The new season of the Bosch eMTB Challenge supported by Trek is getting underway. In 2021 the eMTB Challenge organised by Bosch eBike Systems and supported by Trek Bikes is visiting five European countries. In Germany, the Challenge will form part of the Willingen Bike Festival. The additional stops include Italy, Scotland, France and Switzerland.
As in 2019, the Bosch eMTB Challenge will once again make a stop in Scotland's beautiful Tweed Valley and the Electric TweedLove Bike Festival ePowered by Bosch.
The final round and a fitting conclusion of the Bosch eMTB Challenge supported by Trek will take place at the Italian Riva del Garda on Lake Garda in late summer. During the Garda Trentino BIKE Festival, the focus is not only on dolce vita, but also on the trails around Lake Garda.
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 of the 2021 Challenge in the gallery here. In addition to the “Best of 2020” pictures, photos of the 2021 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.