Home Forums Bike Forum Pro-Enduro coming apart at the seams?

  • This topic has 224 replies, 60 voices, and was last updated 9 months ago by mc.
Viewing 40 posts - 81 through 120 (of 225 total)
  • Pro-Enduro coming apart at the seams?
  • ocrider
    Full Member

    Heads up for the “I didn’t know it was on” crowd

    1
    BoardinBob
    Full Member

    It’s interesting that Chris Ball has been absolutely anonymous since his disastrous AMA session on Pinkbike earlier in the year. The Vital MTB forum is rife with some wild rumours about enduro and DH next season. It’s quite some feat to do so much damage in a year to two well established race formats

    fourtopsallnight
    Free Member

    Could see Redbull launching a rival series

    If I screw my eyes up really tight and promise to be good, will this happen? Please?

    On the subject of GT.

    In DH they are clearly the big brand that have a team that riders end up on when other stuff goes wrong and then want to get off ASAP. The one (admittedly a few years back) that sticks out is Bulldog who was clearly being held back by that bike as it rattled and gasped its way down the hill. He was out of there like a shot at the first opportunity.

    Maes is (was?) to GT what Rude is to Yeti – except Rude is still at the absolute peak. Neither of them are so-called personalities, so their appeal will solely be based on the USP of having a bike ridden to EWS (WTF is it called now) glory by X. They haven’t got the media reach like YT have (and Canyon still get) via Moimoi or Pivot get with Ed Masters and BK.

    GT have done good stuff with Wyn though, but if you look at his stuff he isn’t giving it a sell to be riding on GT. He barely mentions it, which I don’t think is coincidence.

    Anyway – ESO / Warner Bros / Discovery – get in the sea.

    1
    chakaping
    Full Member

    If I screw my eyes up really tight and promise to be good, will this happen? Please?

    Well it might, but it would still only be a sideshow to the World Cup series.

    What we really need to hope for is Discovery / ESO to learn from their many mistakes and make some big improvements and media personnel changes for next year.

    frogstomp
    Full Member

    Some post-race pit talk featuring Dean Lucas and Josh Carlson (both of whom I’d quite happily watch more of in future coverage):

    So, no ride for Josh at Giant next year.. cagey with it but could be interpreted as no Giant team in EDS next year either? #speculation

    nickc
    Full Member

    Anyway – ESO / Warner Bros / Discovery – get in the sea.

    They have nothing to do with running EDR though do they?. It’s run by Chris Ball through Enduro Sports Organisation Ltd.

    Dark-Side
    Full Member

    I caught the ‘premiere’ of the EDR Highlights last night on YouTube as it streamed ‘live’, a day and a half after the racing had finished. There were around 800 live viewers as I was watching. It’s no wonder teams are dropping like flies.

    I also listed to a Downtime podcast with Chris Ball from Feb 23 yesterday, before the season started obviously. The contrast between the opportunity talked up by Chris Ball and the delivery is striking.

    1
    benpinnick
    Full Member

    Anyway – ESO / Warner Bros / Discovery – get in the sea.

    They have nothing to do with running EDR though do they?. It’s run by Chris Ball through Enduro Sports Organisation Ltd.

    ESO = Enduro Sports Organisation. Warner (or discovery, cant remember which) now own some (or maybe all) of ESO I believe. They certainly handed them a wedge of cash back in 2021 I assume in return for equity.

    1
    nickc
    Full Member

    Ah right, that makes sense 🤦‍♂️ Yeah, they’ve not covered themselves in glory. I think some things in DH/XC have gone OK, and recently they’ve got into the stride a bit better (junior race cancellations aside), but Enduro just seems like it’s being treated like the ginger step-kid.

    ocrider
    Full Member

    Could see Redbull launching a rival series

    I can’t. They’ve never supported enduro, so why would they now? Unless they did some sort of invite only one-off event. More importantly for the sake of enduro; currently* the only glass ceiling for WCEDRWS is a minimum of UCI points and not a two tone helmet.

    *And hopefully for the foreseeable future

    1
    fourtopsallnight
    Free Member

    ESO = Enduro Sports Organisation. Warner (or discovery, cant remember which) now own some (or maybe all) of ESO I believe. They certainly handed them a wedge of cash back in 2021 I assume in return for equity.

    Isn’t that normally the way? Bit (lot) of cash as a one-off then keeping former directors on the hook to ease the transition to whatever it becomes (often less good as filling more/bigger pockets).

    A friend of mine sold his (very successful) business. He got a big wodge of cash, but was persuaded to stay on for a limited period as he was the business in many ways – in return for an exec salary and other bits, I assume. He viewed it very much as not wanting to see the family name trashed and also staying on good terms with suppliers and customers who had become friends. The new owners basically used him as a front to screw concessions out of said suppliers and customers. It was his choice, and he did very well out of it, so in telling the tale he wasn’t looking for sympathy. He just said he wished now he had just walked away the second the sale went through.

    Messrs Ball and Cunningham may be in a similar boat. But they have taken the money and are now incurring the ire of their customers. And no one can say that this season has gone well – DH or Enduro. No one knows the Enduro is on – it isn’t televised live (which was hinted at by Mr Ball in that car crash interview – I may be wrong there). The semis in DH are just an added quali layer to say some half-competitive has been aired free to view. That extra layer of quali has exacerbated problems with protected riders etc and also led directly to the points oversight that caused the Brayton balls up. The balls up that Jack Reading details extremely well on the latest MUTN podcast. And it is a straight balls-up.

    It has been a shambles so far. Another hope/dream of mine is that Minnaar, as GOAT, retires at the end of the season and goes off on one at ESO / Discovery etc.

    BoardinBob
    Full Member

    I tell you something that is particularly grating. The blatant contractual requirement for Ric Mclaughlin to mention “UCI” at every possible opportunity. The race disciplines can’t be referred to as just their format, it has to be the “UCI Downhill” or the “UCI World Championships”. Pretty clear that the UCI want to make sure everyone knows they’re in charge

    chrismac
    Full Member

    So, no ride for Josh at Giant next year.. cagey with it but could be interpreted as no Giant team in EDS next year either?

    I didn’t realise they even had a team. There is Rae doing her thing on liv and that’s it.

    Josh is on the e-bikes which makes the edr look popular. It’s not as if josh was at the pointy end of the field. Even ratboy who hasn’t raced in years was faster. If your going to make your living racing then you have to at least be in the mix

    fourtopsallnight
    Free Member

    I think Ric realises full well that he is quite lucky to be where he is (that’s not meant in a nasty way, but he’s never been a pointy end racer or rider of any repute) and is now probably sticking his fingers in his ears and cracking on with the job because it pays the bills.

    As for Redbull putting on a rival series – I’m pretty sure when most folk put that forwards they mean DH. Crankworx is the obvious choice but they have some mediocre tracks (Cairns with the pedal at the end that decides the race rendering the otherwise excellent track redundant being at the forefront of my mind). Redbull aren’t going to put on an Enduro series.

    The next logical dick move by UCI/ESO/whoever is to tie the venues they have into some kind of exclusivity. I was under the impression this had kind of happened already when Schladming was binned and Leogang forced on everyone – same as Champery and Lenzerheide.

    But, taking this all back to basics – this 2023 season would, unquestionably, have been better for riders and fans had it remained the same as it was prior. Had ESO/WB/Whoever made a tonne of cash and made everything better, these arguments would not be happening.

    chrismac
    Full Member

    Redbull aren’t going to put on an Enduro series.

    Agreed. They aren’t going to put on a dh series either. They are using the sport for marketing and to get cool images to sell drinks with. Every event they are associated with is invitational so they can control the narrative. Can you imagine a RB event being won by a monster supported rider? Never going to happen as they aren’t invited

    1
    frogstomp
    Full Member

    I didn’t realise they even had a team. There is Rae doing her thing on liv and that’s it.

    They don’t seem to shout about it that much, agreed. Both Rae and Youn Deniaud are consistent top 10 riders though.

    Can you imagine a RB event being won by a monster supported rider? Never going to happen as they aren’t invited

    That’s not really the case though, is it.. plenty of non-RB athletes at Hardline, Rampage etc…

    The problem with a competing series is attracting enough of the top talent to take part. Crankworx DH is a case in point – big events but very few top 10/20 riders taking part so it’s hard to get that interested in them.

    RB seem to have plenty of advertising space at the ‘new’ World Cups in any case.. even without putting the events on.

    3
    nickc
    Full Member

    It has been a shambles so far.

    Melodramatics aside, it really hasn’t been. The races have happened (as before; one Junior race accepted) The semi finals format changes haven’t been successful, but TBH, it’s OK to experiment in the hope/expectation that you may get better racing, that they haven’t is just the roll of the dice. I expect we’ll go back to the trad format from before. I think the live track coverage for both XC and DH has been better, the coverage for junior racing has been a real step change, and as for commentators; Mleh, take it or leave it. via GCN+ you can turn them off if you want.

    I can remember exactly the same complaints when DH coverage went from Freecaster to RB, the bitching and moaning about the corporatisation of the sport and how the suits had taken over was just as ‘End-Times’ as it is now

    3
    chrismac
    Full Member

    I like the semi finals. I’m clearly in the minority. It’s gives those out of the top 30 more exposure than they ever got before as 60-30 were never broadcast anyway. At least they get some coverage now. It also makes the final a better watch as your watching the best and not the also rans. Let’s face it, nobody watches the qualifiers at the Olympics or the golf or tennis or any other feeder series to the main event so why would they for dh?

    I would like to see the enduro coverage improve it was way better in the past before gmbn got involved. Going back to that style and maybe introducing some drone shots to show how fast they go would be good

    mashr
    Full Member

    I would like to see the enduro coverage improve it was way better in the past before gmbn got involved. Going back to that style and maybe introducing some drone shots to show how fast they go would be good

    Maybe I just need to go and remind myself what it looked like, but that 38min highlights vid up there ^ is as good as I can remember EWS/EDR ever getting. Trackside footage, helmet cams and a drone all involved. The action from the Oz rounds 1 and 2 was really good too iirc (only I’m probably mixing official, Vital and MoiMoi footage in my head)

    The low point was last year (or whenever it was) where they were attempting to commentate on highlight footage – only Murray Walker could ever pull off that sort of thing

    BoardinBob
    Full Member

    that 38min highlights vid up there ^ is as good as I can remember EWS/EDR ever getting

    Yeah I have to say that this race highlights package has been a noticeable step up from everything previous this season.

    2
    ayjaydoubleyou
    Free Member

    Every event they are associated with is invitational so they can control the narrative. Can you imagine a RB event being won by a monster supported rider?

    did you miss Danny Hart (monster) and Bernard Kerr (no energy drink affiliation) winning hardline?

    this year (cancelled due to weather) they even invited rat boy who was a “drink water” advocate (ie against all energy drink sponsorship due to its effect on impressionable viewers)

    1
    wipperman95
    Free Member

    Clashing sponsors isn’t really an issue. Monster Energy are the main sponsors of MXGP (Motocross); both recently crown World Champions are sponsored by, yes, you guessed it, Red Bull, and received plenty of coverage. No serious professional sport would do otherwise……

    1
    BoardinBob
    Full Member

    I’ve had a look at the ESO accounts on Companies House and it throws up some interesting stuff.

    From what I can see, the Discovery Warner Bros (DWB) stuff was in the pipeline for a while. The DWB Finance VP was appointed as a director at ESO back in April 21, well in advance of the announcement of the changes to DH & Enduro. I was also surprised to see Enrico is no longer part of the organisation.

    Most interestingly, there’s been an eye watering injection of cash!

    In 2020 ESO had £413,013 in the bank

    In 2021 that figure jumped to £6,617,484

    Looking at older historic accounts they’ve been able to run the EWS with the same few hundred thousand in the bank.

    It doesn’t feel like there’s been that much more expenditure this year, certainly not on enduro, so I’m assuming the massive cash injection was to run DH and XC world champs at Glentress???

    chakaping
    Full Member

    The DH TV coverage has clearly been worse, only internet contrarians would claim otherwise.

    Let’s have a little recap…

    – On screen stats made smaller, harder to read
    – No “time to beat” shown as riders near the finish line (would be so easy to add)
    – Timing disappearing more often
    – Secondary commentator seems out of his element, over-excited and inconsistent
    – Lead commentator talks shite continuously, including repeating the shite the co-commentator has just said (Rob Warner has repeatedly said he had to be told to talk less)
    – Both commentators miss key incidents and timing updates which viewers can see
    – Not enough info provided about upcoming riders

    Basically, they’ve done it on the cheap and it’s not as good as Red Bull’s coverage – which was ripe for improvement anyway.

    nickc
    Full Member

    and it’s not as good as Red Bull’s coverage

    This must be a different Red Bull who’s feed would totally collapse with boring regularity, who’s timing disappeared just as often, who’s commentators missed just as much, and talked equal amounts of shite, and would publish “Watch Bruni’s winning run” on the front page of their website to constant derision right after the race had finished.

    The idea that Red Bull’s coverage of the sport was some sort of past-times nirvana only applies to those with the shortest of goldfish-a-like memories.

    There’s some top draw selective quoting.

    Leonardo-Dicaprio-Cheers

    1
    mashr
    Full Member

    The idea that Red Bull’s coverage of the sport was some sort of past-times nirvana only applies to those with the shortest of goldfish-a-like memories.

    Personally, I’ve enjoyed a few comments about Freecaster recently. How quick we are to forget that the top section footage they used was often from the previous day, complete with massively different weather so it didn’t even look similar to the race

    joefm
    Free Member

    putting the struggles down to commentary and on screen info seem to be a little too reductive.

    not sure tv has really helped DH anyway?

    Most sponsors still seem to be from the bike industry. Bike industry is struggling with less cash to inject into racing.

    This year EDR seems to have been forgotten and become difficult to watch. It managed before the WBD take over without TV.

    Needs to go back to it’s own thing with a festival attached like tweedlove.

    nickc
    Full Member

    There’s some top draw selective quoting.

    Yes there is, sorry @chakaping, read before posting next time. 👍

    BoardinBob
    Full Member

    not sure tv has really helped DH anyway?

    Other than the worlds, I don’t think there’s been a single race broadcast live on Eurosport, despite that being one of the supposed benefits of the new deal.

    Most sponsors still seem to be from the bike industry.

    Just did a quick look at the DH Les Gets highlights and the various advertising boards.

    Non bike sponsors:

    Whoop

    Oakley

    CIC Bank

    Red Bull

    Nissan

    GoPro

    Bike Sponsors:

    Vittoria

    Shimano

    joefm
    Free Member

    good point. was thinking more about individual teams and riders.
    Oakley make bike stuff, and then energy drinks sponsor riders.

    1
    fourtopsallnight
    Free Member

    TBH, it’s OK to experiment in the hope/expectation that you may get better racing, that they haven’t is just the roll of the dice.

    I agree with some of what you say, but that is nonsense. Presumably you are mostly talking about weather there? I don’t disagree on that one. Jack Reading was quite honest about what he was told about Loudevielle juniors being cancelled. It wasn’t track rideability that was the issue – it was emergency access in the conditions. It doesn’t need Brook MacDonald to tell you of the dangers of medics not being able to access parts of the track quickly. It was a (thankfully rarely exposed) issue before and it still is one now.

    However, it takes a special kind of stupidity to put something like semis into the mix of protected riders and not ask yourself what would happen under a few (not unlikely) scenarios.

    It also takes a next level stupidity to do it at such short notice that points awarded for semis weren’t updated into the rule book. So now some riders have to distinguish between UCI and WC points before committing to travel to a given race. There is also some difference between what was stated by ESO etc and what is in the rule book re the different points awards for the final round.

    Sports in general are not a good advertisement for how to effect change, but ESO do seem to be making an exceptional bollox of it. They also alienated the riders from the start with their secrecy.

    I would say it is near enough a cert that Minnaar will retire at the end of this season. I hope he engages full South African mode and tells it like it is.

    nickc
    Full Member

    and it still is one now.

    I think, if anything the decisions to cancel the Juniors in Loudenville probably unwittingly exposed that sometimes it probably hadn’t been safe to run previously either, but they just went ahead regardless, I’d bet money that that part of the organisation – medical access and facilities probably hasn’t changed from Red Bull to ESO they probably just rolled over the contracts (they’re working under the same UCI directives after all)

    I hope he engages full South African mode and tells it like it is.

    He doesn’t strike me as one to bite that hand that’s fed him for 20 years, so I wouldn’t hold your breath.

    mtnboarder
    Full Member

    As far as the junior cancellation goes, that should never have become an issue with proper planning. Its basic preparation and is even in the UCI guide to running events that backup in case of bad weather is needed.

    Provide backup solutions, because a course which is impassable if the weather is bad is synonymous with
    failure. Do not underestimate the need to prepare alternative routes which must be passable in any weather.

    fourtopsallnight
    Free Member

    @mtnboarder

    Genuine question out of interest – not an agenda – is that quote from a section concerning the passability of the actual course for the racers to race or is it under the banner of emergency access?


    @nickc

    Yes – Jack Reading did leave out the fact that this issue at Loudenvielle was not (probably) a direct result of ESO being in charge. I have little doubt that races have been run in non-crazy riding conditions that had potentially dangerous sections where paramedics wouldn’t have been able to access a serious injured rider (or spectator or whoever) – see Brook MacDonald at MSA.

    However:

    1) Semis is a crap idea. It is just a secondary level of quali to allow a token statement to be put out that some actual racing has been broadcast free to air. It also adds another layer of potential weirdness wrt protected riders.

    2) Semis have not even been brought in properly – hence the Brayton balls-up and the need to suddenly distinguish UCI points from WC points.

    3) The commentary is dire. Only Gwinny and Pompon have provided any real insight (Gwin in particular was excellent), but Gracia seems to have based his act on a Harry Enfield version of Warner and Ric is so wooden he must need a coat of ronseal every six months.

    4) You have to pay to watch the only racing that truly counts. Sure riders 30-60 are great riders and characters but I can watch their Instagram output to see them. The point of watching a race live is to see who wins.

    1
    fourtopsallnight
    Free Member

    And as for Enduro (the actual point of thread – from which i apologise for digressing), ESO don’t seem to give a tinker’s cuss about it.

    BoardinBob
    Full Member

    I have little doubt that races have been run in non-crazy riding conditions that had potentially dangerous sections where paramedics wouldn’t have been able to access a serious injured rider

    Fort William is the perfect example of this.

    Above the road gap there is zero vehicle access. No way to get an ambulance etc up to the top station. Anyone having a big crash between the start gate and the road gap will not have a medic attending quickly as they’ll either have to walk down from the start of up from the road gap, and any extraction would be helicopter access only

    1
    BoardinBob
    Full Member

    ESO don’t seem to give a tinker’s cuss about it.

    They also took over the Scottish Enduro Series and haven’t bothered their arse with it this year. Zero races

    mtnboarder
    Full Member

    is that quote from a section concerning the passability of the actual course for the racers to race or is it under the banner of emergency access?

    Its a fairly general section, but does read more like it applies to racers in hindsight.

    UCI guide here

    mtnboarder
    Full Member

    I emailed them at the start of the year asking about the SES dates etc.

    They didn’t bother to respond.

Viewing 40 posts - 81 through 120 (of 225 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.