The UCI have today announced that a Downhill Domination tournament will be used to assign World Cup overall points for any races that have been cancelled this season.
Losinj and Fort William have both already announced cancellations in 2020 meaning the World Cup season is now down to 6 rounds from the originally planned 8. To ensure that the series still gets enough exposure and overall points can still be handed out, an e-sports tournament using the classic PS2 game will now be held instead.
The move was inspired by motorsports, where professional racers such as Max Verstappen have competed in simulator races against e-athletes due to races being cancelled. The UCI announced guidelines for cycling e-sports last year
believing they would mainly apply to indoor racing on turbo trainers however the current situation has meant that they will now be used for adjudicating mountain bike racing too.
The tournament will be held in a knockout format with the 64 top-ranked riders from last year racing head to head in split-screen mode while sitting on couches 2-meters apart. In accordance with UCI rules, they must be wearing a helmet, gloves and a back protector. Skinsuits will still be banned. The controllers will be disinfected between each round and riders will be asked to wear gloves and masks while playing. The UCI's anti-doping truck will be modified to now detect for Ritalin, caffeine and other concentration-enhancing substances.
Any athletes who want some practice before the event have been advised to go to the Pinkbike Buy and Sell pages, where a horde of teenagers is waiting to trade them an Xbox and $200 for their race bike.
Press Release: UCI
In the current context of the current global situation, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is proud to announce the 2020 UCI Mountain Bike LAN Party presented by Flamin' Hot Cheetos. Following the cancellation of the World Cups in Fort William (Great Britain) and Lošinj (Croatia) at the request of the organisers, an alternate solution was found that will retain the integrity of the competition and ensure the safety of the athletes.
Rob Warner, the UCI’s new Commissioner of Video Games, said: “I’m looking forward to hitting some energy drinks with the boys and telling the losers I had relations with their mums down the microphone.”
A date is yet to be finalised for the event. Who do you think will end up on the podium?