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Power struggle over new e-bike World Cup

There’s a huge bust-up emerging between the motorcycling and cycling world governing bodies over who rules electric-assisted mountain bike racing.

Two motor-cycles? Or a motorcycle and a bicycle – with an egine?

It comes as the first ever FIM E-XBike World Cup was revealed to be debuting during the 2019 MXGP of Italy in Imola this August. It’s not for electric motocross bikes like the Alta, new Honda CR-E or KTM Freeride E but for electric-assist mountain bikes! Husqvarna and Fantic already makes e-MTBs.

And the FIM is also planning to run an FIM E-Bike Enduro World Cup in France on 1-2 June.

But the world cycling body, the UCI, has waded in saying it rules e-bicycles and is already promoting its own World Cup for e-bikes in Canada this year and has threatened any UCI riders with a ban if they race in the rival FIM events.

The new e-bicycles race at the motocross round takes place on the 1,550 meters long Imola MXGP circuit following Saturday’s MXGP Qualifying the 17th of August.

The FIM MXGP one race format will include a mass start with combined categories of both male and female riders racing for 30 minutes plus 1 lap but scored separately. The racing will be opened to anyone with an electric bicycle.

A statement for the Union Cycliste Internationale says: The UCI wishes to make it clear that E-mountain bike (electrically-assisted mountain bike) is one of the disciplines under its auspices.

E-mountain bike is firmly entrenched in the cycling family: numerous well-known bicycle brands produce bikes used by enthusiasts of this speciality, and several National Federations affiliated to the UCI have already organised National Championships for the discipline, won by specialists of mountain bike cross-country Olympic (XCO), such as France’s double Olympic Champion and five-time UCI World Champion Julien Absalon.

To encourage the development of this popular activity among cyclists of all levels, the UCI integrated E-mountain bike into its Regulations (Part IV: Mountain bike events) on 1 January 2019 and awarded the 2019 edition of the UCI E-Mountain Bike World Championships to Mont Sainte-Anne (Canada) which will organise the first edition of this competition in August as part of the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships presented by Mercedes-Benz. Events, several of them grouped under the WES E-Bike Series, have been registered on the 2019 UCI Mountain Bike International Calendar, and a UCI World Cup and Continental Championships will be organised from 2020.

In the light of the strong development of the discipline, the UCI was very surprised and disappointed by the announcement made by the International Motorcycling Federation (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme – FIM) concerning the organisation of an FIM E-Bike Enduro World Cup in France on 1-2 June, with no regulatory basis.

The UCI had already notified the FIM in September 2017 that it considered E-mountain bike events to come exclusively under its jurisdiction and that the respective roles of the two International Federations (UCI and FIM) were clear and would not be called into question.

The UCI wishes to announce that events in domains under its exclusive jurisdiction that are registered on the FIM calendar or those of its member Federations will be considered “banned events” in line with its Regulation. Consequently, any UCI-licensed rider participating in one of these events would risk disciplinary measures.

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