The Bosch eMTB Challenge supported by Trek is taking things a step further in 2019, expanding to hit the UK for the first time. For its third season, the Bosch eBike Systems challenge series – jointly organised with bicycle manufacturer Trek – is touring six European countries, including an inaugural Scottish event in June. This will be hosted at the TweedLove Transcend Bike Festival in the Tweed Valley, 29 miles south of Edinburgh.
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’. Building on the feedback from the previous two series, the ‘Advanced’ category now includes an additional stage with an even greater degree of difficulty. Due to high demand in 2018, starting positions will be limited to 150 per event for the 2019 series, so riders are encouraged to book early.
The eMTB Challenge helps to showcase many of the different techniques, challenges and types of enjoyment that more and more eMountain bikers are discovering across the UK, as the scene continues to grow at pace. In the UK event, participants must cover around 35 kilometres and negotiate around 1,000 metres of climbing.
Riding technique and orientation are both important skills, as are fitness and intelligent battery management. The stages, with a mix of uphill and downhill sections, are ridden against the clock without any prior practice. There are also transfer stages, in which the emphasis is on good orientation rather than just speed.
A number of orientation points have to be found along the route – missing them results in time penalties. The eMountain bikers with the fastest overall times are the winners of each category.
The stages of the ‘Amateur’ and ‘Advanced’ categories are aimed at ambitious amateur riders and include demanding sections that will also provide challenges for professionals. Since last year a new ‘Explorer’ category has been introduced, broadening the appeal to more riders.
Explorer riders participate in the eMTB Challenge without a time trial element, so they can bypass all stages, and instead must pass more orientation points. Families, partners or groups with different levels of performance can sign up together for the eMTB Challenge. First and foremost, the organising team note that the challenge is all about riding enjoyment and the shared experience on the trails.
Due to last year’s high demand across the continental European events, the starting positions for the eMTB Challenge will now be limited to 150 per event, including the new UK event at TweedLove. 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 (Italy). This will be followed by events in Solothurn (Switzerland), Willingen (Germany), Innerleithen (Scotland, UK), Bad Goisern (Salzkammergut, Austria) and Avoriaz, Portes du Soleil (France).
“We are so excited to now be hosting the best eBike event in Europe as part of our festival,” said TweedLove director Neil Dalgleish. “Transcend is about riding bikes for everyone; from the top mountain bike athletes to beginners and young children – it’s all about having fun on your bike. We’ve been hoping to introduce an eBike event so including the Bosch eMTB Challenge is fantastic.”
Claus Fleischer, CEO of Bosch eBike Systems added, “The race format attracts a variety of rider types and performance levels in the area of eMountain biking. Increasing demand is a positive sign: it shows that mountain bikers simply enjoy the thrill of the eMTB Challenge.”
Bosch eMTB Challenge – 2019 dates
3-5 May: BIKE Festival Garda Trentino in Riva del Garda, Italy
10-12 May: Bike Days Solothurn, Switzerland
17-19 May: BIKE Festival Willingen, Germany
9 June: TweedLove Transcend Bike Festival, UK
13 July: Salzkammergut Trophy, Austria 24th August: Avoriaz, Portes du Soleil, France