Wait – there’s an e-bike World Championships now? Yes. Yes, there is.
First run by eBike Dolomiti in 2014, this year’s race was held in the Dolomites, Italy on June 13/14th. The race was split over two days on an 18km course with 1,500m of height gain – tough courses, at altitude, presumably to maximise the suffering.
Only riders of pedelec bikes with a maximum assist speed of 25km/h and 250W motors were eligible to enter, and the title went to Yves Ketterer (Team bikesportworld/klk-Raceteam), who also won the e-bike marathon at Tegernsee’s MTB Festival earlier in June. Of his new world title, he said:
“It is just as hard to ride an e-bike contest as a pure MTB event. On the flat sections we ride these bikes exceeding the limit of 25 km/h where the motor is no longer allowed to assist. So we have to push the approx. 20kg e-bikes permanently with pure muscle power. The routes also provide steep climbs that you would barely accomplish with normal MTBs – that ís where we and the bikes are riding close to the limit.”
So – the World Champ agrees with our assessment that electric assist bikes are still just as hard to ride as regular bikes. Phew, that’s a relief. But should e-bikes really have their own World Champs, or indeed have any place in racing at all? We’re sure you have an opinion…