The UCI and the World E-Bike Series Management (WES) have joined forces to stage the inaugural UCI E-Mountain Bike Cross-country World Cup. Beginning in March and consisting of five stages across Europe, the competition expands on the UCI's growing number of e-bike events, including the first UCI E-Mountain Bike World Championships staged in the summer 2019
This will be the first ever XC-style e-mtb race held by the UCI, and since cross country e-mountain bikes aren't really a thing yet, it will be interesting to see what types of bike the competitors will use; even so, the rules state that riders will be limited to a 250 watt motor that cuts out at speeds of 25km/h as per EU rules, so we at least be sure we won't be seeing any US-style e-bikes with larger motors designed to reach much higher assisted speeds. The UCI say the E-Mountain Bike Cross-country World Cup is "an important step in the development of the discipline, not least in terms of technical advances – achieved in collaboration with manufacturers – and the promotion of an activity with a bright future"... so perhaps we could see some bikes made specifically for the discipline in the not-too-distant future.
UCI President David Lappartient commented on the new event: “It gives me great pleasure to launch the inaugural UCI E-Mountain Bike Cross-country World Cup, and I am thrilled that the UCI can bank on the recognised expertise of World E-Bike Series for its organisation. The discipline now has a World Cup to go with the UCI World Championships, and I have every confidence in the development of E-MTB at the elite level and among amateur and recreational riders.”
Some high profile pro cross-country mountain bikers have already taken part in e-mtb events, such as such as two-time Olympic and five-time UCI World Champion Julien Absalon, three-time UCI World Championships medallist and former Junior UCI World Champion Nathalie Schneitter, and Olympic bronze medallist and seven-time UCI World Championships medallist Marco Aurelio Fontana.
The series will kick off in Monaco on 6th March 2020, before heading to Ascona-Locarno in Switzerland on 17th April and Bolgna in Italy on 5th June. The location of the fourth round on 11th September is still to be confirmed, while the series will wrap up in Barcelona between 2nd-3rd October.