Does the New UCI President Really Care About MTB?

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iceman2058

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9/21/2017 9:13 AM
Edited Date/Time: 9/21/2017 9:33 AM

In the shadow of more important things going on this week, like Interbike or the Road Racing World Champs in Bergen, Norway, the UCI has elected a new president. David Lappartient defeated incumbent president Brian Cookson by 37 votes to 8, and to figure out what this might mean for the part of the sport that we all love so dearly here at Vital, we had a little browse through the program that David was elected on. Let's just say that as far as MTB as a whole goes, it's fairly underwhelming...and as for the gravity disciplines, apart from a fleeting mention (between brackets) on page 13, the word "downhill" literally does not appear anywhere in the 32-page document. There is a veiled threat to do more with "ENDURO" racing in one obscure bullet point somewhere on page 21, but we've heard that one before - let's hope the UCI continues to leave the EWS well and truly alone to continue running its successful and highly entertaining series.

The program does talk of creating a World Championship that pulls together the Olympic disciplines of the sport in a single event every 4 years (in the year preceding the Olympic Games), which would possibly move XCO racing even further away from the gravity disciplines. Whether this is a good, bad, or indifferent evolution would remain to be seen. What seems obvious is that mountain biking is not high on this president's agenda (his cover letter is certainly very road-oriented), so expecting improvements like more World Cup DH races and better geographical coverage would seem rather far-fetched at this point.

So, more of the same or even less than before? And is that good or bad? HERE'S A COPY of the whole program if you care to read it.



Full Press Release from the UCI:

Frenchman David Lappartient has today been elected President of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) after securing 37 votes to 8 against incumbent Brian Cookson. The vote took place at the UCI Congress in Bergen, Norway, and comprised the 45 voting delegates democratically elected within each Continental Confederation responsible for electing the UCI President and Management Committee (see note to editors).

Speaking about his election as UCI President, David Lappartient declared: “I am extremely grateful for the support the UCI National Federations have shown for me today. Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for the great responsibility you are now giving me. I am delighted that the votes in my favour have come from all corners of the globe. I would like to congratulate Brian Cookson for his work over the past four years. I know how passionate he is about our sport and I acknowledge his disappointment. Lastly, I want to thank all of those who have helped me over the past few months. I cannot wait to start working for the good of cycling, and I wish everyone a successful remainder of these 2017 UCI Road World Championships in Bergen, Norway.”

The UCI Congress also elected the following UCI Management Committee for the next four years:
• Dr Mohamed Wagih AZZAM (EGY) as President of the CAC
• Ms Tracey GAUDRY (AUS) as President of the OCC
• Mr Osama Ahmed Abdullah AL SHAFAR (UAE) as President of the ACC
• Mr José Manuel PELAEZ (CUB ) as President of the COPACI
• Mr Amarjit Singh Gill DARSHAN SINGH (MAS) representing the ACC
• Mr Mohammed BEN EL MAHI (MAR) representing the CAC
• Mr Bob STAPLETON (USA) representing the COPACI
• Mr Tony MITCHELL (NZL) representing the OCC
• Mr Artur LOPES (POR) representing the UEC
• Mr Renato DI ROCCO (ITA) representing the UEC
• Mr Igor MAKAROV (RUS) representing the UEC
• Mr José Luis LOPEZ CERRON (ESP) representing the UEC
• Mr Toni KIRSH (GER) representing the UEC
• Mr Tom VAN DAMME (BEL) representing the UEC
• Mr Harald Tiedemann HANSEN (NOR) representing the UEC.

Finally, the UCI Congress voted in favour of granting Anguilla, Curaçao, Saint Martin and Guinea-Bissau official membership of the UCI, taking its total membership to 190 National Federations.

Notes to Editors
The voting rights of the National Federations are exercised through voting delegates, elected democratically within each Continental Confederation. In total, there are 45 voting delegates, spread over the Continental Confederations as follows:

Africa: 9 delegates
America: 9 delegates
Asia: 9 delegates
Europe: 15 delegates
Oceania: 3 delegates.

sideshow

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9/21/2017 9:47 AM

I wrote a 3 paragraph response, but realized a succinct, "No" would suffice re: the title question.

For DH to flourish, it needs to be out from under the UCI, plain and simple.
The reason Enduro is under the banner is a longer answer.

Things like this really bum me out.

TEAMROBOT

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9/21/2017 11:01 AM

"Does the New UCI President Really Care About MTB?" Clearly not, and why would they? As rad as downhill is, it's a tiny fraction of road. More than a billion people watched Le Tour alone last year. If FIFA also ran the downhill World Cup on the side, how much would they care? None. None caring.

kev.1n

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9/21/2017 11:13 AM

What would it actually take for the sport of downhill to break away from UCI and start their own international series free of UCI's bullshit (couldn't think of a better word). EWS has been so successful and I love how there's always new venues, it's a more laid back atmosphere, and all the riders seem to enjoy it more. Why can't the industry, consumers, and riders band together to make their own race series?

eh.

MrPrometheus

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9/21/2017 11:57 AM

Sigh this dooms USAC even further in my opinion. I thought the only hope USA gravity racing had was maybe to break way at the mercy of UCI but that seems even more unlikely.

http://www.vitalmtb.com/forums/The-Hub,2/Time-to-Say-Goodbye-to-USAC,9339?page=2

http://www.vitalmtb.com/forums/The-Hub,2/No-ProGRT-next-year-USAC-putting-more-nails-in-gravity-coffin,9809

jeff.brines

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9/21/2017 1:04 PM

kev.1n wrote:

What would it actually take for the sport of downhill to break away from UCI and start their own international series free of UCI's bullshit (couldn't think of a better word). EWS has been so successful and I love how there's always new venues, it's a more laid back atmosphere, and all the riders seem to enjoy it more. Why can't the industry, consumers, and riders band together to make their own race series?

Been talking about this for a decade plus eh?! EWS shows us its possible. Who is the overlord to make this change stick?

DubC

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9/21/2017 1:13 PM

Seems pretty clear that MTB and Road need separate governing bodies. Scopes, consumer base and event demands for each are so different. Anyone who acts surprised that the new UCI Pres could give a flying funk about MTB clearly has not been paying any attn to the past UCI appointees. Yawn.

Come on Vital....you are better than a clickbait headline like that.

Lastmissouriexit

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9/21/2017 1:55 PM

Thanks for covering this Iceman. EWS and Chris Ball's team show it can be done, but the level of resources are nowhere near UCI. I don't see any UCI executives stringing border tape or pre-riding the courses for events they administer.

The major team sponsors in DH are primarily MTB manufacturers. Attracting, and keeping, non-industry sponsors (Honda, Volvo and Nissan, to name 3 from the past) is essential for any separate governing body to succeed. Since the industry is stuck on promoting a "bad boy, rad boy, roost boy" image, that's not likely to happen soon.

Verbl Kint

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9/21/2017 2:02 PM

Africa: 9 delegates
America: 9 delegates
Asia: 9 delegates
Europe: 15 delegates
Oceania: 3 delegates.

I wonder how many of the above have ever been involved in any small- or large-scale MTB organizations or even any sort of grass-roots developments in cycling. I hope these aren't just bureaucrats who're somehow well connected in their respective national cycling federations.

Maxipedia

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9/21/2017 3:33 PM

I only have one word for you, actually an acronym: DWS
Oh, actually two, because this belongs here too: 4XWS

Much love for MTB, none for the damn smothering UCI,
Mx

spammyg

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9/21/2017 6:52 PM

Hey guys,
got a plan....someone who has the time, join UCI, work your way up the ranks, being everything they want you to be
(a lycra lover) and then get elected president and suddenly BOOM you switch sides and abolish half the road races and create a DH calendar with 20 races a season ....how good would that be....but sadly, very unlikely

Big Bird

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9/21/2017 6:53 PM

Maxipedia wrote:

I only have one word for you, actually an acronym: DWS
Oh, actually two, because this belongs here too: 4XWS

Much love for MTB, none for the damn smothering UCI,
Mx

How about we forget the 4XWS and just have a DSWS.

erik saunders

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9/21/2017 10:08 PM

spammyg wrote:

Hey guys,
got a plan....someone who has the time, join UCI, work your way up the ranks, being everything they want you to be
(a lycra lover) and then get elected president and suddenly BOOM you switch sides and abolish half the road races and create a DH calendar with 20 races a season ....how good would that be....but sadly, very unlikely

Dude... Uci can't abolish road races because they don't run or own them except a very few (like world's).. They are just refs, not race promoters... Even for road the races they have tried to own have been poorly done, you could argue world cup dh has been successful and only second to road world's if you look at their other races... Anytime, anyone can step in and run a dh series bit they don't... In the road there are major issues with uci governance of the sport, and it's even bigger than internet ppl's issues with world cup dh... bigger than that is the struggle between teams and organizers... Which the uci had little influence over because they are just refs with no ownership. The teams even came together to start their own races outside of the uci pro tour... The point is that it isn't a question of road vs mtb... It's a question of who is going to get out from behind the keyboard and off their ass to create something. The road guys have way bigger issues with uci than you think... Difference is they work on it and try to do something that is going to work for them without regard for uci position if it's not in their interest... Starts with the stakeholders, and so far in wc dh they have decided to stick with uci and not do their own... So... Not sure who is the bad ones here... Also not sure how any of the common complaints of uci would be resolved by another ownership group. If the uci were the only thing holding the sport back from whatever you think it should be it would be easy... But that's not the case... The uci is really the least of the issues...

spammyg

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9/21/2017 10:41 PM

spammyg wrote:

Hey guys,
got a plan....someone who has the time, join UCI, work your way up the ranks, being everything they want you to be
(a lycra lover) and then get elected president and suddenly BOOM you switch sides and abolish half the road races and create a DH calendar with 20 races a season ....how good would that be....but sadly, very unlikely

erik saunders wrote:

Dude... Uci can't abolish road races because they don't run or own them except a very few (like world's).. They are just refs, not race promoters... Even for road the races they have tried to own have been poorly done, you could argue world cup dh has been successful and only second to road world's if you look at their other races... Anytime, anyone can step in and run a dh series bit they don't... In the road there are major issues with uci governance of the sport, and it's even bigger than internet ppl's issues with world cup dh... bigger than that is the struggle between teams and organizers... Which the uci had little influence over because they are just refs with no ownership. The teams even came together to start their own races outside of the uci pro tour... The point is that it isn't a question of road vs mtb... It's a question of who is going to get out from behind the keyboard and off their ass to create something. The road guys have way bigger issues with uci than you think... Difference is they work on it and try to do something that is going to work for them without regard for uci position if it's not in their interest... Starts with the stakeholders, and so far in wc dh they have decided to stick with uci and not do their own... So... Not sure who is the bad ones here... Also not sure how any of the common complaints of uci would be resolved by another ownership group. If the uci were the only thing holding the sport back from whatever you think it should be it would be easy... But that's not the case... The uci is really the least of the issues...

yep...very true what u say....it was a spontaneous idea and very much wishful thinking...:-) as u can see i did not put any though whatsoever into that post....but yes...i definitely agree with you...and just to bring to light something that a lot of people seem to have forgotten is that uci does not have any control over how often, where or what WE ride so we could just stop moaning about things that we have little or no influence over, and do what we do best in our sport and that is to have fun and shred...
what does everyone think

fabdemaere

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9/22/2017 5:19 AM

Surely if we still have a world cup series, it means they still care even a little? Otherwise they'd have dropped it like 4X.
My guess is it's still a nice bit of income for them, although not as significant as road cycling (Shimano is title sponsor of the series after all). They probably care about it just enough to be opposed to any and all changes.

Reformed Roadie

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9/22/2017 8:57 AM

Am I the only one who saw the header and thought of Kanye West saying "George W Bush doesn't care about black people on Saturday Night Live...and Mike Myers standing next to him, looking as if he'd rather be anywhere else on the planet?
I try to look on the bright side...at least they are not FIFA corrupt.