Interview: World Cup Downhill Riders' Union Rep Emilie Siegenthaler - Pinkbike

2022-09-10 11:17:53 By : Ms. Jenny Yan

How did the riders decide that they want to have a collective voice?

How did you decide who would vote on a given issue?

That makes sense, it's purely based on the classifications?

So riders will sign up for the union?

How militant are the riders feeling at the moment, would you say?

When you say about the tracks, all I can think about is that that finish ramp in Andorra.

I didn't know that happened… Shit…

That was going to be my next question because I've been chasing Chris Ball for an interview since May. And last month I got a reply saying, "No, we're not talking to anyone at the moment." It's been six months now… I was curious how much more you know than me or do you have the same level of information?

Did you say that ESO isn't keen on recognizing this kind of representation?

The situation you describe makes it sound like the riders aren’t involved at all at the moment.

Sounds like a tricky situation.

I’d have thought having an inclusive voice from the riders would be a positive for the organizers in the long run.

I guess I didn’t realize how shut out of the process the riders are at the moment.

I can't help thinking when you say about the team managers, because if you look at the economics of it, the team managers, their interests don't 100% align with the athletes if you take something like concussion. Just to play devil's advocate here, but the rider can come and say, "I don't know if I should be on track." But there's a hypothetical situation where the team manager is more worried about the team's income than rider safety.

So where is the union right now?

I suppose the big question has to be, how bad would things need to be for you to consider not being there at the first race in June?

Yeah, I think that sounds fair because I was thinking that Chris Ball has got the track record of pushing the sport into new areas, it is the EWS that has taken racing Tasmania and New Zealand, Chile and Argentina, while the World Cup's not done that since when?

This feels like the sport growing up in some ways, it was much more serious than in the past.