Cycling News

FMBA finally responds to riders strike in Rotorua

Griffin Paulson Crankworx Rotorua

Nearly a week on from rider’s announcement that they would be going on strike and refusing to start the men’s Slopestyle at Crankworx Rotorua, the sport’s governing body has finally responded. It is, unsurprisingly, unimpressed.

Unlike almost all other aspects of cycling, slopestyle is not governed by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). Instead, it is the Freeride Mountain Bike Association e.V. (FMBA) that regulates and sanctions slopestyle competition around the world. Events are categorized into different levels. Bronze, silver, gold and, at the top, diamond-level events denote the scale and importance of an event.

Crankworx Rotorua was scheduled to be the first diamond event of 2024 for the men. It was also the first-ever diamond event to include a women’s competition in the still-male-dominated sport.

Robin Goomes flies to first-ever Crankworx women’s Slopestyle win in Rotorua

So it is understandable that the FMBA was unimpressed when, less than 48 hours before the live broadcast was scheduled to start, the male riders announced their refusal to participate. Crankworx has always been one of the most important events for the FMBA.

“The FMBA respects the decision of the athletes to boycott the event but we strongly disagree with the process, method and timing of this action,” the governing body’s statement reads.

Crankworx’ importance is, of course, also what makes it such an effective stage for the riders to announce their protest. As the riders lay out in their own statement, they have asked for years for changes. Their concerns include safety and organization of FMBA events. They have had, so far, little to no response from the FMBA or Crankworx.

While there are various complaints riders and fans have had with the UCI, FMBA’s delayed and diminutive statement makes the Aigle, Switzerland-based body look good. Waiting a full week to issue a statement with little substantive content does not make it look like the FMBA is particularly interested in the rider’s concerns.

The next Crankworx round is only two months away. Hopefully FMBA, Crankworx and the riders can sort out something before everyone lands in Cairns late in May.

FMBA’s full statement on rider protests at Crankworx Rotorua:

The Freeride Mountain Bike Association e.V. (FMBA), as the governing body for Slopestyle, Dirt and Freeride Mountain biking and the organiser of the FMB World Tour, acknowledges the concerns that the male Slopestyle athletes voiced…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…