Only 22% of Enduro Racers Think Penalties are Fair & Consistently Applied – Pinkbike’s State of the Sport Survey

Welcome to the 2023 Pinkbike State of Sport Survey. This anonymous survey is designed to help shed light on key issues affecting the professional field and elite competition. We’ve interviewed the world’s best cyclists to hear their thoughts, ideas, concerns and critiques on mountain biking heading into 2023, all in an anonymous format. To read the introduction to the survey click here, and to see all the others currently published FOOL article click here.

The Pinkbike investigation revealed that 49% of EWS riders believe penalties are not applied fairly and consistently.

Worryingly, an additional 29% of cyclists feel neutral on this topic, leaving only 22% of riders surveyed found the current organization to tackle rule violations consistently and fairly. The data paints a difficult picture, with riders apparently not trusting the organizers that any questions will be handled properly. In this case, the body in question is the Enduro Sports Organisation, ESO.

As part of the survey, runners who currently find the race as a whole unfair were asked to leave a comment on why they did so. The riders’ response included allegations that British riders receive favoritism where “they can break the rules and have no consequences, whereas if a Frenchman or other national had broken the same rule they would have been punished”.

Other respondents suggested that some riders get extra track time compared to the rest of the peloton. There are also comments suggesting that some elite riders perform unauthorized stage shuttles, generally break the rules and are even assisted by mopeds. Furthermore, very worryingly, some feel that there have not been sufficiently severe penalties for riders caught in the act of doping.

The low levels of confidence we saw among a majority of riders surveyed become particularly concerning this year as ESO will not only continue to run the new Enduro World Cups but will also take over the organization of XC and DH races. . It should be emphasized that while riders may not feel that rule breaches are fully addressed, there is a general consensus of 65% of runners that the race is fair overall. This is, however, particularly less than XC or downhill, both of which have around 90% of riders believing racing is fair and honest.

Full comments left by runners who don’t believe the race is fair:

great quotes The rules are not applied consistently. At a race this year, several top drivers drove down a track when the course was announced and EWS did nothing about it, despite complaints from other drivers. This had the potential to have a big effect on the overall standings for the year.

great quotes I believe some people have intentionally cut the course on occasion.

great quotes There have been different rules for different people. UK riders definitely have some favouritism. They can break the rules and have no consequences, whereas if a Frenchman or another national had broken the same rule, they would have been sanctioned.

great quotes People are constantly caught cheating, whether it’s hiding jackets in the bushes, having mopeds assist them on liaisons, or getting injections in their backs after a shuttle ride at the start of the race.
great quotes Some shady things fall and are always swept under the rug. Shuttle stages where there is “no shuttle” or “accident” driving stages.

great quotes Year after year people bend the rules and often break them and the EWS doesn’t issue any penalties so the same crap keeps happening.

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