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Should the UCI do more double headers? (in non-pandemic years)

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10/15/2020 3:49 PM

Curious what everyone thinks of the format this weekend. Personally, I love it. I can watch Friday at work, then get to watch again Sunday.

As a rider, I always wished I had another crack at a track right away. This gives that opportunity.

More racing. More races. Relatively speaking the same amount of money.

Thoughts?

(and yes, I know it'll never happen)

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10/15/2020 8:27 PM

As a spectator I love it. But after watching the latest slideshow, it doesn't sound like it's the same amount of money for the privateers.

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10/16/2020 12:09 AM

Not sure if double headers will be welcomed by teams... Less logistic, but THIS :

Photo

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10/16/2020 12:10 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/16/2020 12:10 AM

Seeing as I can't watch it during work hours and a race coverage takes forever (3-4hrs, minimum 2hrs if you want to be sure not to miss the winner's run in case he is badly seeded) I'm not totally convinced about a full double header format.

But, I was thinking about the format and how fans/racer's always complain about how there isn't enough races. So one easy compromise would be to make qualies worth way more. Maybe not the full points of sunday, but let's say half the points for the top 20-30. And also have it filmed by the proper crew and released as a 30minute-1hour highlight reel.

Another advantage of double headers/ meaningful qualies, would be to avert weather issues. E.g. if you know if it going to pour down for half the race on sunday, make the earlier round the higher scoring round.

The negative aspect is the toll taken on the riders physically, both from an effort and injury perspective, they would need to play it safer and aim for consistency, but we know that isn't how it will go. So you will have guy hitting the gym way harder in the off season getting overly rewarded and also a lot of people attempting to ride races injured.

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10/17/2020 6:39 AM

double header at start and end of year could be rad. in a typical season, when there are back-to-back weekends of racing, you can see the interest fall off at the 2nd race. when there are month+ gaps, the hype seems higher.

if mx racers do what mx racers do, i don't think fitness should be an excuse. everyone would be in the same boat, so they may all tone it down a bit on double header weekends.

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10/17/2020 6:54 AM

jeff.brines wrote:

Curious what everyone thinks of the format this weekend. Personally, I love it. I can watch Friday at work, then get to watch again Sunday.

As a rider, I always wished I had another crack at a track right away. This gives that opportunity.

More racing. More races. Relatively speaking the same amount of money.

Thoughts?

(and yes, I know it'll never happen)

but but privateers can race 2 events for a cheaper combo, no?

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10/17/2020 7:39 AM

It's probably quite rough on the riders ito not having time to recover for the next race. Also on the mechanics, etc. Especially for privateers. Less travel costs may help the teams.

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10/17/2020 8:14 AM

2 events in 4 days good for us but, has anything like this ever happened in DH or will this year just be a asterisk at the end. Lack of recovery time, a rider with a minor injury that can’t heal enough in 2 or even 1 day to be able to qualify but if the was in 7 and quali’s were in 5-6 days he/she could’ve competed with that much recovery so no it should not be repeated.

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10/17/2020 9:07 AM

I think that the double header should be the new standard. If you think about how much time and effort riders put into getting to a race, it only makes sense. Especially for North American athletes. I’m the parent of a junior racer from the USA and given that it costs about 5K to get a rider to a race it’s nice to know that they get two races. That effectively cost average each race to $2500. That also affords some protection against a mechanical or cash. If you don’t qualify, you get another shot. I also think that it would be nice to pair events together in the same way that World Championships was paired together with Maribor. Again, this makes participation by North American athletes more obtainable. As far as media coverage is concerned, this is something that the UCI needs to work out so that viewers in all countries have an opportunity to tune in.

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10/17/2020 10:05 AM

I like it particularly the 2x track format. As Spomer said perhaps the first and last rounds of the series as double headline events. Perhaps bonus points for the best rider of those rounds.

Several riders use to race slalom/4x and then DH.

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10/17/2020 11:41 AM

Long term I'd like to see DH races in South America, Africa, and South East Asia also. That would be more expensive for teams and for especially hard on privateers. If perhaps the cup became 'best out of 8 races' with at least 12 races held, then perhaps double headers would be a way to let people get more points for less travel cost.

As a spectator I like the idea of double headers though I must admit I'm less interested in Sunday's race than I was in Friday's just because I already spent several hours watching. Maybe that will change Sunday.

Freerider71's point about double headers being a good insurance against a mechanical is a great point. Fully support that. It does feel kind of dumb when a flat or a broken chain costs someone a whole weeks worth of travel and prep.

I'd hope for 6-8 events still i.e. 12-16 races.

I'm not worried about recovery time. If racers know this ahead of time they will just train for it.

Entry fees seems to be something that can easily be fixed and changed as this is tried out.

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10/17/2020 3:41 PM

Talking about qallies being worth more, why not just make them a seeding run kinda deal with no points and then have two full on races with two sets of points? There's your double header, less strain on the teams and riders and more proper action for the spectators.

As for doubling up races, Maribor and Leogang being one after another is a fluke. The original calendar had Maribor and Lošinj back to back. Which is kinda the same, but different smile
It makes sense for the teams, but not for the spectators. Had it gone through normally with no COVID, I would have gone to watch the Lošinj round (down by the seaside, where it's warm, an early start to the holiday season kinda deal), but likely not to Maribor, even though it's in Slovenia and closer than Lošinj. I wouldn't want to deal with the logistics of traveling and the like (drinking? tongue ) for two subsequent weekends and I'd take the option more tempting, which, due to weather/scenery/temperature related reasons, would Lošinj. 2018 was lit down there.

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10/17/2020 4:20 PM

As a fan I love it! Almost too difficult to enjoy all the coverage. Good problem to have.
As a rider, especially as someone who has tried to be competitive as a privateer it would be much more difficult to keep the bike running, however, I always loved having multiple DH races, maybe a chainless, to usually try and right a wrong from the first race. Overall, I think that the format could work. What doesn’t work, double entry fee and a split prize purse, what’s going on there???

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10/17/2020 6:37 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/17/2020 6:38 PM

vweb wrote:

Not sure if double headers will be welcomed by teams... Less logistic, but THIS :

Photo

If they fix the prize money I think teams wouldn’t mind the occasional double header

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10/17/2020 6:38 PM

I think it's boring two races at the same track even with some diferent parts. Maybe two completely diferent tracks at the same city can be very nice.

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10/18/2020 1:05 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/18/2020 1:06 AM

Or... Dual slalom plus the DH race?

To promote racing in both, maybe have an overall cup like the skiers do?

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10/18/2020 1:14 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/18/2020 1:39 AM

vweb wrote:

Not sure if double headers will be welcomed by teams... Less logistic, but THIS :

Photo

wilbersk wrote:

If they fix the prize money I think teams wouldn’t mind the occasional double header

On top of that, I believe UCI got the fees but the organizer pays the prize money (https://fr.uci.ch/docs/default-source/bidding-guides/2018_uci_mtb_wcup_bidding_guide_web.pdf)
That really reveals how much UCI loves DH, I can clearly picture UCI as old corrupt uncle scrooge screaming "me me me money me"

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10/18/2020 2:35 AM

vweb wrote:

Not sure if double headers will be welcomed by teams... Less logistic, but THIS :

Photo

wilbersk wrote:

If they fix the prize money I think teams wouldn’t mind the occasional double header

human powered suicide machine wrote:

On top of that, I believe UCI got the fees but the organizer pays the prize money (https://fr.uci.ch/docs/default-source/bidding-guides/2018_uci_mtb_wcup_bidding_guide_web.pdf)
That really reveals how much UCI loves DH, I can clearly picture UCI as old corrupt uncle scrooge screaming "me me me money me"

Who do you think funded DH after grundig pulled there marketing money. I’ll give you a clue, it starts with a U and ends with an I.

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10/18/2020 2:15 PM

wilbersk wrote:

If they fix the prize money I think teams wouldn’t mind the occasional double header

human powered suicide machine wrote:

On top of that, I believe UCI got the fees but the organizer pays the prize money (https://fr.uci.ch/docs/default-source/bidding-guides/2018_uci_mtb_wcup_bidding_guide_web.pdf)
That really reveals how much UCI loves DH, I can clearly picture UCI as old corrupt uncle scrooge screaming "me me me money me"

LLLLL wrote:

Who do you think funded DH after grundig pulled there marketing money. I’ll give you a clue, it starts with a U and ends with an I.

Thanks for challenging my gut feeling so I went to educate myself and read some UCI annual report. Unfortunately, I didn't find anything from the Grundig Era.
Through, this is interesting : https://www.uci.org/docs/default-source/publications/2019-uci-rapport-annuel-inside-english-web.pdf
Remember that UCI job is actually to fund (or I would say to exploit) DH racing. It means they have cost (they always try to minimize) and revenue (they always try to maximize). I don't want to be cynical so sports health is maybe a consideration but the main driver is to generate revenue year after year.
Fucking up at securing sponsoring revenue after Grundig doesn't make them heroes. People would still want to race DH with or without UCI.
UCI is not a charity (well they are actually a non-profit!), they provide a service that's being paid by team and racers registrations, licences, host, etc. Sponsors and media stuff are extra fluff that is not absolutely vital ( you've seen what I've done here)

@spommer: it would be a good idea to get somebody on the podcast with a good economic understanding of the UCI (or USA cycling) revenues and operating cost so we would be more educated on what we can actually expect from this bodies. As average mountain bikers, we always cry for more racing, more coverage, more of everything without having a good analytical knowledge on the numbers.

Getting back on the subject, I'm not sure the double headers are as enjoyable as regular round by racers and spectators (they kinda saturate the viewers attention for a short time instead of keeping them engaged longer) but if it makes sense financially for racers privateers and hosts, i'm all for it!!

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10/18/2020 2:47 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/18/2020 3:06 PM

human powered suicide machine wrote:

On top of that, I believe UCI got the fees but the organizer pays the prize money (https://fr.uci.ch/docs/default-source/bidding-guides/2018_uci_mtb_wcup_bidding_guide_web.pdf)
That really reveals how much UCI loves DH, I can clearly picture UCI as old corrupt uncle scrooge screaming "me me me money me"

LLLLL wrote:

Who do you think funded DH after grundig pulled there marketing money. I’ll give you a clue, it starts with a U and ends with an I.

human powered suicide machine wrote:

Thanks for challenging my gut feeling so I went to educate myself and read some UCI annual report. Unfortunately, I didn't find anything from the Grundig Era.
Through, this is interesting : https://www.uci.org/docs/default-source/publications/2019-uci-rapport-annuel-inside-english-web.pdf
Remember that UCI job is actually to fund (or I would say to exploit) DH racing. It means they have cost (they always try to minimize) and revenue (they always try to maximize). I don't want to be cynical so sports health is maybe a consideration but the main driver is to generate revenue year after year.
Fucking up at securing sponsoring revenue after Grundig doesn't make them heroes. People would still want to race DH with or without UCI.
UCI is not a charity (well they are actually a non-profit!), they provide a service that's being paid by team and racers registrations, licences, host, etc. Sponsors and media stuff are extra fluff that is not absolutely vital ( you've seen what I've done here)

@spommer: it would be a good idea to get somebody on the podcast with a good economic understanding of the UCI (or USA cycling) revenues and operating cost so we would be more educated on what we can actually expect from this bodies. As average mountain bikers, we always cry for more racing, more coverage, more of everything without having a good analytical knowledge on the numbers.

Getting back on the subject, I'm not sure the double headers are as enjoyable as regular round by racers and spectators (they kinda saturate the viewers attention for a short time instead of keeping them engaged longer) but if it makes sense financially for racers privateers and hosts, i'm all for it!!

https://m.vitalmtb.com/features/The-Inside-Line-Podcast-Martin-Whiteley,2374

If the UCI ran at a deficit then it would have disappeared long ago and taken our DH world cup with it.
It’s not like a national body which could be replaced with another by simply lobby the current administration for funding. And it’s not FIFA pulling in ridiculous amounts of money every 4 years with the biggest global sports event there is.

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10/19/2020 6:13 AM

Thanks for chiming in everyone!

1) I wonder what the riders really think? I'm sure opinion is mixed, but I know there are a number of WC pros that wish there were more races overall. This seems like a way to accomplish this (yes, its a compromise) without making teams fly all over the world more.

2) The idea riders need more recovery is kind of funny to me. Most riders do a handful of training runs, then a qualy, then maybe 1 more run, then they race. You are telling me the best riders in the world can't do ~20 laps in the entirety of a double header which spans 4-6 days?

3) It would suck to pay two entry fees, but entry fees, as pricey as they may be, are not the limiting factor for privateers. Getting to the race, in my experience, is often your biggest cost. Sure, staying in a hotel a few more nights could be pricey, too, but again, you are getting to race twice. Overall, I'd argue its more economical for everyone to do a double header.

I think the big argument against it is simply this: It sort of takes away the "purity" of WC DH racing in that its a new track every time. I've hesitated to bring up moto, but they do often revisit locations in the same season, but they build new tracks.

Maybe that'd be the best way to do it, mix the track up a little. Tape in new sections. You could use bits and pieces for one race, then other pieces for the second race.

I guess this ultimately comes down to "does everyone want more DH WC racing or not?"

I want a LOT more!!!

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10/19/2020 6:55 AM

I think there would be venues that would be able to pull off two track options, where at least 60% (more than half) of the track is different for the second race. The UCI would need to throw a carrot out there for the venue but with enough notice (1+ years), I think this is really doable for any bike park, especially one trying to grow and build more trail.

I like the idea of the double header for race weekend 1 and the final. It also makes a lot of sense for the N. America stops if you have MSA and then double header in the US.

I think the strongest argument against it would be from the trade teams. Bonuses, etc. would cost them more for riders and does a double weekend really create more exposure for the brand? I would think more shots at the podium would be better but I have no idea of the metrics they use.

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10/19/2020 8:57 AM

Jeff well MX has two motos on the same track, sooooo...

It might be hard for some venues to do variations on the track they use (Lošinj?), but for sure it is an option. And nobody said you have to run 2 races on a course, you could maybe do double headers only on courses that can accomodate variations of the course?

As for too much running, hell, skiers do 2 races in subsequent days with two runs each. In some cases we're talking about downhill and slalom as well, so two complete opposites on the skiing spectrum.

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10/19/2020 11:04 AM

I think one way to solve it would be running it like an outdoor MX national in the US. A single qualifying event followed by two points paying races in the same weekend. Qualifying Friday, race 1 Saturday, race 2 Sunday then an overall weekend winner. Points get earned for each race plus bonus point for overall weekend ranking so individual performance and consistency are rewarded.

If they changed the courses slightly between day 1 and day 2 we would also see different skill sets since riders that don't need to know every inch of a track to go fast would be rewarded. Allow a Sunday practice for an hour or two so the riders can see the changes and try them out without being able to nail every section. Or they could just run the same track which would still be interesting since riders that made a mistake on day 1 could make a comeback on day 2.

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10/19/2020 1:16 PM

Good idea. Boy Loris would have made bank over the last weekend with a system like this smile

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10/19/2020 3:36 PM

Why not have a race Sat and Sun, like BMX used to be....same tracks

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10/20/2020 6:32 PM

If you are old enough, you remember the first DH WC had 2 runs with the best run winning. It was an exciting format (especially when the bike would broke all the time). Racers could strategize with a safe run then risking everything for the second one. It would not work well for TV but this format would really crown the fastest racer.

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10/20/2020 7:16 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/20/2020 7:18 PM

human powered suicide machine wrote:

If you are old enough, you remember the first DH WC had 2 runs with the best run winning. It was an exciting format (especially when the bike would broke all the time). Racers could strategize with a safe run then risking everything for the second one. It would not work well for TV but this format would really crown the fastest racer.

I dig it! You are right, this wouldn't come back, for TV reasons alone, but that format does sound fun.

Regardless, racing is awesome. The sport is, in fact, growing. Production is cheaper than it was 20 years ago. There has to be a way to make this all puzzle together so we get more racing, racers and brands get more exposure and the sport prospers further on the competitive side.

Staying static when everything else is changing seems a dumb move. But what do I know...


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10/21/2020 9:52 AM

Why wouldn't it? Skiing has two runs and people watch it? Maybe not in the same format (with 80 riders doing the two runs), but do it exactly like skiing has it maybe?

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