Exciting things to come in the 2024 FMB World Tour season with the new rule book released today by the Freeride Mountain Bike Association (FMBA), reflecting the ongoing evolution of freeride mountain biking with the outlined changes effective for the 2024 FMB World Tour season. To increase the accessibility of the sport and provide a clearer pathway to the highest level of competition, the FMBA has updated the rules and regulations that govern the sport.
Women to Compete at All FMB Levels
For the first time, the FMBA opens sanctioning of a women’s category at all event levels in 2024, including Gold and Diamond Level events. “The FMBA has supported the development of women in freeride mountain biking since the beginning,” said Darren Kinnaird, FMBA Board Member, on providing women with more access to the highest levels of the sport. “The introduction of women’s categories at FMB Gold and Diamond Level events is the result of years of barrier breaking and indicative of the rapid evolution.” Already confirmed are four Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Championship (SWC) Diamond Events – now also including a dedicated women’s category.
FMB Gold Cup
Adding a new dimension to the competitive landscape, the FMBA introduces the FMB Gold Cup starting in 2024. The Gold Cup will encompass all FMB sanctioned Gold Level events within the current FMB calendar year, ranking athletes based on their total score. For seasons with five or fewer Gold Events, the ranking will be based on an athlete’s best three Gold Events results, whereas for seasons with six or more Gold Events, the ranking will consider the best four Gold Event results of the current season. All athletes holding an FMB World Tour license are included in the Gold Cup standings. The top male athlete in the final Gold Cup standings will be prequalified to enter all Crankworx FMBA SWC events of the following season. The next three highest-ranked male athletes will each be granted a coveted “Golden Ticket”, ensuring them a guaranteed entry to a SWC event in the next season. The allocation of these Golden Tickets will follow a draft format based on the athletes’ rank in the final Gold Cup standings. The last SWC event of the season will be excluded from this selection process. This opportunity also applies to the women’s category given the prerequisite of three or more Gold Level events per FMB calendar year.
As the FMBA introduces a women’s category to Gold and Diamond Level events and establishes the FMB Gold Cup as a pathway to Diamond Level events, the FMB National Series and the FMB Amateur Cup Standings are to be removed.Athletes still have the opportunity to acquire an FMB Amateur license, providing access to Bronze Level events. The association encourages all event organizers who have previously hosted FMB National Series events to continue these as individually sanctioned events, integrated into the FMBA LiveHeats platform.
LiveHeats & New Athlete Invitation Process
Throughout the month of December, LiveHeats will be implemented as a comprehensive member management platform, serving as the hub for rankings and standings, event submissions and calendars, result submissions, and live scoring.
A new athlete invitation process has been introduced in the updated FMB World Tour Rule Book, establishing event deadlines for both event organizers and eligible athletes at Silver, Gold, and Diamond Levels or those returning from injury. Detailed requirements and timelines can be found in section 2.2 of the updated rule book. Additionally, as of now, all athletes seeking to acquire an FMB license are required to submit a government-issued photo ID stating their legal gender, thereby determining the category in which they compete in.
Anticipation is growing as the FMBA event calendar for 2024 will be revealed soon. The FMB World Tour is set to kick off its journey in the Southern Hemisphere this January. Stay tuned for the full calendar release in February and get ready for the first confirmed events in early 2024:
- January 20: Queenstown Bike Festival (NZL)
- March 24: Maxxis Slopestyle in Memory of McGazza (NZL)