Video: History Was Made in Lenzerheide! | Story Of The Race with Ben Cathro

Jun 10, 2023 at 15:55
by Pinkbike Originals  

The biggest stories from the first round of the downhill World Cup in Switzerland.

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Member since Feb 15, 2012
1,045 articles

  • 66 1
 Great interview with Finn Iles. Well spoken guy. Thoughtful analysis of the new format.
  • 15 0
 Finn always is
  • 8 0
 Yeah exactly thought the same as well, for such a young fella, certainly had the best answer , with good analysis as well
  • 3 0
 And made sure to keep the Red Bull logo on his hat exposed...
  • 27 0
 Remember last year when people said that Jordan's and Jackson's FTDs didn't count because they were racing earlier in the day in different conditions?
  • 8 0
 Too bad Jackson was recovering from appendicitis. Not sure if that played into how he placed, but I keep thinking it would have been even sweeter redemption from all those comments if they had finished 1-2. I think those two will be career rivals for DH domination.
  • 18 0
 Jordan said hold my juice box
  • 29 3
 No real mention of elite women’s race
  • 9 0
  • 12 1
 Fair play to Ben creating content for us while still in the hospital! I do think Rachel coming back with a win does deserve a mention though
  • 4 9
flag SBdhmtb (Jun 11, 2023 at 1:34) (Below Threshold)
 To be fair they didn't mention Jordans win either. Or any results apart from Pinkbike racing's.
  • 5 0
 @SBdhmtb: they did interview him though, and they did mention his win
  • 3 0
 @manybrouce: Apologies. My bad, fully missed that.
  • 27 8
 for me the new format doesn't work - i watched the semis like it was 'the race', and then when it came to the finals i just watched snippets - i'd already had the excitement, seen the same sections of track, already heard the same comments from the commentators. Maybe with the extra footage of the juniors and semis it was just over saturation.. Cool having the options to see a bit of footage of the juniors now though!
  • 2 1
 I like that they are running the intro before the main race rather than the sems though, unless I'm really hot for it that's when I'll be tuning in
  • 6 2
 For me it's exactly opposite. I used to watch the full womens race and only the last couple runs in the mens race, because the 60 riders were just too long to watch after the womens race. And that whole pre-show stuff got skipped anyways. Now I only watched the full finals on the national TV.
  • 4 0
 It was weird to see people not pushing hard in the semi but at the same time having to make the cut. Risking a crash in Semi without protection would be the worst case scenario.

Daprela said it too, on a short track like this two finals on the same day might be doable, but imagine that in Fort Bill. Everyone will be cooked and maybe more mistakes/crashes will happen. We‘ll see.

What I didn‘t like was the two separate streams for finals with different content. You would miss quite a lot. While one stream showed post show interviews with Cedric and Reece, the other stream showed the winners ceremony and riders interviews. STRANGE!
  • 1 0
 @molokel: Yeah I don't get the two streams either. Seeing the "includes live show" label I assumed that would indeed have _everything_ besides the race itself, not that that would be the one with the hosts chatting mainly by themselves and that the "plain" stream is the one with the podium ceremonies and interviews with all the top riders. I mean, surely the could all still be included in one show that being very slightly longer. It was a bit weird watching the hosts analyse the race and whatnot, while hearing the award ceremonies starting in the background and no one on screen paying any attention to that.
  • 2 3
 Yeah it’s essentially just televised qualifiers now. No real need to watch in future
  • 8 5
 Same here. Why don't the top 20 men from qualifying go straight to the final, and the 21-80 from qualifying fight it out in the semis / second chance race for the last remaining 10 spots in the final? And no protected riders. This way the final is still only 30 riders and the semi-final doesn't take the excitement away from the final.
  • 4 0
 @pit123: That sounded good, until I thought a bit about it and realized it would be tough for the 10 people that qualified from the semis having to do a second race full on while the top 20 only have to do one. It might work if the semis are done the day before the finals.
  • 1 1
 @pit123: solid idea.
  • 3 0
 I thought it worked well and I liked Cedric as the expert. It was good seeing more of each run and the drone footage was a great addition. Well worth the £3.33 a month it costs me
  • 3 0
 @molokel: these are elite athletes. I’m sure they can do 2 race runs in a day. They have had the entire off season to make any adaptations to thier training programmes to adapt
  • 19 1
 The way I see it.

+ More pre finals biking footage.

- Paywall!
- No Rob Warner.
- Finals Race footage isn't a big step up from Red Bull if at all.
- Questionable impact on the long term exposure of the sport compared with the Red Bull brand.
  • 17 2
 Agreed but - (nearly) full runs for 40 riders in finals... that's unbeatable. I think you're cutting yourself short. Redbull never showed a single full run (that I know of) and yeah Cedric's like a kid in the candy shop but for $9 (I'm testing it out) - I was not at all disappointed. Yeah the semi's / finals same day seems nuts - yet here all these guys are doing it so if they didn't think it was doable, no one would've signed up to do it.

I have already griped my keyboard to a pulp here that Cedric's commentary was fluff & mostly Captain Obvious....but still, the intensity, drama & buildup (etc) was badass right up to the end of mens & women's races. I was saying all this too earlier and have been the biggest skeptic - to me this does not at all put downhill in front the world unless its just being shown free for a year or two until they paywall it in those locations - but full runs, top to bottom for all riders? That's mint. I'll take it. And Ric McLaughlin is perfectly fine - I just think they should also have a woman commenting as well like Tracy Hannah or anyone with actual rider experience.
  • 5 0
 For non-native English speakers:
+ Commentary in native language for more people

For Dutch speakers
+/- At least there is one commentator that knows what he is talking about
  • 1 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: "Redbull never showed a single full run (that I know of)"

They did for the first Croatia race in 2018 due to how short and visible the track was.
  • 6 3
 The camera coverage was an improvement. The commentary was OK (will never be Rob obvs), and say what you like about CG, I still remember him backflipping at Rampage so he's a legend to me.
  • 6 3
 @tremeer023: Cedric on the mic was awesome. Ignore the ignorant dubbas. I guess they forgot about him severing his femoral artery, reaching into his leg to pinch it to prevent bleeding out until the heli came.
  • 9 3
 @scott-townes: He was the slightly drunk French uncle at the family party that you didn’t know you needed. A certified MTB legend for sure, and did a good job for a first effort.

A lot of keyboard jockeys with rose tinted VR goggles in the comments.
  • 3 0
 It’s less than £3.50 a month. That’s a pint in the pub
  • 2 0
 The commentary was decent and hopefully will improve as things go on. As much as he brought the excitement, Warner also had a lot of good insight on the riders, which the guys at the weekend didn't seem to have.

My main complaint about the broadcast was that they didn't really explain the new qualies/semis/finals format at the beginning, which would have made sense as it's quite different to the old setup.
  • 1 0
 ric did a great job in nove mesto and proved again in lenzerheide, great job, thanks! as much legend as cedric is, he had his time during racing and partying but commentating is not his thing. this was straight forward annoying. i would love tho have tracey hannah as an expert. she did so good.
  • 1 0
 @scott-townes: Ok - ya got. One time they showed a full run or two. Point was - it wasnt' the norm. I do think they prob fig'd out that full runs for so many riders only works for core fans and I'd sit & watch that all day but maybe 90% of everyone else and non-fans don't care. Dunno.

In spite of 87 gripes I could throw down about the coverage this weekend - it was annoying - the racing was as fine as ever and that's what I came for. All the peanut gallery BS almost makes it more interesting in a perverted kinda way but it'll get better I'm sure. I already spent too much time busting on Cedric but - he's trainable - the whole thign will get better & it'll be fine. I'm in it to watch the racing not a buncha edit recaps.
  • 17 1
 So bummed for Ben.. this dude always smiling and positiv. Heal up good!
  • 3 3
 Yes, but at the same time I think he needs to stop racing. It's one thing to have the occasional fall, but the guy seems to have a lot of falls, and bad ones. Good coaches will tell you it's more important to stay within your limits while racing. If you're always getting injured, you're not going to get better or be able to slowly increase where that limit lies. And as someone heading a team of young riders, you have to wonder what he's instilling in them. Positivity good, crashes bad. Likeable guy though.
  • 1 2
 @Fill-Freakin: and thus is why you don't race!! You don't baby step to your limit you either hit your limit or you surpass it and crash!! Why do you think so many people biffed it in practice?
  • 6 0
 These vlogs give us a better understanding of what’s happening during a race weekend. Tbh this content is better than what we get from Discovery. I don’t understand why the elite finals are not on Eurosport…I’m paying for sport package and HBO (which is part of Discovery now) but I can’t watch the race on tv. I’m still waiting for that Discovery+ thing to be launched in this part of Europe. Great job team Pinkbike, keep them coming.
  • 6 0
 Yo. Any comments on the coverage?

Were the finals covered better than the semis? Not a big fan of previously free stuff going behind paywalls so thought I'd watch the semis before committing.

Didn't think Cedric and the other guy did too badly though if you'd ever heard the French audio stream in the past, CG sounds far more animated in French, which as his natural language makes sense. Can't fault his credentials that's for sure. Just hard coming down off Rob Warner antics. So glad it wasn't Neethling either way.

My main issue with the semis is that we were promised by Discovery that we'd see much more camera and action. The drone coverage was a great addition but otherwise the footage was just the same as always.

Riders would just disappear for a few minutes and reappear with dirt on them with the commentary team having no idea what happened.

And what turned out to be the most crucial section, 4 where the race was won or lost, there was basically nothing.

After watching 4 hours of disjointed racing could not be bothered paying for the finals, watched the highlight replay instead. Did they show more of the runs?

Side note, I can't seem to work out reply to any comments on PB. Any ideas?
  • 1 0
 Forget the side note, worked out the reply thingy
  • 2 0
 Yep semi finals was like the old stream,nothing too fancy or better coverage. If you take Rob and the old team vs CG and new tv stream,is very similar,almost equal. The guy from the EWS videos weird accent makes me mad...CG is fun,but not a good show director like Rob.
  • 16 2
 Doubting you care for unsolicited comments on yours but: good points & comments. I wasn't a fan of Cedric's commentary but - he's trainable. Ric was perfectly fine and I'm still gonna watch (mostly with sound off and me & my buds now trying to comment in Rob's voice!) but seriously - Cedric's a great guy & rider and deserves a chance but seriously needs to just chill and let momentum build.

Rob even had to take commentary training from pro sport guys he thought were cheeseballs - and he hated it - but then reaslized they were right and his commentary became what we all crave now. You have to be quiet often when you wanna yap - let people just watch withot comments, make strategic comments, and not get overly excited at average runs - let things build. Is it perfect? No - neither was Redbull which skipped 50% of most every run and had plenty of other issues.

After watching the Youtube Jrs & elite semi's I subscribed to GCN+ (montly) to watch finals and for me - its 100% worth it even if I think Cedrics amateurish - he will grow & learn. I'm not gonna skip the races because I'm upset by one dude (who has potential) - the racing was still full-tilt aweome with full runs of 10 women and 30 men with just a few cutouts - did Redbull ever show ONE full run? And like all previous race seasons - the built up of speed & intensity was edge-of-your-seat runs til the end.

I also watched the replay / recaps and it simply does not capture the drama of watching women for 1/2 hr and men for 1 1/2 hrs... you get the findings but none of the actual buildup & thrill. Do yourself a favor and check it out even monthly because you're gonna get at least the first 3 races, all the replays (and endless other content) and you can stop if you don't like it.

Point: I"m a little b**** about stuff, but the racers are as badass as ever and the 1st race of the year still delivered in all possible ways.
  • 10 2
 More cameras, but badly placed. Cameras are too low, especially in technical wood sections, so you don't see the lines and only get crotch shots. More is not better. I have the feeling it's copied from ski racing, where this works, but it doesn't do it for DH.

Commentary is bad. Ric manages to get some background info in, but is boring. Gracia is a rambling disaster. Warner always knew who was taking which line, discussed options, gave insight, why one might be faster than the other. Gracia the supposed expert just sees "tires flying dirt", no depth, no insight. Also it's constant over excited yelling, with no relation to what is going on on track.

The new semi finals format isn't there yet. Especially if presented that badly, showing only the boring bike park parts.

Track atmosphere was meh, very few fans. Did they charge more for tickets?

All rider GoPro footage owned by Discovery - what a shit move.

You might want to tiz-cycle this for the time being.
  • 2 0
 Quality of finals was defo better than semis. At semis there‘s like 2-3 riders on track at the same time, hence the short coverage. With the reduced field in finals this allows them to have 1 rider on track and show the full run. Although they missed some spots, so we couldn‘t see Kolbs crash and everybody wondered what happened.

I‘m ok with the commentary and will give them some time.

Some of the graphics were still shit and illegible, but hope they‘ll fix it.

The race highlight reels on Youtube are a joke. Basically the top 3 runs cut together. So if you only watch those not having seen the finals, you‘ll miss A LOT.

Tipp: check if Discovery+ is showing the event in your country (I‘ve heard Canada and other countries are not supported). But if it is, Discovery is like 3€ (in EU) cheaper than GCN+ (6,99€) per month. So for 3,99€/mth D+ you‘ll get all you need to see it all.
Not making advertising here, but I think it‘s worth it given you‘ll get 2-3 races per month.
  • 1 0
 @molokel: The reason I chose to go with GCN+ was that in fact in Finland Discovery+ is the more expensive one (9,99€/month for the cheapest option with sports) even compared to the monthly pricing for GCN+. This is one of the small details I'm a bit annoyed with concerning the switch to Discovery+, as the ways to watch it and pricing are so different globally. So people complaining about the pricing or on the other hand saying it isn't that much aren't necessarily talking about same amounts of money.

(Here it's only an online streaming service that also shows some other TV channels online, apparently somewhere they still have their own TV channel - I guess in some places showing sports on TV while not in others. In the US they've already merged with HBO to make Max and they don't have the MTB coverage on at all. Then again here we've had HBO Max for a few years now, but it has nothing to do with Discovery - yet. Ain't it nice this is hosted by a larger company now making things easier.)
  • 1 0
 I watched the men's final on YT pirate channel. It basically felt like a replay of the semis, with slightly fewer guys, although still too long. Same commentary. And the announcers were complaining they were losing their voices. Ideally they should have guest commentators take some of the burden for the semis, and also to mix it up so they don't recycle their comments so much.
After watching the semis, I'd rather see top 15 women for finals and top 20 or 25 men.
I found that the camera placements and coverage not horrible (though there could always be more, as was evident when everyone got flats in one unseen section, or lost time in another. I could tell they tried a few things in the semis that they dropped later, so I think they're still figuring out what shots look best. Hopefully they hone their craft a bit as the season progresses.
I thought the drones were OK, but the quality left something to be desired.
Kind of bummed about the paywall for the finals, but it's really not that much money. I just don't know if I want to see that much biking every race. Stoked about seeing the juniors though, even though they messed up posting the final times.
  • 9 3
 Putting content behind a paywall is short sighted. The only ones who are going to pay are those who are already converted. As they move on to other interests or just get old and stop caring that income will go with them. Paywalls won't bring in new viewers and in 5 years less people will be funding content. This is like a corporate takeover that liquidates assets and claims to be profitable only to sell the company in a few years after the mortgaged future has been depleted.
  • 1 1
 Millions will already be paying a subscription that includes this coverage as part of a wider package. They are far more likely to watch it if it comes up in the schedule listin*s than just on some a secure website
  • 8 0
 Imagine if Ben was commentating the race
  • 8 2
 pause at 0:59 for a good time
  • 1 2
 Ron Pierron
  • 4 2
 Good to have juniors covered but new format is much so there isn’t even a fantasy league.!!! There is gonna be so many more injuries as a result as riders are getting put more at risk…and are they getting any more money for it?….are they getting any money for it….I’m guessing most aren’t!!!
  • 7 1
 No mention of Rachels historical win?
  • 2 0
 I understand that all that has gone in to taking over from Red Bull must have been massive and I truly believe the sport will grow with more of a spotlight on the juniors, Jordan's win cements that in history. Every year the juniors entering elite will be fresh super fast young riders joining the elite ranks, however Cedric and Ric just do not carry energy like Rob and anyone he has had in the booth with him. I am not ragging on Discovery and Ric and Cedric, but the action deserves a better presentation than this IMHO.
  • 3 0
 Maybe they could give Ben a shot at announcer, couldn't do worse than Cedric or Ric or both. or give all the money to Rob to get him back.
  • 5 0
 Still has his hospital wrist band on, Ben, you are a beast!
  • 3 0
 Nevermind the wristband, he's still got his IV catheter in! (Back of the same hand, under the micropore tape)
  • 1 0
 I'd give it C+. Good effort and announcers were tolerable. At one point in the Jr Women's final, they didn't even know the lineup and kept announcing the winner when there were more racers to drop in. All I can say are neither is Rob Warner. Rob always did his homework on the racers, Ric and Cedric didn't seem to know what they were talking about most of the time or really had nothing to add. I'll continue watch with the sound off. I couldn't really figure out GCN+, it's just a bad app and poorly organized. I also don't think they are setup for the amount of bandwidth it requires to play or replay these video streams. the video was blurry and kept buffering. The youtube channel was much better, even tho UCI spoiled the women's elite results by posting before the replay was even available.
  • 3 0
 That opening scene lol. Ben's a savage, already jumping in and creating content post crash. Hope you're healing well dude.
  • 2 0
 Who wins the race when the guy winning the final isn't the one who scores most points during the weekend !? (Not happened this weekend but could happen, which is new)
  • 3 0
 In my mind points are for the series overall, whoever wins the final wins the race.
  • 3 1
 Yo, what’s wrong @Ben? Biggest comeback on MTB of all time for Rachel… and no single word on her here? It might be the painkillers for Ben.
  • 3 0
 How do I watch the replay?
  • 1 0
 For the real Final Final you need to have a GCN+ subscription. The semis can be watched on Youtube, search for 'UCI mountainbike'.
  • 1 0
 I can recommend Discovery+ (if they show DH in your country) as it‘s 3€ cheaper/month as GCN. The free race highlights on YouTube are a joke, so you kinda need to swallow this pill to not miss out.
  • 1 0
 tiz-cycling, not sure though if you want to do this in the US. Maybe check your legislation first
  • 1 0
 @silvanoe: I was able to watch most of the race, but they removed the stream (at Discovery's request) with 3 riders to go. Luckily someone posted a live stream on Youtube in the chat box.
  • 3 0
 “DH has changed for ever.” It certainly has, but for the better?
  • 2 1
 Dunno and I have been THE biggest skeptic but after watching the youtube jrs / elite semi's I dropped the measely $9/month (to try) GCN+ and though I thought Cedric's commentary was amateurish and annoying, way too eager - watching 40 full runs - 40 !!! - of women & men downhill, with just a few tiny cuts was truly stellar. I'm not at all disappointed (except that Cedric needs training).

Yeah there are a million angles to this: Rob Warner gone is like losing both legs; semis & finals on the same day seems insanely dangerous vs. a rest day; why is there not a woman commentator like Tracy or Emilie (seriously) but Ric's perfectly fine and Cedric is trainable. Getting to watch 40 full (ok, maybe nearly full) runs in my view is unbeatble - I don't think Redbull ever showed a single full run. I could go on but still - these recaps are great. I watched them all - they are NOT the race or the thrill and build up to those final runs so if you're missing that - then you are missing out. Replay & recaps don't make your spine tingle like the actual race.
  • 7 1
 @Mtn-Goat-13: Dunno man. I watched the full race, semis and finals. By the end I was bored. I have been an avid fan of dh racing for decades and literally never missed a race since the freecaster days, but this new format has kinda killed it for me.

I don't really care about the commentary, yes Warner was fantastic, but ric and cedric can improve. I don't really care about the shit graphics, they can also be improved. I don't really care that the start list/how many riders left to drop etc was not mentioned once, that can also be improved in future.

The new format is a real downer though. As many others have said, once semis is over, it kinda feels a bit pointless watching it all again. Seeing more of the runs is nice, but the first 30-40 seconds were still missed so I would'nt describe them as full runs. Especially seeing as most of the crashes happened off camera.
The new format makes the whole event feel much more like touring cars than world rally champs. Like a comedy sideshow designed to amuse the average sunday beer drinker, rather than a true test of who is actually fastest. I feel the spirit of the sport has taken a back seat to the spirit of tv producers looking to monetise it. A sad day.
  • 3 0
 @gabriel-mission9: I hear ya on all that (the showy stuff seems commercial) and yes, acutally semi's (esp on same day) does kinda defluff the whole thing...I'd rather just keep the qualis / finals format as-is - it worked great and was way safer. But, I guess I'm just a sucker for punishment so I can watch racing hours on end. I do wonder about rider safety too w/ 2 races the same day. This is entirely unlike any of us, even a our highest / best speeds hitting multiple runs at lift-access bike park: this is all next level. I guess I just don't get bored watching DH.

Format-wise I def'ly don't give a crap about bringin in the planet to DH biking (as you noted) and that seems to be part of the goal, but - there are all the riders, showing up, riding and ripping it, and they don't have to show up if they think its unsafe or the spirit has been compromised - so if they show up, so am I...for now. I still get all the complaints though. Lots to work through and fine tune so this doesn't look like some NASCAR crap (and trust me, I grew up in that part of the world - its the single worst "sport" and vibe I've ever seen).

I hear what you're saying though...not comin' at ya about it. I like all the viewpoints & discussion about things - helps to figure out wth is going on really.
  • 3 0
 Great video dude! Healing vibes
  • 5 3
 This was the first DH WC race i did not watch live in the last 6 years. thank you for these videos
  • 1 0
 Would love some deep analysis on points up for grabs across the three ‘races’ and theorizing about strategy when to try harder when to chill, etc…
  • 1 0
 I wish I was as strong as Ben I'd be a wreck after getting injured like that right when what I'd worked hard for was getting started, emotionally and physically.
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