Reminded me of this:
In a related story, did you hear that Mitch isn’t racing World Cups this year, only enduro races? Bummer. Another one bites the dust. I’m fine with doing enduro’s after your downhill career wanes, I’m fine with doing enduro’s while also racing downhill (that’s what I’m doing, to the disappointment of most of TEAM ROBOT’s readers), and I’m even maybe sort of okay with bright, promising young talent like Martin Maes choosing to race enduro’s… even though he could be winning the Junior World Cup overall right now. Whatever, I’m okay with it I guess, he made his choice good for Martin.
But for a guy like Richie Rude or Mitch Ropelato to just walk away from a downhill career boggles the mind. There are so many guys who would kill for a spot on a real team, or for that sort of talent. Like me. All I want to do is race the full World Cup circuit, and to see guys who are podium capable on the World Cup circuit who choose not to race it, I don’t understand. It’s the formula one. It’s the crème de la crème. Choose your preferred analogy, the point is that World Cup downhill is obviously the pinnacle.
On the other hand, Mitch got 4th at Winter Park in his first outing, versus an all time best result of 12th at Val d’Isere in 2012, so I can see the attraction. That and he rides for the company with the deepest pockets in mountain biking, a huge trail bike product line, and the company that owns the rights to the word “Enduro.” So maybe there are tens of thousands of reasons why he really LIKE$$$$$$$ racing enduros. Or maybe he actually prefers drooling and coughing up blood at the end of every race. Who knows.