The new Enduro World Series has received strong support from the mountain bike community with all entries for the inaugural seven event global series sold out within a week.
We believe that this is how to build the sport - from the ground up, through our members. So the extent of the buy-in is hugely gratifying and a sign that we are on the right track with our model and approach.
The Enduro World Series was created in late 2012 with the aim of uniting the world's enduro racing community. The series is comprised of stage races which combine cross-country's physical endurance with the technical difficulty of downhill racing on the world's best trails.
In the first month of existence, the newly formed Enduro Mountain Biking Association (EMBA) registered 19 teams and over 220 members.
The teams represent a broad cross-section of global industry brands - Yeti, Trek Factory Racing, BMC, Giant and GT Factory - and a comprehensive list of the world's top riders.
"We're overwhelmed by the level of commitment to the whole series. It has exceeded our expectations. All events have record fields even months before they normally open for entry," said Chris Ball, EWS Managing Director.
The series relies on funding and facilitation through individual, team and company membership packages instead of external commercial partnerships and sponsorship.
"We put ourselves in the hands of the industry by choosing this model,” said Ball.
“We knew that industry-wide support would be critical for EMBA and would give everyone a chance to be involved in the development of the discipline and to show their support for the sport. We believe that this is how to build the sport - from the ground up, through our members. So the extent of the buy-in is hugely gratifying and a sign that we are on the right track with our model and approach. The faith of all our new team and individual members inspires our entire board to run a series that is worthy of that community support."
As the series is reliant on its members it was vital that the EWS attracted the right combination of competitors.
"We wanted to ensure that the core enduro athletes who have built the sport were there at the starting gate, so for this inaugural season we painstakingly looked at enduro results from around the world and tried to get as good a cross section of committed international racers as possible," said Ball.
“We worked diligently to ensure there was as good as balance as possible between the pros who have built the sport up so far, top riders from other disciplines and the community of riders who are critical to keeping the momentum moving forward for enduro mountain bike racing. The essence of Enduro, after all, is the chance for the public to race amongst the pros."
The first round of the Enduro World Series is in Punta Ala, Itay, 18-19 May.