It’s Going to Be Harder to Qualify for a DH World Cup in 2018

We’re still six months away from the first race of the 2018 DH World Cup season in Lošinj, Croatia, but the UCI recently announced a number of rule changes that will have an affect on the world’s fastest downhillers. The biggest change is that the number of elite male riders who will be able to qualify for finals has been reduced to 60, down from 80. This change is in line with what we saw last season, when the number of elite women who could compete in the finals was dropped down to 15, and the number of junior men was dropped down to 20.

bigquotes The top 60 men elite, top 15 women elite and top 20 men juniors from the qualifying rounds qualify for the finals. All women juniors who started in the seeding run are qualified for the final.Article 4.5.027
The rules regarding protected riders have also been changed slightly. The top five women and the top 10 men from the final 2017 World Cup ranking will be protected, as will the current top five women and top ten men after the first round of the season who are not already protected.Note: The wording of the rule regarding protected riders isn’t entirely clear, and an earlier version of this article misinterpreted the update. A revision to the wording will be completed by the UCI before the season begins.

bigquotes The first 10 women elite and the first 20 men elite in the qualifying round are awarded World Cup points as per the scale in article 4.5.037. However, in the last round of the UCI MTB World Cup season, no points for the qualifying round will be given. The points (qualifying round and final) will be awarded to the riders with corresponding position in the final.Article 4.5.030
bigquotes ‘Protected riders’ to the final are:

1.Riders ranked in the top 5 women elite and the top 10 men elite of the final World Cup standings of the previous season

2.Riders ranked in the top 5 women elite and the top 10 men elite of the current World Cup standings. For the first UCI MTB World Cup round of the season, the top 10 women elite and the top 20 men elite of the final World Cup standings of the previous season are ‘protected’ for the final.

They must start in the qualifying round but qualify automatically for the final in any case. If the times of the protected riders are not among the 15 best times for women elite or the 60 best times for men elite, they must ride the final in addition to the 15 women elite and 60 men elite already qualified.Article 4.5.031

What’s the takeaway from all those rule revisions? Well, one thing’s for sure – qualifiers will be more important, since fewer riders will be able to make mistakes and still race in the finals. And while it will be more difficult to make it into finals, the riders that do get there have proven their worth, which should make for a more entertaining event for spectators. Bear in mind that the points required to actually enter a World Cup race haven’t changed; it’s just that making the jump from qualifiers to the finals has become even more of a challenge.

Along with those rule changes, riders will still not be allowed to wear cameras for the XC finals or for DH qualifying and finals, although they are allowed during training. However, the UCI can make an exception and allow a camera during finals, but that footage must be for the TV production company broadcasting the race.

Finally, there’s one more important new rule in the books:

bigquotes During MTB races no electronic bikes are allowed on the course at any time during training and competition.Article



by Mike Kazimer read more:

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