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​The UCI had a bit of a management committee get-together recently in Doha, Qatar, in conjunction with the 2016 UCI Road World Championships, and among the decisions taken were several that pertain to the discipline of downhill:

  • Following last year's move to reduce the number of riders showing up at a World Cup event, the number of minimum points required to register has once again been increased, this time up from 30 to 40.
  • There will also be a reduction in the number of riders allowed into the Women's and Junior Men's finals, 15 and 20 respectively (down from 20 and 30). Protected women who fail to qualify for finals will be added to the 15 qualified riders.
  • Finally, a separate Junior Women's event will be organized (whereas previously, Junior Women were lumped into the Elite Women category).
  • The men qualified for finals will now be provided a separate practice session in between the Women's final and the Men's final. this is to give the men a chance at practicing on course conditions that more closely resemble what they will be racing on.

These decisions were taken in an effort to "better protect the integrity of the course and therefore improve the quality of competition."

As for the calendar, the good news is that there will be 7 World Cup rounds in 2017 in addition to World Championships, and not as we previously feared only 6. Lenzerheide was missing from the preliminary calendar we saw earlier this year, but the venue has since raised its hand again and will welcome our downhillers at the same time as the XCO event is held. As for Worlds, they will be held in Cairns, Australia at the tail end of the season, which is unusual for this venue where World Cup races have been held in March or April in recent years. Perhaps we'll steer clear of monsoons this way?

2017 UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup and World Championships Calendar

  • 29-30 Apr DHI  Lourdes, FRA
  • 03-04 Jun DHI  Fort William, GBR 
  • 10-11 Jun DHI  Leogang, AUT 
  • 01-02 Jul  XCO - DHI  Vallnord, AND 
  • 08-09 Jul  XCO - DHI  Lenzerheide, SUI 
  • 05-06 Aug XCO - DHI  Mont-Sainte-Anne, CAN 
  • 26-27 Aug XCO - DHI  Val Di Sole, ITA
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iceman2058 iceman2058 10/13/2016 12:15 PM

13 comments newest first

Would be nice to see some new tracks, but that looks like a sick schedule to me. Those are all tough tracks that produce good racing (except Lenzerheide, maybe). Just be grateful there's not Pietermaritzburg and Cairns in the same season.

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I feel bad for never noticing this, but there hasn't been a Junior Women's group? Also, what does it mean by a totally separate Junior Women's event? not the same tracks? why?

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Actually, junior women were previously just bundled in with elite women. They will now be given their own race (at the same venue), which might hopefully actually attract MORE of them to come and give it a go.

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If you watched any of the raw footage you saw that it was too much track for some of the junior women. I don't mean this as an insult, it's too much track for me. Anyhow, I think it's a way to get folks up to that level without killing them on those tracks. My thoughts.

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honestly i'm just happy i get to watch the best racers do their thing over the summer for free.

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7 rounds is great but I was hoping for some new (or old) venues for next year! Sure Fort William, Mont St Anne, and Val di Sole are classics but there are so many great tracks out there. And no race in the USA again. Crazy! I guess it comes down to who can afford to host these things.

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There is nothing wrong in being one because UCI... well sucks. In order to host WC you need, according to UCI, at least 410k CHF...
It think it is easy to assume new venues have hard time getting that sum of money and see the benefits of spending it... Ok world cup race should cost less but I've heard the number in still 5 figure. It would be interesting if someone from likes of BDS or IXS cup would tell how much exactly costs to organize such an event and to see how much is the part of the UCI... I think they also have power to shut down any possible series that would challenge them...

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410k CHF, pluss course construction, staff, local promotion etc. We're talking at least half a million dollars to host an event. This probably explains the popularity of bikepark style courses. These guys can use the world cup to promote the bikepark to generate revenue all season. Proper technical tracks like Champery are just too difficult for the average Joe to go and ride, take the family etc. Not to mention the difficulty of access and filming in these locations. It's a shame really.

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