UCI Announces Changes to Regulations of Mountain Bike World Cup Events

Oct 13, 2016
by Pinkbike Staff  
Markus Pekoll on the attack for team Austria through some super dry VDS loam.

Following a two-day meeting held in Doha, Qatar, in conjunction with the 2016 UCI Road World Championships, the UCI Management Committee today agreed important regulation changes relating to track cycling, BMX Supercross and mountain bike.

Since early 2016, an extensive consultation was organised to review the track cycling discipline. The review focused on the UCI Track Cycling World Cup and Track Cycling World Championships, with a view to improving the competition narrative and creating even more spectator-friendly racing. Under the direction of the UCI Track Commission, a subcommittee of diverse experts was created to make recommendations which led to the following regulation changes agreed today by the UCI Management Committee.

The Madison will be introduced for Women at the UCI World Championships, bringing perfect parity between the men’s and the women’s events. In addition, the rule for a gained lap has been amended to be the same as in the Points Race (+ 20 points) and with points awarded every ten laps. Coherence between the Madison and the Points Race will make both easier to understand for spectators. Points awarded in the final sprint have been doubled in both the Madison and Points Race in order to keep the race in play until the final sprint.

The Omnium will be extensively changed with the new competition format being four bunch events (scratch, tempo race, elimination and points race) which will all be held on the same day. Dropping the timed events means the Omnium becomes a pure endurance event, bringing better balance to the track programme.

The new Sprint format allows more riders to participate (28 instead of 24), and a slightly shorter tournament with the four athletes clocking the best qualifying times skipping the 1/16 finals and going straight to the 1/8 finals. For the Kilometre and 500 metre Time Trial, two athletes will ride simultaneously on the track during qualifications, and finals will be held individually in the evening.

In the Keirin, the sprint distance will be increased to 3 laps to make the race more tactical and the rules about overtaking the pacer have also been clarified.

To make the Team Pursuit more compact, two teams will now ride simultaneously on the track in the qualifying heats, and there will be no more finals for 5th & 6th places and 7th & 8th places.

A first round has been added to the Team Sprint to bring it in line with the format of the Olympic Games and similar to the current Team Pursuit format. This will bring more consistency and help fans to understand the discipline. Rules on disqualification and false start have also been clarified

A new format for the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup was also approved by the UCI Management Committee. The event will be easier for fans to understand with direct elimination in the first round, and no more time trials. Extensive minimum standards for BMX tracks and associated facilities have been added to the UCI BMX Regulations to improve the consistency of rider’ experience and safety between events.

The UCI Management Committee also heard a report on the inaugural season of the UCI BMX Freestyle Park World Cup which is due to finish at the end of the month in Chengdu, China after other events were held in Montpellier (France), Osijek (Croatia), Denver (USA) and Edmonton (Canada). All members were pleased to hear about the tremendous success of these first events in terms of both participation and public attendance.

Miranda Miller... Canada s chosen one.

Downhill Mountain Bike
In order to better protect the integrity of the course and therefore improve the quality of competition, the UCI Management Committee agreed the following changes for the Downhill events of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano:

 To reduce the number of riders by increasing the number of points required to participate (from 30
to 40 points);
 To reduce the number of riders participating in the final (15 Women Elite and 20 Juniors);
 To have a separate DHI Women Junior event.

Finally, the following 2017 International Calendars were also agreed: BMX, Mountain Bike, Road, Paracycling, Trials, Indoor Cycling and Mass Participation. UCI President Brian Cookson said: “While it is important that we safeguard the essence of our cycling disciplines, we also need to be brave and embrace change in order to give our sport real meaning to those who are watching live or on screens across the world. The changes announced today show that we are moving with the times to ensure that our disciplines are presented in the most compelling way possible, and are rooted in the desire to attract and inspire even more fans into cycling.

The UCI Management Committee also decided to recommence the trial of disc brakes in road events. This decision comes after months of discussions between representatives of teams, riders and the industry, and following confirmation from the Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA) and Association Internationale des Groupes Cyclistes Professionels (AIGCP) that they support the trial.

Following extensive examination of the equipment and a detailed safety report, it has been agreed with manufacturers that the trial will restart on January 1 st 2017 exclusively with discs which should be modified to ensure the perimeter edge of the brake rotor does not contain any 90 degree edges but are smoothed or chamfered.

The trial will be closely monitored and formally reviewed every month.

The next meeting of the UCI Management Committee will take place in Luxembourg (LUX) on January 27th, 2017 during the 2017 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championship.



  • 156 15
 I've not read the other discipline, but letting only 15 womens accessing the final do not looks like the best way to help women get into the sport. I would have prefered to see parity men/women in the number of spot available for finals. Yes, first few years are gonna suck because let's be honest, at the moment only a handfull of female riders are competing for the top spot, but it would let many rider have visibility for sponsors and so on. That's how you grow something...not by closing doors.
  • 27 8
 Exactly what I was thinking as I read this. We should be encouraging more women to get into the sport, not making it harder for them. Still, hardly surprising that the UCI would come up with something like this.
  • 56 2
 @GabrielDugas - Couldn't disagree with you more. Go look at the results of the last 2 World Cups and World Championships for examples. Tell me the people who will be cut by this new rule would not be better served racing National series like the BDS, BC Cups, Coupe de France etc until they are closer to WC pace? If you are a minute back, you have some training to do before being on the same track as the worlds fastest. I think it helps to see these races live and actually see the difference - these tracks are a lot more difficult than a lot of people on Pinkbike seem to think. Maybe now, spectators will show up to watch all the categories rather than just the elite men which is often the case.
  • 8 0
 @forecast01: We'll said! The issue is the quality and difficulty of the tracks. The junior women would be better served by their own competition. There is very little depth in elite women at WC level.
  • 1 0
 I was ready to disagree with you, until the "Yes, the first few years are gonna suck". Its like the chicken and the egg conundrum; its hard to justify more coverage of Womens until the field deepens, but could more coverage be the thing that deepens the field?
  • 16 0
 @hamncheez: Development needs to come at the Grassroots level - not at the highest level of the sport. Every other sport does it that way. Support your local race series, introduce kids to the sport, give them proper coaching, let them enjoy it and then maybe they will want to pursue it at the highest level when they are ready. Don't push people who are not ready onto a track like Val Di Sole.
  • 6 1
 I think the juniors will be most hurt by this. There are several kids every single race that qualify outside top 20 but lay it down in finals. These kids are the future and if they're a third less likely to qualify they're less likely to attend
  • 4 1
 @forecast01: But don't you think that riders will only get as good as nationals? What i'm trying to say (and I might be miles aways from the truth) is that if the national champ of X country is 1 minute behind UK's women, than maybe they need to race at an other level to get better... You'll alway push yourself as much as you need and if no one is putting 10 seconds on you on every race you'll probably never think on releasing the brake lever.

We can see that with the level of UK female riding. The national and other series have the likes of carpenter, seagrave and atherton all the times. And those women push the field up. Most (if not all) the other country do not have this level at a national level...
  • 3 1
 @GabrielDugas: I think that competition makes racers better up to the point at which they are in over their heads. Atherton, Carpenter and Seagrave were all fast and skilled when they arrived at the elite level and all capable of racing at this level. You mention 10 seconds - once you are that close you are in. But, go to roots and rain and look at the time differences. It is the racers that are way further back that I think could use some time racing European, British, British Columbia etc. Those are very good series that provide lots of competition. If a woman or junior is dominating they can compare their times to the elite men for motivation. There is also Crankworx - 4 of them. Canadian ski racers, as an example, race the European Cup or Nor Ams to get to the World Cup, and not everyone makes it. They still can go and enter these races, do the training days, just their chances of racing aren't as good.
Just my opinion, nothing more, but having watched several of these races over the last few years is an eye opener.
Many are in way over their head and it is actually quite scary to watch. Plus it has to be annoying for the fast racers that the track gets so clogged up in training.
  • 2 3
 Every time UCI makes a change you can be sure it's bad... Remember 4X...
  • 6 0
 It would be nice if there was a WC feeder series that excludes established WC racers. So when you get your points in that series you get entry to the WC races, like getting a pro card. Adds another event for sponsors, gives other riders a chance at a podium on a world stage and also increases the prestige of the WC events.
  • 1 1
 I think the wording is confusing, i believe its a 20 women junior riders field being added.
  • 1 0
 @Yarlezy: nope, the words say : 15 women elite and 20 junior + having a separate women junior event
  • 2 0
 As if 5 women riders are going to degrade the track... dumb excuse. I will admit some of the women look to struggle on some parts of the course and that is why you see the big discrepancies in time. But in great respect for these women, I'd struggle myself so I say let em ride.
  • 1 0
 @forecast01: Using Canadian ski racing as a model for athlete development is misguided at best. There are few organisations quite as adept at squandering talent as Alpine Canada.
  • 64 5
 Time to get DH racing out of the UCI for good! These guys are doing very little to actually grow this sport
  • 10 1
  • 11 0
 USA cycling is no better!
  • 6 4
 Anything it gets into after leaving the UCI would end up just as bad in only a few seasons
  • 4 1
 @hamncheez: at least juniors racing downhill wouldn't have to pay a "race clean" fee tacked on to their license to test all the doping roadies!
  • 3 0
 So,where's the alternative? People talk about it for decades,but to this day,we can't see it happening.
  • 18 0
 RedBull have taken FMX, the AirRace Series and even making your own go-karts and running them down a hill and put them on national TV screens. Maybe its time for DH to go the same way. Maybe its time for DH to leave the UCI and for RedBull to step out from just broadcasting DH on the web and start a series that can be shown world wide with more rounds across the globe. Just a thought..
  • 7 0
 @charlielynes: I've regularly thought that. How the Soap Box racing is on TV but DH isn't baffles me. Surely RedBull could pull it off. @redbullbike please make it happen!!!
  • 4 1
 Fest Series DH Racing. Each backflip is -5 seconds.
  • 37 4
 This is why we can't have nice things.

  • 34 7
 People question why Enduro is growing so much so quick, its soon to be if not already overtaking downhill. The reason for this, enduro is not run by the UCI!! They have too many rules made by roadies and XC bandits. Bring DH back to its roots!!
  • 6 2
 Also Enduro is accessible. You can ride the same bikes on terrain as or almost as difficult as the race tracks. Your average spectator often can't do that for a World Cup
  • 28 4
 UCI making it harder for younger riders to get a chance to race world cups. What about the future of the sport?
  • 16 1
 Why do we want less riders in DH world cups? Is that a good thing? I think Brendog was keen on this. But as a top 10 'safe' rider the less competition the better.

If it means the tracks can be gnarlier then maybe it's good. Perhaps they could even do the unthinkable and introduce a different venue to the series
  • 6 2
 It's because a limited number of people are talented enough to handle some of the features on WC level tracks. More people means either dumbing down the tracks or unnecessary injuries for people who teally shouldn't be there.
  • 9 3
 @dthomp325: ...are you being serious? There are not a limited number of people who can handle WC level tracks...certainly there are a limited amount of people who can compete against the top 20-30 in the world.....

Common man, watch claudio POVs...mortals can ride these tracks, just not at the pace the top level riders are...that's the same in every racing sport

I think the uncertainty surrounding tracks like VDS that change as the race day progresses is a part of what makes world cup DH interesting. The tracks have gotten tamer and tamer over the years, and yet EVERY world class rider prefers the gnarlier tracks...it's a broken trend.
  • 6 1
 @nvranka: There is nothing 'tame' or tamer about MSA, Val di Sole, Lourdes or Andorra. Fort William is long, burly and injures more than a few top riders every year. Nobody is racing any of these courses on an 'enduro' bike. Even Lenzerheide is very fast and loose with some big jumps and really close times.
Dont forget, Claudio used to race world cups and he is riding before 3 days of abuse on the track.
If you haven't, go watch a race live - tv does not do these courses justice.
  • 4 0
 @nvranka: Give Claudio a little credit.
  • 4 0
 @nvranka: Claudio is no mere mortal! He was a sick dh racer in his day, he is also an amazing crashed ice racer, dude is ballsy and super talented! I have been riding 28 years and the MSA dh course is impossible for me to ride without a few offs and time in the cabbage. WC DH is tougher than you think.
  • 3 2
 @Yarlezy: Did you guys read what I wrote? I'm not saying any joey can ride the damn tracks...I'm saying there are AMPLE up and coming racers that would have no issue on these tracks.

As much as I respect Claudio, he is very relatable (and in most cases, slow) to an up and coming/skilled racer. No one is going to like to hear this, but the fact that the female WC racers are riding the tracks at pace speaks volumes about their accessibility. I know the female bench is light and am not trying to start an argument about feminism, but we all know the delta in race times between men and women...if you, however, watch any of the girls come down the track, they look like they're in good/impressive form.

You don't need to be Top 50 in the world to ride VDS/MSA/etc at speed, but there is obviously a large delta between race pace in the top 15 and the rest of the world.

28 years doesn't really mean anything...i've ridden for 10 and have been down MSA...it's about time in the saddle and what you train on. By the way, I'm in no way saying that I am a part of this conversation...i'm just making the point that saying there are a limited amount of riders capable of these tracks is ludicrous
  • 15 5
 The world cup DH should be the pinnacle of our sport - there is a danger that too many junior and female riders (categories where there is little strength-in-depth) forces tracks to be too easy for the men's elite field. The future winners of DH should be cutting their teeth in their national series.

Consider how awesome Hardline was - it's that level of riding that will get our sport noticed. A truly world class track should be one that few of us think we could ride...
  • 15 1
 I would've struggled to ride the Val di Sole track in the World Champs.I can't recall a track as brutal as that in World cup/champs DH. A lot of the women and juniors did a pretty good job of riding it. When you get to the level of Hardline even Rachel has said she wouldn't want to race it, what future would that leave for Women's DH?
  • 16 3
 hardline is a monster truck show, val di sole is the grand prix of dh mtb..
  • 4 2
 A sport's world cup should be representative of the type of sport people do,in my opinion. Hardline has it's place,but I don't see it as the way to go.
  • 4 0
 Val di Sole was plenty hard enough.
  • 1 1
 @VZLNMTB: well said. Hardline has more of a "stunt"-race feel than a thoroughbred race course like VDS/Fort Bill/etc...

@BCDragon : couldn't agree more...it's a societal trend that things need to be "accessible" to the lower echelon. This is elite level racing we're talking about...if you can't handle the tracks/pace, then you should be racing a national or lower level series until you're ready- nothing new.
  • 4 3
 "Our" sport? How many of "us" ride hardline like trails each weekend?
Anyway, downhill has been around for long enough now that if it hasn't been recognised by now, then well, whatever UCI are doing probably won't help.
Let's get crazy here and make a comment, I'd rather see juniors gone and more female riders, no need to be top 5 in your first year of elite, if you're quick you'll get there eventually. I'd rather see greater sponsorship for elite women, you are never going to close a 1 minute gap if you can't match a well funded season year in and year out. If I was assed(dealing with scribd) and not a little drunk I'd research how many of the top 15 women from each race actually had team sponsors. National series vary massively in quality, so the "world" stage offers a common ground where riders can see the potential and failings and how/where to progress
  • 2 0
 @Drover: get rid of juniors and have more female riders? no thanks bud
  • 12 2
 "In order to better protect the integrity of the course" so basically they're saying that the tracks are getting too rough? Isn't that the point of DH?
  • 17 1
 I'm not sure if these new regs are the way to go but you have to admit there is a difference between a "rough track" and one that is simply completely destroyed after 2-3days with 100's of riders of riders on it all day.
  • 9 2
 It can wreck venues. Older trails are having serious erosion problems.
  • 1 0
 Maybe to maintain the integrity of the course during the event?
  • 11 0
 Redbull needs to create a pro dh circuit.
  • 9 3
 "attract and inspire even more fans into cycling" by reducing number of riders in finals? really?
so imagine we have concert, we`ll reduce amount of songs played, still charge same money from fans, and somehow it`s good thing for them?
  • 14 4
 f*ck the UCI!????
  • 5 1
 Crankworx is up to 4 events for 2017. Once they get to 5+ events Crankworx should supplant UCI as the premier series we all focus on.

UCI mainly cares about pro road. Crankworx only cares about mountain bike.

Simple solution is for riders, sponsors of riders, and fans of riders is to get behind making Crankworx important and just walk away from the UCI.

Besides I think everyone (racers and the rest of us) has more fun at Crankworx events than WC DH events. WC DH events are fun to attend but you're just watching a race. Crankworx has tapped into a festival of riding with events to watch at the end of each day.
  • 5 1
 Some people need to think before they type.

Why do people on here think that if Red Bull ran DH racing that it would be better for Women and Junior categories? If Red Bull ran DH racing it would be for the purpose of promoting their brand to sell more caffeinated fizzy water. So to draw the most attention to their brand they'd only want to show the best riders (which would all be male) riding down really tough tracks that only the best riders could handle as it would create the biggest spectacle and attract non-mountain bikers as well as riders.
And how do I know that? Because that's what they do already with Hardline and Rampage.

If DH was to swap a governing body for a corporate sponsor then that would only be to the detriment of Junior and Women's racing.

In my opinion if they want to improve the quality of the racing without limiting the field then they need to bring in A and B finals for Juniors, Males and Females. Timed practices and Qualifying on Thursday and Friday, a B final for each category on Saturday for riders who didn't qualify in the top 10-15 and then an A final on Sunday for the top 10-15 riders in each category.
This way when the camera's are rolling live on the Sunday only the fastest riders in a total field of 40-60 riders are racing.
This would also make the men work really hard in qualifying as only the top riders would make the Sunday live coverage.
  • 3 0
 As the parent of a junior WC racer, this seems like a bad move. We went to three world cups this year and with up to 70 juniors trying for 30 spots, the competition was really stiff. My son's top qualifier was 24th, which he was ecstatic about. If there are protected junior riders, only 15 spots will be up for grabs. Not an impossible task, but certainly will have use rethinking the cost/benefit to attending WCs this coming season.
  • 2 0
 "with a view to improving the competition narrative" Yuk. If you need a story to make racing interesting maybe you shouldn't watch it. Just give me proper coverage of a rider and not them going out of the start gate and then the last jump into the finish and I am happy..
  • 2 0
 So the point of every other dicipline is to Increase participation, but in downhill it's to Decrease entries? Why is every other cycling sport done for the participants, (paying the now exorbitant entry fees,) but downhill is for the spectators? f*ck UCI.
  • 6 2
 Hay uci f#@k u leave dh alone or it will be instinct like what u did to 4x, stick to what u know f#@k all and road bikes
  • 3 2
 I don't understand how this is going to grow the sport. As a women who races DH this looks like a big f*ck you to female riders. It will not encourage more women to get into the sport whatsoever, this is simply about tv ratings as it is they only show 5 elite women in the finals now it looks like they may not cover any if it is a "seperate event". f*ck the UCI! Enjoy the sausage party
  • 1 0
 Lose the uci. Bunch of non rider. Dh races with go pros and no idiot rules. Tired of the fun police dumbing down courses. We can time ourselves without handing them money to ride and then be given a list of moronic stipulations
  • 1 0
 Ive also read that they will introduce a Mens practice session after the Womens finals, before the Mens finals, This is a dumbass move, as it will also segment the men from the womens finals by Hours. Not having the combined finals one after the other is pushing women further back.
  • 1 0
 Once upon a time on pink bike's forum There was a post regarding the UCI and their evil plan to......

STOP STOP STOP....honestly chaps calm down...

Now take a big step back and think about this for a minute before jumping on the 'look into the negatives of this outcome'.

The only difference this new rule makes in reality is a little nudge from the boss to all competitors to train harder, get better and then you can earn the right to stand and compete with the best, which I see as a good thing.

Riders will take training more seriously which is where..you guessed it, the youths and newcomers start out. So if those newcomers and younger riders see early on how important training is (especially seeing there idols doing so) then the future of this great sports can only have a positive outcome in the future.

At the end of the day it's racing, they've raised the bar a little. Those that want to win will train and succeed.


ps. I hope that all you Americans aren't going to vote for that F**king delinquent Trump in 3 weeks.
  • 4 0
 Junior women.....nice.
  • 3 0
 What a crock of shit . Talk about shooting itself in the foot
  • 3 0
 Held in Qatar eh?

UCI = FIFA = IOC = Rackets
  • 3 1
 How do you even get UCI points? Which races give you points? ProGRTs?
  • 1 0
 Yep, in the USA. Some races are worth more points than others too.
  • 2 0
 In the US top 10 pro at a Pro GRT get points. Not nearly enough though. A win only gets you 30, I think second is 20, third is 10, and tenth is 1 point. Americans already had a difficult time getting into WCs and this won't help. At MSA this year there were several Americans rockin USA jerseys putting in some top times
  • 3 0
 Smells like bull sh1t
  • 1 0
 WTF, is the integrity of the course? Its DH and it is RAW ! Keep the Flow Trails for Bike Parks not WCDH or the likes of.
  • 5 4
 EWS is the only thing that matters now.
  • 2 1
 They're so brave
  • 3 2
 the uci suck balls

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