- Bike Checks
The UCI has published an update to its rulebook, citing an "urgent need to adapt to the changing dynamics of the sport and the worldwide MTB market." In an effort to make several race disciplines more exciting, the UCI will mandate that all bikes be equipped with at least 4-inches of front and rear suspension travel (26-inch wheels) or 3-inches of travel for 29ers.
"We feel that the Enduro World Series has shown the way forward, although we think their rule book is overly simple and in need of our expertise in writing rules for bike competitions," a spokesperson for the organization said. "We have commissioned research from the MUMF Institute of Research* which projects DH will lose 82% of its audience to Enduro by 2016 - and since we failed to embrace Enduro, we need to step up and basically put mountain biking back into our remaining disciplines."
We spoke to several big racing teams on the UCI circuit about this new development, and it seems the idea is met with universal approval. Said one anonymous team manager, "our XC athletes have been feeling quite down about their careers lately seeing one press release after another about a fellow, bored or aged XC racer 'making the move to Enduro.' The racers crossing over get to compete on real bikes which is making our riders feel ready to go for the fastest line on the downhill sections of the XC course. This is going to level the playing field."
The UCI is also considering creating an Enduro Eliminator series, or EnFourO, claiming it, "would be everything that XCE never was." This new and exciting format would see four riders go head-to-head in an eliminator-style, bracket-based competition, on actual mountain biking terrain.
"We don't want to go down the 4X route again. We all know that the venues just can't cope with the expense involved in building sustainable 4X tracks, so we will keep the on-course drop and jump height to a maximum of 12-inches. Once again, our goal is to make sure mountain biking is promoted as widely as possible, and we feel that with this new series, we have a winner on our hands. Brian Lopes committed to the whole series on the spot after hearing the news."
When asked about Urban DH as a possible sanctioned race format for 2014, the UCI declined to comment, citing "lack of knowledge and/or understanding of the discipline."
The above report is completely not unfictitious.
*Made Up Market Facts