Torquato Testa's Run That Didn't Win White Style 2018 - Video [Updated With New Information From FMBA]

Feb 6, 2018
by Pinkbike Staff  

With a double flip linked straight into a cork 7, Torquato Testa's qualifier run had him in 1st place. Unfortunately fog rolled in and forced the cancellation of the event.

The official press release is here, but we've seen some conflicting reports about the top 4 riders choosing not to drop in, and potentially not being awarded prizes.

Update 1: Sunday, January 28

Keeping in mind that this is just one side of the story, Torquato got back to us with his description of how things unfolded.

"The contest was a battle and the last 4 riders that got to the semi finals (me, Simon Pages, Antonin Honore, and Frank Paulin) weren’t paid, while from 5 to 8 place got their money.

When the semifinals where starting a really thick fog just came down. We couldn’t see the first jump, so we said that we couldn’t ride with those bad conditions! After 15-20 min waiting they just said to us that the contest was off and we thought that the kept the results of quarterfinals. But, when we were walking down the course the organizer of the event (a guy from Leogang) just came to us screaming “if you don’t ride I will cancel the event and no one will get his prize money and FMB points.”

So we start arguing with this guy for 30 minutes while the fog was getting a bit better, but we where still waiting 40 minutes in the cold. So we just decided to go up and just finish the contest for this guy that was forcing us to ride. We did 4 identical run, without big tricks, just because we weren’t feeling it anymore. The judges gave us different points for the runs, but when we came down the organizer just said to us the the contest was cancelled."
– Torquato Testa

Torquato also posted a video of the confrontation on his Facebook page.

We're waiting to hear back from the organizers and the FMBA, and will update this story once we have more information. In the meantime we're not jumping to conclusions, but it's a bummer to see the year start off on this note.

Update 2: Monday, January 29

We've just had the official word from the FMBA.

"We are aware of the events that transpired during the FMB Silver Event last weekend. We have started an investigation to assess exactly what happened during and at the end of the contest and will keep you updated." – Oliver Junggeburth, FMBA Press Officer

Update 3: Wednesday, January 7

We've just had a further update from the FMBA.

"After reviewing all information provided by the riders, the event officials and the event host, the FMBA Disciplinary Committee has come to the following decision regarding White Style 2018:

The Top 8 athletes will be awarded prize money and FMBA points based on the scores from the quarterfinal round. Due to the behaviour expressed by both an athlete and a representative of the event host on the day of the event, the FMBA decided on further disciplinary consequences, which will not be disclosed out of respect toward each party. Such behaviour is not acceptable and reflects badly on the sport, the riders, the event host and the FMBA. We expect both event hosts and athletes to treat each other respectfully at FMBA sanctioned events and will not tolerate unsportsmanlike conduct.”
– Simon Bischof, FMBA General Secretary



83 Comments

  • + 147
 "Dance puppets, DANCE!!!!"

-White style organizer
  • + 7
 I highly suggest for everyone to go to FMB's facebook page and spam the hell outta every post by sharing Torquato's post. www.facebook.com/torquatotestapage/videos/1557606947610499

Here's their FB page... www.facebook.com/FMBWorldTour

Enjoy!
  • + 1
 Welp, looks like it took a few minutes of spam to get a response from the FMB. "Official Statement of the FMBA:

We are aware of the events that transpired during the FMB Silver Event last weekend. We have started an investigation to assess exactly what happened during and at the end of the contest and will keep you updated."
  • + 23
 Hey come on give the organizer a break. He’s maybe just spicing up his CV for the next career move. “True” sportsmanship, “creative” use of event budget and risking athletes’ health for own profit are valuable skills for job applications at UCI, FIS, IOC ...
  • + 1
 @Gamsjaga: He'll be promoted for sure...esp if injuries or death happen on his watch...it's the way of the world...true and sad.
  • + 25
 "Due to the behaviour expressed by both an athlete and a representative (...) the FMBA decided on further disciplinary consequence"
Wtf !! that's like Saudi police "due to the behaviour of the victim and the rapist, we will send both of them in jail"
  • + 1
 @zede: To be fair you don't know what actions they took. It could have been as simple as, "bad Torquato! now go ride your bike"
  • + 10
 @scott-townes:
Thats not the point in my opinion.
To put it in the official statement like that shows that the fmbs doesnt want to admit their fault, but wants to find it somewhere else. It may also hurt the reputation of the riders especially the one that stood up an didnt want to take it like that.
By also calling the athletes unsportsmanlike in the last sentence this statement shows that the fmba has the same spirit about riders having to risk their lives even in bad conditions as the organizer.
Giving the points and prize money to the best 8 riders is only due to the public presure.
Thats too bad in my opinion
  • + 9
 @dirtenistderwahnsinn: For all we know someone keyed the official's car after the event. They didn't say who the athlete was nor did they comment on the nature of his behavior. All we saw was a brief conversation with a couple of athletes and we can't really build a whole story around that. Hell, we're even making assumptions as to which FMB representative is being punished. Nebulous press releases are nebulous for a reason.
  • - 12
flag ClarkHoward (Feb 7, 2018 at 11:38) (Below Threshold)
 Time for this kid to grow up and act more professional. Not the first time an instant like this has happened with Torquato. Hoping its the last. PROFESSIONALISM... its half the game bud.
  • - 11
flag roostthenfloat (Feb 7, 2018 at 12:15) (Below Threshold)
 @ClarkHoward: I hear ya...without actually having stood next to them, it's pretty unclear what happened - and it's not like Toto's video shows both sides of the story...
  • - 3
 @dirtenistderwahnsinn: Unsportsmanlike conduct isn't tolerated in basically every single pro league around the world, from all kinds of sports. And it looks like you're assuming that they're called unsportsmanlike for refusing to ride? What if it was something else?
  • + 17
 @ClarkHoward: If he and other riders are that upset it must be for a good reason. Personally I prefer a professional rider who is outspoken and willing to call out questionable stuff. Most people think professionalism means acting like you're stoked 100% of the time, nothing is bad, thanks to everyone, etc. The problem with that is it can lead to unhealthy cultures within the big organizations that run the main events and how they view/treat the athletes. Fixes only come when the athletes (the reason why these organizations exist in the first place) call them out on it and the public who are fans of the athletes, put pressure on the organizations to change.

This kind of crap has happened in skiing on multiple occasions and its only when the people running the show are publicly called out for it are any changes even considered.
  • + 64
 Without knowing anything about what happened this headline is quite confusing
  • + 29
 It's meant to be intriguing... it worked on me and apparently you as well lol.
  • + 18
 Yeah, from not being there, it’s hard to call, although I do hear a lot of negativity about how these freestyle contests are run. I totally get why a lot of these guys get fed up.
  • + 3
 @millsr4: it most certainly did. Was kinda hoping for another judging disaster. Or more the drama behind it
  • + 18
 Organizer acted like a jackass and gave money to the wrong people, this is going to blow up in his face.
  • + 4
 @Keyboardkilla: He gave money to the right people, just not all of the right people. 5-8th place received money, as they should have done, it's just 1-4 haven't received any
  • + 4
 @Joebohobo: I’m well aware of the situation... if you couldn’t tell by the context, I was insinuating that the top four should have gotten money if anything, not the bottom four
  • + 11
 Is PinkBike starting to click bait?
  • + 3
 @SpinningAddiction: way I see it is nobody will have got any money back, spectators etc. so all thats happened is the organisers got their money in his pocket. could you call it theft? I think so
  • + 32
 very discouraging to hear this news. Its insane how under appreciated and under paid these extreme athletes really are especially risking life and limb but to hear some guy who wouldn't get near those jumps call riders "unsportsman like" that is just disgusting i really hope that guy loses every title he has because that is not how these athletes should be treated. FMB really needs to do something about this
  • + 18
 ............and this "organizer" then went back to the gate to refund all the spectators their admission fee as they filed out, right??

Yah, I thought notWink

So it's ok to keep the takings from the gate, but not give the guys who everyone came to see their cut??

#organizerMcDouchebag
  • + 17
 "Due to the behaviour expressed by both an athlete and a representative of the event host on the day of the event, the FMBA decided on further disciplinary consequences, which will not be disclosed out of respect toward each party."

In the fifth grade a classmate stole my money and I yelled at him for it.
We both got in trouble and my mom had to come to the school.
F you elementary school principal Ms. Steely.
F you.
  • + 19
 could you guys also check on a comment by the FMB about this? I would like to hear what they say about this.
  • + 9
 Of course, we’ve reached out to the FBM and the Organizer’s press office and we’ll update this when we hear from them.

Edit: I’m just gonna leave it.
  • + 36
 @brianpark: "Of course, we’ve reached out to the FBM"

Steve Crandalls response "wait, this contest didn't involve pallets, a dead turtle, beer, and 20" wheels? I think you are looking for the FMB, not FBM"
  • + 1
 @brianpark: What does the head judge think about this situation?
  • + 0
 @brianpark: what do you mean with you gonna leave it?
did the FMB and the organizer state their point of view?
  • + 9
 @listeryu: I think he thought about changing the typo in his post, but turn decided to leave it, after reading the hilarious response by @GorgeousBeauGaston
  • + 1
 @GorgeousBeauGaston: comment of the month!
  • + 1
 @FuzzyL: true - didn´t see it the first time ;-)
  • + 4
 @GorgeousBeauGaston: i was at the Ghetto Street Comp when Jim Cielincki rode the loop made out of pallets. For such a disappointing place overall, Binghamton NY never let you down with bmx comps.
  • + 14
 THIS DOESNT MAKE ANY SENSE....I want to hear all sides to the story, and understand who pooped in the organizer's boots. Not paying the top 4, but the bottom 6 gets paid, is messed up...forcing professionals to ride in dangerous conditions seems criminal honestly...It is their livelihood...Seriously, WTF
  • - 24
flag preach (Jan 28, 2018 at 17:29) (Below Threshold)
 Basically no one watches and or gives a a poop about it so we cook up complicated story lines....
  • + 14
 So it would seem basically that Torquato Testa (or another one of the top four) and the member of the event staff behaving inappropriately in Torquato's video have been warned not to do anything to bring the Freeride Mountain Bike Association (FMBA) into disrepute otherwise they won't be a part of it's events anymore. A bit harsh on the rider if this is the case.

What is quite funny is that Tarek Rasouli FMBA's Vice President (or just one of the three FMBA board of directors) is the organiser of White Style through being managing director of Rasoulution and was present in the video Torquato posted, being less then ten feet from Torquato and appearing to instruct the aggressive event staff member what to say.

There are another two interesting potential things that Tarek Rasouli can do to boost his personal and company finances through using his position of influence within the FMBA.

First is the fact that his company Rasoulution run two more FMBA gold events in Europe, 26Trix and GlemmRide. Tarek Rasouli is on the board of directors who decide whether events have FMB wildcard status, this allows the top two riders not on the FMB Diamond Tour to attend most often the next pro-level Diamond Tour event. This chance to attend a diamond level pro-tour event obviously is a big draw for up and coming riders or experienced professionals trying to get back on the tour. Therefore being able to grant FMB wildcard status to your event will increase the amount of sponsorship revenue and the overall kudos of the event through a higher quality of riders attending and also greater coverage.

Second is that Tarek Rasouli through Rasoulution is agent for a number of riders on the tour. This is a strange relationship as it is akin to Sepp Blatter being the agent for Messi and being put in a situation where he would benefit personally from the enhanced success of his player - through say winning the Ballon d'Or. Now for a board member of the FMBA to be in a situation where they would benefit financially by influencing judges to judge one of his riders more favourably is an odd one - and one in which a reputable professional organisation would not allow to be a possibility for a member of their board.
  • - 5
flag roostthenfloat (Feb 7, 2018 at 12:14) (Below Threshold)
 You just love jumping to conclusions, don't you...How can you tell that Tarek is instructing the event staff member? Were you there?

And if he's one of three on the board, then surely there's a voting system in place, rather than a dictatorship?
  • + 7
 @roostthenfloat: this guy is on point. Having friends compete at this level, they’ve told me he dictates the winners, essentially looking after his own riders. Money making is the name of the game. It would appear his antics are being noted, but it has put people off of competing at that level in contests he has a say in. I can’t attest for all riders, but the Blatter comment is about bob on. The guy seems like a bit of a tw@.
  • + 4
 I'm wondering if the FMB is "circling the bowl", as they haven't released the 2018 event schedule yet, and they recently deleted any mention of the Diamond Series from their website, not to mention fed-up riders, and a lack of anything happening in North Amaerica. Slopestyle deserves better.
  • + 5
 Can someone please post a link to the video that I can watch without a facebook account. Don't have facebook.
  • + 3
 @abzillah: www.facebook.com/torquatotestapage/videos/1557606947610499 You don't need FB account to watch that video Smile
  • + 8
 @Smilicito: Thanks! Looks like the guy canceling the event just wants to show how big his dick is.
  • + 1
 @abzillah: Sure, but if you have FB account, than you could read some of the FMB athletes comments on this case Smile
  • + 14
 Rider safety should be Number #1 but clearly the organizers were more concerned about a "show". There is nothing 'unsportsman-like' about how the riders handled this situation. Fog is deadly and anyone who skis/snowboards knows that.
  • + 14
 This makes me so angry. The video or the confrontation is disgusting. I really hope this decision gets overturned sharpish!!
  • + 0
 You think ze Germans are "Betonkopf" or concrete heads / narrow minded about things... wait till you meet the Austrians, those from the "better Germany" are quite special.
  • + 10
 They said athletes could face consequences too. If Torquato gets punished for trying to reason with an unreasonable organizer, myself, and I'm sure many people, will be pissed off.
  • + 8
 I wonder how much pull sponsors like Red Bull have in things like this? You would think they would be calling this organizer up, since they are plastered all over the event. Reflects poorly on them.
  • + 1
 I hope they get their money back
  • + 8
 Risk your life for the entertainment of others or we will subject you to financial violence - the industry. The real reason skaters don't wear helmets is no one will buy your edit.
  • + 10
 #ridersgotrobbed
  • + 8
 Two words. Fest Series. Guys giving it everything without the contest format.
  • + 4
 Uuuum yeah. I’m no expert or anything but the FMB official in that video seems to either be a complete douche, and possessed of a Napoleon complex aka: “little man’s disease”. These folks have to realize that people don’t show up at these events to see how great the organizers are. They come to see the riders. Granted the organizers work hard I get that, but no riders no spectators no money for anyone. No one ever went to a ball field to watch the team owners. These folks need to get over themselves. Pro riders need to organize themselves so they can’t get pushed around like this.
  • + 7
 Tell us who is the organizer so we don't watch any of their events. FMB should step in and ban them from the FMB tour
  • + 7
 I believe the organizer, at least in part, is Rasolution, the agency owned by Tarek Rasouli, the President of the FMBA. I also believe Tarek is the guy in the wheelchair sitting behind Mr. Sportsmanship. It makes me wonder what exactly the FMB is "investigating".
  • + 1
 @co-mtb: we don't watch the fmb tour then (nor the news about it) feels bad for crankworx
  • + 9
 They deserve the money!
  • + 5
 Absolutely outrageous situation, something needs to happen. Organisers need to know they can't get away with this type of thing.
  • + 5
 Surely
If a contest is stopped (riders decision or not) for weather /safety reasons. Then the results should be decided on the placings at that time.....?
  • + 6
 id be smashing the organizers lambo
  • + 3
 That dude shouldnt be allowed to be in charge of any sport event at all and especially no action sport where people possibly risk their lifes. Thats ridicolous
  • + 4
 There is nothing much to understand here. The event organiser was either an imbecile or a petty crook.
  • + 4
 Riders safety should always come first!!
  • + 3
 Live to ride another day. If these guys aren't comfortable sending it, the conditions probably sucked big time. Smart move.
  • + 2
 I think after his comment about "sportsmanship" I would have been seeing red. I'm surprised no one laid him out or high fives his face with their bike.
  • + 2
 Kickin' 2018 off right with a governing body shit show and a call for riders to unionize... again.
  • + 3
 Equal points and money for top 4? Seems like a simple solution.
  • + 3
 a classic austrian solution. I'm sorry to hear that.
  • + 2
 Event organizers only see money. Just another display of rider safety being compromised by publicity.
  • + 2
 The FMBA decision seems odd...
  • + 2
 Wtf!?!?
  • + 1
 So clean...gonna be a sick year!
  • + 4
 Sry...didn't read the article just went to insta and watched all his dope ass clips. Those landings and run ins are tight and Testa is perfectly lined up every time...sick. Better get paid, this sucks to hear honestly.
  • + 6
 @rcrdrvr: For sure, it sucks that the riders' amazing lines are getting lost in all this.
  • + 2
 Fest is best!!!
  • + 2
 Fu*kin bullshit
  • + 2
 Any more info?
  • + 1
 how did they manage to imbed instagram?

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