Enduro joins the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

There are enormous adjustments within the UCI mountain bike world cup as enduro, e-enduro and cross-country marathon be a part of, and downhill will get a semi-final occasion

Prepare for one of many largest shake-ups on the planet of mountain bike racing and the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup sequence in… nicely, just about because it started. The Enduro Sports activities Organisation (ESO) which takes over the logistics of the occasion from 2023 onwards has introduced not solely that Enduro lastly be a part of the sequence, but in addition that main adjustments to XC Marathon, XC Quick Monitor and Downhill are afoot.

Element continues to be comparatively scant however is prone to be clarified over the approaching weeks, as is the ultimate UCI Mountain Bike World Cup calendar.

It’s going to even be fascinating to find whether or not, with the information that Enduro is becoming a member of the UCI World Cup, whether or not will probably be included within the upcoming 2023 UCI Biking World Cup which takes place in Glasgow and surrounding areas of Scotland in August.

Pic: Enduro World Collection

The view from the highest

Each UCI President David Lappartient and Chris Ball, CEO of ESO, commented on their pleasure at these new developments, and their hopes that it’ll broaden and deepen the attraction of mountain bike racing to audiences new and established.

“These codecs will add a brand new dimension to the reinvigorated sequence that’s taking the mountain bike self-discipline to even larger heights,” Lapparetient stated.

“Mountain bike racing has reached an unimaginable degree over the previous few years and this newest evolution will enable the game to alter gear once more and speed up in the direction of an thrilling new future, celebrating the self-discipline in all its varieties,” states Ball.

“With extra racing briefly monitor and a brand new semi-final in downhill, followers will likely be handled to extra motion than ever. The awarding of UCI World Cup standing for enduro, E-enduro and cross-country marathon may even put a larger highlight on these unimaginable mountain bike codecs and permit us to each push the entrance finish of racing while sustaining beginner participation at lots of our occasions.”

“Together with the UCI, we imagine these adjustments will assist broaden the attraction of mountain biking and improve the race expertise for athletes, groups and followers alike.”

Goodbye EWS, howdy EDR

It’s been a very long time coming with a lot hypothesis alongside the way in which, however Enduro lastly joins the UCI World Cup fold. From 2023, Enduro will likely be a part of the MTB World Cup sequence, and can formally be referred to as the UCI Mountain Bike Enduro World Cup, or EDR.

The Enduro format additionally sees a shift, with all occasions to be one-day solely. Fairly than utilizing cumulative time, the EDR sees the introduction of a points-based system, with riders accumulating factors on every timed Particular Stage. Amassed factors over the levels will decide rider classification and due to this fact rider order for the final Particular Stage of the race day, with the rider with the best variety of factors setting off final.

E-mountain bike enduro, which will likely be categorized as E-EDR, additionally joins the World Cup circuit and will likely be run alongside comparable strains to the EDR, however with a number of adjustments such because the inclusion of a technical climb or climbs.

Downhill will get a semi ultimate

The UCI Downhill World Cup additionally will get a major shake up, together with adjustments to the numbers of qualifying riders, and the introduction of a semi-final occasion which will likely be broadcast.

Every downhill spherical will now see a semi-final occasion which can run between qualifying runs and the ultimate. The boys’s semi ultimate will embody the highest 60 Elite Males and high 15 Elite Ladies from qualifying, and can give extra riders the chance to be featured on a reside broadcast.

The Elite ultimate will now function the highest 30 males and the highest 10 girls, which is once more to be broadcast; the “objective is to broadcast every of the 40 runs of their entirety reside on WBD [Warner Brothers Discovery, of which ESO is part] platforms,” in accordance with the ESO press launch.

2019 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup dates: DH and XC

It will likely be fascinating to see how this pans out with probably elevated protection for a lot of riders, though it’s but to be conveyed whether or not protection will likely be pay-per-view or free.

It additionally looks like a lower in alternatives for girls in downhill; presently, the highest 20 girls from qualifying make the ultimate, so this can be a important change. It might be good to know whether or not there are plans to revisit this if/when the ladies’s discipline strengthens and expands, particularly with the introduction of a junior girls class for downhill.

Photo of Jolanda Neff cross-country rider and Greg Minnaar downhill MTB racer

Cross-country, downhill and enduro racing are all a part of the UCI MTB World Cup sequence

Excellent news for Junior racers

Up-and-coming riders from plenty of disciplines may even get a lift within the shakeup.

The Cross-country Quick Monitor (XCC) occasion will now get an U23 (beneath 23) class.

In Downhill, Junior Ladies will lastly get their very own qualifying run, with the quickest 10 junior girls continuing to their ultimate. And, for the primary time, each the Ladies Junior and Males Junior competitions – by which we assume the finals – will likely be broadcast.

What we don’t know

The press launch was comparatively brief, and we all know that extra info goes to return out over the approaching weeks and days, so it’s not stunning that there are fairly just a few questions as but unanswered.

Firstly, we don’t know the entire schedule for the brand new UCI Mountain Bike World Cup for 2023. Loads of dates, largely these round Downhill and Cross Nation, have been confirmed, however there are noticeable holes almost about sure dates and areas, and it’s going to be fascinating to see how Enduro will slot into the schedule, not least as a result of traditionally plenty of groups and riders have crossed over between Downhill and Enduro inside the season.

Jolanda Neff  on the UCI XCO Mountain Bike World Cup in Mont Saint Anne.  Lukas Pilz/Purple Bull Content material Pool

Secondly, we don’t have clarification on how we’re really going to be watching the brand new UCI Mountain Bike World Cup sequence. Whereas the ESO organises the logistics of the sequence, protection will probably be run or organised through different firms inside the Warner Brothers Discovery group. This contains Eurosport, the Playsports Community which encompasses GMBN, EMBN and GCN, Discovery Sports activities and extra.

Whereas Purple Bull ran the sequence, viewers had been used to seeing content material together with movies, recaps and reside broadcasts without spending a dime through the Purple Bull web site. In the intervening time, it isn’t confirmed whether or not broadcasts and content material will likely be free, pay-per-view, or a mix thereof. It’s additionally not solely confirmed whether or not a few of the components above such because the Downhill semi-finals, that are to be ‘broadcast’ are to be broadcast reside, or as a  pre-recorded bundle.

We additionally don’t know what the adjustments imply for content material creators exterior of WBD; for instance, for the assorted groups, manufacturers, riders, privateers and media firms who’ve historically created movies round World Cup occasions.

One issues for positive; it’s an fascinating time, and 2023 might be essentially the most newsworthy 12 months but on the planet of mountain bike racing. Watch this area!