As the sun lowers itself into the valley, we kick off MTBA’s first e-MTB XCO event.
Thinking back to only 5 years ago, when the 27.5/650B wheel size was slowly starting to take over the MTB world, we all thought it was a huge step towards a more techinically advanced mountain bike. In the past several years, we’ve seen the same with long-travel 29ers. Now is the turn of e-mountain bikes as MTBA hosts their first iteration of the e-MTB cross-country race.
As its own small niche, e-MTB’s seem to be the perfect way to get into competitive mountain bike racing, especially for those only just getting into the sport, or the older crowd who can no longer keep up. Today’s race was a mix between XC-speedsters, and people just starting out with cycling, with plenty of bike brands spread across the field.
The e-MTB, with a light entry list of 20 competitors, takes on the XCO course through the twisting switchbacks of the lower Mystic MTB Park. The course is five laps of the XCO, covering just shy of 100 metres of elevation in each lap.
At the end of the grueling hour, it was Josh Carlson completing the course in just under, taking home the championship jersey. We asked if he thinks e-MTB's have a future in extreme mountain bike racing.
"There is [more in the future], however I'm not sure if XC is the discipline for it. There's great potential to make something really cool, and a really technical course to challenge riders. I was really surprised to do so well here to be honest, with so many strong cross-country athletes, I really thought they would put it to us with such a steep climb and technical track... ...it's going to take a bit of adapting and just some time for everyone to figure out what the goal is and what we can do."
Shortly after Carlson crossed the line, Shannon Johnson followed to claim second, with Paul Van Der Ploeg taking second.
Bev Henderson brings it home for the ladies, taking top spot in Open Womens.