The new season of the Bosch eMTB Challenge supported by Trek is getting underway. In 2020, the fourth season of the series organised by Bosch eBike Systems and the bicycle manufacturer Trek, is touring through five European countries. The series will kick-off as part of the Riva bike festival in Italy – before going to Willingen (Germany), Peebles (UK), Salzkammergut (Austria) and Verbier (Switzerland).
eMountain bikers can look forward to varied trails against an impressive scenic backdrop. On average, the riders will have to cover some 35 kilometres and ascend around 1,000 metres. Riding technique will count just as much as orientation, fitness and intelligent battery management. The stages, which offer a mix of uphill and downhill sections, are ridden against the clock without any prior training runs. In the transfer stages, the emphasis is on good orientation rather than just speed.
The various types of stages and their special features are explained below:
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.
From this season onwards, the eMountain bikers will start in two competition categories: In the "Amateur" category, the technical difficulty is somewhat lower so that hobby riders with some MTB experience can participate. The “Advanced” category is mainly intended for experienced mountain bikers who will be tasked with an additional, more demanding stage. They will also be required to ride a larger loop – a test of both their fitness and technical skills, where smart battery management will also be essential.
Individual and team rankings
The rider who reaches the finish in the fastest overall time is the winner. In addition to the individual rankings, this season there will be series rankings with a point system covering all five events. In each category, the rider who obtains the most points will be declared the series winner. Furthermore, there will be a gender and category team ranking. A team can comprise between three and six members from the “Amateur” and “Advanced” categories. The three fastest stage times for each team will then count in the overall rankings. A further special feature will be the Eddie Current Stage, sponsored by Schwalbe: Here, riders can complete tasks within a stage in order to win a prize.
Coveted starting positions
Demand for entries at the eMTB Challenge will again be high this year. “Meeting with like-minded people, exploring fantastic trails on an eMTB, rising to the challenge and having a great time – these are the reasons why we organised the series”, says Claus Fleischer. “The racing format was extremely well received among eMountain bikers of all abilities”. Starting places have again been limited to 150 per event this year.
Riders can look forward to varied trails against an impressive scenic backdrop in all five countries.
Would you like to see more of the eMTB Challenge? You can view the highlights from last year in the gallery here. In addition to the “Best of 2019” pictures, photos of the 2020 events and participants will be published here after each Challenge. Can you find yourselves in any of them? If so, you can simply download the image as a special memento.
Share your personal highlights from the eMTB Challenges with the community by simply using our hashtag #emtbchallenge in your Instagram posts.