The Bosch eMTB Challenge supported by Trek takes things a step further for 2019: For the first time, the Bosch eBike Systems challenge series which is jointly organised with bicycle manufacturer Trek, is touring six European countries. In Germany it will form part of the Bike Festival Willingen, before moving on to Austria, Italy, France, the United Kingdom and Switzerland. The challenge is aimed at eMountain bikers from different age and performance classes and promises plenty of fun for every competitor with an even wider choice of routes: Thus, the "Advanced" category includes an additional stage with an even greater degree of difficulty. Tyre manufacturer Schwalbe is a new partner in the eMTB Challenge. Due to high demand in 2018, starting positions will be limited to 150 per event for 2019’s series.
1) 03.05. – 05.05.2019: BIKE Festival Garda Trentino in Riva del Garda, Italy
2) 10.05. – 12.05.2019: Bike Days Solothurn, Switzerland
3) 17.05. – 19.05.2019: BIKE Festival Willingen, Germany
4) 09.06.2019: TweedLove Transcend Bike Festival, UK
5) 13.07.2019: Salzkammergut Trophy, Austria
6) 24.08.2019: Avoriaz, Portes du Soleil, France
Something for everyone
The eMTB Challenge offers impressive versatility. Participants must cover around 35 kilometres and negotiate an altitude differential of about 1,000 metres. Rid-ing technique and orientation are both important skills, as are fitness and intelligent battery management. The stages, which offer a mix of uphill and downhill sections, are ridden against the clock without any prior practise. In the transfer stages, the emphasis is on good orientation rather than just speed. Various orientation points have to be found along the route – missing one will earn the biker a 10-second time penalty. The rider with the fastest overall time is the winner.
The stages of the "Amateur" and "Advanced" categories are aimed at ambitious amateur riders and include demanding sections that will also provide exciting challenges for professionals. Since last year, it is also possible to compete in the "Explorer" category. In this case, the riders participate in the eMTB Challenge without the time trial element: This means that they can bypass all stages, but must instead pass a number of additional orientation points. Thus, families, partners or groups with different levels of performance can sign up together for the eMTB Challenge and enjoy the special atmosphere of the competition. First and foremost, the challenge is all about riding enjoyment and the shared expe-rience on the trails.
High demand and limited starting positions
Due to last year's high demand, the starting positions for the eMTB Challenge will now be limited to 150 per event. "The race format attracts a variety of rider types and performance levels in the area of eMountain biking. Increasing de-mand is a positive sign: It shows that mountainbikers simply enjoy the thrill of the eMTB Challenge," says Claus Fleischer, CEO of Bosch eBike Systems. Riders can look forward to varied trails against an impressive scenic backdrop in all six countries. The kick-off will be at the beginning of May at the BIKE Festival in Riva del Garda (IT). This will be followed by events in Solothurn (CH), Will-ingen (D), Innerleithen (Scotland, UK), Bad Goisern (Salzkammergut, AT) and Avoriaz, Portes du Soleil (FR).
As well as fitness and motor performance, the uphill stages mainly test eBike riding skills. Obstacles and small steps challenge the riders just as much as tight corners. A ‘No Feet Zone’ after the start must be completed without touching the ground, otherwise a time penalty is applied. Afterwards, riders can choose between a difficult route and a easy route on several sections of the trail.
Downhill sections are an important part of the Bosch eMTB Challenge. The downhill stages lead down into the valley over bumps, stones, roots and steps. Here, a hard or an easy route can be selected depending on experience and performance level.
There is no time measurement in the transfer stages, but the riders’ coordination skills are tested as these stages are completed according to a map. Riders have to find various orientation points close to the track. For every missing point a time penalty will be added to the time recorded on the Uphill and Downhill stages.
In search of flow
In order to offer all riders the best possible flow experience, the trails are designed for various levels of difficulty: While beginners will have the opportunity to adapt slowly to challenging trails and fast bends, advanced bikers can prove themselves on shorter, but technically challenging track sections. Participants are not allowed to check out the stages in advance, but instead start the challenge ‘blind’ - so that anticipatory riding and spontaneous reaction to the trails is vital. Times are only recorded on the individual stages and the individual sections are added together to get a total time at the end. The transfer stages between the stages completed according to a map and without timing, so that the teams can enjoy the ride together and prepare for the next stage.