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April 17/10 16:03 pm - MTB News: World Cup #1, UCI Cracks Down

Posted by Editoress on 04/17/10

Some news from Sea otter


Volcanic Eruption May Impact MTB World Cup

The eruption of Iceland's Volcano Eyjafjallajökull may have a significant impact on the start line for the opening round of the Mountain Bike World Cup next Sunday (April 25th), at Dalby Forest in Yorkshire, England.

With air travel to Europe and within parts of the continent all but shut down due to the volcanic ash in the atmosphere, the impact is already being felt in road racing, as many teams will not be able to field full squads for tomorrow's Amstel Gold ProTour race.  Carlos Sastre (Cervélo TestTeam), Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) and Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) are all unable to fly out of their Spanish bases, and will likely miss the race.

For the mountain bike pros, the situation is just as serious, especially with a number of top teams attending Sea Otter in Monterey, California this weekend.  All of Specialized (Burry Stander, Christoph Sauser, Lene Byberg, Sam Hill), Luna (Catharine Pendrel), Maxxis-Rocky Mountain (Geoff Kabush, Marie-Helene Premont) and Trek World Racing (Emily Batty, Tracy Moseley, the Flückigers) are at Sea Otter, as well as Downhill world champion Steve Peat (Santa Cruz).

Most of the teams were planning on flying out Monday, but those plans have a good chance of being disrupted at this point.  Both Specialized team manager Bobby Behan and Trek's Martin Whiteley say that they are constantly consulting with their travel agents to look at alternatives for getting their riders to Dalby for next weekend.

UCI Cracks Down on Videographers at MTB World Cup

The international cycling federation, the UCI, has announced that it will be cracking down on the past practice of allowing videographers carte blanche to film World Cup racing action for use on online magazines and videos.

The UCI has a broadcast agreement with Freecaster but, in past seasons, videographers faced few restrictions on producing their own footage, which has led to a proliferation of videographers for magazine websites, video producers and, recently, pro teams with their own videographers.

Now, Freecaster has the sole rights to race footage broadcasting.  Other videographers will still be able to produce coverage in pits, do interviews, etc., but race footage will be verboten.  While this may seem harsh, in reality it is bringing mountain biking in line with other cycling disciplines and other major sports.

On a related note, there is a strong rumour that Freecaster online streaming will no longer be free for live race coverage, with a small per-event charge.


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