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  1. #1
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    Great news for WC XCO racing

    XCO viewership tops Downhill for the 1st time. Hopefully this will translate into more sponsorship for XCO racing.

    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/cross-...e-in-2018.html

  2. #2
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    Definitely more entertaining - there's more happening during the course of an event.
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  3. #3
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    XCO seems to be inheriting the best things from cyclocross: short laps, spectator friendly courses, and great camera work, but on different terrain of course. Also, to me the womens races are much better than the mens since there's more passing at the front end, in both MTB and CX. Some awesome races there with La Bresse being the race of the season.......or the century! (I even had DH friends raving about that race. Seems Yolanda Neff is their champ since she uses handling skills to win races.)

    There's also the similar Tomac vs Overand battle with Neff vs Langvad. Awesome to have an American world champ with Courtney as well. Lots of reasons to watch.

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    The production is top notch. Kudos to Red Bull. Can't wait for 2019.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poncharelli View Post
    Also, to me the womens races are much better than the mens since there's more passing at the front end, in both MTB and CX. Some awesome races there with La Bresse being the race of the season.......or the century!.
    Yes, although 2018 was more exciting at the front for men than 2017, as Nino's dominance at every race isn't nearly as clear. I think 2019 we'll start to see who else is ready for the top step.

    That all said, La Bresse for the women's field was the most exciting race I've ever seen, regardless of sport. It's really impressive how deep the front of the women's field is compared to the men, when it still appears as though there are 3-4x more men starting.

  6. #6
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    Good, haha.
    I must say I used to love watching ANY mtbing in the 90's, used to get the world champs on video and loved watching the XC and the DH both as much as each other.
    But these days, DH is kinda pretty far removed from what the average rider does, it's almost a different sport. It's not that I don't mind watching it, but I will watch every round of the XC, but Dh I will only really watch if i have nothing to do (and I have plenty of internet quote spare).

    Only thing Id say bad about XC... should be 20 rounds or 50, so there's more to watch!!

    And I agree the womens is even better to watch than the mens (and the mens is great).
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  7. #7
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    I see DH, as usual coming up with "reasons" as to why the XCO gained more views, but I'd l;ike to know honestly if the more views were the new short track or if Big race day for XCO still beat race day for DH - I have a feeling it did, because XCO is a whole lot more interesting and diverse, can't just be the fittest anymore, have to have the handling skills as well.
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    I wonder if itís the head to head competition aspect of XC0. If DH was all like the megavalanche then . . .

  9. #9
    jms
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    Quote Originally Posted by attaboy View Post
    I wonder if itís the head to head competition aspect of XC0. If DH was all like the megavalanche then . . .
    Yes. Great suggestion.

    XCO is watching a race between competitors

    DH, in it's current format, is watching a time trial - which is a more abstract format and less compelling.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tgoods View Post
    The production is top notch. Kudos to Red Bull. Can't wait for 2019.
    Actually, I think Red Bull has very little or nothing to do with the actual race video production. They rent the same feed as is made available to live TV broadcasts in Europe, have no control over camera placement or selection, and just supply the commentary, pre-and post-race coverage, and some interviews in the middle. The same is true of US Tour de France coverage on NBCSN, for example.

    Iím not knocking Red Bull. Their XC coverage has really become excellent as Rob Warner has gradually learned the sport, Bart seems to put more effort into it and makes fewer inane comments, and they can finally talk about subjects other than full suspension-vs-hardtail. But this project is not quite as huge an investment by Red Bull as it might seem.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by J-Flo View Post
    Actually, I think Red Bull has very little or nothing to do with the actual race video production. They rent the same feed as is made available to live TV broadcasts in Europe, have no control over camera placement or selection, and just supply the commentary, pre-and post-race coverage, and some interviews in the middle. The same is true of US Tour de France coverage on NBCSN, for example.

    Iím not knocking Red Bull. Their XC coverage has really become excellent as Rob Warner has gradually learned the sport, Bart seems to put more effort into it and makes fewer inane comments, and they can finally talk about subjects other than full suspension-vs-hardtail. But this project is not quite as huge an investment by Red Bull as it might seem.
    Actually red bull does everything. They are the ones who produce the feed, own the equipment and hire the staff.
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    You could easily combine different formats as it is the case in XC skiing. I would really love to see something like the multi stage event that was just held in Lillehammer.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    Actually red bull does everything. They are the ones who produce the feed, own the equipment and hire the staff.
    In 2014 they had a big blue CBC Sports mobile at MSA (with the logos covered up) and they were using CBC's sports camera crews. They had a smaller CBC sports mobile and a private uplink truck in 2012 I believe.

    In markets where a local sports TV production unit isn't available they likely need to bring their own gear. They've upped their camera count and production values in the past 4 years too.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Great news for WC XCO racing-039.jpg  

    Great news for WC XCO racing-298.jpg  

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    I guess I'm the odd man out. Even though I'm not a DH oriented rider at all and really enjoy xc type riding I find downhill racing more fun to watch. Neither is as compelling as a good road race.


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  15. #15
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    the first photo in that article is pretty telling - XCO is athletes riding stuff the rest of us consider gnarly but realistic, and doing it at phenomenal speed. DH is just crazyness that few could envisage doing - fun to watch occasionally as a novelty but not watch every racer doing the same course and if you want to see epic DH there are better events to watch than the UCI stuff.

    i can't understand why they want to show qualifying rounds... who wants to watch even more of the same thing over and over again when its not even the money ride?

    head to head competition and realistic, varied events people can relate to but done at a higher level - isn't that what elite sport is about?

  16. #16
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    Another thing I've noticed is that I come across a few , new, maybe new to watching, gravity people being upset about the DH coverage, not being live, or not seeing the whole run. Which i get, but hey it's free coverage.
    Also I don't think the... coverage is as good as XC, only due to the difficulty of it. There is more going on per camera on track, where as DH 1 person every 2 min, plus missing chunks of the track.

    But really i'm happy apart from the gawd awful app, thats terrible to use...
    Like you watch the womens, then click on the link to the mens, it used to show a countdown to the race, now it just loads the womens replay, ugh...and many other gripes that would make it easier, but at the end of the day are a non issue as I get to watch free live WC's instead of buying a VHS cassette about 2 years later to watch highlights of the worlds
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  17. #17
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    Holy carp! was just looking at the list of Worlds and realised next year is the 30th year of UCI World Champs and I guess World Cups, does not seem like it. I look and was thinking thats like 20 years, then started counting! I got my first magazine back in Feb of 1992 (had just started mtbing) and it was the 1991 Worlds issue (we got mags about 6 months later down here in Australia), and that seems a while ago...but not forever ago!
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    I see DH, as usual coming up with "reasons" as to why the XCO gained more views, but I'd l;ike to know honestly if the more views were the new short track or if Big race day for XCO still beat race day for DH - I have a feeling it did, because XCO is a whole lot more interesting and diverse, can't just be the fittest anymore, have to have the handling skills as well.
    I watch both XC and DH and enjoy everything. The reason that DH surpassed XCO is 2 shows vs 1 and it is not an empty argument. If qualifying for DH starts getting broadcast then you will see DH surpass XC in viewership again.

    For those saying that the WC DH is not relatable, that is totally false. The trails they race on could be ridden by any skilled rider on a DH bike. Riding them at the same speed is the near impossible part.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post

    For those saying that the WC DH is not relatable, that is totally false. The trails they race on could be ridden by any skilled rider on a DH bike. Riding them at the same speed is the near impossible part.
    You mean like when you watch the worlds and there's all those people who even on a DH bike can't ride the course, they may not be world ranked, but they are the best their country has, and they're still better than a huge chunk of the riders (guaranteed to be way better than me) out and about... doesn't inspire me that DH is relatable to the average rider.
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  20. #20
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    My favorite sport on the planet is supercross / motocross.... but the Women's XCO is rapidly catching up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by D Bone View Post
    My favorite sport on the planet is supercross / motocross.... but the Women's XCO is rapidly catching up.
    Same here, I really got hooked on the womens racing this year, found myself yelling at the TV like in the SX/MX races! I've often wondered how well riders like Eli and Jmart would do if they entered a regional level mountain bike race.

  22. #22
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    Just like most DH oriented riders, you are delusional on several fronts. First thinking that even 1% of the riders the world over could even think about tackling most DH World Cup courses, no matter the bike. 2nd thinking that DH is even remotely close to relatable to the avg rider, most don't even know what mountains are and have no DH longer than 1km.

    I will say despite not being a HD focused rider, I do enjoy watching it and the line choices/style the different riders take, love hearing them talk about how they might tackle certain parts of a track, pacing etc, but the absolute crap coverage you get (not anyone's fault really, would take 50 cameras to properly cover a course and there';s just not the $$ for that) it's annoying as hell to watch when you're missing well over 3/4 of most tracks.

    Despite enjoying watching the DH more these days than I used to, it doesn't hold a candle to the XCO and the talent and fitness it takes to race the courses they have these days, nor the excitement like they've had with so many hard small races within the race, lead changes, tactics etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
    I watch both XC and DH and enjoy everything. The reason that DH surpassed XCO is 2 shows vs 1 and it is not an empty argument. If qualifying for DH starts getting broadcast then you will see DH surpass XC in viewership again.

    For those saying that the WC DH is not relatable, that is totally false. The trails they race on could be ridden by any skilled rider on a DH bike. Riding them at the same speed is the near impossible part.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    Just like most DH oriented riders, you are delusional on several fronts. First thinking that even 1% of the riders the world over could even think about tackling most DH World Cup courses, no matter the bike. 2nd thinking that DH is even remotely close to relatable to the avg rider, most don't even know what mountains are and have no DH longer than 1km.

    I will say despite not being a HD focused rider, I do enjoy watching it and the line choices/style the different riders take, love hearing them talk about how they might tackle certain parts of a track, pacing etc, but the absolute crap coverage you get (not anyone's fault really, would take 50 cameras to properly cover a course and there';s just not the $$ for that) it's annoying as hell to watch when you're missing well over 3/4 of most tracks.

    Despite enjoying watching the DH more these days than I used to, it doesn't hold a candle to the XCO and the talent and fitness it takes to race the courses they have these days, nor the excitement like they've had with so many hard small races within the race, lead changes, tactics etc.


    I don't really agree with any of that but especially the last paragraph. DH riders don't hold a candle to xc riders as far as talent and fitness? Granted xc racers have superior arobic fitness but I'm guessing more than a few DH pros would take exception to the talent part.

    You say it's crap coverage but I think it's at least as good as xc coverage, both could use improvement IMO and increased viewership will lead to that.

    I'm not a great downhill rider but I can still relate to it, at least as much as I can relate to pro xc riders that I could never keep up with. Anyway that's sort of irrelevant, I'm a terrible basketball player and couldn't dunk a ball to save my life but I still enjoy watching a good basketball game.
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  24. #24
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    Aaron Gwin lives really close to this area, and trains in this area. I see a lot of the trails he trains on. I also see how fast the local guys are that he smashes at the local DH races when he enters.

    I'm more or less with SP on this. I could ride the courses, or mostly. It is the speed I couldn't imagine.

    I think the skills between the typical pro XC racer and typical pro DH racer are probably similar, just applied different. A DH racer has to do one massive effort, the XC racer has to repeat the same effort over a long period of time. They can't smash stuff the same way, they have to endure it longer. That doesn't make either better, just different. And the DH racer is sprinting, the XC racer has to endure a longer distance, so the power strengths are different too. I imagine any decent XC racer could enter a DH race and vice versa and not embarrass themselves, contrary to popular belief.

    I don't get to watch the races much, I don't watch much TV at all (maybe 3 hours in the past 6 months?). But what I saw last year I great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I imagine any decent XC racer could enter a DH race and vice versa and not embarrass themselves, contrary to popular belief.
    .
    Tomac damn near had both world championships in 91. 1st in XC, 2nd in DH. Bring back those days when they actually competed in both events. A "KOM" Champion!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I imagine any decent XC racer could enter a DH race and vice versa and not embarrass themselves, contrary to popular belief.


    At pro levels? I think either one would be embarrassed. I don't see many xc dudes sending 50' gaps and a burly DH pro isn't going to hang very long with a 6w per kg xc racer.
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  27. #27
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    As they say, everyone has an opinion and is entitled to it. To me, the XCO guys and gals take the cake, because they have to tackle those technical descents normally after having been on a serious climb at max effort/HR, basically eyes popping out and those friking slicks they run and still manage to somehow make the DHs looks like cake.
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  28. #28
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    As a SoCal 51yr old MTB rider that has been riding longer than many forum members have been alive, I simply relate to XCO.

    Every single ride I do, I simply go "mountain bike riding" and XCO is exactly what I do..... albeit at a level that leaves me completely awestruck that anyone can ride that hard for that long.

    I respect and like all forms of racing - well except horses and dogs I guess, but for me personally DH does nothing for me..... If I want to watch that style of racing, then give me a throttle and let's do this thing the right way.

    ^ That being said, I watch every second of Rampage and still can't believe that anyone would ever enter that event willingly.
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  29. #29
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    I don't consider DH to be XCO's competition: they should be considered kissing cousins, in my opinion. And DH really should be in the Olympics.

    Cyclocross, and of course road racing, is the real comp for viewers and racers' attention, and I'm glad to see XC recovering from a kick to the stomach.

    It's just me but I hate cross; it's the lowest common denominator between road racing (it's shorter) and XCO (it's easier). Credit where due, their race format is the most spectator friendly, and even the most out of shape people can wear a tutu and compete for the beer handups.

    But this, this is real racing!

    Great news for WC XCO racing-sam-gaze-nino-schurter.jpg

    Thanks so much to Red Bull for everything you've done to make the sport watchable. I haven't drank much Red Bull since the college Jager bombs, but that's another story...

    I'm in favor of courses set closer to the minimum UCI distance of 4km (2.5 miles), and the more aggro the better. This will make it more watchable like cross or bmx, but the courses will set XCO apart as an extreme sport that's worthy of Red Bull coverage.

    https://www.redbull.com/gb-en/dummie...xco-world-cups

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    I like DH, but to me it looks like a different sport; I ride bikes, but I don't do that. Waiting to see the timer at the bottom of the hill is different. Like someone else said, it's time trialing, which is good, but traffic and good passes are very interesting to watch. Also, no-one is really as interested in the slowest racers as the top ten, with XC the focus is the drama of the top ten, but 'time trialing' you have to watch the slowest too, which is interesting, just less interesting.

    I also enjoyed the womens world cup from Redbull, I haven't watched any pro races online or anywhere else in 20 years, but that was fun racing to watch. I watched a 2nd time with my 11 yr old daughter. I especially enjoy the lead changes, and how any of a number of them looked strong enough to win.
    The best racing to watch is where the win could go to any of 5 to 10 of the leaders, and after a number of lead changes, you only really know who's going to win in the last minute or less. Sprint finishes are always fun too, I love watching the last 10 minutes of the tour de france, the finishes are always great.
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  31. #31
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    XCO is great right now. I do watch the DH races, but XCO battles are way more interesting right now & the coverage is getting better all the time.

    If I find a genie in a bottle some day, my third wish would be more way more races in a season for the WC - I could handle watching 10-15 race weekends, no problem.

  32. #32
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    Wow, I did not realize Red Bull is also producing the video feed for World Cups on top of the commentary. (They didnít at World Champs last year). That means the announcers should be able to decide what camera to show during XCO. This production will only improve as they get better at it. They are doing a very good job even though they still donít cover some interesting parts of most courses.

    For DH I would like to see more of the run. The feed at Worlds was amazing. When you see most of the run, what these guys and women are doing is really far more impressive. Iím willing to give it an hour and watch the top 15 3-4 minute runs. Canít stand to watch the whole thing though. Not like Rampage, where you canít look away.

  33. #33
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    ^RB/UCI don't have the rights to the worlds...whatever the deal is there is some weird thing about it, and it's the host broadcaster providing the feed, thats why every time the worlds comes around (for the last few years) everyone is "where's the link to the worlds?" and it's just a last minute thing as they sort it out - or whatever is going on.

    Rampage, I can watch about 15 seconds of it, then i'd watch an XC round again...
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  34. #34
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    This would be great news for XC racing. I can't see it actually happening, but it would be cool if Sagan did make a return.

    https://cyclingmagazine.ca/sections/...ng-after-2021/

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevbikemad View Post
    This would be great news for XC racing. I can't see it actually happening, but it would be cool if Sagan did make a return.

    https://cyclingmagazine.ca/sections/...ng-after-2021/
    He'd have to lose close to 8kg to be a player. MvDP is always going to struggle to beat Nino because of his weight.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rivet View Post
    He'd have to lose close to 8kg to be a player. MvDP is always going to struggle to beat Nino because of his weight.
    I know the feeling.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevbikemad View Post
    I know the feeling.
    I am estimating I need to lose about double that with my current FTP

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