UCI, Discovery link up for new-look mountain bike, enduro World Cups calendar
Officials say the new, integrated calendar will bring many of the off-road disciplines 'under the same tent.'
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The UCI is partnering with Warner Bros. Discovery to create a new-look UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and Enduro World Series calendar for 2023.
The international governing body confirmed the long-anticipated move Friday, saying that the new, integrated calendar will bring many of the off-road disciplines “under the same tent.”
“The launch of the 2023 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and Enduro World Series calendar marks a major step forward in our work to modernise mountain bike, one of our five Olympic disciplines,” said UCI president David Lappartient on Friday.
“With the integration of enduro, and soon also of cross-country marathon and E-mountain bike enduro to the events of the calendar, which already includes cross-country Olympic, cross-country short track, and downhill, the events will take on a new dimension, bringing together even more athletes and fans.”
Officials say all the major mountain bike formats are united under a combined calendar for the first time.
The plan unifies all major mountain bike formats under one combined calendar for the first time and will take riders to 10 countries across three continents in e 15 rounds with 34 races.
Officials confirmed that ESO Sports and Discovery Sports Events are partnering to deliver the UCI’s new vision for mountain bike.
“As mountain bike enters a new era, riders and fans can look forward to cross-country Olympic, cross-country short track, downhill and enduro, aligning for the first time in the history of the sport,” a statement read Friday. “The new-look calendar will see some mountain bike formats sit alongside one another for the first time, racing grouped by location to maximise sustainability and brand new venues making their global debut, while valued sites keep their place in the calendar.”
Further details around E-mountain bike enduro and cross-country marathon will be released in September 2022.
Under the new format, 15 rounds covering 34 races will be part of a combined calendar for the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and Enduro World Series.
Cross-country Olympic and cross-country short track each have nine rounds in total, while downhill and enduro each have eight. As well as brand new locations brought into the fold, established venues will welcome new formats onto their trails.
“The new structure will reflect the growth of the sport, allowing each of mountain bike’s different formats to flourish, reach new audiences, and enhance the experience for fans both on site and watching from home,” a statement read Friday.
Chris Ball, CEO of ESO Sports, said: “For the first time all major mountain bike formats align on one calendar, giving teams, athletes, and fans new opportunities to experience their favourite racing with no date clashes.
“We’ve done our best to group venues in close geographical proximity to reduce the season’s travel footprint and increase efficiencies for everyone on the tour,” Ball said. “We’ll be hosting new event schedules combining formats that have never been combined before, giving riders a unique new experience and using the very best of the terrain available at each location to provide the best racing on the planet, while of course, valued race tracks remain in the calendar.
“Calendar classics sprinkled with some new venues – 2023 is going to be an incredibly exciting first step towards our long-term plans for mountain bike racing worldwide.”