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Liked a comment about feature Eddie Masters Thinks the UCI Is Suffocating Downhill Racing 11/3/2020 5:53 PM
bizutch

Ummm, rich? Neko drives a 90's Ford Explorer & lives in the backwoods of NC.
Luca Shaw, he rode the same dinky small town BMX tracks as me. Dakotah Norton...little house in the Northeast.
I saw Neko when he was young riding hoop rides and smoking pros and not complaining. I watched the Shaw brothers work their butts off all day every day & their dad use all his time off to run them to anything on 2 wheels that said the word "race".
I've been at Nationals where 2 guys in a decked out diesel with built in extra gas tank drove cross country non-stop and peed on the side of the road to get to a tiny mountain (Massanutten).
Sam Hill survived on a bean burrito from Taco Bell more often than not.
Sven just recently posted a pic of the "pro" life with all the big name pros lying on his floor coming up.
You're describing an excuse to not go race.
I've been on a lift at Snowshoe w/ a pro from Australia when NORBA Nationals were the pinnacle of racing exposure. Asked him why he thought he and others were so damn fast. He said: "I worked my ass off for 6 months straight to buy 1 plane ticket to the US and a return flight in the fall. I saved enough to hit all the US Nationals. It's more IMPORTANT to me than it is to these US racers. I want it. And I can't fail."

I have yet to meet anyone more motivated than that guy to make it. He shall remain nameless. He is forever a badass!!!

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Liked a comment about feature Eddie Masters Thinks the UCI Is Suffocating Downhill Racing 11/3/2020 5:48 PM
jackhill

Can't speak for other countries, but if you're a US rider you pretty much need to be rich to get into World Cups. DH isn't a cheap sport, but traveling the country for 5 races that get you UCI points (and not even that many) is crazy. Expecting people to max out credit cards and make objectively horrible financial decisions just to have a shot at participating is sad, and fundamentally bad for our sport. The UCI needs to start giving points for respected regional races like NW cups. They need to just accept these races will be run different and expect riders to adapt as they do normally when a national makes a stop. Until that happens, rich parents are a better indicator of international success than skill. Not saying people can't make it happen, but seeing the insane skill level at many NW cups it's a bummer they don't have at least a chance at the big leagues.
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Liked a comment about feature Eddie Masters Thinks the UCI Is Suffocating Downhill Racing 11/3/2020 5:41 PM
Rylee_Bond

Well said. A few years ago I got 5th at US Nationals and qualified for my first World Cup. I now work my ass off as a traveling nurse- often on call and overtime and get usually get up at 5 am, train, and then go work a 10 hr shift. Not at a desk. In surgery. Lifting more heavy things. Running down hallways. All so I can can afford to fly myself to any World Cups I’m able to qualify for. Where I am my own driver/mechanics/chef/trainer/mental coach/unexpected catastrophe solver. Life as a privateer is HARD WORK. Thank you for bringing light to this.

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Liked a comment about feature Eddie Masters Thinks the UCI Is Suffocating Downhill Racing 11/3/2020 5:39 PM
human powered suicide machine

Remember that TV is dead. I assume most viewers are streaming so it's not a problem to have 80 riders on the live broadcast, you can still watch the last 20 if you like. Having more people to be in the feed allows to maybe to get this flamboyant run from an underdog! As if RedBullMediaHouse have not been able to get the current Wordchampion run....oh wait they didn't !!! I want to see racing, not a 20mins soft drink commercial
Honestly, I think we give too much credit to Red Bul in the broadcast production. I'm sure we would have as good as a show if UCI would let anybody do the job.. UCI creates a barrier to entry with their exclusive rights, they don't promote a wide diffusion of the sport.. Look at the great content we're getting from outliers such as Cathro or WynTv..

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Liked a comment about feature Eddie Masters Thinks the UCI Is Suffocating Downhill Racing 10/26/2020 11:40 AM
Fox

Brines and Eddie are right- this ain't a new problem at all. I speak from personal experience in the late 90's when I ate an extremely hard to get $600 on a plane ticket I couldn't use to travel to Italy, Slovenia, and France for 3 WC DH races. Why couldn't I go? Because my UCI points had expired a few days before the races. I wasn't gonna rack up my credit card for the trip if I couldn't race. I called Martin Whiteley, who was the UCI guy who handled such things at the time, and asked him if he would let me race as my points has literally expired days before I was to leave. No was his answer. UCI points were really hard to get back then. Is that still the case today in the US? Sounds like it's a problem world wide now.

The plight of the privateer/local team racer on a low budget is a tough road. It is certainly a labor of love for personal glory. You ain't gonna make a living. You gotta want to race very very much and be hungry enough to suffer to get there. You gotta be obsessed with and addicted to the drug that is racing. You wrench on your own stuff. You scrounge for parts. Fresh tires are like gold and back then, moped tubes were like platinum!

The UCI is a tough nut to crack. I have mixed feelings about the EWS' partnership with them. I think their perspective is molded by things like the TDF, Giro, Vuelta, and Paris-Roubaix. MTB plays second fiddle and DH MTB is far down the line somewhere.

Should the UCI lower the bar for points and allow more to qualify for WC DH? I think so.

What's the solution? I'm not sure...

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Liked a comment about feature Eddie Masters Thinks the UCI Is Suffocating Downhill Racing 10/26/2020 11:38 AM
adamdigby

For USA riders last year, there were only 5 chances to earn UCI points domestically, the four Pro GRT rounds and National Champs. Of those 5, only Windrock and Nationals had enough points on offer to get a racer to the minimum needed to race a World Cup (Mountain Creek only awarded 10 points to the winner with Rd. 2 and 4 earning 30). The top-6 at Nationals earned 40 or more points and at Windrock a racer would have needed to place in the top-2. Assuming the normal attendance of WC level riders at these races and the top places being taken by those guys, an aspiring domestic DH pro would still be short one point if they did a very impressive 8-6-4-3 racing the Pro GRT and placed 11th at Nationals.

If the racer lived in Denver, they would have spent a minimum of $850 in flights and driven over 1700 miles for these races, a huge time and money investment for your normal early 20's guy. All to still be 1 point short of getting the option to register for a world cup where their travel expenses would be more than doubled (barring a domestic WC) and they will probably not make the top-60 because they have little to no experience riding WC style tracks, especially in the wet.

I believe what the UCI has tried to do is make the WC more "Elite" by raising the bar for entry into finals and just assume the national federations will set up the proper races/series to funnel racers to the top end of the sport. The problem for US racers is that USAC and event organizers have not done this. If USAC had more 3 or 4 more Class 1 (or 2) events like Windrock, our racers would have access to 100+ more points with less saturation of already qualified WC riders. I would love for someone to start a series or single race in the mountain states that offers UCI points, but unfortunately Enduro seems to have taken a lot of peoples' attention, making necessary attendance improbable. I just want to be able to justify my DH bike purchase!!

UCI Points structure found on Page 85: https://www.uci.org/docs/default-source/rules-and-regulations/4mtb-e-1.01.2019---final---ok-publication.pdf?sfvrsn=9954e8cc_16

2019 Pro GRT Schedule: https://usacycling.org/national-calendars/ndhs/2019-pro-grt

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Liked a comment about video Old World Cup DH Track Still AWESOME! Durango / Purgatory POV 8/24/2020 1:28 PM

not really sure, but probably due to interest and cost to run the race and build the course. 4x has its own world tour - http://www.4xprotour.com/ - and a world championship still

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Liked a comment about video Old World Cup DH Track Still AWESOME! Durango / Purgatory POV 8/24/2020 12:57 PM

At the World Cup they had duel back then. The track started separate like a dual slalom but then merged for a head to head battle. I recall Cedric Gracia putting a sweet pass on Brian Lopes for the win at the WC there.

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Liked a comment about video Old World Cup DH Track Still AWESOME! Durango / Purgatory POV 8/24/2020 12:57 PM

back then they raced Dual (like shown in the video) at World Cup races (two riders on the same track). At U.S. national level races they ran dual slalom (two riders on two side-by-side *identical* tracks). 4x wasn't a thing yet, but eventually Dual was changed to 4x on the World Cup circuit a couple years later (forget the actual year, maybe 2003 or 2004?).

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Liked a comment about press release Red Bull Hardline Riders Announced 9/6/2018 3:54 PM
Roots_rider

Super risky race, guessing Gwin isn’t that interested honestly. I do miss his old segments absolutely sending it, 3 minute gaps...
Feel like this is a good fit for someone like Bingelli or Aiello though.

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