idea. I would actually pay to watch this lol.
  • 32 0
 Fuxk the UCI
  • 2 0
 Wouldn't touch it with yours mate.
  • 33 6
 Photo editors + @edspratt : The lead photo is provocative, but if it is not Nino reacting to this ruling, then it's misleading at best. Maybe Nino wasn't flustered? Feels like PB editorializing the news, not reporting it--at least visually. The written portion and supporting materials are superb!
  • 9 0
 Was that the photo after the "You're not normal" comment?
  • 6 0
 @ROOTminus1: Yes, it is.
  • 26 0
 What a complete and utter load of Horsefeathers.

What riders do in other disciplines is totally irrelevant.
It should have no bearing what so ever on starting position in this race.
You want a better starting position? Earn it in like kind of races.
  • 46 0
 Loic should show up to prove how dumb this rule is.
  • 31 0
 @no-good-ideas: Love to see Loic and Jackson Goldstone leading the peloton at UCI road world champs.
  • 13 0
 @no-good-ideas: ha that's quality. Would be great to see some BMX kids wheel to the front end of the next Time Trial in a full face instead of an aero helmet....
  • 3 0
 Nah, get the bmx freestylists or bike gymnasts to crowd the front row
  • 2 0
 @mattg95: Those bike gymnasts... jeezoooooz. That's skill.

It's like flatland BMX but with huge bikes.
  • 3 8
flag hypermoto (Aug 12, 2023 at 9:00) (Below Threshold)
 Richie Rude could probably stomp a lot of pro roadies in a sprint or TT. I'm pretty sure RR is laying down HIGH wattage.
  • 5 1
 @hypermoto: I'll bet you my house that RR couldn't hang with a pro road peloton for 200km+ and then beat them in a sprint, which is really what makes a good pro roadie sprinter, not an isolated sprint. Apparently, many pro hockey players have huge watts for an isolated sprint on an indoor trainer. It doesn't make them candidates for being a pro roadie.
  • 1 0
 @mattg95: It could be really difficult to get past a good Cycle-ball rider who didn't want to let you!
  • 2 0
 @hypermoto: "I'm pretty sure RR is laying down HIGH wattage."

You spelled HGH wrong mate Big Grin

But seriously, I'd love to see how Rude would do in the velodrome. Not sure how he'd cope with a road stage or classic though.
  • 1 0
 @chakaping: he'd treat the velodrome like a massive berm, drifts for miles!
  • 27 3
 This is like when that random local-gone-national pro shows up to your local weekend XC race and sheepishly asks the director if they can get a call-up cuz they know they're faster than the guys at the back of the pack. If they cared enough for a call-up they'd show up to more than 1 or 2 races a year. Nah, fight through the field like anyone else.
  • 14 0
 Your local races have call ups? We just cram the start gate round here...
  • 19 0
 Ah...I thought they only f*cked around with gravity disciplines. XC is UCI's baby (aside from the main baby of Road) and they are making ridiculous changes last minute witih them as well?. This is yet FURTHER evidence UCI give ZERO SHITS about MTB an ONLY licks the feet of the road world. Man I wish there was a legit alternative to UCI for everything outside of Road cycling.

As many on this thread have said.... F....U....C....K the UCI!!! What a giant gruop of useless, self-righteous bureaucratic twat waffles. Zero worth and waste of money for the OVERWHELMING lot of folks associated with the UCI leadership.
  • 2 0
 Best comment I’ve read all year. Couldn’t agree more.
  • 18 0
 Does the rider union only consist of DH racers or does it consist of mountainbikers from all disciplines? It seems like they should join forces to make a bigger fist against Dick Pound and co. Yet at the same time, sad that they are being forced in a position that they should make a fist against the organisation whose sole responsibility is to organize racing in a fair and transparent way.
  • 7 2
 Dick Pound is/was president of WADA not involved directly with the UCI. That said they all seem to be part of the same cabal. Doping has always been seeing as a threat to revenue more than a threat to sporting in most cases. What other explanation is there for the entire peloton to suffer from Asthma and need steroidal inhalers?
  • 12 0
 @Telemahn: DICK POUND
  • 8 3
 @Telemahn: Exactly. Pretty 'convenient' that SO many PROFESSIONAL endurance athletes such as road racers (sure there a man other examlpes) suffer from Asthma. I mean...how many other professional disciplines have that ratio of their elite athletes suffer from conidition that directly affects oxygen intake? Such a mystery.
  • 6 1
 @bman33: The prevalence of Exercise-Induced Asthma in endurance athletes is very common. This is due to a range of factors, such as the higher ventilation rates which are generally sustained for long periods of time, mouth breathing and environmental factors such as compromised air quality and low temperatures
  • 1 0
 @rachelsm: As they say, health stops where competition starts (or something along those lines).
  • 1 0
 @mi-bike: Richard Half-Kilo
  • 22 0
 Common UCI L
  • 14 0
 fr typical uci bozos all they care about are roadies
  • 19 0
 If all the riders don't show up to the start line this weekend for sure the UCI will be doing something.
  • 7 1
 100% they should all boycott
  • 20 4
 I don’t think Nino is looking for an advantage, he and others are just not happy with changing rules at the last minute.

If they really want to be “fair” why not give Nino a head start since he is one of the older racers?!!
  • 9 0
 I was looking forward to the last row -> leading group action. There were a few CX races where MVDP started in the back row / last place, and wound up in 1st or 2nd by the end of the first lap.
  • 5 0
 Driver of the day bait.
  • 5 0
 Cater Woods started the U23 race in the front row today; an immediate mechanical put him last; he raced back through the large field to finish 11th. Awesome!
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: Comment gold is the Pink Bike daily driver.
  • 11 1
 New rule.... Reverse the grid like red bull fox hunt last minute! I would tune in to watch that for sure. Elbows out xc racing.
  • 10 0
 Also recognized: checkers, chess and internet fluffer world rankings. Take your spot on the front row, ya'll deserve it.
  • 4 1
 Where would the world be without all the fluffers out there? Bless them all. Big Grin
  • 10 3
 I think more cross discipline competition is an exciting and good thing for our sport, so I support this. But the last minute timing is what is wrong here. This should take effect next year.
  • 6 0
 Yup, that's my thoughts, and in fairness the riders acknowledge that in their statement. I think the actual rule change is a good thing, timing like this is a disgrace. The rules were clearly set out at the start of the season - Pidcock knew that and sacrificed some of his road season to get MTB points, MTB riders have worked hard to know their start position, that shouldn't change last minute.
  • 9 0
 Here's Puck riding a no hands wheelie ---> www.instagram.com/p/CtLeXd0pG4m
  • 7 0
 Yet another sensible, well thought out & PR friendly decision from the UCI. I for one applaud them;

It takes hard work to be this consistently crap..
  • 5 0
 So does that man that lads like Jana Pfann (World champion in artistic cycling- had to Google the current World champ) would start in the first row...
This would be So mich fun to see...
Imagine the startgate full of DH, road bike and artistic bike riders....
  • 10 1
 Fuck the UCI!!
  • 8 1
 Never change the rules in the middle of the game. Unless you want your sport to be shame.
  • 7 0
 So this aged well for MVdP. Maybe he should have done some practicing at a WC round or two...
  • 3 0
 I'd be interested to hear who's idea this was, I haven't seen it mentioned so far or any explanation given for this. Based on the IMTTO letter this is coming from Lappartient, meaning no one (from team MVDP or team Sagan) asked for this, but that UCI just thinks this is somehow cool and makes things more exciting. In which case it's also interesting to know how MVDP and Sagan feel about this - and how this makes them look in the eyes of the other riders. (Can they instead decide to take their original start positions if they wanted to, despite where UCI wants to place them?) Personally I've been really excited to see MVDP in the race, but this definitely isn't the way I wanted it to happen.
  • 4 1
 UCI Sports Director Peter Van den Abeele gave this reason;
“We had good media figures in Tokyo. Pidcock and van der Poel were both at the start there. That is why I think it is an opportunity to help the sport, because the sport is better with stars,”
Van den Abeele said that, when it comes to mountain biking, viewership is more important to the UCI.
  • 4 1
 @commental: Why of course. So it indeed seems that while placing the riders in a better position race wise, they've also placed them in a shitty position general attitude wise (both from other riders and MTB fans, as can also be seen here in the comments) with the last minute change, as it does sound the riders and their teams didn't ask for this.
  • 3 2
 @donimo: Yet lots of people here seem content with blaming MVDP and shoving it in his face, specially after his crash.
  • 2 0
 @commental: Maybe if the UCI had concentrated more on MTB over the years, more people would know about it, and take an interest. There's nothing wrong with the sport - it just needs promoting far better....
  • 2 1
 Has MVdP said that his people DIDN'T ask for it though? The idea must have come from somewhere.
  • 2 2
 @chakaping: No, but so far I've seen no articles etc. suggesting they (or anyone else from the riders' side) had. However, Van der Poel gave an interview a few days before the race where he himself said he didn't really have any expectations to do very well not to mention win the race, as he hadn't spent time on the mountain bike recently, BUT since he was already on site he wanted to use the opportunity to try and qualify for the Olympics. Sure that's a target as well, but I find it quite implausible to be enough for them to make this kind of requests, if the rider himself wasn't expecting any major results. For some reason (or as usual) many are just assuming it must be him as "the fancy outsider" who they maybe don't like to begin with. I really wouldn't put it past the UCI that they realised they had these big name riders rarely seen on the XC track and that they could use them to gain more interest in the race when they could present them as more of contenders as commental wrote above. When it comes to weird rule changes I personally have no issue assuming it was all UCI as my first choice.
  • 2 0
 @commental: viewership is so important that they won't let thinking people watch the races!
  • 4 1
 How an unscheduled toilet emergency wasn’t going to stop Mathieu van der Poel
Dutch star becomes world champion despite urgent mid-race nature stop in fan's house: 'I couldn't have carried on racing without their help.'
“I had to do a big massive ***. I had to knock on the door of a couple’s house along the course,” he recounted. “I really owe them and I would like to thank them so much. I couldn’t have carried on racing without their help.
“It was the biggest race of my life and it was so kind of these people to let me in their house and let me sit on their toilet.”
  • 13 0
 Cue videos of a Scottish mum bursting out to the peloton saying, 'why does one of yous not know how to flush a toilet after they've had a SHIT? DISCUSTING!'
  • 5 1
 Just read an article, where the director of something for the uci. Said it’s a privilege to have mvp at your mtb race. Case closed mtb needs to tell the uci to f*ck off.
  • 5 1
 Last minute changes suck balls. But in the end the best and strongest rider should win and not the one with the best starting position.
  • 8 7
 I am sick of these cross over riders and the UCI catering to them. They show up to world champs or the Olympics but no other races, they are not, in my mind, mountain bikers. I tune in to see the mountain bike racers I enjoy cheering on each season who show up to all the races, travel the entire circuit, and are passionate about mountain biking. It makes no sense that the UCI would undermine and sabotage the mountain bike riders this series is all about. Taking away opportunities for those riders to get results seems incredibly disrespectful and disgraceful. MVP should be ashamed and ask them not to. If MVP ends up winning after the rule change he will be the most hated biker out there for having the UCI cheating for him.
  • 12 3
 Have to disagree with most of this - I want the best rider to win the world champs, regardless of whether they have been racing all year. I suspect riders feel the same. They don't want "well you finished third, but the three best riders weren't there, so actually you would have been sixth" comments. When you're racing a world champs you want to be racing the best in the world, and if MVDP wins, then good on him, he's the best XC rider in the world. However, the timing of this is a disgrace. The rules were set out at the start of the season, you don't change them 24 hrs before the event.
  • 4 1
 @rmt: agreed. If some schmuck from a flat country that rides around roads all the time then turns up in a forest and schools yo ass you need to take a long. Hard look at yourself. Nothing special about MTB - it's just a sport.
  • 6 0
 @rmt: Don't disagree in principle but the key point here is that this one race is the single qualifier for Olympics 2024, and everyone knew this and went to get points at other races to improve their start position. Giving two riders a pass from all that effort, to get an advantageous start at a race that has Olympic quotas on the line, well, that is the argument we all have. Nothing against MVDP, it's about the UCI President's disregard of Olympic slection criteria, approved and published by IOC.
  • 6 1
 Hopefully MVDP starts in his original position!
  • 3 0
 The mental "load" of this news could be the worst part about it. Hope the elites that are adversely affected by this can shut this out of their brain and rise above.
  • 8 3
 I will boycott this by not watching it.
  • 31 0
 I will boycott this by not being able to watch it.
  • 5 2
 The Olympics are corrupt why would any sport body with Olympic dreams act any different….. the olympics have lasted past their time in history….
  • 6 2
 I’m sure they would have done the same for Nino had he wanted to race on a road bike….
Fu&$*n Roadies
  • 4 1
 Rumour has it that the UCI have now smoothed out the track with tarmac and filled in the gap jumps…..all in fairness, of course.
  • 1 0
 If there were another organization promoting events, would riders and sponsors go to those instead? Would people “pay with their wallet”, rather than go after the traditional events/series that are already in place?

From my newish perspective EWS had much better coverage than now, and riders were more well known. DH had a more robust platform, as well as better commentary. I can understand the desire to be a part of the UCI, but after seeing this past season, the growing pains should not have been there for such a “well experienced” organization. I do not follow road, cyclocross, or gravel styles so a, not able to comment on things that have happened in those disciplines

Time to find a solution. Just an observation from a MTB enthusiast.
  • 2 0
 The difference IMO between XC and Enduro or DH is that XC is an Olympic event, so much harder to break away from the UCI.
  • 1 0
 @commental: understood. It’s scary to think about not being able to participate in something that many people dream of and train for much of their lives for. I reckon, participants will just have to work with what they have in this case.
  • 5 1
 So if Loic wants to start in a road race...?
  • 4 8
flag johniep FL (Aug 12, 2023 at 7:30) (Below Threshold)
 Loic could start 2km ahead in a 5km race and would still finish dead last. This rule changes nothing. Ya the timing of the change sucks but the rule makes sense. I want to see the best racers push each other.
  • 5 1
 @johniep: Define best racers. Those that can corner?
  • 1 1
 This is actually quite amusing.

1. Riders will prioritise the road over XC as the road pays significantly more.
2. Riders who can ride both at the top level but chose to ride 1 due to earning potential should not be penalised significantly.
3. Riders in the XC have the choice, if good enough to do the same as the 2 (two) riders they are all moaning about.
4. Tom didnt moan at the last round, being world champion that he had to start back behind lesser riders and take the disadvantage he got from this, potentially costing him the win and skewing the results.
5. Why are they moaning... because they think these 2(two) riders may cause an upset.
6. The XC field moans about the state of their pay packets and prizes, yet riders who chose to compete where the money is are frowned upon... if you want to earn more, go where the money is and race sometimes where the fun is.

So many folk got together to moan about 2 riders getting a bump, to probably a worse start position than they would have if they raced every round... the 2 riders are still being penalised based on XC races done and not events ridden!

Sometimes athletes dont like it when they might lose a finishing position, the best thing they can do is action their protest on the race track by beating the 2 who have been bumped up due to their overall ability.

Lets go racing, and stop moaning.
  • 10 7
 Last row, or 3rd last row, MVPD is going to lay a beating on the XC field.
  • 9 12
 really hoping he ends up in the dirt at this point....
  • 6 5
 Unless he forgets they removed a ladder bridge and goes OTB!
  • 12 5
 I get the racers writing a letter, but the comments here are acting like MVP is some celebrity rider who bought his way into this competition. MVP is not mid pack fodder, he is one of the most exciting riders in the world at the moment. Of course the UCI wants him in the mix.
  • 4 1
 "Unless he forgets they removed a ladder bridge and goes OTB!"

Nope, undone by a slippery corner!
  • 4 0
 @JoeDick: he is a great endurance rider. However, he UCI didn't follow the qualifications SPECIFICALLY laid out by UCI. Then, UCI changed the rules at the VERY last minute out of nothing but favoritism /corruption towards a non-conforming competitor with a middle finger to those who did.
  • 3 1
 @dcaf: The BBC commentators leapt to his defence, saying how slippery and treacherous that corner is. I didn't see another rider have a problem with it throughout the entire race.
  • 3 0
 Explain it to me like I don’t know anything about XC, road, gravel, etc.
  • 5 3
 The UCI wanted to push in favored Road racers over ANY MTB only racres because................ favorties and the stagged scam propoganda event called the Olympics UCI set the rules begning of the year for starting positions and how to qualify for them at the Worlds. All the MTB only racers, who dutifully have raced events the UCI specifically stated are required for a good starting positon, got f*cked over for a preference of road racers. I don't even follow XC and call BS here.
  • 16 1
 Starting position is extremely important in XCO because it is difficult to pass people on much of the track. Even the best riders in the world cannot podium from a 100th place start position. Fresh (or comeback) XCO racers at WC level often spend half a season or more grinding mid-pack results just to collect enough points to achieve a starting position that's good enough to allow them to compete for a podium. This last minute change gives MVDP a competitive starting position despite not competing in any MTB races this year, which upsets the racers who have worked hard for their points throughout the season.
  • 9 7
 @dthomp325: It's not like MVDP and Pidcock just got off the couch. Training year round to be a world class contender in CX, road, and MTB is way harder than staying in the small provincial pool of Mens XCO. Nobody has a harder calendar than those two guys, with a possible exception of Wout van Aert.
  • 3 4
 @dthomp325: but he’s just better right? I mean…let’s have the best people racing - makes it more interesting?
  • 7 1
 @wolftwenty1: don't think anyone disagrees with that, but to do a switcheroo in the middle of the World Champs makes a mess of so many riders decisions earlier the season.
  • 9 0
 @wolftwenty1: I guess my main point was that achieving a good starting position is a major component to XCO racing, and MVDP is skipping that major component of the sport’s competition, regardless of whether or not he’s capable of taking a podium.

It’s like giving someone who dnf’d qualifying the 3rd row at an F1 race. They maybe a competitive racer, but qualifying is an important part of the competition.
  • 5 2
 So now VDP win wont be as great as it could be
  • 6 3
 What? The UCI favors roadies? Who knew?
  • 5 5
 MVDP roadie? are you new at the sport?
  • 3 0
 We need a new governing body that's by the Racers, for the Racers.
  • 7 0
 That’s what the uci is! But it’s by the (road) racers for the (road) racers.
  • 1 0
 @no-good-ideas: I guess I should have been more precise in my speech. I meant lead by current professional mountains bikers, not old amateur, maybe once pro roadies.
  • 2 0
 Well after all this MvdP didn’t even make it around the start loop and I haven’t seen or heard anything of Sagan.
  • 2 0
 Wonderful action by the UCI in recent times. They started with EWS and DH and now XC they are spoiling. Fantastic
  • 3 1
 That is some BS. What a joke
  • 2 0
 wodner who greased the officials
  • 3 0
 Big surprise, UCI sucks
  • 3 0
 I hate the uci
  • 1 0
 WOW!
Sounds just like CORRUPT FIFA soccer rule changes, manipulations!
Totally BS>
  • 2 2
 Maybe someone needs to get their elbows out on the first lap as someone tries to make passes. That might put him a k where he should have started.
  • 1 1
 Really interesting how at least before womens race they refused to speak about it. Just said there is a controversy. Wonder how much GCN has to do with this?
  • 1 0
 They should just switch to a LeMans style start on a long straightaway so it’s fair for everyone.
  • 1 0
 I wonder if this has anything to do with MVDP not starting the XCC?
  • 4 0
 If I understand what you're getting at, the XCC results (and hence MVDP not participating yesterday) doesn't affect the XCO start grid at world champs...only at world cups (where it was originally created as a sort of qualifying event). It was likely just because, as everyone else is saying, it's better for business if MVDP gets an easier shot at being triple champ in the same year.
  • 9 9
 The conversation is moot, there's a couple of gap jumps so VdP is screwed
  • 5 4
 hes a roadie he will be on the secret stuff and win1
  • 2 1
 Looking after there own as usual! What a joke.
  • 2 1
 If you didn’t earn the spot you don’t deserve it. Period.
  • 1 0
 I’ll vote with my viewership and dollars…
  • 2 3
 Xc boys didn't get their P.diddy head start they needed. Oh well. Well done P.diddy. great to see the fastest rider win and not the guy with the best start position.
  • 2 0
 F*** UCI and Olympics.
  • 1 0
 2023
  • 1 1
 As always F UCI
  • 1 1
 Fuck David Lappartient.
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