Enduro World Series (EWS) is a stage-race format designed for mountain bike riders.
Originating from France in 2003, the format is based on motorbike enduro. Enduro is its most basic definition is a type of mountain bike racing where downhills are time and uphills are not. Racing is over a series of special stages and whoever has the fastest combined time after these stages becomes the winner. The first staging of Enduro World Series was, in 2013. Today, EWS has established itself as the standard bearer for the for enduro mountain bikes.
According to the EWS Rule Book, the race is designed to be a definitive test for mountain bike riders, with the aim of creating a great adventure, competition, community, and atmosphere for the competitor. EWS is organized by a partnership of seven enduro racing bodies in different parts of the world. The umbrella organization is known as The Enduro Mountain Biking Association (EMBA). EMBA is responsible for coming up with rules that all riders must follow to compete against each other. In this article, we will discuss all the important details you need to know about the Enduro World Series, including tips on how to enter the next EWS race.
Why the Enduro World Series is Cool
EWS has always been great for allowing the general public to compete against the world’s best riders in a social race format. Here are other top reasons why EWS is a cool mountain biking race.
· You Ride and Race in Amazing New Locations
Most EWS events feature new tracks, normally inaccessible outside the race. This format gives you a chance to explore completely new and challenging tracks specifically designed for the event. These tracks may be something completely new or old natural trails that have been reopened; either way, they will be new.
· Everyone Races the Same Course
Another amazing feature about EWS is that everyone races the same course – whether one is a newbie or a top professional. This means you will often see the past and current legends out on the same tracks as you, but you might beat them. Sounds impossible? In EWS, you might become the fastest rider in the first few stages, but if you crash or run out of steam later in the day, it is all for nothing. As the popular enduro saying goes “To Finish Fast, First You Must Finish”.
Hone Your Riding Skills
Enduro races are a perfect place to enhance your mountain biking skills. This is because races make you work a little bit harder than just when riding. In the EWS, you will have someone 20 seconds in front and another 20 seconds behind as you fly down technical skills. The incentive to carry speed and clean lines you may not go for is there! You will come from the EWS event feeling more confident and stronger.
· The Atmosphere is Awesome
It is a fact to say that the atmosphere at an EWS event is pretty awesome. From catching up at the bottom of a timed stage where everyone is buzzing, to spending time on transitions with new faces, EWS has a really fun and welcoming atmosphere. Regardless of how seriously the racers are taking things, there is always time to have fun!
· Enjoy Quality Time on the Bike
It is a fact bike racing is expensive. However, unlike other races, such as DH where you might manage a whole fifteen minutes, or XC where your entry might get you to 2 or 3 hours on the bike top, you will likely see more than 6 hours out on the trails with Enduro races.
Where Does Enduro World Series Take Place?
As the name suggests, Enduro World Series takes place at different locations around the world. Since the race has more than 6 rounds. Organizers of the race distribute the rounds to various locations around the world. For example, The Enduro Mountain Biking Association has already launched its 2017 calendar. This year the race will have eight rounds that will be held as follows:
• Round 1: Rotorua, New Zealand ( March 25 to March 26)
• Round 2: Tasmania, Australia ( April 8 to April 9)
• Round 3: Madeira, Portugal ( May 13 to May 14)
• Round 4: Co Wicklow, Ireland ( May 24)
• Round 5: Millau, France ( July 1 to July 2)
• Round 6: Aspen- Snowmass, USA ( July 29 to July 30)
• Round 7: Whistler, Canada ( August 13)
• Round 8: Finale Ligure, Italy ( September 30 to October 1)
Top Racers in Enduro World Series Races
In men’s race, Ritchie Rude has remained the champion since 2016. EWS fans say that it is only with a persistent inauspicious streak of mechanicals or either injury that will make Rude not to win the men’s race this October. In the women’s race, it is also the case Cecile Ravanel, Last year’s champion remains the clear top racer for the crown in 2017. Cecile has consistently topped at every round and is not typically afflicted by injuries or mechanicals.
5 Bikes Used by Top Racers in Enduro World Series
If you looking for a new enduro bike this year, below are 5 bikes that are commonly used by top EWS racers. These bikes are designed to be versatile, able to handle rigors of EWS racing, including long hours of ride time, technical descents and long climbs. Their geometry is designed to allow efficient power transfer while pedaling and stable, nimble handling on timed downhill stages.
1. Yeti SB6C
The Yeti SB6C is one of the bikes that has been winning in most EWS races. Between the knees of the Big America Richie Rude, the Yeti SB6 is the first ever back to back EWS title winner. Yeti SB6c has a unique suspension system that makes pedaling easy, tackles climbs efficiently and descends downhill smoothly. The bike has an enduro-focused geometry, with extended chainstays that allow you to enjoy a stable centered riding position. Its lightweight carbon frame is a definite bonus when you are in the saddle for hours at a time and riding back to back days means that you will have less weight to shift up those climbs.
2. Nukeproof Mega 290 Pro
The Mega 290 was the bike used by Sam Hill to win at the Enduro World Series Valberg towards the end of 2016 season. The bike has an interesting international history. It was first designed in Northern Ireland and was used by an Australian to win a race in France all in the livery of American monster track. The Mega 290 Pro comes with 29 inch and 27.5-inch wheel sizes and a sturdy aluminum construction. It has a more affordable price when compared to other top enduro bikes. Even with its palatable price tag, it comes with all the essential fineries, including a smattering of Nukeproof’s excellent own brand kit and a suspension by RockShock.
3. Santa Cruz Nomad
Whether you like the bright turquoise or the stealth black carbon, the Santa Cruz Nomad is a bike pedigree. Its new geometry, including the steeper seat tubes for control and power on the climbs and the slacker head angles for confident descending, makes this bike perfect for EWS races. It boasts a suspension system that efficiently smoothens out rough terrain, with a lower link that tucks at the rear bottom bracket and out of the way of rock strikes. Its 650b wheels when combined with its trusted suspension system to give you an agile ride that can handle the huge variety of terrain that EWS racers encounter.
4. Canyon Strive
The Canyon Strive is an affordable enduro mountain bike that incorporates what Canyon calls the Shapeshifter technology. The Shapeshifter technology allows the bike to quickly adjust its travel and geometry depending on whether it is descending or climbing. The Canyon Strive was designed by EWS racer Fabien Barel. Later, the Bike was used by both Barel and Joe Barnes to take multiple Enduro World Series stage wins.
5. Mondraker Dune Carbon XR
The Mondraker Dune is another premium choice for most EWS racers. It comes with Mondraker’s Forward, which means a longer wheelbase and top tube that most EWS competitors combine with a short stem. This gives the rider a good control on descents and a feeling of stability. The Dune also comes with the exceptional Fox Float X2 and Fox 36 forks Kashima Shock, which both feature low and high-speed adjustable compression rebound and damping. This means that the Mondraker Dune is specially designed to professionally handle most technical of timed sections.
How to Enter the Enduro World Series Race
The EWS aims to be open to as many riders as possible. To enter the race, you can choose one of the four routes available at any EWS event. These four routes include:
1. The Reserved List
It is a list of individual riders who are awarded the opportunity to take part in all EWS events at the beginning of the year. Reserved list are given a pre-entry window in which to join the race. The list consists of:
• Top 80 men, 15 women, 15 under 21s, and 15 Master from official qualifying ranking on December 31st of the previous year.
• 20 wildcard per event, given to each organizer for awarding local racers and young talented riders.
• 4 riders per event from each official EWS team
• Top two ranked male and female riders from the regional and nation Enduro series
• Top three Masters at EWS event in the previous year
• Top three under 21s at every EWS event in the previous year
• Top 100 EWS ranked male and 25 ranked female riders from past year’s EWS ranking
2. Qualifier Series Ranking
The Qualifier Series Ranking system was designed in 2016 to allow riders to take part in the official qualifier event around the world and earn ranking points as well as a place on the Reserved List. To be eligible to earn Qualifier Points, riders must be licensed EMBA members. Points for the EWS Qualifier Ranking are awarded according to the overall finishing position of the rider. To get the final qualifying results, the highest three qualifying results of each rider will added. The top 30 women, 80 men, 15 under 21s and 15 masters from the Final Qualifying Ranking are included in the current year’s Reserved List. Additionally, the winner in each EWS Qualifying category will automatically be included in the following year’s list.
3. Global Wildcard
A Global Wildcard is a special invited to an Enduro World Series race. Global Wildcard applications are open during public lotteries and are very hard to get. The EMBA board chooses twenty riders based on category, dedication, potential, experience, and nationality. All applications are taken into consideration, but the main goal is to choose new, fresh and young talented riders from developing nations. Other riders that are given special considerations include highly qualified enduro racers who have missed the race because of injuries or riders with excellent performances of their game in other cycling disciplines.
4. Public Lotteries
Any additional spaces for an EWS event following the aforementioned pre-qualified riders are released in January each via a public lottery system. Lucky entrants are chosen randomly and following lottery rules are followed.
• Riders are allowed to only apply once. Duplicate applications are rejected automatically.
• Group applications are permitted: If you want to compete at any EWS race with teammates or partners, groups of up to three people are allowed to join the lottery as a group. In this, either everyone in the groups wins or no one does. The probability of being chosen as a group is the same as being chosen as an individual. You can either register as an individual or as a part of a group, not both. If you are applying individually or as a member of a group you will have all your applications rejected.
• Those that enter the lottery during the 48 hour period have equal chances of being selected.
• By joining the Lottery, riders automatically authorize EMBA to charge their credit card the entry fee. The list of successful applicants will be posted at enduroworldseries.com.
EWS racing has established itself as the newest and most exciting form of mountain biking since 2014. The Enduro World Series has attracted professional riders from around the world to compete against each in seven or eight races around the world. With a good understanding of the above information and proper training, you can also participate in this famous EWS event. Before entering an EWS race, make sure you have done enough training and that you have the right enduro bike.