Photo Epic: Mud Bath - Leogang Team Relay and E-Bike World Champs 2020

Oct 8, 2020
by Andy Vathis  



The World Champs have officially kicked off with not one but two races on opening day. It's a day we thought we wouldn't get to see this year given the current situation across the globe but the organizers seem to have everything under control as of now. Athletes from each federation present have been preparing for this since the last champs took place and are eager to get things started. The festivities began with a team relay between nations and ended with e-bikes zapping around the very slippery, newly carved course.

Mother nature was a last-minute shoo-in at the start line and wreaked havoc on the already treacherous course. The grassy hill is now a pudding slide and all the new natural sections are a write off. The race was won or lost depending on how upright you stayed. Most riders went full cyclocross and ran entire sections of the course. It was carnage.

Twelve nations showed up to the team relay and were met with cold and wet conditions straight off the bat. Early riders from the United States were pulling away with it before fighting for the lead once again. In the last few laps, the French riders pulled away once Austria's light dimmed out, granting France the win with Italy and Switzerland in tow.

The e-bikes then took charge on the already rutted out track. The rain continued to fall and made the climbs hilariously slippery having rear wheels spinning everywhere. The men were first to start and Jerome Gilloux had the early jump. All eyes were on Tom Pidcock however who knows a thing or two about racing in terrible conditions. He seemed out of contention early yet managed to ride the swampy sections as if they were dry, gaining valuable time on Gilloux, and eventually passing him. Simon Andreassen had an equally impressive ride having never ridden a e-bike before and letting his bike handling skills do the talking.

The women's e-bike race ended the day here in Leogang. It was all Melanie Pugin from about the second lap after an impressive ride, bringing it home for France. Behind her, the two Swiss riders, Kathrine Stirnemann and Nathalie Schneitter went back and forth a few times until the last lap. Mud was being flung in every direction until the last rider was through.

Christopher Blevins starting the relay for the U.S.A.
Christopher Blevins starting the relay for the U.S.A.

Luke Wiedmann ready to go.
Luke Wiedmann ready to go.

Austria takes the stage here at home.
Austria takes the stage here at home.

Team relay is a go.

Tobias Lillelund pinning for Denmark.

Luca Matin started clawing back the lead playing a big roll for France.
Luca Martin started clawing back the lead, playing a big role for France.

Haley Batten foot out flat out for the U.S.
Haley Batten foot out flat out for the U.S.

When your bike lands uphill from you and you gotta go get it.
When your bike lands uphill from you and you gotta go get it.

Rain had turned the steep woods into a swamp. Waddling down the shoot was the only way down for most.
Rain had turned the steep woods into a swamp. Waddling down the shoot was the only way down for most.

Olivia Onesti charging ahead.
Olivia Onesti charging ahead.

We may see a lot of this this weekend if the weather keeps up.
We may see a lot of this weekend if the weather keeps up.

Harriet Harnden keeping charge for Great Britain.
Harriet Harnden keeping the charge for Great Britain.

Motor or not this course is a monster.
Motor or not, this course is a monster.

Mona Mitterwallner trying to make up some time for Austria late in the laps.
Mona Mitterwallner trying to make up some time for Austria late in the laps.

Conditions are well. Yeah.
Conditions are, well. Yeah.

Racing got underway today with a sloppy team relay then the E MTB worlds.
Racing finally got underway today and it was sloppy throughout.

France has been utterly dominant in all disciplines of MTB lately.
France has been utterly dominant in all disciplines of MTB lately. Loana Lecomte making sure it stayed that way.

The dive into the mud slide switchback was a little too high speed for some.
The dive into the mudslide switchback was a little too high speed for some.

Jordan Sarrou was last to start for France and ensured the win for his country.
Jordan Sarrou was last to start for France and ensured the win for his country.

Sarrou across the line for France.
Sarrou across the line for France.

Jordan Sarrou celebrates the win with team France after the relay.
Jordan Sarrou celebrates the win with team France after the relay.

Top three nation for the team relay are France Italy and Switzerland.
Top three-nations for the team relay are France, Italy, and Switzerland.

Papa Bruni lining up for a wet one.
Papa Bruni lining up for a wet one.

Tom Pidcock hid in the second row at start but quickly found his way ahead of all the chaos.
Tom Pidcock hid in the second row at the start but quickly found his way ahead of all the chaos.

Men s e-bike start.
Men's e-bike start.

Those open grass corners got slick.
Those open grass corners got slick.

The conditions today certainly weren t favourable.
The conditions today certainly weren't favourable.

Kenta Gallagher doing what any fine Scottish lad does in the mud- rails ruts.
Kenta Gallagher doing what any fine Scottish lad does in the mud - rails ruts.

Tom Pidcock on his wat to the win here at the Leogang Covid-19 E MTB worlds.
Tom Pidcock on his way to the win here at the Leogang Covid-19 E-MTB worlds.

Into the thick of it. If anything E Worlds was a hoot watching those heavy bikes slide through the slop.
Into the thick of it. If anything E Worlds was a hoot watching those heavy bikes slide through the slop.

Jerome Gilloux tiptoeing the slick steep bit.
Jerome Gilloux tiptoeing the slick steep bit.

Fifth place finisher Joris Ryf with a close encounter with a tree.
Fifth place finisher Joris Ryf with a close encounter with a tree.

Track conditions were at an all time low.
Track conditions were at an all-time low.

Pidcock finding the fastest ruts pulling way ahead.
Pidcock finding the fastest ruts, pulling way ahead.

Simone Andreassen pointing and shooting between the pines. Impressive ride from him today.
Simon Andreassen pointing and shooting between the pines. An impressive ride from him today.

Jean Pierre Bruni enjoying the ruts.
Jean Pierre Bruni enjoying the ruts.

It was basically cross season out there.
It was basically cross season out there.

Huge victory for Tom Pidcock.
Huge victory for Tom Pidcock.

Andreassen was more mud that human.
Andreassen was more mud than human.

Gilloux trying to keep some heat in after his ride into second.
Gilloux trying to keep some heat in after his ride into second.

Your men s e-bike podium - Tom Pidcock Jerome Gilloux and Simon Andreassen.
Your men's e-bike podium - Tom Pidcock, Jerome Gilloux, and Simon Andreassen.

Women s e-mtb start.
Women's e-mtb start.

Nathalie Schneitter pulling a gutsy pass on Kathrine Stirnemann. Katherine would later take back second place.
Nathalie Schneitter pulling a gutsy pass on Kathrine Stirnemann. Katherine would later take back second place.

Maghalie Rochette took fifth for the women in E MTB.
Maghalie Rochette took fifth for the women in E MTB.

Sofia Wiedenroth surviving the deep ruts into fourth.
Sofia Wiedenroth surviving the deep ruts into fourth.

Kathrine Stirnemann had shaken off Nathalie Schneitter securing second.
Kathrine Stirnemann had shaken off Nathalie Schneitter, securing second.

Melanie Pugin on her way to the rainbow stripes in the E MTB race.
Melanie Pugin on her way to the rainbow stripes in the E MTB race.

Melanie Pugin up front and in control.
Melanie Pugin up front and in control.

Big win for Melanie Pugin and another for France.
Big win for Melanie Pugin and another for France.

Melanie Pugin is your E MTB world Champion in 2020. Given her performance at the EWS this year it comes as a surprise to no one.
Melanie Pugin is your E MTB World Champion in 2020. Given her performance at the EWS this year it comes as a surprise to no one.

Kathrine Stirnemann rode very well today.
Kathrine Stirnemann rode very well today.

Back on the podium for Nathalie Schneitter after last year s win.
Back on the podium for Nathalie Schneitter after last year's win.

Your women s e-bike podium - Melanie Pugin Kathrine Stirnemann and Nathalie Schneitter.
Your women's e-bike podium - Melanie Pugin, Kathrine Stirnemann, and Nathalie Schneitter.



35 Comments

  • 41 1
 Not gonna lie but ebikes and Lycra just seems odd
  • 2 1
 @CantQuitCartel yea there should be a UCI rule, no Lycra shorts in the eMTB raceSmile
  • 12 0
 Tom Pidcock must be loving life right now. Wins the U23 Giro, wins 2 x U23 XC world cups, signs for Ineos, and now is a world champion. I half expect him to rock up and win the DH title. ;-0
  • 1 0
 I do wonder, why doesn't he race Elite Men instead of U23 Saturday. He beat Simon and he got a Bronze at Elite Worlds fro Cyclocross earlier this year so I would've love to see him in the mix, especially since I'd be surprised if Ineos let's him race MTB and CX. Love this new generation of riders though, not afraid of any discipline. MVP and Pidcock have talked about EWS and DH and I'd have no doubt that both would be competitive.
  • 6 0
 Do xc racers really use their usual shitty no grip xc tires? Mud tires for everyone and stop CX run all the tech sections please.
  • 3 0
 yeah can't understand why anyone started with front tires like that in those conditions on a track like that. Anyone daring to go grippy would have had a big advantage.
  • 3 1
 @FredrikWestman: They probably figured they would be hike a bike in those muddy sections no matter what tires, and all the time would be made up on the tarmac.
  • 1 1
 By the way, I've just bought my first xc bike and it's a PIA to find a sub 2,4 tire with proper casing / patern (casing cause i'm quite a big (fat) boy).
  • 4 0
 So ebike XC racing is just like XC racing but less uphill time at the end... See who can add more extra watts after the 250e watts are gone... At least they could add more jumps and technichall stuff so the more gravity oriented components of the ebikes could shine... and to be like XC+Freeride combo...
  • 5 0
 Or just easier... make them lapping the DH course instead of the XC one...
  • 5 2
 Does anybody know if the e-bike motors are power-regulated for racing? The stock Bosch motor is significantly more powerful than Shimano EP8, for example. Seems like a ridiculous inequality unless they address it electronically somehow.
  • 4 0
 Yup. there is another post recently on here about them removing one of the teams cos their motor didn't meet regulations. Can't remember exactly what they are off the top of my head think its 250w max assist equalling rider input, cut off at 25mph.
  • 1 0
 @scar4me: How about torque, anything on that?
  • 1 0
 @FloImSchnee: 25kph for europe racers, 25mph for usa and UK :-D
  • 3 0
 @andy9 thanks for providing us with information and photos for the E-MTB WC races. Is there any video coverage on that? It would be interesting to see Tom, Simon and the others riding the tricky sections.
  • 4 0
 Insane conditions on a brutal track. Cant wait to watch some racing this weekend!
  • 4 0
 Drivetrain destroyer. The DH is going to be fun.
  • 2 1
 IF there was only a solution to keep your drive clean & maintenance free?
Well there is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But since no one is interested in having their drive train last longer?
  • 1 0
 @aljoburr: Gearbox? I'd want one.

The XC racers wouldn't want the weight penalty and and slightly reduced efficiency. And they're mostly sponsored, so having it only last a race is ok for them. But it must cause issues during the race, getting clogged up, not shifting well, etc.
  • 1 0
 @Jacquers: Try it , It is not that hard to get it to work, really but never really got it to look nice, but ran it all winter, with out any maintenance, which is a good, but seems about time made a new one?

Heres one made 10 years ago?

vimeo.com/user11394936
  • 4 0
 OK i understand e-enduro but e-xc...
  • 3 0
 I'd actually watch that ebike race, looks way better in the mud maybe?!
  • 2 0
 Awesome looking track, bit hard conditions. Why didn't the XC racers choose appropriate front tires?
  • 2 0
 I think this is absolutely the thing ebikes got built for... Smile carrying a brutal heavy monster of a bike up and down
  • 1 0
 If I had a Nickle for every time one of the riders in these photos said or thought "This F'ing Sucks!" I'd have a lot of Nickles.
What a pigsty.
  • 2 1
 Is there a replay of the e bike race?
  • 1 0
 DIdn't realize pinkbike covered CX now
  • 1 0
 Ah man, the DH racing is gonna be wild this weekend. Cannot wait.
  • 2 4
 I wonder why FIM doesn't sanction ebike racing but it's the UCI. Also funny that the competitors who win are also those that excel in xc.
  • 12 0
 Because they are bikes. With pedals.
  • 3 0
 Well, the FIM has its own E-bike series. www.fim-live.com/en/sport/sport/e-bike-enduro-world-cup
  • 1 0
 @ddmonkey: so are piaggio ciaos and peugeot vogues with that logic

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