Video & Race Report: Round 1 of the 2021 UCI eMTB World Cup XC - Monaco

Apr 28, 2021
by WES e-Bike  

The first round of the UCI E-MTB XC World Cup Presented by SMEG took place over the weekend of the 24/25th of April in Monaco.

Racing took place over two days with a qualification race each morning deciding the grid start positions for the afternoon racing. E-Mountain bike racing is still an emerging discipline but that does not subtract from the professional riders that took part.

Racing over the whole weekend was hotly contested in both competitions for men and women. The leaders in all cases pushing incredibly trying hard to hold off the second place riders who were only a few seconds behind for much of the race.

WES 2021 UCI E-MTB XC World Cup Round 01 Monaco 23-25 April 2021

The course was conceived to be a balance between technical climbing and hard descents, outlined in our course preview

Saturday, which involved six laps of the course, was characterised by the rough track having a lot to to with the outcome; athletes and bikes were going to be tested to the limit. The early battle being balanced in the male category with E-XC specialist Jérôme Gilloux (E-Team Moustache), proving his credentials as a double World Championship Silver Medallist and reigning French National Champion. The charging Joris Ryf (Bergstrom Werkmannshaft) suffered a mechanical mishap and consequently his challenge to Gilloux’ stronghold of the event. Behind them the duo of Camoin and Pigeon were fighting an electric battle for third place. Corsican Francescu “Cecce” Camoin (Specialized) being pipped to the line with an impressive and superbly timed sprint from Frenchman Hugo Pigeon (Scott SR Suntour Enduro Team).

WES 2021 UCI E-MTB XC World Cup Round 01 Monaco 23-25 April 2021 Worldwide Copyright WES World E-Bike Series

Multiple Enduro World Champion Isabeau Courdurier (Lapierre Zipp Collective) led the Women’s field by a commanding margin until a mechanical problem with her chain dropped her out of the running. Also reigning World Champion Mélanie Pugin (BH E-Racing team) had some technical problems, in the end Sofia Wiedenroth (Specialized) won the race and Kathrin Stirnemann (Thömus RN Swiss Bike Team) took second ahead of Karen Pepper (Team Pepper Lapierre).

WES 2021 UCI E-MTB XC World Cup Round 01 Monaco 23-25 April 2021 Worldwide Copyright WES World E-Bike Series

Sunday was also a day of mechanicals from overheating motors and possibly incorrectly configured speed sensors, it was not easy to make the bike last the whole race on a tough course. Tyre choice was fundamental to the outcome of the race. Managing the rocks and difficult sections required riders to play on the side of caution and go for a more robust tyre setup. The downside being that they had to pedal harder to keep the bike moving fast.

The fastest riders at the start, taking the first turn, were Dutchman Jaroen van Eck (CST Post NL Bafang) and German Sofia Wiedenroth (Specialized) getting today’s WES Holeshot in their respective categories.The Magneti Marelli Checkstar Power Lap trophy was awarded to Jérôme Gilloux (E-Team Moustache) and Sofia Wiedenroth, for setting the fastest lap in 7:09.76 and 8:15.70 respectively.

With this impressive pace, these two riders also clinched the first step of the podium. On the Women’s side, reigning World Champion Mélanie Pugin (BH E-Racing Team) got second ahead of Kathrin Stirnemann (Thömus RN Swiss Bike Team) by 3:20″. The Men’s podium was a perfect copy of yesterday’s results, with Swissman Joris Ryf (Bergstrom Werksmannshaft) in second place and Frenchman Hugo Pigeon (Scott SR Suntour Enduro Team) third.

Racing Action and Behind The Scenes Insights

WES looks forward to the rest of the season as the circuit moves on to Bologna-Appennino on the 5-6th June.

There is no doubt that today showcased real racing and an impressive level of fitness and skill amongst the whole field.

Race 1 Saturday Results Women:

1st Sofia Wiedenroth (Specialized) GER
2nd Kathrin Stirnemann (Thömus RN Swiss Bike Team) SWI
3rd Karen Pepper (Team Pepper Lapierre) GBR

Race 1 Saturday Results Men:

1st Jérôme Gilloux (E-Team Moustache) FRA
2nd Joris Ryf (Bergstrom Werkmannshaft) SWI
3rd Hugo Pigeon (Scott SR Suntour Enduro Team) FRA

WES 2021 UCI E-MTB XC World Cup Round 01 Monaco 23-25 April 2021

WES 2021 UCI E-MTB XC World Cup Round 01 Monaco 23-25 April 2021

Race 2 Sunday Results Women:
1st Sofia Wiedenroth (Specialized) GER
2nd Mélanie Pugin (BH E-Racing Team) FRA
3rd Kathrin Stirnemann (Thömus RN Swiss Bike Team) SWI

Race 2 Sunday Results Men:
1st Jérôme Gilloux (E-Team Moustache) FRA
2nd Joris Ryf (Bergstrom Werkmannshaft) SWI
3rd Hugo Pigeon (Scott SR Suntour Enduro Team) FRA


  • 31 8
 Queue every e-bike hater (me) being told that e-bike racing is cool because of the really challenging technical .... climbs..... yeah ok you keep selling the joke to yourselves guys.
  • 13 11
 Keep hating other people having fun you weirdo.
  • 11 5
 @fatduke: hate is a strong word.... I only used it as its the standard term. I do however think e-bike racing is probably the most gimp sport out there, along side the cross fit games.
  • 2 2
 @Imabigboy82: The E-rally format is so much worse than any E-bike race and cross fit games sounds as niche and entertaining as bog snorkeling.
  • 17 0
 That video exactly met my expectations
  • 13 0
 How are you in an eMTB event with a name like Mélanie Pugin and not change it to Mélanie Plug-in?
  • 12 0
 money talks in all motor sports and that's the way it will go for e bike racing. All motor sport is not good for the environment - e bikes included. Yeah I hate em!
  • 10 1
 Love the fact they've got orange juice to celebrate with! Like they've won a pretend race with their parents as judges! LOL
  • 4 0
 „seems like the Battery isn’t an issue with most athletes returning with 20-30% left over“ well I would sure hope so after a 45 min ride, perhaps this format should be pushing battery management to encourage better performance in the development side of things. It’s early days and I guess image is crucial in these first impressions but in my opinion they really need to focus on advantages of power assist riding with technical climbs or hops up hill that could only be achieved at high pace and expose the vulnerabilities of motor sport to ad excitement. I guess a massive factor lies in the target group who buy production ebikes and the athletes demands on what they need to win a ebike race, this could in fact create a large divide in the types of bikes a company produces, perhaps leading to a race ebike creation
  • 4 0
 I would like to see the fastest E-lap and compare it to what Nino could do on his XC bike.

My money would be on Nino doing the lap faster as folk like Nino climb faster than the E-Bike allows and the nimbleness and skill on the descents would give him the edge for sure through those tight turns.

If the likes of Nino could do their 6 laps faster on their XC bikes then this would blow this concept apart really and make it so that it needed something to make it more valid than being a E-XC race.

The lap looked mint for sure, would love to do a lap on an e-bike. (I am not an Ehater, I think they have their place and if I could afford/justify one I would have one tomorrow for sure).
  • 1 0
 Your money would be lost, the climbing speed on an e bike is off the charts compared to a non e bike. Once you try one you'll see.
  • 1 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: I have tried one and they are great fun.
But once you see the top xc racers climb in a WC race in real life you might understand. It's incredible to watch.
  • 4 0
 So the race is just 45 minutes long, is it? I just thought of something funny: Over such a short distance, the riders from the UCI Men's XCO Elite would probably have a very good chance of beating all of these guys on their E-Bikes.
  • 1 0
 No, because it's shorter they can run the bikes in turbo mode and motor up the climbs much faster.
  • 6 1
 So after the olympics schurter is going to come dick all over these guys right?
  • 2 0
 on his XC bike with no motor too as the track didnt look as challenging as a normal WC XC.
  • 3 1
 I like that it's presented by SMEG, I think that says it all! All for E-bikes but used by fit people makes no sense, especially for xc. I get there is an element of when and where you use your "assistance" but if everyone is on an E-bike it's just a slightly faster paced normal race on bikes that have a bigger environmental impact. This is pretty much shown at world championships "oh a super fast xc guy won the E-bike world championships?!? Who would have thought"
  • 5 0
 The official Pink Bike E-MTB XC World Cup comments thread Presented by SMEG When brand names don't travel well...
  • 3 0
 The race track actually looks pretty cool, could be a nice track for regular XC too. I also like the fact that the riders were in shorts and not spandex jumpsuits.
  • 1 0
 For me ebike racing makes more sense for XC cause brings it more to the gravity side, with beefier bikes, beefier tracks (which could be even way more technichal with freeride stuff).. and at the end the strongest and the skilliest wins too.. but here adding more wheight for skills... so not really understand the haters here on PB..
  • 4 0
 Yes and no, can sort of see this argument but it sort of suggests that pro xc racers are not technically proficient which is not the case at all these days...xc racing is about ability in all areas which these E xc racers will be too, but just slower than actual pro xc guys. I have no problem with people needing an E-bike but fit people that can race (Hugo Pigeon an exception as medical condition means he can't race xc anymore) makes no sense, it's environmentally a lot worse but if you need assistance for age or health reasons (or a long commute) then I can totally accept you take that environmental hit so you can continue doing what you love; but otherwise I think we should consider if adding to our environmental impact is really worth it just to go a little further/faster for less effort. I wish they where called "assistance bikes" I think that's what they should be see as, and as that they are amazing.
  • 5 0
 Here for the comments...
  • 1 1
  • 5 0
 I just don't get it.
  • 3 0
 Can we please have mass start uphill racing for these e-buy-gum-bikes (insert your own bad Yorkshire accent)..
  • 1 0
 Is there a rule for ebikes, that seat hight has to be as low as possible especialy on climbs?
I see these monkeys on bikes pretty often, but I don't get it.
  • 1 0
 As a Swiss and being precise (and maybe bit nitpicky): The code for Switzerland is SUI, not SWI.
  • 1 0
 It is coming from Suisse (french), because the main language of the UCI is french.
  • 2 0
  • 2 0
 Formula E-bike Monaco GP
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