It all comes down to this. This year’s PBA competitors have put their skills to the test and their careers on the line in hope of winning one grand prize: $30,000 and a pro contract with Orbea Bikes. Today, we crown the Season 3 winner of The Pinkbike Academy.
It's great that you personally don't follow riders on social media but then you're not the one they're trying to sell to and Tarmo's race results probably wouldn't affect your buying habits either.
I don't know how it wasn't obvious to everyone that they weren't looking for an EWS elite male racer? They have Martin Maes. What do they need the slower Tarmo for?
"Max, you may not have won anything on your life...not even the last race...heck, not even a stage. But you sure won our hearts with that sea-to-sky bullshit. Congrats "champ"!"
format should have been switched as the show focused on rider skill, stamina and speed.Yes they kept mentioning that the winner wouldn’t necessarily be the best rider which seemed odd.
Show should have been called “Pinkbike’s Social Media Academy” and should have focused on building and maintaining social media and spent one episode on rider skills. Of course that’s not exciting enough to keep viewers interested.
You say Tarmo is full send. Did he look out of control or did he crash in any of the tests?
Yes Eric is consistent, agreed, but consistently 20-30 seconds off the pace per stage = 3-4 minutes over the course of an enduro race. That isn't professional level riding.
Is that what we want to promote.
But also now everyone knows just how much faster Tarmo is.
A performance base programme were the person who performed the best in every challenge (almost) didnt win. I thought Tarmos video was the best but this is person preference.
The way this season has gone, I'll give the next a miss which is a same as I've been so excited waiting for this.
Not trying to take the win away from Max, but why would you run a series full of different kind of competitions, but then dismiss the CLEAR total winner of them all.
What was the point of this series again?
PS. I'm not worried about Tarmo. He has already proven himself in the EWS and now everyone knows who he is. Now he just doesnt have to represent a brand that doesnt care about real race speed, which Tarmo is full into.
Orbea: *has Martin Maes on the EWS team*
Random pinker: "a brand that doesnt care about real race speed"
I could not get away with the presenters...I can't remember the female presenter, but that was not a good fit.
The goals and success criteria for the challenges were constantly undermined by this undertone of "we're looking for more than just..."
Why did you wait until the last one or two episodes to put an interview with Orbea saying what they were looking for?! Surely that's the intro of Ep.1? Set the scene and all that?!
Same as other comments - you didn't get to know the riders and see enough of them playing to their strengths. Maybe the episodes were too short or maybe it was too much time spent on pointless judge deliberations.
Judges' deliberations were meaningless - so formulaic; make sure everyone is mentioned as both a strong contender and a bottom of the pack so actually, you say nothing.
I LOVED Season 1 & 2 - so exciting to see opportunities given to amateur riders.
But it seems like he's got a job writing here? He'll go far, and I'll keep that Jank sticker on my bike buddy.
Max shoes nice riding, but better slows it down. Every second insta video shows him barely making it down features with some really close calls. Basically no good self-assessment of skills. Maybe he is showing only the close calls, I don't know... But I think at some point Orbea will loose him for several months because he will hurt himself badly. Don't forget the incredible skillset of Barelli/VanderHoek/Metailler when riding their lines.
Just my 2c.
They forgot to mention that the criteria was actually whoever has the most instagram followers before the series started?!
perhaps having the edit challenge being more than 30 seconds long. Give them a week to get a proper piece and have that process be half the seasons run time.
There used to be this reality TV show on the French TV called "Star Academy" (there is a new version but I don't know if it is as good). They used to put a bunch of talented singers/dancers in a castle for a few weeks and have them train on all professional aspects of being a "Pop Star". They had amazing teachers (pro dancers, pro singers, choreographers) spend the whole time with them and prepare for the weekly live show, and on top of that they had mega Pop Stars visit them and perform with them (to cite a few, Celine Dion, Ray Charles, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, ...) and it was amazing to see the contestants mature and become real show biz professionals as the weeks went by. There have been a few seasons and most of the winners have become big stars in France and beyond. Of course there was still all the drama needed to sell the show, but it was a real Academy where people learn something and compete.
In the PBA show, they did not teach them or train them, just test them and subjectively select eliminate them (or they did not show the training maybe). We do not see a progression, the left at the same level that they came in, with a bit more exposure but that's it. I think it is a big waste of opportunities for the contestants and for the public to not see the schooling part of an academy.
Maybe you can improve on that next season...
He knew that the shit was not going to be fair.
All the best for the all the contestants, keep shreddin'
The biggest problem with this season is that if Orbea is looking for that social media content creator, they should have selected the contestants and competitions accordingly. So in this case mtb influencers and competitions to measure those abilities.
Why bring contentants who excel in racing, if that is not what they are looking for?
I'll give answering it a shot though:
It's something I watched with one eye while doing other stuff so hard to say if it was "worth" anything. It's not like I sacrificed quality time with the wife to watch PBA lol. It was as much worth my time as stuff like video games etc., things I do when I want to turn the brain off for a bit. I honestly don't care what the challenges were, they might as well have had a knitting episode. It was a time-filler that would obviously end in Orbea choosing whoever fit their plans.
I understand how it could make you upset if you were genuinely invested and believed the challenges had anything to do with winning the show. A bit naive, but understandable. Especially that you're Finnish so you kinda had a horse in this race.
No one is saying they don't understand why the Finn didn't win. Everyone is saying PB and Orbea did a bad job i.e. the format was pointless. There's nothing to argue but who knows if you'll let that stop you.
Pinkbike is becoming so superficial, it’s cringey. Way too much emphasis placed on social media presence. In an era where people are like: “bro! Just get outside and ride your bike“, this sends the opposite message. Pinkbike Academy just paid Max for his follower count.
I think Orbea should come up with a official profile what they are looking for (if not a pure racer), so that it is crystal clear to the audience from the getgo.
Was the point of the show just to launch a brand ambassador? Seems strange to focus on brand ambassadors with companies like Specialized firing all their ambassadors.
Im assuming Orbea paid to be the title sponsor of PB academy? This whole event seems like it cost them way more money than simply going on Instagram and doing a little 'market research'....
Also, PB Academy has no purpose and needs to die. The whole thing was utterly pointless. People respect PB less for having created such garbage. Maaaybe it brought a little more attention to the runner ups in the competition, but Max didnt need to be on the show to win this.
PB you guys just showed us you dont know what you're doing and shouldn't be creating series like this. Katie Burrel had no business being on this. She's not funny outside of her one-hit wonder 'how to be a female mtb-er' video. She lacks the personality and on-screen presence. Definitely not her forte.
Hopefully they'll either be looking for a racer next season or they adjust the show to match.
Orbea decide in advance what type or rider you are looking for. Invite 10 riders who have potential in that riding segment. Put those 10 riders through a set of tests based on skills relevant to that segment of riding!
Nonetheless, congrats to Max. I'm sure he'll be great
Tarmo roasted all comers and came off completely genuine. That’s our guy.
The group appeared horrible to Brittany. What was up with that?
Good luck to all.
Dissapoining ending but congrats to Max, definitly a rider that's fun to watch.
Not sure Orbea knows what they're doing though - how many people are buying freeride bikes compared to enduro bikes?
BUT, this year's "contest" was just a really lame commercial. Sorry Gully, Orbea just hired your replacement.
Maybe next year's show will be a week-long freeride selfie battle on e-bikes?
We can dress this up all we like but the Finnish guy was absolutely robbed.
this season the winner's decision was the marketing for Orbea.
Pinkbike just lost it´s credibility!
When i see crazy bit hits on social media I never think of the bike., But enduro race results it’s fun too look at the leaderboards as see what bikes are doing good. I know rider is 90%, But some stages you see trends sometimes
Followed him since like the third or fourth episode
There already are millions of excellent riders with fantastic editing skills posting "content". They will shortly be sent on their own spaceship to discover a new planet for the human race.
Orbea makes nice bikes, but I'll never buy one because of the really poor dealer network rep and service they have here. They should spend their money fixing that first.
As for personalities - keep in mind that a lot of people will prefer Tarmo's personality. MTB needs a Kimi R.!
He is like the nordic cody kelley in my eyes..
He´s killing it!..
I guess this is about marketing for Orbea and not biking.
Maybe they should make that clear and skip having MTB judges and go straight to Tiktok and YouTube influencers…
Now I understand the bitter taste you seemed to have in the comment section of the previous episode…
Cheers to the rider, but not sure I want a season 4 of pba.
It is easier to make a rider way faster then teach him a bit of marketing and social media work.
I personally thought the previous seasons were more entertaining to watch though. Why make most of the competitions so race focused if that's not necessarily what they're looking for? Adding focus to their living situation together seemed kinda silly too and made it feel more like some kind of MTV reality show. Something that might freshen the show up and could be cool is showing more of what they're doing in between the competitions to prepare and how invested each of them are in the challenges. I think what made previous seasons more entertaining for me was seeing the struggles and how much work everyone puts in trying to ride at these levels.
Maybe in the #seatosky? aka: mecca
The racer dude wasnt gonna be top of the podium in WC races, but max can have banger after banger where it matters.
and also I don't understand why eliminate Ares and make a final round with 3 guys and 2 gals instead of 3...
All those folks are super cool, I would have rather seen a woman chosen, but I get that they're looking for someone who will sell bikes and most riders are men.
My pick was Brittany, I think she presented well, has a strong racing background, and will appeal to a lot more folks.
Max just seems to be a really good personality who knows his niche and audience and I think it’s smart Orbea chose him.
@pinkbike if you do anything again next year, please bring them back
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