UCI World Cup future heading for a Rocky Road?

The UCI have just announced a three year sponsorship deal with a website that know one has heard of.

The press release says: “RockyRoads Network is the largest European on-line biking platform for the mountain bike, BMX, trials and cyclo-cross disciplines” and “attracts 221’000 unique visitors” a day.

Hmmm, anybody else heard of this website before? And more importantly is this going to be good for our sport in the future?

Let us know what you think below.

PRESS RELEASE.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) today signed an important sponsoring contract with the Belgian company RockyRoads Network.

Under this agreement – confirmed in Champéry (SUI) during the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships – RockyRoads Network will become the title sponsor of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Thanks to this partnership, RockyRoads Network will benefit from significant visibility during all rounds of the UCI World Cup presented by Shimano.

The UCI President, Pat McQuaid, welcomed the signing of the new contract: “This partnership between the UCI and RockyRoads Network for the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup confirms the importance of this series of high-level competitions which over the last few years has already become well established throughout the world. The UCI and the cycling family look forward to welcoming this new sponsor for the World Cup. They have previously demonstrated its support for the discipline by becoming a partner of the 2011 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Champéry.”

In 2012, the “RockyRoads UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano” will include 10 events in nine countries (South Africa, Great Britain, Belgium, Canada, the United States, France, Norway, Czech Republic and Italy). More than 4000 riders from 48 countries will take part in the different mountain bike specialities.

The owner of RockyRoads Network, Sietse Schelpe, commented “We are very happy to sponsor the World Cups, and are really looking forward to this partnership with the UCI. From the start, our aim was to support off-road biking and make the sport more accessible to the general public. We strongly believe that this sponsorship is a great step in that direction.”

RockyRoads Network is the largest European on-line biking platform for the mountain bike, BMX, trials and cyclo-cross disciplines. Its team of 10 journalists and photographers covers Europe’s main off-road events. Its headquarters is in Antwerp. Each day, more than 221’000 unique visitors consult the Belgian website, which is available in four languages (English, French, German and Dutch).

  1. geetee

    UCI in ‘fantasy land, completely out of touch, narcissistic self obsessed, jobs worth, never done anything to benefit cycling but serve their own futile purpose’ shocker.

  2. SamWakefield

    bugger

  3. Chris

    I don’t get the deal with Rocky Roads, the articles read fine for people who only have a passing interest in the sport; but how many people who pay attention to world cup DH only have a passing interest in the sport. The deep in depth analysis provided by Dirt is much more suited to this niche sport!

    Clearly they manage so many hits because they are so wide-focussed, presenting a fine veneer of reporting on loads of types of cycling. I hope this relationship doesn’t impede the access of more close-focussed organisations like Dirt to the world cup and world champs events

  4. Tobias

    looking at the website they dont seem to share any content from other websites wich is probably an idication that they will have more silly rules at the worldcup. there write up on the worldchamps so far is pathetic ive seen beter reports in my local newspaper about highschool sports.

    the biggest tip off is that they have only got 8k likes on face book. when with the claim of 200k hits a day they would have well over 200k likes on facebook. profact dirt has twice as many likes on facebookm =D

    i already hate them.

  5. big man

    largest European on-line biking platform for the mountain bike, BMX, trials and cyclo-cross disciplines”

    even tho the Dirt facebook page has twice as many on it…..
    money talks for the UCI it seems.

  6. Greg

    Playing devils advocate here. The sponsorship deal is for all world cup disciplines, not just downhill. Dirt provides an unmatched level of coverage into downhill but how many websites/magazines etc cover every aspect?

    Surely it’d be more sensible to split the disciplines and have seperate sponsorship?

  7. Baked Bean

    I’m massively confused by the UCI, yet again. They seem to have an amazing abaility to turn potentially a great situation into a complete balls up.

    First we hear that Freecaster, who seemingly have done more for the sport in the last 24 months than the UCI have in the last 15 years, have been told to cough up to the tune of $100k for the privilage of filming the racing, to make it available to a wider audience, and attract further sponsors. The money isn’t there for them, so looks like that’s a dead duck in the water now.

    Then we have what in essence a ‘media blackout’ in all forms of video from what should be the biggest, most exciting race of the year unless the UCI has it’s pockets lined by the videographers. Yet according to Vital MTB they can’t even organise power or a net connection to the media tent for people to report properly?!?!

    We hear stories of the Marketing Director of the UCI living 20 minutes away, yet not attending, because she has arranged her wedding for a ‘quiet weekend’, yet she admits to never having been to an MTB race (let alone the biggest of the year, literally on her doorstep), and struggleing to market MTB because apparently “people don’t understand it”.

    Frightening. To think this organisation is strangling the few outlets that are doing infinately better at promoting this sport than they could ever hope of in an effort to line their pockets with little or no return, bar more red tape.

    Shamefull and depressing. Perhaps Dirt could really go out on a limb ‘nob on the block style’ and rip the UCI a new one in next months mag. I don’t think you would get many complaints…

  8. Jon

    So are freecaster out on their ear after the Worlds ?

  9. Hunter

    How do they go from the likes of Nissan and Tissot to this amateur-hour website that no one has ever heard of?

  10. Ben

    Funny how when you search “RockyRoads Network” into google, the first slightly related weblink is to this very page and its the 5th search result… not even slightly promising :S

  11. Jon

    They quite clearly don’t give a monkeys about MTB in general.

  12. bang

    i don’t know RockyRoads really well … but i guess it’s good, that more sponsors get into the WC.
    they are sponsor for the whole UCI world-cup, not only for the DH world-cup …
    but to be honest, i took a look at their page and i don’t like it … there are only post about race-rankings … nothing about prototypes, tech, videos, …

  13. SupaTone

    Loving the Rocky Roads coverage of the World Champs so far – amazing truly unmatched ;-)

  14. Greg

    Anyone else thinking a massive back-hander’s been done….?

  15. Anonymous

    “Thanks to this partnership, RockyRoads Network will benefit from significant visibility during all rounds of the UCI World Cup presented by Shimano.”

    In other words.

    “UCI sold out coverage rights to some company that will provide fucking shit coverage and give them the rights to restrict any potential coverage by other sites so that all viewers will have go to Rocky Roads.”

    Fuck them. Fuck UCI. And Fuck this RockyRoads capitalist bullshit. They’re crushing freelancers and it’s killing mountain biking.

    BOYCOTT ROCKYROADS.

  16. Tobias

    http://www.speedtv.com/programs/bodine-bobsled-challenge/

    if this program gets enough views then so can downhill.

  17. Tom C

    What actual physical force is stopping the videographers from filming? Are the security guards all up and down the track watching?

    Go film, and when the UCI officials come complaining tell them to go suck some more corporate knob and eat a large soggy back of whale dicks.

    Because right now that’s what they’re doing the most of.

  18. ddmonkey

    How depressing.

  19. mellon

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat_McQuaid

    previously involved in road, road, road… doesnt give a flying fuck about mtb this is the guy you all need to get onto.

  20. geetee

    Does anyone hate anything or anyone more than they hate the UCI right now?

  21. stevo

    i always thought rocky road was a biscuit/cake jobbie. i’d well prefer it to be sponsored by this than a less popular than Dirt website

  22. ed@dirt

    fishy fishy fishy fishy

    that’s all i can say right now…..

  23. Paul

    Their claim of 221k unique visitors is an absolute joke! Given they have very little content compared to a site like dirt and most of their twitter is actually made up of spam, I see a mass exodus!

  24. Billy ray Circus

    Ahem ” From the sport back into the sport, investing in the future. With that motto in mind, RockyRoads has become a long term partner of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), sponsoring the World Championships 2011 in Champéry, as well as the World Cups in the seasons 2012-2014″
    Bruno Mazereel
    0032.475.98.49.96
    bruno@rockyroadsnetwork.com

  25. Tobias

    i love how on the website there is so much stuff about trials, probably because they are trying to jump on the Danny Macaskill

  26. Dave

    http://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3684842&postcount=57

    Check out this.

    As a media outlet, I hope Dirt continues to investigate this matter.

  27. ed@dirt

    Ummmm…and for such a ‘massive’ website it’s strange that i can’t see an single advertiser on there…

  28. marki3boy

    Rocky who?

  29. g

    Isnt it about damn time that we all just told the UCI to well and truly do one and simply follow in the footsteps of snowboarding and establish our own regulatory body and organisation that resultantly forms a series for riders, by riders for the progression of both the riders and the sport free from the ridiculous self-serving, ignorant, arrogant, selfish, greedy and plain fuck-up rules and decisions allocated by the UCI.
    Sure some history may be lost if following that path, but is it truly worth remaining in that comfort zone for the sake of Downhill and the like being constantly reigned in, clipped back and prevented from developing?

    Come on Martin Whiteley get on the case, we know it can happen, a 12 round, completely international, rider and industry committee organised, energy-drink sponsored series with freecaster continuing their excellent coverage!

  30. Killeenster

    RockyRoads – What a shit name

  31. Ed

    Is this some bizarrely belated April Fool joke?!? This is beyond unbelievable.

    Perhaps it is the riders, and their teams, who have ultimate control over this situation; one could surely expect that a mass boycott of the 2012 race series would hasten a re-think by the UCI, at the very least.

    That ridemonkey link has left me speechless.

  32. g

    I can literally smell the bullshit from here.

  33. Andy

    I bet you find its some mate of the boss at the UCI who runs that website.

  34. slyfink

    But what does it mean for Dirt specifically? are they restricting your access to the event? your ability to post stuff on-line? have you seen any repercussions yet? I don’t really know what it means, so I don’t want to get all excited about it yet. But indeed, it does smell funny.

  35. DAN W

    know one? or no one?

  36. Dave

    ed@dirt

    Since apparently you cannot record any of the practice etc, you should task the DirtTV crew with hunting down some of the head UCI honcho’s and record their comments about this shady operation and announcement and post the video responses online….

  37. DAN W

    hey if they are gonna put out 10 events, I’m ok with who ever puts the cash up to keep it going

  38. ed@dirt

    Dave…good idea…but I’ve got a feeling Billy is about to be thrown out of the venue!

  39. bleh

    That has now become the most rediculous fucking title to a race. the blahdy blah blah uci mtb blah blah thanks to blah and his granny who donated 50p championships.

  40. PhutPhutEnd

    All of the negatives in DH and 4X racing seem to stem from the UCI, so perhaps it’s time to move on …

    Perhaps it’s time to set up a splinter cycling organisation. All you need is all of the racers to boycott the UCI races and attend some newly organised one. Might be a couple of years of pain, but it’d be worth it in the end!

    It happened in darts, so why not MTB.

  41. DH Dave

    I think it’s about time DH and 4x told the UCI where to go, and go it alone.
    I raced DH 15 years ago, same shit was going on then.. enough’s enough.

  42. Tobias

    by ten events they mean the xc events in seperate venues aswell

  43. Duncan

    interestingly, this post then is from before the date the owner says they set it up on linkedin http://www.rockyroadsnetwork.com/2010/05/08/steve-peat-iin-ford-william-2/

  44. Rich
  45. ronin

    pat mcquaid’s leadership is non existent and self important bullshit. No doubt he has another “open letter” prepared for the mtb riders and teams. He seems to have more letters to address “disagreeable” situations to the cycling professionals than ideas that are agreeable for the very people he is supposed to be serving. The way I see it, if the riders feel the way we all do here then it’s time for them to do something and perhaps start from the ground up. CHANGE is good & necessary to evovle. It isn’t painless, it might suck for a minute but that’s ok. It also most importantly needs a consensus and BALLS. so, the question is are these riders/teams/sponsors feel they need one? forget mcquaid…he’s not the big picture just a sh*t stain on the lens. oh yeah..GO HILL!

  46. browne

    if their press release is any indication of what we’re headed for…

    the release didn’t even have a link to the site. are they embarrassed or just idiots? or just embarrassed to be idiots?

  47. Tom

    If you followed the professional road scene you’d also think the UCI didn’t care a monkeys about that either.
    If Dirt want to do some digging I’d suggest getting in touch with “The Inner Ring”
    http://inrng.com/

  48. Tobias

    “Grading – orange extreme” on the fort bill report.

  49. PeteyG

    UCI = IOC’s younger, dumber sibling…
    All these guys care about is lining their pockets,
    they do not give a rat’s azz about increasing coverage of MTB.
    If they did, they would have worked it out w/ Freecaster to keep the hype they have created together going.
    But of course, they sell to the highest bider , even if their web site is a Joke and they’ll probably be broke by round 5 next year.
    This is another chance for the UCI to cash in, while buring MTB, so they can get back to focussing on Drug Addled Roadies, Track and whatever ‘Acrobatic’ Cycling is…
    Pure CRAP!
    thanks Freecaster for these last 4 years of coverage, we’ve NEVER had any coverage like this in the States since the WC began…

  50. Paco

    We need to hear some official statements from the teams on what they think about this situation. If the teams are all willing to make a change then something can happen, otherwise it’s a no go.

  51. fergus

    ahahahahahaha fro the article posted above about steve peat here are the “vital statistics”

    Grading – orange extreme (previously graded ‘black’)
    Access – gondola uplift
    Length – 2.82km
    Start altitude – 655m
    Finish altitude – 100m
    Vertical descent – 555m
    Finish – Nevis Range car park
    Fastest time sub – 4:40

    i hear world cup racers really enjoy orange extreme graded tracks

    come on uci pull your finger out

  52. Olly c

    I’m sure the riders and teams must have something to say about this, has there been any response from them yet?

  53. Rene

    Who the hell is rocky road……are they f…ing loosing it!!

  54. fergus

    oh and “people dont understand it” pfft have you read you own rules and guidelines … what a slag. how are people as incompitant is that still in jobs in times like these… silly bitch.

  55. Mark

    Firstly – “The UCI have just announced a three year sponsorship deal with a website that know one has heard of.” – fail.

    Secondly, why does it matter who they choose as their sponsor? It’s just bloody sponsorship for God’s sake, they pay some money in return for their logos at World Cups and associated events; it doesn’t matter whether it’s Rocky Roads, Walkers crisps or Durex condoms, as long as someone is willing to sponsor the series and aid the sport’s continuation, who cares? It’s not really anybody’s business who sponsors them, we should all just be happy that they’re not lacking potential sponsors and that the sport can continue.

  56. barney

    Bet they have exclusive rights as well to video at world cups…no more webisodes!

  57. Paco

    What I don’t understand is surely it costs a fortune to sponsor the World Cup, so where did a 2-bit website like RockyRoad get the cash to do it? And how can they possibly hope to recoup their investment?

  58. James Dart

    Could it be possible that Rocky Roads is the UCI? Maybe they’re trying to cut off the outside media teams……

  59. Clint T

    Having just had a look at the site.. the “Gravity” section only has 3 pages and hasn’t covered all of the DH races… let alone have any other interesting feature. I’ve seen the students at my school produce better websites than this one is… from a design perspective. Did UCI even look at the site before committing? Surely DIRT, Bike radar, pink bike, are much bigger players in the market? I wouldn’t be surprised if in the not too distant future it proven that this is a con and that “rocky roads” claims of visitors are somewhat fabricated!

  60. Rick

    Its happened in FIFA and seems corruption is rife in governing bodies – The UCI no exception -Look at the whole ‘UCI Aprroved’ road frame saga to start with!

    The info from RM will only be the tip of the iceberg, im sure the directors and families are doing rather well.

    There is ONE answer – get together, totally boycot the whole series and form a new organisational team from people who are community pillars. A body who understands the sport because there part of it. Its very aparent we cannot be part of the UCI, they dont respect DH (or even xc for that matter) or even claim to understand it so things need to change.

    Rick

  61. KidCards

    For such a big website, WHY THE BLOODY HELL CAN I NOT FIND THE THING ON GOOGLE! This is a joke.

  62. Tom Grundy

    “What actual physical force is stopping the videographers from filming?”

    I went to every European world cup and filmed without the licence to do so.

    Most Marshall’s don’t know the rules, so even though i don’t have a Video/Radio bib I can stand in the media area’s if i look like i know what I’m doing. If a Marshall did challenge me for the bib i just told them they run out at the media center.

    Rocky Roads aren’t going to be able to stop people filming, If i get some sort of backing for next year then i intend to carry on as usual.

  63. Paco

    @Mark – I think you have missed the point. This may well mean no more Freecaster coverage and no more DirtTV coverage. i.e. NO COVERAGE AT ALL.

  64. qwerty

    MY website ranks higher on Alexa etc than this RockyRoads thing… maybe I should be the title sponsor of the 2012 World Cup? :P
    .
    Also, note on that Alexa link that there’s 239 sites linking into RockyRoads? All the ones I checked out were spam-circle blogs…

  65. Bulk

    So according to their own stats they have 6.8 Million unique visitors a month which makes them bigger than a lot of websites on the internet, absolute rubbish. It looks like most of that “traffic” was only for one week in August, and mostly came from porn sites.

  66. Peter

    After a reading a few of the appalling race reports that they have on their site it is absoseems like an absolute heap of crap of a sponsor. For one, I am sitting higher english in school and we are being asked to present work at a much higher level of work than they seem to have on their site. Another point that throws up major concern is if you take a quick look at the article on ridemonkey and follow this link (http://www.linkedin.com/in/sietseschelpe) then you will see that the owner of RockyRoads is a former Hotel bartender. Also on that profile of him you will see that RockyRoads has only been in existence since january 2011, so why are a company of such a small caliber sponsoring a major global event?
    Something seems really fishy to me and i guess only time will tell. But for now I’m not too convinced.
    On a side note, I just noticed that they are also sponsoring the world champs this weekend so it doesn’t look to hopeful for media at next years world cup rounds, especially film makers and the like.

  67. Tobias

    me and a friends commented on rockyroads facebook site asking for proff of the 200k hits, they blocked us both. also here is the ceo’s facebook http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000057097147 does not look legit at all

  68. Maarten

    Did some checking on the domain. The guy who bought the domain on 14 juli 2010 and still owns it has the following emailadres: ab145263@gmail.com. This mail address was linked to a website called promomails.info. This mailadress and website were sold on a website called flippa.com for 15k last year and contained 60+ thousand dutch speaking mail addresses and 150 thousand english mail addresses to spam the hell out off..

    Check the website: https://flippa.com/103459-site-with-income-and-quality-email-lists-with-proof. Email was found via dns.be.

    Interesting right?

  69. Jacques

    Does downhill really need the UCI, really what do they do for the sport? Perhaps it’s time to break away from the UCI and have an alternative world cup/world champs circuit run by downhillers.

  70. Torico

    Huge amount of speculation on here the facts are that some unknown website are paying to sponsor the world cup we know nothing about their financial backing but you woul assume that the uci have had the dilligence to ensure they are paid. For all we know it’s crc or bloody abrahamovic or Bernie ecclestone who got board of Monte Carlo and fancies parking his yacht in fort William once a year. If the uci have let this go for pennies then they have only themselves to blame when the events fold around them

  71. Tobias

    now i am completely banned from rockyroads facebook page

  72. Mark

    @Paco, that would indeed be a disaster but I highly doubt that’s gonna happen. Just because they signed them as a title sponsor does not necessitate them giving RR exclusive media rights.

    The UCI are stupid but I’d hope they’re not THAT stupid.

    As an aside, why is everyone saying that Dirt or PinkBike should be the title sponsor? Do you know for a fact that either of these sites put in bids? Why would the popularity of a site have anything to do with whether they are chosen as a sponsor? This solely concerns money – the UCI would have given the deal to the highest bidder anyhow. This isn’t some war between MTB sites.

  73. Army dh team ( jack)

    Some 1 some where will have done research and finance checks I’m sure so for now I’ll wait and see before I jump on the haters band wagon

  74. infoman

    I’ve heard 300 000 euros was the price

  75. qwerty

    Is it just me, or has their facebook “page” (as opposed to their “profile” – they had both) been pulled? Can’t see it any more; got too much abuse maybe?! :)
    .
    From sidebar of RR site: “This page can’t be seen by the current user. Please check page privacy and visibility settings.”

  76. Paco

    I hope you are right Mark!
    I agree with you that I’d be amazed if any other MTB websites even considered bidding for it. I would have thought it would cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to be the title sponsor. That’s why it’s so odd that a website that’s been around for less than a year that no-one ever heard of has apparently come up with the money…

  77. nsfgirls

    Coming from another sport and reading this, I’m totally surprised. First I agree, UCI is shit and this deal is just unbelievable. But I’m wondering why Mountainbikers are not taking their responsibilities as well and create their own championship. Basically the UCI is what ISF is for snowboarding, a plague. The snowboarders understood that and created the TTR, an independent tour. The TTR has been successful as the brands and the riders get into it, because they were tired of getting leaded by people who don’t care about their sports. After few years, the TTR is now well established and slopestyle snowboarding would be introduce in the next Olympic Games, probably through the TTR circuit (TBC). So it’s not that hard to make it happens. So my dear Mountainbiker friends, what are you waiting for? It’s time to wake up and to take back what you own.

  78. Tom

    If Dirt don’t like it then why don’t they cough up the money, after all they have built their buisiness around WC’s

  79. Tobias

    ed@dirt can you confirm that dirt was offered to bid for it?

  80. infoman

    Tom, maybe cos they don’t think anyone should have exclusive rights to the sport?

  81. ed@dirt

    I’m sadly not privy to all the dealings like that, but i don’t think we were.

  82. Tom

    For such a poor quality website only started at the beginning of this year and who still can’t get any advertisers so have to rely on dodgy ads I wonder how much money, if any,they can pay the UCI to be a sponsor?

    Both Sietse Schelpe and Bruno Mazereel must be able to seriously talk the talk to have got this. Or they’ve got something over Pat McQuaid. Just saying.

  83. Tobias

    if you where not asked to bid then there is a chance this could be taken to the high court.

  84. Gee

    @Torico
    “.. assume that the uci have had the dilligence…”
    good one

  85. scully

    sounds like the Belgian Mafia are doing some money laundering!

    does not sound good for the sport!

  86. F@ckin R@gin

    The day downhill pulls away from the uci and puts into place its own series looking after its own interests which have clearly been held back and neglected for way too long the better.
    This stinks to high heaven.

  87. -Tom-

    Lets at least get to know the guys behind the site (this is all public so I’m not doing anything dodgy) – http://www.linkedin.com/in/sietseschelpe http://www.linkedin.com/in/brunomazereel http://www.brunomazereel.com

  88. Cord

    Is this actually a blessing in disguise? I hope it is the straw which breaks the camel’s back. If enough people turn away from the UCI and somebody with some talent for marketing and a good idea of what DH is all about. You never know, we could have a new series!!! Ok, i’m dreaming, but it would be good.

  89. Tobias
  90. Gee

    ed@dirt have you approached RockyRoad for comment?

  91. Stewie

    Biggest Co&#-up since Chernobyl. D:

  92. Gomez

    If our sport had a share value…it’s just crashed and burned…
    RIP WC DH racing as we knew it…may your soul not be in everlasting purgatory…
    Is there a Phoenix out there for us…somewhere…anywhere…anybody..??

  93. ronin

    DH and porn – if you’re not in it or watching it it simply doesn’t exist and what good is that for the end consumer me thinks.

  94. lee

    massive joke,

  95. Si

    Someone like Martin Whiteley has the experience, skills and contacts to form a succesful seperate series, there is too much interest in world cup racing for it to just die, one way or the other something will come out of this.

  96. Melv

    Rocky Lies. No advertisers, a handful of Facebook likes, poor quality journalism. 200,000 page impressions per day? Well, if that’s paid-for traffic, then maybe. I’d like to have a look at their Google Analytics page to see where that traffic’s actually coming from. I smell a rat.

  97. Duncan

    Tarek Rasouli + Martin Whiteley would make a good job of it

  98. Melv

    Just saw – 221k uniques per day? Even more unbelievable. Like, totally unbelievable.

  99. Jamie

    Check out this post on Ridemonkey on the subject of the site and its veiwer stats:

    http://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3684902&postcount=67

  100. Steve

    RockyRoad arent they chocolate, biscuit and marshmallow bits?????

  101. Tom

    steve i love that your post is the 100th thankyou for making me laugh

  102. JH

    http://www.rockyroadsnetwork.com/2010/05/08/steve-peat-iin-ford-william-2/

    “Steve Peat in Ford William”

    Add that to the fact the website looks like complete shit, its a mess of fonts, missing photos, cluttered unrelated ads about teeth whitening, get rich quick schemes and the like, along with basic at best information from people who clearly aren’t even interested in the sport.

    Things aren’t looking good…

  103. alterego

    We need to leave the UCI behind. But this can only be done by Teams and Riders. I think kicking out freecaster leaves enough momentum for this step. Why should Specialized, Trek, Giant for example sponsor Teams for racing around the world if noone recognizes.

    The european ixs-cup would be a good point to start. Let it step up and make a WiC a World ixs-Cup. Should be great to have freecaster and Warner and all our photo-dogs bringing coverage of those races.

  104. Duncan

    Is it me or has google adsense and a company button suddenly just appeared on their site….

  105. eric mcsplat

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  106. intense951

    lets get mountain biking as far as we can from the UCI. WTF are we waiting for ‘a wake up call’ – surely this has to be it?

  107. Turman

    Having just discovered the site ~2 weeks ago, we’re just as confused over at Vital as everyone is here.

    Using the publicly available website stats, it’s safe to say that the visitor count is complete and total rubbish. There is no way a site with their alexa rank, page rank, backlinks, etc has the traffic they claim.

    Dear UCI, there is a good chance you’ve been conned. I hope they actually pay you. Don’t let this partnership hamper the legitimate event coverage found elsewhere on the web.

  108. Dave Walker-Blair

    soooooooooooooo gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaash

  109. -Tom-

    Anyone know if any members of lulsec are mountain bikers

  110. AdamR

    http://twitter.com/#!/DirtMagazine

    second tweet down saying that Dirts been banned from Worlds, what the hell is going on!!
    UCI are being such c*nts.

  111. Tim

    As Mark says, are they actually saying they are going to cut freecaster, stop people filming or have we all assumed that because it’s a website that’s sponsoring? Like someone says, if they’re putting there money in to have banners up – who cares. If the UCI are selling them exclusive rights… F8ck off UCI and I’ll back the splinter group that Martin Whiteley should spearhead. What is his opinion on this matter – he usually talks sense.

    Martin…

  112. -Tom-

    There really only seems to be two options. 1- The UCI have been conned by some clever BS. Having a 3 year deal will surely add sale value to Rocky thingy right? or 2- There has been some very dodgy inside dealings going on

  113. Duncan
  114. Andy

    I’m old enough to remember the awful Eurosport coverage. It was just a half hour summary with about 2 cameras and commentated on by someone who knew nothing about the sport and even then it would get shifted in the schedule for tractor pulling. We can’t go back to that type of thing. If it means paying per view I’d gladly pay to see live coverage by Freecaster and all the event coverage by DirtTV. Its amazing how good those two sites have made the coverage, I almost feel like I am on the circuit.

  115. Matt

    You’d have thought that someone would have heard of a website with viewing figures that dwarf Pinkbike before, right? I was riding earlier this year with a guy who said he ran the largest mountain biking website in Belgium. And he definitely isn’t the chubby fella in the photo on the PR…

    Let’s hope one way or another something positive comes of this. Whether it’s these jokers surprising everyone and dumping a boatload of (much-needed) money and enthusiasm into the sport or the UCI being given it’s marching orders…

  116. phlat albert

    wtf happened, billy?! has mcquaid been on the Dirt site reading along with all our comments and got his feelings hurt? if that’s the case we’ve gotta keep going and louder! touch a nerve, have we?

  117. Andy

    Impalaracing just posted this on Freecaster..very interesting

    They have interesting “followers” on twitter… https://twitter.com/#!/RockyRoadsntwrk/followers. For example: “Cheap_Labours Sergio Tanus We will do almost everything you want about social marketing, get you facebook likes, twitter/digg/stumbleupon/my

  118. eightyone

    I guess TONY SOPRANO made the deal! …. fucking corruption!

  119. TallPaul

    Time for a Revolution and I think Martin Whitely is the man to lead the way!! This stinks.

  120. ronin

    I clearly don’t understand the timing of this leak/news or whatever you want to call it. It takes even more focus off the event and shows a true lack of class and respect to its participants. well done UCI.

  121. Morgan

    I think perhaps the UCI needs a wake up call. How do the riders and teams actually at the champs feel abou this? Do they even know about this? Are they (and their sponsors) aware that their coverage is about to disappear (or so it would seem with a buyout like this, and the blanket ban on other media coverage)? Have they been consulted? Do they know they’re being royally shafted?
    .
    I may be wrong; and the RR deal may be amazing, and they may suddenly in the next few hours start bringing us live coverage of practice, live interviews, live qualification, all in glorious HD. If they’ve got money to buy their sponsorship, perhaps thay have money to invest in the sport? However, the evidence presented by their poor website, questionable visiting figures, and just general lack of presence suggests otherwise.
    .
    Taking things to the extreme here now, but how about if the support of riders and teams is used to boycott the Champs? It’s the end of the year, the WC series is done, there isn’t much left to loose before new teams are formed, old teams split, and riders start being transferred. How about teams packing up now and leaving the pits, surely that’d cause the UCI some concern. Or how about riders starting, cruising down to the finish area, and then all exiting the course through the tape to register a DNF or DQ result?
    .
    All a bit extreme I know, but the UCI has to realise that the teams aand riders are the’r investment; without them there is no series or champs. If suddenly there are no teams, and thus no sponsors, they’re going to be put in a pretty unsecure financial position.
    .
    Personally I’d rather have no Champs, then know it’s going ahead corruptly. And Billy, if you get a chance to read this then I say to you this: get out on that hill and film, and don’t let anything stop you!

  122. jonathan nicholson

    dirt, go and ask most of the riders what they think about this situation in a video interveiw and post that up , get them behind it, maybe even start a petition for it.

  123. bang

    i <3 popcorn.

  124. JH

    @Morgan
    .
    I was thinking the same thing myself, but I can’t imagine how devastating that would be for the fans who have made it out there to watch what should be the best race of the year.
    .
    Undoubtably some will have flown in and/or travelled for hours to get there… Not really fair on them. I know I’d be pretty pissed off if I’d turned up to fort william earlier this year after a 12 hour drive to no racing.

  125. Morgan

    @JH
    .
    Well at least they’ll know who to blame.

  126. Darren

    May i be comstructive here and say this sounds like utter bollocks?

  127. M
  128. Aaron

    @Morgan: Piggyback on to your idea…Dirt puts a undercover guy with a stop watch a few poles up from the finish and records everyone’s time, all riders stop just before the finish line in a massive boycott. UCI gets nothing, Dirt scoops it with results and we have an unofficial Dirt World Champs!

  129. centrifuge

    “Rocky Roads” may have stats clamming their brilliance and shit with noting to back it up but, DirtMag/TV, Freecaster and other Freelancers have the real dirt (lots of articles, videos, slides, tech tips etc.) on what is going down in the DH MTB world. This truly does sound dreadful. MTB-ers, get your middle fingers up in the air! Way F… ing up! Now, Go it alone! For the love of BIKE! What are we waiting for? “If you’re 555 them I …”

  130. Hancock

    I often wonder why Mountain Biking still bothers with the UCI at all. They consistenly pull this kind of crap and can’t even put a decent sized prize fund together, yet every year the big teams all turn up and bend over.
    .
    Surely between Trek, Specialized, Santa Cruz, Giant, Merida, Dorel (GT, Cannondale) and Derby Cycle there’s enough money and know how for them to just run their own series. Bet you all the venues on the mtb world cup would happily tell the man from UCI to piss in the wind if there was an alternative.

  131. Alex

    Mountain Bike Action (MBA) recently ran an article heavily criticising the effects in UCI regulations on XC racing, so it is not just DH that is effected and not just UK riders that are pissed. Maybe magazines could begin to unite against this nonsense? The UCI is obviously ill equipped to properly deal with MTB events, people have been advocating break away tours, and the magazines are ideally placed to give voice the fans concerns to the teams, riders and manufacturers. Go on Dirt. You know it makes sense.

  132. extronaut
  133. centrifuge

    How many of you have been to Belgium? It is bloody flat! Funny that they should take the driver’s seat?

  134. Andy

    I personally don’t understand why all the negativity. To be honest, as long as they have the cash it doesn’t bother me who sponsors the WC races. Let’s face it when you compare it with other sports coverage, Freecaster didn’t do an amazing job at hosting the live feed, there’s always been connection issues and errors. Many of the big bike brand were bailing them out financially throughout the last few years. Let’s hope with the backing of Shimano things drastically improve. Why would UCI bother changing the rights if things aren’t going to improve.

    …what does bother me though, what’s going to happen to Warner?

  135. Steve G

    Today is the first I’ve ever heard of the RR network, I went to their site and it doesn’t seem like a major site to me, either there’s been a backhander or there were no other offers at all. Check out the Facebook Profile; they have about a third of the followers that Dirt has. Could Dirt afford to be the title sponsor? I’d think not. Very fishy indeed.

  136. Moz999

    @Andy – I see what you mean to an extent with the title sponsor, (who went and bought a Tissot watch for example?) But it’s the shady nature of the way this site has claimed to be something it’s not that worries me. The content at the moment is laughable.

    Dirt/freecaster’s coverage has been sublime this year, the most important thing to me is Rob Warner on the mic and the Dirt TV updates. Is there anything about Dirt being banned for the WC series next year?

  137. rockyroadisacake

    Their articles are written in pigeon english. I want to die.

  138. Andy

    COULD MARTIN WHITELEY DO IT?

    Some info on his background:
    For the five years prior to forming the company Mr Whiteley was responsible for all offroad cycling disciplines at the International Cycling Union in Switzerland, with direct responsibility for the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup (1996-2000). Prior to this he was the CEO of Cycling Australia for 10 years.

    Seems to have the pedigree and additionally, seems to be pissed off Here’s his most recent Twitter post:

    When a website with only 8,000 Facebook fans and no visible means of advertising revenue title sponsors the World Cup…Rocky Roads indeed!!

  139. banjo

    what a shiiiiiit website…

  140. sean green

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO…………..IS THERE GOING TO BE COVERAGE OF THE NEXT WC SEASON?………even worse no gt videos :(

  141. Spectator from la bresse

    Hmm Rocky Roads, the new main sponsor of World Cup, company with the logo made by free(for personal use only!) font found on the interwebs: http://www.dafont.com/base-02.font

    If this is how theirs marketing and all the stuff is working…well…

    I really wonder whats going on there…..

  142. dasnut

    I have some experience dealing with a large football related swiss administrative controlling body (name is an anagram of FAUE) and I can say its the strangest outfit I have had dealings with. And, the Swiss in general are VERY STRANGE.
    Downhill should go on its own, get Red Bull involved, whatever is needed, and screw the UCI, get cycling out of the hands of these idiots who have not been able to control drug abuse in road cycling for 40 years and generally cannot run the sport in an effective progressive way.
    Disconnected old men, with their hands in each others pockets. And you can quote me on that. Hell Yeah.

  143. andy

    Shows you what money, and nothing else can buy. UCI can suck my balls.

  144. Tino

    One of the best seasons to absolute shite in a couple of hours. Fair play someone…

  145. Large

    NO way they have 221’000 unique visitors” a day!!!!
    Never heard of them!!! At Montenbaik’s HQ we know many web sites and this is the first time that we heard of RockyRoads!!
    Bull Shit!!
    Go DIRT!!!

  146. iPilot

    I guess boycotting WChamps is a bad idea, we really want to know who is the best racer in this course. Teams Really want their racers be WChamps and have some 2012 hype for their WChampion bike/frame/etc.

    Teams and racers should be informed, they have the main role at racing, and should know what they want for the sport and what would be best for us, the audience. I guess that they constantly hear some stuff when they are riding public tracks like ” you should ….” ” DH would be more recognized if…..”, etc.

    Also everyone knows, including riders ( Maybe they tell their families to watch this places) that Freecaster, Dirt, VitalMTB and Pinkbike are the main source of information of WC-WChamps. Even if RR steps up with free live coverage, 9999 cameras and all that, we have been pleased (literally) from Freecaster,dirtv, PB, Vital, parkin, etc. We should support them in response for their effort and excellent job they make for us.

    What ever happens we should get united to rise our dear but “unknown” sport.

    PS. I bet there are more people than me, that we dont use credit cards, or paypal to donate or pay and that holds the funds to be collected, i suggest to use the metod freecaster used a time ago and paying by cellphone txt and billing from you cellphone credit.

    PS 2. I reckon every in touch with WC Riders, or champery locals to run and tell the teams about this UCI SHIT

  147. Iceman2058

    Definitely time for a breakaway league. UCI have gone one step too far this time. Rocky Roads is a blatant con – it has obviously been set up to take over ALL the media momentum that Freecaster, DirtTV, MtbCUT, TRiRide, Vital, and others have worked so hard to build up around the WC. Simple formula really, a bit like The Hub @ Glentress…let people put their hearts into making something from nothing, then step in with your corporate/state superpowers and grab it. In this case, just ban everybody from filming on the hill, and then the fans have no choice but to go to the only site with content…who can then cash in from the sponsors.

    We’d all be sell-outs if we stood by and let this happen. If part of this deal includes exclusive media rights that keep DirtTV off the hill next year, we should quite simply refuse to watch any UCI-backed events. And we should let the UCI know (and maybe a couple of Euro high judges???).

  148. Deeboy

    Biggest site in europe…SO WHAT!!! It’s a global sport…if they wish to sponsor the total event so be it, but why ban others from reporting? If they are so good, then they should be able to cover all events and have people raving about their coverage. So from here forward do we have to accept second rate coverage, just so UCI can get larger paychecks?

    UCI are just burning the people that they are put in for….us the cyclists.

    GET A BRAIN UCI

    This stinks of football & rugby commercial deals all for the mighty dollar….

  149. harry phillips

    The Rocky Roads thing must be a con, how can that guy who appears on the photos on the PR possibly be into mountain biking?
    Wether it is the UCI themselves, or is some other twist who knows, but it is definitely not the case that that is a legit company.
    Dirt – PLEASE get some reactions from this? Surely you can sort out some interviews – Pagey, Whiteley, Roskopp, Peaty etc. to shed some light on this and see how aware they are of this take over at a ground level, and whether it is having an effect in Champery?
    Also how and why are Dirt banned? There doesn’t seem to be a breach of the rules on your behalf?
    WHAT IS GOING ON?

  150. jonzo

    This is dooing my head in… I think we’re all about to be sucked into a black hole!

  151. harry phillips

    what size helmet must that guy wear and what brand? There cant be many available for an massive egg shaped head like that

  152. tom

    google rocky road and you end up with pages of a wonderful desert. Crazy

  153. Bazz

    Maybe the UCI have been hanging out with the IOC. Somebodies getting the cash

  154. alex

    Has anybody been touch with UCI overlord Pat McQuaid on Twitter about this issue? nudge nudge wink wink
    https://twitter.com/#!/UCI_Overlord

  155. cristian

    what a bunch of s**t. Sounds like a MASSIVE backhander to me. Sad day for DH. & what a crap website. I hate politics. Hope this all goes to shit.

  156. Simon

    The RockyRoads website coverage of worlds so far is shocking, if this is an indication of the future then DH could just drop off the radar for a lot of people. Fingers crossed they get their act together, they are advertising for job vacancies so you never know.

  157. scott s

    very deep pockets….$50 whole dollars to design the site.

    http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?t=1976286

  158. morris Dancer aka Jonny Trance Fingers

    Has anyone said if they get sole coverage rights..?

  159. Ryan Doggart

    This all seems abit shit tbh. But i am a bit confused, does this mean they have exclusive rights to the coverage? if so does tht mean that its the end of Dirt magazine coverage, and what about the freecaster coverage…if that goes i may start to cry….Any help in clearing this up would be most appreciated!

  160. MGN

    All very weird – that post about the 50$ website is just the icing on the cake…….. best post on that thread from the guy ‘commissioning’ the site is

    “now i am missing still some proffesionalisme” ….

  161. Jon Miles

    i bet Billy’s new FB page gets more likes than RR by the end of the champs!

  162. Paco

    Oh my word – that site design thread is hilarious!
    Great find Scott – this whole situation gets more ridiculous by the second!

  163. Grisha

    If it really is such a reputable site…. why do I see an advertisment from some cheap sex dating website with some chicks holding their tits into the camera???

  164. Phil

    This is fucking dog sh!te! I have only recently got into watching DH and 4x and its mostly because of the Dirt and Freecaster coverage!

    Will teams be banned from filming? Are the guys making The Atherton Project being kicked out?

  165. phlat albert

    freecaster’s blocked the comment page on the UCI/RockyRoad article. sh*ts gonna hit the fan soon for somebody. televise the revolution guerilla style, billy!

  166. Rob C

    What odd news. Unique visitors per day is a fairly redundant statistic anyway, advertisers etc are much more interested in unique visitors and page impressions per month. It seems odd that these Rocky Road people have entered into this with a site that is very thin on content, especially lacking in video and interactive stuff that really draws most readers back to the sites.

    Of course the website doesn’t have to be good for them to be able to pay the cash to sponsor the series, but it doesn’t help when the press release just looks like a load of hot air.

    Having worked in the internet business for a number of years now I agree this looks like an elaborate con of some kind. Even if you had the investment to do a grand launch based around a headline sponsorship like this you’d at least sort the site out first. There’s no way the numbers add up.

  167. DaveHTN

    Nice find on the theme comp Scott…..”Don’t think i’ll do anymore edits as it’s been 2 weeks” $50 for 2 weeks work….Monty must be a crackhead! This all stinks and im all for the companies and teams branching off and making their own race series!

  168. qwerty

    Main sponsor has never had anything to do with coverage rights before, chill yer boots!

  169. DaveHTN

    1st time for everything :)

  170. Evan

    @Ed
    Maybe making a Facebook page showing our concern can be done? Im sure between all the Dirt, Pinkbike, MTBcut, Vital etc followers it would be far more than the total people who have heard of this new Rocky site thing?

  171. phlat albert

    @qwerty …til now. but i hope you’re right.

  172. MGN

    @qwerty, maybe not but its coming alongside the stories (rumours?) of freecaster being asked £100k to continue next year

  173. chussy

    221,000 users a day…no chance 10 reporters and photographers….so where does the money come from to finance that lot? Certainly not from the online adverts as theyre google generated crap…this must be a joke or some kid wanting his 10 mins of fame or theyve eaten to many mushrooms found in the woods. Either way if the industry people dont know them then theres defo something not right….go Dirt

  174. DaveHTN

    and a website theme it seems they didnt pay for :(

  175. dat jag

    http://www.rockyroadsnetwork.com/company/advertising/Analytics_13082011.pdf

    I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure there’s a “g” in “United Kingdom”…

  176. DaveHTN

    tweeting to Monty and they didnt pay or use his theme

  177. Weric

    some twitter quotes from “Not Pat McQuaid” UCI Overlord:

    “For those of you who in the barely watched discipline of MTB in Europe, here’s RockRoads website rankings: http://www.checksitetraffic.com/traffic_spy/www.rockyroadsnetwork.com

    … Barely watched discipline of mtb in europe.. guess that highlights why they don’t care.

    Also the link he provides does nothing in favour of rocky roads network….

    “I’m quite schooled in the Road discipline, but quite a neophyte when it comes to the off road garbage.”

    oh my..

  178. Anoobis

    Weric, i can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic and joking about the fake twitter account or believing its real?
    “The satirical adventures of the current head of the UCI. Not affliated with, nor represents Pat McQuaid at all. This is gadfly parody role playing RUBBISH only.”

  179. dat jag

    Just run my own google analytics report in the same format as http://www.rockyroadsnetwork.com/company/advertising/Analytics_13082011.pdf, gives me http://i.imgur.com/NI91W.jpg

    Google definitely know how to spell “Kingdom”. I’m calling fake/photoshopped stats.

    (Mods, please delete if you think this will get you into legals).

  180. Weric

    Well.. you see i was more looking for help as to make up my own opinion..

    on one hand its a fake account and no one would seem to jeopardise them self that easily.

    On the other this account is rather old with realistic tweets dating back a fair way RTing relevant stuff etc.

    Which then would think others have had it in for the guy for quite a while…

  181. Weric

    That said having actually looked at the stuff he’s been RTing and older tweets it is all still BS..

    clearly he’s one extraordinarily unpopular fellow.

  182. Carlos Gutierrez

    Guys…we are also in shock here…we have not stop discussion what the HELL HAPPENED THERE….

    This is just amazingly stupid…and I believe that DH and extreme cycling should step apart from UCI, at the end this comes down to our very own federations that seems to not care at all about the sport…so, why bothering…F@#!K THEM ALL…

  183. Jon P

    I really don’t want to jump on the murder the UCI bandwagon but i’m genuinely struggling to find anything positive to say about this whole situation?!?!

  184. DHIObsessed

    Sellouts!

    Dump the UCI and the likes of IOC, there snooty ways are not whom the riders and this sport need to be working with. Think about the UCI needs the world’s best riders more than the riders need them. It’s time that action sports stick with a core value and create our own corporate freedom. I bet those are two words that rarely get put together but it’s true, DH racing and all of the spin off’s are business. It’s a business that creates a lot of vibrant, exiting jobs for the people who truly love the sport. If the UCI mandate of bringing the sport to more people is true then, the world’s would be free and there would be more video footage of the upcoming event.

    I say let em all in, so US the viewer can choose what media outlet(s) to support. Personally, I view many of the websites because they all seem to have a unique flare to their method of coverage of this wonderful sport. Choice and variety is as important to me as a viewer as roots, rocks and dirt are to a great DH track.

  185. raddog

    It could well be the best thing to happen to downhill. Really, I think there is a lot to be done with the downhill that hasn’t. It is the most exciting spectator sport on the planet after all! A break away from UCI at this point would make a lot of sense.

  186. lawndart

    Their site…is built on…. wordpress, all imaged based ….ugh

  187. Al

    Sucks.

    Check out the Rocky Road ‘coverage’ of Val Di Sole – they’ve got a load of embedded videos hosted by Mpora. Taking the piss?

  188. Tepid

    It beggars belief, it really does! However, i worry that a breakaway seres would be too risky a concept for the major brands within mountainbike racing to embrace. The UCi as flawed as it is, provides a blanket of security ( an organised race series, geographical permissions etc etc) which allows for product to be tested, marketed and eventually sold. Without this blanket, and the time it would take for a breakwaya series to be going full steam, what would happen to the brands and the support they currently offer our racers?

  189. raddog

    Google

    “UCI corrupt”

    About 1,020,000 results (0.14 seconds)

    ..shady shady shady.

  190. LT

    ‘Advertise at World Cups’ is their sales pitch?
    Amateur hour for sure.

    http://www.rockyroadsnetwork.com/company/advertisers.php

  191. Richie

    This stinks to absolute high heaven. Barely literate spam king sets up shite site after he rips off a designer who works on spec for him, THEN secures a huge deal with the UCI? Even if this is down to their usual incompetence some heads should roll. Unacceptable and a kick in the face to the genuine hard work put in by sites like Dirt, who certainly don’t get much back in the way of it other than their own thrill of being involved.

    I’ve wondered for ages what it would take for a breakaway league to form, largely due to the ineffective support of the UCI. Downhill is an exciting sport. We’ll watch it even if it’s filmed on somebody’s old mobile. But it can attract way more mainstream viewers with some simple innovation, supported and co-funded by the UCI. Wirecams, ghost image of the fastest rider etc can all be done with a bit of thought, testing what works and building a bigger viewership. But how can guys like freecaster even attempt it on their own, especially when the UCI are making it even more difficult for the people who are in fact doing their own job for them.

    Everyone is being shortchanged here. The racers, the independent sites, the bike co’s and teams, not to mention the fans. All because of an apathetic, self-interested, unelected Official body. Who polices the police?

    /rant over

  192. Paul

    This is never good good for any avenue of journalism or an industry.

    I ride all forms of bikes while also being a big web geek, Its worrying that I’v never heard of them, there articles seem really dull and have those torrent site style ad’s.

    But worst of all search -Rocky Roads Bikes – and you get NOTHING about them, this article is #4 and #2 and #3 are a small bike repair site.

    This means even by Googles understanding of bikes, they suck and have NO RELEVANCE TO THE INDUSTRY! There for how can this ever promote UCI (and the bike industry) except as a product for RockRoads to sell on as a 3rd party source for news.

    Grrrrr

  193. Carlos Gutierrez

    @Paul…even my website is more relevant….

  194. SamWakefield
  195. DownWithTheUCI
  196. NorthWest

    The UCI just got scammed by fake Belgian website named after ice cream. Unreal. This is fuel for a rider’s protest.

  197. NorthWest

    …not that I want that to happen.

  198. morris Dancer aka Jonny Trance Fingers

    Still no one has said if Rocky Road gets sole rights.. I cant see how they can have complete control..

    FACTS PLEASE…. I fear there could be more riots..

  199. NickH

    Reposting this here, as i expect the negative comments will soon be deleted from the UCI WC facebook page…

    Dirt Magazine in particular have promoted the sport since day one, nurtured riders, run their own team and evolved with the sport we all love.

    Their staff are all well respected in the industry, and as passionate about the sport as their readers. I have no idea who Rocky Road are or where they have come from, and have no interest in their generic, poorly produced content, made up statistics, or inappropriate adverts.

    The UCI and IOC have no interest in or understanding of the ‘gravity’ aspects of cycling, so I fail to see how they can fairly represent these unique sports that have become so popular through the efforts of the riders, racers and manufacturers … Despite the efforts of the governing body to mould it into something that better suits their twisted view of cycling.

    They are an irrelevance at best, a dangerous, restrictive hindrance at worst.

  200. WAKi

    STOP GOOGLING FOR ROCKYROAD AND STOP GOING TO THEIR WEBSITE

    That’s how he makes these 1mln hits FoFksSake

  201. JohnColthorpe

    Right so the title sponsorship of the UCI World Cups is being taken over by a website that looks like it’s been made from instructions on the back of cereal box, this meaning they will be able to put whatever restrictions in they want stopping Dirt, Vital and Pinkbike from getting any coverage and only allowing themselves coverage of the sport, also meaning they could rape the future of any freelance videography or photographer. We really need to ditch the UCI and create a new world series bred by racers with simply no restictions. Have you seen the UCI road biking restrictions?, they have rules about bar thickness. Let the people do what they want when they want and damn get freecaster back on board, the future of the sport is nothing without them and Rob Warner he’s key too.

  202. Joe

    Fuck the UCI right in the ass.

  203. Joe

    http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=156&post=459&uid=146029672113977#post459

    If you want to tell them how you feel, heres the place to do it… If enough people actually do then they might listen!!!

  204. lee

    I think the UCI need to explain themselves, anyone know any contacts?

  205. benny b

    Interesting….

    “Expect some announcement from Freecaster.tv during the worlds. Don’t want to jump the gun, but timing might be just right for us to make a move. Ray (founder Freecaster)”

    Taken from facebook page

  206. Treehuggergraeme

    Sorry if I’m duplicating but here’s the link again to the competition for the $50 rockyroads website build competition
    http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?t=1976286
    What a joke

  207. callum at rapiddescent

    @Treehugger

    if you read the forum where they touted for a website design for $50, it turns out they never even paid the guy and ripped off his work! I have a feeling that the rocky road website will not last long.

  208. Ewan

    http://www.rockyroadsnetwork.com/company/advertisers.php

    Anyone work for those ‘advertisers’? Apparently Mercedes, Volvo, BMW, Mars, Citibank, Visa, Sony, Nokia, Nissan, are all advertisers…

    Perhaps someone should tell them.

  209. -Tom-

    @lawndart
    The dirt website is built in wordpress as well. Any good designer can create a unique site using wordpress that looks nothing like a ‘wordpress site’. It’s just a cms after all. Turns out Rockyroads can’t though.

  210. dat jag

    Well, amusingly they have edited the fake Google stats page to spell “Kingdom” correctly… I guess they read Dirt and saw my earlier post!

    Luckily, I took a screenshot of the page at the time. http://i.imgur.com/Mgnms.png

    Check my paint skills, yo.

  211. JM

    Just out of interest Billy what dedicated hits does Dirt get? Dirt is were everyone i know goes to get mtb info, some might also visit Vital then a few others but surely Dirt is the most popular?

  212. Paul

    even reading this im not going to check some shit website out i have never heard of, how does dh in this day and age get swept under the carpet i thought things were only getting better but its sounding to great.

  213. Dave

    I think the most interesting stat i’d like to see is average time spent on the rocky roads site. If indeed it has had so many hits are these from an aggressive popup/under campaign just to boost visitor numbers, compare this with dirt/PB/vital/mtbcut etc where the average visitor is probably on well over 10 minutes

  214. Krissboo

    Sounds like a Roadie Conspiracy against the “DIRT”!!

  215. Pete B

    And now a poem:

    “feed me now
    all you growing inside me
    I took you there
    to honour me
    learn how to crawl
    bow down to me
    your scared faces into the dust

    moaning bastards
    you can’t feel rejected
    thrown out by society
    there’s no good in you
    I am your good – God

    I’m here to heal
    what mankind caused you
    I’m here to give you life
    all they took away

    all I need
    is to be fed
    Godsucked energy

    the evil will live forever
    poisened mind thinks over
    bow down – crawl
    inhale the dust
    you ‘re rejected ones
    unwanted to be hidden
    subborn bastards
    growing inside me

    I took you there
    honour me – feed me” -Bruno Mazereel

    Lovely poem by the Managing Partner at RockyRoads, he is quite into sport as well: basketball, swimming, rock diving, football, judo, skiing, climbing and walking.

    Maybe he’ll get in to cycling soon considering how successful his site is?

    WTF for sure…

  216. Ben Harrison

    What we need here is transparency. Believe it or not, there could be a legitimate reason for the deal – it seems Orbea are a ‘partner’ of the website – although at present I doubt it and I’d be surprised if Orbea knew what they were supposedly involved with.
    Instead of going ballistic and leaving the UCI right away, we need to find out what’s involved in the deal – cash put forward, what that will mean for coverage, media etc, how this website can fund such a (previously) expensive contract…? Who are the owners, who are their ties and contacts, and why they’ve suddenly become involved in the sport.

    THEN, if it doesn’t add up, or we don’t get any disclosure, do we ditch the UCI. For now though, we should push for answers to these questions. Get it in the mainstream media (everyone loves a conspiracy) and bring the UCI forward to questioning. Anyone else feel this would be the most rational step forward?

  217. caolisla

    WOW. A lot of passion here. And a lot of misinformation too. The TITLE sponsor does NOT have the right to prevent any other media from covering an event. Period. The UCI retains all rights at all times and make the final decisions about how EVERYTHING (interviews, photos etc) can be used. Technically they could demand every photog/videog give them the rightful use of their work. COULD, but they don’t.

    What they do have the right to do is restrict coverage and distribution of certain aspects of the sport. Right now Freecaster and the UCI own the rights to LIVE coverage of races. No one can broadcast races (World Cup/MTB World Champs) except via a feed from the Freecaster site. Interviews etc are fine. There are provisions made for documentary videographers (Clay Porter etc) who need special access to certain athletes

    Every member of the media who receives accreditation from the UCI to cover races (World Cup/MTB World Champs) is obliged to follow the rules and if they do not will be removed from the right to cover an event and access to the media/press room. I expect that Billy crossed a line somewhere, thus the removal of his credential. He has not said what specifically he was told, so unless he is willing to, stop speculating.

    As for Rockyroads title sponsorship. Came as a whopper of a surprise to everyone. But money talks. The UCI has been without a major sponsor for the World Cup for a year now, and they need the $$ for it to continue. These event don’t happen without big infusions of cash. It would be really great if everything were free, but that is not the real world.

    We will see. I have my suspicions about this organization. I cannot believe that they make their money on their cycling site(s) I suspect online gambling or other activities, but have no proof. I also suspect that the $$ to the UCI may come from them in the beginning, but get harder and harder to collect as the time goes forward. But the UCI does a fair deal of due diligence, so I could be wrong.

    As for Freecaster? They are done. World is that the company is on the verge of going bust. “Free” does not pay the bills. They tried and man did they raise the bar. But remember last year when they asked everyone to pay a few Euros ? (it was not a lot) and very few actually chipped in to pay for viewage. That was the tell as they say that things were going badly. If they people who feel so passionately about the sport refuse to pay, then it is not viable. Business 101. No income, no product.

    Breakaway the gravity sports from the World Cup? Go for it. I am sure tho’ there will be some difficulty getting backing form existing and or potential sponsors. Most of the bike companies are also sponsors of XC, Road and BMX . All olympic sports. The politics of going against the UCI and IOC are such that they would lose the ability to sponsor teams for the Tour de France, Pro Tour (World Tour) and for many many event that are all linked in a very tight web of… politics.

    I know this is going to get slammed, so fire away.

  218. Ben Harrison

    No, you speak sense.

  219. seb

    I think the problem in past years was that the freecaster feed was so unreliable, that people were reluctant to pay for it. I can’t speak for everyone, but it’s been flawless for me at every race this year, and it’s now a product that I would happily pay for. Even more happily if they got rid of Warner… I like his colour, but it’s too much at times, and I don’t like the way he never knows what’s going on on track, often ignores what’s going on, and always talks over any co-presenters. As a rider myself, yes, I can find him amusing from time to time. But mainly I’m embarrassed that he’s one of the main representatives of the highest level of our sport though :(

  220. Onion

    Hmm, seems that perhaps it is Rocky Road who have been duped here?

    Let’s put this in perspective; the UCI might not be doing the best thing for downhilling all the time, but they certinaly aren’t stupid. That’s like saying that George Bush is stupid – that’s like giving him ean excuse: “it’s ok that he killed loads of innocent people – he’s just a bit silly”. No, he’s not. He knew full well what he was doing, just like the UCI are.

    Furthermore, I think that the UCI know full well that they can’t stop anyone from filming stuff: there’s no way that they’d get all the established bike sites in to a bidding war for exclusive rights so what do they need to get the most cash? – a very naive website that’s new to the market with a bit of spare cash who think that they’ll make a mint out of it.

    I haven’t tried to find RR website and I don’t intend to either.

  221. Proff

    I am not looking forward to the coverage from rocky roads, especially if it’s pay per view. I’m gonna miss all the team webcasts from CRC Intense and the like. I think the ‘big money brands’ in MTB should work together to bring us an out of this world series, aired on freecaster, and sponsored by the big brands such as Specialized, Giant, Trek, Red Bull, Monster, TLD, etc. There are plenty of brands combined that have the money for a new world cup series, leaving the UCI and Rocky Roads out on the pavement.

    -Proff

  222. Proff

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rob-warner-is-a-legend/129470280465807

    Warners calling for more likes than Rocky Road!

  223. caolisla

    The problem with the type of service they (Freecaster) provide is that most races are in remote areas, requiring the use of satellite’s to bounce the signal…. this is very EXPENSIVE and is unreliable due to weather and atmospheric conditions. Since most of the sites are permanent, there is no way of building anything for the long term thus defraying costs. Technology is wonderful yes, but $$$$$$$.

    Lesson? Just because it is on the internet, does not mean it is inexpensive to create. Every/any one hoping to provide this service is going to have the same problem.. unless it is a major TV provider who have deep enough pockets to defray the costs.. but then if they cannot make it pay for itself, why would they do it?

  224. Chris

    Caolista is absolutely correct.

  225. Bassdust

    Okay, i posted this in another thread but gonna bring it here.

    Looking at the financial report put up by Billy ray Circus, it isn’t as clean cut as he notes re profit vs costs. I am not defending the UCI but just gonna play devils advocate here.

    http://www.uci.ch/Modules/BUILTIN/getObject.asp?MenuId=MTk3OA&ObjTypeCode=FILE&type=FILE&id=NjI3MTU&LangId=1

    First off the yes it seems World Champs are the big money makers for the UCI, the World Cups cost more than they make for the UCI. However it looks like NON OF THIS COMES FROM MTB.

    Check out the numbers and graphs on 172/173. It appears most of the of the revenue comes from Road by a massive margin, not just road but just the Road Championships. And none of this profit comes from MTB, it is negative.

    The UCIs MTB competitions (ALL disciplines combined) is in negative overall in profit re cost. It costs more for the UCI to put on these competitions than it makes off them!! Why is this???

    Why are the costs of putting on the MTB competitions appearing to be 3 times the cost of Road comps or any other races??

    Anyway it appears that for the UCI running the 2009 MTB World Cups and Championships appears to be a LOSS making exercise. Primarily because in their accounts it appears to cost at least 3 times that of putting on the Road championships, more than they make in revenue from MYB comps, giving a negative profit.

    Why?

  226. caolisla

    Sorry for the repost – made a mistake in the second sentence, should make more sense now….

    The problem with the type of service they (Freecaster) provide is that most races are in remote areas, requiring the use of satellite’s to bounce the signal…. this is very EXPENSIVE and is unreliable due to weather and atmospheric conditions. Since most of the sites are NOT permanent, there is no way of building anything for the long term thus defraying costs. Technology is wonderful yes, but $$$$$$$.

    Lesson? Just because it is on the internet, does not mean it is inexpensive to create. Every/any one hoping to provide this service is going to have the same problem.. unless it is a major TV provider who have deep enough pockets to defray the costs.. but then if they cannot make it pay for itself, why would they do it?

  227. Bassdust
  228. Dave
  229. NorthWest

    These comments are amazing. What an eye opener to the quality of the UCI. People have really banded together on this issue and it’s really cool to see. Community like this is just another reason why this is the best sport in the world. I’m honestly looking forward to next year as it may bring a non-UCI platform that’s better for the sport. Or at the very least, things will change up a bit in the right direction.

  230. Jon P

    Side stepping the whole Rocky Road issue for a moment… Freecaster should offer all WC races inc champs for a reduced fee package (like a dirt sub) or charge a [small?!] fee for each race…?! Plus try to get coverage of other stuff like Crankworx, National champs races and other one-off events?

  231. James Pond

    He uses a program called tubefool, it’s his fav.. Other than that nothing to report from laptopland.

  232. seb

    Good stalking skills :)

  233. davetrump

    rocky road used to be mtb-live.com. If you type mtb-live.com into address bar you go to rocky road.

    much less impressive stats for that site before he changed the name a few months ago

    http://urldata.info/www.mtb-live.com

  234. seb

    To be fair to rockyroad, there is a lot of coverage of various races on their site. OK so it’s not great, and doesn’t cover the DH as much as *we* might like, but the fact remains there’s a lot there that someone’s written.

    And there’s a lot of banners lining the courses at Champery. So it’s not a TOTAL con… I think they might surprise us all over the next 12 months. Hopefully.

  235. mickey

    Seb-
    There is some evidence that the ownere was soliciting writers from a “content mill”. These places are usually in India and China. $1 per 100 words was the rate RR was looking for. This mat help to explain thenonsensical poorly writen drivel they’ve crapped out so far.

  236. seb

    Ah ha, the plot thickens :) Where did you see this evidence?

  237. mickey

    Seb-
    Between Ridemonkey and Dirt there are hundreds of snippets of info… I’m keeping a few notes for the blog.

    From a dodgy “how to cheat at the internet site”;

    “Re: Article Writer Available||$1 per 100 words ||Well Researched & 100% Unique Articles
    i am looking for a service like your but it has to be long term.
    can you do this i added you on gmail
    sietse.schelpe@gmail.com
    —-
    Looks like $0.01 is the going rate. RR was looking for the cream of the crop!

  238. Dave

    Seb-

    There’s a thread on Ridemonkey with numerous screen captures and evidence of what is at the very least a con job. The UCI has some ‘splanin to do!

  239. Si Paton

    Guys, don’t fret the Patonator is here! I’m currently hot footing it from Eurobike to Champers in the Halo BDS Bugatti Veyron. I have an interview booked with Mr. Rocky Road himself, all will be filmed by Stu Thomsons MTB Cut. As it’s midnight here and i’m on the road. Can someone collate the right info and send it to me Sat a.m before 09:00GMT. si@descent-gear.com
    Stay Unclipped kids!

  240. seb

    Bit late Si, Charles already has the scoop!

  241. RobbieScho

    Rocky Road? I’m sure most of the unique visitors were kids looking for a brownie recipe………………. http://www.google.co.uk/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=rocky+road

  242. jezscott

    Hope someone has collated & summarised all the data as requested by Si.
    Good luck with the interview, fascinating stuff all this and maybe some good will come of this. Is SP due some kind hounour for services to DH yet?

  243. Tom Grundy

    Charles Robertson has got the 1st Exclusive interview with the Owner of Rocky Roads.. Download and listen to it here. Quite revealing.

    http://www.charlesrobertsonphotography.com/rockyroad/

  244. TimBud

    I’d like to think all the shit this has stirred up, that the uci can’t ignore things. Hopefully they’ll have a serious rethink after this weekend.

  245. Tobias

    i love how the governing body of international cycling gets cond/is conning and it takes 24 hours for a bunch of downhillers to put together a convincing case. they must be pretty embarrassed right now

  246. RCR

    Overall, a huge disappointment. Tom, your linked interview leads me to believe that DH will be dead if a more suitable sponsor isn’t found shortly, if only for the fact that this “bartender/chef/amateur programmer” is only interested in Belgian XC. His partner Bruno, who’s resume is just slightly more impressive, has no interest or knowledge of biking at all it seems. So how did this dynamic duo come up with the money for this endeavor? It all seems like some kind of hoax for sure. These 2 UCI puppets behind the wheel…

    Anyway, it appears that DH must break away from UCI after Caolisla’s eye-opening picture of the way things stand. It’s just a matter of time, and that time is approaching. That’s how I see it, quite tragic.

  247. Turpy

    I have read all these comments and links and just can’t seem to find any good for our sport from any of this. All I can think is that this going to undo all the good work done by Dirt/ Freecaster/ Vital etc. We are going to be thrown back into the nineties were I used to eagerly wait for magazines to hit the shelves so I could get full race reports on what happened sometimes up to a month later (that is off course if magazine coverage isn’t limited aswell). I also worry this could have a greater impact for example how many new riders have we seen out on the trails since the since DH coverage has become so easily accessible, all these new riders spending money on kit thus giving the industry money to spend on development could this slow down the introduction of new and more advanced kit ?

    I for one don’t no these answers yet but from what I have read so far it just doesn’t sound good?

  248. jonzo

    Jeeez… storm in a teacup!

  249. Tobias

    @turpy, the rockyroads guys do not plan on restricting media from downhill worldcups so that art should be fine.

  250. Keith T

    £120000! To be title sponsor for the UCI 4X and DH! Thats shocking, So to put it into perspective thats half the cost of the cars in the front of my local Nissan Showroom. So the UCI have sold out for tuppence! Why?

    Also listen to the guy from Rocky Road on that interview that Charles did a couple of times he says “Downhill is not our passion its your passion”
    WHAT! From the sounds of it the sponsorship of the world cup DH is something RR have taken on as a burden!

    Also he says that RR don’t have any media rights, well if thats so and RR aren’t going to charge any photographers or videographers anything to film at World Cups then I’m sure that the UCI will have to start putting up the cost to them though, will they have the same charges to RR, I doubt it!

    Anyway if I had a bit more time I’d compile something for the Patonator to quiz this guy with, I’d do it. Go on Si really get to the bottom of this- do your best Paxman impression!

  251. freestyleandy

    Anyone fancy emailing the designer/owner of the font and asking if he agreed to a ‘for personal use only’ font being used for such a popular (cough*bollocks) wedsite???

    About the font

    The personal, non-commercial use of my font is free.
    But Donations are accepted and highly appreciated!
    The use of my fonts for commercial and profit purposes is prohibited,
    unless a small donation is send to me.
    Contact: clementnicolle@hotmail.com

  252. Daniel

    UCI need a good kick in the vagina for this

  253. raddog

    ….still waiting on team manager/owner feedback on this. Surely they’re even more pissed than the fans.

  254. Craig Brough

    All
    Is there any more noise about this? What is the score?
    .
    Several suggestions:
    1. Freecaster. Please enter into a partnership with Dirt, MBUK, and whoever would be willing to add 50p to their magazines as a direct support fee.
    2. Lets start a breakaway republic (I am serious). Lets face it, we are less than dirt in the bottom of their weird road-cleats.
    3. Create a petition to highlight to the UCI that we are utterly dismayed and perplexed by this course of events. FFS! – Lets lobby the Hugh Robertson (UK minister for sport)
    4. Could any legal types on the site investigate what the due diligence procedure is over this sort of thing? I have no doubt that a bunch of overly officious French people have created a rule for that.
    5. What have the IMBA got to say about this?
    .
    Dare I say that we, the DH/4X community, need to get our act together. A previous post highlighted that ultimately this is a commercial venture. Are we to blame – so downbeat about the cost side of things that a complete no-name has swept us up?
    .
    Comments welcome.

  255. Craig Brough

    You can contact Hugh Robertson directly on http://www.hughrobertson.org.uk/type13.asp?id=88&type=13
    .
    They suggest that, unless Hugh is your MP, that you contact:
    Department of Culture, Media and Sport, 2-4 Cockspur Street, London SW1Y 5DH. 020 7211 6000. enquiries@culture.gov.uk

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