Enduro World Series Update: Unauthorized Shuttling? 63

UPDATE August 14, 2013

Fabien Barel has now issued the following statement regarding the incident. Let us know what YOU think of this whole thing in the comments section below.

We were lucky enough to ride and race this weekend in the homeland of Mountain biking.

5 stages, of which 4 out of the bike park, made us discover a different face of whistler. The terrain was really technical and proper to all-mountain bikes. A really good & diverse course design made up really good racing on a fantastic loop around the valley.

Unfortunately a misunderstanding between Canyon's team management and the race organizers around the rules applied during the training sessions brought Fabien into dispute after he was issued a 5mn penalty. The definition of shuttling in during the training period (Friday and Saturday) has not been properly defined in writing to everyone and the Organisation considered shuttling as driving around the valley. Several riders have been reported as doing so, and even one rider has been caught directly by Crankworx management and sent back to the village (without consequences). Fabien did not feel the situation was handled properly by the organization as there was a lack of definition and no proof beside Fabien's forthcoming honesty regarding the fact that there was a lack of clarity in the rules applied.

" I have been honest and clearly mentioned to the Organisation that I did drive 1.5km from my apartment down to creek side with my car on highway 99. At first, I did accept the facts especially if it was a misunderstanding from my team manager but then I realized that the case of many other riders had been simply overlooked. There is no written rule about shuttling or driving around anywhere from the organisation and there is no way to shuttle up the stages in whistler as they are in the middle of the mountain." Fabien says." The EWS is a new series that is building its professionalism and ruling event by event. I have been the first one to help develop it to keep the spirit of Enduro and Fair Play for all riders. I just feel that Organisation has made an example of me to create fear among the others of what could happen but I do not agree with this type of procedure!"

Despite this added pressure on his shoulders, Fabien still raced 100% on Sunday to get a 3rd place overall by taking 3rd, 3rd, 1st, 4th, 2nd place in the stages respectively. The 5 minute penalty has of course had a huge impact on his ranking bringing him down to 49th place.

" I still really enjoyed the weekend and the Organisation has been doing a great job on the course. The loop was a real enduro...  "

UPDATE 8-10-13, 11:45pm PST

Race Director, Chris Ball sent this message below:

Following a number of requests for information surrounding the five minute penalty issued to Fabien Barel in Crankworx Whistler we would like to clarify the situation. To avoid riders gaining an unfair advantage and to maintain the spirit of the race on the long liaison stages in the Whistler valley, Crankworx created a rule that outlined no outside assistance (including using a vehicle to assist) would be allowed during the event. This rule was further explained and clarified in a mandatory athlete's breakfast scheduled on Friday morning and hosted by the Crankworx Whistler organisers. Rider's who chose not to attend this briefing missed crucial information regarding course changes, details of shuttling and race specific information. We are not responsible for educating riders who choose to miss planned briefings. Following the submission of evidence by a number of sources and a discussion with Fabien where he cooperated fully, admitted to a lack of knowledge of the rule due to team communications and an admission of his use of a vehicle, the organisation chose to apply a five minute penalty to his race time, removing any advantage that may have been gained from his use of the vehicle. We are all now looking forward to an incredible race here tomorrow.
Regards, Chris Ball, Director, Enduro World Series

UPDATE 8-10-13, 9pm

Check out Adam Craig's response to Lopes

Enduro World Series Update: Unauthorized Shuttling?

UPDATE: We have received the following information from the race organizers:

Following an incident during yesterday’s official training, Fabien Barel has been assigned a 5 minute time penalty for a violation of the Outside Assistance Rules.“Based on all of the evidence available and following both Fabien and his team’s cooperation, the Chief Of Course has assigned Fabien a 5 minute penalty that will be attached to his overall time in tomorrow’s event,” says Crankworx General Manager and EWS Board Member Darren Kinnaird. “The EWS and Crankworx have worked tirelessly to ensure that we establish an ethos of fairness, mutual respect and equality between all competitors. Because of this, it is critical that we are diligent about enforcing our rules as effectively as we can. We would like to remind all athletes and teams to attend rider briefings and obey Crankworx Outside Assistance Regulations.”

As of now, no further information is available regarding other riders mentioned on Brian Lopes Twitter feed:

Enduro World Series Update: Unauthorized Shuttling?

A quick check of the rulebook reveals a categorical statement about shuttling not being allowed (and leading to DQ if ignored):

Now, it's not entirely clear whether that rule applies to the whole event or just the race (not the first time we've seen ambiguity in how rulebooks are written up). In the absence of a clear indication to the contrary, it would have to seem like this rule applies to the whole event. Additionally, it appears that the riders were explicitly told not to shuttle at the rider briefings, hence the incomprehension as to why any offenders were not DQed at this point.

We'll keep you updated as the story develops further.

Related:
Create New Tag
63 comments
  • essfour

    8/14/2013 10:44 AM

    What i heard is that Fabien was shuttling the Stone Bridge road. An Ultra-Rich subdivision in the same area as stage 3. The road winds up the mountain and from the top of the road its an easy pedal/push to the trail. So, was Barel just driving to function to start the transition climb between stage 2 and 3? Or was he shuttling the Stone Bridge road to get as many laps as possible on a trail he knew little about?

  • Alexptdmg

    8/14/2013 10:44 AM

    If you read the rules right above, it really seems it applies to the race, and not practice. But they did say it at the riders meeting, no shuttles at all... So that was clear. I think they might have punished Barel, cause he s been accused multiple time of cutting and cheating in the past races... I agree with CP tocher tho, I s over, so no need to argue it more.

  • scarface

    8/14/2013 10:41 AM

    Minnaar has been slaying Barel on the internet although he pulled his tweets after a bit. Called him "armstrong of MTB". Proper falcon crest shit right here.

  • C.P.Tocher

    8/14/2013 10:20 AM

    It's over with now. Move on people! I don't want to still be reading about this next week!

  • thedeathstar

    8/14/2013 9:46 AM

    Let's be fair. It seems to be pretty clear the Fabien is trying to straddle the line of what the rules say as much as possible, and he's been knocked for it before. The excuse that the rules aren't completely clear will or already has run its course.

    I don't think this is shuttling. At the very least the penalty should be applied to all the other riders, and the rule should be clarified in writing. Maybe the penalty is just as much letting Fabien know that the jig is up with him trying to push the limits and willful ignorance isn't vindication.

  • 303DHmaniac

    8/14/2013 9:18 AM

    That's the thing about cheating. Some people do it; if you get caught you're a cheater.

  • lev

    8/14/2013 7:43 AM

    I can't see Lopes in the results. Did he race?

  • Nicholast

    8/14/2013 7:33 AM

    It was said below and I agree; if it was stated in the riders' meeting that shuttling, even during practice to the bottom of a stage, is prohibited, that rule supersedes the written rule. You simply cannot give riders an exception to rules defined in the riders' meeting just because they did not attend, even if the new rule(s) is not written down and published. The point of riders' meetings is to verbally relay last minute changes and updates. This is common knowledge, so just attend the meeting.

    As for the case of other riders doing the same during practice, that is unfortunate. Maybe they also didn't attend the riders' meeting. Maybe they thought the rule was stupid and chose not to obey it at the risk of getting caught and sent back -- not considering the possibility of a time penalty since one had not been given yet. Maybe they didn't understand the rule. Regardless, if there is proof that those other riders did the same as Fabien, they should also receive the same penalty. The fact they have not suggests there is no proof, they were not caught, or they didn't shuttle despite seeming like they did (i.e. drove to the bottom to make sure they understood the route, turned around, drove home, and then pedaled back).

    It sucks that Fabien got docked, he seems like an alright fella and is dang quick on a bike, but the EWS is certain that what he did violated the shuttling rule; they were quick to assign the penalty and have stood by their decision since assigning it. Remember, the EWS is not the UCI. They are a new organization that lacks the UCI politics, was started for the right reasons, and are trying to gain a loyal following, which means pleasing the riders so they return. A negative decision like this puts their reputation at risk and that something they wouldn't do unless they had to.

  • scriz

    8/14/2013 8:40 AM

    Fair points, however I disagree that the EWS lack politics. They were vocal about making an example of a high profile rider before Cworx even started, and Fab was just a convenient fall guy. They're trying to make Clements their new poster boy, but he has been seen and even penalized for course cutting in past rounds. Call me a cynic, but I see the EWS largely as a new marketing platform for $10K trail bikes and ex-DHers to extend their careers.

  • scarface

    8/14/2013 10:39 AM

    You need to either stop smoking whatever it is or share it with the rest of us. EWS is totally legit dude. I bet Vouilloz, Barel, Graves, Peaty, Minnaar and all those other MULTI WORLD CHAMPIONS really need to be grinding out climbs from hell or breaking bones crashing at DH speeds on trailbikes on trails they don't really know just so they can "extend their careers".

  • scriz

    8/14/2013 12:05 PM

    Hehe, I guess you're calling me a cynic then! Sadly, even the top guys in our sport don't make very much dough.

  • scriz

    8/14/2013 7:19 AM

    EWS has already jumped the shark.

  • Cdale08

    8/14/2013 5:47 AM

    Whole situation is bs. He did it during a training ses, not race. Pathetic they made something out of it.

  • b-lec

    8/14/2013 5:46 AM

    If you park your car on a loop then ride the loop back to your car you end up riding the whole thing... Am I missing something? 5 min seemed harsh...

  • onenerdykid*

    8/14/2013 4:16 AM

    so he drove his car from his apartment to the start of the stage? is that what the "creek side" is?

  • Emil MP

    8/14/2013 5:48 AM

    As i understand he drove to the bottom of the stage. He had to ride/push the bike to the top of the stage! Interview with Fabien here: http://www.pinkbike.com/news/Fabien-Barel-In-The-Penalty-Box-Five-Minutes-For-Shuttling.html
    They should really make the definition of shuttling clear. In my head getting a lift 1.5km on a highway to the bottom of the stage is not shuttling!

  • Zoro

    8/14/2013 7:32 AM

    Creek Side is a 'sub division' in the actual village of Whistler. It's about 4,5km from the actual village. So what he said is that he drove from Creekside to Function (another sub-division located at the entrance of the Whistler area) and that he made his way up the stage through the usual trails. Hardly a penalty IMHO, as it's impossible to shuttle those trails anyway.

    Teething problems with EWS, but it's all gonna be forgotten in a couple of weeks

  • mikkosan

    8/14/2013 4:16 AM

    Lope's such a whiner.

  • RobHamSmith

    8/14/2013 4:09 AM

    Lopes is ultimate Cheaty, whinner. BAck in Trophee des Nations in France, Mass start, He cuts off Remy Absalon 4x style and forces him off course, Remy calmly gets back on course, goes about his business of catching Lopes and beats him. Lopes then complains to organizers saying he went off course and came back illegally. All riders then tell of Lopes's over aggressive moves. Lopes gets DQ'd and isn't invited back as he doesn't have 'spirit of enduro'. Did Lopes race or did he just stalk and Whine from Twitter?

  • Scott_Townes

    8/14/2013 5:50 AM

    Meh... I'm not a fan of his online bitching but if I got cut off from someone being overly aggressive, I wouldn't mind. I understand that racing is racing and some people prefer to take it more seriously than others. Getting cut off happens, especially at mass starts so I'm guessing there's more to it than that (and more than him complaining) for him to be banned from the event... unless he is THAT big of a dick to everyone, haha.

  • thedeathstar

    8/14/2013 9:30 AM

    Would you be upset if that same rider then tried to get you DQ'd? Probably.

  • zo

    8/11/2013 10:01 AM

    So, I take it Lopes and A.C. aren't too tight?

  • Mr. P

    8/11/2013 9:24 AM

    Thanks Vital for updating and bringing more clarity.

    Sounds like it was a communication issue.

    Don't miss those boring mandatory meetings! Yikes!

    P

  • robmanzanares

    8/11/2013 8:52 AM

    Please, no drama is permitted in the MTB universe and will result in disqualification. Now if you will excuse me, I need to take my performance enhancing supplements.

  • lev

    8/11/2013 5:00 AM

    That's twitter for you. It's a bit like leaving comments on websites I suppose!?

  • MasterofStone

    8/11/2013 1:35 AM

    This a matter between Barel and the race officials (directors). Lopes on the other hand as mentioned in this post is turning into a proper whiney, he should refrain from posting such "little boy" kind of comments. His job is to race, nobody asked him to comment on what others are doing or not.

  • andy.nelson.92317

    8/10/2013 11:57 PM

    Lopes is turning into a proper whiney little b*tch. He needs to get his head down and learn to be fast at Enduro rather than playing schoolboy "he said she said" games on Twitter like a 12 year old girl.

Hello Vital MTB Visitor,

We’re conducting a survey and would appreciate your input. Your answers will help Vital and the MTB industry better understand what riders like you want. Survey results will be used to recognize top brands. Make your voice heard!

Five lucky people will be selected at random to win a Vital MTB t-shirt.

Thanks in advance,

The Vital MTB Crew

Take Survey