Video: World Cup Protected Rider & Start Lists Explained

Jun 4, 2018
by Pinkbike Staff  

Credit: Ben Cathro.

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Member since Jul 22, 2013
3,465 articles

58 Comments
  • 44 1
 I was looking forward to seeing how the 8th qualifier, Martin Maes, faired in DH at Ft. William. Maes ran over 1 hour before the end of the live broadcast. To me it kills a lot of the suspense factor of whether the racers can back up or even better their qualifying run.
  • 7 34
flag RichardJBos (Jun 4, 2018 at 8:13) (Below Threshold)
 Your point? You got to see Martin Maes race DH, smoke some of the established racers and race a better time than his qualifier, so all three things you mentioned. They happened, and just because they happened 20 minutes or so before they should, it kills the suspense factor for you??
  • 14 1
 @RichardJBos: Kinda yeah. I've always been a fan of the old running order. For example a few times Gwin (my favorite to watch) screwed up in a quali run and we didn't get to see him race but I didn't mind. It was better and more suspenseful to watch them rip down in order and it was easier to know who was running and when and also how those times hold up against the fastest quali run. Overall I think its just easier/more organized to keep up with for the viewer. Plus if one of those protected riders go down first, they have a lot of shots of them in the hot seat reacting to people getting close to their time which is really fun to watch.
  • 56 5
 PSA PSA PSA!


I just wanted to reply to Karpiel073 so more people would see it. Cathro is the man. His riding technique/line choice analysis is in another dimension to anyone else. Subscribe to his YT channel if you haven't already but more importantly let's get behind him to be Claudio's replacement for course preview ride and get Redbull to allow him to do longer vids. He really should be on staff doing vids for them.

Anyone on Pinkbike know the best way to make this happen?
  • 25 1
 @jclnv: i can so get behind cathro for course preview. and more video content. love his super nerd pro level insight. he'd actually make a great co-announcer for that matter.
  • 33 0
 Thoughts:
1. Having some protected riders is good, but should be based on 2018 ranking.
2. Having *permanently* protected riders (based on last year's ranking) is bad.
3. Fastest qualifiers should be last down the hill in all cases (protected or not).
4. Having only 5 non-protected riders on the live stream (8 this time due to non-starts) is an insult.
  • 6 4
 @jclnv: yep i am way over Claudio yelling at the guys to slowdown
  • 1 1
 And yet, he came in 10th place and given 6 minutes for showing each rider's run, the high fiving, leaderboards and replay of highlights, means he was shown at exactly the time he should have been. Its as if the UCI was psychic!
  • 2 1
 @jclnv: id definetly get behind this idea!
  • 1 0
 @scott-townes: Fair enough, I see your point and I agree that the new rules definitely need work. At the same time, I'm just happy to see DH on a regular basis Smile
  • 1 0
 @jclnv: yes let's have Cathro take on the course previews and more of his analysis.
  • 26 0
 It's stupid for spectators. Removes excitement, which could lose viewership. My wife didn't want to get up yesterday to watch (6am start), but asked I get her up around 7, which would have been top 10. Being that it's a total jumble, I didn't bother getting her up, she doesn't care about names, but watching riders progressively getting faster and battling for the podium is exciting. Does any other sport do this?
  • 9 0
 Everyone I introduced before loved the fastest rider goes last formula. Great drama when there's weather. I'm not even going to try this year. Talk about teams trying to game the system and the UCI caving. This is pathetic.
  • 17 2
 Never mind any other rule change pink bike is taking about this is the worst for spectators.

Form has to be the number one thing to consider. This is just a big money play. When I was into formula one and some one pulled something out the bag and went fastest, or a driver messed up and to come from the back. These were the ones you wanted to watch.

What’s the best downhill ever well matties win when he stopped in qualifying then sat in hot seat for ages and we We’re given the highlight of sams run in the wet. The setup for Sam to do his thing would never have happened under these rules

Why downhill on the decrease and the less ruled ews is in the increase.. surely...
  • 11 1
 If these rules were in place back in the day, in Champery, Sam Hill's "greatest downhill run in history" would have resulted in a win, with probably the biggest winning margin in history... rather than 3rd. Food for thought.
  • 3 1
 @joel4: Actually what you pointed out would be still be true with the rule in place last year. Adding points to qualies seemed to take care of the "gaming the system" that happened before points were added. This new rule this year is simply there to protect the top 20 if they have a crash or a mechanical in qualies.
  • 7 0
 The only thing is that the "Top 20" ain't the top 20 anymore.
  • 1 0
 @Thustlewhumber: oooo
  • 1 0
 @Thustlewhumber: Yep. A few riders from last year that "bridesmaid" every week get to be in the buildup/winddown of this years finales even if they're not the hottest riders of the moment.
  • 12 0
 I dont want a explanation, I just want it to go back to the way it was.

From the perspective of a new viewer (which is was this was suppose to appeal to) I would find this horribly confusing and downright stupid. I've been open minded about it and tried to see the benefit but it's not there. I hate it and want to go back to the Top 20 protected and qualifying times set the start order like in 2016.
  • 13 0
 For me the new rules make the event less exciting to watch. UCI and TM’s have you heard of K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple stupid)?
  • 11 1
 So Fayolle got lucky with the weather last year at a couple of races and is now protected all this year even though he would most likely not be in the top 20 should everyone of had a fair race last year. So now other better riders miss out on the live feed to watch him? He is obviously fast but i would rather have watched Eddie Masters....

Someone must be paying Redbull to make sure their riders get coverage every week. Why else would you change it to this
  • 10 0
 Not someone...someONES. All of the big teams that say "we keep this DH ship afloat with OUR investment" want their riders on the broadcast and put their power and influence to work.

People with money on the line don't get that us average joes are salivating over a guy we may have raced with once being in the final 80 cut, getting a dry course and then suddenly getting his chance to grab the sponsor he's always needed by being in the top 20 qualifiers and maybe...just maybe...snagging a bigger deal next year.

We aren't in the old world of people only getting exposure and sponsorship by a couple big core companies and a few mom and pops picking up the scraps. There are dozens of companies chomping at the bit to get on that live feed and now 50% of the air time they had a shot at is GONE!

If Vegas put odds on a small to medium sized company getting on the live feed last year versus this year, the percentage difference would be shocking.
@Ben Cathro great job
  • 5 0
 Fayolle wasn't just lucky. He's a good racer, qualified well too that race. But protecting riders based on last years' result doesn't make sense. The only (defendable) reason to protect riders is that if riders are in a good position for the overall, they still get to race even if they mess up their qualifiers. Last seasons' position doesn't matter for this years' overall so just don't drag any of that into this year.

Now I rarely watch a live feed but I understand it is important these days. I suppose now that they have this many cameras available, have clear cut the hill (think of Leogang) and they're using the internet as medium instead of regular tv, it would be only a matter of time before you can pick the riders you want to see and watch their full run. As it is now, it appears like they're still using the internet medium as if it were a regular tv show.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: I used Neko last year as an example of how this can play out poorly for someone.
He started the season outside the 2017 starting top 20 I believe (could be wrong) but coming off injury onto a new team.
He qualified 11th round 1, so he'd be outside the top 20 still for live feed. Finished 7th.

Round 2, qualified 16th, so 7th in Overall points (that math is easy), but still outside top 20 for live feed. Finished 7th.


Round 3, he's obviously ranked in the top 10 in current points, but with 2018 rules, he qualifies 25th & this STILL outside the top 20 for live feed. Finishes 36th. Don't know what math happens at that point, but that result would then keep him outside top 20 for round 4 UNLESS he qualifies top 10.

When you follow it all the way down the tree (again, I'm winging this but Seb from Roots & Rain could pull data and give exact answers, his awesome 2017 season start may have never made it to the live feed?

But with last year playing out the way it did, his 11th & 16th place qualifying earned him a live feed slot & his 2 strong 7th place finishes puts him into the protected top 20 even with the less optimal round 3 result...which all make perfect sense.
Still trying to figure out how sponsors would sign off on this format.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: I hear you and there is a merit to that - but IMO there is one reason for linear format - it is not so easy to make live commentary when there are two riders on the track at the same time. Yes - you could use two of them, but that would also mean either transmitting with the delay or watching the replay later - not sure many people would the the latter - and with the former you get leaks and lost suspense.
  • 11 0
 Why even try to explain? It's just going to change again for the worse.

Not even Eddie Masters knew what hell was going on..
  • 1 5
flag literally (Jun 4, 2018 at 11:11) (Below Threshold)
 it's up to the team managers to know the rules and relay that info to the riders. sounds like the rule is out there, just that nobody bothered to verify or question its exact meaning and what it meant for their riders.
  • 2 1
 He should know, but uci should put out a list every race.
  • 3 1
 @fussylou: they do/did. it's right on the quali start list which every team gets so they know when their riders runs starts. it's a huge P right next to the rider name - you really can't miss it. it's even available to the public prior to quali's. you think this info is kept secret from the teams but available online to the rest of the world? chronorace.blob.core.windows.net/webresources/20180602_dh/fwil_dhi_me_startlist_qr.pdf#page=1&zoom=auto,-40,842
  • 12 0
 Look guys UCI sucks again
  • 10 3
 So Pinkbike can just post an article on their page that makes it look like they generated the content, but it's actually just a copy/link of Ben Cathro's content and pays him nothing?

This is literally the title of the article:
Video: World Cup Protected Rider & Start Lists Explained
Jun 4, 2018
by Pinkbike Staff
  • 3 1
 Underneath the vid it gives credit, which is a link to Bens page.
  • 4 2
 @Johnny-W: when you say "by Pinkbike Staff"
that distinctly implies "an original idea or piece of media content generated by a staff member of Pinkbike" & should not mean "copied link and put content authors name underneath it".
  • 1 0
 @bizutch: It doesn't imply that at all, that's your interpretation of it, there is lots of content on PB taken from various sources, which makes a united place for general MTB news, that's actually the general idea of the site. Clearly it's a vid of Ben Cartho from his YT channel, which gives Ben more exposure, more than likely PB would have asked his permission to post up the vid, he is also given credit underneath. A lot of people will now see this vid who may not follow Ben on his YT channel. The fact you have an issue with this is quite frankly bizarre.
  • 6 0
 Well that clears things up. But it still sucks. Not the video though, that was good. Originally I thought I had the equation all sorted out but was off by one variable. I haven't taken trig in a long time. But at least I can subtract. Seems UCI hasn't figured that one out yet.
  • 1 0
 Cathro did a great job. I don't envy him the task at all
  • 6 0
 I can see where they are coming from with this rule, but for me I would rather see no protected riders. Take the risk and get a flat or get a puncture and you are out. I quite liked it when seeding was a game for finals and people watched the weather etc. but telly has to come first I suppose.
  • 5 0
 Yes this makes perfect f@%&ed up sense! Why have something simple and works fine when you can have complicated and works shitty? DH is being put under the bus. 80 to 60 riders, then less coverage and now this fantastic rule change. Way to go UCI - I'd say your lycra underwear is a bit too tight.
  • 6 0
 Like anything in mountain biking makes sense... they might as well use darts to decide. Next episode: "Wheel sizes and standards explained"
  • 6 1
 Someone give Cathro a job! Redbull, hes the next/current big thing! Different style to Warner but I can see him replacing him.
  • 4 0
 god lord cathro delivers pure and independent coverage and insight views for interested mtbers. keep him away from the RB Media House bullshit marketing machine
  • 3 0
 @chainzuck: im not saying he should do anything different. It'd just be good for him not to have to rely on donations to get to the WCs.
  • 1 0
 @glasvagas: Let's get that goFundMe going so we can keep Cathro pure. He is a wonderful content creator and seems a genuinely good person, he deserves the support.
  • 2 0
 @LoganKM1982: Cathro’s on Patreon.
  • 3 0
 this rules are bullshit. protecting riders is ok, but the only thing that matters is the current wc standing. and also not filling spaces of injured riders is completely nonsense. But the strangest thing is, it all comes down to the 25 tv slots red bull coverages. Why do they not broadcast 40 riders and everything is ok??? the cameras and people are allready on track, so why not bring it in, instead of bullshit talking, that could be done before, while the race is already on??? Can someone explain that??
  • 2 0
 this is a stupid rule for guaranteed broadcast coverage of high dollar riders, $ and nothing else, riders shouldnt have protection from previous seasons, i think this could prevent up and coming riders on the circuit who've also poured their hearts out and sacrificed so much to be there from getting their deserved chance to be in the big show. bad move uci, you're killing the dream. i say make the top riders work for it, if it doesnt happen, thats when we say: "that's racing"! I think this will bring down the overall enthusiasm and/or participation of privateers and lower ranking riders. lets all go race some enduro, uci is killing the spirit of mtb
  • 2 0
 I get the reasons behind the change, its so we always see the big names on the live feed. If Gwin has a mechanical on qualies we still see him on the live feed, makes sense from a marketing and sponsorship point of view. However it does seem a bit of mess how the UCI have done it.
  • 1 0
 ImJust say last year's top 10 are protected and slot into the top 25 on the basis of their qualifying positions then all of the major names will be in the live coverage and leave it at that
  • 1 0
 It seems like they're trying to make it worse. The suspense factor is way down. It's a bummer that some people are down on Claudio. So many Pinkbikers love to kick people when they're down.
  • 7 5
 The fact UCI had to produce a video to explain it, says everything. Garbage.
  • 3 0
 If you have to go to that much effort to explain it.......
  • 2 0
 So this fuggs privateers pretty hard just to show off protected sponsored riders who did well last time?
  • 4 2
 I think it's nonsensical because because
  • 2 0
 100% Nope. This is a terrible system. What in the actual ****.
  • 1 0
 Just another nail on WC DH coffin.

Can anyone tell me if there is another sport where this happens?
  • 1 0
 boring system







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