Word has been circulating around the web for the last 24 hours about the fact that there will be no UCI points available at the 2016 British Downhill Series (BDS), but is this really a problem?
For any racer to enter a World Cup in 2016 they must have at least 30 UCI ranking points that have been collected over the last year, these can be from World Cups, National Championships and usually the national series. Last year there were just two BDS races where riders could earn UCI points, Fort William and Llangollen. This year (as things stand at the moment) there will be none. It appears that the sport’s governing body, British Cycling (BC), have taken the decision not to pay for UCI points status for the BDS. As far as we can see there is no reason why the BDS itself, or an outside sponsor, could not come in and pay for this, but do we really need UCI points at nationals? Recent history would tell us ‘no’. Of course there are two sides (or more) to every story, let’s get some background, first here’s what the organisers of the BDS posted on their Facebook page:
“Bottom line is that BC see the BDS as a private business and have therefore taken the stance to start withdrawing funding the BDS. Why should their members subsidise a series that is a commercial entity is their main question. This has lead to BC looking into who scores the points at BDS UCI events (top 10 or 15 depending on the level of event, with the new UCI policy being 30 points to enter a World Cup), those that do score the points already have a wealth of them and are not fighting to scrape 30 points together. There are only two riders that would have benefited this year but they still would have scored very low UCI points at the BDS (for example 10th place scores 1 point at a UCI cat 2 event). The BDS team will still put on high level national events in 2016 with increased services for the riders, spectators and global fans.”