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Athletes, FMBA & Crankworx Forge Agreement, Ensuring Slopestyle World Championship Events to Proceed as Planned

Apr 12, 2024 at 7:54
by Sarah Moore  
Evening extended practice made for a different looking image. Erik again whipping.

After a series of negotiations aimed at addressing Rider requests around remuneration and support infrastructure, the male competitors of the Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Championship event at Crankworx Rotorua decided not to participate in this year’s competition, slated for March 24th. You can read that story here.

Now, the Freeride Mountain Bike Association (FMBA), Crankworx and the Male Slopestyle Athletes have released a joint statement saying that they have come to an agreement and that "both male and female riders will be participating in the upcoming Crankworx Cairns Slopestyle event scheduled for May 26, 2024, as well as the remaining SWC events of this season."

Details about the agreement haven't been shared in the release, but the issues that the male riders were striking about included safe competition conditions, basic rider welfare and participation costs. The male Slopestyle athlete statement in the release says that, "The issues the riders had have been solved or are being looked at to find a solution."

The FMBA and Crankworx added that "all agreements reached with the male athletes are to be extended to the female athletes, also ensuring their perspectives and requirements were considered throughout the process."

We look forward to watching both the men and women compete in Cairns at the end of May

PRESS RELEASE: Freeride Mountain Bike Association (FMBA), Crankworx & Male Slopestyle Athletes

The Freeride Mountain Bike Association (FMBA) and Crankworx have reached an agreement with the male athletes, allowing the men’s Slopestyle World Championship to take place as planned for the remaining 2024 FMB World Tour Season. After having the time to meet for a series of conversations, it became evident that the FMBA, serving as the sport’s governing body, the athletes, and Crankworx as the series organizer, share unified and aligned goals, and are working together to ensure the sport’s sustainability, and making the SWC events more accessible for upcoming riders.

After withdrawing from the Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Championship (SWC) event in Rotorua, the male Slopestyle athletes, the Freeride Mountain Bike Association (FMBA) and Crankworx have forged an agreement. Both male and female riders will be participating in the upcoming Crankworx Cairns Slopestyle event scheduled for May 26, 2024, as well as the remaining SWC events of this season.

These discussions facilitated the identification of underlying issues and concerns on both sides which have been addressed in a collaborative and productive manner. As a result, a consensus was reached that not only addresses the immediate needs of the athletes but also places a strong emphasis on the long-term viability and sustainability of Slopestyle as a sport.

A foundational baseline established by the FMBA and Crankworx early in these negotiations was the commitment to gender equality: all agreements reached with the male athletes are to be extended to the female athletes, also ensuring their perspectives and requirements were considered throughout the process.

bigquotesIt’s a step in the right direction, and now with having amplified representation in the FMBA, we are looking forward to the rest of the 2024 season.

The issues the riders had have been solved or are being looked at to find a solution.

We look forward to seeing everyone in Cairns and we can’t wait to have full season of events approaching.

Together we plan to create a better sport now & for the future.
Male Slopestyle Athletes

Author Info:
sarahmoore avatar

Member since Mar 30, 2011
1,440 articles

  • 142 5
 No dig, no ride has become no buffet, no ride.
  • 11 5
 Fucking dying on that one. Hilarious.
  • 13 7
 Can you blame them?
  • 52 0
 Good job guys! Happy to hear that the ladies have also been considered as part of the agreement. Now lets see if they actually live up to the promises.
  • 26 0
 Would love to hear what the actual changes are.
  • 12 1
 Me too, but I doubt we'll hear anything. Gotta wonder if the riders actually got what they wanted, or just enough to want to show up and not screw their sponsors over.
  • 16 4
 @Dtower92: There are no solutions, only trade-offs.

  • 48 4
 @wobblegoblin: Sodium chloride dissolved in H20 is a solution.

  • 2 13
flag wobblegoblin (Apr 12, 2024 at 9:11) (Below Threshold)
 @watchmen: Then can you drink a few gallons of sea water please.
  • 10 3
 @watchmen: the tradeoff: you've ruined what was potable water. Sowell prevails.
  • 25 1
 @maestroman21: But I have made a salient point.
  • 9 2
 @watchmen: I think you mean a salinated point
  • 4 1
 @watchmen: I feel like you were setting yourself up for that pun all along. Well played.
  • 2 1
 @jstnrt: golf clap
  • 2 0
 @watchmen: now you are just rubbing salt in wounds
  • 1 0
 @Dtower92: From what i've heard is there was alot of joint sponsor whinging, forcing Riders to basically ride going forward while they work on things.
  • 30 17
 So either Crankworx found some money, which means they’re cutting expenses somewhere else, or the athletes realized that maybe they really f*cked up and renegotiated?

Either way, there is still absolutely no real information that’s public facing.
  • 33 7
 Cutting expenses or cutting profits? There isn't big money in bike events but there also isn't zero money.
  • 19 6
 @RoboDuck: cutting expenses, duh. “Let’s cut profits, that’s fine!” Said no company, ever.
  • 10 28
flag hohmskullkrishten (Apr 12, 2024 at 8:20) (Below Threshold)
 They probably take it out of the other events prize money. Doubt any of the big ego slopestyle guys communicated with any of the downhill racers before they decided to compromise the event and now they are probably taking some of their money.
  • 31 2
 @samdeatley: no profit = no event/company unless you are a charity. I will await my downvotes
  • 6 1
 Whatever the case, they found a middle ground amenable to both parties. It is what it is.
  • 12 2
 The lack of transparency is pretty sad.
  • 4 1
 @hohmskullkrishten: That's some real "crab bucket" thinking.
  • 2 0
 So they're saying let the Cashroll?
  • 18 5
 I'm assuming this means Crankworx is going to break the strike by bringing in random non-union scabs to compete in the men's category.
  • 39 0
 Get those toboggans and one handers dialed toasty, it's about to be your time to shine.
  • 28 0
 Honestly would be down for a "so you think your as good as the pros" sideshow class.
  • 20 0
 @yinyang: people can't even comprehend how awesome my turn-bars are.
  • 24 0
 @toast2266: My best trick would be "panic flailing."
I can do it oppo as well.
  • 2 0
 @CamNeelyCantWheelie: Who's gonna pay for all the ambulance rides?
  • 5 2
 @barp: ambulance cover is free in Cairns, the joys of a good public health system!
  • 3 0
 @Jono-wade: Yeah, only for residents of Queensland. As far as I'm aware there's no Queenslanders in the slopestyle.
  • 3 1
 @deco1: ahh damn, my mistake!
  • 1 0
 @deco1: Yes, but if they're bringing in scabs, they're not flying them in from anywhere.
  • 13 3
 Mtb is a super niche sport. Any money they make is a plus. Too many pinkers think mtb has more pull than pro bowling.

Mtb is a community sport we are in a bubble about how we think of the sport/hobby
  • 5 1
 Globally mountain biking is a 10 billion dollar industry making almost 15 percent of the total bicycle market. Crankworx Whistler regularly has over 300000 attendees and streaming rights for mountain bike events are owned by groups like Warner Bros Discovery and ESPN. These are not small numbers and there's a lot of big players in the industry. What these riders are asking for is a drop in the bucket when compared to the spend Crankworx is making on event staff, location and infrastructure.
  • 5 0
 How good would a job need to be for you to pay to fly to the other side of the world and pay for your own food and accommodation as well as equipment just to *possibly* get to do that job for less money than you paid to be there. Especially if you could do the same job as a hobby for free at home?

They aren't asking for bass fisherman money, they are asking to be able to give the show organisers an event and do the thing they love without losing money.
  • 1 0
 @JPostuk: I just checked fox sports YouTube channel posted one day ago pba doubles finals. 64,000 views

Last I checked the mountain bike race from Brazil highlights from the same day 43,000 for the first we cup of the year, granted xc not dh or slope. But some random bowling tournament might have a bigger fan base than a mountain bike World Cup. Just xc so I will have to compare throughout the season.
  • 16 13
 Trying to live off of prize money in any sport is a joke. The real money has and always will be in endorsements and sponsorships. Of course you have to actually fulfill the terms of the endorsement or sponsorship which almost always includes promoting the provider in a positive light that aligns with their corporate image but hey, it’s a paycheck. How do these guys not get that competing in a niche sport that only a small percentage of the population follows might not be the most solid and all encompassing career path (at least not by itself). Add to that the fact that social media has made promoting sponsors exponentially easier than it has ever been
  • 10 8
 If this was all so easy to solve, honestly I’m pretty pissed off that they (riders, organisers, everyone) screwed the Rotorua event for us. It’s not like kiwis can just pop out to see a different world class FMBA or DH event next week. This is the one time each year we have to celebrate our sport on an international stage. Fuming tbh.
  • 7 1
 I get that, but I also don’t. There are 4 Crankworx events, meaning 4 countries are in your position. Even if we lump together North America and Europe as “easy to travel to” you are still upset you only got to see the world’s first women’s diamond event, the downhill, the dual slalom, the speed and style and the pump track while most people only watch all of it on television.

I’m not sure where your assumption that this was so easy to solve is coming from, kind of a huge extrapolation from the given statements, but if you paid attention to any of the individual athletes you would probably get the impression that it wasn’t so easy and that drastic measures like refusing to ride ended up as the only way to get their voices heard.

I’m sorry that happened to you, I think everyone is, but I’ve also travelled to events that got cancelled before, albeit for other reasons. I’m not holding a grudge, though, and I hope you can get past it also.
  • 3 6
 I enjoyed when the riders said they have every intention on riding the event. Haha no you guys didn't, you knew what issues you were dealing with prior to flying down.
  • 6 1
 Great news. Glad they could work it out.
  • 4 0
 Such good news! This could be the precedent that the WC athletes need to get something going with the UCI, too.
  • 6 3
 It's funny how most of the hostile comments to the rider's requests came from people so salty about the event's cancelltion...
  • 10 9
 Amazing leadership from Emil. Crankworks has become the Emil show for a while now, so he had nothing to worry about in terms of his prize money and expenses. Supporting the other riders shows that he cares about the sport.
  • 15 17
 I'm not so sure that giving impossible demands 48 hours before an event to overshadow the first ever female slopestyle comp with drama is good leadership
  • 9 8
 @blanshard16: You say "they overshadowed them with drama". I say "they let them take center stage".
  • 9 5
 @blanshard16: weren't they working through the demands for 2 years? And at the last hurdle Crankworx pulled the rug on a few key things forcing the athletes hand?
  • 6 2
 @blanshard16: it was a week of negotiations ahead of the event with it left at the ultimatum at the 48 hour mark. It wasn't a surprise for the crankworx crew. Max fredriksson explained it very well.
  • 1 0
 @b-rider: ok I was going off the statement from Emil "after years of negotiations..."
  • 10 8
 The risk involved with hucking your meat like these guys and gals makes it only reasonable that they should be well compensated.
  • 14 2
 Only if there is a market for what they do. It's a super niche sport that few care about. Don't get me wrong, it's amazing what they do but there is very very little money to be made on either side.
  • 10 0
 Compensated by who, though ? A ton of idiots on here screamed about "free" race streaming going away being the worst thing ever, what would they do if Crankworx started charging for streams, or gasp> went exclusively to network TV in order to get gobs of advert money to use to pay the athletes?

Doing circus-style high-dives in shallow pools takes some big skills and huge risks, but it doesn't bring in huge money, so the athletes don't exactly get compensated all that well. FBMA comps probably bring in more than a carnival act, but it's not exactly enormous funds. Obviously the athletes decided they weren't getting a big enough piece considering their central part in it all, and did something about it, but there is a still an upper bound to how much compensation there is to be spread around, and that's in direct proportion to how much funding comes from the outside (naming rights, tv/streaming rights, adverts, etc.)
  • 5 1
 So it turns out collective action works.

Who knew?
  • 4 2
 I know, right? Weird how reticent most people are to refer to this action as a "strike". And a successful strike, apparently.
  • 2 0
 maybe its my non-english, but signature "Male Slopestyle Athletes" just looks weird to me.
  • 5 4
 2025: Crankworx has been cancelled due to soaring Costs... Now where will they get their holiday?
  • 6 4
  • 1 0
 Great to hear. LFG in Caiyns!
  • 2 4
 Riders must have said yes to their new catering menus or having ps5s in their riders lounge. Hope this doesn't come at a costs to the events cwx host.
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