Fate of new DH1 series uncertain

Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate)

Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)

Mountain bike racers and fans are awaiting news on the fate of the new DH1 downhill series that was launched for 2012.  Recent news suggests that the series may fold before it ever runs its first race in the New Year.

The new series came about after Freecaster's rights to broadcast UCI Mountain Bike World Cup action were not renewed for 2013. Those behind Freecaster - including owner Raymond Dulieu - proposed a new international-level downhill series that would feature major events slotted between UCI downhill World Cups on the calendar. Elite-level athletes were expected to want to attend both high profile series and were promised the events of both series would not conflict.

At the time of this publication, DH1 had announced three locations on its website. Status of the remaining three locations and dates were still to be announced. However, with freshly rumored news that UCI World Cup live streaming was going to happen through Redbull, further related rumors started circulating on the internet that there would be no DH1 series.

"DH1 will post this Monday 19th December a full reaction to the news that Red Bull will cover the UCI World Cup and the incidence of that deal on DH1," read an official post on the DH1 Facebook Page on Saturday.

Transcend Magazine reported earlier this weekend that Redbull Media House was going to take over direction and production of alll MTB World Cup events.

In an interview with Velovert Magazine, Dulieu said that if Redbull took over the UCI World Cup broadcasts, he might reconsider the future of DH1. "If Red Bull enters the game as announced, we will not have the means to compete, and it would be absurd to persist," said Dulieu to Velovert. "However, the positive effect may be that we have encouraged the UCI to move our sport in a direction to give it the visibility it deserves."

Redbull has not yet issued any statements confirming or denying whether it has taken over UCI Mountain Bike video broadcasting rights.

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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.