Racing Rumours: 5 Possible Changes for the 2023 World Cup Season (Warner Off Commentary Confirmed)

Jul 15, 2022 at 16:19
by Mike Levy  


Our Racing Rumors series is usually about who's going to what team or a soon-to-be-released bike, but there are (and already have been) some big changes afoot behind the scenes. Last year saw Discovery Inc, now Warner Bros. Discovery, invest in the Enduro World Series. And this June we learned that they, through the newly formed Enduro Sports Organization, will provide the organization, media, production, broadcast, and promotion of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup from 2023 to 2030.

With so many high-level changes, many of us are wondering how the series will look next year and beyond, especially the World Cup teams and racers themselves who have concerns about the calendar, size of the field, and team entry fees. That seems to have spurred racers towards forming a union, with meetings in both Lenzerheide and Vallnord already taking place. If you haven't seen it yet, check out Henry's video interview with Loic Bruni, Vali Holl, Greg Minnaar, and others where they explain their motivation for the union.

We've reached out to all of the acronyms - UCI, ESO, ETC - for comment and while we haven't gotten any additional information so far, we will update this article as the picture becomes clearer. But for now, let's go over some of the rumours floating around.






Your top 5 elite men. 1st Amaury Pierron 2nd Finn Iles 3rd Greg Minnaar 4th Andreas Kolb 5th Benoit Coulanges.


Men's Field Cut to the Top 30 Racers
Status: Unconfirmed, appears likely

The rumour greeted with the most disdain in the comment section is that the men's final might include only the thirty quickest qualifiers, which is fewer than half of what currently get through to the main event on Sunday. A smaller field will see qualifying count for more than ever, of course, but it could also mean that we'll see fewer young guns, privateers, and non-factory racers spending their own time and money following the circuit. So, what could be the motivation behind allowing only thirty qualifiers?

Now that Warner Bros. Discovery and ESO are looking after the broadcasting and production of the series, they might want to streamline things for exactly those two points. A shorter, more exciting finals might also be easier to broadcast live, and ditching more than half the field would also underline how elite the best in the world really are. As some commenters brought up, many other top-tier sports have far fewer athletes in the main event, which makes getting there even more of an achievement.

It's worth pointing out that we ran a poll recently about racing coverage, and about 90% of respondents said they'd "prefer to see the faster riders perform on long segments of the race track" rather than "watch a the entire qualifying groups with less coverage per run". The poll wasn't directly addressing this rumour (the community overwhelmingly opposes a smaller number of qualifiers), but it speaks to the desire for more coverage of the fastest riders.

But there are downsides to a thirty-rider finals. Other commenters raised concerns over a smaller field hindering up-and-coming racers while pointing out that one of the best aspects of the World Cup is "how top privateers can compete with the world's elite." And we'd have to agree. What about timed training, the women's field, and the juniors? Does a halved men's field accompany a doubled women's field to achieve gender parity in qualifying and finals coverage? No idea, but we've reached out to the ESO for comment and can't stress enough that this is still an unconfirmed rumour.





Pay-Per-View on Discovery+ Only
Status: Unlikely (for now)

More mixed news, if true, is that World Cup races will be broadcast exclusively on Discovery+, an on-demand streaming service that requires a paid subscription. While this seems unlikely given the small viewing numbers our sport attracts (relatively speaking for a company like Warner Bros. Discovery), it's a model that many other sports have taken to over the previous few years.

Upsides? We should all cross our fingers for far more on-course cameras and improved coverage, of course, but it would also be interesting to see some infographics on-screen during the race. Imagine if we could watch overlays of a racer's heart rate, wattage, or even a live on-board stream from Amaury Pierron's helmet in Fort William? All of that is already implemented in other action sports, so it's not too far-fetched. I might be alone on this, but I'd absolutely pay for the kind of access that I get to Formula 1 racing from its paid F1 TV service.

Of course, paid access to WC racing would severely limit the audience, and we've heard that at least one large bike brand would seriously reconsider the scale of their participation if that happened. And what would all this do to the agreements the UCI wants with mainstream brands like Mercedes? The understandably vague answers we've seen from ESO point to broadcast rights being a moving target and potentially not decided yet. If we were going to speculate, and you know I will, it'd be that there will continue to be a free to watch offering, similar to what Red Bull had in the past, while they tool up a premium tier.





Master of ceremonies was of course the one and only Rob Warner. He was on form as always but with a bit more of the craziness much like we used to see in his Forecaster days.

No Rob Warner & Remote Commentary
Status: Confirmed & unconfirmed, respectively

“How can Danny Hart sit down with balls that big!?” will forever go down as one of the best sports commentaries of all time, a quote from the voice of mountain bike racing: Rob Warner. A former World Cup racer himself, Warner has been calling the action how only he can since forever and it'd be hard to listen to anyone else... But that's exactly what's going to happen at the first race next year. Why? Warner reportedly inked a new deal with Red Bull this spring who, if you skipped everything above this, are no longer broadcasting our sport. By the power of deduction, that tells us that we won't have Rob's English excitement again as we did on that day in Champery back in 2011 and so many times since.

We reached out to Warner who confirmed the rumour: "No, that’s true. I won’t be working with the UCI for the foreseeable future, I’ll be working for Red Bull."

So, who will be screaming at us about the size of riders' metaphorical appendages? We don't know yet, but rumour has it that the commentators will be off-site, likely covering the action remotely from another country. While that might sound strange, it's actually how many sports do it, often without anyone being the wiser.





Team Registration Increases to $20,000
Status: Unconfirmed, but plausible

Currently, teams need to pay a $3,000 registration fee in order to take part in the World Cup series, but there is talk of that being increased nearly seven-fold to $20,000 per team. That's a big increase, but why? We're still waiting to hear back from the ESO on this one, but fewer racers (remember, only the top thirty might qualify) likely leading to fewer teams could be a factor. And especially if Warner Bros. Discovery and the ESO are looking to improve the sport's coverage while simultaneously having a smaller field.

There's a big 'but' to point out as well: we don't yet know if any fee increases would only apply to the elite teams, or if smaller outfits and privateers would be impacted too.






A World Cup DH Racers Union
Status: Confirmed

If you've seen the video, you already know that this one quickly went from being a rumour to being confirmed. Spearheaded by Loic Bruni, the goal is to give racers more of a voice in the sport they compete in, especially when it comes to track and safety concerns.

Finn Iles, who describes the effort as more of an association than a union, has worked closely with Bruni to lead the charge and echoed what others said about needing representation: "Right now we have absolutely no say in anything. We have no say for track, we have no say for prize money, we have no say for safety, no say for anything. And we're the ones that are the product."

Two racer meetings have taken place, one in Lenzerheide and the other in Vallnord, but details are expectedly scarce.

It's worth noting that several of the most vocal riders promoting a racers' union are sponsored by Red Bull, who lost out on the world cup broadcast rights for 2023. I'm not suggesting that Red Bull is fomenting the union, but that there's much less of a conflict for their riders now that Red Bull won't be the broadcast partner.





It's clear that there will be some changes to World Cup downhill racing for 2023 and beyond, but exactly how significant those changes will remain to be seen. What's your take: would you pay for a streaming service if it was vastly improved? The downsides to a smaller field are obvious, but could there be some pluses? What would you change about the calendar or race format?


695 Comments

  • 766 4
 The news about Warner is uglier than a bag full of mashed up a$$holes
  • 224 0
 I read it with a face like I'd just shit a lego deathstar
  • 50 0
 I hope that we get some kind of Rob Warner "unhinged" series now that we know he has at least some kind of deal with RedBull. It would be good to hear some of his edgy commentary around the races still, even if it's not at the drop of every racer. Considering he has confirmed it himself and signed his contract long after we knew Discovery would take over I don't think it's a stretch to imagine he wouldn't be allowed to do his style of commentary in the new organization.
  • 65 0
 Ah, Rob. "Nick Beer, the man with the perfect name"
  • 20 144
flag scott-townes (Jul 26, 2022 at 9:52) (Below Threshold)
 Whatever, he still has a job with Red Bull so that's great. We will get used to someone else announcing, its not a big deal considering the other crap they're trying to change. Personally I like the idea of avoiding a Dick Clark situation anyways.
  • 196 0
 Shit Rob should just livestream on youtube and offer his own commentary. I seriously can't imagine the sport without him.
  • 45 1
 @DylanH93: somebody needs to make an app that allows you to play a selection of Robs best lines over the new feed.
Button 1 "look at the time" 2 "stay on your bike", etc
  • 20 30
flag plyawn (Jul 26, 2022 at 10:27) (Below Threshold)
 Hopefully they can get Brad "shut the front door!" Ewens to fill in. If not, the CBC's Craig McMorris is equally as annoying with his "so-and-so has entered the chat!" line.
  • 47 6
 @plyawn: The happiest day of my life was Ewens getting fired as the announcer for Crankworx slope.
  • 2 2
 @DylanH93: like Snoop with UFC
  • 2 0
 @DylanH93: i was just thinking about this possibility. Legally I would imagine that would be ok provided he wasn't streaming the video from the race? It would effectively be a reaction vid, which seems like it's covered under fair use.

Wonder if Red Bull would like that though, might not want to rock the boat woth Discovery
  • 2 1
 @mb23: you put a lot of thought into an agonizing situation. You must love watching The Boyz Season 3
  • 2 0
 @plyawn: That guy sucks big time.
  • 2 3
 @scott-townes: Could not agree more. Good point. That dude is terrible.
  • 7 0
 I think it's likely that Red Bull will have Warner focusing more on Hard Enduro (moto).
  • 40 0
 @ryanandrewrogers: Red Bull could support the US/European Downhill Series with Rob as Commentator and broadcast it on Redbull.tv. That would probably run better than the World Cups next year
  • 24 0
 Warner got much more polished since the RedBull era. The pinnacle was the Freecaster time! That was amazing ! Screaming, making debatable comments and jokes. So much fun!
  • 13 0
 @EnduroManiac: Agreed. The Freecaster days were just raw reactions by fans with no filter. Magic stuff that only happens when a sport or technology is in its infancy.
  • 12 0
 I'm hearing Disco may tap Canadian flyboy Reece Wilson for the host job.....
  • 59 1
 EWS racing coverage has got shit this year. If the DH coverage goes the same way, I will just stop watching.

Red Bull DH series? Yes please!
  • 3 0
 @suspended-flesh: I thought at him too! He did wonderful job last year commenting some videos (don't remember what it was) and then this year he stopped racing humhumhum...
  • 4 0
 @nilswalk: I wonder if Red Bull will pick up the 4X Pro Tour coverage.
That would be interesting new venture for RW.
  • 9 2
 P.S. @redbull Red Bull media's WC DH racing is the paragon of sports coverage.

I buy your drink as a meagre way of saying thank you for this. If you asked me for money to watch your production, I would pay it gladly.
  • 2 0
 @kazwei: they will only do that if there is enough profit in it for them
  • 2 0
 @mb23: here it comes ahhhh hot hot hot oooh hot hot hot
  • 42 0
 @DylanH93: this used to happen years ago in Australia with football and occasionally cricket. The commentators sucked. Roy and HG (commedians and mad sports fans) were employed by the government funded national broadcaster (ABC) so they'd live commentate on the radio. Everyone used to mute the TV and have them playing. During the Sydney Olympics they commentated a table tennis game by just saying "Ping" or "Pong" as the ball was hit.
  • 1 0
 @catweasel: there was one at one point
  • 1 0
 @jgoldfield: alot of guys do this for UFC PPV events and just watch it off camera and give there commentary. Works pretty good
  • 1 0
 Really curious what he's going to do with Redbull, on the flip side
  • 28 0
 Rob got Norb'ed
  • 7 0
 @ReubenSandwich: Exactly what I was thinking. Rob doesn't need to show the footage, we only have to hear his voice.

If Rob went back to his old unfiltered entertaining ways and did an alternate commentary, I'd actually be MORE likely to subscribe to the Discovery version because Rob + Discovery > Discovery only.
  • 2 0
 @uponcripplecreek: underrated, love it
  • 1 0
 @uponcripplecreek: comment gold
  • 28 0
 As much as Warner will be dealy missed the biggest issue here is pay per view and only top 30 riders, Red bull only shows the top 30 on the stream anyway so no harm in letting the top 60 race and it continues to give a whole bunch of privateers or young guns the chance to put a stormer down and get on the hot seat for the live stream, one of the best things to see is when a new guy puts down a break out run and then seeing how long they can keep that hot seat.
  • 8 6
 Theyll get some american with a "cool" voice who doesnt know a single f*cking thing about the sport. RIP televised DH racing Frown
  • 2 11
flag hexhamstu (Jul 27, 2022 at 3:01) (Below Threshold)
 @maglor: This doesn't work well at all, we've had a few times were racers from the unshown 60 have been right up there and it makes for a confusing watch.
  • 11 0
 @hexhamstu: How is it confusing? just becuase they didn't show their run doesn't mean you can't see they have the fastest time and the next guy you watch is trying to beat that. It would be a huge shame to destroy the careers of many emerging talents by cutting the numbers down. Maybe if they put some of the money and broadcasting into improving feeder series then great it would give them a platform to break into the world cups, maybe even put qualifiers 30-60 into a "B" race for themselves kinda like an F2 race supporting the F1. would add more excitment having 2 races for the more involved fans but have the smaller main event for appealing to the casual masses.
  • 6 2
 @hexhamstu: Come on, really? You guys can't figure out someone went faster because they didn't show it? LOLOLOL
  • 2 4
 @suspended-flesh: Reece Wallace? (Reese Wilson is Scottish, past World Champ and plays golf in his spare time Big Grin )
  • 5 0
 @dolface: Right, the Scotsman who rides a Giant.
  • 4 0
 @dolface: I'm not feeling cruel enough #today to string you along - the 'confusion' between the 2 riders is a running joke on PB. Usually someone tries to clarify it and gets ratpacked with DVs.The 2 riders have even acknowledged it here on these very pages..... Cheers!
  • 2 0
 @suspended-flesh: LOL got it, cheers for the explanation! (And where does Reece Potter fit in? Wink )
  • 2 0
 @suspended-flesh:

We need an SNL Dillon McDermott/Dermot Mulroney inspired game show for Reece Wilson/Reece Wallace.
  • 8 0
 Classic Warner 2014 - “he hit the ground harder than an old lady on a cruise ship…”
  • 1 0
 help.discoveryplus.com/hc/en-us/requests/new

Contact them and let them know. I'm sure they're not too concerned about the PB comments section.
  • 4 0
 @scott-townes: It's a pity for Rob Warner, it's undeniable but, the other points are more scary.
Do you believe average size team will bring 20k just to get in, and gamble to get their riders in the top 30? The format used until is maybe not perfect, but offers to up and coming racers a place to grow and shine when they have the chance.
With a top 30 only racers + teams registration at this level, not sure we will see the same packed and compettitive field.
  • 1 0
 @smartfartbart: i suspect but hoping not that the long game for uci and discovery might be to have a fixed 30 rider roster that tours with the world cup to guarentee those top 30 a spot and then have support series for up and comers where the winners there will make it into the world cup series for the next year, kinda like a league system or like alot of motor racing, i hope not though as would make it difficult for smaller teams and brands to be represented at the top level, just making the big guns bigger and f*cking the small guys.
  • 5 0
 These news made me "angrier than a man with a fork in a world of soup".
  • 2 0
 Especially state of origin and grandfinals festival of the boot weekend was the best@ReubenSandwich:
  • 3 0
 @smartfartbart: Yup, people are freaking out over Rob not announcing and they don't realize how destructive the other changes are going to be. Rob not announcing stinks but at least the sport can exist in its current form beyond who is announcing.
  • 1 0
 @EnduroManiac: you‘re damn right!
  • 3 0
 Here’s to hoping Warner will be on the boozer for the last round
  • 3 0
 The news about the commentators possibly being off site is equally ugly! I was just at the Snowshoe world cup and it was so damn cool to hike down the track right next to Rob warner, hear his remarks, etc. Then see Elliot just walking around the pits chatting and smiling. That vibe is just something special.
  • 1 0
 @mikkel: Oh...that would be glorious if Red Bull would just pump him full of Stella or whatever he likes to water with. But since it's their reputation and replays he'll be on, they won't let him burn the barn down on his way out.

They'd probably generate WAY more clicks though. Beer
  • 4 0
 @gravitybass: As Kerr and Kolb were saying in one of Kerrs recent vlogs, DH as a sport has such a unique community. Warner (and all the presenters) know all the riders, they've mostly been mates for years. A generic professional sports presenter, phoning it in from off site, will never reproduce that. Worse than that though is the idea of cutting the field in half and hiking up the entry fees. That'll be the end of podiums like we got at snowshoe. And that will be a far bigger loss than just a change of presenters. I don't see this Discovery buyout doing anything good for dh at all Frown
  • 500 4
 Red Bull World DH Series!
  • 42 0
 Yes please
  • 169 1
 It seems entirely feasible that if the Discovery/ESO becomes a mess, then something like a Red Bull world DH series or an expanded crankworx DH series, if done right, could become more prestigious and popular than the UCI world cup
  • 80 36
 Bring in the Saudis!
  • 25 7
 But definitely NOT Red Bull world DH Fest. Because none of us are core enough to get it
  • 4 24
flag chrismac70 (Jul 26, 2022 at 10:03) (Below Threshold)
 No chance. It will be invitation only at best. RB after only interested in DH because of seems enough fizzy drinks. It’s just a pr stunt to them
  • 42 0
 Hardline as the season finale
  • 34 0
 Streaming the IXS would probably be an easy way. They already have the events and amazing tracks, all they need is the best riders (and they already get that from time to time is the schedule allows).
  • 18 0
 I have been saying this. It is a good possible outcome, and quite frankly, I sort of wonder if it is why red bull didn't get the uci rights. maybe they didn't even try for the uci media rights with plans of starting their own thing. the series that is prestigious is the one with the fastest riders, not just the one the uci supports.
  • 34 1
 DH needs brought back to its former glory. The elite riders field, tech, and the fan base is there and all want it. I hope this kills the UCIs grasp on elite DH and opens up a door for a rider driven world series of DH on classic fast, twisty DH tracks that can be televised. DH laps with friends is the ultimate mtb party and the sport needs it back in trend badly. #makedhgreatagain
  • 6 0
 @WoollybackPaul: Hardline Cup
  • 2 4
 @ElDebarge: I can’t possibly upvote this comment enough. Probably in the best financial interest for most riders too!
  • 12 1
 Red Bull Hard LINES
  • 5 1
 Someone put Red bull and Greg Norman in a room
  • 2 0
 This is much more likely than a lot of people might think.
  • 2 0
 @Muscovir: I suspect the wouldnt be allowed to say anything til the end of the race season? I would suspect they would have made at least the teams/athletes aware for planning?
  • 2 0
 @catweasel: isn't the IXS cup UCI sanctioned as well?
  • 5 1
 Hardline série please RB!
  • 1 0
 @ElDebarge: Bonus points for you profile name...even though I am dating myself. Big Grin
  • 1 0
 But honestly, pie in the sky aside, what the hell is left for Warner to comment with Red Bull? One day of work per year on Hard Line, or maybe 5 days of work if you throw in Crankworx DH?
  • 8 0
 The Red Bull Hardline Series. I'm here for it.
  • 1 0
 I wonder how many die hard Red Bull haters upvoted this comment.
  • 5 0
 @powturn: He does commentary for alot of there events, not just Mtb. They keep him busy
  • 12 0
 Mountain biking and DH in particular has always been a sport riders watch because they can identify with the bikes and the skillset. Its not F1 ( or American football) either. If ESO try and turn DH into something it isn't they will alienate riders and viewers. It used to be top 80 qualified to race. Now its 60. 30 will not help the sport grow and will alienate viewers.
  • 2 0
 Yeah came to say i bet they up the stakes on their urban dh races, and hardline type events. Focus more coverage and and give them an overall title. Could be cool , with Rob commentating
  • 1 0
 Agreed red bull needs to do it’s own rival series and not at the same five tracks every year. Everyone hates the UCI anyway so why even involve them? Leave them to do their own thing and we can stick to watching racing on red bull tv.
  • 3 0
 Did anyone see the 20th anniversary video IXS Cup posted today with all the Redbull athletes and other elite racers narrated by Rob Warner talking up the fact that IXS is the closest thing to a feeder system for the World Cup? Maybe we will get to see some new faces and still have Warner and Redbull on the coverage and I’m sure a few cameos by the heavy hitters in DH when the schedules allow.
  • 3 0
 @Mattysville: where did you see this? Link? Really like to check it out
  • 345 0
 I've been following the world cups since they were known as the Grundigs. It's been amazing to watch the sport go from strength to strength over the past decade. Every season seems better and even crazier than the last. It's sad that after all this time and progression that the whole thing is still so unstable that it can be thrown up in the air by a bunch of suits in a glass tower. Solidarity with the riders. They put their lives on the line at every race and now they're completely in the dark about their entire livelihood which is totally unfair. Downhill we love you.
  • 11 0
 This comment is gold. Agree with every word.
  • 6 0
 Well said. Without the riders there is no WC series.
  • 3 0
 Same, I used to watch it on Eurosport from the Uk with Mark Bisegal (sp) The sport has come a long way for sure.
  • 3 0
 It is sad, but not really surprising considering that I'm fairly certain that vast majority of the already small audience hasn't spent a dime on anything directly supporting it. It's all advertising and marketing.
  • 2 0
 This needs more upvotes.
  • 248 9
 "Imagine if we could watch overlays of a racer's heart rate, wattage, or even a live on-board stream from Amaury Pierron's helmet in Fort William?"

This kind of thing works in F1 because F1 races are very long. I don't need to know what Amaury's heart rate or power output is during his run, and I'd rather watch him ride than look at some numbers on the side of the screen.
  • 149 6
 This is the kind of crap that I despise. The over analysis, the BS one that a certain heart rate was lower and therefore they won/lost or what ever the Amphetamine pumped commentator comes up with. The same goes for F1. Who needs to know in what gear they are in or what g-force they have at any particular point. All these numbers just clutter up the screen and provide material for cringe-worthy comments.
And the rest of these rumours. Reduced field and increased registration field means goodbye to the privateers. If there is no chance for ever getting onto the broadcast then why would anybody sponsor that?
  • 71 0
 I agree. I don't think any of that sounds even remotely interesting. Even helmet cams. I would rather watch from a trackside camera than a helmet can any day.
  • 21 0
 100% agree with this. It's all pointless fluff.
  • 12 0
 It would be a broadcasting party trick for DH, but a lot of riders would probably like to see something like that for XC, Road, or other longer riding disciplines.
  • 16 0
 Agreed. I don't really care what his wattage or heart rate is, that sounds like something roadies would be more interested in.
  • 4 1
 I have trouble picking the riders out from the background scenery, so what about some sort of glowing dot overlay that would focus my attention?


It seems really unlikley that an organization that would stop broadcasting for free would turn around and invest a bunch of money to enhance the product they sell to only a fraction of their original viewing audience.
  • 3 17
flag Pmars88 (Jul 26, 2022 at 10:32) (Below Threshold)
 @mitochris: It is possible to ignore something on the screen if you don't care for it, no?
  • 8 1
 i guess this was more aimed at xc races, because those guys are out of rb too
  • 6 2
 @mitochris Comment of the year. Inconsequential crap that gives clueless fans something to occupy their basic minds.
  • 7 0
 100% agree. The graphics work maybe half the time anyways and how accurate are they really? Give me the splits and key sections, scrap the fluff.
  • 8 0
 Yea I just want working split times.
The slider thing on the left hand side showing the racer and the hot seat’s run is cool too, if it is accurate - could be just made up?!
  • 5 1
 @jclnv: speaking of basic minds, this decision affects multiple sports, and power zone and heart rate are about as inconsequential in WC XC as wheels are.
  • 6 1
 Exactly. Even the current "virtual straight" is bullshit because the distance depends on the speed. In slow sections at 18 km/h, 10m distance equals 2s, in fast sections of 54 km/h it is only .67s. So getting closer on the virtual straight does not mean anything for the time gap. We don't need further useless statistics
  • 1 0
 imagine some rider in the finish area break some parc ferme rules like hugging the orher rider or touching other bikes and is getting penalty
  • 3 0
 a ploy to entertain the casual fans. thing is, with downhill being such a small sport im not convinced there is a larger faction of casual fans than hardcore fans. maybe i'll eat my words on this but i dont think discovery is going to improve viewership with tactics like this
  • 5 1
 Anyone who wants an on screen wattage reading just doesnt understand DH. Comments like Levy's do more harm than good
  • 4 0
 @mitochris: are you saying you don't need the AWS tire wear estimates halfway down Fort Bill!?!? ‍♂️
  • 5 0
 @aquanut: only if I get live tyre temperature and chain lubrication status.
  • 1 2
 @Hayek: after an hour of watching everyone at a high heart rate and W/KG but having no clue what their max bpm or threshold is, how would that information improve your viewing experience?

Yep, Velon has already proved how pointless that data is on the road.
  • 4 0
 @captaindingus: in all my years of watching downhill with random friends not a single one haven’t sat and genuinely enjoyed a downhill race on red bull tv. They don’t care they’re only seeing the bad parts of the track it still looks insane to them. To the casual viewer it’s got everything. Power rangers going fast on these crazy looking bikes. Everyone can ride a bike so they get it. Crashes, the women are just as good as the men. It’s got everything.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Yeah man you nailed it. Even my fam will stop to check it out and understand why I've been up since 3:45 AM PST with a beer in hand
  • 2 0
 @suspended-flesh: I give you credit for getting up that early to watch. I love watching the races, and haven’t missed one in probably 10 years. But I can’t get up that early and watch them live. I always just go for the replay later on that afternoon or evening.
  • 1 0
 @sino428: ya, good enough for me too. In fact it's f'ing perfect. RedbullTV.com has been a godsend. Really bummed about the future.
  • 3 0
 @jclnv: well there’s that plan foiled. Let’s let Discovery know.

Pretty easy to imagine that if they want to show HR and power on screen that they could also get the zone data for the athlete. I frankly couldn’t care less whether they do or not, but to say that information is inconsequential crap to to entertain clueless fans is ridiculous. Clueless fans would have no idea what the data means, but anyone who closely follows XC racing I’m sure would be fascinated to see which racer can hold a neuromuscular effort the longest after 90 minutes hovering at LT. Sure, applies less to DH, but that’s where XC races are won and lost.
  • 2 0
 @jclnv: ahh yes. It would most definitely not be interesting to see the kind of effort some of the worlds best athletes are putting in competing in an extremely difficult endurance sport.
  • 1 1
 @Hayek: I don’t think racers will share that data. Even if they did the variables are too numerous to give any indication of effort. Take Nino, his numbers during a race are pretty modest but he’s probably the most technically efficient rider ever which significantly offsets his numbers.
  • 2 0
 @jclnv: I’m lost on what you’re arguing for here. This change in is certainly going to be worse, I agree. But in all of it there’s talk about adding that data, but you don’t want it because it’s mindless? But it isn’t and it would be interesting at the very least, and it’s now skin off my nose. But now you don’t want it because there are too many variables and it wouldn’t have enough predictive power to decide the race? Go ahead and add in all the variables in the world — I’m certain neither of us are good enough at partial differential equations for it to matter anyway. I for one would love to see that data, even if it doesn’t tell the whole picture. If I can’t have the commentators I want, at least some data adds detail to the picture and that’s something. And better economy than almost anyone? For sure. But rethink your definition of modest. 5.5 W/k (and all we can do is guess) isn’t modest.
  • 3 1
 @Hayek: I'm arguing against crappy modern coverage that adds junk stats and data to give clueless commentators something to talk about and the simple, short attention span, modern fan, something to go "wow look at the big number mummy". It's an Americanised form of coverage that I despise.
  • 4 0
 I'm with jclnv. Filling the screen with junk data doesn't add anything to the race.

There is a lot of America bashing in the comments. I understand why. i don't hate america at all, I grew up there, and think it's one of the most beautiful countries in the world. However, America does sell a particular brand of "media" that people from other countries often find noisy, shallow and annoying. i think there is value to the opinions of the fans who say "we dont want that for WC DH coverage". i think they make a fair point.

I think Ben Cathro vs Elliot Jackson highlights the difference perfectly. Cathro is fairly quietly spoken, he's clearly stoked to be there, but he isn't jumping around like a hyperactive child full of e-numbers. He provides a lot of insight and knowledge, in a fairly simple package. Jackson on the other hand is basically an american version of Cathro. He provides a little less insight, a little less knowledge, but a lot more stoke and volume. Bright and colourful and noisy, exuding excitement from every pore. Americans seem to like this. The British seem to prefer Cathros approach,

I think the sport needs more Cathro, and less empty, manufactured excitement. More useful data, less brightly coloured junk.

I'll be absolutely stunned if discovery dont fill our screens to the brim with loads of brightly coloured junk, and I'm sad about that.
  • 2 0
 @jclnv: w/kg is way more informative and important than knowing what someone’s threshold is.
  • 175 0
 Half the enjoyment from watching downhill comes from Rob's commentary. You will be missed Rob!
  • 28 4
 Eliot has done awesome, but I sure loved listening to Rob and Claudio last time. Soak it in for the final races!
  • 25 2
 Yea Rob and Claudio rule.
Elliot and Tracey have been great additions, but R&C are easily the best...
  • 11 22
flag gabriel-mission9 (Jul 27, 2022 at 2:42) (Below Threshold)
 I have huge respect for tracys riding. Her commentary needs practice though. Elliot on the other hand adds nothing other than an irritating voice. Id genuinely prefer to just watch the runs in silence than with an annoying commentator shouting nonsense all over it. Rob or silence. Those are the two best options.
  • 4 8
flag dkendy1 (Jul 27, 2022 at 9:30) (Below Threshold)
 @gabriel-mission9: I actually agree, Tracey’s biggest input is usually “she’s a strong rider”. Elliot can’t help that when I hear an American expert talking in any situation , I tune out. He’s a cool guy though really friendly, top bloke to chat to on the gondy. Great stats analysis. Claudio and Rob are a great combo they have good banter. Unbeatable combo really so the other two are always going to struggle to step into the others boots
  • 2 0
 Rob will be missed, both on DH and XC. I can't stand Lauren on XC.
  • 7 0
 @dkendy1: Page and Warner were in a different league to Claudio.
  • 1 0
 @jclnv: ahh before I began following the sport , although I have heard stay on the bike Danny race run ,and some other flashbacks Sam Hill etc
  • 1 2
 @dkendy1: Yeah.... And soon you'll be surrounded by Chinese experts on your streets.

Good luck.
  • 2 0
 @BDKR: bit late for that homie.! Chinese people have been a part of Dunedin for 150 years plus and I have no qualms with it
  • 1 0
 @dkendy1: Being an ex racer does not automatically make you a good commentator, in fact an expert in any field may not be able to relay the feeling or commitment if they themselves have no charisma... Brett Tippie ?
  • 154 1
 UCI DH is dead
  • 41 0
 We need a new series.
  • 45 1
 @spaced: Really hoping redbull just does their own dh series and says screw the uci.
  • 11 0
 @DylanH93: I would love for RedBull to start a series for the >30 position riders. Let Discovery make some sort of closed up, formal series behind a paywall. I’d watch the redbull craziness.
  • 4 0
 pinkbike world DH Series Run by the rides live pb stream
  • 135 0
 My mother tongue is Spanish and I manage myself a bit in Portuguese too. I tried several times to watch any MTB event in Spanish/Portuguese where Rob was commenting in English, just to compare, and it is not even close. Yes, you have Hermida commenting on XC, he is a well known exPro with tons of accomplishments, he is funny on his Instagrams, etc, etc, but as commentator, he still has a ton to learn. In DH there was Marcelo Gutierrez from Colombia for a year, he was really good and was worth listening to him, but again, not close to that "energy" you feel while listening to Rob.

For those asking, here is a careful crafted list of most of Rob lines since his beginnings on Freecaster:

Look at the time!!
How Danny Hart can sit with balls that big.
He's is on a rampage like a dog with two dicks
He's as loose as a clown running through a minefield
He looks like he's shit a lego deathstar
He's angrier than a man with a fork in a world of sup.
Look at that whip!
Come on Peaty! Get on those f*cking pedals!!!
Steve Peat has done more for downhill mountain biking than Osama Bin Laden has done for terrorism
He hit the deck harder than an old lady on a cruise ship
That's as popular as a ginger-haired step-child
He's all over the place like a monkey dry-humping a football
He's off like a Jewish foreskin
He's off like a Russian boder
This man's got less brain than a service station pasty
That would have opened up his arsehole like a vintage golf bag
He's gone down harder then the US economy
He's going to wake up feeling like his neck took a Viagra
Thats uglier than ET with skin cancer
Although the king of pop might be dead, we still have a thriller for you. So don't sit at home and beat it.
He's letting it all hang out like a fat bird in a bikini
Im sweating like a whore in church
His ass has opened up wider than a hippos yawn!
He wants this more than an out of work rapist
He has gone down faster than one of those french breast implants!!
This is more packed than a Chinese cemetery
Sam Hill: The Winged Assassin/Thunder from Down Under
Gee Atherton: The Vulcan Bomber
Ben Cathro: The World's Tallest Man
  • 25 0
 Someone is surely making a video montage of all his quotes, right?!?!
  • 14 0
 @AdamKos: ohhh!! that would be the best thing after the dropper post invention
  • 10 0
 I screenshotted your list! Pure gold!
  • 3 0
 @YaacovR: just copy/paste the text, even better so you can use each phrase any time you want
  • 2 0
 by the way, someone could even create Whatsapp/Telegram stickers with those! I would kill it on my biking groups with those XD
  • 8 0
 on Steve Peat's run at the 2009 world champs: "THANK GOD I HAVE A SUSPENSION CHAIR"
  • 2 0
 I'm so glad you remembered the golf bag comment, because it has been one of my favorites since he said it and I couldn't remember the whole thing haha.
  • 3 0
 He's gone down like a pair of cheap tights!
  • 4 0
 @AdamKos: There used to be a soundboard app with all these and more back in the Freecaster days. Had it on my phone for laughs.
  • 3 0
 Good lord there’s some classics. Free caster was the best
  • 2 0
 "If he pull this off there will be an uprising worthy of a middle eastern country!"
  • 2 0
 Forgot one: "He'll need a lawyer for a case like that!"
  • 2 0
 "That cleaned her out!"

Emmeline Ragot's crash on the finish line jump at Windham, NY in 2012.
  • 1 2
 Yes, Rob's Freecaster commentary was irreverent, funny and original. He's had to rein it in a bit at Red Bull, but he is now a broadcaster (and a bloody good one IMHO).

But Rob didn't come up with "look at the time"... Peter Graves was doing that in the 90s.
Nor did he come up with the nicknames "The Thunder from Down Under" or "the Vulcan Bomber".

And although it is disappointing that he won't be on the mic, it really won't affect the sport like changes to field sizes, qualifying, finances.
  • 100 0
 ESO continue to ruin the sport. The same company that decided to only award prizes for the pro category at the Scottish Enduro Series, after charging £110 for entry. Prioritising stuffing their pockets over supporting the grassroots of the sport.
  • 23 0
 Cash Ball
  • 12 1
 That is ridiculous - if they wanted/needed to cut prizes they should have cut them from the pros who are literally being paid to be there anyway, not from the amateurs to whom that prize would really mean a lot and possibly support them getting to more races.
  • 8 0
 And delayed the tweed valley round with two week's notice because the track wasn't ready. A couple of months maybe, but a couple of weeks?! Come on, get a grip
  • 3 0
 Theres a reason grassroots of anything gets only little funding.... its like that in any sport.

Its like the argument over women's sports pay(i have no opinion on this, as this is fact) People pay to watch the best of the best and in most cases thats men or pro catagorys. - We are lucky enough with Redbull we actually get to see the elite women - truth be told, they offer us some seriously good watching.
  • 1 0
 @thewho07: That gag works better as "MoneyBall" surely?
  • 2 0
 Does look like ESO are taking things in an aggressively commercial direction and some of these rumours fit with Chris Ball's evasive and unconvincing AMA on here a few weeks ago.
  • 1 0
 @chakaping: Like he was unaware at that point that these changes were in the offing.
  • 1 0
 Even the SES in Scotland is a joke, £95 for a round of enduro? Just go do an SDA and get uplift and twice the runs for £10 less!
  • 100 3
 I'm just going to say it, the golden age of DH World Cup racing ends in 2022.
  • 24 0
 Yeah but I'm pretty excited for the reboot in 2028 or whenever their contract is up. That old boy Jackson Goldstone will be fending off all the new young guns.
  • 32 1
 @L0rdTom: and Minnaar will still somehow manage an occasional podium
  • 2 0
 @L0rdTom: Thought I read it was an 8yr contract?
  • 1 0
 @MikeGruhler: unfortunately that's correct, only in 2030 it might end
  • 88 0
 Time for NORBA to make a comeback!
  • 27 1
 I recall reading once that Gary Fisher thought one of his biggest mistakes was selling out NORBA to UCI.
  • 14 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: I was racing NORBAs back then, it was USAC that bought NORBA. And they cared just as little about MTB & DH as the UCI. It was such a shame watching it whither and die. NORBA was a great series, not perfect, but really really good.
  • 27 2
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: Gary Fisher sold out everything, including himself...
  • 14 3
 @singlespeedman: And now he's having kids with girls 1/4 of his age and cashing in fat checks from Trek, lol. Living it up.
  • 4 7
 I do sort of see this as a bright side to limiting the qualified field. It would really amplify regional racing.
  • 1 0
 @singlespeedman: I mean, you are not wrong!
  • 6 0
 Norba got robbed
  • 6 1
 @adrennan: would it? I don't see how it would increase any funding going to regional events.
  • 6 0
 @GrandMasterOrge: more fast racers in the regional series instead of showing up to a world cup they would likely not qualify for would make regional races far more worth watching therefore worth sponsoring.
  • 5 0
 @GrandMasterOrge: not to pick on neko but people like him would be great to have in a broader national series
  • 9 0
 @cgreaseman: Girls a quarter of his age? That doesn't sound right because if we divide Gary's age by four we get 62.5 years of age, which is too old to have children.
  • 2 1
 @adrennan: or with no WC or hope of WC riders and money pull out of regional level racing as well.
  • 2 0
 @GrandMasterOrge: I mean we have local and regional soccer, baseball, basketball, ski racing, golf, motocross, etc. What's the difference?
  • 1 0
 @adrennan: the difference is if you take away the top level of those sports, I reckon less grassroots riders will commit to spending £££ on competing over seasons etc and the talent will dry out.
  • 1 0
 @GrandMasterOrge: but we aren't talking about taking away the top level of downhill? we are talking about shrinking the field? you get what 40 guys lining up for a motocross national and the amateur levels of that sport are plenty healthy and a far larger investment than racing bikes. I think we are being a little pessimistic on pinkbike regarding the size of the competing field. there are no doubt things I am concerned about with the change to discovery but field size is not my main concern by any means.
  • 63 1
 The UCI only cares about one thing and that is cash. There won't be a riders union, road cycling has been trying that for a couple decades and it's still a failure. The athletes are a simple commodity to the UCI. "you don't like? leave, there are a bunch of kids right behind you ready to put their life on the line for cheap. go. we don't care."
Discovery coverage is going to be crap. I can't think of any sport they have covered that I appreciated anywhere near the level of redbull coverage. I bet instead of a former pro and fun guy commentator, they will have someone with a tennis background explaining DH racing to us like we are clueless idiots tuning in for the first time. "they look like motorcycles but these are pedaling bikes." Only the top 30 guys... yeah, privateer'ing just became a rich man's only option. absurd. all these rumors are going to spell the decline of DH.

But we can all thank the UCI for trying to get cyclo-cross into the winter Olympics! "they race in mud? how about we put them on snow and in the winter Olympics so we can make more $" "they don't normally race in snow" "so what, we need more cash from cross. if they don't like it, they can leave, there are a bunch of kids right behind them that will take their spot for cheap."
  • 15 0
 DH and Enduro should band in with the Slope and freeride guys and form their own organization. Remember the Freecaster DH series that was planned before Redbull took over? This would be great for the sport. Especially for riders that don't have factory support.
  • 2 5
 That’s no different to RB and all the other sponsors. They are all funding the sport because they believe it sells enough extra product to make it worthwhile. The comments that without free to view coverage many brands will pull out just demonstrates the point
  • 4 0
 @chrismac70: ads can still generate a ton of revenue. So can paid streeming. I'm fine with both. What I'm not fine with is crewing the athletes, screwing the viewers and lowering the quality of the content
  • 2 0
 @spaced: The content will be good enough to maximise the roi of the rights
  • 1 0
 @spaced: DH1 was the series Freecaster looked into setting up. Interestingly it was sanctioned by the UCI and Freecaster only pulled the plug on it when RB announced they would be providing free coverage of WC races.
  • 1 0
 Well it will be harder to get a crankworx entry from next year on I'm guessing...I can see there series getting bigger if this all falls to pieces
  • 59 0
 In honor of Rob, please post your favorite RW quotes below:
  • 86 0
 "LOOK AT THE TIME!!!"
  • 43 0
 Fast across that camber!
  • 28 0
 WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW!
  • 4 0
 Wow wow wow!
  • 115 0
 'And he's off like a Jewish foreskin!'
  • 38 2
 "How does Danny Hart sit down with balls that big!!!"
  • 3 0
 @dolface: I'd upvote this more if I could.
  • 2 0
 I cant hold it any longer!!
  • 40 1
 ''OMG, Rennie went down harder than the US economy''
  • 56 0
 "He's under more pressure than Pavarotti's knees!"

"He's gone off line faster than a Russia border"
  • 81 0
 "HE HITS THE DECK HARDER THAN AN OLD LADY ON A CRUISE SHIP!"
  • 3 0
 @IAMEFF: LOL did he really say that? link please!
  • 14 0
 This man
  • 15 0
 "lines blurrier than a mexican border"
  • 20 0
 "Whuuaaaaaa!!" grunted x100 each run
  • 21 0
 I WOULD NOT DO THAT IN THE WET!
  • 5 0
 Look at the time!
  • 37 0
 “I’m glad I didn’t pay full price for my seat, cuz I’m only using the edge of it!!!”
  • 11 0
 "That would have opened up his arsehole like a vintage golf bag"
  • 13 1
 2014: he's off line like a russian border
2022: no comment
  • 10 0
 He needs a checkup from the neck up Really anything from his drunken FreecasterTV days is pure gold. He is a far better commentator now, but it was just fun to hang out and listen then.
  • 5 0
 "This-a Urkin, the town rapist. Naughty, naughty."
  • 8 0
 Gonna need a lawyer for that case!
  • 6 0
 IN-SAAAANE!!!!!!!
  • 29 0
 "He nearly released the chocolate hostage on that one!"
  • 8 0
 "We almost had to identify Danny Hart by his dental records!!!!"
  • 18 0
 “ angrier than a man with a fork in a world full of soup “
  • 6 0
 every attempt to shoehorn Kaprun '96 into a conversation, no matter what the subject is...
  • 8 0
 Danny Hart wants this more than an out of work rapist. That was uglier than E.T with skin cancer.
  • 6 0
 "look at the whip! Whaaat the hell!"
  • 4 0
 omg! he's gone down harder than a granny on a cruise ship
  • 39 1
 look at jolanda neff go!! She like a flying poodle
  • 23 0
 “He’s on the rampage like a dog with two dicks”

Sam Hill Val Di Sole 2012 “This man, is more potentially explosive than the London olympics”
  • 12 0
 „Sam Hill is more dangerous than a Spanish cucumber“ (about 2012 for those remembering ehec)
  • 22 0
 Steve Peat has done more for downhill than Osama bin Laden has for terrorism
  • 7 0
 nothing innit
  • 8 0
 HES GONNA SMASH THE TIME
  • 2 0
 “Things are really hottin up in ___________!”
  • 13 0
 @mikehuntisore: You left out the best part!

"He's on the rampage like a dog with two dicks this afternoon! Sam Hill is tearing this mountain side apart!"

Also, the absolute best DH video made even better from INSIDE the commentary box - www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KZV7zfMGTg&ab_channel=DavidAmos
  • 1 0
 @IAMEFF: hahaha I don't remember that one!
  • 7 2
 "STAY ON YOUR BIKE DANNY!"
  • 4 0
 "I dont think Gee has finished outside the top 2 in the last several races! If Mountain biking was Art, then Gee would be Picasso! "


On sam hill: "if he's on form like this, he's more devastating than an Australian bush fire! Burning his way down the side of this mountain! "
  • 7 0
 HOLY TOLEDO that was insane!
  • 2 0
 Peatys got every right to be blue in the face!
  • 5 0
 IT'S A MINNASTER
  • 6 0
 "It's wetter than a dolphin with a bladder infection!"
  • 12 0
 "That was the greatest comeback since Easter Sunday!"
  • 9 0
 @labrinsky: that was Pagey was it not?
  • 3 0
 The atmosphere here is so tense, even the trees are holding their breath.
  • 1 5
flag Whatajohnny (Jul 26, 2022 at 13:34) (Below Threshold)
 @labrinsky: that was Claudio
  • 7 0
 @labrinsky: That was Pager Smile
  • 2 0
 "That was messier than a microwave burger in a trouser press".
  • 12 0
 “That’s the closest to a public execution this side of Saudi Arabia!” On Sam Hill’s winning run at Schladming
  • 3 0
 there goes the ginger ninja!!!
  • 2 0
 He's gone down like a pair of cheap tights!
  • 2 0
 Rob used to call Gee "The Vulcan downhiller" . Loved that.
  • 1 0
 @Davec85: yes. That was Nigel page.
  • 2 0
 "It's a triple Brexit!, Were out of Europe, out the football and now we have an Englishman off the course!"
  • 2 0
 He needs a checkup from the neck up!
  • 1 0
 It's wetter than a whale with a bladder infection.
  • 3 0
 From Snowshoe: "DOWN HE GOES LIKE A HOMESICK MOLE!"
  • 1 0
 @HankHank: Yes! I heard that too, thanks for adding it, pure gold Big Grin
  • 52 0
 For me pretty much the best thing about watching the world cups is when a privateer or lower-level pro steps it up and busts into the top 20 on finals day.
It's so awesome to see, but now this will be a thing of the past. We'll just have the same 30 dudes race after race.
No more Cathro in the big show, and even fan favourites like Wyn and Brendog will be very rare sights on finals day. Sad times coming in DH for sure Frown
  • 18 0
 Top 30 times are so tight now, coupled with a $20k registration fee it rules out so many teams outside of the big factory outfits.

I think it’s worse than not seeing people like Brendan and Wyn make finals very often, I think it could result in them not being able to attend at all - if you are a team sponsor / manager what would the point be if it’s a season full of races without results.
  • 5 0
 Thats a really good point. If you are a rider who usually makes the cut currently but rarely breaks the top 30 in qualifying then what would even be the point of going to the hassle and expense of attending this series.
  • 12 13
 With all due respect to the riders mentioned they are not elite dh racers anymore. They are there to raise their sponsors profile via making YouTube content rather than racing. Nothing wrong with that but this is supposed to be about the best in the world
  • 1 1
 Just wondering, do we need qualifying? For world champs there is no qualifying (sort of because they are already pre-qualified to get there, but racers also have to be pre-qualified to race a world cup I think). Could still only broadcast the top 30 riders based on standings, but this allows anyone to break into the top 30 results and sit in the hot seat and replay their run. Just a thought
  • 4 0
 @chrismac70: That is a fair comment. But the whole thing sure will be less entertaining without them.
  • 10 0
 @chrismac70: Who else are you happy to define as ‘not an elite racer too then’?

Smaller team riders trying to get noticed so they can gain support which will help them move up ranks? (It’s hard racing from the back of a van) how about people like Neko who everyone on PB loves, developing his own bike - well he’s out if things change like this, if not for qualifying then for the $20k fee.

Say goodbye to smaller teams, smaller brands, emerging brands and riders with low budgets trying to get noticed and a chance of a factory ride - all over.

DH isn’t like pro motorsport, there isn’t a global feeder race series - how will less financially able riders break through moving forward?
  • 2 12
flag chrismac70 (Jul 26, 2022 at 14:08) (Below Threshold)
 @justanotherusername: simple anyone who can qualify in the top 30 on a regular basis. Just think how much better the tracks will be with half the numbers of riders not destroying them
  • 4 15
flag chrismac70 (Jul 26, 2022 at 14:13) (Below Threshold)
 @justanotherusername: racing out the back of a van is not elite pro racing. It’s amateur hour. Nothing wrong with that but let’s not pretend it’s elite racing. Making your own bike is great you tube content but again not elite racing. There World need to be feeder series so talent can be spotted and picked up by big teams. In Europe there is the ixs series. Perhaps there will be more interest in other content series that privateers can afford to race at on all continents. The only thing stopping it is having a viable product to sell to sponsors
  • 9 1
 @chrismac70: There isn’t a feeder series.

people racing from vans have done rather well in World Cup races, many big teams use van setups when the race location prevents the usual setup being used.

Who are you to decide what elite racing is?
  • 7 0
 The result tells you if you're an elite racer or not. Doesn't matter what your pit setup or bike is - if you are placing highly in a world cup then you're clearly elite. End of story I'd say.
  • 1 1
 @vesania: Kinda but it's not extremely hard to get the points to race a world cup whereas it's a lot harder to pre qualify to race world champs. It's all really confusing so don't take my word for it, there's definitely more to it
  • 7 0
 @chrismac70: You realize that exactly those racing out the back of a van and characters like Wyn and Brendog are essential “elements” for making this sport so approachable and unique?

Removing this for the sake of “elite” will hugely damage the series character and we’ll end up in an X-Games-like environment.
  • 1 1
 @justanotherusername: I’m not. I agree there needs to be feeder series but who wants to pay for them
  • 1 7
flag chrismac70 (Jul 27, 2022 at 10:19) (Below Threshold)
 @whiteboarder: I disagree. I didn’t realise wyn was even racing. I thought he was there to do the social media thing. As for those racing out of the back of a van then they rarely make the broadcast anyway so I’m not missing anything
  • 4 0
 @chrismac70: Your ignorance suggests that you are not much of a fan of the sport; at best a casual viewer, or maybe a member of the ESO/Discovery team?
  • 1 0
 @Malky79: He’s a 50 something weekend bumbler, no link at all to competitive riding or the industry that supports it.

Just wants to condense his Sunday morning DH race viewing to a couple of hours - much more convenient.
  • 1 4
 @Malky79: neither. I enjoy watching the racing. I used to be a sponsored athlete in the past in a different sport. This is supposed to be about the elite racing not Joe Bloggs in his van with his mates
  • 1 3
 @justanotherusername. Pretty much but less of the bumbling. I did my competitive sport in a different sport where I was a sponsored athlete
  • 4 0
 @chrismac70: Unless you were an "elite" athlete it would be a bit ridiculous to use that to bolster your argument. As far as I'm concerned, if you are fast enough to qualify for a World Cup, you are one of the elite that weekend, whether you are a privateer or factory racer. Most fans like the fact the sport can maintain the highest levels of professionalism and a true racing spirit whilst remaining grounded and accessible.
  • 2 0
 @vesania: @Bikerdude137 World Champs has had qualifying at the event for the past few years.
It is not easy to make the 40 UCI points required to to enter a world cup in the USA. Only 3 events this year offer UCI points; the first two nationals and national championships. The nationals at Windrock and Mountain Creek had 30 points on offer for the winner and 20 for second place. National champs requires a 6th or better to earn 40 points and one of those points scoring positions was filled by a junior racer because they are combined with the Elite class nowadays.
Juniors have no points requirements to enter world cup events, so I don't see why they combine the classes, especially when the UCI could just award points at a lower level for non world cup Junior competitions so they can hit the 40 point barrier for when they move to Elite.
When you factor in people like Aaron Gwin, Dakotah Norton, Charlie Harrison, Dante Silva, Austin Dooley, Neko Mullaly, Nik Nestoroff, Luca Shaw, occasional Canadians and Europeans, etc. who have well over 40 UCI points attending some or all the three UCI points awarding races it makes earning enough points a herculean task.
You can always petition to be one of the 3 USAC supplementary riders and pay USAC to wear the stars and stripes jersey, but there is no guarantee they will give you the right to entry even if the spots aren't totally full.
*I'm not happy with my wording of all this but hopefully the point is conveyed that it is extremely hard.
  • 1 0
 @adamdigby: Thanks for the info. So, since it is already hard to get enough points to show that you are "pre-qualified" to race at a world cup, it seems it may be a bit redundant to have a qualifying race. I am starting to wonder if they should get rid of the qualifying race, and let everyone who makes enough points to be there, be able to race finals. I suppose that would make for finals day to be much longer. Maybe logistics would be tough. But they could have finals for Juniors the day before, maybe. Just thinking. Cutting qualifying down to just 30 riders seems rough and not necessary.
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: this is my take, absolutely done with any small teams, or awesome guys like them. Just awful.
  • 1 0
 @Malky79: I was on the GB squad if that counts
  • 2 0
 @chrismac70: Sounds like you weren't the best in the world, so applying your own logic, why would I care?
  • 1 0
 @Malky79: if your fast enough then you deserve to be there. I agree whole heartedly with that. The question is how fast do you have to be to be allowed to enter qualifying and how does that part of the whole process work. That to me is the real question that needs answering.
  • 1 0
 @Malky79: No I wasn’t I accept that. I was good but not world class just like most of those at world cups
  • 1 0
 @chrismac70: I hope you only stayed in a 5 star hotel, travelled by business class and didn't dare work while competing - otherwise you were amateur hour and shouldn't have been there.

But if you were in the GB squad then you were good enough to be there - you qualified to enter, I suppose you would have felt great if they dropped the number of qualifying athletes though preventing your involvement?

Your whole position makes no sense at all, its literally based around your personal idea of how many men should be allowed to compete in a finals race and the quality of their accommodation - you are showing a huge ignorance about DH racing and the industry that supports it.
  • 1 0
 lllpi
  • 44 0
 I support the riders wanting more say in their safety and rewards potential since they're taking big risks.
  • 41 0
 It's going to be shit, isn't it?
  • 3 0
 .........100% Guaranteed Gobshite
  • 41 0
 It's crazy that somehow Finn Iles has become the adult in the room
  • 34 0
 The death of downhill is upon us. Sad times.
  • 9 2
 Time will tell
  • 7 0
 @kokofosho: yeah but look at the time, will never be the same.
  • 3 0
 @kokofosho: it will still be there but it will screw riders outside of the top20. It's already hard for them. Racing is expensive. Making it worse for them is a dick move.
  • 7 0
 It's not the death of downhill, but could very well be the death of the UCI World Cup. If entry fees are raised to £20K and finals riders are cut, it'll become less apealling for a lot of riders/teams.

It's ironic that Chris Ball is at the helm, considering he split from the UCI to create the EWS all those years ago. I can see something similar happening in DH; all you need is an alternative series with good tracks, decent money and plenty of media coverage.
  • 30 0
 The loss of Warner is a heartbreaker. Truly iconic commentator. While his wit and enthusiasm get a lot of attention, it's his knowledge of the sport's history, tracks, evolution, and most importantly - riders (who reciprocate the love) - that sets him apart and makes him irreplaceable.

I am hating this takeover so far.
  • 4 0
 Agree 100% Before this news I would have been fine to pay to watch the coverage, however without Warner I don't think I will.
  • 2 0
 couldnt agree more. The dude lives and breathes the sport, while still able to connect with his audience.
  • 31 1
 Why is everyone so obsessed with downhill being like formula 1? I watched that thing on Netflix and I'm really glad downhill is nothing like it. What's so great about there being 16 spots available, being able to buy one of those 16 spots if you're rich enough, and no one else being able to participate in the sport in any meaningful way? Say what you will about the UCI, buts it primary objective is the promotion and management of cycling. ESO sports primary objective is making money. I get that we live in capitalism, and that people have to make money, but the purpose of institutions like the UCI is to prioritise the sport over the money. As of 2023, competitive cycling is no longer the primary objective of the world Cup series.
  • 8 0
 Agreed - whoever added F1 to the DH or MTB conversation is an idiot. This is like discussing space shuttle technology in tandem with biplane hobbyists.

Dunks on all yr points. Reading this article and the slew of comments that seem indicate UCI in 2023+ is going extinct is really blowing my mind. Maybe it'll all be fine and all of us here are just living in a bubble, not knowing WTF is going on, but it sure doesn't seem that way.
  • 4 0
 I think the comparison to F1 is more about the quality of the broadcasts and all of the other stuff you get through F1TV. It is a paid subscription, but I have to say, it blows every other sport steaming service I have seen out of the water. Redbull honestly comes pretty close for the actual live broadcasts, especially considering it's free, but the level of analysis and coverage in F1 is insane.

Of course, the sport itself is more of a constructors sport than an athletes sport (almost all of the drivers are super high quality/ the best, but at the end of the day, they need to be in a top 1,2 MAYBE 3 teams to have a shot at winning a race, let alone a title). Having 20 grid spots is really restrictive, and yes, some unfortunately are pay drivers. That side of it should certainly not (and can't, given the nature of the sport) be what DH is all about.
  • 6 0
 @leon-forfar: All that analysis is is pointless in DH. There are far to many variables which is why its a vastly superior sport than F1. The bike is maybe 10% which is probably the inverse of F1.
  • 2 1
 @jclnv: To some, for sure. I personally like watching some of the analysis stuff. But more so, they cover every practice session, full qualifying coverage, different angles, and things you can pay attention to if you want. Fluff for some, but others do find it interesting. If they had DH practice and qualies streamed live, I wouldn't complain.

The F1 TV app also just functions really well (as it should if you have to pay). I do find the Redbull app to be pretty shit really. Sometimes pausing or rewinding can cause the stream to just restart from the beginning, or just generally glitch out. Another factor that makes F1, in my opinion, worth paying to watch is that there are 20+ races a year. If we have to pay for Discovery similar or more to what F1 TV costs, it better be more than 8 races...

I agree about the nature of the sport, and that is why DH can be better. Courses can vary a ton over the course of a weekend. Skill can and will prevail, and it isn't just the guy with the best piece of equipment winning every weekend.
  • 4 0
 @mikelevy as a fan of both dh/xc and F1 racing, I have no problem paying for the F1 TV app. At 20+ races per year spread out evenly over almost 9 months, it's well worth it.

On the other hand: UCI mtb racing offers half the dates in a way shorter window, with a bunch of races jammed together on the calendar and huge gaps in between. The money F1 spends for all the on-boards, different commentary, replays and analysis, actual telemetry... it's just not there for the niche sport of mtb racing. Highly doubt I'd fork over cash for a Discovery app or sub.
  • 2 0
 @leon-forfar: Hear ya on the quality - I'm just not a motorhead (even having grown up working on 55-57 Chevies, 60's mustangs & t-birds & steeped in NASCAR culture - its nasty, nasty shit). DH is not F1 and its fast, but - different crowds ultimately (but maybe more motorheads that I know of - the mtb people I know don't care about it at all). I don't know why it would need to compare, even in broadcast.

I do like the analysis stuff though, don't need to see all 60 riders who make the cut but - do like having some comprehensive info about them though I have to seek that myself. I just wish the JR's were getting some play, esp this year w/ them all having bumped up times & excitement substantially and Redbull is just sipping on Redbull and ignoring them - and especially w/ the Jackson / Jordan competition on FIRE. Redbull is doing us wrong by ignoring all that.
  • 1 0
 @Bibadeebob: well f1 is nothing like that thing on Netflix in the first place. But yeah I agree it's a bad comparison, except for the point that discovery will try to become the liberty media of downhill, which inevitably will lead to a shitshow
  • 1 2
 I hate F1. I don’t see any connection with two wheeled sports, except that F1 drivers and roadies have sensible haircuts.
  • 29 1
 Discovery needs to stop acting like a$$holes and buy Rob out of his contract with RedBull. Keeping Rob Warner as a constant would be such a big stabilizing force among all these other changes. Anything else is just poor business decision making.
  • 5 0
 This is discovery we’re talking about. They’re cheapskates and the worst of the networks to work for. They just took over Turner Broadcasting and are already messing with the money behind bigger sporting league broadcasts in a bad way.
  • 5 0
 I get the feeling that now that Rob has confirmed it himself, perhaps he wasn't ever keen on working with Discovery. After all, it is very unlikely he could commentate the way he does now in such an organization. I hope RedBull has inked him in for a media contract, so we can still get some of his commentary around the race, it will still be really sad not to hear him with every racer dropping.
  • 4 3
 Why do they? How do you know that they didn’t offer Rob a job and he decided to stick with the fizzy drinks marketing department
  • 2 0
 Not getting out ahead of all this negative backlash a massive failure of a business decision in and of itself. Totally tonedeaf. If Discovery announced tomorrow that 60 riders will be in the final, then the fire wouldn't be out, but would certainly be contained. It's no mystery how old media like Discovery got lapped over and over by newcomers like Netflix and Hulu.
  • 26 0
 This happened to rock climbing recently, after broadcast rights werr bought by Discovery: www.ukclimbing.com/news/2022/03/ifsc_announces_3-year_subscription-based_broadcast_deal_with_discovery_sports-73019

extract from the article:

In 2017, the IFSC faced a backlash from athletes and fans when they announced a 3-year subscription-based deal - charging viewers $20 per month or $150 per year - with US sports livestreaming company Flosports, just days before the first World Cup of the season was due to take place in Meiringen, Switzerland, without consulting athletes, governing bodies or viewers.

Those opposing the decision voiced concerns that a paywalled livestream would make viewing climbing competitions less accessible by preventing some spectators from watching the events due to financial reasons

A petition against the decision attracted over 12,500 signatures and athletes staged a protest at the opening ceremony of the event, holding up red cards. The IFSC responded by making the first World Cup event available to watch as a free trial, and ultimately backtracked on their decision to outsource broadcasts to a subscription-based streaming platform"
  • 28 3
 The Elephant in the room no one here wants to talk about... $20k team race fees.... Thats crazy... and im sure they will somehow pass it on to consumers...now your $10K will go up to $15k
  • 3 0
 Only if they sell 4 bikes though.
  • 5 1
 You think an increase of $17,000/yr in costs for a trek or specialized will move the needle in their bike costs?
  • 7 0
 @Pmars88: It doesn't - just means privateers get nuked I think, unless they can form a team (which will prob not be allowed).
  • 9 0
 @Pmars88: Wow so we'll get a WC roster consisting of Trek, Specialized, Santa Cruz, Mondraker, and Canyon. I know they have amazing athletes on their roster, but this drastic increase in fees is so bad for the sport. Brands like GG, Atherton Bikes, Intense, Forbidden, and etc may end up rethinking their commitment, or at the least have to cut juniors, women, or other pro athletes in different disciplines.
  • 6 0
 @cgreaseman: you misunderstood my comment. I agree completely with the assumed implications of increasing the entry fee and the negative impacts it will likely have on smaller teams/brands and privateers. My point still stands that it’s ridiculous to imply it will somehow result in more expensive bikes.
  • 1 0
 @Pmars88: It may just result in even fewer DH bikes....accelerating their already decreasing numbers. Frown
  • 6 25
flag chrismac70 (Jul 26, 2022 at 14:15) (Below Threshold)
 @Mtn-Goat-13: privateers have no place in elite racing. That’s the whole point. It’s supposed to be the best of the best. Not the nearly good enough dreamers who can’t make it. I know that sounds harsh but that is the reality of elite sport
  • 2 9
flag chrismac70 (Jul 26, 2022 at 14:17) (Below Threshold)
 @cgreaseman: that’s all anyone watches anyway. Does GG and forbidden even make a dh bike
  • 4 0
 @chrismac70: there was 2 boys racing from a van in the top 5 at lousa a few years back.
  • 12 0
 @chrismac70: This is like hearing someone talk about "pulling themselves up their bootstraps" them sponsoring legislation to 1) get all the handouts, no bid contracts, reduced or zero tax brackets, and sweetheart deals for themselves while 2) blocking others from accessing those deals because "they really have no place" in the economy. Its the silicone implants of thinking.

The big teams can be expected to kill it but its almost like caged & staged hunting. It's hardly out of the ordinary.

What's unexpected - and even more awesome to see, is privateers getting up in the mix - and even the big teams respect that. This type of win is madly earned vs. the sushi platter of victory ultra-elites can expect. Privateers are no less elite, but they're not trustrafarians in comparison w/ teams - they're working harder and its more stressful, so the results are actually more interesting in a sense.

There's a lonnnng list of former privateers - Ben Cathro, Monika Hrasnik, Nina Hoffman, Ronan Duann, Dylan Levesque, Jamie Edmundson - and you can believe they'd prefer teams over solo but I'll wager they can thank their privateer orgins for far more than just race wins - its about a lot more than top 20's or podiums.

Being a privateer is the origins of all of this anyway - men & women with the real fire in the gut, sleeping in vans in the parking lots - the comraderie. All being killed - yet again by MegaCorp and its self-serving rules.

And not to knock the Elitest teams - they rip, but they are plush, pampered & spoiled vs. privateers. I'l bet my effin' life savings that if you put everyone on plush teams or conversely, made them all privateer - the results would be much different.
  • 1 0
 @Roguee: I believe Jamie Edmundson was one of them?
  • 4 0
 @chrismac70: your talking shit.
  • 5 0
 Solution? Someone creates a team called 'Privateer' or 'Unsponsored' or whatever. They pay the $20k. They put 40, 80, how ever many riders don't have teams on their roster and the riders run whatever product they like, because they're all privateers who have their own deals.
  • 1 0
 @iamamodel: I thought the 20k only applied to teams? All the privateers on their own wouldn't be considered part of that and wouldn't need to pay
  • 4 0
 I doubt the 20k would be mandatory. Ews already charges a TV tax - pay the full team fee if you want coverage. Unless you're on the podium you basically don't exist if you haven't paid the tax. No team name on the sheet, not going to be in any videos, not mentioned in any pr. Guessing this would be the same principle here. You can turn up and race but the TV coverage is reserved for Tax payers only who get put into some kind of artificially seeded top 30.
  • 3 0
 @Pmars88: Yeah it's a drop in the ocean for Trek and Spesh, but think how much it'll cost Commencal with their 20 or so teams.
  • 2 0
 @chrismac70:Connor Fearon is riding a proto Forbidden DH, and showed on live finals broadcast that the enduro rig is a pinner.
  • 1 0
 @chrismac70: I'm not even gonna argue with you. Shut up
  • 2 3
 @Mtn-Goat-13: So cutting at 60 now with only the top 30 getting any broadcast time isn’t that different to just having the top 30. I have no problem with privateers if they are good enough to qualify. If they can get into the top 30 then great and hopefully a team will pick them up. Many privateers altar to be heavily sponsored anyway so it’s no quite the romantic dream of the racer working all week to travel the world and come 75th. There need to be feeder series on each continent that make it more affordable for privateers to race where they can show their talent. In Europe it’s the ixs series. The question is who wants to fund these series round the world? What’s in it for them?
  • 2 3
 @iamamodel: How can you be a privateer if you have your own sponsorship deals? The whole point of privateers is they are self funding and don’t have a list of sponsors. Once you are considered you are pro. You are working for your sponsors delivering whatever you agreed in exchange for the support
  • 2 1
 @mendipsboss: do explain why
  • 5 0
 Plenty of privateers get given some free product by brands or local shops to help them along the way. That doesn't mean they are sponsored or that they are not privateers. They are still doing all their own travel and race support, hence they are privateers.
  • 1 6
flag chrismac70 (Jul 27, 2022 at 13:07) (Below Threshold)
 @Paco77: no they are sponsored. They have a professional relationship with their sponsor. That might be race results based. Social media presence, images their sponsors want for advertising purposes etc etc. I used to be a sponsored athlete
  • 4 0
 @chrismac70: They are still privateers though even if their frame is free. If they aren't being payed to race they're privateers
  • 1 2
 @Bikerdude137: I disagree. They are getting paid they are getting a free frame which is payment in kind. Ask the taxman if they consider this income and you will find they do
  • 1 1
 @iamamodel: @iamamodel: That does happen now. Out of New Zealand we have "YD Racing" that smooths the path for younger DH riders to be able to race World Cups. They'll all privateer riders. The one hitch with your suggestion is that UCI team regulations limit the roster to 10 riders max.
  • 1 0
 @Cabin: Well, that's that then. Ta.
  • 4 0
 Clearly the whole “sponsored rider” thing covers a broad spectrum of potential support.
But being a sponsored rider does not mean you can’t be considered a privateer.
The commonly accepted definition of a privateer (in any form of racing) is that they are not being paid to ride.
  • 2 0
 @chrismac70: I didn't say they aren't sponsored, it doesn't change that they'e a privateer. They aren't actually being payed to bike, that's the whole concept. If your salary comes from biking you're pro, last I checked a 3-4 thousand dollar frame for free doesn't equate to a salary, barely even a paycheck
  • 25 1
 i did not realise we'd have to pay to watch the racing...wonder if Cathro will continue doing his thing. It just seems everything comes at a cost which is not ideal with the cost of life atm.
  • 7 0
 I hope not. I hope it's just a RUMOR
  • 23 0
 No Rob Warner is so massively disappointing. He’s such a major part of the excitement of DH racing. At least I’ll still hear his voice calling my name when I drop into a DH section of my local trails (in my head of course)
  • 24 0
 Hard times coming, they're trying to make it like motor racing without realizing there is no true feeder series for the world cup.
  • 10 0
 USAC stripping the ProGRT series to 3 races a year and national champs in CO making everyone from both coasts have to travel. I wonder why there isn’t a consistent top WC overall contender from the US the last few years?
  • 4 0
 I was thinking exactly the same. There are a lot of examples in Motorsport. No more space for privateers, no more space for low budget teams, no more space for young talents without wealthy parents. And the worst thing is that this will happen soon in National races too (that usually mimic the world cup circuit in a bad way).
  • 6 4
 @flowisforpussies: American motor racing honesty seems to have less of a cost of entry than mountain biking. I grew up in a fairly rural area, about 4mi down the road from the local speedway. For less than $200, you could have a working vehicle and reliably race every summer weekend. Hell, quite a few professional racers have come out of that local speedway, and I know they grew up on the bottom end of the middle class.

Mountain biking, on the other hand, is a very privileged and expensive sport that doesn't have the same inexpensive inroads as motor racing here in the USA. Bikes are expensive. Coaching is expensive. Signing up for a 2-week summer camp in the cycling world costs $1000, compared to the $200 for a whole summer in the scenario above. I don't think cycling can be treated the same as motor racing, but the fact is a lot of kids that are coming into the professional ranks in the USA grow up very privileged, similar to F1 cart drivers.
  • 14 2
 uck the UCI. FTFY
  • 17 0
 Wow, they're actually gonna do it... They're actually gonna purchase something and run it straight into the ground like so many large, out-of-touch corporations do time and time again. Same thing that happened to the Transworld Sports magazine platforms. Fuck these people, full stop. Like just ONE of those things is horrible for the sport, if they were to commit to all 5 it's literally a dead sport. Riders will basically start a FEST SERIES for downhill races, and then that series will become the new series to follow. And we can just say fuck the UCI since they don't really do shirt for DH anyway.
  • 21 1
 Looking forward to the breakaway series.
  • 18 1
 Riders union?
Way to go on that one!
Go get ‘em my union brothers/sisters
  • 14 0
 Rob, do you mind if I give you a hug goodbye at Snowshoe this weekend?
It’s going to be a party in WV for sure now. Like back when Petty, Rob, and Palmer were setting the trends!!
  • 1 0
 Cedric G was going buck wild back then too - to be fair
  • 15 2
 Just adding to the noise here but:

1) Warner out is a massive loss - he defines DH. Does anyone know who's announcing now?
2) $20K to enter? WTF kinda CEO Golf Tour crap is this?
3) Redbull is far from perfect but its free - I ain't paying NUTTIN to watch UCI DH
4) Its worth giving a chance but all this sounds like UCI DH is gonna tank, especially if...

...we have to pay and the field is reduced massively by the $20K entry fee, and lack of Warner. That sounds like a 95% reduction in quality.

Last - is Redbull or any other org banned from creating new DH league or program? I'd rather watch something - anything - with Rob and not the $20K Lamborgini ceiling vs. a buncha corporate junk.
  • 1 0
 To be fair the 20k is only for teams to enter, but that doesn't change a ton since that means that smaller teams won't be able to afford to pay the entry fee on top of sending their riders out, meaning that either the rider will have to pay for a bigger part of the trip or they don't even race. Absolute bullshit either way
  • 15 0
 It's going to be a muted season
  • 12 1
 Cutting the qualified field to 30 is idiotic. I have no issue paying for good content and I get they can't hire Warner because he might have a disco deal but cutting the field to 30 hurts the sport.

Rememer when there was a plan to have a non UCI sanctioned world cup? We should get back to that idea as the UCI screws this up. Red Bull should just invest in their own Downhill world cup... with booze and hookers.
  • 3 8
flag ajaxwalker (Jul 26, 2022 at 10:30) (Below Threshold)
 I think we'll need to wait and see on this. A lot of people only watch the top 10 anyway. I don't think it will hurt the sport, realistically people outside the top 30 aren't going to win anyway or they are a protected rider. Hopefully it allows for better coverage and quality content which will help the sport. Riders can still qualify so it doesn't change much.
  • 1 0
 @ajaxwalker: aren’t they saying only 30 riders will ride in the final though? Or am I confused?
  • 7 1
 @ajaxwalker: this is a very selfish and short sighted view. If you only want to watch the top10 or top30 then watch it that way but what if we get a situation where someone like Greg or Troy get injured in the season and are not protected? Then a simple mistake an with a 30 rider field it's much easier they don't quality.

Also this move means it's harder for new riders to get some coverage. This means less racers actually racing which eventually translates to less competition and the sport progressing slower.

So yes it changes a ton. It just doesn't change much if you can't imagine the changes afecting anything outside your self centered view.

PS. Any data to support that people watch only the top30 or top10? Or is it "you and people you know"? Because if that's it then I have a counter of all the people I know and I'm pretty sure I know more people who are into DH than you
  • 10 0
 Could PB speak to the value, whatever it may be, that the UCI is supposed to bring to the sport? It seems from an outside perspective that they bring little to the table and cost venues and teams a lot of money. In the US, few races or series work with USAC for the above reasons, they basically just add costs, paperwork and rules without delivering anything other than USAC/UCI points to riders.
  • 12 1
 So basically all the worst ideas might be implemented. I don't see much reason to watch DH next season if all the rumors are true.
  • 9 0
 Warner going from DH is like the passing of Murray Walker / F1, he is so intrinsically tied to the sport that it will be almost impossible to replace. Not saying there isn't other good commentators out there but since the passing of Murray Walker there has been a hole left in F1 which takes time to be filled, this will be exactly the same.

The UCI & ESO actions up to this point have been pretty disgraceful in my opinion, it seems that riders and teams know almost nothing about the 2023 yet we're over the hump of the 2022 season. With so much secrecy and speculation how can riders, teams, manufactures and venues properly prepare? Capping the elite mens field to 30 riders will have a huge detrimental effect on the sport, it's not uncommon for a rider to have a less good qualifying only to pull a blinder of a race run and leave with a great result. There is just too many variables in DH which is what makes it unlike so many other sports.

There needs to be some clear communication from the UCI and ESO pretty quickly to establish what is to be expected next season, done properly with rider briefings and full public press releases. Neither party is doing themselves an favours by the current secrecy. The formation of a rider union and frustration from fans is apparent of the negative perspective from those not involved in the negotiations.
  • 5 0
 Well put. The lack of respect for teams, athletes and fans is the worst thing about all of this.
  • 6 0
 @chakaping: It's shocking really especially as given the size of DH, it wouldn't be impossible to riders and team to leave and form their own federation and series. That would leave the UCI with nothing! It's happened before and there is already a platform that could be utilised, imaging a bit of a cash injection to the IXS cup with backing from riders and teams. There are sports where they thrive beyond the normal federation/governing body model. I think the UCI needs to start treading very carefully and the form of a rider union is just the beginning, the fact that it is backed by most of the biggest names in DH is saying something.
  • 7 0
 I'd be amazed if the World Cup isn't Pay per view on Discovery/Eurosport/GCN; all their other cycling is, why would MTB be any different? That is their business model.

As for Rob, I've sort of accepted he won't be doing it; he's got loads of stuff he can do with Red Bull; he was doing the Erzbergrodeo Hard Enduro event last month - I'm guessing they'll do more live coverage, and he'll be with Paul Bolton.
  • 3 0
 MTB should be different because the pool of people who watch XC and/or DH is infinitesimal. I do all types of cycling and have a boat load of cycling friends. I'm the only one who watches DH racing. I am not going to pay to watch DH racing.
  • 1 0
 I believe Disco/Eurosport have agreed a partnership with BT sport in he UK, not sure what that will mean.
  • 7 0
 It's great that Pinbike trying to keep us up to date with all the changes around DH World Cup racing, is any chance they could reach out to the XC teams to see if anything is changing with their format and how do the riders and teams feel about the take over.
  • 7 0
 The reality is, this is where we are. The early OO’s were a wild party but the racing was so good, we just got too hungry and now our gorgeous beautiful sport is a commodity.
Commentators will be fired for bad social media posts abs racers will unionize to protect themselves.
If you love dh: start building your scene.
Make races. Make tracks. Make bikes. Make jumps. Teach your kids to not trust the uci and to keep riding for the soul of it.
Between the national circuits and the impending alternate formats and series, dh isn’t dying. It’s just having a rough patch. But waiting for UCI AND DSCO to deliver us is naïveté.

We are dh. We must build dh. Only we can save dh.

This is the way.
  • 5 0
 Yep. For several years in Canberra BITD we held races with two clipboards, two stop watches, two pens, and one bunted track. That was it. And a hundred DHers would show up and we had a great time.
  • 10 4
 After reading all this I just cant really get down with much of what I read.

I would be 100% ok with cutting the final down to 30 IF they also broadcast qualifying. Its great that it makes qualifying more meaningful/exciting, but that means nothing if we can't watch it. Not saying that it has to be the same level of coverage as finals, but at least showing it still give all the riders exposure and an incentive to show up.

And remote coverage? I don't think its fair to say that no one is any wiser when other sports do it. I think people know when its happening. I just feel there is alot to be gained by having the commentators on site at these races. Having them be able to see and walk the track, watch the riders in practice, walk the pits and talk to the riders, etc.
  • 8 1
 Cutting the field is bad. Not only some fast racers may not qualify because of small mistakes but it's less visibility for promising new riders. We should care for our sport. It's already difficult and expensive AF to race and people outside of the top10 get f-all so we should support them.
  • 3 1
 @spaced: That why I said it would be ok only if they made qualifying a bigger more meaningful part of the event.
  • 8 0
 The remote commentary is certainly a concern. Rob and Claudio's insight on what made the track hard in certainly parts or some extra insight from their discussions with the riders was always great. Remote commentary will be totally void of that. lame. In Andorra, Rob was discussing the huge gap Amuary tried in practice right before finals but crashed real hard. They were able to point out the exact spot, etc. Remote commentators would not be able to do that.
  • 1 0
 @sino428: This won't offset this. People will not watch qualifying and streaming qualifying + finals is actually more expensive than streaming longer finals. So it's a lose-lose situation. I doubt Discovery will want to raise their costs when they already don't have the space and/or money for a longer final. So what you are proposing is not a viable alternative from a streamers standpoing
  • 1 0
 @spaced: I have no idea if it’s possible, and I don’t have much hope they would actually do it. I was just saying that’s the only way that cutting the final would be acceptable in my opinion.
  • 6 0
 I have missed much of this rumour mill somehow but are we saying only 30 men in finals full stop, not just the top 30 will get filmed runs?

I’m asking because I feel it would be unbelievably negative the the spoet of it is the former, that alongside a $20k fee will not only discourage privateers but small teams too - that’s a huge chunk of the season travel budget gone.

Maybe 20 privateers should make a ‘team’ and do it that way but I’m sure that route will be ruled out.

Someone tell me I’m being a nob please and it’s just top 30 being filmed and still 70 odd riding.
  • 5 24
flag chrismac70 (Jul 26, 2022 at 10:13) (Below Threshold)
 I for one welcome the reduction in numbers. I never watch the first hour of the men’s race anyway. I don’t care who came outside the top 20. This is supposed to be about elite sport not joke blogs having ago. I agree there needs to be feeder series on each continent that makes it more affordable for talent to race at and get spotted by the big teams
  • 5 0
 @chrismac70: They could still show just the top 30 without reducing the field size, couldn’t they?

Who cares that you don’t watch the first hour? I’m sure the riders competing care, and if you don’t watch the first hour so what?
  • 2 1
 @justanotherusername: from a sponsor's POV, riding in finals w/o getting on TV is probably the same as not qualifying. Even if they still let riders 31-60 race in finals, I think sponsor support for those riders will basically disappear without TV coverage. I've definitely heard several riders in podcasts (vital, downtime, etc) talk about how important it is to get on the broadcast for your sponsors.

@chrismac70 I usually watch the prerace then skip to somewhere around the top 25-30. I don't completely hate the idea of a 30 rider final if there's some kind of feeder series to develop talent, but that doesn't really exist and I don't think Discovery or the UCI really want to set that up.
  • 5 0
 @bkm303: The big bike manufacturers may support for coverage but the huge number of small brands that support riders don’t - they do it for many reasons and TV coverage won’t be it.

Kiss goodbye to small company DH bike development, small component and clothing company race testing and support etc and young up and coming riders who need race experience as they work up the field.

What do we want, a car like environment, 6 teams of 5 people all on similar kit?

Think about the sport, not just the 30 odd riders the weekend fans can be bothered to tune into.
  • 4 0
 @justanotherusername: if they're not supporting racers to get their name in front of fans on multiple continents, then what *are* they sponsoring riders for? Charity?

I think sponsors will find other places to put their money if riders 31-60 aren't on the stream... supporting regional pros who are plugged into their local racing scene all season, youtubers and other social media personaltities, etc. People that actually get seen by potential customers.

Most small/alternative component companies I've bought stuff from in the last 5 years (oneup, wolftooth, pnw, microshift, granite, etc) aren't relying on world cups to get their name out there in the first place... doesn't seem like a great ROI (unless you're TRP/Vee/etc sponsoring Gwin maybe?). Personally I don't care that much about seeing small cottage industry products in the WC. All the riders most people care about are riding major bike/suspension/drivetrain/etc brands.

I agree it's probably going to be a huge bummer for the lower ranks as Discovery takes over, and potentially a huge problem for overall development of the sport. I just don't think having un-televised ppl in finals will make make much difference if nobody sees them. After a while the only people left outside the major teams will be those who can 100% self-fund their WC efforts IMO.
  • 3 0
 @bkm303: I’m not sure what TV coverage you watch of DH races but the actual bike barely gets coverage on film, it isn’t le tour.

I personally know a company who sponsors DH teams - they are super small component company so your assertion small brands don’t get involved is total bullshit - a great example for you recently is Ochain, tiny company all over the top racers bikes, then you have Burgtec when they first got started - arguably the DH WC racers helped them to gain the image they have now.

Why do many companies support at the lower level of WC racing? Well they get to advertise that fact, stating their products are used by xx rider at WC races, the riders have bike checks where components are listed and content is shares on social media - it’s how DH racing works, outside of the handful of big teams there isn’t much money floating around and free product is all teams can expect - money to ride is a dream.

Again though - is it me or you confused, I understand only 30 riders will ride in the final, not only 30 riders will be filmed - there won’t be any riders un-filmed in the final.
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: I'm not confused, you said:

"They could still show just the top 30 without reducing the field size, couldn’t they?"
  • 1 1
 @justanotherusername: They could but for what benefit to the event organisers and those who are funding it all. I’m sure the riders care. Of course they do but you are confusing also rans with elite sport and elite athletes. Sport is all about the very small numbers at the top. Take most pro sports and half the field is out of the competition after the first round
  • 2 6
flag chrismac70 (Jul 26, 2022 at 14:26) (Below Threshold)
 @justanotherusername: you are confusing the sport and elite sport. They are completely different things. If your not fast enough to be in the live feed then from a sponsors perspective you might as well not be there. The whole point of the racing is to sell more bikes nothing else
  • 1 0
 @chrismac70: Ok then, let’s make it the top 10 riders that qualify, why bother with 30?

You are entitled to you opinion, I am mine - I probably have a more inside view of things than you do, personally knowing a few guys this will really impact and I feel for them if this happens next season - their journey may end here and what a shame that is.

But sure, I suppose it will be great ‘for footage’
  • 4 0
 @chrismac70: I can tell you have no idea what a sponsors perspective is - you are taking bullshit.
  • 1 5
flag chrismac70 (Jul 27, 2022 at 10:42) (Below Threshold)
 @justanotherusername: I get the impact this will have on some people who will no longer be able to race world cups. But this is a business. The cycling industry are only interested in racing because it sells more stuff. They don’t care about the emotional side of the sport. It’s the same in all professional sport hence why road racing has so much money and mtb a few crumbs off the table
  • 1 2
 @justanotherusername: as an ex sponsored athlete in another sport I beg to differ.
  • 2 0
 @chrismac70: I have a few business links inside the bike industry, have subcontracted my own business years ago go a bike component manufacturer who sponsors WC dh riders and I personally know a couple of lower rank guys.

You may have been involved in a different sport, but you certainly aren’t in this one and have almost no idea what you are on about.
  • 2 2
 @justanotherusername: so the company is giving out kit or whatever they have agreed with thier riders with no expectation of anything in return?
  • 3 0
 @chrismac70: As I wrote above -' Why do many companies support at the lower level of WC racing? Well they get to advertise that fact, stating their products are used by xx rider at WC races, the riders have bike checks where components are listed and content is shared on social media - it’s how DH racing works, outside of the handful of big teams there isn’t much money floating around and free product is all teams can expect - money to ride is a dream'

None of the small companies expect TV coverage of their products, its a bike, you cant see what bar, pedal or hub is on it when its being smashed down a mountain but they do expect riders to actually be able to race the product - for coverage nd the ability to advertise the product as being used at world level - there is also product development.

I don't know what sport you where 'sponsored' to compete in, but not everything is the same from sport to sport - but as I say you are entitled to your own opinion about how an 'elite sport' should be and unfortunately for many of the riders and those involved in the sport it looks like you might get what you want.
  • 2 0
 @chrismac70: you're repeating yourself and you still keep getting downvoted every time. Could you shut up already? Nobody has agreed with you and saying the same thing over and over isn't changing that. We heard your opinion. We disagree. If you don't like it maybe you should stop posting here.
  • 1 0
 @bkm303: I think the point of reducing the field size would be to space out the riders' start times so they wouldn't overlap and they could stream every riders' whole run, rather than the condensed runs we currently get. So no, they couldn't do that without cutting the field.
  • 2 0
 @chrismac70: if that's true then why are there currently full pro and heavily sponsored riders outside the top 30? You don't speak for those sponsors and you clearly don't understand their business. Cutting the field cuts out the growth of smaller teams, small manufacturers & developers and up and coming riders and instead hands all the power to the already big companies. IT'S BAD FOR THE COMPETITION AND THE SCENE. Downhill fans don't want your sanitised, monetised version of what we currently have. You seem determined to ignore that despite it being said over and over.

You keep talking about feeder programs or lower leagues but those don't exist in any number or organised system, so how can you cut the elite level without that already being in place?

Honestly, I'm trying to be civil but it's obvious you have no f'ing clue what your talking about and don't understand the dh bike world.
  • 1 0
 @b-boyben: because there soldiers are happy with what their riders are doing in totality that might e away from just race results
  • 2 0
 @chrismac70: wtf have you just written?
  • 7 0
 I don't know what you're all worried about. Its only 1 year until the Red Bull DH Series launches*, then normal service will be resumed.

* I made this up but Im also willing to be its already in the pipeline.
  • 1 3
 Only of the roi stacks up for RB. Even events like rampage rely on the power of professional influencers doing social media live at the event to make the event stack commercially
  • 6 0
 I know plenty of people who watch football on a muted tv while listening to the radio commentary. If Rob broadcasts his commentary elsewhere, like on twitch or whatever, I would happily subscribe to that so I can keep listening to his excitement over the sport live.
  • 1 0
 I like how you're thinking, but the chance of both feeds lining up to make this possible doesn't seem likely.
  • 2 0
 @robito: Yeah. You'd have to do this on replay (which is how I watch all races anyway)
  • 5 0
 exactly what i wanted to say. rob can easily watch it live and do a twitch stream. i guess he will have more views then the actual stream itself Big Grin
  • 5 0
 " we've heard that at least one large bike brand would seriously reconsider the scale of their participation if that happened"


Commencal?

They're probably the ones with the most marketing effect aka sales out of the world cups.
  • 6 0
 What a shitshow! The UCI haven't even released the locations for next season apart from World Champs yet. These massive corporations are monopolising professional sport and seemingly there is nothing we can do!
  • 2 0
 Sure there is, don't watch.
  • 1 1
 @Darknut: not watching will cause greater harm than good
  • 5 0
 @mikelevy @mikekazimer - how about a podcast episode dedicated specifically to the history of privateers and DH (and Enduro) racing since the new $3000 to $20,000 fee is pretty much going to terminate them from existence - like the lepers & pleebs they are!

I've been reading up on this lately and only scratching the surface but there are some comments here that seem to suggest some of the fans could give 3 s***'s about privateers. I think they are essential - the roots & the soul of the whole thing...
  • 5 0
 I'd 100% take dh.and mountain biking in general away from the UCI,.it's never represented MTB well and i highly suspect the broadcast deals are done in the interest of their pockets not the sport. They effectively left the sport to die in the late 90's only for it to be saved by freecaster and redbull who have made it worth some.money again so the UCI can now sell out sport for big bucks again, weather it's best for the sport or not. It's very suspicious that there's no word on why this is good for the sport and the money doesn't seem to go to support the riders or teams in any way. What do the UCI do for the sport with the money they take? I see plenty plowed into road cycling I'm down for a non UCI redbull championship.
  • 2 0
 Hard agree on all points
  • 5 0
 I hope with the cat out of the bag that Warner isn't doing commentary next season, they just give him a bottle of whiskey at each of the last races this year to bring back his glory days one last time.
  • 4 0
 Could Crankworks by Redbull become the de facto, rogue series? Adding a UCI regulation DH track to the festivals and half a dozen events across America and Europe in addition to their events in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Switzerland plus maybe one event in South America. if you had one event in let's say France, England, Portugal or Spain that would make an 8-stop Crankworks World series that would essentially rival the UCI world tour.

Redbull still has the team to organize and broadcast, they just did not want to outbid Discovery for the UCI contract.

If the finals are for the top 30 male riders how many would be allowed to take part in the qualifiers 60, 90 riders? What about the women and junior categories?
  • 1 0
 There is already the Red Bull urban DH in Chile. And hardline in the UK.
  • 1 0
 They sponsored a soap box derby in SF a few years back so there's that.
  • 1 0
 @suspended-flesh: They have sponsored those world wide for a while now. They look stupid fun.
  • 4 0
 No Rob Warner, no thanks. No thanks to absolute bullshit distanced commentary (anyone remember Randy Mamola calling out Toby Moody for commentating on MOTOGP from a box in Paris?) No thanks to ‘exclusive’ coverage that isn’t sympathetic to the privateers and no thanks to your subscription model that doesn’t deliver on authenticity and fun. cartmanvoice> Screw you guys.
  • 4 0
 Really concerned this will lead to the demise of Downhill racing. Seems strange when Mountain biking as a whole seems to be growing rapidly. Maybe a Redbull World Cup would be the way to go. Take the UCI out of it before they destroy it....
  • 8 4
 Curious why Red Bull bailed after building the sport up for so long, maybe UCI was just asking too much for the rights. But if Red Bull sees little reason to continue investing then maybe they know something we don't?
  • 6 0
 It went to tender, their offer was no match for Discovery's offer.
  • 4 1
 @paulmurphy1989: Exactly, so they didn't see the need to outbid Discovery. Corporations don't make these decisions lightly, they know from cost benefit analysis exactly how much each investment is worth to them, and they obviously had a cap. Discovery must be planning pay per view, it's the only thing that makes sense financially.
  • 12 0
 I have no insight into the actual contract negotiations but Im going to assume its unfair to say Redbull "bailed" on anything. Redbull bought the rights to these races and broadcast them for free, meaning it was simply advertising for them. They were simply showing these races to advertise their own product.

A company like Discovery buys these broadcast rights to try and make money of it, I'm going on the assumption that they were willing to pay more for the rights than Redbull who was only using it to advertise.
  • 5 0
 $$$$$ talks, and Discovery has a lot of it. They don’t care about the legacy and culture built by the Red Bull TV broadcasts, they just see an opportunity for dollar dollar bills to flow their way. Another amazing thing ruined by a corporation!
  • 13 0
 @Bomadics: I have a bit of a to foil hat theory...
Discovery don't care about dh mountain biking at this moment in time and this is a long term investment with no expectation or need for profit in short term.

They want to be the "Cycling Broadcaster" so they are buying up rights for all types of cycling to build a subscription package for all cycling content whether that be road, DH, xc, etc.
I would expect they will want to get people bought into what they are offering to get them to pay so would expect 2 years of free content then slowly it will get merged into the GCN pass once people are used to their coverage.
  • 2 10
flag Bomadics (Jul 26, 2022 at 9:46) (Below Threshold)
 @sino428: They did bail, or walk away or give up, however you want o say it. All corporations know exactly what they are getting out of every dollar, so don't try to tell me they just advertised the sport out of the goodness of there tiny little hearts. And downsplaining how advertising works in incredibly condescending, I work in branding so I know my way around marketing campaigns.

Logic dictates that Red Bull walked away, the ROI was not there anymore, and of course Discovery paid more, we all know that, you assuming that is like assuming the sun is coming up when it is already up.

My point was, if you care to actually read the post is that it seems like Red Bull know something that has not been made public, even to Discovery executives. So assuming I am incorrect about something we both admittitly know nothing about seems like you are trolling without understanding.
  • 1 1
 @paulmurphy1989: That is a logical analysis, and very very possible, even highly likely, Discovery currently has cash to burn, they are one of the most powerful networks now so that type of long term strategy is very probable!
  • 5 0
 It's speculation on my side but I work in the media industry and there is a huge push in the streaming service towards live sports. It's the last unexploited "content" area. So my guess was that Disco simply outbid them.
  • 6 0
 It's simple, UCI figured out that they can earn more money. It is insane that such a useless organisation can actually own most cycling sports. They are just like FIFAs younger sister, a bit smaller, but greedy as hell. If anyone had slightest doubts about what sport really is - it is just plain business. Because if money is to be earn, vultures will come very soon.
  • 4 0
 @Bomadics: I have no idea what you are even rambling about. All you did here was say the same things I did, with more words trying to make yourself sound smart. Please Mr. Branding expert, explain ROI to us peons again.
  • 2 2
 Just looked up the two companies, and Red Bull makes more money than Discovery, about twice as much. So that backs up my theory that Red Bull knows something we don't. Discovery is owned by Warner Bros media, so this must just be trying to gain as much streaming rights as possible maybe?

And Red Bull is a marketing company, they don't even make the drink, it is outsourced to a juice company called Rauch
  • 1 2
 Not prepared to pay enough for out to make it profitable for them
  • 1 1
 @paulmurphy1989: isn't discovery owned by Disney? How can redbull compete with that kind of money
  • 2 0
 @Bomadics: Red Bull will still have their "Red Bull" Athletes for advertising during live feeds...
  • 2 2
 @Arev: Yea they are very savvy, I read how they did the space parachute jump. 7 years R&D, 50 million total investment, they had an 7% increase the 6 months after the jump to 1.6 billion, so roughly they made 50+ million in profit from the jump in 6 months, and it still makes them money today.
  • 1 1
 @Dogl0rd: Disney is going to kill DH the same way they already killed all big movie franchises
  • 1 0
 RB starts its own DH Series--behind a paywall
  • 1 0
 @Bomadics: The founder of Red Bull got the flavor from a health/energy drink I've had in Thailand called Lipo Vitan or something.
  • 2 0
 @suspended-flesh: Yes it was called Krating Daeng, which means Red Guar (Red Indian Bison/Bull) and the founder partnered with the original owner, who owned other energy drinks at the time, as well as a pharmaceutical company. The original Thai founder's son is currently worth 20 billion!
  • 1 1
 @paulmurphy1989: Good comment, my thoughts as well. They'll use DH to pad out their overall offering rather than seeing it as a cash cow with boxing-style PPV.
  • 3 0
 @Dogl0rd: No, Discovery is its own thing. They just bought Warner Media which was formerly Turner Broadcasting (TNT, TBS, Cartoon Network, CNN, etc.). The name of the new network/company is Warner Brothers Discovery, I believe.
  • 1 0
 @ridebikesyall: thanks for the correction. CNN? Still sounds pretty big
  • 6 0
 Watching the UCI DH races is religion for our family. Discovery may push even further into atheism.
  • 5 0
 Here’s hoping Red Bull starts a DH series independent of the UCI. Never been a fan of the cycling mafia’s involvement in MTB anyway.
  • 4 1
 It's great that they've formed a union. In the US, football, baseball, etc. all have player's unions. Given the inherent danger of the sport, I think it's long overdue.

That said, it's also a bit interesting to see the effort spearheaded by Bruni. Given his voice, and the fact that so many top riders are French, perhaps all the racers will enjoy a French standard of employment?! Mandatory 2 hour lunch break, and 1 month of paid vacation, here we come!
  • 7 0
 Only 30 riders, and 25 of them on Commençals...
  • 3 0
 J'ai grandi avec les débuts du MTB et j'adore le fait que les athlètes (pro, amateurs) ne se prennent pas au sérieux. Le MTB est un sport d'endurance, parfois risqué et il y a une large part de folie. Je crois que les changements qui seront apportés vont enlever cet esprit de liberté juvénile, à l'image de ce présentateur hors pair Rob Warner ....
  • 3 0
 Surely this should be a world championship race series first and a tv show second, people may have said they only want to watch the top riders, but that doesnt mean that you cant still have the current numbers qualify, race and earn points etc just dont show them all on tv.
  • 3 0
 I'm guessing they dont want privateers, they want it to be more like motocross, they'll likely want to have a certain number of teams paying 20k, and if you arent rich enough to buy youself a spot on one of these teams tough shit, you arent racing.
  • 3 0
 Gross
  • 7 0
 go fuck yourselves disney
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy Eurosport DE already stated in an article about Pidcock that „ The thrilling mountain bike races will be live on Eurosport 1, on discovery+ and on Eurosport on Joyn! from 2023.“ Source: www.eurosport.de/radsport/tour-de-france/2022/pidcock-alleskonner-sorgt-fur-unterhaltung-ubers-ganze-jahr-mtb-mountainbike-cross-strassenradsport_sto9037502/story.shtml Last sentence
  • 6 0
 Red Bull should do it's own pro DH series & have every race the same day as the UCI races.
  • 3 0
 No commentary from Rob Warner, it's gonna be more boring now.

It' s sad to see that downhill racing on TV just gets f*cked in the ass.

- I mean team registration price increased by a lot!!
- Pay to view? (I ain't gonna watch it, if that is the case).
- 30 riders only in the main event (less opportunities for upcoming riders).
- No more Rob Warner.

Red Bull should had kept the licenses for downhill.
Sick and tired seeing these big shot TV companies buying everything over, then make it all worse.
  • 3 0
 What Discovery might do is worrying, but what they're not doing might be more telling. Worried teams, unionised riders, panicked fans; if they had a plan why not share it to stop uncertainty damaging their product? My takeaway is they have no plan at all, with the exception of their pay per view business model. Ironically, that probably means very little will change, at least initially. I'm expecting a lack lustre sh$t-show as they find their feet, with slow improvements making my begrudging subscription incrementally more palatable each year. DH is the long tail of world cycling; you don't need to grow the sport to profit off it, you just have to change the business model.
  • 3 0
 this is horrible news. We should all get back together and discuss again after the first race next year.
If shit hits the fence we have to boycott these discovery fellas.

There arent many sports on this planet that have a family feeling like we do. We might as well use our strength.

#mtblove
  • 3 0
 Beautiful. Higher entry fees, fewer athletes in the finals and probably qualification won't be shown either. Plus a pay channel. So what if someone can buy the broadcast rights. Mainstream will make it like the World Rallycross Championship or WRC. Before it went to paid coverage it grew strongly and then stopped. And what about the fact that there are a lot of fans but they are not growing. And there are no willing new teams/brands. I wonder what kind of sports Discovery has that their viewership hasn't dropped on a pay station? They probably compensate themselves by selling rights to other open stations. I wonder what sports where the elite players are even smaller? Comparing here to Formula 1 is as stupid as not listening to the riders.
The gentlemen of the UCI who cycled in other times and probably not even once descended on the DH press are going to get awfully smart and not listen to the riders? Pathetic.
Already with EWS they started to bury and the coverage is average or at least a level lower than a year ago. The competitions themselves also changed and somehow do not have the flavor of 2-3 years ago when there were even 2 days of racing and 8 special stages.
Maybe there won't be the drama that it all promises to be, but it doesn't change the fact that it doesn't look good.
And only the actions of Loic Bruni are mega positive here.
  • 3 0
 Cutting the mens field to the top 30 races is terrible. Why cut it in half? Someone can have a bad run and still get in the top placings on their final run. It kills the opportunity that up and comers had.. Its insane tbh

Pay per view, we all know whats going to happen with that.

No Rob Warner will take some getting used to. Sad really.

20k team registrations, rip privateers
  • 7 0
 will miss rob
  • 3 0
 Does Rob Warner comment on any other sports? If he resigned with Red Bull I have to assume they have a plan for him, Maybe Red Bull is going to stand behind another offshoot like Crankworx.
  • 6 0
 Honestly they could probably grow Crankworx to be the main DH even if Discovery and Co cock it all up. Participation in UCI downhill is gonna plummet if there’s only 30 riders and $20k team fees. It’ll just rule out all the smaller teams and you’ll only have the big brands competing with like 2 riders per team.
  • 4 0
 If more people watch Crankworx than the UCI DH, the teams will spend more money at Crankworx to get their product in front of the market. There is potentially a big opportunity here for Crankworx to become bigger than Ben Hur. Especially if they get Red Bull coverage and Rob commentating!
  • 1 0
 @Dicko22: Yep. Something something Chinese saying about crisis = opportunity.
  • 1 0
 Yes he does work on other Redbull broadcasts.
  • 1 1
 @BamaBiscuits: there are only 30 riders in the broadcast final, just like now, there is noting about how many can enter qualifying
  • 2 0
 The alleged benefits of a smaller field are BS. If golf can host fields of close to 100 players playing a game that takes 4 hours then there is no reason MTB can’t do the same. Not everyone gets actively televised and that’s fine. Sometimes the broadcast will feature notable footage earlier in the day in a quick montage. Since the best qualifiers go last the same system could be applied. It’s too bad that the barrier of entry will be raised so high. Some golf tournaments have Monday qualifying where you can spend about as much as a regular round to try to play your way in as a nobody. Golf also has an entire tour for the up and coming that supports the main PGA tour Idk if mtb has that. I know the comparison is a little apples to oranges, but if an already well established sport was able to keep avenues open for qualifying, then there isn’t any excuse for mtb not to.
  • 2 4
 If mtb had the same roi for sponsors then sure it could. But it doesn’t. Just look at cycling. All the top teams are considered by a bike brand. Now look at pro road cycling and in most cases the cycling brand isn’t even in the team name they are that far down the pecking order of who provides the cash.
  • 5 0
 @chrismac70: just stop. If fewer riders qualify then it's even harder for them to get sponsors. If it's harder to get sponsors fewer riders race. If fewer riders race the sport progresses more slowly and we all lose. I remember the days between the old Eurosport coverage and Freecaster and they were not days with a lot of money in the sport. Bad coverage is bad for the sport.
  • 1 4
 @spaced: I agree bad coverage is bad for the short and sponsors will only stay off the roi is attractive. How many of those who qualify are actually privateers? By that I mean totally self funded. No sponsors of any kind. Once you have a sponsor you are a pro athlete as you have to deliver your side of the deal you made with the sponsor. From there to the top is just about what your value to sponsors is
  • 3 0
 @chrismac70: Bullshit. Years ago I had a sponsorship deal where I got a bike at trade price - 20%, I still had to work full time and in no way could I be considered a pro.
  • 2 0
 Terrible idea that sounds familiar... This 30 riders quota seems copied straight out of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup rule book where only the top 30 skiers from the first run of a slalom can compete in the second run. Makes TV coverage manageable But it sucks.
  • 2 0
 It sucks that they are dropping the field size. A small top field could work well if we had stronger national feeder series for up-and-comers to compete in, but that doesn't exist outside of maybe France and UK. Keeping field size the same, but only televising top 20 would be a good compromise. Prediction: smaller field size will keep smaller manufacturers out of DH and kill off consumer DH bikes from all but the biggest companies. Hope you like your Spec, Trek, Santa Cruz, or Commencal.

Wonder what will happen to the Pinkbike team for next season.

Maybe RedBull and Warner will pick up EWS.
  • 2 0
 Let's wait another month and then we will gett the news that RedBull will organise ankther series, complementary to the WC. If the WC has 8 venues there is still place for another 8 in the current format. With lot's of privateers and fun. Someone needs to organise races where everyone can gett some UCI points.
  • 6 0
 fuck man, there goes big part of my entertainment
  • 2 0
 My first thought reading through that, what could this mean for Pinkbike Racing next season? So invested in that. Do anything to take the team and I/we're going Liam Neason on you, Discovery+! (if only our specialist skills didn't involve head tube angles and tyre pressures)

Warner going, it's all been said already. Like F1 losing Murray Walker.

Whatever they're going to do now, I hope Discovery+ make a better fist of this than they did buying MotorTrend.
  • 2 0
 Next year will be a complete disaster if any of these new rules are true. People won’t pay to watch it, smaller teams won’t pay the increased fees, privateers won’t bother showing up, the commentary will be shit, and the broadcast will be far worse than what we already have.
All they care about is money.

I really hope someone like RedBull start their own dh series, a bit like the whole LIV golf thing. UCI/Discovery don’t have a brain cell between them.
  • 2 0
 only top 30 men and rob warner might not be doing the show? they really arent giving me many reasons to be excited for next season. i want more racers and i want all of them broadcasted and i want rob to be screaming the whole time.
  • 2 0
 The number of riders in the finals doesn’t necessarily impact broadcast times or decisions, except just a small fluctuation based on performance incentives. Many individual sports don’t televise the whole field. This would be small short-term benefits and large long-term shrinkage of the pro field (which leads to shrinkage of sponsors, advertisers, unique stories, and viewer diversity).
  • 4 0
 Crock of shit. Enjoy watching the best funded team win, but like the shit show football aka soccer for our friends across the pond. Sad day.
  • 2 0
 Literally making all the wrong decisions! Yet another (possible) subscription service I can add to an ever growing list. I can live with this, but no Warner, that's a bit of a deal breaker. Massively against a reduce field as well, it's bad enough the women's race has been cut down so much. Obviously still rumours at this point but it doesn't inspire confidence.
  • 2 0
 Sounds like nobody is going to be watching in 2023! No Rob and to pay to watch less racing......thats backwards! If anything if there was a pay to view you'd expect more coverage of the Mens 60 finalists and also to increase the amount of women to qualify for the finals! Fucking sort it out! ha
  • 2 0
 And another thing … it’s good for localities to have newbies, privateers and elite descending on them … it’s a great circus with great ‘mix it’ feel - of wild campers and team base camps … and elite riders mixing it with 14 year old acolytes… if that goes then something wonderful for the sport has been lost … I used to be able to wander into the f1 paddock - imagine that now ….
  • 1 2
 It clearly isn’t or more resorts would want to host more races
  • 1 0
 @chrismac70: …not so…in the Alps they are jostling for position to get EWS and DH …
  • 2 0
 I think we all want to see longer sections of the fastest riders runs, but NOT TO DECREASE DEPTH OF THE FINALS FIELD! You can retain the current amount of riders in the finals and still provide better TV coverage, the two should not be mutually exclusive.
  • 2 0
 Imagine being a top 30-60 racer and reading how your livelihood is being taken away from you by broadcasters. Sponsors are less likely to invest in riders further down the field and what about the spectators who have travelled large distances to watch the races? All these care about is $$$.
  • 2 0
 $3k to $20K. Inflation is bad, but that's stupid!

To the riders, teams, AND bike companies: Feel free to leave and look for something else. This wouldn't be the first time racers and teams en masse left a sanctioning body to do something else.

And to NOT include Rob Warner shows how out of touch Discovery is.
  • 2 0
 So sorry to Red Bull, Rob Warner and the rest of the crew. The racing is great, but they made the uci dh completely electric. Unfortunately discovery historically takes some of our favorite past times and mashes them up in a healthy pile of dramatic shit. I can’t stand the edited drama and the way that discovery plays heroes and villains with real people. It’s insane.
  • 2 0
 Haven't commented on Pinkbike for a long time but this is terrible news, this would be bad enough without no Warner but the prospect seems dire, now expecting not to be watching the world cup next season. Really hope there is a Red Bull competitor series so we can keep seeing him presenting and commentating on regular races the man is a legend and hugely valuable to the sport
  • 7 6
 I'd support a final of 30 riders under 2 conditions.
1) we get to see coverage of qualifying - maybe 1 minute of every rider?
2) no protected riders. Between 10 and 20 protected riders leaves very little space for everyone else.
  • 10 2
 You might support it but what about the guys qualifying outside of the top 30 and going home on Saturday?

This along with the $20k registration fee will kill some teams that aren’t full factory supported let alone the privateers.

I would rather keep viewing the same than the above.
  • 3 1
 @justanotherusername: I see your point, thats why I want some quali coverage too. 1 minute of screen time is as good as 31st place gets now, and better than 61st place currently gets. 30th place under my suggestion gets 1 min of quali, plus their full race run. Current world number 30 is Greg Williamson. When was the last time you saw him ride live?
  • 2 1
 It's still bad. You make a mistake in quali and you miss a very good rider. Not to mention quali would still get less viewers so new fast pinners would not get coverage so less sponsor support. They are already strapped for cash. I don't think we should support screwing the riders.
  • 4 1
 @AyJayDoubleyou: Is this just screen time or only 30 riders get to ride on finals, I’m confused.

If it’s only 30 riders getting to do finals then it’s an awful thing for the riders, who gives a shit about a bit of extra live footage when it will destroy the sport for those outside of factory teams.
  • 2 4
 @justanotherusername: what about them? He is that any different to those outside the top what ever it is now
  • 2 1
 @chrismac70: Want to try that again in English?
  • 3 0
 @justanotherusername:
Qualifying isn’t a shorter or easier course. It’s always been a bit odd to me that finals is just a rerun of qualifying.
That’s why I want qualifying to have the level of coverage and prestige that finals has now. Saturday having every single rider getting tv time and commentary, trying to set their best timed run down a WC course. From 1st to 120th or however many enter.
Then, additionally on Sunday, we see the 30 best riders go at it again. Full runs, maybe some live stream helmet cams.
No protected riders. Protected riders is BS to favour the top teams. How little did we see of Oliver Zwar’s run last race? Scorching race run but the current tv format didn’t favour him.
In my proposal, The top guys may back off a little to ensure a Sunday spot, whereas the next tier down are going full gas to try and beat them. Then come Sunday everyone goes full whack.

I’m happy with the current RB arrangement. I’m only saying IF they switch to a 30 man final, this is what I would want to make it interesting.
  • 1 0
 @AyJayDoubleyou: what you describe would allow for more rider coverage and an arguably more exciting main race.

Unfortunately that’s not gonna happen, it’s going to be qualifying that isn’t filmed and then a final of 30, that’s it, plus $20k for a team to register.

I mean imagine the scenario where it rains in qualifying and the entire top field get knocked out, or vice versa and the lower ranked guys have no chance.
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: your scenario is more likely sadly. My post is merely wishful thinking.
  • 1 0
 My biggest gripe is that the World Chaps when Gregg won was geo restricted and I've not been able to watch in the U.S.A. I missed it live, so I'm super bummed. Red Bull broadcasting the races for free was awesome. I'd hate to add another paid streaming service just for World Cup racing. Would World Champs have some separate gig or would it all have the same viewing access?
  • 1 0
 I'm not sure if that has been addressed yet. Under the current deal the UCI sold the rights to the World Cups and the World Championships separately. Thats why in some places Redbull couldn't broadcast World Champs. The rights were sold to someone else. Im not sure if the discovery deal covers both.
  • 3 0
 VPN or Onion browser, dude.
  • 1 0
 Do we even know how many dates there will be? Where they will be? If they will be? I have yet to see anything other than Worlds being at Fort William and normally the dates are announced near the beginning of the year prior (2022s event calendar was announced Feb 21).
  • 1 0
 Hopefully Redbull and Crankworx put on more coverage of the DH at Crankworx and keep expanding the series. I could see alot of teams jumping on the Crankworx series next year Sponsors will follow the viewers to get exposure. If less people are watching it must have less value to sponsors
  • 1 0
 I hope this means the World Cup might expand its scope and take in more destinations. Races in East Asia, Africa, Central and South America. There’s so many great destinations that could be utilised rather than the same tired venues every year.
  • 1 0
 UCI is 100% to blame for lack of venues. They practically extort the venues and then demand endless perks for the lame UCI officials who attend. Very difficult for venues and promoters to make $$
  • 1 0
 Well, bollocks.
I'd like to be optimistic, but there's no way Discovery would have put their bid in if they didn't think they could turn it into a $$$ factory....
Unless they're bringing Peaty in (with unfettered access to booze) there's not many other people I'd care to see commentate, Warner and Claudio were a winning team.
Would I pay to watch? Undecided, depends how badly Discovery ****s it up.
  • 2 0
 I agree. But that makes them no different to rb. They just paid more for the privilege
  • 1 0
 @chrismac70: Exactly, now they have to recoup their investment....
  • 1 0
 @dazlad: of course they will. Equally they can’t alienate the viewers because the marketing departments in the bike industry will decide to spend their budget on something else and pull out of racing so discovery won’t have a product to sell. As always there will be a balance between the different interests
  • 1 0
 Warner will take some beating in the commentary booth. That aside, I think this could be the downfall of world Cup dh, in my opinion (for what ots worth) it seems like dh has had abit of resurgence the last few years, gaining in popularity again amd if its not as accessable to viewers and teams/privateers start dropping out of world cups for various reasons all that will disappear and we'll start to see a struggling sport. Genuinely hope that isn't the case though and I eat my words come the start of the '23 season.
  • 1 0
 How do the factory teams even go about renewing contracts or signing riders if they don't know what the new arrangement will be? Seems to me there will need to be an out clause put in place should some of the changes above transpire.
  • 1 0
 Only thing I'd like out of all this would be better coverage and being able to watch full runs of the top riders but if thats at the expense of killing off half of the field than nope..... however there is nothing we can do, boycotting this will hurt those who are racing in the end. Ill tune in and probably pay to watch.
  • 5 0
 Bro is Warner isn't commentating, I'm not watching.
  • 1 0
 Been around since we got race reports via Velonews, the internet and then Freecaster (which was the best format).
Red Bull has done a damn good job refining the format, but would love to see as many riders as possible.
Company that owns Discovery + took a big financial hit recently, wonder if these broadcast rights get sold down the line.
Would love to see a rival DH series with Red Bull backing challenge the WC.
‘With a nose like that, he could smoke in the shower’
  • 1 0
 If they dont answer to the pinkbike inquiry - one of the biggest media outlets and communities in mtb - that just shows that they dont have a press release ready. and that means they dont have decisions and/or info collected. which means were mid season and next years organizers dont yet have a clue…that does not bode well
  • 2 1
 Trimming the field to fewer riders is good news. This opens the door to another league where up and comers, privateers, and guys who are getting back on the horse can compete without worsening the track so much for the top riders. As long as there's an organization to put on a B Series then it could spell more money.
  • 1 0
 Agree with the cap in riders sadly. The sport will not progress while it limits it self to 6 or so races a year. Crap exposure for companies. Any cap needs to be matched with suitable feeder series. Interested to know how viewing figures will be affected. Not sure Red Bull is ideally placed to grow the sport either.
  • 1 0
 If you reduced the field to 30 riders i'd say you have to scrap protected riders otherwise it makes qualifying almost pointless if a third or however many protected riders you take forward are automatically in the final. Gonna miss Warner, some big shoes to fill!
  • 2 0
 That’s what I think too. They would need to loose the protection, which would make qualifying more exciting and fair. Also, they need more than seven races a season. How many of these other sports that work well with smaller fields only have seven chances to compete?
  • 2 1
 I find it mildly amusing that there is ZERO coverage of these issues over at VitalMTB. Perhaps Outside is trying to take some of the heat away from their corporate takeover of Pinkbike with some clickbait distraction? Almost as if they are saying "look over there at this tragedy" while doing the same themselves. #hypocracy?

I will say that I am gutted if all these changes are not just rumor and especially about no Warner. We went through all the same issues and fears when Red Bull took over from FreecasterTV, but they kept the commentator (now a sober one inside the booth) and did not change the sporting at all. Time will tell if these changes come about, but now is the perfect time for the riders to organize and stand up and fight for their say in the sport.

Just my $0.02
  • 1 0
 I pretty sure there is a forum on green site covering this.
  • 1 0
 If these rumours are true it sucks major balls. I enjoy the midfield racing and following supporting the privateers JUST as much as watching the pointy end. The Money there talking is disgraceful as well..

Hopefully it opens the door to some one with the cash/another race series to modify/create a race with the current WC format/commentators. I know the DH community and riders union will come together over this shit.

Discovery if it ain't broke don't fix it.
  • 1 0
 Singalong: “…Money makes the world go around, the world go around, the world go around…’

Or maybe it shouldn’t.

Upping the cost of team entry and restricting entry - when you could just cover the top 30 but keep the entry as open as now…and using sponsorship to keep the income up and the entry fees down … that would surely be better for privateers and newbies … and ffs you need respected commentators with feet on the ground not in another continent.
  • 1 0
 So what I'm hearing is that Discovery is bringing nothing good to the table and everything bad. We already knew that Pinkbike Poll was going to be a way of trying to prove they're doing something right but we all know that it's going to crash and burn. Less privateers and lower teams will opt to race because of the smaller field and the absolutely absurd increase in the amount of money it costs to register a team. Bad news for UCI DH.
  • 1 0
 The corporate take over continues. It's about market dominance. Just ask Outside mag. They do not care specifically for mountain biking. They care about size and revenue. The further Outside can drive down expenses they maximize profit. See Beta Mag and the pathetic attempt at a last issue. You can't really go very far in the outdoor space without Outside asking you to subscribe. This same approach will happen with Discovery. They'll choke everything out in hopes of market dominance. I'd fully endorse a competing series with the same dates as the UCI world cup. It would be very interesting to see where the audience goes. My guess the core audience sticks with Redbull and Discovery realizes they will never recoup their investment and let their coverage die a slow death over the eight years of their contract.
  • 1 0
 It's going to suck for the racers no matter what, so the best thing thing that could happen is if zero people watched next season & discovery MTB coverage dies a quick death.

The one & only thing that will influence a big corporation is loss of money.

I hate it for the racers because they are the ones really getting screwed but I have no interest in watching a couple of A-holes, that most likely will know little about anything, phone in commentary from 2000 miles away from the event!
  • 1 0
 Rob Warner seems to have become a bit of an old woman when it comes to riding these days - ebikes and moaning about how hard it all is etc.

But he is the voice of DH.

People underestimate the importance of a good commentator. I have cancelled subscriptions for Moto GP/ WSBK etc when commentators were swapped in favour of somebody much worse. If you really follow a sport a change in commentator can completely ruin your enjoyment of watching it.
  • 1 0
 Why does this feel like a sport that's becoming increasingly reachable only too the affluent? Pretty crazy when I can take my old '00 E46 (which cost less than a top end frame!), remove he interior, update the suspension, and go racing in time attack in either street or tuner class for less money!

I PHUCKEN LOVE DH(!!!!) but elevated entry costs for teams will have a VERY NEGATIVE EFFECT on the sport. Riders really need to step up and take the reigns here.
  • 1 0
 What about rumours of a WC race in Whistler over Crankworx? There’s a new track finishing construction at Creekside, where they’re currently updating the lifts. The same place with all the fiber optic media infrastructure installed for the Olympics and necessary evac resources. Not to mention the UCI has said they’re adding 1-2 new races.

The series swings through North America right around the same time when everyone’s in Whistler for Crankworx already so…
  • 1 0
 Let's enjoy the last season before the big bang.
If an energy drink maker can make a sports show all over the world, why can't the bike producers themselves? Will they risk their product being nowhere to be seen? An intermediary who buys some rights is nowadays a completely useless link in the chain.
  • 1 0
 Rob Roskopp has spoken for years how he wants DH MTB out of the hands of the UCI. This would be a great time for US dollars to pull out of the UCI. I have spent 10's of thousands on MTB why should I pay to view the races that these companies sponsor. Not a gravel racer, but did you notice how America creates a new discipline of bike racing and the UCI snaps it up and takes all the races to europe, just like they did with MTB. Bring back NORBA!!!
  • 1 0
 Just finished watching the women's XC short track at Snowshoe. Usually there would be one American in the top 20. US won the race, plus 5 other women in the top 20, along with 3 Canadians. This just shows the affect of not having to travel as far when you race, UCI is unfair advantage to Euro riders. Gwinn is still the best rider, but after all these years of traveling to Europe he is just burned out. Bring back NORBA!!!!
  • 1 0
 No Rob, no DH/XCO for my wife and I... We are both ex racers now in our latter years.. Warners commentary is part of the ritual we follow on the weekends when the World Cup is on.. For a moment we are young again remembering the excitement, the atmosphere, the highs... and the lows... He is like that mate, we all had one, who could comment on anything and have you rolling off your bike... that natural clown with no malice, just driven by pure excitement.... A sad day indeed when he goes....
  • 1 0
 I've never heard of Discovery+ so I just looked it up and holly hell does it look awful. There's zero content on there I would watch.

It would be very tough to justify signing up just for MTB unless the products is clearly better than Redbull and without Rob and Elliott that's not likely.
  • 1 0
 Thanks for Discovery and UCI for destroying what would have been one of the best things to watch in 2023.
Not having THE VOICE of mountainbiking on -...... WTF!!

and then pay per view... NOT gonna support this way.

then all the other crap they are doing.. NOPE NOPE NOPE:....

Discovery and UCI you two ...STINK!!!
  • 1 0
 I see the possibility of another series poping up, like whats happening with supercross at the moment. Or
What about a feeder series that is also broadcast where we the views can also watch which allows the riders to qualify for the "Discovery UCI" series?
  • 1 0
 So the newly formed ESO who sound like a MTB version of the WEF are going to turn the series into some money machine. Max coverage to the big brands and factory teams, while rinsing them for as much cash as possible and giving less coverage to smaller teams and privateers. Personally I like watching the whole field come down, watching the track evolve, the weather change, the times come down, it builds tension. Annnd all the while removing one of the most iconic commentators of our sport who consistently brings the energy to finals.
In the words of the great man "gone down like an old lady on a cruise ship"
  • 5 0
 Well this sucks.
  • 1 0
 Sad news. Curious. A few years ago I heard the XC had more views than DH, which I found surprising. What are the XC changes? Is DH getting a curb because Discovery was after something else? Was that already discussed?
  • 2 0
 Honestly sounds like a few really worrying changes. I feel bad for the riders who work so hard and ride so fast. This is going to be some devastating changes to the WC.
  • 4 0
 Would love to hear Wyn Masters and Bernard Kerr call a race together.
  • 3 0
 Why don’t we have a hardline World Series, hosted by Red Bull Warner back on commentary, free to watch, good times!
  • 2 0
 If Crankworx added a couple more stops that could be a viable option for riders and sponsors not wanting to do the world cups
  • 3 0
 I'm calling for a GoFundMe to pay Warner to do a remote commentary over youtube or spotify or some other streaming platform.
  • 2 0
 I swear to god if I hit this MegaMillions jackpot I’m going to buy the rights to this shit show and put it in the hands of the riders union
  • 1 0
 Hope that if it goes to top 30 qualifiers national, Continental and regional events will grow, because at the moment it looks like that the path for a growing rider to grow is just to go racing world cups
  • 1 0
 I'm trying to stay positive about the changes but none of what I've read is helping. It all sounds like a ton of marketing BS and no real thought of what's happened for the last decade or so.
  • 1 1
 Controversial opinion: Warner IS the voice of DH, but he's been coasting a bit and going through the motions for the past few years. He was at his best around five years ago.
He's still competent and a safe pair of hands, but he doesn't bring the insights, the gossip and - indeed - the colourful quotes he used to.
I'm sure a change of commentary team COULD be a positive thing, but it'll have to be done very carefully and the new commentators will have a job to even match Rob when he was a bit off the boil.
  • 2 1
 I kind of agree about Rob, he seems to just say woe woe woe all the time now. More professional but not what made him so likable. Others could do it well, I actually though Cam McCaul dose a great job at crank works. He clearly is a fan and brought up decades old racing Anecdotes and tidbits during the broadcast.
  • 3 0
 @robway: Sorry but Cam McCaul is marginal at best as a announcer.
  • 1 0
 I seen only more money 2 spend, for the teams, privateers, viewers and that will only mean that the bikes will get too expensive, That will be the beginning and afterwards the sport will dim down...this is not the way.
  • 1 0
 As if the transition to Discover didn`t suck enough, they now won`t let Rob comment.
I mean I will still watch races but the broadcast is going to suck already.

And why has a broadcaster a say in start list anyways?
  • 1 1
 I hate to say it, but DH World Cup events are not "The sport".

World Cup racing is extremely dangerous and demanding, and being profesionalized for me is the right thing. I mean, it is cool for privateers to be able to race with all the top pros, but in most occasions they will be loosing money, time and sometimes getting badly hurt. National races should be the place for them to proove themselves.

There is also a problem with WC tracks getting destroyed after a day of training, and lack of time for all the categories to be on track.

I am fine with less rider entries as long as it implies more races, top notch insurance and protection for riders, bigger $$ for pros, and a better coverage of the runs. Drones and FPV cameras should be a must for every run. 4 minute gaps and full coverage. (4 minutes max track)

I would do a SX style closed lineup, with 4 slots per profesional team (3 men, 1 women) and eliminate junior category (they would compete in the same race). Only 2 fields: mens and womens, with plenty of time to train in day 1, seeding runs (for points) on day 2 and race on day 3.

Every team could choose their roster for the season with one backup rider to step in in case of injury. The backups obviously would do training as the rest, but would not start on race day. Could be an oportunity for younger riders to ease in the WC level.

The problem of discovering new talent should not be that hard, with other events like nationals, crankworks, IXS and such... And social media there to hype the young boys and girls for the trade teams to sign them. It's not like a young ripoer who is faster than Loic Bruni is going to be hidden for long.
My 2 cts.
  • 1 0
 Big factory teams + ESO are conspiring to squeeze out the influx of smaller competition both in the race and exposure, in order to focus on major brands and the market bankrolls that go with it.
  • 1 0
 Suggestion: only broadcast the fastest X qualifiers (with more coverage of the ride), and leave the finals open for the same amount of riders.
But Rob not commenting: unfathomable.
  • 1 0
 Would be awesome to have some sort of race at Windrock if there is a breakaway series. Redbull could pull this off but they may have some sort of agreement for a year or two where they do not directly complete with UCI.
  • 9 6
 What we need is wads of Saudi cash.....LIV MTB anyone?
  • 3 0
 Starting a new mtb league may be the only viable option if discovery fails to deliver.
  • 4 0
 If we can somehow integrate John Daly and Rob at the same time...I think we would be onto something. Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Giant bikes enters the room...ahem!
  • 4 2
 Rob is to DH racing as Crofty is to F1...hard to imagine viewing without that auditory experience.
  • 8 2
 Except Rob is good, has been there, and done it. Crofty is hopeless, and was/is a football/darts commentator....he has very little motorsport knowledge.
  • 2 0
 He's the Bob Roll of MTB. F'n shame Warner's off the mic. Hope he goes out with a bang
  • 1 0
 @Starch-Anton: still knows more than your average Netflix viewer!?
  • 5 1
 More likle Rob is to DH racing as Murray walker is to F1...It will be a big loss, but you'll get used to it.
  • 2 1
 Crofty is horrible. No knowledge, gets everything wrong. He’s an absolute joke.
  • 2 0
 Also, cutting the amount of racers in half and increasing team registration will kill the privateers. RIP downhill. and xc.
  • 2 0
 Have a bad feeling in 2 years time world cup downhill will no longer be around
  • 4 0
 Long live Red Bull-Crankworx Downhill World Series
  • 2 0
 Sad but true, won't be worth waking up for anymore....cannot believe Redbull would let this go.
  • 4 0
 RIP DH racing
  • 3 0
 I hope Red Bull comes in with their own DH and Enduro series.
  • 2 1
 Yes. Go the LIV golf route and create a league that has great payouts, rider ineraction and input and poach riders until the UCI and Discovery are left with nothing.
  • 1 0
 Time to say Goodbye to Downhill WC's.... Redbull has what it takes to make a World Class downhill Championship, and i hope they do
  • 3 0
 Discovery are going to ruin it.
  • 3 0
 Damn. The future looks pretty grim for WC DH racing.
  • 4 2
 CONFIRMED: I WILL NO LONGER BE WATCHING UCI DOWNHILL RACING WITHOUT ROB WARNER.
  • 1 0
 No Warner with Warner Bros!?
DH race coverage will NEVER be the same.
Thanks for all the exciting commentary and good times Rob!
"LOOK AT THE TIME!"
  • 2 0
 If losing Warner is a sign of what to expect, then Discovery+ is in for a world of hurt.
  • 2 0
 Sad times for many teams.. Wonder is the PinkBike team will fork out for next year now? Doubt it Frown
  • 2 0
 By the looks of this, downhill is going to face some of the issues that MXGP is currently facing
  • 4 1
 It´s over. No Rob no DH. F**k Discovery
  • 1 0
 The full thing is a disaster, top 30. This would work if there was F1 money in it but MTB doesn't and these suits dont get that. Sports gonna get ruined.
  • 1 0
 Best of two runs would be ideal...ala rampage-of course rampage is maybe 10 riders.
Pay per view is gna suck but most would just watch via hacked youtube/vpn feed.
  • 2 0
 Rob Warner at 3:50AM PT is a vibe that I will never again be taking for granted.
  • 2 0
 Hope Redbull do a show with Warner where he's watching a Discovery feed and giving an alternate running commentary.
  • 4 0
 #WarnerISDownhill
  • 1 0
 I am not giving up hope. Red Bull can allow Warner to provide commentary for Discovery. Warner can walk away from Red Bull and work for Discovery. It’s only money.
  • 3 0
 No Rob.....NO DH WC. Without him, it is a basic regional event mate.
  • 2 0
 Guess I’ll just watch whatever sport Rob is commentating over on Redbull TV. I’m mostly serious. Sad.
  • 3 0
 If there is no Warner then who will say "Look at the time!!!"
  • 1 0
 Gold
  • 3 0
 Rob Warner is the voice of downhill. They’ve royally f*cked this one.
  • 3 0
 Red Bull Hard Line World Series
  • 1 0
 He's more than half the reason I ever tuned in! If he's enthusiastic about it, then he could make competitive paint drying fun to listen to.
  • 1 0
 Absolutely gutted, Warner makes the world cup the world cup!!! id like to see who they will find to replace him, no one can fill those shoes
  • 2 0
 Too many people are thinking this only affects DH; it won't, this affects XC as well.....
  • 1 0
 What if it was top 30 with a 2nd tier qualifying series. At the end of the year the bottom 10 drop out and the top 10 from the qualifying series get a start for the next year
  • 1 0
 RIP World Cup racing. Rob’s commentary is one of the only reason I watch. Guess I’ll just go riding instead of watching. Thanks for ruining a good thing Discovery!
  • 1 0
 Just don't let that f*cking idiot frenchie announce. He makes me turn the volume off. He can't even articulate basic words. Who hired that guy should be fired. Haha oops
  • 1 0
 Well that's bad news...

I'll say this "ROB WARNER IS THE DAVID ATTENBOROUGH OF MOUNTAINBIKING"

It won't won't be the The DH World Cup without him on commentary!
  • 2 0
 Get Kenan Harkin in the booth
  • 3 0
 Unbelievable!
  • 2 0
 Rob was robbed! How can we go on without Rob? Just won’t be the same.
  • 2 0
 Wrong move. Warner knows his sh!t uci don't.
  • 1 0
 Anyone know if Red Bull decided not to pursue renewing their contract or if the UCI decided not to renew it?
  • 1 0
 $$$$$ That is your reason
  • 2 0
 RB bought the rights to broadcast DH racing and it basically promotes Redbull, that's why it was free to watch. Discovery pretty much out bid RB on the rights to broadcast, they don't want to promote their brand (i.e. there a huge corp.) So the big D wants to monetize the broadcast. RB has money but the big D has more
  • 1 0
 f*ck it if they’re making it ppv I’m gonna sail the high seas again, these dorks won’t see a cent from me
  • 4 2
 Make DH great again...............
  • 4 0
 Make use of this phrase obsolete.
  • 1 0
 World Cup has always been about driving business forward, this is no different. All these people care about is the money.
  • 1 0
 if Rob Warner is not going to be in the commentary booth, then those are some huge shoes to fill
  • 1 0
 Everything is a rumour here except the most important thing: losing Warner. RIP
  • 2 0
 *sigh...* This was good day until i read this...
  • 1 3
 30 riders may make the cut, but what if qualifying is broadcast now? No word on this... just a thought. In many racing formats, qualifying is broadcast, and the "main event" field is smaller. This way would more riders actually get a chance to be on screen, and you may get better "main event" coverage. In order for more racers to earn a living, the TV package has to get better. Easier watching for the casual fan will turn into more dollars for the participants. Right now the TV format is really only attracting MTB racing fans. Most MTB riders I know could careless about the current coverage. A glossier format could change that.
  • 1 0
 This was my thought exactly. Cutting down main event/finals could be good if you also broadcast qualifiers live. The cut down finals could have more of each run shown, while qualifiers could be broadcast live more minimally, similar to how the races are covered now but with just without all the fluff.
  • 1 0
 True to an extent but you have to consider privateers who work so hard to get there won't be showing up nearly as often or at all if they have to be top 30 to race finals. Finals is what everyone's there for and it's not worth spending thousands of dollars to go on a trip when your chances of making it past Qualis is so low
  • 1 0
 Without Rob Warner all they have is a steaming pile of
  • 2 1
 I will still watch DH (if it remains free) without warner but I won't enjoy it as much.
  • 2 0
 Please god do not replace Rob with Sal Masekela
  • 2 0
 That would super suck. Not a fan of his jibberish ,2nd thought so called philosophies.
  • 2 0
 Time for RedBull to create their own DH Series and DH leave UCI.
  • 2 1
 I’m done with all this, good luck to all racers and future talents…Sheldon OUT
  • 2 0
 is it 1. of April yet? :-(
  • 1 0
 red bull world cup would be great get UCI out of it and while at it get British cycling out of DH fullstop
  • 1 0
 Time for a new series, none of the changes look good for the future of DH except the riders union!
  • 1 0
 Oh man bring me back to 2008! Freecaster must rise from the ashes get Warner and Pager back in the booth
  • 2 0
 This sure looks like a massive fuckup
  • 3 1
 No Rob Warner? no point in watching
  • 3 0
 Money kills culture
  • 1 0
 2023 RIP DH racing . I don't think I will give a shit about watching DH anymore. Sad times for biking all the way around.
  • 3 2
 Star Wars is dead, Star Trek is dead, Doctor Who is dead might as well kill Mountain bike racing too .... humans suck.
  • 2 0
 Yes I'm sick and tired of these TV companies fucking everything up.
  • 2 1
 If they double the womens field and halve the mens field I will personally assasinate whoever was in charge of that decision
  • 2 0
 Looks like 2022 will be the last year I watch a UCI DH race
  • 1 0
 Not gonna pay them single penny... pfff if only half of those rumors is true its rly bad for the sport.
  • 1 0
 I want Rob Warner back! I still prefer his commentary even if now I have one in my native language!
  • 2 0
 If the rumours are true RIP DH
  • 1 0
 NOOOOOOOOO! Can't imagine DH without Warner commentary. Rob is DH, DH got Rob(bed)
  • 3 0
 #NoRobWarnerNoWorldcup
  • 1 0
 Absolutely gutted, Rob made the world cup the world cup, no one will be able to fill those shoes.
  • 2 0
 RedBull, NORBA, or something else... lets leave the UCI behind.
  • 1 0
 Ok can Redbull just create their own DH series? Redbull Hardline world Tour
  • 2 0
 "Offsite announcers" About as lame as it gets!
  • 2 0
 Uglier than E.T with skin cancer! Fuck you UCI.
  • 1 0
 Formula 1 aspiration, no more Rob Warner, increase fee for teams....what a s*itload of bad news.
  • 1 0
 The EWS is in the dogs house for me and now the legendary Rob is leaving. Good luck, I won't be watching either now.
  • 1 0
 My native language is Spanish, but I prefer waaaaayy more listen the comments of Rob Warner than other.
  • 1 0
 Is this where we see a RedBull Hardline series? Pushing the sport the way it wants to go?
  • 1 0
 No Rob, no party!!
DH goes corporate :-(
As with most other things, money talks!

It was good while it lasted!
  • 1 0
 Wow! These changes pretty much suck!!! And watching the races will absolutely not be the same without Rob Warner.
  • 1 0
 Well thats bad news...

I'll say this "ROB WARNER IS THE DAVID ATTENBOROUGH OF MOUNTAINBIKING"
  • 2 0
 nooooooooo
  • 1 0
 Bring on the FUD. Sadly seems called for in this case Frown
  • 2 0
 Yikes /3
  • 2 0
 MASSIVE!!!!
  • 1 0
 The changes are not good except the racer union.
  • 1 0
 Well... There's still Crankworks Hardline and Rampage to watch.
  • 1 0
 Rutledge wood is the new pit reporter
  • 1 0