The question

Just saw this little tidbit on Vital today

“Mitch Ropelato announced the completion of his first and last Enduro season, so we’re hoping to see him aboard this beast along with his Slalom bike much more often, next season.”

Capturing the zeitgeist of our generation, over the past five years Mitch has raced downhill domestically, he got a shot at the full World Cup two seasons ago, and he just finished racing a year of enduro only. Apparently that wasn’t his cup of tea, either, so the question remains, what will Mitch be doing next year? Downhill presumably, but domestically or abroad? Will he quit racing and be video-only guy? Will he take over as full-time in house bike test guy for Specialized?

Mitch is facing these questions, yes, but the real overarching question facing Mitch is an existential one, the same question that Richie Rude, Martin Maes, or even lowly me each must answer, a question asked and answered in the 2001 classic “Zoolander:”

33 thoughts on “The question

  1. I want to see him racing World Cups. Not because he would necessarily do well right away but:

    1. being a full-time tester for Specialized is a waste of talent.(Not talking about Brad Benedict, he just acts fast.No talent wasted)


    2. being a full-time domestic-level racer with world-cup level skills is retarded (Logan Bingelli)

  2. The chosen racing formats will sort themselves out. What I'm dying to know is what's in store for haircuts. Truly new ground was broken this year on Mitch's head.

  3. My take away from this was that enduro is pretty bitch made.

    I could care less what Mitch ends up doing next year. No matter what he does it will be undoubtedly better and more entraining than a picture or two of him riding an Enduro 29er in pinkbike “photo epics” or Vital slideshows every race…

  4. jeeze I love it when people bitch about enduro racing. You do realize its really fun right? Get all the marketing shtick out of it and its probably the most fun you'll have racing your bike. Goes back to the roots of how the sport was started. Slow easy rides up and race the downs. Yeah sounds lame, I get it. Racing these mini DH bikes on a bunch of long descents in one day – wow totally shitfest! tell me about all those enduro races you won if they are so easy.

    can't we come together and bitch about cyclocross or xc racing instead?

  5. @sanctimonious

    I'm glad you're apparently passionate about enduro racing, you're well being and shit is probably better off than most. But this isn't about you having fun, this is about dope shit and being a sav. Having Mitch focus on enduro racing seems like a waste of an extremely broad array of bike riding talent. The kid could be doing anything on a bike other than racing enduros and getting minimal exposure, so I think I speak for quite a few people when I say I'm stoked that Mitch won't be focusing on enduro and hopefully we will be blessed with some quality content from whatever he ends up doing.

  6. Its all about the bike. He quit racing DH when Specialized came out with that new DH bike he didn't like and now he is coming back to it now that Specialized will have a new redesigned prototype DH bike next year.

    All the blame belongs on the Specialized test riders.

  7. Hard to explain how insane it is to suggest ropelato quit racing the World Cup circuit, and on Specialized's dime for that matter, because of a bike that was already a proven race winner.

  8. Ok, to be fair it's worth mentioning that both Aaron Gwin and Troy Brosnan both ate shite the last time they raced on that “beast”.

  9. “If you do not understand that stem length & top tube length are driven parameters (not driving) in a bicycle design then you should think long and hard before commenting about this post in other forums.”

    Here's my comment:


    Kooks rarely know when they're kooks. Holy shit, he's almost baiting you Chuck. “Don't write on the internets about me!”

  10. Did Verdone just prop up a straw man and then burn him down in an effort to justify using a 100mm stem?

    Did he just get so caught up in his math and discussion of “body” position engineering that he can't see the real reason long stems suck is because they move your body awkwardly far out over the front end of the bike?

    Is this why engineers sometimes have a hard time getting bike geometry dialed even after countless other examples of tried and true geometry already exist out there? They are stuck in the weeds worrying about a 2% difference in the bar from the rider when they turn with a crappy stem?

    Good lord.

  11. all this confusion on what mitch is going to do next reminds me… USA needs to bring back slalom

  12. About 8 weeks ago I saw two older guys making out in the park and that was the gayest thing I ever saw, until I went on Peter Verdones website!

  13. (Another stupid) Pinkbike Poll: Should All Competitors Be Compensated at the Red Bull Rampage?

    At least they don't post pictures of RC riding a bicycle anymore.

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