It was only a matter of time before the first electric mountain bike race series would be announced - and that's now happened, with the launch of the WES World e-Bike Series in Monaco. Starting in 2019, it aims to have the world's best riders compete in both enduro and cross-country disciplines with at least four race rounds already lined up.
The race series was launched at a star-studded event where the likes of Julien Absalon, Pauline Ferrand-Prevost and Marco Aurelio Fontana in attendance. The race series will kick off in Monaco in April 2019, with the Principality chosen because of a long-standing relationship with large sporting events and e-mobility in particular, such as the Formula E race car event.
Umberto Langellotti, President of the Monegasque Cycling Federation: "We are proud to be the organizing federation for the very first edition of WES. The Principality of Monaco has always been the scene of the biggest sporting events and WES maintains the tradition of entertainment and glamour, also adding the values of the energy transition and the sustainable development of mobility".
As well as the first round in Monaco, the next rounds are slated to be held in Locarno, Switzerland, Lake Maggiore in Italy and then Barcelona in Spain, with both cross-country and enduro categories for each round.
We're not sure what technical regulations will be in place in terms of restrictions on motor power, battery life and assisted top speed - plus how any of this will be enforced and whether the races are UCI sanctioned - but we've reached out to the organisers to find out.
As well as the race event itself, there will also be a large 'WES Ride' open to all levels of amateur and a choice of three routes designed by professional riders on the Sunday following. It will allow participants to ride with pros, either on their own bike or on rental bikes.
This comes with a background of increasing interest in organising e-bike races. The UCI has recently announced that it will host the first World e-MTB World Championships in August/September 2019, held alongside the regular mountain bike world champs. Again, just what format this will take is unknown as yet.
Still, it's interesting times for electric mountain bikes...
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