Dubai, United Arab Emirates
A new e-Bike Grand Prix series (EBK GP) will debut in Dubai later this year, with organisers in “extensive negotiations” with several Australian and NZ cities to include this region in an inaugural international calendar in 2023.
BMC Switzerland has signed as the official supplier of e-bikes for the series and, according to organisers, will build “an innovative new e-bike which combines traditional cycling capability with battery-powered technology to help create the fastest, most technologically advanced, and environmentally-friendly cycle series in the world”.
They said while the bike will be designed specifically for the series and is unlikely to be available for sale to the public, “our ambition is that the technology used in the bikes will filter into the development of e-bikes for consumers, thereby improving and influencing the e-bikes of the future”.
“We want to use EBK GP to raise the profile of e-bikes and show what they can do. We hope that by doing this, more people will purchase e-bikes as a mode of everyday transport to improve micromobility and lower carbon emissions in their cities,” a statement from the series says.
According to series promoters, the bikes are expected to have 300 – 400W of power and deliver 40 newton meters of torque.
There will be no maximum speed for the motor assistance and the combination of rider input and the electric motors is expected to produce speeds well in excess of 70kmh.
The bike, yet to be released, will be used by all 10 teams, which will each comprise male and female riders.
A statement from organisers says “gender equality is central to the series”, with both male and female competitions contributing equally to each team’s overall score to determine the championship-winning team.
Each round will consist of one-hour criterium races, to be held on public roads and showcasing iconic landmarks and cultural sites as part of the high-speed sporting spectacle.
“The riders’ fitness will be crucial to the series in a similar way to traditional bike racing,” the statement says.
“Each rider will have battery power to cover 75% of the race, which means that the course cannot be completed without riders using their fitness.
“Ultimately, the determining factors between competitors will be their physical power and strategic use of their battery supply.”
Courses will include ‘Power Zones’ with 20%-gradient climbs to “push the riders into their red zone forcing them to use up their limited energy reserves”.
“Those that can stay at the front and yet preserve sufficient energy to tackle the final climbs will be victorious,” according to the series website.
Organisers have pledged to work with the cities hosting each round to raise awareness of climate change challenges, mobilise citizens and promote cleaner, greener, healthier cities.
“EBK GP is committed to leaving a lasting green legacy in host cities. As part of the agreement to become a host city, government administrations will commit to tailored three-year Sustainable Transformational Mobility (STM) programs.”
Development and delivery support will be provided by a sustainability partner.
Global host city partners will also join together in a visionary network of progressive cities sharing knowledge and world-class best practice. Collectively, they will make a significant contribution towards making the cities of the future cleaner, greener and healthier.
EBK GP has been created by English events manager and sports marketer Andy Moss, whose company Cube International is a partner in the series.
His EBK GP team includes director Shane Redenbach, who has strong connections with several peak Australian sporting organisations, including Cycling Australia, and was responsible for licensing the Boxing Kangaroo for the Australian Olympic Committee.
A spokesperson for the series said organisers are hoping they will soon be able to announce the location of the Australasian round of EBK GP 2023.