Fabien Barel is given a 5 minute penalty for ‘unauthorized’ shuttling.
There has been a lot of hearsay and what not all over the internet, surrounding this incident that occurred during practice at the Enduro World Series in Crankworx, Whistler. But here we have the facts that currently stand. Any updates and we’ll update this post.
Initial reports surfaced that Barel had been caught shuttling during practice and received a 5 minute penalty, which left him unable to race the event competitively. The Director of the Enduro World Series, Chris Ball released this statement:
Following a number of requests for information surrounding the five minute penalty issued to Fabien Barel in Crankworx Whistler we would like to clarify the situation. To avoid riders gaining an unfair advantage and to maintain the spirit of the race on the long liaison stages in the Whistler valley, Crankworx created a rule that outlined no outside assistance (including using a vehicle to assist) would be allowed during the event. This rule was further explained and clarified in a mandatory athlete’s breakfast scheduled on Friday morning and hosted by the Crankworx Whistler organisers. Riders who chose not to attend this briefing missed crucial information regarding course changes, details of shuttling and race specific information. We are not responsible for educating riders who choose to miss planned briefings. Following the submission of evidence by a number of sources and a discussion with Fabien where he cooperated fully, admitted to a lack of knowledge of the rule due to team communications and an admission of his use of a vehicle, the organisation chose to apply a five minute penalty to his race time, removing any advantage that may have been gained from his use of the vehicle. We are all now looking forward to an incredible race here tomorrow.
This immediately caused an outcry from ‘internet warriors’ claiming Barel was a cheat. But as always there is two sides to every story, the discrepancy lies with the misunderstanding of the term ‘shuttling’, Fabien was under the impression that he was allowed to drive his car down the highway to the bottom of the tracks, as he wasn’t using it to take him to the top of the hill. Although he does except that he did unknowingly break the rules.
Whilst Fabien admits to all the allegations he was faced with, he does not feel the penalty he was faced with was fair, because lots other riders were doing the same thing as Fabien, were caught, but faced no penalty. He feels that he has been made an example of because he is one of the top riders in the series.
Here’s an interview with Fabien, discussing telling his side of the story.
So what do you guys think?