At the beginning of June, the Enduro World Series lifted the veil on its 2022 race calendar, kicking off with a doubleheader in Tasmania and a new stop in Nelson, New Zealand. Unfortunately, we’ve just had word that the first three rounds of the 2022 series will not go ahead as scheduled.
This announcement from the EWS comes as both Australia and New Zealand are battling growing outbreaks of the Delta variant of Coivd19.
Chris Ball, Managing Director of the Enduro World Series, said: “We’re obviously disappointed not to be visiting New Zealand and Tasmania in 2022, but it’s the right decision in light of the current situation.
I personally thank the hard work and support of our Nelson and Tasmanian organisers and we look forward to bringing the EWS back to those venues as soon as possible.”
The EWS says it will monitor the situation as it evolves, hoping that things improve and the events can return in 2023, with a decision to be made in January 2022. For the time being, the remainder of the 2022 EWS and EWS-E calendar will go ahead as planned.
Ian Harwood, Race Director for the Derby and Maydena events, said: “The EMS enduro team is looking forward to welcoming the whole EWS family back to Tasmania in 2023.”
Nelson Mountain Bike Club Chair Melanie Schroder says the club is devastated the event cannot be held in 2022.
“Nelson was bursting with excitement at the prospect of the EWS being held here. New trails have been built, we will have new infrastructure in place for all mountain bikers and the course was going to showcase the best we have to offer, which is unique to anywhere else in the world. We look forward to working with (the) EWS to plan an event in the future where it will be a truly world event, that everyone can attend without restrictions.”
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The updated 2022 Enduro World Series calendar
The 2021 season was revised due to the ongoing pandemic, and the series has been truncated to only include events in Europe. With ongoing uncertainties around travel, quarantine and event restrictions, keeping all the races on one continent allowed teams to set up a home base for the summer to help manage budgets, and account for local Covid19 guidelines. The plan for 2022 was to return to business as usual, but the pandemic has forced the EWS the call an audible.
With the first leg of the EWS cancelled, the tour will now kick off in Scotland’s Tweed Valley, where we will see both naturally aspirated racing and the first round of the EWS-E.
From here, the series kicks off its major European racing block, where riders will border hop between Austria and Slovenia, at the Petzen-Jamnica venue for both EWS and EWS-E racing.
Next racers head for the Dolomites for some Casunziei, a bit of Grappa, and to race at Val Di Fassa. These trails are where Jack Moir and Richie Rude kicked off their 2021 game of musical chairs for the top spot on the men’s podium, and Isabeau Courdurier and Melanie Pugin came out on top in the women’s field.
Closing out the European leg of the calendar, the series drops into Valberg, France, where the EWS has not been since 2016. Here Sam Hill came out on top with Nicolas Vouilloz and Jesse Melamed hot on his tail last time around, while Cecile Ravanel rode to the top step by a 30-second margin in the women’s field. It won’t be Hill or Ravanel racing in France’s Maritime Alps in 2022 because this is an EWS-E only stop.
At the beginning of August, the series will jump across the Atlantic and make a triumphant return to Whistler, taking riders down some of mountain biking’s most famous trails. Then it’s over to the east coast of the United States for a lobster roll and racing in Burke, Vermont and Sugarloaf, Maine, which will be the first time the land of the free has hosted back-to-back events.
Once the riders have had their fill of lighthouses and L.L. Bean, it’s time for fondue and to dust off the French dictionary for the penultimate round of the EWS and EWS-E, in Crans-Montana, Switzerland.
Leaving Switzerland, the EWS and EWS-E split, with the analogue riders headed for the French Pyrenees to race in Loudenvielle, while the e-MTBers will take on Finale Ligure in Italy.
Once the individual champions have been crowned, there is still one more race; the Trophy of Nations sees riders compete in teams of three for their home nations to earn the rainbow stripes.