British XC racers?

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j0sh123
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British XC racers?

Postby j0sh123 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 14:15 pm

British cycling has been pretty successful this year at the olympics, wiggo claiming tour de france title etc, however the successes do not seem to extend to xc racing. Why is it that we have produced some world champion road, track and even DH (e.g. Rachel Atherton) riders, but no xc?

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cooldad
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Re: British XC racers?

Postby cooldad » Sun Dec 30, 2012 16:46 pm

Because I want to give other people a chance.
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bennett_346
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Re: British XC racers?

Postby bennett_346 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 16:59 pm

XC is the least glamourous so few youngsters choose to pursue it these days as a profession.

Road racing is very glamorous now and DH is seen as cool.

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Monty Dog
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Re: British XC racers?

Postby Monty Dog » Sun Dec 30, 2012 21:16 pm

Because if you want to make money as a professional cyclist, you need to ride on the road - quite a few of the top road riders have come from an MTB background though. The only sponsors in MTB racing are mainly bike companies, whereas road attracts bigger corporates and far more $$$$.
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Re: British XC racers?

Postby mikeyj28 » Mon Dec 31, 2012 01:18 am

Monty Dog wrote:Because if you want to make money as a professional cyclist, you need to ride on the road - quite a few of the top road riders have come from an MTB background though. The only sponsors in MTB racing are mainly bike companies, whereas road attracts bigger corporates and far more $$$$.


I totally agree. Ones who have come from MTB background have been pretty successful on the road too.
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njee20
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Re: British XC racers?

Postby njee20 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 17:58 pm

^^ this

A lot of decent junior XC racers have been drawn to the road instead, Jonathan Tiernan-Locke was a good MTBer back in the day!

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ddraver
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Re: British XC racers?

Postby ddraver » Tue Jan 01, 2013 21:55 pm

XC racing does nt have the greatest "rep" in the UK either. In other countries its probably what the majority of MTBers do. Its only the last few years that every European bike hasnt had super skinny flat bars and stems that could be measured in lightyears.
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welshkev
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Re: British XC racers?

Postby welshkev » Thu Jan 03, 2013 07:45 am

i wondered this a while back (i think i posted it somewhere). i was watching monuntain biking on eurosport i think and there was xc, 4x and dh.

i thought the same as you, why are there no brits pushing for the top spot? is it annie last who's quite good but everyone else is just top 20 at best (still awesome don't get me wrong), but not in the realms of the athertons, scott beaumont, danny hart, manon carpenter, katy curd etc

there's a a lad i went to school with who races elite xc and he's super fit (obviously) but what takes the xc riders to the next level? someone mentioned altitude before, is that it? :?
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ddraver
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Re: British XC racers?

Postby ddraver » Thu Jan 03, 2013 09:07 am

genetics and exceptional hard work, to the detriment of all other parts of life, and dedication...
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njee20
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Re: British XC racers?

Postby njee20 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 09:51 am

is it annie last who's quite good but everyone else is just top 20 at best (still awesome don't get me wrong), but not in the realms of the athertons, scott beaumont, danny hart, manon carpenter, katy curd etc


That's the one, but yes you're right, Liam Killeen was oh so close, but never quite made it into the real upper echelons, WC wins and that. Lack of support from BC is a big issue, BC takes our good MTBers and shifts them to the track or the road, there's so little funding for XC racing. That's harder to do with top DH racers because it's a more different skill set.

I reckon that's the bigger issue than simply not having the talent.

j0sh123
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Re: British XC racers?

Postby j0sh123 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:12 am

njee20 wrote:
is it annie last who's quite good but everyone else is just top 20 at best (still awesome don't get me wrong), but not in the realms of the athertons, scott beaumont, danny hart, manon carpenter, katy curd etc


That's the one, but yes you're right, Liam Killeen was oh so close, but never quite made it into the real upper echelons, WC wins and that. Lack of support from BC is a big issue, BC takes our good MTBers and shifts them to the track or the road, there's so little funding for XC racing. That's harder to do with top DH racers because it's a more different skill set.

I reckon that's the bigger issue than simply not having the talent.


Yes I think it is the lack of support and funding from BC. I can't understand why xc is one of the least funded disciplines though.

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bluechair84
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Re: British XC racers?

Postby bluechair84 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:42 am

j0sh123 wrote:
njee20 wrote:
is it annie last who's quite good but everyone else is just top 20 at best (still awesome don't get me wrong), but not in the realms of the athertons, scott beaumont, danny hart, manon carpenter, katy curd etc


That's the one, but yes you're right, Liam Killeen was oh so close, but never quite made it into the real upper echelons, WC wins and that. Lack of support from BC is a big issue, BC takes our good MTBers and shifts them to the track or the road, there's so little funding for XC racing. That's harder to do with top DH racers because it's a more different skill set.

I reckon that's the bigger issue than simply not having the talent.


Yes I think it is the lack of support and funding from BC. I can't understand why xc is one of the least funded disciplines though.


Yet, there are more XC orientated races in the UK than anything else. There are loads of local 20mile charity based MTB events up and down the country, marathons, 24hr, enduros, those orienteering based ones (can't remember what they're called)... And I'm sure I hear far more about those races than I do the Gravduros and DH stuff. The MacAvalanche on Glencoe I don't think was even covered this year, whilst the Fetish Gravduro nearly died off too. I don't think XC is the least funded, it's not the least covered, or the least provided for. Yet it seems to garner the smallest numbers of talent.

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njee20
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Re: British XC racers?

Postby njee20 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:49 pm

I can't understand why xc is one of the least funded disciplines though.


Possibly because there's less cache in having a good XC racer compared to a good road/track rider who can become a household name (see Cav, Wiggo, Hoy, Pendleton), links back to the money/success side of it. BC get more back from a good road or track rider, so they put more in.

Yet, there are more XC orientated races in the UK than anything else


All quite different to 'actual' XC though, which there aren't that many of. Most events these days are going more towards 'enduro' (as in endurance) format with 2 hour/4 hour categories rather than a standard XC hierarchy where even the elite race will be <2 hours. It seems that at all levels there's a bit of a tendency away from 'true' XC racing.

Bit like saying "we have the London to Brighton, I can't believe it took this long to get a British TdF winner".

Yet it seems to garner the smallest numbers of talent.


Again, not sure it does - they're just siphoned off to other disciplines. Jonathan Tiernan-Locke was a very good XC racer - top 3 in the country as a Junior, but went to the road, where he's now winning decent stage races and riding for Sky. I'm sure I've read interviews where Annie Last has said she's had to really fight to stay on the MTB.

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bluechair84
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Re: British XC racers?

Postby bluechair84 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 15:08 pm

njee20 wrote:they're just siphoned off to other disciplines.

That's a fair enough point.
njee20 wrote:All quite different to 'actual' XC though, which there aren't that many of. Most events these days are going more towards 'enduro' (as in endurance) format with 2 hour/4 hour categories rather than a standard XC hierarchy where even the elite race will be <2 hours. It seems that at all levels there's a bit of a tendency away from 'true' XC racing.


The formats that I've mentioned though, apart from the orienteering type ones, seem to lend themselves best to XC racers. Do you think that XC racers (as opposed to races) are being catered for less and less?
Last edited by bluechair84 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 16:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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njee20
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Re: British XC racers?

Postby njee20 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 15:51 pm

Yes and no. The real 'racers' ie the Elite will make up a tiny proportion of any event, so it's fair enough they cater for the masses.

It's not that they're not catered for, but there's not a vast calendar of events either. If we're talking BC sanctioned events there are:

- 1 National Championship
- 5 National Races
- 5(ish?) Regional Championships, which now are all held on the same day, so you can't go getting more points to progress by doing the Welsh, Southern and Midlands champs for example)
- A handful of regional races in each region

And that's for the whole UK. Taking the national level races this year they're in:
- Nottinghamshire
- South Wales
- Cornwall
- Essex
- Shropshire
- Nat Champs in Glasgow

That's a massive amount of travelling, and not all that many events, when you consider there's a calendar absolutely chock full of road races, and you could do one every single day from March to September without driving more than 100 miles. Not only is road racing more financially rewarding there are more opportunities to do it.

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bluechair84
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Re: British XC racers?

Postby bluechair84 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 16:33 pm

Hmm, I didn't know there were so many roadie events. It's quite interesting to find out about the fabric of MTB and where the racers come from / go to.

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njee20
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Re: British XC racers?

Postby njee20 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 16:36 pm

Indeed there are! BC calendar for 2013 shows 108 MTB events (that's all events, not just XC), and 792 road races!

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Re: British XC racers?

Postby boristhespie » Thu Jan 03, 2013 19:30 pm

Because all people and the mags do is slag it off. Thus a negativity about "lycra wearers" is continued and they are viewed as sad sods. downhill does nothing for me, nor does the bmx side of mtb. For me xc is an overall sport, encompassing all discipline. For saying this and giving an honest personal opinion I will be castigated as way of demonstration of the main issue.

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bluechair84
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Re: British XC racers?

Postby bluechair84 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 19:38 pm

boristhespie wrote:For saying this and giving an honest personal opinion I will be castigated as way of demonstration of the main issue.

Now now, calm down. We only treat roadies that way!

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njee20
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Re: British XC racers?

Postby njee20 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 21:02 pm

I'm not totally convinced that's the case either. I suppose it's not that glamorous, but I don't know of anyone being put off because it's not cool enough.


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