June 21st, 2018 12:00am
The Enduro World Series is growing by leaps and bounds. As part of that growth, the Enduro World Series and the UCI have established the presentation of the coveted 'Stripes" jerseys to National Teams in a Trophy des Nations form.
While I have yet to see any real value in the UCI and its ability to do anything but stymie a sport and show its corruptness, there is a bright side and I will attribute that to the leadership of Enduro World Series - Chris Ball and his team. The EWS has the vision for promoting a national team effort using a trophe des nation format - much like MotoCross that has been around for some time. I like the team idea because it means that more riders should theoretically get national support to race at the highest level. Now if we can get every government to put a bit of money into any form of MTB racing teams that would be awesome. Having the UCI on the team is a double edge sword because along with all the corruptness and control, you also get credibility. I am not sure how that really works, but it somehow does. I guess greed and control likes greed and control. Just to be clear, we are talking about government and the UCI - not the EWS.
So, now that you have gotten our soap box version of the story, you can make up your mind given the full press release below...and of course, we would like to hear your comments.
The Enduro World Series (EWS) announces the next step in its short - but action packed - history as it today reaches a historic agreement with the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).
The new partnership signifies the progression of the EWS, cementing its place as the world's leading enduro series and recognising the rapid progression of the discipline over the last six years.
The tight racing, exciting venues and great trails that are the hallmarks of the EWS will remain unchanged following this new agreement, and the Enduro World Series championship will continue as one of the hardest fought and most prestigious individual titles in mountain biking.
Alongside the individual EWS titles, and to promote the ethos of team work, strategy and sportsmanship, from 2019 the UCI will award the iconic UCI Rainbow Jerseys to the winning national teams at the annual Trophy of Nations event, marking a new era for international team competition.
The EWS will now begin working closely with the UCI to continue developing the discipline, advise the UCI Mountain Bike Commission, train Commissaires and integrate anti-doping policies into the sport of enduro worldwide.
Chris Ball, Managing Director of the EWS said: "It's been no secret we have remained in close communication with the UCI for the past six years whilst the EWS has spearheaded the growth of enduro. As the discipline continues its rapid expansion, the time is now right to add a layer of neutral governance - I've always been a firm believer that every sport needs checks, balances and transparency in place.
"This agreement has been a long time in the making and following the election of new UCI President David Lappartient in 2017, our relationship has strengthened and negotiations have accelerated. I am now pleased to announce that the EWS and the UCI from today will begin a new way of working together for the best of the sport, that will maintain the EWS' position at the top of the discipline. This will allow the EWS to represent and guide the direction of enduro within the UCI, bring anti-doping best practice from the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) and award the fabled UCI Rainbow Jerseys at the Trophy of Nations in 2019. I thank Mr Lappartient and UCI Deputy Sports Director and Head of Off-Road Peter Van den Abeele for following our vision and together starting another new chapter for the great sport of mountain biking."
UCI President David Lappartient declared: "I am looking forward to mountain bike Enduro joining the specialities recognised by the UCI thanks to the inclusion of the Enduro World Series on the UCI Mountain Bike International Calendar. Established in 2012, this very popular series includes no fewer than eight rounds which are of great sporting interest and impeccably organised. Thanks to this partnership, it will now benefit from a broader international reach and an unprecedented capacity to develop through our 190 National Federations. Moreover, I am convinced that the relaunch of the Trophy of Nations will attract a growing number of athletes, motivated by the idea of being awarded the iconic UCI Rainbow Jersey alongside their national team mates."