The UCI's Major Rule Changes for the 2023 DH World Cup

Dec 16, 2022 at 6:06
by Ed Spratt  
UCI

The UCI has released its 2023 rule book and there are a quite few tweaks that come into force on January 1. these changes include new clothing regulations, a change to the points scale and some updates to the protected rider system to match the addition of semi-finals. Here are the most interesting bits.





Riders will need to race semi-finals and finals; finals runs will be shown in their entirety

Camille Balanche is back in action here in Les Gets after a broken collar bone took her out the running in MSA.

One of the most significant changes for the 2023 season is that qualifying will no longer send riders straight through to finals in downhill. Instead, there will now be a broadcasted semi-final event featuring the top 60 Elite Men and 15 Elite Women from qualifying.

The results from the semi-finals will decide who makes it through to finals with the top 30 Elite Men and 10 Elite Women making it into a live broadcasted event where runs will be shown in their entirety. If a final cannot take place then the last qualifying round (either qualifying itself or semi-finals) with decide the final results.

bigquotesThe top 25 men juniors and top 10 women juniors from the qualifying round qualify for the final.

The top 60 men elite and top 15 women elite from the qualifying round qualify for the semi-final.

The top 30 men elite and top 10 women elite from the semi-finals qualify for the final.
UCI-4.11.010





Changes to Points

The points on offer at a World Cup weekend have been shaken up with the addition of semi-finals, we have broken down what this means for each category below.

Elite Men

For qualifying the Elite Men will get 50 points for the fastest run with this dropping to five points if you sit in 20th place, the same system as in previous years. For semi-finals, a win will net the fastest Elite male rider with 200 with this gradually dropping to a single point for the last rider in 60th position. When it comes to finals things have changed slightly as the point scale now only needs to work for 30 riders. Whereas previously a win was worth 200 points the rider coming out on top will now secure 250 points. The previous max points total before the 2023 season was 250 but this now extends to 500 points for a perfect weekend.

Elite Women

Just like the Elite Men, the Women's qualifying points system remains unchanged for 2023 with 50 points for 1st and five for 10th place. However, the semi-final and finals points for Women see a shift. Whereas before a win in either the Elite Men's or Women's races would net you 200 points, an Elite Women's win will now score 50 points less than the equivalent Men's race. For semi-finals, this means the fastest run will get 150 points with 15th position netting five points. In finals, the fastest Women will get 200 points before the final rider in 10th place scores 20.

photo
photo
photo

Junior Races

The points for Junior racing will stay the same as in previous years.

photo





Some race numbers will last for the whole season

The number 1 plate ready to be mounted to Amaury Pierron s race bike.

Alongside some slight changes to the protected rider rules the UCI has added season-long race numbers for the top 10 Elite Men and five Elite Women based off the final standings of the 2022 season.

bigquotesRace number allocation will be determined by the UCI appointee. Season long race numbers will be allocated to the top 10 men elite and top 5 women elite from the final standings of previous UCI World Cup season. UCI-4.11.002





Protected rider changes

Goldstone is king once again. The fastest time of the day and no rain to foul play just a beaten up track.

With the addition of the semi-finals to World Cup downhill, the protected rider system has been changed to work across a weekend of racing. Firstly during qualifying riders with a season-long race number and riders ranked inside the top 20 Elite Men and 10 Elite Women in the current UCI World Cup standings (not holding season-long numbers) will be allowed through to the semi-finals as long as they pass through the start gate. At the first round the top 20 Elite Men and 10 Elite Women will be based upon the final results from the 2022 season.

If protected riders place a time that is not good enough for the top 60 Elite Men or 15 Elite Women then they will still pass through to the semi-finals but they will be added as an additional rider and not take the place of anyone who did pass the threshold to qualify.

bigquotesProtected riders to the semi-final are:
1. riders with season long race numbers (i.e. ranked in the top 5 women elite and
the top 10 men elite of the final UCI World Cup standings of the previous season)
2. the best ranked riders from the current UCI World Cup standings, that are not
included in point 1 above, until a total of 10 women elite and 20 men elite are
reached
3. if any riders as described under 1. and 2. above do not confirm participation at an
event they will not be replaced.
UCI-4.11.014

bigquotesFor the first UCI World Cup round of the season, the top 10 women elite and the top 20 men elite of the final UCI World Cup standings of the previous season are “protected” for the semi-final. UCI-4.11.014

bigquotesThey must start in the qualifying round but qualify automatically for the semi-final in any case. If the times of the protected riders are not among the 15 best times for women elite or the 60 best times for men elite, they shall be allowed to ride in the semi-final in addition to the 15 women elite and 60 men elite riders already qualified. UCI-4.11.014

Once riders get to the semi-finals the protected rules change slightly to include a smaller pool of riders. For the newly added semi-finals riders ranked in the top five Elite Men and three Elite Women of the past season will be protected. For the Junior races, there will be no protected riders for finals at the first round. At the second race of the year, the top three Junior riders in the Men and Women's racing will be safe in qualifying. There is also a clause stating that if a rider announces retirement and informs the UCI before December 31 of the previous year then they will have any protected status removed.

bigquotesProtected riders to the final are:
1. riders ranked in the top 3 women elite and top 5 men elite of the final UCI World
Cup standings of the previous season
2. men and women junior riders ranked in the top 3 of the current UCI World Cup
standings. At the first UCI World Cup round of the season there will be no
protected junior riders.
3. If a rider is announced as retired, he is not eligible anymore as protected rider.
The announcement of the retired status shall be done in writing to the UCI before
31 December of the previous year.
UCI-4.11.014

Starting order for the semi-finals and final will be decided on the last qualifying round. For semi-finals this means qualifying and the finals start order will be based upon the results from the semi-finals.

bigquotesThe start order for the semi-final, if applicable, and final will be determined on the basis of the reverse results of the last qualifying round (the fastest rider starting last), except for the protected riders (defined in art. 4.11.014) and the fastest 5 men elite and the fastest 2 women elite non-protected riders, who will start as the last group of riders by order of the last qualifying result, reversed. UCI-4.11.015





Clearer rules for temporarily replacing team riders

photo

Under the UCI Elite MTB Team section of the revised rulebook a section has been added detailing the conditions under which an Elite-level team can temporarily swap out riders mid-season. Under the new rules, an Elite-level team can apply to the UCI to replace a rider that cannot compete at a World Cup for medical reasons. As long as the rider is UCI registered and competes in the same discipline and category as the rider they are replacing then they can be added to that team's roster. Additionally, this rider must race in the same clothing as the team they are temporarily riding for.

bigquotesUCI ELITE MTB TEAMS can apply to the UCI to replace a rider that is unable to compete at a UCI World Cup on medical grounds. The rider needs to be a UCI registered rider and must compete in the same format and category as the rider they are temporarily replacing. They must race in the same clothing of the UCI ELITE MTB TEAM they will be riding for. This can be done outside the transfer period. UCI-4.18.001

As well as swapping out a rider temporarily for medical grounds there is a section that details the potential to add one rider to race at a specific World Cup event.

bigquotesIn addition, a UCI ELITE MTB TEAM will have the opportunity to request to the UCI for 1 rider to be able to race at a single UCI World Cup event within the season in either Elite, Junior or under 23 categories. This can be done outside the transfer period. UCI-4.18.001





Changes to clothing rules

Thibaut Daprela

One of the odder changes to the rule book for 2023 is the detailed clarification of what clothing is allowed for World Cup downhills, this includes the removal of a statement banning all "lycra elastane based tight-fitting clothing."

For next season's racing, riders and teams now have a detailed description of what will be allowed for downhill racing with jerseys having to be either close fitting around the waist or tucked into pants. Any jersey used must be sold for mountain biking or BMX use with any jerseys designed for road cycling, skinsuits, or one-piece suits banned. It appears that short sleeve jerseys will be no longer allowed as the "jersey shall be a long-sleeved shirt whose sleeves extend down to the rider's wrists."

Pants also must be specifically designed and sold for use in BMX or mountain bike racing and can be either long or short when paired with appropriate knee and shin protection. It sounds like we won't be seeing any riders rocking up to World Cups in jeans in the future.

bigquotesJersey

The jersey shall be a long-sleeved shirt whose sleeves extend down to the rider's wrists. Jerseys used in downhill events should be of a type specifically designed and sold for use in BMX Racing or Mountain Bike downhill events. Jerseys designed for road cycling, skinsuits, or one piece suits comprising the jersey and the pants/shorts are not permitted for use in downhill events. The jersey must be either close fitting around the waist or must be tucked into the pants before the start to not cause interference.


Pants

Long pants or short pants combined with suitable knee and shin protection are authorised. Such long or short pants should be of a type that is specifically designed and sold for use in BMX Racing or Mountain Bike downhill events. Long pants of the type described above must be of one-piece construction and made of tear-resistant material. They should cover the entire length of both legs until just above the shoe or ankle. Short pants of the type described above must be of one-piece construction and made of tear-resistant material. They should be worn together with suitable leg protection, that covers the entire knee and the entire shin until just above the ankle.
UCI-4.3.011





You can view the full 2023 revision rulebook here.

Author Info:
edspratt avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2017
3,154 articles

266 Comments
  • 165 25
 Honestly, I like the proposed qualification/semi-final changes. The finals, especially the men's, always felt too cluttered and I was usually disinterested after the first few dozen riders. It'll be nice to get that boiled down to "the fastest of the fast" and get a highly detailed full run down.

It might mean fewer athletes overall... but it's the highest level of the sport, it shouldn't be for everyone.
  • 80 19
 ONLY LONG SLEEVE?!?! This is going the wrong way! Racers should be gliding in their most natural selves, not obstructed by accessories and layers of cloth. They're trying to slow them down! It's a conspiracy! The naturals like myself will not kashloishe! We kashliesh until the end! NUDE! NUDE! NUDE!

Nude Carl out.

Thank, Carl
  • 49 5
 IT DOESN'T MATTER BECAUSE THEY'RE BANNING JEANS! WTF TOM SEGURA AND CHRISTINA P. ARE GONNA BE PISSED!
  • 7 1
 I appreciate being able to see whole runs live. It sucks that some riders will get less screen time but it makes a lot more sense to be able focus on whole runs for broadcasting. It's still entertainment, this wouldn't happen if no one watched.
  • 10 2
 I think the semi-final addition ensures two things. 1) Every rider gets at least some broadcast time. 2) It ensures the finals podium runs are broadcast in full. It avoids starting the broadcast with riders on the podium and not knowing how they got there. It avoids a rider who qualified towards the back of the field who's run wasn't seen and maybe has a great run before a major track conditions change sitting in the hot seat for most of the race.
  • 3 5
 @jeremy3220: Riders who don't make it into semi finals don't get any air time. So,every rider? No. As to your second point, 100% agree. Always a bummer to have only a partial run when an earlier rider in the starting order wins or makes top 3.
  • 1 1
 @mi-bike: Every rider that qualifies.
  • 5 1
 @scott-townes: but who is the water champion?
  • 4 1
 @scott-townes: I 100% agree with you. I think we may need to get some “bears” and “mommies” to protest this. I’ll bet they would allow Garth Brooks to wear jeans if he were a racer.

Somebody, QUICK, notify Bert so he cab preemptively pay UCI off so they don’t ban Kool-Aid in the water bottles and one-gallon containers in the pits.

#HotSauceIsTheBest #WhoIsRandy
  • 4 4
 It's good, better.

I would have gone with a league system, three divisions, 1, 2 & 3 where riders can get promoted and relegated at the end of the season, or maybe more regularly. Third division is juniors and wild cards. Broadcast them all over a weekend. 30 riders per league and a qualifying system at each race to get into the third `division` Juniors can then climb the ranks. Same system for women, but would be less riders. Would need a method of protecting top riders if injured.

That way viewers get invested in guys coming in 40 something place, they're on TV, and have something to fight for.

It's football but that's a way you get exposure and money working down the ranks.

This new UCI system is a bit better than the old, but still most people aren't going to see lower ranked riders.
  • 10 1
 Only problems are too many points for a win in the semis (honestly it should be half a race win at most) and too few women in the semis.

Otherwise, televised semi finals are fantastic news and full run finals are fantastic news. I still wish we knew how Loic won that world champs, but at least we'll know next time.
  • 5 19
flag gabriel-mission9 (Dec 17, 2022 at 2:44) (Below Threshold)
 The semi finals/finals thing is the worst thing to happen to DH racing. I have literally been watching since the beginning of the sport, and Disney have f*cked it.

f*ck you Disney. f*ck you people who think it's a good thing "cos it'll be less confusing for the viewer". You are everything bad about modern mountainbiking. f*ck the viewer, the racing is the priority, and Disney have f*cked it up.
  • 3 0
 @gabriel-mission9: Well there's a rational opinion Big Grin

Who said anything about 'less confusing' anyway? Can't think of anything less confusing than one run finals as it's always been.

Semi finals is good because you can maintain TV exposure for the same number of riders but also show full finals runs without needing a 6 hour broadcast.
  • 8 1
 @wingguy: Semi finals is good for tv. Its bad for racing
  • 1 0
 @gabriel-mission9: in what way is it bad for raving? Elaborate please.
  • 5 1
 I read all the details and comments above and did not see one valid reason to justify the new semi final run. It accomplishes nothing except to make the points race more complex. Once an elite rider gets hurt during semis, everybody will realize how stupid it is and this will be a one year UCI fail. The UCI doesn't even give any justification for the semi final run, they are just throwing it out there hoping it increases interest and ratings. Bringing back dual slalom would be the easiest thing to do if you wanted to make World Cup DH weekends more entertaining.
  • 4 0
 @scott-townes: beat me! Piss on me! Try it out! I can't believe a mommy comment appeared on pink bike!!
  • 1 1
 @DoubleCrownAddict:
I was skeptical at first but I disagree, for the top 20 semi finals is basically going to be like qualifying but with way more points since they're automatically qualified for it. I agree with others that the points for the semi finals seem skewed high and it's certainly going to be harder for riders trying to break the top 20 since they'll essentially have to go fast three times in a weekend whereas top 20 really only needs to lay down a heater twice.

Plenty of top 20 protected riders have been injured in qualies in the past and Historically some riders like pierron and gwin have gone for the 50 points available in qualifying, now they'll have a real reason to go fast at least twice
  • 3 0
 Down-duro is born
  • 4 1
 @gabriel-mission9: Unfortunately the whole sport is now off limits to non-subscriber viewers so it's the death of televised DH. Soon to be the death of the sport .
Screams of American made for TV with more ads than content. People with short concentration spans !
  • 3 0
 @siborg1980: exactly. the sport is being ruined for the sake of advertisers.
f*ck everyone who had a hand in this
  • 1 0
 @siborg1980: yeah I mean it was cool when it was free but what other sport worth watching is free?
  • 97 0
 So results based on consistency?

Congratulations Troy!
  • 71 1
 Seems like there is an opportunity for a clothing company to just make odd clothing choices and label them as "officially for BMX or Mountain biking"

I can imagine some combinations:
fox-racing pants with attached tutu.
TLD skinny jeans.
Atherton racing hoodie and matching sweatpants.
Leatt BMX racing pants with research supported codpiece for protection
POC Flannel jersey
  • 16 1
 Fly racing Tyvek suits for the next time it rains at leogang
  • 16 0
 I would have thought the mandate would have been that all top 10 elite riders must wear ‘White Pants’.
  • 5 2
 Bring back skin suits!
  • 26 0
 My pants have a BMX background.
  • 10 0
 Leatt makes denim MTB pants now. It's like they knew what new rules were coming....
  • 4 0
 No homologation bruh.
  • 1 0
 It also states “one piece” and “tear resistant”
  • 19 2
 I feel sad for the way the sport is heading. I guess I'm getting old, seeing as I'm talking about how good it was in the past. I feel like the sport used to be shaped by those who actually participated. Sure, some have looked at MX for inspiration, others to skate and everyone did their own thing with it. Now it is more and more the big fat bosses who seem to dictate what uniform the riders should wear. The companies and the UCI. If you as a rider happen to own a clothing company (like Peaty owned Royal, from what I recall) you can play a little with it. But otherwise you're limited to what they have to offer. I'm not saying everyone should wear baggy clothes, nor that everyone should wear tight fitting clothes either. Just that this is up to riders and teams to decide how to wear, not the UCI and the clothing companies who happen to market their stuff as mtb or bmx specific. How can the sport sensibly develop if these random rules are imposed upon riders? And enforced with extreme fines? Already last year we've seen the risk of making it onto the podium. If you do something wrong (rock up slightly late, wear something wrong etc), you already have the UCI shitheads a new iPhone (or something of similar value). What could be a nice beginner fully for your nephew or niece ends up in their pockets. Because you wore the wrong jersey on the podium...

The only UCI discipline where I still sense this freedom and vibe is pumptrack racing. Let's hope they don't kill that too.

Sorry for my granddad rant. Sure these NEW rules (not "clarifications" of existing rules, as stated in the article) are going to make this sport so much better, professional and all that. There is probably someone out there who's going to enjoy that.
  • 1 1
 The UCI has now essentially legalized aero skinsuits for DH, as long as they are not one piece and are 'tear resistant', whatever that means. Expect to see some expensive, tight, aero technology mtb clothing hit the market before next season starts. Nobody will buy it but it will give the teams that use it a serious advantage.
  • 1 1
 @DoubleCrownAddict: It was legal about fifteen years ago too and required at the Worlds, but for instance the MTB-Cut team also used then at the World Cup races. All fine, riders had the choice to wear or not wear them. It gets annoying when the UCI starts to require something very specific.
  • 2 0
 @vinay: we can blame Ben Cathro for that one: youtu.be/a4VlW4Z0-PY
  • 1 0
 @sfarnum: Why him in particular? I thought it was the entire MTB-Cut team wearing them.
  • 2 0
 @vinay: I think the joke is the sight of tall, gangly Cathro in a skin suit drove UCI to ban them.
  • 53 3
 someone please run last year's results through this format and tell me what would've happened. You have by EOD thanks
  • 35 0
 I tried but I couldn't find the results of last year's semi-finals published anywhere so the result came out undefined
  • 6 0
 @ak-77: ha!
Please treat 2022 quallies as the semifinals…you have until Monday EOD for that, it’s the weekend

I think it’s still gonna be the same guys on top, but it’s kind of a bummer to just look at it and accept that the slim chance of a longshot privateer grabbing a podium spot just got even smaller.

having two-a-day race runs is bananas to me!
  • 12 6
 @owl-X: exactly. This new system favours fitness and consistency over balls to the wall speed. Essentially, whoever designed this system doesn't understand dh, and thinks its just xc down a hill.
  • 4 0
 @gabriel-mission9: agreed. The spread scoring will favour the riders consistently finishing in the top 20 but maybe not those who hang it all out for glory or nothing. I don't know if that's a good or bad thing yet. I have a lot of time for some of those consistent riders like David Trummer and Mark Wallace, but it also seems like there's more opportunity to score by playing it safe. Not what we want to see.

What's definitely not in doubt is that the UCI are clowns who obsess about clothing and team rules and stupid sh!t that's distasteful to fans. Do they even ride mountain bikes?!
  • 1 0
 @b-boyben: True, but at least the uci only f*ck with silly little stuff about how long your sleeves have to be etc. Warner Bros and Chris Ball on the other hand are just ripping the sport to shreds. Worst thing to happen to mtb in 30 years
  • 1 0
 @gabriel-mission9: Common, how hard can it be? It's all downhill. Gravity does all the work.
  • 48 4
 For the women’s elite, it seems kind of silly to have a semi-final just to go from a field of 15 down to 10.
  • 28 5
 But a nice opportunity for top 15 women to get on the broadcast, and I’m sure as the field grows over the years they’ll consider increasing the semifinal cutoff.
  • 19 4
 @brianpark: UCI's not exactly providing any incentive for women to get into racing or teams/sponsors to bother signing women up.
#SameOldShit
  • 15 3
 @mudcycles: Think this is a massive fail on UCI behalf. Should be far higher qualy number at least 20-25 so that up and coming riders can get some recognition and exposure which can then help make a top 20 rider a top 10 rider. How is emerging talent going to attract sponsorship or emerge with such few spots?
  • 10 0
 Going backwards for an increasingly amazing field....seems weird too me too....
  • 5 0
 @brianpark: We've been waiting for years and years for the women's cap to be raised. If UCI wants the elite women's field to grow, then go ahead and increase the semi-final to more than 15. They missed an opportunity here by not raising the cap with the rule changes, lets go ahead and say it like it is.
  • 56 20
 Three race pace runs per weekend drastically increases the possibility for error and therefor injury. Does not seem smart
  • 61 27
 I mean, we're talking about the best riders in the world here. It's not like most of them are just cruising down the hill during practice or timed training.
  • 38 5
 I mean yes, more racing will always favour the riders who are more consistent. Curious to see how it affects racing, but I love that we’ll be able to see more of each run.
  • 19 0
 On the other hand, riders will have to ride more controlled and consistent to make it through the weekend, similar to how enduro racers have to hold back some and budget fatigue.
  • 1 0
 It may mean that to be consistent in the quallies and the semis riders will slow the pace a little reserving the full gas run for the finals. I agree that more race runs equal more risk, at least if they are all flat out.
  • 15 6
 @mikekazimer: maybe we should just base the final results off of timed training? Safer that way...I mean, these athletes have no idea how risky and dangerous DH is. Apparently they need the internet to tell them what they are getting into.
  • 11 8
 @mikekazimer: Many of the riders will ride and race with injuries to acquire points while pushing at race pace. Hence, that can lead to a host of problematic issues or long term injuries without adequate rest and rehab. They are Human Beings not Super Hero's as you would wish to believe.

This is an area when fans become selfish with Coliseum mentality towards Gladiators hurled into a battle to the death. "Are You Not Entertained !"- Maximus Meridius
  • 15 3
 @likeittacky: so, just like any other professional sport? Name one professional sport where the athletes aren't nursing some kind of ache/pain, or injury throughout the season. If it wasn't worth the risk, would the athletes being doing it? No.
  • 10 9
 @mikekazimer: Totally agree. These are the best riders in the world let's exploit them to the fullest and get our money's worth. Amiright?
  • 5 1
 You missed the point as you sit high above in the grandstands with blood in your eyes
  • 10 8
 @likeittacky: Your statement suggests they are being forced to professionally ride their bikes and risk their lives. They are not. They do have the best trainers, physical therapists, and doctors, when bad shit happens. If they are getting injured too often, they probably should reassess their career path.
  • 13 4
 @AppleJack76: professional mountain bikers hardly have access to the best of anything when they injure themselves. Sure, they all accept the risk. Increasing the amount of flat out runs by 200% (assuming that people still hold back in qualies) drastically increases fatigue, time on track for failures, and potential for serious injury. I’m assuming that riding DH at light speed and math aren’t your strong suits
  • 4 2
 @Mntneer: and how would you say your math skills are?
  • 1 1
 @AppleJack76: Really, I was suggesting such? You assume i'm oblivious to the team structures; laughable!
The riders will do what is needed to stay in contention unless otherwise instructed by their counsel of course. Yes, many Racers have chosen the alternative in that case.
  • 6 0
 I think it may do the opposite. With more points on the line over more runs it may encourage riders to play it safe vs risking it all for a single run.
  • 2 1
 @dthomp325: everyone else taking it easy? Perfect opportunity to go for it!

It’s the worst way to give us more racing, but I’ll watch it
  • 7 0
 @dthomp325: Exactly. It will encourage smarter racing tactics which should be safer. I like the new rules.
  • 4 4
 @brianpark: I'm amazed anyone other than the tv producers (aiming to grab the eyes of your average sunday tv watcher, rather than dedicated dh fans) think that a semi-final is a good idea. Surely anyone who understands dh can see that this is a bad thing?
  • 4 0
 @gabriel-mission9: please explain yourself. Why is it a bad idea?
  • 36 1
 Going full Moto, now they just need a 10 rider mass start winner take all LCQ! That would make for some exciting viewing.
  • 31 1
 No mention of prize money.....
  • 9 0
 It is being erased to fund the semi final runs.
  • 2 0
 Obviously not...why would they want that?
  • 31 7
 How bout a doping division so we can see the difference, kinda like a field test, maybe the "norco" still wins
  • 7 0
 I am sure there are some riders playing the same games with different supplements, drugs, and/or peptides that you find in every other world class sport. Especially on the peptide side to help with injury recovery, I mean these guys and girls race with collarbones that were broken last week. Obviously I cannot say for certain but there are an increasing amount of new drugs that WADA have not banned yet and we see it in all other sports
  • 6 0
 Lets see what the meat carcass can really do
  • 12 0
 @Henryd555: You have obviously no idea of what you are talking about ! It's only hard work and no pain killer at all cause you can't train hard and take pills without feeling bad! It's not because you have to stay 6 weeks in a sleeve to recover that we are cheating because we can ride after 2 weeks! Not saying everything is healthy but you can push your body more than you think without taking anything illegal or anything at all! Wink
  • 23 0
 No wonder the denim destroyer retired from dh. Riding without jeans? Absurd.
  • 12 0
 Unless they're sold specifically for MTB. @Ripton&Co looks like your moment has finally arrived!

m.pinkbike.com/news/ripton-and-co-release-mountain-biking-tech-jorts.html
  • 1 0
 Any future denim destroyer has been destroyed....Thanks UCI Razz
  • 19 0
 Bummed about the long sleeve rule. Pivot’s short sleeve jerseys last year were sick. And how I am I supposed to admire their muscles if their arms are covered up?!
  • 9 0
 I saw those guys riding in italy.... can confirm they work out
  • 10 0
 They have OF
  • 3 0
 This is a legitimate thing. It's common for women to mention rolled up sleeves and sexy forearms as drool inducing. It's why AFL players here in Oz wear short shorts.
  • 5 1
 @BorisBC35: Exactly, I want the success of our pro riders to be dictated even more by their sex appeal. Some idicracy type dystopia could even see that leading to mandatory bikinis for the women.
  • 5 0
 My guy!
  • 1 0
 @takeiteasyridehard: Even worse would be if they mandated bikinis for the guys too Big Grin
  • 2 0
 @korev: Thank you. I just visualized representing country print banana hammocks or WWF leotards
  • 2 0
 @takeiteasyridehard: I'm pretty sure Rob Warner has been then...
  • 28 12
 "jerseys having to be either close fitting around the waist or tucked into pants"
"jersey shall be a long-sleeved shirt whose sleeves extend down to the rider's wrists."

Who the hell are these people? Go back to your athletics & tennis club grandpa!

How can they be so out of whack with where the sport is? How can they hit and miss time after time . . . .
  • 31 0
 Have you seen what most riders on the WC circuit wear these days? Almost all are already conforming to this.
  • 1 15
flag noplacelikeloam (Dec 16, 2022 at 10:52) (Below Threshold)
 @sino428: Not by choice.
  • 9 1
 @noplacelikeloam: I wouldnt bet on that. Racers are all about speed. Remember most of these riders were wearing skin suits before they were banned. Even if given the choice most would not be wearing any loose or baggy clothing. They would likely be wearing exactly what they are now.
  • 2 0
 @sino428: Thats a different argument and Im not 100% disagreeing with you. Choice is one thing but enforcing this as a policy is very different.
  • 4 1
 @sino428: So? Just because most already conform to the rule, doesn't mean that it is a great opportunity for a privateer to gather some attention by just looking a bit different. Difference is nice.
  • 2 0
 @noplacelikeloam: I'm really not sure what point you are trying to make. Your original post said the UCI is "out of whack with where the sport is".

If the vast majority of riders are already conforming to the policy by choice then how are they that far out of line with where the sport is?
  • 1 0
 @noplacelikeloam: I’m curious what type of clothing you would like to see racers in that this disallows. Crop tops and tank tops?
  • 2 0
 @sino428: perhaps the question is: 'Why ban something that doesn't give an advantage in racing?" My guess is that is is about cultivating an image of serious athletes competing in a serious sport. As opposed to a bunch of bros hanging out at the bike park.
But if that's the angle, I don't understand why they ban skinsuits. Thinking about other non-motorized speed sports, they all feature skin suits. Sprint runners, downhill skiers, speed skaters, bobsleigh crews, road bikers, you name it. Apparently in mountain biking image is more important than performance.
  • 3 0
 @ak-77: well there is two things here. I think your first pint is spot in. They want to make sure that riders look professional.

Skin suits is likely a few reasons. One is that riders probably don’t want to be forced to wear them, which they would be if they were allowed. Another is likely that many major sponsors are apparel companies. If everyone wears skin suits then those companies can’t advertise their kits to the audience they are trying to sell to.

At the end of the day skin suits dont add any performance benefits or advantage if everyone is wearing them.
  • 1 0
 @sino428: if it's now a rule will we see riders being disqualified because their jersey became untucked??
This is the UCI we're talking about......
  • 2 0
 @CasualTEA: yea that’s a little too much speculation for me. I just can’t see that happening.
  • 1 0
 @CasualTEA: Presumably you'll be OK as long as your belly and ass crack are covered, which seems like the intention of the rule to me.
  • 3 0
 @dthomp325: Now I'm confused. Do DH racers have to wear a bikini or not?
  • 1 0
 @sino428: Your answer illustrates my point exactly. Image trumps performance. Why else would riders not want to wear something that makes them go faster? The sponsor argument doesn't make much sense to me either. The vast majority of bike sales are trail and xc bikes, so by your reasoning they should ban double crowns and limit travel to 150 front and rear. But this is the fun thing about marketing: Winning in downhill also sells XC bikes. Go take a look on the ski slopes. What people are wearing looks nothing like what the downhill ski pros wear. Olympic 100m runners have apparel sponsors even though the shoes and suits they wear are nothing like what regular people who run would put on. Why would it be different in mountain biking? I think it is because DH is a niche sport. The only people who watch it are mountain bikers..
If you limit your target audience to people who practice the sport you will always stay a niche sport.
There's nothing wrong with being a niche sport, but since the UCI always say they want to grow the sport they might want to think a little bigger than mandating clothing that mountain bikers like to see.

Personally, I don't give a * what they wear. I just want to see them go fast a hell on a track that I would hardly dare to ride at all.
  • 13 0
 I have a hard time understanding why semi-finals points are almost equal to the Finals - seems like they should be worth about half as much.

Other than that, seems like a very positive change for us viewers (perhaps not for the riders with an extra race run though).
  • 23 12
 Get over yourselves UCI. 2024 revisions will include mandated suspension and tire pressures. "Shock pressure is not to exceed 1/4 of the rider's weight plus 50psi multiplied by the results of a dice roll observed by a UCI official." LET THE MEN AND WOMEN SHRED
  • 12 0
 3 runs in a weekend, DH almost went full Enduro
  • 3 0
 until now was timed practice, qualy and finals
  • 1 0
 @Joakinho: there is still a timed training along with the other three timed runs
  • 2 0
 So more injuries.
  • 11 3
 ....No one is commenting on the small size of the women's field? 15 riders does not leave a lot of room for growth. While there might not be same depth of field as the men, 15? I think that the international pool of women is quickly improving and there needs to be some sort of clause for a larger field as those 15 places are put under pressure, otherwise what hope is there for aspiring young shredders.
  • 5 0
 Check number of riders in woman category. There is a long cap between top riders and hobby riders
  • 4 0
 There were races where no more then 15 showed up abyways
  • 2 0
 Recently the womens field has become more competitive but it’s still usually a difference of at least 10 seconds between first and 5th. In the men’s field that’s about the same as the difference between first and 20th
  • 20 13
 This semi final is bullshit. The riders should get together and turn it into a fun run. They build up in practice and qualifying to be on the edge for one run. So instead of more events they are making the riders race twice as much without anymore incentive. Seem like a way to get everyone hurt. Imo.
  • 11 0
 except they're handing out nearly as many points for a semi win...
  • 3 4
 maybe we'll be seeing a bunch of DH athletes making the switch to XC. DH too dangerous!
  • 13 0
 Being all pent up for one make-or-break run sounds more like a recipe for injury to me. Having 2 finals puts an emphasis on consistency over outright pace.
  • 3 1
 And who’s gonna be excited to watch the semi finals? The "winner" won’t be the winner of the wc race. Some may never have enough to watch, ok. But I guess a lot of people won’t watch 2 races per weekend. Certainly not me, I‘ll just watch finals (that is if pricing is reasonable)
  • 3 0
 @owl-X: Too bad my wife isn't as generous.
  • 3 0
 @EnduroManiac: people watch multiple heats and an LCQ for Supercross. Why wouldn't it work here?
  • 2 4
 @Jimmy0: but apparently DH is so much more dangerous than SX. DH is the most dangerous occupation in the world...aaaaand, they are being forced to race.
  • 1 2
 @Jimmy0: because it’s a non-race. It’s a qualifier bis. In addition I presume most people watching sx do not ride sx. I feel it’s different for dh. Ok people may not race dh but at least be mtb riders. I will better go ride than watch qualis. I didn’t say no one would watch. But I am not convinced there will be a large audience. Future will tell.
  • 1 2
 It's extra danger as they have to do 3 full runs instead of 2. With the amount of injuries last year that's ridiculous.
  • 12 2
 oh boy, let me put some popcorn on the microwave.
  • 7 0
 Get an air popper. They are awesome.
  • 65 0
 Top tip: put the popcorn in the microwave instead of on it and you'll get a better result.
  • 2 0
 @Pedal-Bin: can you also roast coffee with an air popper? That's really the only reason I have a traditional popcorn maker
  • 5 2
 @st-alfie: hahhaha, spitting coffee moment.
  • 2 0
 @grnmachine02: Yes, yes you can. But eventually it will burn up in a poof of coffee smoke and then what. I guess you could always buy another popper (but have you seen what they go for on ebay when marketed to coffee nerds), or worst case spring for the fancy model with internal cable routing...
  • 10 1
 Do we have the privilege of paying to watch both the semi-finals and finals?
  • 7 1
 I really hope the downhill/enduro division of the UCI would have a former rider running the show. A Steve Peat or someone would be ideal for improving the show. The riders Union is the most positive news for the next coming years. The ability for riders to protest decisions from the UCI and discovery is really positive.
  • 1 3
 A Mr. Rob Warner perhaps…?
  • 6 0
 Does anyone know what sort or process the UCI went through to come up with these new rules?
Who did they consult? Were any riders/teams approached and asked for input?
Surely it's the people doing the racing that should have the most input on how the format should be evolving?

@brianpark @mikekazimer either of you know who/if any riders were consulted?
  • 2 1
 Didn't they just consult a certain comment section?
  • 21 0
 NO ONE
  • 1 0
 @bernardkerr: Yeah thats not at all surprising.

After todays announcement of the huge fee increases, maybe a breakaway, rider led racing series with no UCI involvement could materialise eventually...
  • 6 1
 2024 new rules.. Riders must wear only black underwear. White socks are no longer acceptable. Only 2 toilet breaks per day are permitted. The use of white pasta spirals will no longer be permitted All bikes must be made with T25 bolts throughout only. The use of a BOWA system is only permitted with black shoes No fluorescent colors shall be worn Pedal pins shall not be longer than 6.26mm Thanks for making too many rules UCI. Long sleeves only .. are you serious! Removing freedom of choice
  • 4 0
 Full send twice or three times a weekend
Consistency over full send

I see:
we get more to watch
A lot more injuries
Times in finals getting even tighter
Therefore more injuries on live broadcast
Troy B wins the World Cup as he gets too 3 every time he drops
Fab B goes even more nuts at the party
  • 1 0
 I raced 3 different 12 hr DH races at Telluride and Angelfire. You could ride multiple trails, but the fastest guys focused on the fastest course, the World Cup trails at both venues. For the 2 Telluride races, I was on a Duo Pro team, so at least we got breaks, but also attacked harder. Rode Pro Solo in Angelfire...really required some pacing and strategy, but all of us were absolutely pinning it all day! Milan Geis and I completed 76 laps between 8am and 8pm in the Fall, meaning the last 2ish hrs were in the dark. I ended up doing 40+ laps as I did all the night laps (no lighting on course, had to use lights). Posted the 2 fastest dark runs of the field, after shredding off and on all day.

3 runs in a weekend is laughable...
  • 5 0
 point changes are fine, whatever, 3 runs in a weekend: eh not ideal. but mandating the clothing seems absurd. Why does it matter what they wear??
  • 9 1
 Probably somewhat for safety but mostly because this is a professional sport and they don't want people looking like slobs. Same reason every other sport has uniform/clothing rules.
  • 4 0
 They ruled out speedsuits initially because no one wanted to wear them stylistically but they had an undeniable aero advantage.
  • 3 0
 So instead of actually putting on more races, they just more or less just turned the whole season into the 2020 COVID double headers... The semi final points seem too high. It's basically just two finals... With two identical high stakes races, riders will show their cards in the semi, and then the super final will be a bit boring
  • 5 2
 Any of you who are agreeing with the double race run format clearly have no idea what it's like to race downhill at a high level. How dangerous it is, how mentally taxing the one run can be. This sports being fucked in front of our eyes and yall are complicit
  • 5 2
 So basically they’re going back to the protected rider rules from a couple years ago that everyone hated? Being protected for a season takes some of the thrill out of the racing.
  • 5 1
 For finals, it's only the top 5 men and top 3 women that are protected though. This leaves plenty of spots for others.
  • 2 1
 Not if you want to win - it only gets you into semis.
  • 5 0
 More televised runs is all good....until you have to listen to poor commentary the whole time.
  • 6 0
 You will wear the ski suit. You will love the skin suit.
  • 2 1
 Earthed 3?
  • 1 0
 @vinay: I’m going to have to watch them again. I can’t remember
  • 1 0
 @sunringlerider: Yeah, it were the subtitles under some very strict looking officer. I think it must have been Earthed 3. Would have to watch it again indeed, it's been a while!
  • 1 0
 @vinay: exactly. It’s probably been 10 years since I’ve watched those.
  • 1 0
 @sunringlerider: Where did you get the quote from then. It reminded me of the Earthed video, but is it a common saying in native English as it apparently isn't a (conscious) Earthed reference?
  • 1 0
 @sunringlerider: Ah, I see it is being streamed:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiA-P_ZcDwE

37:21 and 37:32
  • 1 0
 @vinay: now I’m confused. Yes I was referencing earthed, but there are 5 and I couldn’t remember what number it was. Like Earthed 3 or Earthed 4.
  • 1 0
 @sunringlerider: Did you see the link and time stamps in my post above yours? That's from Earthed 3.
  • 5 0
 queue the Brits giggling about short pants in 3...2...
  • 3 2
 Disclaimer: I am not the biggest race fan in the PB community at all. However, as a matter of course I try to keep a toe in the door because it's part of the greater sport I like to participate in.

However, much like PB articles, UCI needs to get a proofreader or a review before they go to print. And I should probably turn the ocd down a bit. I can imagine this is but one annoying example of things sprinkled throughout the rule book:

"Long pants or short pants combined with suitable knee and shin protection are authorised. *OK
"Such long or short pants should be of a type that is specifically designed and sold for use in BMX Racing or Mountain Bike downhill events. Long pants of the type described above must be of one-piece construction and made of tear-resistant material. *OK
"They should cover the entire length of both legs until just above the shoe or ankle. *OK, but isn't that just pants. Pass, I guess.
"Short pants of the type described above must be of one-piece construction and made of tear-resistant material. *OK
"They should be worn together with suitable leg protection, that covers the entire knee and the entire shin until just above the ankle. *WHAT? Is it "short pants combined with protection or you should wear protection but don't have to?

Also, I don't recall seeing much or any footage of WC DH riders wearing shorts ever. And don't many of them wear at least knee pads under their pants? They should just say long pants and the knee and elbow pad of the rider's choosing. That way everyone is wearing protection but it can be G-Forms if they want.

Signed,
Just some bleacher-clown talking junk about stuff he knows not much about.
  • 1 0
 I noticed that as well, quite interesting the chose the word “should” instead of recommend or must/require. Could easily lead to a racer understanding the word “should” as a recommendation while the commissary in the start gate understands it as required.
  • 3 0
 What qualifies as one piece construction? Would fly racing
Pants be out? But more importantly what do you have against my zip offs.
  • 5 0
 How did they not ban orange forks though?
  • 3 0
 Dear Pinkbike, I know it's pedantic but please can you stop saying things will be 'broadcasted'. The word you're looking for is 'broadcast'. Thanks.
  • 1 0
 Adding a semi final round will help ensure the best and most consistent riders make the final and compete for the win. It will also remove some excitement with lesser known riders having a harder time to podium. Sooo... more fair but less interesting?
  • 2 0
 Anyone else notice the Pinkbike hacks coming into bat for ESO and the UCI in the comments?

Maybe Discovery/ESO lent on them after the disastrous Q&A with Chris Ball.

Doesn’t bode well at all.
  • 1 0
 So more biased towards consistency in the semi plus finals format and a switch the pay per view so why gives a f_ck about all the other stuff. It's not like we don't already sponsor this shit enough by the extortionate prices we pay for components and bikes. f_ck the UCI.
  • 1 0
 Adding another round for each stop aka semi's, it's taking one of the most physically demanding, high risk sports and putting more on those athletes in the name of profit! I hope that something comes along and challenges UCI for DH but I'm not holding my breath.
  • 1 0
 If it’s going to to be pay per view will riders benefit from us the viewers paying towards this or will it go to lining someone else’s pockets? From previous articles rider salaries range from great to a pittance.
  • 15 10
 Bring back skinsuits!!!
  • 1 0
 Nah...we want more skin!
  • 4 0
 I need to know how these changes will effect the Fantasy League?
  • 4 0
 Good news for the semi-final that will be broadcasted!
  • 4 0
 Denim mtb specific pants coming soon
  • 4 0
 and what about riders union? was they involved to create this rules?
  • 13 0
 not at all !
  • 3 0
 @cambal: Blimey Cam - and it doesn't sound like you're happy with it either.
  • 7 0
 @thingswelike: not really haha
  • 9 0
 We heard nothing....
  • 2 0
 Still plenty of time before racing starts next year, could be time for the riders union to make their presence felt and push for some changes…….
  • 4 0
 Bernard's gonna be pissed about no short sleeves next year...
  • 2 0
 Might be offset by the fact that he's protected for the full year though!
  • 2 0
 There’s a requirement for full length knee/shin guards, this completely at odds with the current fashion of knee pads only.
  • 1 1
 Shin guards when wearing shorts. Nobody wears shorts in DH anymore so a moot point.
  • 1 0
 I don’t read the rules as requiring that, it says “should” not must. There are other places in the rules the UCI chose ‘required’ and ‘must’ so the wording here doesn’t seem to mean compulsory knee/shin protection. It seems a bit vague.
Where can tall people find pants or knee/shin pads long enough to fit “just above the ankle?”
  • 1 0
 Full length shin guards belong in the grave they were put in during the early 2000's. I can't even find knee guards to fit my manly legs... Mind you I'm about 10 pints, 50lb and 2yrs of intense training from a WC so...
  • 1 0
 Never understood the hate for full coverage shin guards, my shin guards are covered with deep scratches from the pins from my pedal.
  • 1 0
 @kingbike2: I abandoned meat catchers long ago for clips, so there's no need.
  • 1 0
 Fark me, TLBig Grin R. Doesn’t matter either way since we won’t be able to stream it without buying DiscoveryDisney$ubsctiptionPlu$. The UCI is yet again killing the competitive side of the sport as they wank over to F1.
  • 2 0
 57th in qualifying will continue to receive 4 points while 21st through 56th and 58th through 60th receive 0
  • 2 0
 looks like they struck those and moved those points to semifinals... when the first look at the rulebook shows draft changes you KNOW this is gonna go smoothly!
  • 5 5
 The lack of exact similarity between genders, as well as a the lack of movement towards more than a binary, is gross and boring. no discussion necessary. make it all the same.
  • 1 0
 Prayer emoji
  • 1 0
 Can anyone tell me a reason for a clothing regulation?
I will miss crazy british guys flying down the hill in tracksuit pants :'(
  • 3 0
 There go Laurie's plans to race in a wetsuit Frown
  • 3 0
 Soooo... the World Cup series isn't canceled?
  • 2 0
 I think a lot of managers will be dropping some of the Elite men and picking up junior men/ women to get better TV time.
  • 4 1
 Is it allowed to use someelses drinking bottle?
  • 3 1
 There will be one single drinking bottle for everyone to share. That's the most fair way. To drink from your own bottle and not share, that's highly suspicious.
  • 1 0
 Only for enduro bros who have an ill team mate to blame
  • 2 0
 Doerfling is NEVER gonna race now! Godamnit UCI! #sunsoutgunsout #tanktoplife
  • 3 0
 F*** you I wont do what you tell me.
  • 4 1
 Awful format. Breakaway from UCI
  • 3 1
 Why does @chris ball hate mtb so much? he seems to be on a one man mission to make it as joyless as possible
  • 1 0
 tagged wrong Chris m8
  • 1 0
 @chris: Haha, sorry dude. I didnt expect it to actually tag anyone real.
  • 3 2
 I would love to see a two run final format scored like two motos in a motocross race.
  • 2 1
 So what's the list of the protected riders to start the season? Sorry, too lazy to look up the season ending rankings....
  • 2 2
 Cami, Myriam, Holl, Hoffman, Elonora. Amuary, Lois, Finn, Kolb, Kerr.
  • 2 0
 @Lumenous1: Isn't it only the top 3 women protected though?
  • 4 1
 So...no jeans???
  • 3 0
 ...RiP Jean's and a TShirt
  • 1 0
 Keep your jeans high & tight!!
  • 2 0
 The Jersey thing is stupid
  • 1 0
 So just sell some on xyz online store... Then their allowed.
  • 2 1
 Feel sorry for racers who are unprotected and have to go all out for 3 races runs
  • 1 0
 Shorts are allowed , i hope the guys/girls will bring back the good old downhill style
  • 1 0
 Now we need some rules changes for the XC that riders don't skip many of the races to compete only for the world champs.
  • 1 0
 The ladies should have there own series like they do in football rugby netball ect
  • 1 0
 Good thing. The f1 qualif system is way more fun than before. It will be the same the the dh.
  • 2 1
 Nobody is going to ask why the women get fewer points than the men per race?
Is that really necessary?
  • 1 0
 So if you wear pants you don’t need any knee pads, if you wear shorts, knee pads are required?
  • 1 0
 Yo does anyone know, where u can watch the WC?
  • 2 1
 I thought lyrcra was already banned?
  • 6 0
 They’ve removed the language around banning Lycra.
  • 21 31
flag Sethimus (Dec 16, 2022 at 10:17) (Below Threshold)
 ladies and gentlemen, american literacy
  • 30 4
 Ladies and gentlemen, Swiss capitalization and punctuation.
  • 1 0
 @MillerReid You're right, it was. It looks like they un-banned the material itself but instead used language around how the clothes are designed/marketed: must be DH/BMX-sepcific, tear resistant bottoms, no road-specific clothes, no skinsuits etc.
  • 3 0
 @mi-bike: This is a direct result of their neutral position regarding grammatical disputes.
  • 3 5
 I am understanding of most of these changes, the long sleeve only is a little whack, but I can understand they need to standardize everything at some point if they ever want to reach the F1 level
  • 8 0
 A million miles from F1.
  • 3 4
 @noplacelikeloam: at least one step closer to a better sport
  • 4 0
 @noplacelikeloam: Excuse me, but Jordan Williams has 2 F1 teams for a name, so we have moved .05 micron closer to parity.
  • 3 1
 @Joakinho: How? How is this one step closer to a better sport?

Its 5 steps backwards from a sport that was already great
  • 1 0
 No mention of the UCI changing their dumb fines!
  • 2 0
 Bring back the skinsuit!
  • 1 0
 Current mtb pants are close.
I actually have few pairs and they actually get too baggy after the stretch(during riding) thinking indeed to start sizing down
  • 3 0
 Steve Peat's view of skinsuits is expressed very eloquently in one of the Earthed videos, if I remember correctly.
  • 1 0
 I welcome the return of knee/ full shin options.
  • 1 1
 Yeah, scrolled all the way down for this. How many riders currently rock this combo currently?
  • 2 0
 @vinay: I have some Sweet Protection knee/shin guards, I wear them on DH bikes…
I’m also quite old.
  • 1 0
 EWS now included in UCI WC events!!
  • 1 0
 Sun's out Guns(arms) out, unless your racing world cup dh.
  • 1 0
 This new format sounds good to me!
  • 1 1
 no shorts?
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