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  1. #1
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    Three things to make elite enduro racing better....

    1. Drug testing - random drug tests for PEDs.
    2. Mandatory helmet cams - everyone in the top five of each stage must submit footage (to curb course cutting)
    3. At least one day of the race is a trail ride with timed descents - no need to take lifts or shuttles, day one should be a big ride with timed sections. Grab your Camelbak and get ready to spend all day in the saddle, no outside support.

    Last edited by NoahColorado; 08-12-2013 at 09:59 AM. Reason: Clarification
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  2. #2
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    One other thing for the EWS. Points awarded for Stage wins and not just overall rankings. Maybe something like 50 points per stage plus another 50 points for winning the overall. Would make it MUCH more interesting since people could not sit on their leads at all. 100% on every stage would be awesome.

    Love your idea on helmet cams. Would make a huge difference with course cutting.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoahColorado View Post
    1. Drug testing - random drug tests for PEDs.
    2. Mandatory helmet cams - everyone in the top five of each stage must submit footage (to curb course cutting and cheating).
    3. At least one day of the race is a trail ride with timed descents - no need to take lifts or shuttles, day one should be a big ride with timed sections. Grab your Camelbak and get ready to spend all day in the saddle, no outside support.

    drug testing, really? is PED use even an issue in MTB racing, much less an issue that is among the top 3 things that could be done to improve Enduro racing? obviously you think so, I'm just surprised. what makes you think it's such a problem? honest question, I've never heard of an MTB racer failing one, I don't even know if they test in UCI XC or DH?

    course cutting: it seems to me there is some inherent tension between fostering technical race courses with multiple line choices and preserving the spirit of following the course and not cheating. I think course tape is the best solution, but I realize it's not always practical if you're racing longer backcountry type stages, in which case the organizers also need to be clear about the rules -- i.e. riders must stay on the main/burned in line and not make their own lines, no riding off trail or cutting switchbacks/corners etc.

    I really like your third idea, it dovetails with my biggest issue with Enduro racing, which is that its need a better ratio of time in the saddle, timed and untimed, to total start to finish time for the day/race. for example, the last enduro race I did had about 30 minutes of descending, 30-40 minutes of climbing (if you were fit/fast), lots of butt time on a chairlift and took probably 5 hours to finish. way too much downtime, in my opinion. then on top of that there were problems with the timing system that delayed results (I was long gone by this point) and it was a pretty long day without much actual riding. I realize the logistics are tough but I think promoters should be focused on running these races efficiently and getting quick results up. I've got a family so I really want to max out my time away by doing the most riding possible, and if I'm racing I'd like to know how I stacked up against the competition before going home.

  4. #4
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    The Whistler stop of the EWS this weekend has a good mix of pedal up vs chair lift. Also no support for the first four stages, so the pros and sponsored riders are going to be out on their own like us amateurs.

    PED as #1?

    Helmet cams? Okay results will be posted a week after the event once every minute of video has been reviewed.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardboiled View Post
    drug testing, really? is PED use even an issue in MTB racing, much less an issue that is among the top 3 things that could be done to improve Enduro racing? obviously you think so, I'm just surprised. what makes you think it's such a problem? honest question, I've never heard of an MTB racer failing one, I don't even know if they test in UCI XC or DH?
    See this link. I think with all the dollars going into this format of racing the temptation will be there for riders. I should also say, I don't think doping is reserved for elite athletes anymore - there are several easy to acquire PEDs available to virtually anyone with a little bit of searching. From what I can tell, there isn't a doping control for all EWS races, but some cycling federations may impose controls at certain venues. Riders that have been caught before in other forms of competition are supposedly banned from competing, but there is no system in place to catch current cheats.

    And yes, there is drug testing for governed XC and DH racing virtually globally.

    Quote Originally Posted by hardboiled View Post
    course cutting: it seems to me there is some inherent tension between fostering technical race courses with multiple line choices and preserving the spirit of following the course and not cheating. I think course tape is the best solution, but I realize it's not always practical if you're racing longer backcountry type stages, in which case the organizers also need to be clear about the rules -- i.e. riders must stay on the main/burned in line and not make their own lines, no riding off trail or cutting switchbacks/corners etc.
    I agree, taping stages that are several miles in length is virtually impossible, as is having marshalls all along the way. Helmet cam video would make it clear whether or not someone cut the course - and I'm not talking about a foot here or there, I'm talking about completely skipping switchbacks. I watched a famous rider go off course at the Winter Park race, not by a mile, but enough that it was blatant and it made me wonder where else he did that. It was the worst part of the race experience for me.

    Also, it seems like marketing home run for company like GoPro.

    Quote Originally Posted by hardboiled View Post
    I really like your third idea, it dovetails with my biggest issue with Enduro racing, which is that its need a better ratio of time in the saddle, timed and untimed, to total start to finish time for the day/race. for example, the last enduro race I did had about 30 minutes of descending, 30-40 minutes of climbing (if you were fit/fast), lots of butt time on a chairlift and took probably 5 hours to finish. way too much downtime, in my opinion. then on top of that there were problems with the timing system that delayed results (I was long gone by this point) and it was a pretty long day without much actual riding. I realize the logistics are tough but I think promoters should be focused on running these races efficiently and getting quick results up. I've got a family so I really want to max out my time away by doing the most riding possible, and if I'm racing I'd like to know how I stacked up against the competition before going home.
    Yes. Also, I'd like to see less bike tuning/changing/etc. between stages. A long format like this would help that - you want to change tires between stages? Have fun carrying them in your backpack, all day!
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  6. #6
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    PodOmatic | Best Free Podcasts

    Some good discussion in today's Off Track podcast with Jerome, Fabien, Tracey, Anaka, and Chris Ball about taping courses and course cutting.

  7. #7
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    Interesting post, I'll be interested to see other reactions to this.

    Here on the east coast, I've never suspected doping or course-cutting. Maybe I'm naive, but I'm not sure I believe the incentives are big enough here yet to encourage much cheating. I like #3, but the reality here is some courses are suited for that and some aren't.
    Last edited by OldManBike; 08-09-2013 at 11:20 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by shirk View Post
    The Whistler stop of the EWS this weekend has a good mix of pedal up vs chair lift. Also no support for the first four stages, so the pros and sponsored riders are going to be out on their own like us amateurs.

    PED as #1?

    Helmet cams? Okay results will be posted a week after the event once every minute of video has been reviewed.
    List not necessarily in order of importance.

    Helmet cam footage could be checked after the race. It would serve as a deterrent to cheating.
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  9. #9
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    I've heard mumblings of guys at the top of our regional riding dabbling in PED's. It's third hand info, and this is events that are just for bragging right, no cash. Is it an issue? Sure, but is it an issue that's going to "make Enduro better" if tons of effort is put into it? No, not in my opinion.

    As a mid pack Masters 30+ class racer I care more about how I rank against my buddies, sure I look at where we are vs the pro's but know even with tons more dedicated training the top 10 in Pro is a whole other world.

    The growth of Enduro is going to come from grass roots because it's fun racing, it's not going to come from what happens in the top 10 at Pro level.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoahColorado View Post
    See this link. I think with all the dollars going into this format of racing the temptation will be there for riders. I should also say, I don't think doping is reserved for elite athletes anymore - there are several easy to acquire PEDs available to virtually anyone with a little bit of searching. From what I can tell, there isn't a doping control for all EWS races, but some cycling federations may impose controls at certain venues. Riders that have been caught before in other forms of competition are supposedly banned from competing, but there is no system in place to catch current cheats.

    And yes, there is drug testing for governed XC and DH racing virtually globally.



    I agree, taping stages that are several miles in length is virtually impossible, as is having marshalls all along the way. Helmet cam video would make it clear whether or not someone cut the course - and I'm not talking about a foot here or there, I'm talking about completely skipping switchbacks. I watched a famous rider go off course at the Winter Park race, not by a mile, but enough that it was blatant and it made me wonder where else he did that. It was the worst part of the race experience for me.

    Also, it seems like marketing home run for company like GoPro.



    Yes. Also, I'd like to see less bike tuning/changing/etc. between stages. A long format like this would help that - you want to change tires between stages? Have fun carrying them in your backpack, all day!
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by shirk View Post
    PodOmatic | Best Free Podcasts

    Some good discussion in today's Off Track podcast with Jerome, Fabien, Tracey, Anaka, and Chris Ball about taping courses and course cutting.
    Thanks for the link, very interesting. Exactly what I'm talking about.

    I found the "3-meter" rule laughable though, thats nearly 10 feet! Anything within 10 feet of either side of the trail being okay? Yeah right!
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  12. #12
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    Sure, but don't you want the elite level racing to be legitimate?

    As for the points I made, I don't think helmet cams or drug testing is relevant to amateur racing, but I'd like to see it at the highest level.
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  13. #13
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    I think the "course cutting" of anything more than a few feet inside or outside of a corner will solve itself with course taping, honour system, and peer pressure. If you saw someone cut the course the "spirit of enduro" has been broken and you should have reported it.

    Course setters need to know where riders are going to cut before they tape a course. I ran a series locally and taped all our stages, as a rider I know what's proper trail and what's a cut. It helps up here that getting off the trail in most spots there is enough deadfall and forest clutter that it's not going to be faster.

    It will be interesting to see how the course is taped for Whistler. I think Chris said they laid down a ton of tape to prevent cuts. Really they shouldn't need to. It should be like ski racing poles, one colour for left turn and another for right turn. Go inside the tape and be worried that the rider behind you or a vollie spotted it and your going to pay the price.

  14. #14
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    The one item I feel that is most important is timing systems.

    Too many horror stories about delayed or incorrect results or whole stages needing to be thrown out.

    A more expensive system isn't always the answer.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by shirk View Post
    I think the "course cutting" of anything more than a few feet inside or outside of a corner will solve itself with course taping, honour system, and peer pressure. If you saw someone cut the course the "spirit of enduro" has been broken and you should have reported it.
    Spirit of Enduro is a very noble term but when the stakes get higher these sort of things tend to slip. At the top level you position is directly related to your income and if you think someone else is cutting a corner that hasn't been taped out that you are likely to do it too, its a vicious cycle and if the course is properly taped it can be eliminated.

  16. #16
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    Oh, boy. VitalMTB has been reporting on unauthorized shuttling at the EWS, starting w/ tweets from Lopes.
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  17. #17
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    The no shuttling for practice was not 100% clear. For the amateurs it was specifically stated Saturday morning at the racers meeting, but practice actually opened on Friday morning.

    Do not know how exactly it was stated at the Friday morning Pro meeting.

    There are two ways to get up to Stage 3, you can cut out some but not all of the climbing by driving up a paved road in Stonebridge.

    The most direct way up to Stage 4 is via the Alpine neighbourhood. Again you can drive part way up on a paved road then it's gated off at the dirt road. To drive up to the gate cuts out a bit of the climb but only a small portion. All the steep sustained climbing is on the closed gravel road.

    Today the group of friends I was pre riding with had planned to shuttle up to the gates to conserve energy until the rule was clarified at the 8am meeting. We climbed from the Village up to Stage 4. I decided to not pre-ride Stage 3 to save energy for the race tomorrow. I've ridden it a few times before, the trail itself is much like many other Whistler trails so felt the saved energy was better than being reminded of any specific lines.

  18. #18
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    Dirt have a statement from EWS, it was clarified but it seems he didn't go the the race briefing.

    Fabien Barel given time penalty for Crankworx rule violation. | Dirt

  19. #19
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    Goes to show the rider meetings are important.

    They should have specified better in the rule book.

    But the meeting is the final say on rules.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoahColorado View Post
    Thanks for the link, very interesting. Exactly what I'm talking about.

    I found the "3-meter" rule laughable though, thats nearly 10 feet! Anything within 10 feet of either side of the trail being okay? Yeah right!

    I listened to this podcast this morning as well. It was interesting to hear how passionate and almost argumentative Barel got when they started talking course cutting, when Mosely was like, "The trail is the course, no question."

    This happens at local races all the time and it drives me batty! I've done Race 1 and 2 of the Enduro Cup series here in Utah and they found a pretty big course cut on one of the stages at the Canyons and had to re-tape everything and give stern warnings for dq. The race promoter even stated that the Megavalanche was the prior weekend so no barreling straight down the mountain. I find it's usually performed by riders that are fast as hell and don't "need" to cut anyway. I don't have the "racer-eye" and never have. I wouldn't think to look for opportunities like that and when I see the cuts it blows me away. Isn't part of the challenge to ride the trail/course as it is intended? Not to mention gives mountain bikers a bad rep in the eyes of trail advocacy groups.

  21. #21
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    Some odds and ends...

    ...on the East Coast there are little no opportunities to use chairlifts or shuttle for that matter. So for number one either way, a simple solution for making sure everyone rides the climbs/traverses b/t the timed sections is to have a random checkpoint on each of the climbs where you would have to check in. If timing chips are being used then riders must scan at this point or the will not be able to be checked in at the next timed section. Sure, it's more effort for the promoters, but if you get creative they could be like an alley cat where a challenge or trivia is offered for a small time bonus.

    Second, sending riders off in threes versus one at time makes it more interesting and speeds things up. This was done at a race I did in June. Three racers would pull up and the timing judge would send them off 1, 2, 3 as each chip was scanned. This makes it really feel like you are riding with your friends even if you don't know the people around you.

    Third and finally, keep it more of a party atmosphere. I am sure there are racers there to covet points, impress sponsors and get press, but the bulk of the participants just want to have a blast. Guess what? These are the racers who are paying the bills not the aforementioned douchebags. Sure, some swag is nice, but spend the dough on a nice cookout at the end. Fun is what can really set Enduro racing apart from everything else. Racers will have a better time and want to come back.
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  22. #22
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    Nice opinion piece here by Damian Breach about cheating in the EWS.

    Interesting photo of the the type course cutting I mentioned earlier in the thread - not miles off the course but without a doubt not on the trail.
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  23. #23
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    The so called "cheating" by Fab in Enduro is a stretch. Driving from Creekside to Function Junction although very short is hardly cheating.

    The organizers did an amazing job of cutting out any possibility to cut the course. They should have done a better job in stating the rule about practice and transfers or "outside assistance" in practice.

    Anyone that knows the trails in Whistler knows you can't shuttle to the top of them.

    Prior to the athletes meeting the group I was riding with had planned to drive from village over to the bottom of Stage 4 then climb up, once they clarified the rule that practice had to start from the village we axed that.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoahColorado View Post
    Nice opinion piece here by Damian Breach about cheating in the EWS.

    Interesting photo of the the type course cutting I mentioned earlier in the thread - not miles off the course but without a doubt not on the trail.
    Thanks for the link to that article Noah. I'm pretty new to racing as a whole and was starting to get excited about trying to get more involved with SuperD and Enduro. Honestly, all this course cutting BS has really soured me on the whole thing. Quite frankly, I find the polls up on Pinkbike and VitalMTB right now to be disgusting (the results actually). I never would have guessed so many are that hard up for results that they will blantantly cut course to get an edge just because it wasn't taped off for the entire length of the course. If that's what is necessary I guess we'll see some pretty outrageous entry fees go even higher to account for the tape and man hours required to tape off miles and miles of course and removes it afterwards. It's supposed to be a race on a given course, not some open interpretation of a fastest time down a mountain. So fuking lame.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by catch22 View Post
    Thanks for the link to that article Noah. I'm pretty new to racing as a whole and was starting to get excited about trying to get more involved with SuperD and Enduro. Honestly, all this course cutting BS has really soured me on the whole thing. Quite frankly, I find the polls up on Pinkbike and VitalMTB right now to be disgusting (the results actually). I never would have guessed so many are that hard up for results that they will blantantly cut course to get an edge just because it wasn't taped off for the entire length of the course. If that's what is necessary I guess we'll see some pretty outrageous entry fees go even higher to account for the tape and man hours required to tape off miles and miles of course and removes it afterwards. It's supposed to be a race on a given course, not some open interpretation of a fastest time down a mountain. So fuking lame.
    The vibe on course yesterday was the exact opposite of the drama of course cutting and rules violations. The whole weekend from pre-riding the course to racers meeting to race and post race beers was just great times. Maybe it's just what I see around me and the people I am racing against in the Masters 30+ class.

    I loaned out my shock pump several times before stage 1, gave someone some zipties at stage 2, and made new friends.

    Perhaps at the highest pro level a few things need to be sorted out, but don't let that sour you unless you actually think you'll be knocking out faster times than Jared Graves.

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