Video: Dean Lucas, Wyn & Ed Masters Discuss the Junior Race Cancellation, State of Downhill & More

Sep 2, 2023 at 6:33
by Ed Spratt  

bigquotesJoin us as we chat all things downhill and how it's dying from here in Loudenvielle where the juniors race has been completely cancelled due to mud....

We are getting a bit stuck in a negative pattern with some of this reporting from the World Cups this year but it would seem there's some spicy things to keep talking about.

We dive into the state of Downhill with the Masters Brothers as well as having the Number 1 qualifier and now technically World Cup Loudenvielle Junior winner, Ryan Pinkerton jump in. Followed by an absolute OG of the game Flo Payet who gives his take on wet races as he has seen and been a part of some of the most memorable races in the sports history. (Which were wet).

Hope you enjoy, sorry for the negativity! We are just concerned for the sport, sue us.
Dean Lucas

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Member since Mar 16, 2017
2,851 articles

  • 134 3
 We need more people like these guys!
And please Redbull, make a good alternative race series and Discovery/ESO/UCI can finally f*ck off
  • 35 25
 Well if redbull wanted it, why did they get rid of it? People forget there was a large amount of people used to whine and complain about how they did things. It has got worse now, but people forget about how it was quickly. Riders never got paid much back then either. Riders had a chance to get a union together, then they couldn't be bothered. So what do people expect‍♂️ genuine effort needs putting in by the riders. Group together to force a change. Without that, it wont
  • 13 8
 @endorium: The good thing is, if Redbull did a race series of their own, everybody so inclined could watch that, listen to Warner screaming “look at the time” and “in the green so” for hours, and would hopefully stop whining about the downhill worldcup.
  • 10 6
 @FuzzyL: red bull is 100% better than what we have now, but people forget it had similar issues. Rider pay etc. What I said won't be popular, but it's not wrong either ‍♂️
  • 14 3
 Discovery came in with duffle bags oozing with cash, Red Bull said screw it, we'll go dominate Formula One for a bit. Once we all lose interest then they can buy back the DH rights at a bargain price. The riders need to form a union, or start an independent series.
  • 15 1
 @Bomadics: agreed, theybuad their chance with the union then noone got involved. They can't all complain but also not do anything when they had the chance.
  • 4 1
 Stop with Redbull, they aren’t the answer.
The Saudi thing is obviously a non starter as they deal in money making not loss but I would pay a couple of hundred a year for a series run properly that actually rewards the riders
  • 4 1
 RedBull got the brand, the recognition and association. For cheap. Why would they possibly do it now? They do it as a business. They were outbid by WBD.
  • 15 4
 I don't really understand why people think Redbull would be better. A lot of the criticism of the UCI centres around the fact that Downhill is a minor sport to them and they don't understand it, or pay the same level of attention to it as road racing. How would that be better under Red Bull which is involved in some of the biggest sports in the world?

There has also been plenty of prior criticism of the main MTB event they do organise (Rampage) regarding rider welfare, the rewards available to the riders, the validity of the results, and the dumbing down of the course. Sound familiar?

I am no particular fan of the UCI, there may be better options for someone else to run a DH world cup but I don't see any evidence that Red Bull are the people I want to do it.
  • 11 3
 @elbandido77: I mean the evidence is the last decade or so that was run alot better for free through redbull. There was certainly room for improvement but you would be hard pressed to find someone who thinks the series and the coverage of the series has been better this year than any of the years redbull ran it.
  • 4 1
 @Henrito: but they still reported to UCI
  • 7 0
 @Henrito: you're talking about coverage though, not the actual organisation of the races. They didn't run the races, the UCI has been doing that for a lot longer than 10 years
  • 5 4
 @elbandido77: well RB did like 10 years of DH and it was always great, WB is half way through the first season and its already a shitshow so the ods are heavy on RBs side. Also DH will never be really huge, its like climbing, people who do not climb dont understand the lifestyle linked to it and dh is the same, add enduro to it as well. While dh is not huge, the fans love for the sport is huge and WB is seriously messing with that as we are losing interest quckly, for the past few years I've seen most of the races, this year I was only really hyped for this race as the track looks really great and now they are debating if its safe to race. andorra looked way more dangereous with flat out boombed track but what does riders opinion matter...
  • 11 0
 @winko: RB was the broadcaster, unless I misunderstand how the races are run their involvement was limited to TV coverage and sponsorship of individual riders

Good and bad decisions about course design, race formats, venue choice, weather, and any of those things were not being made by Red Bull for the last ten years. Perhaps the broadcaster has some influence but they were not the race organiser.

I'm happy to be corrected. I don't really understand the argument people are making because I think they're conflating two different things
  • 3 1
 @elbandido77: I believe you are correct. Redbull had the broadcast rights but they were not the organizers of the series like discovery is now.
  • 3 0
 @sino428: to what extent are Discovery acting as race organiser? I don't have a clear understanding
  • 4 0
 Ok I just googled that. The races are now organised by ESO, which is owned by Discovery, so it is a different structure than previously when the races were presumably organised by the UCI themselves (Or by whom?)
  • 5 0
 @elbandido77: we really need some clarification on that, what is the relationship between people who build track, eso, and do they seriously get all of the paperwork, staff and everything done for each race?
  • 7 0
 @winko: yep. PB could write a piece on how the structure of the sport changed this year and how it impacts decision making

Might improve the quality of some of the debateSmile
  • 5 0
 @elbandido77: As the broadcaster, Red Bull had a lot of say in what was going to make a good ‘show.’ This is where a lot of the complaints about hyper-fast bikepark tracks came from- RB wanted high speed racing with tight results to make for a good show, and bikeparks tend to provide the infrastructure needed to support the whole circus. The success of the show then becomes a metric to judge the health of the sport, and have contributed to decisions in the past like reducing male qualifiers from 80 to 60.

All broadcast events are formatted around things like commercial breaks and broadcast windows… so RB and WBD might not have official rule making control the way UCI does, but their ability to influence the race format puts a lot of de facto control in their hands.

I hope that makes sense.
  • 2 0
 @elbandido77: Im talking about both. The riders are much more vocally dissatisfied this year than any other year so they're obviously not happy with the organisation of the events.
  • 1 0
 Red Bull has been broadcasting the Crankworx series with Rob and Eliot commenting. If that what makes the racing for you then you can get your fix
  • 1 0
 @elbandido77: there was quite a few articles about it in the off season when it all went down
  • 2 1
 Red Bull Hard Line World Series Plez
  • 2 0
 It will be up to the bike Industry and Redbull to step up ultimately, they're the ones making the most money off it and they'll be pissed off if shit goes wrong and it all gets canceled. If a bunch of races get canceled and Finn can't have a glorious season finish the Specilized is going to be pissed. Commencal will be pissed if Benoit and Thibaut don't get their chance to have a win here. UCI are trying to focus on the teams so it's up for these company's to come out and say they don't like this shit, they're putting a lot of money into it and for a race to be cancelled is very expensive.
  • 2 0
 @winko: Dh is extremely good to watch though. I love watching random shit that I don't do like surfing, car racing, motorbike racing, football, rugby. Hell I even watch a dude in Australia going camping and fishing. If you make a good product there is a market.
  • 3 0
 Its not that simple. Its all one big system. Uci, olympic comittee, national bike associations are all one network in a way. If you race outside a national or uci ruled race whilst being a license racer, the rules somewhere say that you cannot race in a uci governed race. You cannot become national champion then. You will be disqualified and fined and banned. You could say i dont care but then you cut yourself and someone else will win national champs for ex. Its political at the end. Like professional policy (not union but associations for gp, or lawyers, or accounting - nor unions!). People get involved and it becomes about power and not so much content). And as has been said, top riders look at money and will most probably not go along with a hard confrontation with their employers. The top riders will perform well always. Rules and conditions wont hurt them as much as middle field. The upper class have made it. They dont care. But its important to never forget where you came from. I find it hard to understand where Bruni stands on this. On the Rob Warner after show he said something like, that top riders should get best conditions and the field might need to get divided, or along those lines. Seems to prove my point/ or be one of its origins. Also it has been said here that Minnar could say something but doesn’t. I feel that way too. Also Myriam Nicole. Those two as far as I remember sit in the uci or so and represent the riders (w/m) but when rumours started arising last year about this year, no info trickled down. Those two seemed to sit in on meetings and take that info homw with them exclusively. That’s crap, they might habe got voted into that position, if not, vote a proper representative team (consisting of team, mechanics, rider, fan??) representative and push for a veto system. Or like in the dean lucas and wyn brothers interview, get the riders and teams into the track building!!! A self ruled race series would probably be best. Sounds like anarchy but they are right. Riders know what’s rideable. But only the „old racers“!! Masters are both seniors, so is retired payet and lucas. Barel would be good to but ofcourse gets paid more ar canyon. Unfortunately in a few years time, no racer will remember wet mud races and then the sport will have lost its core. Many topics in this post but hope it helps and inspires other comments to come up! Cheers
  • 1 2
 @deray: Been thinking along the same lines lately.... Maybe it's actually now time for a "Super G" type of DH, maybe a Red Bull hard line'esque world series for the elite of the elite?

An the UCI WC DH as we know it now, stays for female, juniors, privateers an up an coming riders. Smaller, new bike companies?

(Not that females, juniors an privateers shouldn't be allowed in the "Super G" but again.. the elite of the elite)
  • 1 0
 @Rudy2455: thank you. That is a good explanation
  • 2 0
 I could imagine some sort of leagues/ divisions… if you want to create more room for fairness within a certain group. World Cup is the top elite racers anf world series is the second league world class riders. Just like ews had the ews, ews100, ews80… that way the newly used term downhill world series would also make more sense. Because no one talks about winning a dh world series race. Its still a world cup (series/ overall). But i think to reach world cup speed and work your way up the ranks, be spotted, be somewhat comparable, you would ideally need same day, at least same track conditions for everyone. Or: just a few seasons. Its normal. A wonder kid like goldstone can jump straight in, most normal world level racers need a few seasons to reach their highest level. Riders should on the other hand know the rules of their sport. Some dont seem to. There should be a riders committee, a protocol about rescue safety. On the other hand, why change the System at all? It worked on the event level fine until now. Maybe look at entry numbers… with more people in mtbking, i would think more are entering races too. Add a pro racer/ real experience expert committee, add a safety protocol, add a track change/ building team, add a communication team, make it transparent, cant be that hard. More than enough ideas in the comments. Someone will…!!!
  • 2 0
 @deray: an make it a WORLD series too, not just the uci euro venues.
  • 4 1
 @FuzzyL: Pointing out that a series is being run badly and television coverage has also declined is not whining. It's a legitimate complaint from fans of the sport. Evidently junior and elite level riders have legitimate complaints about the running of the series. Are we calling Wyn, Ed, Dean and Ryan whiners?

The number of PB comments calling people "babies" or "whiners" or whatever by people who are evidently happy to watch a decline in the sport is laughable.

Everything is Fine with Downhill. Everything is just fine.
  • 1 1
 @naptime: ready: ResBull don’t care. It’s just money and return on investment for them.
  • 2 0
 @RHSGuy: I dunno man.. there's more to money when athletes get the elusive red bull lid. Look at the way they looked after Paul Bass
  • 1 1
 @naptime: true but their bottom line is profit. Why would they invest however much when they already have market share from their previous investment.
Just think how much they already invested and how much it would have cost them up against WBD. It is a no brainer from a business sense (ROI)
How they looked after Paul Bas is from a person that had the power to decide to do that within RB. Not the collective RB
  • 2 0
 @RHSGuy: so the 'red bull centre for spine injury research' is maybe just a marketing gimmick? I th?nk they looked after Bulldog too??
I think RB do a better job of looking after thier atheletes that warner brothers ever will....... guess we'll have to wait an see? but, I won't be holding my breath.....
  • 2 1
 @naptime: You actually think they’ll ever get more people out of a wheel chaiemr then they brought into it?

And of course it’s marketing, what else would a corporation use something like that for?
  • 2 0
 @FuzzyL: well thats eerrrr one way of looking at it...... I'm pretty sure there's a lot more than redbull attracting riders to want to be the fastest in the world or a free ride champion....
an the marketing must be working wondes if not that most of the people that drink red bull an finance(d) the WC coverage haven't been any near a sport of any kind let alone an MTB
  • 1 2
 @naptime: they are protecting their investment. They are a business, clearly you have some hope that some businesses have heart. I don’t.
  • 1 2
 @naptime: yes, that is how it works. Brand, icon, inspiration and aspiration. Unless RedBull actually does give you wings (I believe that have had to change that slogan) they associate with sports and rad humans. Humans are dumb enough to be taken in by it. It’s called psychology and marketing abuses it.
  • 2 1
 @RHSGuy: thanx for educating on how influence an buisness works....................... But your point about RB doesn't care it's just money. is just false.. an I'm not a RB fan by any means. They actaully have a centre for spinal research......... but I guess that's just marketing eh
  • 1 2
 @naptime: it’s protecting their assets. Their business.
I’ll educate you more if you want
  • 2 0
 @RHSGuy: really................
  • 1 1
 @naptime: you may take yourself very seriously. It’s probably being a tractor boy Smile (I’m one)
  • 69 0
 I think going behind a paywall has killed the sport, personally I’ve watched the DH for years. This year is not the same.
  • 6 0
 Yes, it can only be bad for the sport, marginalizing it even more than it already is.
  • 9 23
flag FuzzyL (Sep 2, 2023 at 9:41) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah, it killed football and Formula 1, it will also kill downhill… not.
  • 16 2
 @FuzzyL: Football and Formula 1 both had a truly massive following on free to air TV for many years (Decades?) before they went behind the paywalls. MTB doesn't have that following and now being behind paywalls , most probably never will have the chance to.
  • 9 4
 It’s not the paywall that’s the issue, it’s that nobody wants to pay for a shite product. If you had to pay for it in freecaster or red bull days I’m sure most would
  • 3 5
 @mooreoutdoors: True for football, but F1 basically always was a niche sport, and is now probably more popular than ever, even though it is behind a paywall.
  • 7 0
 @FuzzyL: Dunno, it was always hugely popular and widely followed on TV in NZ when I was a kid in the 70's and 80's?
  • 6 2
 @mooreoutdoors: 100% correct. The comparison to formula 1 and football/soccer is laughable.
  • 3 1
 @mooreoutdoors: I don't think MTB would gain much more following from being on Redbull TV either. There were not exactly many people on that platform if they were not there for one specific event or video. Now MTB is behind a paywall, but on a platform (/channel) that actually has a larger audience "just browsing for something to watch" that may come across it.
So while I disagree with many of the showrunning decisions (semifinals, commentators, cancelling this junior race...), I don't think the paywall is the actual issue. It might only be a lateral move instead of an improvement, but I see bigger potential than redbull TV offered.
  • 3 0
 Nix semis so you can get finals out from behind a paywall and livestream on YouTube and fund it with huge sponsors like Mercedes freaking Benz. Hmmm…has this been done before?
  • 2 1
 sign up through an apple account, request refund through apple as not working(clearly) tada, money back an you get to watch the DH.
  • 3 1
 It's still free though, just need some Tiz! I've watched every race this year. If they were making good changes I would gladly pay them but ..
  • 2 1
 Agreed, used to look forward to watching every race, at the time or catch up, was always enjoyable. I just haven’t bothered this year after watching some of the first race coverage on YouTube…I’m not going pay for coverage that is worse than previous years…would have coughed up if it had been a step up.
  • 3 1
 The paywall killed the sport? I don't know. These Earthed dvds weren't free, but the racing was still pretty good.
  • 8 0
 I haven’t missed a race since 2008 , this is the first year I haven’t watched
  • 2 0
 @CamT: same really. I reckon consistently since '09/'10 I've watched every race. And being in Australia for most of that time meant I had full media black out bans through Sunday and Monday until I had time to sit down and watch. Friends who weren't riders used to come round and watch with me as it was a well put together product.

This year I've watched replays, but not on official channels and not with anywhere near same enthusiasm, missed the odd race here and there too. The coverage is not as good and it's a real quantity over quality. I've not watched any of the women's races either as I don't have time to cover it all and I used to watch all their races. With a young daughter it's pretty shit to see them cut the amount of female riders, so we see less women doing less riding. Laughable 'progression' of the sport - but remember when most brands talk about 'progression' what they mean is more profit, not necessarily a better sport for fans. They could be the same thing, but not always.
  • 2 0
 @CamT: There has been some good racing tbh, it's a shame the UCI has messed it all up
  • 1 0
 @bikes-arent-real: "Feature not a bug"
  • 1 0
 @FuzzyL: definitely hasn’t killed F1. F1’s streaming service(F1TV) doesn’t suck. It’s very very good actually. Tons of archive races, documentaries and additional race coverage and shows.
  • 56 0
 Thanks guys for stepping up and also bringing this out super quick . Lets stay critical , and provide constructive opinions for the sport.
  • 4 0
 Thanks for being a voice
  • 36 6
 It seems like opinions are divided on this topic around the pits.
They’re is a camp of riders who argue that they are not being compensated enough to risk an injury on a course that is marginally rideable. There is also a group who would argue that a dusty blazingly fast track is more inherently dangerous than a sloppy bog of a track.

In this case we have to consider that juniors are not old enough to make a call to race or not race and have that responsibility land on their shoulders. If someone gets severely injured and the question comes up afterwards “should this race have been canceled” where does the liability for that injury land.

These are dark days for the sport but this is also a sign of the growth of the sport into a bigger arena where bigger players have more money invested, and risk tolerance begins to shift.

The overall has always been the most important title because it is awarded to the rider who achieves the best result over a variety of conditions through the season. If you strip away the windy days, rainy days, and potentially snowy days this October you’ll end up with a vanilla race series. The racing will have a bias towards guys that grow up in dry areas or teams which have the fastest hardware.

The riders need a legal body to represent themselves, one which can absolve the race organizers of their responsibility to look after the welfare of the riders. This will allow the riders to make the call to race or not race and hopefully also allow them to be compensated fairly for the risk they take and to look after them when they have a season altering injuries.

I hate the thought of a rider walk out because every season of racing means so much to the development of young riders. However, it’s hard to imagine any positive change right now unless the riders demand control or a new governing body can put a professional series together.
  • 4 2
 Anyone saying they aren’t paid enough to race in challenging conditions….pretty weak lmao. Is that really what’s going around?

Who is saying that?
  • 8 4
 If juniors aren't old enough to decide if they should race or not maybe all gaps should be banned for junior racing and a speed limit of 20km/h established, as then they probably also don't know which jumps they can hit or how fast they can go... Also they did practice on the very track they were going to race so I guess if there's someone who can tell if it's raceable it's them.
  • 2 7
flag DylanH93 (Sep 2, 2023 at 12:52) (Below Threshold)
 Isn't the "juniors" just U23? Plenty of them are adults. You could argue they shouldn't be able to race in the first place, totally disagree with that. And they had a chance to do the union and couldn't come to an agreement.
  • 10 5
 It seems part of it is riders and mountain bike media suddenly realising hot takes and spicy attitudes get more clicks and views. (e.g. Pinkbike's video from last week being "Should this race have been cancelled?")

There are definitely things that are worse this year than they have been in the past for various reasons, but even when things are good people are still finding reasons to complain. One pro rider made a post saying that this week's track was one of the best they'd ridden, but even within that still had a dig at the UCI because it was "probably nothing to do with them" that it was good. If, even when things are undeniably good riders are complaining, how do you work out what's a legitimate or constructive complaint and what's just whining or being sour for views?

The relentless negativity from some riders and fans (see: all the people who saw the course preview a little while back and immediately started saying it was a terrible track, yet racers are saying it's the best they've ridden in a long time) is justified in some cases, but it seems that no matter what happens in any aspect of the races from organisation to broadcasting to whatever, people are just bitching and complaining.

With no rider union and no unified front, if the most vocal pros are just relentlessly sour then soon enough nobody in a position of power will listen to them at all because the signal to noise ratio will be screwed. We've been in a position for years where the UCI don't really listen to riders, but that's only going to get worse if this vibe continues.

It's like the boy who cried wolf, except this time the boy is just crying about everything.
  • 5 0
 @DylanH93: Under 18.
  • 4 0
 Just because (some of) the juniors aren’t old enough to make (some) legal decisions autonomously, does not mean that they shouldn’t at least be asked what their opinion is! The people making the decision legally (be it a union, the UCI, ESO) need to factor in what the riders want. Being a minor does not mean you don’t have a voice.
  • 23 2
 Digging a bigger pit hole for themselves, one thing is listening to the fans, but when the riders speak up they need to listen. True what Ed said about enduro too, i used to love watching it but it seems to be none-existent now, if it wasn’t for the pros YouTube channels I probably wouldn’t even follow it. ( understandable that DH on the same weekend was always going to take the limelight )
  • 24 3
 I'd love to see someone dethrone UCI as the top level of DH racing... I know that would (probably)never happen but I can dream, can't I?!?
  • 6 0
 Let's start a petition to leave UCI
  • 6 0
 Not necessary. We’re beyond that. The question is how.
  • 9 0
 It’d be interesting to know who’s actually making the calls. The communication comes out through the UCI channels, but is it the UCI, the race organisers or the broadcasters putting pressure on to cancel? Let’s not forget it was the UCI who governed all the wet races thatve gone down history over the years too. My hunch is it’s the broadcasters who don’t want a slow shit looking slop fest on their screens.
  • 1 0
 @oatkinso: the UCI put the broadcaster in place though, right? (Genuine q) And the previous broadcaster no doubt also had sway but theirs was positive rather than cynical.
  • 4 0
 @ThomDawley: I suppose Discovery outbid Redbull and were awarded the rights yeah. Max Rendal made the point in comments on insta that the track didn’t look any different to a standard SDA race, so the decision to cancel seems perculiar given that Chris Ball and Ruaridh Cunningham are at the top of ESO. Again, this points to the broadcasters holding sway.
  • 4 0
 It would take a big collective middle finger to the UCI and a solid plan for an alternative top level competition. I think riders/teams have run into a bit of a trap as their sponsorship contracts probably explicitly require them to to compete in the UCI WC races. They'd probably fail to meet their obligations if they'd choose the alternative instead. And with several of these contracts spanning multiple years, it would be kind of difficult to make the jump. Ideally, this alternative series would be run in parallel to the UCI series so that riders could gradually transition and get sponsors to trust this alternative too but I thought there was a UCI rule that athletes competing in the UCI WC can't compete in another competition in the same discipline. Crankworx would be an option but the King and Queen of the series is more of a all-round title so having specialists (DH in this case) focus on only the DH races exclusively would kind of mess up the event. If this rule indeed in place (that UCI DH competitors can't compete in another world DH series) then it would probably make most sense if a judge would wipe that rule. After all, the UCI is clearly abusing it's position, keeping specialist athletes locked in a series whilst clearly ignoring their voices. It isn't even in DH exclusively. Have they ever responded to Martin Whiteley and the riders after they changed the start order rule last minute for the XC World Championships?
  • 24 1
 Has anyone seen Chris Ball since this fiasco started?
  • 38 0
 He's still in counselling from the "Ask me anything" debacle.
  • 3 1
 Cash Ball
  • 20 1
 Cancelling a DH race for mud is so dumb. Everyone loves riding in mud. Sure it is harder but after the race you all talk about how sick it was. Real problem here is going forward. If this race is cancelled and the next 2 races are in North America in rainy season. Pretty much they are getting cancelled right. So why would the euros send teams at a huge cost to their companies send riders to those races. That probably will get cancelled cause it’s dangerous. Imagine snowshoe rocks covered in green slime or Stevie rock in frozen rain. Let the riders ride. The track will dictate the way u ride it due to conditions. Bad precident for the sport IMO
  • 7 1
 No shit, whoever thought MSA in October was a good idea needs to leave the sport
  • 6 1
 Everyone does not love riding in mud! But that's irrelevant. Don't cancel a race unless the gondola has been blown off the mountain and the visibility is less than Minnaar's bike length.
  • 4 0
 @BenPea: unfortunate timing, because last week almost was cancelled for a legit reason. Helicopter not being able to fly, and helicopter that was used to air lift Camille out on the previous day at that.
  • 1 0
 @succulentsausage: ok ok, that too
  • 6 1
 Well that ... um ... makes no sense
  • 5 1
 That's Just fucking embarrassing
  • 1 2
 was it supposed to be raining when the race was scheduled?
  • 10 1
 @slayerdegnar: why is rain now a reason to cancel a race? Wtf happened to this sport lol
  • 5 3
 Not really sure what this is trying to prove.

The video has more cuts in it than an Edgar Wright film and he doesn’t even show crossing the finish line.
  • 17 0
 I wish they would follow the suggestion of canceling the Elite semi and instead have the Juniors race followed by the Elite race.
  • 15 0
 I think not showing the conditions on a video or even a couple of pictures when announcing a cancellation online doesn't help. If the track was a river then fair enough but a bit of mud shouldn't cancel the racing!
  • 12 14
 A World Cup DH race should never be cancelled. What a joke, cancelling at MTB race because of adverse weather? What sport do these friggen idiots think they bought into? F this. Its almost as ridiculous as all the people on Pinkbike who think cancelling a World Cup DH race because of weather is completely fine.
  • 5 0
 Danny Hart Champery 2011, imagine if that was now?
Probably wouldn't be ridable.
  • 5 0
 A river is often easier.
  • 12 0
 Bring on the Liv race series.
  • 9 1
 Riding in most conditions bar snow and ice is a part of the sport. The previews show the course was rideable - and the danger is lessened by lowered speeds. Why will spectators show up? To waste money on travel and accommodation? Why will teams show up in the future? It’s not like they were making huge money out of it in the first place. Privateers were already being pushed out of the sport with the jacked points system. Enduro isn’t even visible anywhere any more. Chris Ball should be ashamed. He sold out the sport either due to enormous naïveté or to get his pay day. What a muppet. Needless to say my useless GCN+ subscription is getting cancelled today. Riders should unionize as collective bargaining is the only power the riders have, and stick together. Particularly the top riders need to lead the charge. I wouldn’t hold out hope for it but it would be great if Greg Minaar, could speak up, his voice has more power I would argue than any other rider, he defended the changes with a wait and see attitude last year, and now we know where it’s gone. In the end it’s the same as many of the other media corporate mergers of late, the people who make the actual magic aren’t recognized, properly compensated or part of the conversation, and the viewers and the proponents are the ones who lose out.
  • 20 5
 Minnaar is fully in the pocket of the uci, he's not going to stick his neck out.
  • 3 1
 Best comment
  • 1 1
 You hit every nail as square as it gets.
  • 2 0
 @proxient: based on? Genuinely asking
  • 8 0
 @markdavid: based on him being the designated riders representative to the UCI but not having the balls to say anything critical of the UCI.
  • 3 1
 @proxient: sad thought, being a Saffa and all. @wynmasters please do a WynTv style press conference and stick the mic in the bug guns' faces. I'd like to hear it.
  • 9 0
 @freestyIAM: That is true,last season in Andorra I think when the bridge was questioned being not safe,he said stupid things like he was too busy to complain an really do not care...For being the voice of the sport to me was like WTF is going on with this guy.
  • 9 0
 Glad to see this frank conversation happening from people who's opinions are highly regarded
  • 8 1
 Riders need to stop tagging UCI on insta and moaning on YouTube and start using this so called ‘rider union’ to make changes and voice opinions. Otherwise UCI will think they are doing everything right
  • 6 2
 This is what the union wanted, more rider safety and course safety. They fucked around, now we've found out
  • 7 1
 Since daydreaming is pretty cheap, here´s my dream.

A megabillionaire form a small, unknown country who happens to be a hardcore DH fan sets up a professional circuit with deep pockets and make offers you cant refuse to the top 60 riders in the world. The riders make an union and say f*ck you to the UCI mafia. The DH circuit goes for 6 months, with 20 races in the coolest locations around the globe - taking advantage of the two summers: New Zealand, Australia, Africa, Japan, Korea, India, Colombia, Chile, Scandinavia, you name it. The new ownership hires some of the best content creators and live sports cinematographers...

Gods of the Downhill, make it happen
  • 4 2
 You forgot that your billionaire sponsor of course gets to decide who wins every race. And maybe he will give silver and blue helmets to racers he likes and they will be the only ones ever interviewed on his live coverage.
  • 3 1
 @FuzzyL: so Amauri Pieron has never won a race or been interviewed on Redbull TV? What about Cami Balanche? Vergier? Sam Hill? Danny hart? Daprela? Minnar? Kolb? ……
  • 5 0
 I think we need to be constructive and think of each angle while this gets dissected. People are angry and have not been in favour of ESO since they came in. This has given them reason to go even harder against ESO. However there have been some rather glaringly obvious mistakes which have been called out from day one and that leads me to believe all is not what it seems. I think it could be dawning on Chris and his team that all the promises they have made to WB, they can no longer deliver. Running EWS is one thing, coordinating 3 disciplines world wide to a main stream audience is a whole different ball game. Ultimately I think what this boils down to is incompetence in some areas and some people have been given the keys whom maybe shouldn’t have been. This is where poor decision making comes from. ‘Some’ of the ESO team are way out to their depth and fans can sense it. Race schedules, commentary, track responsibility and comms are some of these mistakes. Sadly I feel the only way to move forward is for ESO and WB to either admit mistakes and collaborate for a better future or the riders need to actually put their money where their mouths are and go on strike. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day. Mint Saint Anne however…….
  • 1 0
 It’s called going hyper scale without understanding what that means and the impacts on work load and this output.
  • 6 3
 I don't know, the enduro seems to be working well, XC seems to be working well. Only place there seems to be issues is DH. And to be brutally honest, there has been issues in DH for a long time, look at when Sam Hill bailed on DH, that was mainly because of the tracks staying the same or going full bike park. Rather than steep and tech.
In the 1st year of a completely new set up and broadcasting system, there was bound to be huge issues, even optimistically it was going to take two seasons to get somewhere near the mark. But from what I can see there doesn't seem to be a way to win. Complaints about bike park tracks, a new one gets built that everyone is excited about because it's steep, loamy, rough. Last year there were huge complaints about a disregard for rider safety, two juniors were badly injured last race, this week riders saying it's unrideable due to weather, so for safety sake they cancel it and shit still hits the fan. What is the answer? I completely agree with Cathro, 10 years ago (Danny Harts Champery run is prime example) the season is built on the best rider of the season in all conditions. Lourdes, huge complaints about some riders going when it's dry from some going when it's wet, how the hell do you possibly control that??
Cut the sport to it's bare bones, find a big fcking steep hill, cut a track in it, get a load of people to throw themselves down it as fast they possibly can on a bike that is designed especially for that purpose in all weather conditions................
If they go on strike, what are the demands going to be?
Rider safety? race has just been cancelled and a huge schedule change because of that and there are massive complaints.
The tracks and no new ones, or less bike park, yeah I can get it.
Redbull was the broadcaster, UCI ran the races, there were massive issues then.

I just can't see a way forward to be honest.
  • 5 1
 It does feel like the start of the end. They got it right in the thumb nail. Truth is I don't think our weird little sport can survive commercialisation (aka starbucking). You'll get to the point like surfing in the 90s were the best riders aren't allowed near any competitions. If it wasn't for YouTube and little drink companies it wouldn't exist in the form it's in.
  • 4 0
 I wonder if the same conditions were in place for tomorrow if they’d run the pro race? My guess the rider safety would take a backseat to a broadcast schedule obligation. That is the real test my mind as to where Chris Ball’s real motivations lie.
  • 3 0
 Still intrigued why they wanted to keep the schedule changes secret.

Did spectators have to pay? Could you pay on the gate? And what is the refund policy?

Being completely skeptical but announcing changes or possible cancellations in a timely manner may have seen a reduction in spectators and a loss of €.

No proof of this just my suspicious mind
  • 2 0
 Its really spastic stuff keeping it from riders but not team managers and keeping it from privateers. Do they not realize half the teams are ran by rider/managers like Bernard and the riders are going to find out. Do they think that managers are running the show from another country or something?
  • 6 0
 Teams and racers should always be part of the decission-taking committee. Shouldn't they?
  • 5 3
 All of this, just all of it makes sense.

The homoginasetion of Enduro into a full UCI discipline, likewise the ESO being consumed by WBD and essentially becoming an entertainment & marketing company for me, was the signal the MTB was about to die in the eyes of race day enthusiasts. I think it's over, at least for a while.

Mud stops play, really? What do we not know today about building weather "proof" sustainable DH tracks that we didn't know last year. Absolutely ridiculous that the course was built in a way that this could happen so easily.
  • 2 0
 If only people can learn from this -
UCI, Riders don't want to be wasting time and energy trying to figure something else out. There may not be enough depth in the sport to fund a breakaway tour anyway. But perhaps a memorandum from the team's. Forcing the UCI to have a "wet race backup" at all tracks, which makes courses safe enough to race but still racable. So races won't be canceled and if people really are so into "mudders' have some racing in October. Or we will have even fewer tracks...
  • 3 1
 The UCI is f*cking retarded!! They schedule all of the WCs and countries that are known to have shitty weather at literally the worst time of the year!! Idk who’s making these decision but they need to get kicked out!! The fans are getting fed up of this shit!!
  • 2 0
 You know who this year is gonna be the WORST for..... The young bloods, privateers an the non podium/top 10 riders....
You have to remember that nowerdays socials are a major source of income for sponsors an riders but, now with socials getting more views an likes an clicks than the actual MAIN EVENT........

Yeah it's the first year of new organisation (who've done a pretty rubbish job from all accounts) an there's gonna be some bugs to work out for 2024 an fingers X'ed it gets better for the racers but, again.

With views of the actual main event being way down..... The future IS free ride

P.S 29 is dead
  • 3 1
 Go hard lads. If you do need to start a go fund me for anything I'm in, I've been watching this stuff since freecaster first started and this is the worst thing that's ever happened.
  • 4 0
 This is why there should be a Riders Union and the riders are consulted with issues like this….
  • 2 1
 We need a Die Hard meme.
Hans Gruber = Discovery ‘Earning 20%’
Hostages = the riders
John McLane = Wyn Masters ‘Yipekayah muthaf&£a’
The F B I = the riders union ‘They’re probably pissing in their pants right now’
Officer Powell = Rob Warner

Who else?
Reporter Dick?
  • 2 0
 Cathros recent pinkbike video shows it was difficult to ride yes, but I wouldn’t say it was unrideable and unsafe. Riders speeds were greatly reduced and all their falls were pretty small and harmless ( from the video ).
  • 1 0
 I hope I’m never on an uplift with you bunch. I’d rather walking up then listing to the continuous moaning. Watch it or don’t. But please change the record.

‘Red bull is amazing and was part of my five a day, Rob Warner saved my life, why isn’t Rat boy ridding…’ etc. Things change. Deal with it.

  • 5 0
 rider union asap
  • 2 0
 Been done and apart from a small number of riders no one was interested
  • 1 1
 Damn. A sad state of affairs. If a race is cancelled because the wind and weather is so bad that they cannot get the heli up to help in an emergency, that I think we can all understand, but anything else is a total mockery.
  • 2 0
 Maybe, just maybe, the access roads are washed out and the track is fine. Which is still bad planning.
  • 1 1
 We need a Hardline Downhill Series! Or a lighter version of it. To replace this crap that's happened to Downhill this year coverage and commentary included.
  • 15 1
 Ecept, hardline was canceled this year due to bad weather..
  • 1 1
 Do you think @wynmasters will come back as a terminator to save DH, thwarting the Warner brothers T2000s feeble attempts to destroy the sport?
  • 2 1
 The sound of downhill dying
  • 2 1
 Never have I seen the riders so disappointed…
  • 1 2
 Just watched a Dom Platt GoPro vid of the course and can’t believe the race is cancelled.

Last weeks XC course looked worse
  • 6 0
 Too bad he cut out the part where he’s on the ground at the end of the track
  • 1 0
 8 numbers 2007 2011
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