French Politician & Retired Judoka Apologizes to World Champs Podium Athletes

Aug 30, 2022 at 13:56
by Alicia Leggett  
Bruni leading his countrymen into a champagne battle.

Former French Minister of Sport and two-time Olympic gold medallist in judo David Douillet apologized Monday to Loic Bruni, Amaury Pierron, and Loris Vergier for remarks he made on the French podcast "Grandes Gueules du Sport" that insinuated that the three French riders only took the World Champs podium thanks to a home turf advantage.

"The thing that's weird is three French people on the podium and there I say to myself, we are in Les Gets, in France and there I say to myself, well, what are the chances? Isn't the course super well known to our friends? Isn't that what tipped the balance?" he said, translated via Google from French. "So I don't take back all the glory and the efforts and everything that has been done, but when I see three French people in a French downhill, in Les Gets on the podium of the world championships, I say to myself, maybe they had be a small advantage over others."

The athletes fired back that they'd been equally dominant around the world:

"Mr. Douillet, when you don't know anything about a sport or any subject, you refrain from judging," Bruni wrote on his Instagram. "I am a yellow belt in judo but I don't think Teddy Riner has been lucky all these years. With your career and experience, it saddens me to hear you disrespect our performance. Please stay away from our sport. The world downhill has been dominated by France for 4 years. You surely have the Olympic Games in your sights. But other sports are also exceptional and do not need your gratitude, fortunately."

"We did almost the same last year if you ever need any info don't hesitate… And it was in Switzerland… But there may have been an alliance with the Swiss you are going to tell me? 23 World Cup victories between us 3, but yes it's really suspicious these 3 guys on the podium I admit," Pierron echoed.

Monday, Douillet retracted his comments and shared an apology to the three athletes and all of mountain biking:

"I would like to apologize to our three world medalists: Loïc Bruni, Amaury Pierron and Loris Vergier," he wrote on Instagram. "As well as to all the enthusiasts of this discipline of downhill mountain biking, whom I respect. Due to lack of knowledge, my questioning remarks on the radio on the downhill in Les Gets had no basis… I was wrong. Like many French admirers of the great champions: I congratulate you on your extraordinary performance."


209 Comments

  • 499 13
 A Frenchman being dismissive and rude?! Say it isn't so!
  • 113 35
 What's the world coming to that someone can't say something slightly insensitive without making a big deal over it.
  • 61 104
flag Digsafe (Aug 30, 2022 at 16:28) (Below Threshold)
 @foggnm: snowflakes, lots of them
  • 7 1
 About their own, being the inventors of the term "chauvinist" ? Maybe it is.
  • 6 7
 @foggnm: yep, my thought too.
  • 43 1
 Why judoka be like this?
  • 15 0
 French lines innit
  • 11 0
 We don’t know anything about that in Canada
  • 17 74
flag gnarlysipes (Aug 30, 2022 at 20:00) (Below Threshold)
 @foggnm: They may be world class athletes but that doesn’t mean they’re not overly sensitive like the rest of their generation. :shrug:
  • 16 10
 Having hosted a French high school student for most of the summer, i can't upvote this enough
  • 16 2
 @jeffrocx: Judo what ju gotta do
  • 2 1
 @foggnm: 100% agree
  • 2 1
 Did this guy take lessons from DT?
  • 82 0
 He deserves some kudos for admitting he's wrong. Doesn't happen much in 2022.
  • 69 0
 Since when did rebuttal become snowflakeism? Douillet appears to have presented ignorant speculation and Bruni, Pierron and Vergier called him on it, while providing evidence that their podiums weren't just home-field advantage. (Granted the first paragraph of their rebuttal was overly preachy and the argument would have been more effective, IMO, if it was just left as the second paragraph.)

As mentioned by @jamesdunford, kudos to Douillet for owning up to it.
  • 5 34
flag Otago (Aug 30, 2022 at 23:45) (Below Threshold)
 The epitome of a ‘cheese eating surrender monkey’
  • 85 6
 What the fu**,! We are not rude at all you dense motherfu****!!
  • 30 3
 What have the French ever done for us? They don't even have a word that means entrepreneur.
  • 8 0
 @jaame: We say "businessman" in french Big Grin
  • 16 5
 @EnduroManiac: Mon dieu! You meant businessperson, surely? 21st century etc etc.
  • 4 5
 @mi-bike: remember we’re rude and polically incorrect ? Smile
Businesswoman otherwise. Nothing fir trans-genres yet as far as I know
  • 17 3
 @Digsafe: Why don't you come over to Val Di Sole now, go to Bruni and Pierron, and tell them to their faces that they are snowflakes.

It was more about an ignorant idiot , making remarks on a subject he clearly knows nothing about.
  • 45 2
 @gnarlysipes: Overly sensitive? They commented on the internet to criticise something that was said in public directly about them. You're commenting on the internet to criticise their comments that have absolutely nothing to do with you whatsoever. If they're overly sensitive, then what the heck does that make you?
  • 14 0
 Also, BRUNI HAS A YELLOW BELT IN JUDO???
  • 3 1
 @jimoxbox: More like french lines in the french lines...
  • 1 5
flag flowisforpussies (Aug 31, 2022 at 4:16) (Below Threshold)
 Best comment of the year
  • 44 0
 @gnarlysipes: Says the guy getting butthurt about what other people say.

The younger generation is always sensitive, lazy, entitled, etc. etc. Your sentiment has been expressed for literally thousands of years by people like Hesiod (c. 700BC). Generational thinking is always reductive and condescending, and is a crutch for people who can't construct a cogent point.

You're also 39 and talking about "their generation" lol, Bruni is 28. You are the same generation you clown.
  • 5 2
 @FredFreeRideGang:

it’s the second belt. my eight and ten year olds have them. My 5 year old will most likely have his by the time hes 6.

Hope I don’t need to issue a formal apology for this comment
  • 4 0
 @FredFreeRideGang: DH world champ and yellow belt in judo?! Bruni is fking batman
  • 2 0
 @FredFreeRideGang: back in my teenager years I competed in Judo, and I recall watching videos of French school teams. Back in the 90s the French put a lot of effort into getting as many youg people into the sport. Given the relevant results they still have, I trust they stayed in that path.
  • 4 1
 Judo know if I have a baguette, judo know if I have fromage.
  • 9 11
 English people should learn French first and then judge the French people.
  • 5 0
 @tommynator: What about British people?
  • 6 21
flag tommynator (Aug 31, 2022 at 8:56) (Below Threshold)
 @mikekazimir @mikelevi @brianpark @alicialeggit @sarahmoore How can a comment so racist be on pinkbike for so long and get so many upvotes? I mean change French for Black people or Jews and I am sure you get what I mean
  • 1 0
 Dismissive and rude?
I find it rather refreshing
  • 17 0
 @tommynator: Lol it might be mildly xenophobic, but it's far from racist and it's clearly a joke which plays on an established stereotype. You shouldn't be offended by it for the same reason I'm not offended by Groundskeeper Willie. If you can't see the difference between comments about a nationality and comments about race/religion then the issue is YOU.
  • 2 4
 So, to sum up the comments, if you're a french, from a young generation, with some political ambition... You're in big trouble.
  • 4 0
 @mi-bike: We're c*nts, no way around it.
  • 4 13
flag mechatronicjf (Aug 31, 2022 at 11:29) (Below Threshold)
 @Quartz: Groundskeeper Willie is mildly xenophobic. The OP comment is very blatant though. Noticing hate towards French people has been normalized and it's pretty apparent on this website since they're at the forefront of the sport. It's also very clear that the person you're responding to meant xenophobic and not racist so try to be less pedantic
  • 4 0
 Reading the comments on Pinkbike I’d say there are other nations that have a greater share of dismissive and rude posts.
  • 5 0
 @tommynator: Ce n'est pas de la xénophobie, j'ai connu trop de franchmen pour ça.
  • 9 1
 @mechatronicjf: lol shut up, if you're going to pull someone up for being xenophobic you'd better be f*cking accurate about it and not use a much more inflammatory word instead then. It's not pedantic to pull someone up on the difference between racism and xenophobia. OPs joke is an established trope and is fairly innocuous. Let's try to be less easily offended, because being offended is not a counterpoint against anything. If there's a genuine problem with something then it should be articulated, because hurt feelings aren't an argument Wink
  • 7 0
 @mechatronicjf: hyperbole much? South Park have said worse about Canadians and I still find it funny. Lets try not to get offended on behalf of others and white knight all over the place eh
  • 6 0
 @mechatronicjf: EIther you're trolling or you're an idiot. As a Canadian I hope you get just as upset at South Park (and yes, you can remove your flag but we can still see where you are based on your photo locations Wink )
  • 2 5
 @Greeta25: no they didn't. South Park made up stereotypes that don't exist. Nobody says we drive on cube wheels or have disconnected jaws. Show me where they say something worse than all Canadians are rude and dismissive. As if South Park is a benchmark for what's acceptable
  • 2 7
flag mechatronicjf (Aug 31, 2022 at 13:23) (Below Threshold)
 @countmuffinface: Creep. Why would I get upset at South Park? It's satire. OP actually believes what he said and hid it behind a "joke".
  • 2 10
flag mechatronicjf (Aug 31, 2022 at 13:29) (Below Threshold)
 @Blerger: Xenophobia: dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries. Sounds exactly like OP to me. So because it's a trope that makes it ok? I said it was normalized. You're saying it's ok to be purposely offensive to other people...
  • 2 1
 Emperor of ButtHurt here. Feel the butthurt flow over you Frenchies. Yessss.... Gooooood!!!
  • 1 3
 @wingguy: Your logic doesn’t hold up. The point is, they can take one on the chin if they’re in the public eye. The only part of this that stings is that it’s their fellow countryman saying it.

Also, 0% surprised about the downvotes on my previous comment. It really just cements my point. lol
  • 3 1
 @gnarlysipes: Oh I see. What an incredible coincidence that your moral code requires them to behave to a standard that doesn't apply to you. I'm sure you're as surprised as I am that this was the logical result.

And their fellow countryman said he was wrong. Immediately. What part of that do you have a problem with?
  • 2 1
 @mechatronicjf: How do you know OP believes it? I read it as a joke, and so did many other people. It's playing off a well established joke. And yes, because it's a trope it is ok, that's what makes it a joke.

Not sure about the "creep" jibe either. It seems like you're on a little vendetta.
  • 4 2
 @gnarlysipes: Ah the old "the downvotes show I'm right" chestnut. Nah, they show everyone thinks you're a knob Wink
  • 213 4
 French have a HUUUUUGE advantage in DH.

They have an established system to come up in. They have easy access to races all across Europe. They have French's support. Have you seen how many support staff get sent to support the French riders? It's insane. Their advantage is established and it's earned. No reason to get offended or try to hide from it. Everyone with a brain should be able to see it.

They DOMINATE the sport.

UK does well too.

The only way these other countries have top end people are to just truly have gifted talent. Think... Minnaar. Has there been another rider out of South Africa even close? Gwin out of the US? Any American that you think.... that guy has a shot at an overall... hell a freakin win at this point. Canada has a couple big mountains and the youth coming up there is killing it. You can think Smith for laying the groundwork there. Before him it was empty. Now you've got Finn. Goldstone and a host of others under the age of 16 coming up. Couple high quality young women too.

But when one country has 10-12 riders that can win any week and 5 that likely will... that's dominating.
  • 14 3
 threemenarmy
  • 21 4
 Lotta typos. I blame Covid.
  • 5 0
 @onemanarmy: dang dude you’re still on here eh? I remember the old forums in 2001 ish you were always on there.
  • 8 5
 On a side note, zero Frenchies are in the top 10 of EWS standings currently.
  • 20 0
 @RBoardman234s: 3 in the top 10 in women's
  • 28 1
 France has cheap bike parks and an amazing local riding scene. In North America, DH biking is so expensive compared to Europe and I am not gonna speak about skiing. The Brits are almost local in Les Gets since Morzine is almost a British colony lol.
  • 52 4
 Most of these riders don't have the support you are talking about. We used to have regional DH series 20 years ago, those died at least 10 years ago as most people prefer to go to enduro events. The only regional series that still exists is in the Alps but guess what, most of our champs are not from that area, at all. As for French cups there are maybe 3 or 4 rounds top, most riders can't afford to do them because you need to travel quite a bit unless you live in the Alps which is more central, additionally they organize them including Friday so that means taking a day off or skip school, probably 2 to do the traveling.
We certainly don't have more Bike Parks than Canada or USA but yes those are cheaper since we have health care and as a result don't sue everyone or anyone for any slight chance to grab cash, as a results insurances for Bike Parks are not ridiculous making them cheaper. Also because we have health care and a social system our salaries are much lower so the ratio salary/bike park entry fee is probably about the same once you remove the difference in insurance cost that the bikepark need to pay.
As for attending EU races most don't as IXS is stupid expensive for us French, involves even more traveling and days off to take and imply being able to speak a second language which most of us can't.
  • 1 0
 @nateb: I come and go.
  • 17 0
 @Balgaroth: "When you have a little taste of a French Cup, you'll understand why the French are such a powerhouse in DH," says Minnaar. "Their tracks are of World Cup standard, if not a little more technical, and with a few hundred on the start list it's super competitive. I remember coming over to Europe as a Junior and racing a few French Cups. I remember being asked where I had finished, [to] which I replied "third". In broken English, the guy I was chatting to said 'No no, in Scratch?' - Scratch is the overall results. Basically as a Junior, finishing third in your category means nothing, your 'Scratch' result is way more important.. This to me is one of many reasons why the French are so strong in our sport, and will continue to be. Riders don't reach the ceiling until they are the fastest 'Scratch'.... and by that time they podium at World Cups."
  • 7 1
 @Balgaroth: No Canada has way less bike parks than France. I think BC must have 8 or 9 bike parks. I'm in the Var and I have about 8 bike parks available within 3 hours drive radius. The bike parks in France are so cheap for different reasons. First they are heavily subside by the local governments and we pay only a fraction of the cost. The maintenance done on the bike parks is very poor, so the trail crew doesn't cost a lot compare to the BC bike parks.
The travel in France for racing is negligible compare to North America. Even from the south east of France, it will takes about 7/8 hours to go to Les Gets which is one of the furthest bike parks for us. It takes about 8h to drive from Vancouver to kicking horse and you're still in BC
  • 4 0
 @hpman83: That's right, we have a lot of bikeparks ! But I think a lot of them opened only recently (in the last few years) because of the lack of snow and the need of rentability for snow lifts, and perhaps the need to attract some tourists for local shops. (I know that some lifts are managed by the cities, so it's a win-win situation when shops are open, and lifts attracts tourists). And I don't think we can count on them for the actual french domination in downhill (where they opened when Bruni/Vergier/Pierron started downhill ?). But it will surely count for the next generation !

We can't also count on our french bike federation (FFC).. Until recently they were only aware of "road bikes" and sometimes "cross country bikes"... (I did have tried to organise downhill races with official status, and they were completly lost about our discipline).

I do think that our domination comes from the fact that other disciplines (BMX race) where a beautiful lauching pad for some athletes, and some volunteers people in France are really passionate, tries to step-up the game in sports, supports the athletes like no one else, and loves what they are doing. And we have a lot of chance to have all of them in every little town to help young people to discover sports, maintain the local spots, etc... Smile
  • 1 0
 @Ba1rog: Brexit has made it much harder for Brits to spend seasons in the Alps Frown
  • 6 0
 @Balgaroth: Interestingly we have loads of bike parks here in Switzerland and there are no Swiss top men in DH.

Swiss cycling seem to be much more interested in XC than DH; which is a huge shame.
  • 9 0
 @Voxran: I saw bruni when he was only 13 riding the local races. In the south, the bike parks are opened for ages, most of them were already running in the 2000's. Yes they are more bike parks now, but a big chunk were already opens in 2004 /2005 (La Mouliere, Les Orres, La Colmiane, Alpe d'huez, les 2 alpes, la Meige, Les 7 laux, Orciere, Chamrousse, Les portes du soleil, Les Arcs...).
For sure we can't count on the FFC for the French domination in downhill. I will bet more about the local scene on the Cote d'azur since Vouilloz / Barel and now Bruni / Vergier. They are all from the same area. And we can count on the weather too: it's possible to ride all year long here on technical terrain.
  • 1 0
 @hpman83: They were already so much bikeparks in those years ? I'm suprised but thanks for the information ! I was think of small parks with 2-3 tracks managed by local mayors..

And yes I was think of that local scene that produce so much talented riders !
  • 3 0
 @hpman83: Indeed local scene has more to do than FFC and Peille bike club is the prime example. Most of our successful riders come from there. As for the traveling, I am from Alsace which isn't too bad but we don't have that many bike park around (aside from the best of France => Lac Blanc ahah). Bike parks in our region aren't that old and that didn't stop Thirion to become the rider he is or Clementz before he went to enduro and few others. But back then we actually had a regional DH cup here. Since this disappeared we haven't seen any WC worthy rider from the region, despite having now 2 bike parks.

@korev The swiss people are very different than the French, I spend a lot of time skiing there and even in skiing our approach is very different to yours. Ski touring is like a religion in Switzerland, both racing and casual while it has been a fringe activity in France until recently. Your ski resorts are small, same as your bike parks most only have 2 or 3 tracks, even my local bike park has more trails while being in a small mountain. But your XC scene is huge, which makes sense as in winter your people loves touring skiing. You don't get a lot of people doing a sport by having a few competing at the highest level (otherwise all French people would be kayaking and DH racing). You need to have a solid base of people involved in the sport at casual level, lower racing level to have a chance to have some top level riders. Proof is in the pudding, Est of France doesn't have any top rider since we don't have a regional DH scene anymore, the Alps no have a good regional DH scene and are now providing some talents at WC level. Riding the park alone isn't doing anything for racing, otherwise we would see a lot of Whistler guys at the top, we don't, we would have seen Alps riders (French, Swiss and Austrians) dominating long ago, we haven't either. Meanwhile Ireland is providing a few young talents thanks to a very active DH scene with pretty much no bike parks when those were kids and still very limited.
  • 5 0
 @Balgaroth: Be careful when you say that you, as in France, have fewer bike parks than the US and Canada. France is slightly smaller than the state of Texas. If you want to adjust for geography, you have access to more parks than US and Canadian riders do. Americans and Canadians will always be at a disadvantage due to geography. Sure, we have varied terrains but they are absolutely not easily accessible. You can drive across your entire country in half a day. Not to mention the Eurocentric nature of anything UCI related makes things for non Europeans very difficult.
  • 2 0
 @onemanarmy "UK does well too."

Yeah, the UK does surprisingly well but it comes and goes. What you mentioned in support network is for sure the difference. When GB almost swept the men's and women's medals at Worlds a few years back UK Cycling looked at it and said 'Job Done!' When the French started winning again a year or so later they looked it and said 'Good start, now what more can we do?'
  • 2 1
 @onemanarmy: Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma chameleon.
  • 1 0
 @wingguy: That support thing is huge. One of the reasons why the German national soccer team is so dominate is that they are coached the same, regardless of where they come from. Coaches have to be licensed and attend a program for nationwide consistency. That sort of thing, across any sport, does not exist. I cannot see US Cycling ever doing anything remotely similar to that. France is just pouring more money and resources into cycling and the results showing.
  • 1 1
 @onemanarmy @nateb wow guys congrants on still being here, very few people from the old days.

My original account is from 2003, it got banned 100,000 hours back in 2013, by this time in 2024 i should be able to use it again!!!

Salute
  • 1 2
 @jmhills: No you can't cross France in half a Day, it takes at least 10-12 hours drive from South to North. But yes, compare to the distance in North America, it's nothing. For example from the south east of France (the Riviera) to Les gets it's a good 8h drive because we have to cross the Alps and you can't go fast on theses roads.
  • 6 0
 @hpman83: A day has 24 hours though... ;p
  • 2 0
 @hpman83: But a day has 24 hours so...you can, in fact, drive across the country in half a day. If I leave my house and drive 12 hours, I am either in Florida (sucks), Missouri (sucks), or Maine (not too bad actually).
  • 1 0
 I have heard multiple French riders use the "P" word
  • 1 0
 @jmhills: lol, didn't see that way.
  • 124 1
 A politician spewing shit out of their mouth? I call it Tuesday.
  • 3 0
 :-)))
  • 3 0
 Touché
  • 2 0
 You're not wrong
  • 1 0
 @davidle03: très drôle
  • 4 0
 Mardi surely Smile
  • 99 0
 He may not be a cyclist, but he sure knows how to back pedal...
  • 2 0
 You win comment of her day
  • 69 5
 I’m British and I along with the whole world of DH and MTB enthusiasts, I applaud Logic, Amury and Lois.
Exceptional performance and on home soil absolutely fantastic for France, the French fans and the sport we all love!
Good job guy’s, don’t let this bigot even enter your thoughts he’s not worthy!

Cheers for a fantastic race!!
Ivan
  • 40 1
 I too applaud Logic, correct spelling and good grammar
  • 5 1
 @rudymedea: very funny but you should’ve used a full stop!
  • 8 2
 @racerben:

I gue’ss you got me their!
  • 1 0
 yeah, we're all thinking it.... what kind of delicious madness would erupt if three brits are on the podium at Ft William worlds next year?
  • 57 2
 We could all learn something from the french in both downhill and putting government hacks to the guillotine.
  • 45 0
 His logic also explains why the French have been so dominant in the Tour de France.

Oh, wait…
  • 5 0
 Well done mate?
  • 1 0
 Sorry, ! and not ?
  • 40 6
 All in all I really don’t think that the home advantage played a significant role, appart from some extra motivation maybe. I don’t even think the French racers knew the track any better than the rest of the field. But I think it’s fair to ask the question. What this dude said wasn’t disrespectful to me, he was just wrong.

I get wrong 100’s of times a day too. IMO it’s fair to ask the question, the answer is just no. Nothing to fuss about..
  • 19 1
 If you listen to Downtime Podcast, the course was closed off by the builders all the way up to the start of Worlds. It was fresh for everyone, and thus a level playing field.
  • 9 1
 Thats the key.

Sometimes, people get things wrong (myself included). And honestly, its an easy mistake to make for a casual observer, and honestly, it is sometimes a thing for other disciplines (EWS), or even other venues.

I mean, Whistler EWS is held on publicly open trails most of the time, and the EWS just ran on publicly accessibly stuff in Burke, and Fort Bills DH track is there for almost anyone to ride down whenever. So if a local/native does well in some of those sorts of situations, it is sensible to ask "maybe they've had more practice on it" or something like that.

So, no shade to the guy that got it wrong, and good for him for saying "oops, I guessed wrong".
  • 32 0
 @ocnlogan: I’m never wrong. I thought I was wrong once but I was mistaken.
  • 3 1
 @edgnar: you, sir, deserve an upvote.
  • 2 0
 @edgnar: ha ha!!! There must be something french in you then Smile
  • 37 0
 Wait, what home advantage? Fairly sure Morzine and Les gets are basically British nowadays.
  • 1 0
 During COVID times in summer last year, Morzine was pretty empty because the Brits could not travel.
  • 30 0
 Who?
  • 22 1
 There is only one solution. Loic and Mr. Douillet have a judo royal rumble on friday Loic and Mr. Douillet race the black snake of Val di Sol on Saturday See who comes out alive!
  • 9 0
 My guess is Loic is much better at judo than this muppet is at downhill
  • 24 0
 What a muppet.
  • 28 9
 So tired of this recipe for "news" that permeates pretty much everything in America - from CNN to ESPN to Fox, etc. etc. etc.:

1. some idiot said something
2. someone got offended
3. journalist loosely summarizes it in a few paragraphs with a click-baity title
4. publish
  • 3 1
 Didn't mean to downvote .... Shifty thumbs here .... Completely agree with your thoughts!!
  • 6 2
 A country's sports minister is not "some idiot". Other than that, spot on.
  • 7 8
 I like to watch Fox news and Sky every now and then to remind myself of the difference between an opinion piece and news reporting. I quickly scurry off back to the BBC, CNN and ABC for things that matter in the world and a fact based need feed.
  • 1 0
 I share your sentiments. His statement was a reply to a question. My first thought was "What was the preceding question?"

People forming opinions based on half the facts seems to be the norm these days.
  • 23 6
 There is plenty of examples of this, National riders in the nation that holds events regularly place or win when on average they are not at that level. Its not just the track, its the support, the travel, the familiarity, the "at ease" vibe, the proximity to home and all that entails.

He was stating the truth, however would that in this case have changed the results? Unlikely.
  • 3 2
 I'm not sure that really makes a difference any more, there's a reason the away goals rule has been removed in football... Unless it's literally a home race where you can actually sleep in your own bed then it's broadly the same as any other, home advantage can actually just mean extra pressure, for every home winner I bet there's just as many people who couldn't take the additional pressure and crashed. I think the most advantage you get in DH is conditions based, there's a reason the Brits tend to do better on wet tracks than they do on dry and dusty ones
  • 2 0
 right, you can clearly see this by the dominance of home soil riders on any world champs course in the past few years... not.
  • 18 0
 well, the guy clearly doesnt follow DH racing.
  • 11 0
 Perfect summary
  • 19 4
 TL;DR: Ignorant man says something inflammatory on a ‘news source’.
  • 12 1
 It's good to know that despite evidence to the contrary we are not the only country with this issue.
  • 25 1
 @gaberoc: At least he gave a legit apology instead of the "I apologize if I offended anyone" non-apology BS we get.
  • 6 0
 @dolface: even that is too much these days. It's usually "I'm sorry you feel the way you feel about my completely understandable, and frankly completely correct remarks".
  • 7 0
 Being Italian and American, I was raised to mock the French. That said, it's very hard not like Amaury and Loic. When either one brings their A-game, they're on a completely different planet than the rest of the field - home field advantage or not. They're also great embassadors of the sport and cool dudes.
  • 5 0
 Everyone makes mistakes and it takes a lot to admit it officially-online and apologize. Even more when you are a public figure! So for me that fact that he apologized and realized his mistake, makes things over.Period.

Regarding the French dominion.....you don't see it only because of the results. If you travel enough in Europe and take part in races, you will see the difference immediately. Not only in Bikeparks where someone can say that we are treated as customers. There are local races and series where you see the people's love for the sport. And those people are not racers. They are locals, volunteers who try to talk to you, cheer for you because they feel it.I am talking about locals from the villages around, offering local products on food stations between Enduro stages.And things like that...
Those kind of people are parents and that's how a culture is cultivated and empowered.

PS:This kind of hospitality and love i have found only in France.
  • 4 0
 Glancing at the results as a fan of the sport it feels like a bad argument to me. Those three riders- one currently winning the season, another with four other World Champs wins and Loris who has consistently qualified at the top of the list and regularly runs green before exploding or winning- all are safe bets on their own to top podiums at any race in any place. Further, look down the list- there are not a lot of French riders who, were they benefitting from homefield advantage as suggested, had results that were uncharacteristically high. In fact, outside of those three I think a lot sadly had bad runs, or at least runs that they felt were not up to their standards. Kudos to those guys for turning up to compete, risking it for the biscuit and winning the damn race.
  • 6 2
 Unfortunately, politicians commenting about something they know nothing about has come to be the norm. At least he apologized as that is not the norm. Hear in the US at least with the GOP they just double down with there lies and hatred. Proper response from Loic. As some have suggested Pope Bruni.
  • 13 10
 I wondered the same thing. If you have been riding a trail your whole life perhaps there is a bit of an home field advantage Same as Finn at Mont St. Anne. He has been riding it since he was a junior. In my DH beer league there is a home field advantage for sure. Don't want to take anything away from their accomplishments of course. Just thinking out loud.
  • 13 1
 You can't ride that track in Les Gets unless there is a race happening. I suppose you could hike to the top, but no one actually does that. Its not a trail that is open or is even complete from top to bottom the rest of the year. Beyond that, the track was changed a good amount just before this years WC.
  • 33 0
 Wait - Finn, who has grown up and lives in BC, somehow has a home track advantage in MSA because he's been riding it as a junior? As in, he's been riding it more frequently than others? I'd love to see the data on that - I'm sure if you made that claim about, say, Whistler trails in the context of Crankworks, it might make sense. But MSA? As a Canadian, surely you're aware of the roughly 5,000 km distance Finn would have had to road trip to get to MSA?
  • 5 2
 @parallaxid: what?

You don't have to "hike to the top", the lift is there and running all summer. The track is not an official one, but you can ride most of it if you want.

Where do you get your info?
  • 3 1
 It´s racing.
The same thing can be said about the weather or other unforeseen circumstances affecting a riders run or mental preparation. Part of being the best is overcoming and outclassing your opponent´s strengths and advantages through your own strengths.
True talent will always rise to the top and downhill racing, especially world champs, has always been about playing all of your cards right at precisely the right moment. And a little bit of luck.
guys like Gwin or Vouilloz proved this by utterly dominating the sport for a time. The same probably holds true for quite a few guys in the EWS who are always at the top, despite other fast guys having the hometown advantage.
On top of that, two of the three athletes in question have proven again and again they are more than capable of delivering performances which leave the rest of the field in awe. Bruni in particular shows an outstanding proficiency in delivering when it counts the most. Amaury is always going balls to the wall and making no prisoners in his runs. And Vergier isn´t exactly an unproven entity either.

Also, let´s take Fort William as an example. It´s a track much more accessible to the british riders and one every single one of them gathers quite a bit of actual racing experience on (not practice, but racing) over the course of their carreer due to the local race series.
For the men in the last 20 years, there´s only been 3 GBR wins. Two of which belong to Gee Atherton.
For the women, it´s 9 in 20, however, these are almost entirely comprised of Tracey Mosely and Rachel Atherton, with Tahnee Seagrave being number nine. Arguably the first two ladies were very dominant during their time and Tahnee being a frequent podium contender. The women´s field is also a lot smaller and the elite riders an even smaller group, so variance is naturally expected to be a lot smaller than in the men´s field.
I think that goes to show how little importance familiarity with the track really has or otherwise the british athletes would downright dominate the Fort William rankings. Yet funny enough, Minnaar and Pierron each did the hattrick there over the past 6 years, an achievement which would surely have been impossible if the hometown advantage gave the british athletes such a big advantage.

For arguments sake, i´d go as far as saying that the track was probably of little importance to their performance. The mental boost they got from performing infront of a french crowd likely was more influential than anything else.
  • 1 1
 @Loki87: TLDR “it’s racing”
  • 3 0
 @g-42: I was about to write exactly the same as you! lol He's a canadian but probably thinks like a lot of europeens, that we can make a little car ride to visit Vancouver from Montreal during our holliday. loll
  • 2 0
 Yeah, not taking anything away from their abilities but Canadians definitely don’t get a home advantage when the only ‘home ‘ course is as close to the majority of Canadian racers as it is to Europeans. Canada is a vast country!!
  • 1 0
 Canadians ride MSA at WC only, same as everyone else. There isn’t a home course advantage unlike at EWS Whistler. If the French have an advantage it’s having 7 of 9 races in your own time zone same as all the other Euros. That said, was anyone surprised by this podium? It could happen at any race.
  • 3 2
 @Uuno: There are two lifts to get to the top of Mont Chéry for the WC track. the upper lift does not run in the summer for bikes. The lower part you *could* ride during a non-race using the gondola except that parts of it are just a wide open field of grass so that doesn't make much sense. I am guessing you have never been to Les Gets in person.
  • 1 0
 @Loki87: Loki, you say 'more accessible' for the UK riders, but it actually takes for example lets say Brendan Fairclough (just for arguments sake as he lives near/in Surrey Hills) more time and the same sort of distance to drive to Fort William than it does for him to drive to Les Gets Big Grin

I'm not having a go here, but Fort William is a long long drive for anyone in the south of the UK.

You are correct though that the national series does take in races in Fort William though yes... so some/most of the Brits will have been there more than the non-Brits... but it's still a decent distance.
  • 2 0
 @parallaxid: yep, never been there except this year, last year, and... I don't remember when I started.

Last year I rode last year's course, except some of the grassy sections.

My point is, it is easy to train on it for whoever wants to do so. Whether it gives an edge to the frenchies, I don't really think so.
  • 3 0
 The riders that won combined talent, HARDWORK, guts, and luck into their respective success. Props to the French, whatever small amount of advantage is no different than a race in any country where native riders get to compete.
  • 8 2
 Douillet is such a clown and a serious “has been”. A politician ?!? LOL ... Hey David, did Sarkozy’s dick taste good ?
  • 2 0
 You forgot to say "asking for a friend" lol
  • 3 0
 For sure the real adavantage and reason of French domination is not the fact that there is big mountains around...

It is first the process of the French pilots in the learning of the bike.

Most of the French riders start cycling with BMX Race where they learn the handling in turns and in confidence in the air and also the competition spirit. There are also great French champions in BMX Race who contribute to the motivation of young people (Thomas Allier, Joris Daudet, Sylvain André).
Then they often go through the cross-country discipline to build up their endurance and when they get bored, they quickly switch to DH.

That's why there are few Frenchmen who perform at the junior level in DH.
  • 8 6
 Are we upset about this because of the dudes station, or because of what he said? He may be completely wrong, and that may be the most flaming hot take about mountain biking I have ever heard, but it’s also just that. A hot take. Why does he have to apologize? I feel like I am missing something
  • 20 1
 It's because it's the guy who's actual paid job (seriously, he gets paid money for this, enough to live on and and make a career out of) is to pump up French athletic achievements, and great french athletes is the one who said it.

Imagine if you were so good at your job that your company hired a PR guy to just talk about how f*cking good you were at your job.

Now imagine that your PR guy, who acts as the official spokesman for how great you are, went out and said

MTBIZL6 isn't actually that good at his job. He was only able to skate by because this company is awesome. Pretty much anybody could have done it.
  • 11 0
 ...because he's supposed to be an advocate for the 3 he downplayed
  • 5 0
 @William42: ohhhhhhh gotcha. I didn’t catch that he was supposed to some sort if athletic minister. Thanks!
  • 5 3
 I think some people are upset because they have translated "I think they had a small advantage" to "No way in hell anyone French would have been on the podium if it hadn't taken place in France!"

So someone said something a little bit negative that's been magnified into an outrage. And this is the first time it's ever happened on the internet.
  • 6 0
 Bordel de merde,quelle connerie!
  • 2 0
 Did home field advantage hurt them? No.. Did it help? Maybe a little.. Wanting to win on home turf in front of the home fans has to give a little extra motivation. Are those 3 on the podium 3 of the most bad ass racers in our sport today? Definitely.
  • 2 0
 The whole thing really is a non issue. He´s not wrong to ask that question, especially as an outsider who doesn´t know better. It´s downright unnecessary for an outsider to give his uninformed opinion on such things though as well.
Nobody was hurt and he made a fool of himself. Move on.

That said, it makes me appreciate Loic even more. The guy is just level headed but never backing down from a fight for what he believes in. He´s good for the sport. We need more like him. He gave the perfect response to concisely put the guy in his place without ranting or blowing it out of proportion.
  • 4 0
 A politician apologizes publicly about a previous statement. If this ever happened in my country it would be a huge step forward.
  • 8 3
 Why does he have to apologize about something that's not insensitive and 100% true? It doesn't make sense.
  • 3 1
 Because as soon as someone complains they seem to need an apology, crazy times.
  • 1 0
 Because this guy always been so bland!
  • 2 0
 I know a guy, who has friend, who has a cousin, who works at a french pastry shop and bakery in Paris, TX and he confirmed that indeed the French riders did have an advantage. He also saw Ferris pass out at 31 flavors last night and is donating his eyes to Stevie Wonder.
  • 2 0
 #saveferris
  • 7 1
 Now this is news!
  • 5 2
 yeah and...home field is...home field....all good. It's not like baseball or soccer where the refs could possibly determine the outcome.
  • 2 0
 If you take that same logic and apply it everywhere these three are winning, then they have a home turf advantage over PLANET EARTH!! Somebody fill their tires with water to make it fair.
  • 5 0
 Forgiveness is part of life. Good reminder
  • 2 0
 At that level, learning a track and finding your lines comes rather quickly. Second, the track changes a lot from day one to the race. That was a hell of a race and the reaction of the crowd was incredible !
  • 4 0
 I thought Les Gets was a British colony? If so they should do pretty good there as well. lol.
  • 2 1
 What's wrong with home advantage? It's a factor in a lot of sports, and was possibly the weekend gone. It's hardly a controversial opinion......

England's women won the Euro's at Wembley, that was home advantage - nobody is outraged for saying that.
  • 1 0
 What a stupid thing to say and duh!
Ofcourse you'll have an advantage its on your home turf - tracks you've likely ridden more that riders from overseas and the home crowd! But who cares! Its all good!
It's the same for the the riders located close to other world cup tracks!

I cant imagine there are any if not many Elite riders who would think and feel that way because Mountain biking/bikers arent petty bellends ha
  • 1 0
 I hate douchebag comments from anyone in any country of any political bend(over) but - when someone also apologies, and publicly - you also stop rubbing their nose in shit too. That's what apologies are for or they are useless. Plus, ultimately its just words & anyone who knows DH WC racing knows that not only did the French ball it - so did everyone else who qualified.

Unqualified comments from someone with zero skin in the game & who's completely outta touch w/ DH racing...so what, move on now.
  • 1 0
 Welcome to the internet, where you can't fart without Trump having something to say about it and everyone feeling entitled to a comment/opinion/YT Reaction video as if they are an authority on the art of farting. Racing at this level is an alignment of serendipity and multi-dimensional variables that nobody can control. The top 10 guys are less than a couple of seconds away from each other and if their bikes don't get destroyed on the way down then it's the guts what will give one of them the edge to win.

...back to hiding under my rock hoping California doesn't catch on fire.
  • 2 0
 Classic “Who care’s what the grumpy judoka says” moment.

Move on les bleus - nothing to see here.

Looking forward to Val di Sole!
  • 4 1
 Man, Mr. Douillet's foot was ankle-deep in his own mouth. Loic and Amaury absolutely ROASTED that dude, love it!!!
  • 10 6
 I mean, he’s not wrong.
  • 4 2
 I’m not saying it’s the reason they did so well, but it definitely didn’t hurt being on home soil. But the outrage never ends these days, so…
  • 4 0
 A politician said something dumb? Nooooo?!
  • 4 0
 Chapeau to him. To a fellow Judoka, humility and honesty in an apology.
  • 5 0
 David Boulet
  • 6 0
 Only the French can understand this, that is not fair, it's clearly home turf advantage.
  • 1 1
 DH is awesome.
We had 3rd and 5th place riders both riding broken which is insane!
The French are dominating just now, well..... they have some of the best mountains, resorts etc to race and train on from kids.
The UK has an awesome crop of youngsters coming through too.
Was great to see "Irish Henry" do so well in 9th, a result that has been coming and he is from just a few miles down the road from me (not in Ireland).
  • 3 0
 David knows what is talking about when he speaks about bikes : cutt.ly/ECejqGy
  • 3 0
 Is he wrong? Home team advantage is a real thing. Sports psychology is complicated.
  • 2 0
 I always thought douche was a french word but apparently, they spell it Douillet.
  • 4 1
 Make Downhill Great Again!!
  • 4 0
 MDMA - Make Downhill Molly'd-out Again.
  • 3 1
 Only a monster would claim that Europeans have an advantage in World Cup downhill.
  • 4 1
 Big deal, he made a comment that was not ideal, no faux horror here.
  • 2 1
 aye I ain’t no fox whore
  • 2 1
 Interesting that Loic does judo, and actually makes a lot of sense. I feel like both the poise of his riding style and his mental fortitude are very martial arts -esque
  • 3 0
 23 victories betweem them how sick is that.
  • 2 0
 Isn't Les Gets bike park use to be an english place ?? No home turf for frenchies here!
  • 1 1
 The complexes martial arts guys have towards other sports is the problem here. They need to just skip to putting each others organs in a vice and see who wins, that would be WAY more of a sport than any martial art.
  • 2 0
 David looks like a session ! ...politician...
  • 4 2
 The French... So emotional
  • 1 0
 Didn't know if this was bullshit or satire. But, no, actually true, because French. Way to go guy.
  • 2 0
 Les Gets some deep breaths and relax.
  • 2 1
 He was wrong, he admitted it, and he apologized. Case closed. No hard feelings.
  • 4 0
 Too late he apologized only because he smelt the internet shit storm grow on him! He deserves his moment of fameWink
  • 1 0
 I just wanna know how many DH racers are signing up for judo right now. lol
  • 1 0
 Sheesh! What an idiot! Commenting about a sport he doesn't follow and knows nothing about.
  • 1 0
 Eh, who cares what he said, but glad he apologized. I don't see a home field track advantage, but maybe a crowd one!
  • 1 1
 He got roasted and admitted total ignorance.A Wyn track walk video tomorrow will take our minds off this.
  • 1 0
 2mins Time advantage for riders from Maldives....?
  • 2 0
 Lol what an idiot
  • 1 0
 Two people acting like spoiled toddlers.
  • 1 0
 judo expert speaks out on downhill mountainbiking .....grain of salt
  • 2 0
 What a duesche bag!!!
  • 1 0
 That was a very informative and interesting non-story.
  • 1 1
 Not for a second did I think this, nor would any DH fan.
  • 2 2
 I don't get the big deal about what the guy said.
  • 2 1
 WHAT A FREAKIN MORON
  • 6 9
 Maybe a new low for PB. It wasn't quite funny enough to post just for the memes. This tips the balance right into cringe clickbait territory. Waste of internet bandwidth...





You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2022. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv42 0.023714
Mobile Version of Website