More Downhill Rule Changes from the UCI

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If it’s not broken try and break it. Some would argue that’s the UCI mentality when it comes to Downhill right now. More changes ahead for the World Cup circus

 

-a reduction in the number of riders qualified for the elite men’s finals to 60 (down from 80 previously). This follows the reduction of women qualifiers last year.
It is unclear what the motivation behind this change was, but what is obvious is that being a privateer at a World Cup just become that much harder (again).

-the points awarded for race results have been adjusted accordingly, only the top 60 male riders earn World Cup points.

-the number of protected riders has been cut in half, down from 20 and 10 for men’s and women’s finals respectively to just 10 and 5. The exception is the first race of the coming season where the top 20 and 10 from the 2017 season are still protected going in.
With only 60 riders qualified for finals, this change makes mathematical sense, at least.

-there is new wording defining the start order, which if we read it correctly means that any protected riders must now start AFTER the fastest qualifier, whereas previously any protected top 10 rider (male) not qualified for finals would start immediately before the top 10 from qualifying, and the 11-20 placed protected riders would drop in before the top-20 qualifiers.
If you are a protected rider, playing the weather card in qualifying just went out the window.

-at the last World Cup race of the season, qualifying and race points are pooled together, with the totality of those points awarded during finals. In other words, there are no points for qualifying at this race, but the total number of points available during finals has been increased accordingly.
We can only assume this was done to increase the “drama factor” for finals, and place all the emphasis on that one run to close out the season. It also opens the doors for all kinds of qualifying shenanigans, although any protected rider playing the weather card will now have to start last, as per the rule change discussed above.

-cameras are still not allowed for qualifying and finals, but the UCI added a provision that they may grant such rights “for the purposes of the broadcast production company”.
In other words, the UCI can now officially stick a camera on a rider for money (they already did, but now it’s in the rules).

-this little sentence was also added: “During MTB races no electronic bikes are allowed on the course at any time during training and competition.”
So much for doing Leogang laps on your 200mm Haibike. We should also point out that “electronic bike” is a typically vague UCI term that lacks a bit of grounding in the real world. What is an “electronic bike”? We’re pretty such they mean ELECTRIC bikes but for the sake of arguing this moot point, does “electronic” include electronic shifting?

Source – VitalMTB