Hello, welcome to Dirt please use the links below to jump to a specific section.

Navigation Search Content Other Mpora Sites

Fabian Barel takes 5 minute penalty for Enduro World Series rule violation

23:26 10th August 2013 by Dave Jaquin

Fabian Barel has been given a 5 minute penalty for violating a Crankworx Events Inc. rule at the Enduro World Series race in Whistler 2013. The incident happened during training on Friday 9th of August 2013 for Sunday’s race.

Crankworx Events Inc. made the following statement earlier today regarding the incident.

Based on all of the evidence available and following both Fabien and his team’s cooperation, the Chief Of Course has assigned Fabien a 5 minute penalty that will be attached to his overall time in tomorrow’s event,” says  Crankworx General Manager and EWS Board Member Darren Kinnaird. “The EWS and Crankworx have worked tirelessly to ensure that we establish an ethos of fairness, mutual respect and equality between all competitors. Because of this, it is critical that we are diligent about enforcing our rules as effectively as we can. We would like to remind all athletes and teams to attend rider briefings and obey Crankworx Outside Assistance Regulations.

This penalty will make it virtually impossible for Fabien to gain this time back and be competitive in the race for the top steps of the podium tomorrow.

Outside assistance is specifically mentioned in the Course Book about this race issued to the riders via the Crankworx and Enduro World Series websites. Fabien has been given this penalty based on assistance given during training for the event on Friday 9th of August 2013.

Outside Assistance
No outside assistance or support is permitted. This includes using team staff/outside help to carry equipment around the
course or perform repairs during the race. The one exception is during the transition between Stages 4 and 5 – once
racers are back in the Whistler Village boundaries that are permitted to obtain technical / mechanical assistance.
No shuttling is permitted and will result in disqualification.

This is not the first time a rider has been given a penalty for a rule violation but this is the first time such a high profile rider has been handed a penalty based on in incident outside of racing.


We have been sent the following statement from Chris Ball, Enduro World Series Director that clarifies the reasoning behind Fabien’s penalty.

“Following a number of requests for information surrounding the five minute penalty issued to Fabien Barel in Crankworx Whistler we would like to clarify the situation. To avoid riders gaining an unfair advantage and to maintain the spirit of the race on the long liaison stages in the Whistler valley, Crankworx created a rule that outlined no outside assistance (including using a vehicle to assist) would be allowed during the event. This rule was further explained and clarified in a mandatory athlete’s breakfast scheduled on Friday morning and hosted by the Crankworx Whistler organisers. Rider’s who chose not to attend this briefing missed crucial information regarding course changes, details of shuttling and race specific information. We are not responsible for educating riders who choose to miss planned briefings. Following the submission of evidence by a number of sources and a discussion with Fabien where he cooperated fully, admitted to a lack of knowledge of the rule due to team communications and an admission of his use of a vehicle, the organisation chose to apply a five minute penalty to his race time, removing any advantage that may have been gained from his use of the vehicle. We are all now looking forward to an incredible race here tomorrow.
Regards, Chris Ball, Director, Enduro World Series”


  1. James

    Seems a tad ridiculous to give out a penalty that harsh during practise?! Suppose the rules are the rules though and he should of known better.

  2. stuart

    Remember Peaty’s pic from the 1st round with helmet not on properly, an infringement of the rules isn’t a first for Fabian!!!

  3. Ronan

    I think its a little harsh too, it doesn’t look that clear if shuttling was illegal during practice too.

  4. bobby jones

    this is bullshit!

  5. Matt Grindrod

    does it actually specify what the penalty is for? or are we just assuming that he was getting shuttles? (in an area dominated by chairlifts)

    1. Sharon

      There are only two stages where a chairlift is used to get to the top. One stage you ride down to, the other two stages are in the valley where you have to ride to get to them. You can also drive part way to one of them, as he did, which was a violation of the rules. whoops.

  6. Scott Harrison

    Its not bullshit is it. If the man broke the rules no matter when then he needs to be penalised. If Fabien and his team are cooperating then they have put their hands up and accepted that they were in the wrong.

  7. Jerry Hazard

    Begs the question: What, specifically, was the violation. “outside assistance” is pretty vague.

  8. Tom L

    He was getting a shuttle from his team, not sure where though.

  9. Alex

    surely he would have been disqualified if he had been shuttled seeing as it says “No shuttling is permitted and will result in disqualification.”

    1. Tom+L

      Only going on what I have read, not there so don’t know any facts.

  10. Robert Hofer

    This is more than ridiculous! Shame on EWS management for such dump rules during PRACTICE!!!

    1. dh-dave

      you lot need to stop hugging barels nuts. he broke the rules simple as

  11. abdulkader

    and then… what the ufck happened dcikheads?

  12. David Jaquin

    Just had some more details through from Chris Ball, Enduro World Series Director explaining the situation further. Check the addition to the post guys.

  13. Daire

    Massive fan of Fab but if he’s Breaking rules then a penalty is what he deserves. The rules are there for a reason, practice or race day, it doesn’t matter. It would be like a DH racer cutting the track

    1. Ross Dalton

      Cutting the tape on a practice day in DH is not illegal and you would not get penalized for it, penalizing someone for doing something in practice is bullshit… Unless they try change the course taping or intentionally injure riders regardless of what type of cycling it is whether DH, XC or Enduro.

      1. Tom L

        It was made quite clear in the riders breifing (which Fab didn’t go to) that shuttling at any point was not allowed. I usually have a lot of respect for Fab but he cheated here, possibly not intentionally but he cheated and should have been DQ’d

  14. JCL

    Looks like “Mr Spirit of Enduro” has been caught cheating again… Practice/cheat all you like Fab, Jerome will still kick your ass!

  15. Stu

    I’ve just waded through the 7 page Whistler Crankworx riders enduro rule book that all riders receive and it states clearly that during the race you cannot receive outside assistance, what it fails to clarify is that you cannont receive assistance on any day of the event not just the actual raceday itself, If I had entered I would clearly believe that a racer could make his way around the course to inspect it as he/she saw fit.

    1. Al

      Talking to riders all are in agreement that I spoke to the organisation in general for this type of thing and also aping is not up to scratch at the non superenduro events, les2alp was a classic example apparently. Agreeing with Stu the rule book does not mention practice in it as a problem…

  16. Josh

    If its official practice its part of the race, no?
    If he received a time penalty when it looks like he should have been disqualified it looks like the organisers have already given him the benefit of the doubt. Rules are rules and Fabian and his team have accepted that and cooperated.

  17. nick

    Read the above again, the rule was further clarified in the athletes breakfast, which it would appear barel did not attend.

  18. Kev Duckworth

    Anyone who says its bullshit just because its practice has obviously not race high-end Enduro.

    Why should a ride with a fat wad of cash and a big team not have to ride to the top of the hill like every other? Save energy, not be as tired by the event, its cheating – fact. 5 min penalty will stop it happening again.

    He missed the briefing why? Did he think he was better than all the other racers, or just he knew everything as he has raced the whole series? Whatever the reason it shows the importance of attending the briefings whoever you are.

    1. WAKi

      If you (and anyone else having trouble with Fabien) can’t get your head around a fact that Fabien drove his car 1,5km on a downsloping highway, to the BOTTOM of the stage 3 which started with a massive UPHILL you should consider not writing or saying anything, anywhere, before you go up in IQ for at least 20 points. Otherwise you are just irritating people with your stupidity. I’m a sociopath, but do your research!

  19. Bruce

    What is wrong in my opinion is that the rules whatever they are are applied to all rounds of this series and not change race to race! Crazy!

  20. Jimmy Carling

    It’s good to see specific rules for specific venues. Rather than blanket rules applied to all events that might not take into account specifics of the venue.

    The rule exists. It’s in writing. Riders were told. So based on that, I don’t see the problem. Seems he should count himself lucky given the penalty for shuttling is stated as being disqualification.

  21. JaP

    Don’t want to comment specific situation, but here in Europe, it is more expensive to have three days out of work to practice on pedals, than get a free day rent a van and make a shuttle training. Completely blind racing on short 5-10 min stages, usual for pedal uphill races, is non sense, it’s to much advantage for locals.

  22. Jimmy+Carling

    For sure. However in this case it’s a pro rider and the reason doesn’t appear to be in the name of saving money.

  23. Bobby

    Its bullshit because
    1) cheating you should get a DQ as it states in the rules.
    2) the rules should be in writing and not verbal over a breakfast meeting what sort of organisation is this?

  24. Dave

    It is not BS. I’ve been riding parts of the course all week – it’s long – and shuttling during practice would give a huge advantage. The rules were clearly stated, he chose not to attend the rider’s meeting, case closed. The fact that he did not get a DQ is a nod to the fact that he’s a respected pro and took responsibility. He’s better to lose time and finish than get a DQ. It would suck to come out here and not get to race at all. Go Fabian. You’re an awesome guy. I bet this never happens to him again!

  25. Burt

    Good move by EWS. Attending the race briefing is essential if you don’t turn up and fall foul of the rules that’s on your head, as a professional rider FB has no excuses and it sounds as if he and the team have accepted this so lets move on. The way the series is evolving on top of the overall rules, EWS has to have race specific guidance as each event seems to follow a different format. Keep up the good work EWS loving every second of it!

  26. gaz

    I heard that Fabians hotel was on the same road as the start of the race trail. He just got a shuttle back to the hotel. Then later on in the day he rode down from the hotel to the trail.

  27. John.

    Barel is one of my favourite riders,but if he broke the rules/didn’t know the rules then its his responsibility.He has admitted he’s at fault and i think is pretty lucky not to get DQ’d.
    Go Fab,sure you can claw it back?? ;0)

  28. SammyP

    This all seems such a shame for enduro as all we want to do is ride our bikes with our friends and test ourselves against the clock which is what enduro is!! But it does seem a tad unfair as the rules seem vague, what about all the local riders and past seasonairs like my self that have riden these trial a great deal?? Is that an unfair advantage?? It does worry me about what future enduro has as it needs to try and make it fair for everyone?? It did upset me at Punta Ala when riders were branded “as cheating” for uplifting the tracks when it clearly stated in super enduro rules you can uplift and tracks are marked out 3 weeks in advance. That is just using the rules to your advantage??
    All a very interesting debate for the end of the season…………….

    But I want to wish all the riders today an amazing day of racing and wish I was there back out in the Mecca of Whistler riding these amazing trails again!! Enjoy!!! Good luck everyone!!

    1. Hancock

      There’s always rapid locals and there’s always whiner types who label legal actions ‘cheating’ because they didn’t think of it (like Skinsuits in DH), that’s just bike racing. The very top guys in the world always gravitate to the podium regardless.
      Barel missed a course briefing and missed an update on the rules, then got penalised because of it. I think Fabien must be kicking himself for such a basic mistake, ‘Enduro’ rules are pretty fluid and it’s not as if this is the first ever event to have a rule clarification during the rider briefing. Going forward I don’t think this will harm anything beyond Fabien’s result, maybe rules on none SE events will be more carefully worded.

  29. scriz

    Bah! Who cares!? Barel is a legend. He could use a helicopter for all I care. Enduro should be about learning the tracks as best you can before race day and then pinning it on the downhills! If you’re a local amateur you’ve got months to learn the tracks before the pros come to town.

    Good job EWS! You just made your premier Whistler event that much less exciting for fans. They should start doing mandatory yoga before each stage too.

  30. Tom L

    Your on crack mate, just because he’s a well known pro he should be allowed to cheat? Enduro needs to watch out or it’ll become like road cycling where everyone is accused of cheating all the time and you never really know if the guys at the top are the best or just the best at cheating.

  31. Brian Lopes


  32. Mushy
  33. scriz

    “Cheat” is a pretty strong word when the rules are so poorly defined. The so called “spirit of enduro” has been violated in every race this year by tons of top riders. The series leader is notorious for huge course cuts, and here the EWS tried to make an example out of Barel for driving 1.5Km on a highway in *practice*. What’s more, rather than follow their own “rule” and DQ him, they decide to make up some ridiculous 5 min. penalty. I’d personally rather just not race, but Fab being the class dude that he is, still pinned it for what should have been 3rd place.

    Enduro is not spectator friendly, and is supposed to be about participation and getting out there and enjoying the type of riding that everyone does on their own. Creating a bunch of overly anal rules that you can’t enforce will just turn it into a technical s#itshow like XC and road. Riders should be allowed to practice and learn the tracks however they like… local knowledge, hiking, donkey cart, horse whispering, carrier pigeon mounted GoPros. It doesn’t matter… drink a beer and enjoy the trail time with your friends, then pin it on race day. The same guys will still win.

    1. Santa Clause

      Well said

  34. WAKi

    Quite interesting to see 90% of Dirt commentators against Fabien, and 90% of Pinkbike, swedish Pushbike, Polish DH-zone saying it was a stupid decision to disqualify him. Heh… Since when Brits are rule followers? Oh sorry RuleMAKERS ahh now I see… Where were your honourable values when Rachel went off the course last year, yet another bowl of e-troll huggies that costed Ragot the title?

    1. SOOverWakidesignpoland

      Jesus you irretate me. Have you nothing better to do, than comment on every single internet article, on every single biking sit e possible.

      Please off yourself

  35. Chris+Kimberley

    waki the rules for DH are quite clear (unlike EWS) as rachael didnt gain an advantage then she wasnt DQ’d, infact she obviously lost time when she went off line
    Its gonna work though, Im pretty sure no one will dare shuttle in any way at an EWS round now


Also in Events

DirtTV: Mont Sainte Anne Qualifying

Read More