UCI Press Release: 4x, Cross Country Eliminator and Enduro news

Peter Van den Abeele, UCI Off-Road Disciplines Manager, talks World Cup 4x, XCE and the possibility of WC Enduro races.

UCI International Mountain Bike calendar: keeping up with the trends.

30.09.2011

Next year the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup calendar will undergo a facelift: the disappearance of four-cross and the official introduction of the cross-country eliminator (XCE) aim to keep the mountain bike discipline abreast of current trends.

However, the UCI’s Manager of Off-Road Disciplines, Peter Van den Abeele, stresses that the withdrawal of four-cross from the World Cup in no way rings the death toll of this spectacular format.

“Four-cross has been an important part of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup series for many years,” says Peter Van den Abeele. “Since its introduction, it has been highly appreciated both by riders and spectators. The UCI supports four-cross and sincerely hopes that organisers will continue to register their four-cross events on the UCI international calendar.”

He confirmed that the withdrawal of four-cross related only to the World Cup. The format will remain for the 2012 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Leogang, and registrations for four-cross races are still being accepted for the UCI international calendar. Peter Van den Abeele adds that the UCI is open to working with any organiser looking to host a UCI registered four-cross event during a World Cup weekend.

“With enough advance notice, we can work together to ensure that, where possible, timetables and services complement each other for the benefit of the sport.”

So why will we no longer see four-cross at the World Cup?

“Four-cross has proved more successful in some regions than others. This fact, coupled with the high financial costs and the environmental issues associated with the building of four-cross courses has led the UCI to make this decision. Four-cross competitions remain viable in a few World Cup venues but the lack of interest in others does not warrant continuing with this format in the World Cup series.”

He added that the gravity events were an important part of the mountain bike discipline and would still be strongly represented in the World Cup by the ever-popular downhill competitions. One of the aims of the decision to withdraw four-cross was to nurture and develop the format in regions where it has a large following, without forcing it on regions where it generates little interest.

“Although there is low participation in four-cross events in the World Cup, the UCI is convinced that the development of more regional, national and other international events will benefit this exciting format,” said Peter Van den Abeele.

Cross-country eliminator

Meanwhile the increasing popularity of the cross-country eliminator format has led the UCI to officially integrate it into the 2012 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.

Introduced in Europe two years ago, this format, suited to Olympic cross-country (XCO) specialists, sees four competitors race each other over a lap of around 1km. World Cup test events held in Dalby Forest (GBR) and Nove Mesto na Morave (CZE) last season were very successful, and in 2012 the format will be part of the World Cup events in Houffalize (BEL) Nove Mesto na Morave and La Bresse (FRA).

2012 will also see the crowning of the first XCE World Champion: this new format is being introduced to the UCI World Championships, and will be raced the day after the XCO event.

Development of gravity endurance events

Another flourishing mountain bike format is that of gravity endurance, which UCI Gravity Endurance Coordinator Chris Ball is looking to develop within the UCI by working with existing “enduro” events and riders.

His aim is to develop a discipline that will attract an increasing number of mountain bikers as it combines the physical endurance of cross-country riding with the technical difficulty and excitement of downhill racing.

The UCI invites organisers of current gravity enduro events to contact the UCI with a view to establishing a UCI Enduro Calendar from 2013. Enduro events can be in the form of multi-stage races, day races or mass start races.

UCI Communication Services

  1. dialled_rider

    Peter Van den Abeele doesnt have a clue what he’s doing. Environmental issues for christ sake? Your telling me that all the support vehicles that drive round with the tour de france is environmentally friendly? On the plus point, enduro events would be pretty sweet!

  2. JV

    Who actually runs the World Cups? Is it the UCI themselves – I ask for clarification only because it’s an organisation called ASO who run the TdeF, and other races.

    Maybe the UCI, who are obviously concentrating on Olympic events, should employ a specialist 3rd party to run it’s MTB events?

  3. TimBud

    Yay, the UCI is going to destroy Enduro now too. :(

  4. ben

    yawn. please leave UCI, no-one cares what bullshit you’ve got to say

  5. jonzo

    UCI… Enduro… Noooooooo, don’t ruin it!!!!!!

  6. Stefan

    Now sorry, but they are complaining about the enviromental issues of building 4X tracks, even though that 90% of the DH calender also has a 4X track at the same resort? So they dont need to build anymore anyway. And then they say they dont mind if someone else decides to take over and build new ones or update them, so that they enviromental implications dont get put on them. Hypocritical.

  7. Gogzee

    They see the money in Enduro that’s all, absolutely no other reason.
    The independent series all seem to be running their selves without the need for the UCI to butt in.
    Please don’t give them the satisfaction!

  8. Mr B

    If the UCI says there are environmental issues with 4X lets just take their word for it, calling them stupid doesn’t get us anywhere. As much as I’m not a fan of the UCI, saying there wrong doesn’t help us anywhere.
    I get that 4x may not be a global thing which so can understand it losing favour for that reason.
    What I find really annoying is the lack of communication and the lack of any acceptance of responsibility from the UCI, by which I mean not giving the teams advanced warning, how many people have contracts / sponsor deals out there?
    It feels to me that the UCI see that MTB in general has no choice but to follow it’s ruling and so treat the teams, riders and race organisers with little or no respect.
    My last point, I don’t organise races but this wound me up;

    “Peter Van den Abeele adds that the UCI is open to working with any organiser looking to host a UCI registered four-cross event during a World Cup weekend.”

    Now, I’m guessing organising a race is like most things limited by money. You go to sponsors saying I’m putting on a Nissan / Grundig / Rocky Road? sponsored UCI affiliated event and people are going to see it’s a big deal and help out. Go to those same people and say I’m trying to put on a race, it might be UCI affiliated, Pro riders and teams might turn up and all of a sudden you’re not going to get much support.

    Am I wrong? Does the UCI not see this? Do they see it and not care? Does any of this really matter? (YES) Can I use the dropping of 4x as my excuse for never winning a world cup? next year was going to be my year ;)

  9. Dan

    “Enduro events can be in the form of multi-stage races, day races or mass start races.”

    So what’s it gonna be? Can’t see there’s a snowball’s chance in hell of them emulating the Mega or Trans Provence, so probably one-day multi-stage races much like the UK Gravity Enduro series?

    Can’t wait to see what rules the UCI brings in to improve things/spoil everyone’s fun.

  10. Jeremy

    Just knowing from personal experience as a trailbuilder…my dirtjumps take a pounding in the heavy rain.Just imagine a giant,exposed dirttrack that is as wide as two car lanes.They erode a tonne.A few years ago,I went to St Anne in the fall and the 4x track was in shambles.It costs alot to fix it every year.Plus 4x had really become a bit of a roller derby.Exciting to watch but I never found it too fun to race.

  11. pw

    Environmental issues?: Does the UCI have any idea how much energy it takes to run a ski lift? We all know it’s bushit. And I would be stoked to see a world series of enduro events (although europe kinda has one now). But we all know that the UCi is only interested in it because it’s the most successful market in bike sales at the moment. So what the hell are we gonna do about it. All this chat about F£$% the UCi and all, but I have yet to find one website, one facebook group, one petition or anything that would constructively doing something about it. We all claim it’s a good idea but when is someone gonna do something about it? Does anyone know of any people actually trying to do something about it? I want in.

  12. nats

    XCE raced a day after XCO does that mean that downhill schedule on the final day will be even more squeezed by the XC format???????????? Screw this approach of UCI!

  13. nats

    Great job Chris Ball!

  14. factory-olly

    Just wish there was a viable alternative to the UCI? If only one big sponsor could see the potential and get the ball rolling….

  15. adam

    Everywhere already has DH and XC tracks, so that isnt a problem, all of them built by local track builders for the most part id guess.

    With the 4x though they get these events and have to go and build a 4x track, its not something thats already there with the north american side of things, and thats exactly what theyre trying to get at with these “environmental issues. Alot of the 4x tracks are only built because there hosting a round, its completely unnecesary for the most part, digging up a hillside to be raced properly once a year.

    Btw im not saying they should have got rid of 4x, its a massive shame, but i do see where they are coming from.

  16. Norbert

    So what? Enduro event organisers have some great series of their own and the UCI expects them to come to them and give them their money for the UCI label and ruining the sport with silly regulation? Screw you UCI. You could have invested in enduro from the begining.
    I say DH should also forget about the UCI and form their own org with 4x,ds,enduro and maybe existing fmba circut.

  17. ben

    the UCI not dead yet!?

  18. Randy

    There are rumours of a new 4x world series to be running next year.
    Don’t know who is doing it but its got to better then all the UCI bull shit.

  19. Si Paton

    The Halo BDS is a UCI registered series (except the last rd as Fort William was cancelled) and you can’t transfer the venue date at short notice.

    Huge constraints will be placed on UCI organisers such as:
    -Five of more Commissaires to feed, accomodate and pay travel costs.
    -Minimum prize money (over £2.5k) at each round.
    -££££ to register each UCI event.
    -££ to regsiter each rider.
    -UCI super teams get free entries to UCI races and pits so aloss of revenue to the organiser.
    -Loads more admon (£££).

    That all means extra ££££ on the entry fee. For us it’s an average £4k extra per round to put on so think at least another tenner on your entry.

  20. karoliusz

    Is this XCE something like 4X but with UCI obligatory shaved legs?

  21. dirt dodger

    The good from the bad is that they are looking to welcome in new styles such as Enduro, this will help that format to flourish and bring it some more coverage/people to our sport/sponsors – what with the explosion in this type of bike and riding it seems pretty obvious.

  22. Norbert

    Korneliusz – XCE is like a mix of dual and XC. (The race format from dual, the track from XC)

  23. Trillian

    Death knell, we’re not counting bodies here. Yet.

  24. stooky

    @SiPaton your INTERNET chat makes me cry.

  25. Randy

    Si paton can we get the 4grand back off my entry fee for Caersws?

  26. Jonesy

    Downhill will go the way of 4x with everyone racing the new gravity enduro in 2013. There are 3 world cup teams already have riders taking part in Enduro.
    Dan Atherton is leading the way with more ex downhill racers crossing over next year the bike companies & magazines love 6 inch travel bikes.

  27. ronin

    At the end of the day it’s us riders who will demand/determine what we want out of the enduro events. As it looks to grow @ some point promoters will need help so is the UCI the only guaranteed co-signer on anything cycling or is there another way? As far as other riders looking towards other disciplines it makes sense. You gotta try and get paid in different ways as gravity is a younger man’s business and enduro will keep that “open for business” sign 5-10yrs more for some of these guys.

  28. Brajal

    U can get all the excuses to kill 4x, but environmental issues is hard to believe as a UCI concern, whats is the carbon footprint of the Tour?

X

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