Bex Baraona Off Yeti & Without 2024 Team

Nov 15, 2023 at 9:33
by Alicia Leggett  
Bex Baraona took her second win in her World Enduro Career but it would be her first time being able to say she was a World Cup winner... Congrats Bex

Bex Baraona announced on Instagram that she will not be racing for Yeti next year and does not have a new team lined up.

Baraona has taken the top of enduro by storm: her results over the last few years include two wins and several podiums at the world level, settling into fifth overall for the 2023 EDR World Cup season. This was her second year with Yeti and things looked promising for the future.

Still, the bike industry right now is in a state of extreme uncertainty and many riders are watching their contracts disappear, along with the futures they thought they had locked in.

Baraona shared the following on Instagram to announce the situation:

bigquotesWell, it’s with a heap of different emotions, that I announce I won’t be racing on @yeticycles factory team next year, there is no contract for me next season as I didn’t meet their performance expectations. After sending out a million panic emails the last few weeks, it’s apparent that our industry is struggling and I’ve no idea if I’ll even be able to take the start line at World Cups next year. After receiving the news a few weeks ago, the initial shock still hasn’t faded like I was hoping it would, from World Cup winner to potential apprentice electrician in the same year!

In a tricky situation just now but always been a firm believer that doors open and close and everything will come good! If anyone has any opportunities - message me! Uncertain times but you know I’ll be riding bikes and being silly in 2024.

A dominant day of physical tracks and in changing conditions. This win should give Bex Baraona a huge boost of confidence heading into the next block of racing

When we reached out for comment, especially about her plans for the future, she added:

bigquotesCurrently hustling hard to make a unique team program alongside my fiancé and EDR racer, Chloe Taylor. It's by no means the year to be setting this type of thing up with relentless rejection emails, due to the state of the industry, but it's the situation I find myself in. I'm actually excited for what is next for me, other than figuring out how to pay my mortgage (haha), it's going to be great to have the flexibility and do more of what I love in 2024, you can expect to see a lot more from Gowaan and all the silly stuff we get up to over on that channel. Hopefully will get something sorted to be on that World Cup start line next year and stand on the box! Open for new partnerships, so hit me up if you have any ideas!

She added that we may see her and Taylor lining up for some World Cup downhill races before too long.

When not racing, Baraona leads the Gowaan Gals alongside Martha Gill, putting on events, working on media projects, and just generally having a good time on bikes. We're glad to see that she will keep putting energy in that direction.

Yeti emphasized the company's support of women's mountain biking when asked for comment and wished Baraona the best:

bigquotesWe have a lot of respect for Bex and hope she has continued success racing along with her meaningful work with Gowaan Girls. Her 2-year contract was up and even with renewal discussions starting in July we were unable to come to terms moving forward. It’s that simple. While we understand the disappointment, Yeti Cycles will continue to invest in women riders and have long history of supporting some of the best in the women sport including Juli Furtado, Missy Giove, Marla Streb, Tara Llanes, Jill Kintner, and current Yeti riders Kate Lawrence and Robin Goomes.

It's surprising to see a rider with this much success without a team. We hope, for her sake and for the sake of the racing world in general, that she can get something new lined up soon.



Author Info:
alicialeggett avatar

Member since Jun 19, 2015
738 articles

239 Comments
  • 192 14
 That sucks, for sure.

But I'll be a jerk and say that "not getting your contract renewed" and "getting dropped" are different things. It reads that she was hoping for a contract renewal and it didn't happen. That's different than if a sponsor exercised some termination clause to find a convenient reason to end a sponsorship mid-contract.

I'll also say that race results and getting sponsored are not some linear connection. Bike/parts/clothing/etc. companies need to be able to forecast that the sponsorship costs are less than the projected increase in profit (not just sales) due to the sponsorship to make the investment worthwhile.
  • 55 17
 Lewis Buchanan got ahold of pinkbike's account to do his selfgain clickbait bs
  • 5 0
 @gearbo-x: What did I miss?
  • 36 0
 @RossLo: The headline was originally "Bex Baraona Dropped By Yeti"
  • 3 0
 (and it's still in the URL)
  • 27 0
 Didn't she win the Derby EDR race this year? I wonder what the performance expectations were if that's underperforming...
  • 5 78
flag freerideshreddah (Nov 16, 2023 at 0:53) (Below Threshold)
 @gearbo-x: Difference is he's good on a bike
  • 40 1
 @freerideshreddah: relative to the classes they race in, Bex has a far better record.
  • 16 2
 @Trailsoup: yeti must have blown their budget keeping the team in Australia for the past offseason practicing the tracks so they could win Derby.
  • 7 0
 @Trailsoup: to have full podiums in both men and women like they did olus second is such a great image for the the brand... come on is only a couple of your bikes to pay for her...
  • 10 1
 @freerideshreddah: is he? Good in relation to who? Seems to get his ass handed to him in any racing he's been doing lately.
  • 4 20
flag freerideshreddah (Nov 16, 2023 at 5:11) (Below Threshold)
 @thewho07: Good in relation to 99.9% of riders, plus no cares about racing nowadays, hence why all the race series have gone to shyte
  • 19 1
 I find the statement about performance expectations odd. She obviously is a talented rider, but if I'm Yeti, I'm going to get more bang for my buck through her personality. When Bex joined Yeti she oddly disappeared from my radar. Prior to that I always looked forward to her and the Gowaan Girls vids.
  • 4 5
 @PauRexs: Did those podium photos sell more bikes at a profitable price?

And let's consider that each bike that Yeti sells only contributes a small margin towards their discretionary spending, let's say it's only $1k per bike (I bet it's much less than that). Now how many bikes does Yeti have to sell to support a sponsored racer?
  • 3 0
 @AndrewFleming: gross margin has to be more like 40% probably more for manufacturers at Yeti's price range, but running a company is not cheap.
  • 3 0
 @Trailsoup: Could be in the current environment, Yeti only felt individuals performing at Richie's level (aka winning the whole thing/challenging for the overall while being a ubiquitous name in mtb) are worth the money. It's unfortunate, but its just how the industry is right now.
  • 1 1
 @gramboh: I'd love to see that info. I'd be surprised at 40% gross margin at the manufacturer. But that still does not translate directly to discretionary spending for sponsorship.
  • 2 0
 @freerideshreddah: lolz..just lolz.
  • 2 0
 @AndrewFleming: A Shite load of them…..
In the article she said “figuring out how to pay her mortgage” so here is a salary of say us$30k plus bikes plus racing travel and accomodation plus training travel plus mechanic… so $90-100k per rider?
Go be an electrician, it is a good trade that pays well
  • 111 1
 Silver lining, electrician isn't a bad move at all. It's definitely a skillset that is in increasing demand, unlike professional bicycle rider. I know a couple independent sparkies and they all do very well, seem comfortable and happy, and get to ride plenty on their own terms.
  • 12 1
 Question for current electricians - is 30 realistically too late for someone to switch from white collar work to apprentice electrician? I have experience working on cars as a hobby and can wire in a car stereo in terms of electrical aptitude.
  • 9 22
flag bigmeatpete420 (Nov 15, 2023 at 17:59) (Below Threshold)
 @sjma: no, but very prepared to do back breaking work for the rest of your life. Join a union or be paid like shit
  • 31 0
 @sjma: never too late man! If anything you’ll be a better learner at 30
  • 13 0
 Even when the industry is doing well, pros get dropped all the time after not recovering from injuries. I am also grateful my income is not dependent on my social media presence and my athletic performance. Yikes. TBH, unless you are somehow very in demand like a top DH racer or a Semenuk, it looks like it would totally suck to ride bikes for a living.
  • 21 2
 @sjma: no way. There’s benefits in starting in your late 20s/early 30s. Much more responsible and have life experience to draw from, better communication skills, and chances are you’ll take the schooling more seriously than your 20 year old counterpart. Join the IBEW, free apprenticeship and job placement. Feel free to message me direct. I’m a 4th generation IBEW member and really enjoy talking about the benefits, roles, responsibilities, and what to expect.
  • 8 0
 @sjma: A buddy did it around 35 with 2 kids, he had to go to Denver for classes but IBEW took care of him.

Another bonus, you actually know how to do shit. LOL youtu.be/RcoGzT9QrTI?si=4fyAXq9TemU3dTpi
  • 6 0
 Very true e thelectricians are always in demand and won't be replaced by AI. Pretty sure that's what Norbs does for a living.
  • 7 8
 @sjma: not sure why I got the downvote I said it’s not too late. It’s just horrible pay unless your union.
  • 18 2
 Reminds me of a post earlier this year, I want to say Casey Brown talking about how some freeriders might have to get *gasp* REAL JOBS due to lack of industry support. The horror!
  • 5 0
 @bigmeatpete420: here on the W coast Electrician are in HUGE demand, ~$100k as Journeyman + incentives + per diem if traveling. Incentives can be HUGE if in hot market, 25-50% of base.
  • 20 0
 @bigmeatpete420: I wouldn’t call being a sparky backbreaking. The only time an electrician claims to have a broken back is when they have to lift the great weight of broom to clean up the mess they made on site. The rest of the time they only carry a drill and two screwdrivers
  • 14 0
 @multialxndr: You know sparkies that clean up after themselves? Wow, first time for everything I suppose.
  • 41 0
 @sjma: Vlad the Impaler didn't even start impaling people until he was 37, so it's never too late to follow your dreams! Big Grin
  • 3 0
 yeah... NO. way too many electricians! ive been one for 2 decades and back in school for something else now. Its way oversaturated and wages are taking a hit because of it. the demand was needed around 10 years ago. HVAC tech, heavy duty mechanic and even plumber/pipefitter are more in demand.
  • 7 20
flag brandonweekly (Nov 16, 2023 at 5:04) (Below Threshold)
 @bigmeatpete420: or not. Unions are overrated
  • 3 2
 @multialxndr: pahaha yeah right. try loading up reels and pulling 500kcm cable. or terminanting bigger cable. maybe try a day of building out conduit.
  • 4 1
 @sjma: I’m on a union committee that interviews applicants for the apprentice program. I tell them “the best time to join the union is when your 18, the next best time is right now”. The big three are electrician, plumber/pipe fitter/and sheetmetal. All have pros and cons, but the electrician has the least physically demanding work by far. Sheetmetal has the best long term benefits. Plumber is in the middle. Imo you can’t go wrong with any of them - just make sure you join the union!
  • 6 0
 @brandonweekly: exactly, who would want 40 hour work weeks, sick pay and holiday allowance anyway /s
  • 1 0
 @multialxndr: Glad to hear they're just as messy in NZ..lazy G#ts!
  • 3 0
 @taskmgr: you don’t pull 500kcm cable by hand. I did 2 parallel runs of 600 for my house 250’ and it wasn’t bad at all using a tugger … and I’m a dumb office guy. Hands down the least physically taxing skilled labor trade.
  • 3 0
 @Kevindhansen: I’m in Boston and there’s an IBEW center not too far from me. If the interview I did yesterday at another bank doesn’t work out, I may just take you up on that

Thanks to all the other sparkies that chimed in too @marionmtblt @chacou @bigmeatpete420 (lol) @meathooker
  • 1 0
 @sjma: My brother became an electrician in his early 40s.
  • 7 1
 @brandonweekly: yeah, who needs healthcare, retirement, job protections /s
  • 2 0
 @taskmgr: In Canada?
  • 5 0
 @sjma: Do it! I went back to college after 40! Graduated with an accounting degree and found work easily. It’s never too late to change. Go for it
  • 2 0
 Was going to say the same. It honestly sounds like a huge promotion. Riding bikes is really fun, but being beholden to race results in a second tier discipline in a category that very few people care about has no upside and no retirement plan. The glass ceiling for even the best women's rider is really, really, low. Life isn't about making money, but at the same time what we've learned from economic conditions in the last year and a half is that it kind of is.
  • 3 0
 @sjma: Not at all,
If youre smart, dedicated, work hard, you'll be rewarded quickly.
Get experience in commercial, residential, and industrial, it do a world of good. Getting experience with renovations is a huge asset as well.

Or, move to Canada, and I'll give you a job as a plumber
  • 1 1
 @pooceq: don’t work for a shitty company and you get all that without paying someone else so you can work
  • 1 0
 Right..every racer should have a trade outside cycling. No brainer.
Of course ultimately one doesn't want to end up trading their time for money for too long..so u buy existing biz/make investments.
  • 5 1
 @gramboh: gets a contract to wire up a new house,
Does a nice job and finishes on time,
Goes on IG fuming: they fired me! I'm out of work!
  • 3 0
 @sjma: I was 30 when I started my plumbing apprenticeship it’s worth it
  • 1 0
 @sjma: From someone who switched to become an apprentice engineer at 30, and is now heading for completing an engineering degree through it - go for it!
  • 91 8
 Kids, this is how NOT to write a departure statement. Regards, an Electrician
  • 87 9
 Try racing DH. Nobody gives a shit about EDR
  • 10 1
 Truth hurts. . . .
  • 52 1
 Plenty of people care about EDR.. But none of them work for UCI/Discovery.

Looks like DH is going the same route as EDR anyway. I'm certainly not paying $20 a month for the Discovery+ "sports package" to watch DH races.
  • 22 50
flag bigtim (Nov 15, 2023 at 23:42) (Below Threshold)
 The fact this is the first time I've even heard of her speaks volumes.
  • 13 2
 Honest question, was there even one minute of EDR racing broadcast this year? Who cares if you finish 5th or 100th if no one sees it.
  • 26 10
 @bigtim: Speaks volumes about you…
  • 15 6
 @PB-J: Genuine question here... If a bike company that sponsors a rider (or even the rider themselves) hasn't managed to output enough information/media/social content/adverts etc that hasn't reached someone like myself who follows MTB content on a daily basis across a range of platforms, do you not think that reflects on the fact that someone hasn't capitalised on the fact that they are paying a rider to effectively boost that brand? Not once have I had any content pop up about her in any of the streams I subscribe to, but I do get plenty of other bike riders, including enduro racers (which I freely admit I don't follow) so how does that speak volumes about me? I don't know what I don't know, so how else was I meant to find out about her? (As I say... genuine question, not meant in a confrontational way at all.)
  • 20 0
 I cared about EWS, when it was about visiting interesting new places, needing proper endurance, being able to fix the bike at the trail side, riders helping each other out, developing new kit - not too dissimilar to what it might be like for one of us riding somewhere new. I used to watch highlights from lots of the races. I got excited when a race I was doing was an EWS qualifier, even though there was no way I was going to get points. I couldn't give a stuff about EDR - as far as I could tell from what I could find out from the official website when the season started, it's just multi stage DH run in the same bike parks as all the rest of the UCI circus that weekend. I'll still race enduros myself, so the imminent collapse of EDR won't affect me. And I knew who Bex is, but had no idea who she rode for, so I guess it's not the best advertising dollar
  • 4 1
 There is some real truth to that. I wouldn't say "nobody," but yeah, EDR is not packaged for viewing by fans. I don't know how it could be. DH has the action, and frankly, the talent of the field is much, much deeper.

Enduro is really awesome for the bike community since it is basically a racing format for people who want to also climb but don't want to assume all the risk and commitment of going mach chicken on a DH course. Plus, you can use your trail bike to race Enduro and don't need a bike that is only suitable for shuttles and chairlifts. It has mass appeal for the average or better rider in terms of participation. However, that doesn't mean that it is going to do well in terms of viewership, unfortunately.
  • 7 1
 @MT36: THIS! To me, enduro was always best suited to a grassroots racing vibe. Run what ya brung, hang out with friends of different classes/ages/ability and have fun. No need to train a ton to be competitive like XC. No need to have a special bike and take a certain level of risk to be competitive like DH.
  • 2 0
 @bigtim: That’s a fair point I guess, suppose it’s down to the algorithms…Martha puts out a lot of content across Instagram YouTube etc. and has been at the sharp end of women’s Mtb (xc, enduro, pumptrack you name it!) for the last decade. I strongly suggest you subscribe, she’s great fun and truly a shining light in the sport!
  • 2 0
 @bigtim: Obviously meant Bex! Marther being her cohort at gooowan girls!
  • 60 0
 Yeti employees will now have mandatory 3 hour lunch rides everyday to free up dollars
  • 58 6
 Become an electrician. We need that more than we need EWS racers.
  • 10 0
 Absolutely! Being an electrician is a major upgrade from EWS racer. Its just a different dream that is more viable, profitable and sustainable. Its not even close.
  • 10 2
 Plenty of e-bikes to fix these nowadays.
  • 41 2
 My read is seeing the two sides of comments, Bex wanted X$, and Yeti were prepared to pay Y$. Contract argument being we'll give you X$ if you finish top 3, but it's Y$ if under that. Or some variation of that, might have even been a moving target. Bex IG post probably isn't the smartest, but who she is. And lets be real, not many MTBers are savvy media wise.

If she was a sparky in Oz atm, she'd prob be able to buy a full factory level Yeti, and race a full season, and still have enough to buy a Ranger Raptor and pay the mortgage, probably a jetski and a dirt bike as well for some cross training...

I really like Bex, I hope she picks something up, and has fun. Realistically end of next year is likely the end of ERD as it stands anyway, so she's better off finding something else to do this year with bikes, and get ahead of the influx of unemployed riders next year...
  • 42 2
 I am an electrician. I have a great job and I ride my bike as often or more than the vast majority of mountain bike riders. Being an electrician is rad.
  • 3 0
 Came here to say something similar. I used to make a living coaching (skiing in this case) but now I ski more for myself than I ever did while coaching and actually have enough money to buy new skis or bikes when I want to. Being a consumer and not an athlete or industry person isn’t really so bad, as long as you’re in it for fun and not notoriety or a legacy.
All that being said, I hope she can continue to chase her dream and find a way to make it work. That’s a pretty defining thing for young adults.
  • 4 0
 Agreed. I left the bike world and snagged a HD mechanic trade. Huge improvement.

Bex also has a mechanical engineering degree. She’ll figure something out.

Racing EDR seems awful anyways, repetitive courses, zero broadcast, just more of a sideshow to the main shows. Small field at that.
  • 61 23
 A brand referencing their track record of supporting women in response to discontinuing their support for a woman feels...icky.
  • 16 33
flag cliff-huckstable (Nov 15, 2023 at 23:45) (Below Threshold)
 You just disqualified everything you said by using the word 'icky'.
  • 12 4
 “I’m not racist, but”
  • 30 3
 I wish we could know what performance expectations were unmet, it seems like she had a pretty good season to me. Best of luck to her!
  • 16 2
 It’s called sales - industry downturn means only what sells gets kept, her results are irrelevant if she doesn’t help to sell bikes.
  • 4 1
 @justanotherusername: Spot on, but it's not just help sell bikes, but sell bikes at a profit.
  • 7 0
 I think it has more to do with Slawomir Lukasik doing well in the men's class this year/ How much they're likely paying him.

That, and the Women's champ is riding a brand that according to reviewers shouldn't be as competitive as she makes it, which makes everyone else's results look worse.
  • 5 5
 Yeah. This smells like a moved goalpost to me.
  • 35 2
 Unpopular opinion: being one of the best in the world in a niche sport, even if you are insanely talented, does not necessarily equate to a career.
  • 7 3
 @AndrewFleming: Hard to believe Yeti bikes, at their price point, don’t turn a profit.
  • 5 2
 @Mallet21: I’m sure they do turn a profit. What I’m saying is that a sponsored rider is only valuable if they help contribute to profit. And the price point is not necessarily relevant to whether they make a profit. Profit is also dependent on material and production costs, overhead, scale of business, debt, advertising/marketing, and salaries. I’m probably forgetting about a few other things.
  • 12 3
 Reading between the lines a bit but it sounds like she wanted more salary (the expectations part) than they had in the budget (which is probably shrinking).
  • 6 0
 @Mallet21: lots of Yeti sales at 30%+ off list right now. Reality is that most brands are over stocked and sales are declining precipitously.
  • 4 4
 @justanotherusername: Bang On! Been doing this since I was 19 and am 53 now and if your not making the company profits and creating fun which go hand in hand your going no where...all downturns do is get rid of the fatty bits and allow for riders who are doing it better.
  • 7 0
 @MT36: agreed. And you know you're in a niche sport when ESPN chooses to broadcast cornhole over any version of your profession
  • 1 0
 @MT36: you couldn’t be more accurate. Best of 20 in a series, is neat but not revolutionary. She’s a smart human and will be better off leaning into Gowaan over this.
  • 2 0
 @Glory831Guy: He also is an exceptional rider from a market they probably are not really present in yet. From a marketing perspective they don't need a UK rider, but a Polish rider can be an asset especially when next year there is a race on some of his home tracks.
  • 47 29
 She seems shocked but if her attitude WITH Yeti was anything like her attitude about the split, it's no wonder.

Remember kids, you have 2 options; rely on somebody else for your paycheck or create your own. If you rely on someone else, then remember the number one rule: be irreplaceable.
  • 27 0
 What was her attitude WITH Yeti like? She comes across as a an enthusiastic ambassador for the sport and brand in the admittedly small bits that I’ve seen.
  • 48 12
 @pmhobson: this is likely referring to her passive aggressive comment about not meeting performance expectations with the eyebrow cocked face after it in her Instagram post in the article. Employers set performance expectations, not employees. And when you leave an employer, calling them out for your failure to meet those expectations is usually a bad move.
  • 17 8
 @warmerdamj:

Correct. And even if your employer IS to blame, understand that the best thing you can do personally is refrain from lighting the bridge on fire. Other people are watching. That's just the way the world works.
  • 7 2
 @pmhobson: she probably is a good ambassador, I don't know her. But it would be wise to understand that economics demand more marketable contributions than "good person and top 5 in a pretty meaningless discipline of a definitely meaningless sport"

There's a whole pile of money to be made out there but if you choose to do it in pro women's enduro MTB it's gonna be tough even in the best of times.

I wish her luck. She can do better in life anyway.
  • 24 11
 Yeah came here to say that too. Her response was blatantly unprofessional and not a good attitude to portray when you haven’t got a sponsor and looking. Even if Yeti pulled something. Keep your mouth shut if ya want fed by someone else.

It’s also important to acknowledge this is a VERY hard time for the industry and when companies like Ibis are canning their whole programs it’s likely a big reason yeti didn’t renew her contract.

And with everyone in the same boat, gotta put your best foot forward.
  • 1 6
flag likeittacky (Nov 15, 2023 at 22:23) (Below Threshold)
 @hotpotato: Apparently you've never seen the classic movie "Take This Job And Shove It" with the Theme song, Ironically sung, by Jonny Paycheck. Millennial's Jail HAHAHAhahaha.......!


www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-p9SIKs1K8
  • 4 0
 When you have Richie everyone else is expendable
  • 32 10
 I don’t like the theme here of blaming the employee. Employers pull nasty shit all the time and constantly behave unprofessionally and immoral. And don’t receive damming comments like above.

Don’t reinforce the power imbalance, it’s bad enough already.
  • 11 9
 @Ttimer: The ‘theme’ here is the industry is in financial turmoil and therefore yeti as many others have done decided not to renew a racers 2 yr contract after it ended.

Do you expect an infinite contract length, that a sponsorship shouldn’t be based entirely on circumstance at any given point of renewal?

Plenty of riders are out of deals this year, most recognise its due to new and very real financial constraints.
  • 17 5
 @justanotherusername: this is not what Ttimer is talking about. I don't think anyone would be upset if Yeti said: "times are tough, we don't have a budget for you next year sorry, bye." But obviously they've cited "poor performance" instead of admitting to lack of money, which would make them look bad, so its better to make her look and feel bad.

This is even more moronic to do because in her case "poor performance" just factually isn't true, and to an employee (of any sort) thats a dirty insult especially if you're really trying to do your best. I'm sure she's bitter because of that and I understand it. Some companies are actually ran (or represented) by a*sholes and not calling out that shit is a disservice to everyone else.
  • 10 3
 @Archimonde: where do you see “poor performance”? I’ve seen “not meeting performance expectations” which is very different, and might not even be referring directly to racing
  • 10 4
 @Archimonde: where have yeti said anything about poor performance? Bex said that not them, followed by sneery emoji.

She had a two year contract, the contract ended and was not renewed, as has happened to many riders such as Danny Hart, Matt Studdard and many more.

The contracts over, the industry and enduro race scene are in a complete mess, should they continue to support her out of charity?
  • 8 9
 It could be any kind of performance, such as did anyone tick that box next to her name when asked by Yeti after sales why they bought a Yeti bike?
No one has a right to get paid to do a hobby for a living. Companies all want a return on investment. Would my company keep me on the books if I failed to deliver the thing they were paying me for according to them and the contract of employment? Of course not. It's all about the bottom line. Who cares about the EWS since Sam Hill stopped winning? I don't even know who won the senior men's class this year and that's the only class that matters in any race series.
I wonder how many people could name the top five in elite men and women, and junior men and women off the top of their heads.
  • 4 0
 @jaame: Whatever about your first paragraph. Only the men's senior category matters is just a Neantherhal attitude. I'd say everyone who isn't a senior male cares about their various categories. But look at other sports, particularly tennis and golf and women are killing it. Look at DH the women's field is brilliantly competitive
  • 3 1
 @briain: Though I don't think it should be that way, unfortunately it probably is, likely because hardly anyone follows enduro racing anymore and therefore by definition even less the womens racing.

WC DH is the spectacle of MTB racing, its a watchable format and the top women absolutely kill it - enduro is properly shite for the spectator in comparison.
  • 3 1
 @Ttimer: someone speaking some reason! Agreed it's refreshing to see someone speak out vs. maintain the BS status quo
  • 3 3
 @ridedigrepeat: down with the man! Evil Yeti bikes! Burn our pubes!
  • 2 4
 @justanotherusername: It's not an extreme view... and no one is saying Yeti is evil (despite their clear link to dentistry, which is widely regarded as a sinister profession).

It's reasonable to hold businesses accountable for how they treat employees (or contractors). We clearly don't know all of the facts, but I for one choose to believe the rider, not the faceless industry.
  • 5 2
 @hotpotato: nah that nonsense. Transparency is great. I love all the comments in here about how she should be wise to the cycling economics and such. Like calm down from your office chair. If anyone is more aware it is those that work and live within the industry. It’s refreshing to see someone talk about a surprise cut from a team after coming 5th overall when she was a top 10 rider. Seems a fine stance and more riders should do the same.

The endless thanking of teams when they leave is fatiguing. It’s a contract and it ended, this endless gratitude is dumb and fake.
  • 5 0
 @bonfire: good points. The riders are contractors. When your contract is up, they may or may not give you an extension. It's no different from being a project manager or aeronautical engineer.
The hiring manager can choose whether or not you've given a good return on investment, and whether or not there is a business case to keep you on.
Finishing fifth in a sideshow event with seven competitive people isn't any great achievement, but that said she has still been incredibly lucky to have had the chance to live the dream for at least two years. Try being a 50 year old man and getting a pro contract. It won't happen because no one cares about old people racing. Terribly ageist but also factually accurate. I'm almost 50 and it doesn't bother me to know that no one cares who the fastest 50 year old man is. For some reason it's ok to be ageist but not ok to be "sexist" in dismissing the achievements of some average bike riders who happen to be female.
The bottom line is, no one cares about a fringe category in a fringe format of a fringe sport. Hence, no contract renewal.
  • 2 1
 @bonfire: is it really a surprise cut when to not have a contract renewed in a time of huge and well publicised industry trouble or arrogance?

They state themselves they are receiving endless ejection emails from companies being approached for help in 2024.

Not renewing a contract isn’t a ‘cut’ - if you were a contractor in any field you would never expect to be re hired especially if you know business has gone to absolute shit.
  • 1 2
 @justanotherusername: Yes there's an element of that. Enduro is been run into the ground with poor coverage and a poor calendar hard to build hype when they took nearly a 3 month break. However I find it a tired argument that women's sport will always only be a fraction of mens sport. You generally find when it get a decent amount of investment it performs pretty well. I don't think the women don't work and train as hard as the men. But if your fifth in the world and that's not good enough that's a poor indictment of the sport in general and Yeti in particular. Also if I remember correctly something similar seemed to happen to Katy Winton a few years ago
  • 3 2
 @briain: Again, why are you assuming yeti did not renew the contract because of her riding performance? - she says that, not yeti.

Could it be anything to do with an industry in financial turmoil and them deciding the hundreds of thousands of dollars it costs to support her won’t generate sufficient income to pay back in sales?

I also said nothing about womens sport not developing but to get investment you need a healthy industry to support that and one willing to not get a return while they see if things grow - that’s not now and the honest truth is at the moment female enduro riders don’t sell bikes, neither do the men particularly.
  • 3 1
 @justanotherusername: “ Again, why are you assuming yeti did not renew the contract because of her riding performance? - she says that, not yeti.”

I think it’s perfectly reasonable assume that she’s reflecting what she was told in good faith. I read your comment with a bit of indignation. If it’s there, I feel it is misplaced. If it’s not, apologies. That’s one of the liabilities of online comment sections.
  • 1 1
 @pmhobson: the statement from her was ‘didn’t meet performance expectations’ - so yes it’s wrong to assume they didn’t renew the contract due to riding performance as Bex herself doesn’t say this - performance could mean not getting enough sales, media exposure, etc

There is some indignation there, I think parting ways with an snarky emoji when the company has paid your wages to ride a bike for two years is a bit shit, say thanks for the opportunity it’s unfortunate we couldn’t agree terms to continue working together in light of current industry trouble.
  • 2 0
 @Ttimer: @Ttimer: I didn't blame her. And I wouldn't. I'll freely accept that you're right about employers always screwing over employees. (I don't know what happened behind closed doors in this situation; in fact,none of us do)

All I'm saying is, you either play their game, or figure it out on your own. But the worst thing you can do is NOT play their game, and still try to appeal to them.

Take care of yourself, because nobody else will.

All of that said - I think it's reasonable of Yeti to run their business as they see fit and control costs to stay in business and give it their best shot at thriving. She held a luxury position and didn't achieve results that guaranteed that position wouldn't be terminated.
  • 1 0
 @hotpotato: no result would have guaranteed the position wasn’t re-offered (not terminated, the contract ended as it ran its 2 yr course) as the industry is f*cked and is making cut backs.

She says herself there has been nothing but rejection emails from companies being asked for help in 2024, I imagine this story wouldn’t even be a story if brand B had picked up where Yeti left off.
  • 25 6
 Kinda cruel to say it was for not performing to expectations with a 5th overall. More like lack of funds?
  • 42 5
 She made that statement, they stated the contract came to and end and wasn’t renewed.
  • 3 0
 @justanotherusername: ah, that makes more sense. Unfortunate that the industry isn't doing as well now. But then again most industries aren't at the moment.
  • 4 3
 Wasn't sure where she finished but agreed, finishing 5th overall should absolutely meet contract requirements. Hope ol' Richie doesn't slip up for a season...
  • 5 12
flag lkubica (Nov 16, 2023 at 0:02) (Below Threshold)
 No, it;s not the lack of funds situation. It is the - Yeti management f*cked and now desperately tries to reduce costs to look good, cause they took great bonuses for covid boom but were unable to predict that it will end, like 90% of the industry - situation. They still earned a sh*t load of money, but what matters is the % figure of profit reduction on a sheet of paper now, so to keep their asses warm and their garages full they need to fire some people. Which btw it the same kind of overreaction they did when covid boom started, they again will loose because of it, since this cost reduction now will make even bigger losses.
Or put differently, classic management move is to go for the maximum bonuses they can even if it will be bad for company in the longer run and when it gets bad (because they f*cked up) they will reduce costs (aka fire people) not to get fired (cause they f*cked up).
  • 9 2
 @Murphius: yet again, the contract ended after 2 yrs and was not renewed, yeti did not break contract due to performance.
  • 8 2
 @lkubica: care to share a link to the info where ‘maximum bonuses’ mean they are cutting sponsored riders, or did you completely make it up as I expect you have?
  • 4 0
 @lkubica: This seems like speculation wrt Yeti, but making short term decisions to maximize short term gains is how a lot business/managers seem to work in my experience!
  • 6 2
 @UziC: have you decided to ignore what is happening in the bike industry right now? CRC bankrupt, HLC firing 50 staff and closing warehouses, several teams being entirely disbanded this year and shops selling bikes for 30% off which means the shop will make basically zero profit.

Shits hit the fan - sponsoring riders is expensive if you have essential bills to pay.
  • 1 0
 It is EDR, if you don't win only a small fraction of mtb nerds following EDR know about it, only another smaller fraction will be shopping for a new bike next year, only another smaller fraction will actually look for a specific brands instead of buying what is available at their LBS.
  • 3 4
 Fifth out of six is also not that great of an achievement in any competition!
  • 17 2
 Perhaps females are under represented in the dental industry?
  • 10 2
 Well this sucks. If they genuinely told her that she hasn't met their performance expectations then that is both harsh and suggests their expectations are unrealistic, she won rounds and finished top 5 in the world; you can't do too much better. Hope she manages to find a sponsor for 2024.
  • 15 4
 It was the Mullet that got her fired.
  • 2 2
 That’s punny.
  • 27 22
 Some of these racers have to much of an entitled attitude for me, she would have been told the expectations of her when she was signing her contract, it wouldn’t have been a surprise not getting the contract renewed. She should think herself lucky that she has been able to race bikes.
  • 9 14
flag Biker0114 (Nov 16, 2023 at 0:12) (Below Threshold)
 Incorrect
  • 9 4
 The are entitled... to fair compensation for their efforts. Bex had a stand-out year and clearly wasn't rewarded for that.
  • 5 3
 I agree. I appreciate how much it sucks to be out of work... but seriously, if you got to spend more than a week getting paid to travel around the world racing bikes (let alone multiple years), consider yourself supremely fortunate.
  • 4 5
 @MT36: Incorrect. Clearly she is entitled to a living wage for travelling around the world riding bikes and "being silly"
  • 3 1
 @ridedigrepeat: I don't think she did have a stand out year. She had one stand out result in an otherwise average at best year.

I do think the big teams are under-represented in the women's field, but whilst EDR coverage is so poor it must be hard for teams to justify the expense.
  • 5 0
 This is a very interesting thread for lots of reasons. I'll keep most of my opinions to myself regarding the contract negotiations/response from the rider but having tween children I do appreciate the comments around the philosophy of going to make real money (or enough to be comfortable) and you can bike/surf/dance/paint etc. all you want on your own time.

Recognizing pretty darn early on that I've never had the DNA to be a pro athlete (some do and they should pursue that) but snowboarding 50 days a year and riding a ton all summer on my fancy bike is well worth the cost of jockeying my desk now that I'm in middle age. (at least for me and we are all different for sure).
  • 5 0
 If you have a serious offer to become an apprentice electrician take it. In a few years you'll be making ££££££ and you can ride your bike whenever and wherever you want.
  • 1 1
 But not whenever!
  • 3 0
 @justanotherusername: True, But taking Bex at face value they could have told her there wasn't a contract renewal due to her performance. Yes they are under no obligation to auto-renew contracts but if they said her performances weren't good enough while she's No.5 in the world doesn't seem like a great way to part ways
  • 3 0
 Bex is an amazing rider but more importantly the few times that I’ve met her, she is super friendly and a great ambassador for the sport. Yes it’s strange times for enduro but let’s remember the EDR world cups aren’t the be all and end all, out of the rubbish I’m sure that new opportunities will arise. Good luck Bex, keep riding yer bike and making yourself and others smile…
  • 2 0
 This is sad but on the other hand , enduro season means lots of traveling expenses and a poor coverage during the races. I think mtb brands realized it is definitely more interesting to support an instagramer rather than a racer.
  • 2 0
 I was at Châtel EDR this year, was impressed by the huge Yeti Team support, but then there were Not many people interested in the race, it was like normal bikepark day...
With no promo or TV coverage, they are killing the competitive sport, while there's more Enduro bikes than ever....
Maybe WE like Real Enduro aventures and youtubers showcasing amazing Enduro trips, rather than watch a weird competition in a bikepark.... Just saying...
Also European\usa recession is vers Real, Not many can afford yetis at the moment...
  • 2 0
 I think this goes to show the state of the Industry right now. Like if this was say 5 /6 years ago, contract would be renewed 100% especially someone who had a 5th overall. Teams just dropping Enduro right now cause the viewership just isn't there.
I don't ride DH but ill watch it. I only own Enduro bikes though. it just isn't a good spectator sport. Hope she finds something though, reading the words "other than figuring out how to pay my mortgage" terrifies me...
  • 1 0
 Live video coverage and analysis of enduro mtb racing could be done, and I'd be thrilled to be a part of it. It would be technically difficult, labor intensive and would require very good organization and money. Perhaps someday there will be enough sponsorship to pull it together live, but even it was simply recorded and edited for later, it could be awesome and I'd watch it, anyway.
  • 2 0
 In general, i will never understand the inner machinations of racers. there is so much uncertainty when it comes to payment, not even considering the pressure you (and indirectly your sponsors) put yourself on.
focus on academia, get a degree, work past time and go racing the other half. you wont become the next living legend, but you are at least financially independent and free of stress. at that point, sponsorship is just a bonus.
  • 1 0
 I think Jolanda Neff from the XC world did/is doing that.
  • 4 0
 Come on ESO, it's not too late to make EDR good! We need the TV coverage you promised us a few years ago.
  • 1 0
 @lkubica: Yes, But when brands behave like this in any industry does it affect sales in any meaningful way? If you take issue with brands behavior or work practices maybe don't buy them. If enough people do that they might change their behavior. But I'm not hopeful
  • 1 0
 Since there is a lot of talk about careers on this thread, younger readers may want to also consider careers in healthcare. The schooling and exams are brutal but it's worth it over the course of a lifetime. I work three, 12hr shifts per week (which means when I take a week of vacation it turns into an 11-12 day break), so I can basically ride as much as my legs can handle, support my family, and still have money left over to buy my kid a bike as nice as mine and take him to any bikepark he wants to go to.
  • 3 2
 Netflix has been doing documentary series on sports that has boosted viewership. They do an F1 series and a golf one. The F1 series is awesome and totally got me into watching it. I think doing one on pro mountain biking would make for a very excited series and bring in new viewers.
  • 3 2
 The situation sucks for sure and sorry that she lost her seat, but she should have composed herself much better than that. Especially when you are looking for a new contract. I don't think it was a performance thing at all, it was a budget thing hands down and she should have seen that coming and been a bit more proactive. When you company goes consumer direct and listing 35% etc, let alone you see youtubers/ambassadors losing their partnership the writing is on the wall. Welcome to the recession
  • 1 0
 "It's surprising to see a rider with this much success without a team." Is it? I don't come on here much but there's a lot of this going around. Talent or not, there is a shift coming (or has arrived already) in the sponsorship/race/athlete formula.
  • 5 5
 You won't be able to ride at the top level forever hen, get on the tools if you have the offer and learn a new skill which you'll be able to use for the rest of your life. There's a skills shortage in the world, never mind the UK, so you'll never be short of work. And guess what? You can STILL ride! Who'd have thunk it!
  • 3 0
 Good Luck Bex! Your positive attitude and energy is is greatly respected and you will find something. All the best
  • 11 12
 So hear me out on this Team managers Wyn masters and Miranda Miller Team members Bex baraona, Katy Winton, Adam Brayton, Danny Hart and Taylor Vernon with 2 youth racers. Frames are GT with pick your own components and apperral. Its late so I make apologies for thinking out allowed. Also its shit that you can consistently finish with in the top ten but lose your place on a team.
  • 35 2
 That all sounds great, you just forgot the part about getting all the money. Remember the underwear gnomes from South Park?

Step 1: Steal all the underwear
Step 2: ???
Step 3: Profit

That's you.
  • 2 1
 @warmerdamj: That's not a episode I seen, what season was it?
  • 7 1
 Who’s paying their wages and booking their flights l, hotels, mechanics wages, etc etc?

Bet you don’t need far off a million quid or more to fund a season like you just suggested.
  • 3 0
 @fatduke: it's pretty early, S2E17 as per Google. Pretty funny episode, they are stealing tweaks underwear I think.
  • 11 0
 Googled the clip and its a sound business model I have no idea how you see a problem if the out come is profit
  • 2 0
 @justanotherusername: you're taking this far too seriously
  • 4 2
 How long since the last women's World Cup won on a Yeti? Pretty bad look for them to not grow on that success.
  • 6 3
 What does ‘grow on success’ even mean.
  • 2 0
 @justanotherusername: win more than one WC in a season, finish higher than 5th for the season, possibly compete for the overall...
  • 7 4
 State of the industry lol, just calll it what it is: Recession.
  • 4 4
 It doesn't matter how many races she would of won . People are not going to pay these prices anymore ! The manufacturers still don't get it . Ibis couldn't even afford a race team for next year had to merge with GT.
  • 18 3
 *would have.
  • 3 15
flag Azrocktester (Nov 15, 2023 at 20:19) (Below Threshold)
 @no-good-ideas: go away !
  • 6 5
 MARIN, GOWAN THE F UP AND SPONSOR BEX. YOU'D HAVE THE DYNAMIC DUO OF GILL & BARAONA!!! MTB GOLD!!!
  • 2 0
 Plumbing as a backup plan isn't a horrible idea either.
  • 1 0
 Wait... Hold up, we just gonna skip over the fact that Jill Kintner now rides for Yeti? Well thats cool!
  • 1 0
 She’s only racing DH
  • 2 2
 Yeti should of made a deal
  • 2 2
 Yeti is DONE with Enduro. They are only keeping DH and Enduro E teams
  • 1 1
 Become teacher
  • 3 3
 G'wan, get a job.
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