Opinion: How to Make the Enduro World Series More Exciting for the Fans

Jun 23, 2022 at 12:58
by Mike Kazimer  
Spinning Circles column Mike Kazimer

There's another Enduro World Series event this weekend in Val di Fassa, Italy. It should be an exciting race - the level of talent is at an all-time high, the trails look challenging and fun, and it's anyone's guess as to who will end up on the podium by the end of the weekend. But you know what? I don't care as much as I probably should.

As fun as it is to compete in an an enduro race – if you haven't tried one I highly recommend it – it's really hard to be a spectator, whether that's from an armchair or even at the race itself. Racers leave the start gate and return hours later, and if you've ever spent time with the EWS live results feed you'll know how frustrating that experience can be. It's nearly impossible to figure out who's actually leading the race, which is the whole point of trying to follow along in real time in the first place.

It seems like enduro racing gets put on a pedestal sometimes, as if it's some sort of magical race format. Maybe that's a holdover from the earlier days when the phrase 'the spirit of enduro' was continually bandied about, a term that still makes me cringe. That aura of mysticism needs to be left behind for good – enduro racing is a bunch of mountain bikers trying to go as fast as possible on technical trails that are mostly downhill, but not quite gnarly enough to warrant a full-on downhill bike. The concept makes a ton of sense, and there's a reason that the format has caught on around the world. There doesn't seem to be any issue attracting participants, but there's plenty of work to be done in order to make it an event that fans are actually excited about before, during, and after the race.

Jesse Melamed needs no comment here...
There's no shortage of talent on the EWS circuit, it's just that it's hard to get to see the racers doing what they do best.

In 2021 the Enduro World Series added in a Pro Stage that takes place before the main event as a way to create at least one spectator-friendly portion of the race. The top five finishers in the men's category and the top three racers in the women's category are then reseeded to start last for the main race. I get what the organizers were trying to achieve, but why not take it a step further? Instead of a Pro Stage, how about implementing a qualifying run, where only the top 60 or so racers are able to compete in the big show. As it is, there are close to 150 men and 50 women zipping around on race day, a level of organized chaos that doesn't make it easy to figure out how the race is progressing.

The Enduro World Series races should be reserved for the absolute best of the best, and a smaller field would make it easier for fans to have favorite racers, and to track their progress over the course of a season. No offense to the riders battling it out for 86th place – you're still fast as hell – but most viewers only care about how the top 20 or so racers are doing - the level of interest declines significantly after that. Yes, this could potentially make it more difficult for riders with dreams of making it as a pro enduro racer, but the reality is that even with the current format unless you're really close to the front of the pack there simply isn't enough money in enduro racing to make it a viable full-time job.

Continuing on with my dream scenario, that smaller field would roll out of the start gate on race day with cameras in place to film the majority of each run. How many stages should there be? That's a tough one.

Imagine if there was only one single stage that was accessed via a chairlift. The track would be full of steep, natural sections leading into a higher speed portion with a few big jumps before the finish corral. Screaming fans would line the entire track, urging racers onwards. For the viewers at home, Freecaster-era Rob Warner would be the commentator for the live video feed, shouting out a profanity-laced blow-by-blow recap of the action... Just kidding. Mostly.

The clamour for Super Bruni scribbles.
Scenes like this are much more common after a World Cup DH race.

I don't actually want enduro racing to become downhill racing on little bikes – they're two distinct activities, and the big days and long, physical stages are part of what makes enduro interesting. Enduro racers don't put it all on the line for one run – they're forced to make smart choices in order to ensure they finish all of the stages with bike and body intact.

That doesn't mean there aren't lessons to be learned from the World Cup DH format. In continuing with this thought experiment, here's what I'd love to see implemented at EWS races. (I should also mention that I know it's incredibly difficult to organize and execute the EWS in its current form – this isn't meant to diminish the hard work that's gone into growing the series to where it is today).

Reduce the number of racers. I wasn't kidding about the idea of a qualifier instead of a Pro Stage. Trim the field significantly after one stage, and then focus the media attention on the riders who make the cut. For the riders who don't qualify, they can still race the EWS 100, gaining more race experience and the ability to ride the same course as the fastest riders.

GPS trackers for all finalists. The riders that do make the cut should be outfitted with GPS trackers that output the information to a website where fans can view the results in a format that makes sense. The overall leaderboard should be updated once all the racers have completed a stage, and the results site needs to make it easy to figure out who's doing well (and who's not) at a glance.

GoPro livestreams from the top qualifiers. Along with all of the racers having GPS trackers, giving the top 10 qualifiers GoPros that put out a livestream during their runs would make things even more engaging. It'll never be possible to have cameras on every inch of every track at an EWS, but being able to watch the POV of someone like Richie Rude or Isabeau Courdurier as they blast their way down a trail would would help make it more likely that fans will tune in during the even.

The challenges of making EWS racing more spectator and fan-friendly aren't impossible to overcome, and I know that there's a lot of work going on behind the scenes to figure it all out. Still, as someone who eats, sleeps, and breathes mountain biking it seems like something is a little amiss if the prospect of another race this weekend makes me shrug instead of smile with anticipation. That doesn't mean I won't look at the race results and peruse the post-race pictorial, it's just that the experience will be more of a footnote rather than the highlight that it could be.




Will you be trying to decipher the live results feed this weekend, or will you wait until the dust has settled to see who wins? What would your ideal EWS courses & coverage look like? Jumps over alligator pits? Stages comprised entirely of elevated skinnies? Mass starts, Mega Avalanche style? A drone following every rider? Let us know in the comments below.


219 Comments

  • 136 20
 The Enduro was born in France and Italy long before social media and all of the curent other media outlets. And even if, there was timing, it was more about experiencing the big day and hanging out with everyone and chasing your friends in all the downhills.
In today s world, everything needs to be accessible to watch or interact on the Internet. Maybe Enduro is just not supposed to be a professional sport?! and instead what rider should look forward to do with their everyday bike out in the mountains!
  • 29 0
 Yeah the original goal of enduro was more about the fun racing in the mountains, maybe even blind stages. I think Enduro can be a professional sport though. Just like other stage racing like the WRC, there are possibilities to cover the events well enough so a lot of viewers are satisfied.
  • 5 0
 I'll see you in Rossland on Sunday for some big days in the mountains! Wink
  • 24 15
 Yeah, but how's Chris Ball going to get rich in this scenario?
  • 54 4
 I mean regardless of whether or not it's a professional sport, enduro will be how most people I know ride. eg. not too worried about climbing time, but pushing it on each descent. BUT, I love that enduro racing has brought us a whole new group of racers and professionals, so I hope to see it evolve and improve over the years as a discipline. I'm glad pro EWS racing exists.
  • 4 14
flag fabwizard (Jun 24, 2022 at 11:31) (Below Threshold)
 @brianpark: Totally off topic. But PB is advertising "Quest" Bikes and us pinkers know nothing about them. Any review coming?
  • 63 63
 My heart goes out to all my fellow female riders in the USA that have now once again been reduced to a lesser being by the unreliable and deteriorating government. Both sides of the hall could have prevented all that happened today for generations, however they have chosen not to so as to have a political campaign strategy. Fuck this shit.
  • 27 2
 Professional enduro racing has done more for bike development than anything this century so far. It's the ultimate test of performance for a heavy hitting trail bike that lasts, which is what 99% of riders want.

Personally I am very glad for this testing ground to stay funded.
  • 107 22
 Also the EWS should never be held in repressive medieval theocratic shitholes like Saudi Arabia or the USA.
  • 8 9
 @L0rdTom: Seconded.
  • 5 4
 @brianpark: its kind of the opposite .

People mountain bike and racing sells.

Create a racing format to market the bikes most people buy (rather than specific xc/dh)

Enduro racing validates market- people buy into it. More 'enduro' bikes sold.

Are we so naive
  • 3 8
flag mrmm8900 (Jun 24, 2022 at 15:17) (Below Threshold)
 @abueno: XD
  • 13 1
 @pen9-wy: No. Brian is completely right in that's how a lot of people (everyone I know for sure) have been riding for 15+ years.

What has happened is that the sport has recognised how people want to ride (given the amazing difference between bikes now and a decade ago) and has leaned into it - and yes, absolutely the marketing has leaned into it too.

Marketing reflects and then amplifies demand, it doesn't completely create it. People have always wanted DH bikes they could easily pedal to the top instead of pushing them. Now we have that, and so we have enduro which is a format which utilises that.

The racing doesn't validate the market, we would be buying these bikes regardless of whether there was a sport because they're f*cking brilliant, and the demand completely predates the sport.
  • 6 2
 @L0rdTom: I wish there was a x10 upvote for this
  • 6 0
 Thank you. I think it's sad that the 2days format has been completely abandoned for a show friendly 1 day race with a prologue. I don't want Enduro to become DH second league.
  • 4 0
 Yeah, but the EWS does exist and even if it were to fold there are so many top-tier athletes in the sport another series would certainly rise to the occasion. Personally, I love it as a professional sport for the same reasons you listed- it is representative of what mountain biking looks like to me. For DH racing you need to be near a lift-access park, for XC you have to be willing to sacrifice a lot of what I consider "fun" about riding. Enduro is that goldilocks medium, as evidenced by the popularity of Enduro/Trail bikes.
Professional Enduro racing has given rise to increasingly better bikes in the all-mountain category, the bikes that are the most popular segment in the industry. Having a professional series gives brands the opportunity to test and showcase the latest and greatest only benefits us, consumers. I've said this before but the fact that most EWS racers make less than a living wage is a sham, especially when this segment has easily the most marketing potential. The reason there is so little money in Enduro is that we haven't worked out how to create good media coverage around it. WRC has created a profitable business making stage racing viewable, as has road racing. There are unique challenges covering Enduro but if they are overcome it is my belief Enduro could easily become the premier competitive format for mountain biking.
  • 2 0
 @ryanandrewrogers: This announcement is very nearly 14 months old, I wonder just how long they need.
www.pinkbike.com/news/discovery-inc-invests-in-enduro-world-series-aims-to-begin-live-broadcasts.html
  • 1 0
 The point of racing is to see how you stack up to others who race, if that's not of interest than just ride your bike in the mountains and enjoy yourself. There are those of us that really enjoy watching the fastest racers in the world, making it more viewer friendly would be much welcomed.
  • 2 4
 @L0rdTom: or countries that have had and still have colonies!!
  • 1 0
 @pen9-wy: win on sunday, sell on monday
  • 91 0
 Flaming hoops, big ramps jumping 42 buses and leather outfits.
  • 34 0
 I'd watch that.
  • 55 6
 Not every sport should be driving towards more fans, more coverage, more media, more pressure, more, more, more. Perhaps Enduro is just best left for the riders. Do we really need more social media fighting for our 30 second attention span. Do we need more money in the sport which only ends up requiring fans to then pay to watch it. Maybe its best left as it is, given its hard to film.
  • 42 1
 Without value for brands there’s no teams or sponsored riders.
  • 10 0
 @mknott9: 100% this. Enduro races as stand alone local events make sense but if you want to attract top talent and have a true professional sport they need to sort out better coverage.

I was thinking about it earlier today, the longest clip I've ever seen of Richie Rude riding is the video of when he cut the course last year.
  • 4 2
 @mknott9: Would that be so catastrophic?

Either way, most of those pro riders are merely familiar faces, a models for the bike brands. Someone to put on the billboard next to a brand new bike or pair of pedals.
  • 13 0
 Would be nice if riders could make a living from Enduro
  • 5 2
 @slapdatberm99: If they are pros.. of course. Not to mention 100% covered medical insurance and expenses (I'm sick and tired reading about US riders ending up in debt after a crash while racing).

But if you're an amateur, it is what it is. Like in all amateur sports
  • 2 1
 @slapdatberm99: the riders are just the pawns in the marketing move that is EWS
  • 3 0
 If the sport have no coverage and the brands don't receive any marketing back they have no reason to support young riders to achieve their dream of making their living riding bikes. In case of having to pay for watching a race, it at least give the option for those who are interested in doing so and the ones that are not could just follow the races as it has being since now. No one would be forced to pay and watch. And if you don't like social media, just don't download the app. People get so obsessed in the idea that money in the bike industry is evil that they don't realise that in the end this is what keeps the championships moving forward.
  • 1 1
 @AlexPBauer: 100%. The argument of just doing it without those evil companies which want to make money, triggers me. Without money less riders less events less coverage less progression of the sport. In sports with a lot of money in it this may not be entirely true but enduro racing is far from that state. Get better coverage to be able to charge the involved companies more, as simple as that.
  • 3 0
 These opinions about not growing the sport's media coverage are a bit unfair to the hard-working professional athletes are they not? Most of the field travels the world without barely earning a living wage, but their efforts benefit us immeasurably as they test and showcase the latest and greatest bikes/tech in the most popular segment of mountain biking: all-mountain. Without the EWS I'm not sure the all-mountain segment would have changed as quickly as it did. Media coverage and marketability drive the wages of the athletes, right now the industry pays DH racers more because it gets the brand name out there more, despite the EWS racers being the ones testing the limit of the bikes we actually buy.
  • 3 0
 @mtmc99: couldn't agree more, if Richie Rude had the type of exposure and coverage as Red Bull DH he would be way bigger. The lackluster coverage isnt just costing the sport but also the riders. But whatever you do, keep the EWS-100 please lol
  • 2 0
 The trouble is that the coverage has got worse over the years. There used to be a preview show that covered all the stages being raced, not just 1. The post show used to interview riders after each stage and let you see what was going on. Last nights was a classic, the commentator didn't even know that Rae Morrison being caught because she had a front flat for most of the stage.
  • 50 1
 Bring back the "On Track" series that Redbull did with Curtis Keene. That had some of the best coverage of Enduro and had great insights into training, race prep, hectic travel schedules and racing. I watched every single episode of it.
  • 2 0
 those were the best but people want things NOW!
  • 9 0
 Exactly. There are more casual f1 fans watching highlights on YouTube and drive to survive than any of the races
  • 45 2
 When I read "the spirit of enduro", it reminded me of why gravel is so popular in the USA. A sport that evokes the term "the spirit of gravel", cringe, yes, but it's a valid can of worms.

In gravel cycling, the draw is that it's a spectator sport, a type of event that anyone can line up and race against and with the pros or local heroes. Obviously, enduro is different, as the local joe's aren't racing the pro's, but it does have a similar type of 'anti-spectator' nature. A local joe can't ride down many World Cup DH tracks due to venue restrictions, but I've yet to see why they couldn't hit a World Cup Enduro line. I don't think that's a bad thing. If we try to make the sport more media-friendly, then we won't get to enjoy media from some insanely exotic locations. In some of these locations yes, it's a lot harder to set-up timing, have reliable internet, or effectively organize for an influx of high-level athletes. But that's not a bad thing! Keep the exotic, raw, and hard-to-reach locations on the calendar. If we want to see blown-out tracks and tons of people we can watch World Cup DH.

My vote is to keep the "spirit of enduro" alive and well. Race down remote mountains on goat trails with a dash of organized chaos. Figure it out at the end. Get us some acceptable, not great, media while providing some small local economies a boost. I want to see Bob Jones filming with his rented camera and producing raw content, not Discovery setting up platforms to throw up their $15k 4k rigs. Fin. Thanks for the thought-provoking opinion piece, Mike.
  • 4 1
 Easy for me to say because I'm not doing the work, but put live gopros of some sort on the top 20 qualifiers, and use transponders to live update whose currently in the lead... The whole thing could be automated, and you can pick what raw feed to watch. Then, also have an announcer feed where the announcer is choosing what to show and talk about and doing interviews etc. Done.
  • 1 0
 @Dogl0rd: That's an interesting thought, but I don't believe first-person footage is nearly as exciting.
  • 1 0
 @spankthewan: I agree, the announcer feed should still have third person video
  • 42 1
 Wouldn't it make more sense for the last stage to be the so called "pro-stage"? Last stage that decides the winner, televised like a DH race...all the drama of split times and racers on the hot seat and everything.
  • 8 11
 No. It would not, as “pro” stands for “prologue”, not “professional”.
  • 12 0
 Bring back two day format, 3/4 stages each day. Second day first two stages start early do a couple hour break after 2/3 stages. Make last stage be like mini dh like at most 3 or 4 minutes long. For live show then do a quick recap of what has happened and live stream of top preformers.

Oh and get rid of pro/queen stages coz its just confusing for everyone
  • 4 0
 In theory that sounds good, but by the time you get to the last stage there are likely only a few riders who have a real chance to win.
  • 5 0
 @cyclemobolympicpark: irrespective of what pro was initially meant to mean @kookseverywhere has a decent idea. Think about what could have been made of the end of season finale between Mr Hill and Mr Nicolai in 2019 with the format being suggested?
  • 1 0
 @sino428: Yea, but there are still fantasy points at stake! I like this idea. I'd watch the top 15-20 riders on the last stage.
  • 38 0
 Hear me out: jump around stages like PGA coverage. EWS stages can be 10+ mins, as a rider enters an area where camera coverage is not feasible, go to someone else. Have some climb portion check-ins with riders, "How'd the last stage go? What's plan for the next stage, hard charge or play it safe?" etc.

I don't mind watching someone gunning for 100th when seconds earlier I was watching Richie Rude, it gives a sense of the level of competition. Like I know Richie is top tier, but when I can compare him to that guy who's 50+ positions back, I understand exactly how good everyone involved in the race is.
  • 10 1
 I really like this... christ if you can make golf TV friendly, you can figure out how to make stage racing more engaging.
It would be a big challenge for the "switcher" though in live format. You would need a lot of feeds fed in from remote areas. I think it would need to be a post race edit.
  • 3 0
 @ShawMac: PGA coverage is live-ish. It's delayed by an amount of time (I'm really not confident by how much), which gives them time to queue up what's next, prep the commentators on who's coming on and where, and give a relatively seamless switch from what's actively broadcasting to the next scene. I can't imagine that would be difficult for Discovery to pull off.
  • 2 1
 @ShawMac: golf is actually really easy. It’s played on a wide open, generally flat piece of land, it’s slow, and it’s very predictable where players will be playing their shots from.

Sounds nothing like trying to cover an enduro race.
  • 4 1
 @sino428: I know its technically easy to provide coverage, my implication is that it is a rather unexciting sport creatively made engaging for tv spectators. They have figured out a formula to make it popular and engaging.

I was not implying that the two sports are similar in any way.
  • 3 1
 @ShawMac: there's millions of golfers anyway with sporting heritage of 100 years. If you showed a badger shit in th e sand itd be watchable
  • 2 0
 @sino428: It's probably more difficult than covering an enduro race, at least in the personnel required, because they actually ensure they have camera coverage all over the greens, across 18 holes. Do you know how many cameras it must take to cover nearly 150 acres of greens? Not to mention the cameraman on one end of the greens possibly could have no sight-line to where the ball is being hit from. Then said cameraman must accurately pinpoint something the size of a hummingbird hurtling over 100 miles an hour towards their end of the course in midair.
We can't even expect that kind of coverage. However, by mixing golf's jump-around format with roughly the proportion of stage coverage you could expect from WRC racing I think we would have a relatively entertaining live coverage.
  • 1 0
 Worst case scenario it's a failure, they give up on broadcasting stage races, and we can give the boot to discovery after.
  • 2 0
 Golf? Isn’t that something you put on TV when you want to take a nap.
  • 17 0
 Wasn't the main point of the so called pro stage the day before the race that it could be better covered by media? Do a livestream for the pro stage.
And please don't just show the top 3 in your race recap videos. The rest deserves some attention as well
  • 2 0
 I d watch 2 hours of live prostage for sure (if the cameras are positioned half decent)
  • 2 0
 Surely they could film the pro stage live like the DH races are
  • 14 0
 How do you want to achieve what WRC with heaps more money could not achieve. It is simple impossible to make stage races interesting for a live broadcast.
  • 11 0
 I have to agree. EWS need to focus on improving the coverage they put out after the event. It's very formulaic and repetitive at the moment. The top three riders in each category going round the same few corners.
  • 3 0
 Road racing changed their format to become more spectator/media friendly and those that claimed the spirit of the event was lost split off and formed randonneuring races (which still exist and get absolutely no coverage). Self-supported epic rides may be more relatable to participants of the sport, but they are damned hard to televise.
  • 11 0
 @DrChaos totally disagree!

The EWS racing coverage was much better in previous years... beause they actually showed more racing.

They need to make the racing relatable to the viewer. Tell the story of the stages and help people to know their character better.

Pick key sections and show the different approaches that riders are taking.

The split screen comparisons they used to show were brilliant, but they've almost completely dissapeared from the coverage!?

I like some of the new angles that the show is taking, but personally I want to see more racing and more focus on that racing.
  • 5 0
 @excavator666: That's the point. EWS TV coverage was not that bad 4-5 years ago but now it's completely rubbish.
Make a live timing that actually works and real TV reviews. It would be a good step.
  • 2 0
 Good point; the WRC is now in its 50th year. It is only recently that it has gained live coverage of all stages - previously we had end of day highlights, and maybe the odd stage live.

EWS needs to improve the highlight shows, make the Pro Stage a live stream, and make that stage the final stage with live streaming coverage.
  • 13 0
 A weekly article profiling a different EWS rider each week on here would help. Info about them, their journey, their bikes, their sponsors etc.
  • 13 0
 My local enduro races have better, easier to follow, live updates than the EWS
  • 10 0
 Racers should strap loose eggs onto their frames along with their bananas. And camp stove must be carried in fanny pack. Mass start, megavalanche style. Winner is the first rider to cook Rob Warner a really good banana pancake at the finish line.
  • 2 0
 If the eggs are strapped in, they’re not loose. Are they carrying the flour too?
  • 2 0
 @dsut4392: that's a valid point, was just thinking a carton would be extra weight. Flour maybe just poured in the frame storage compartment which is practically standard by now.
I anticipate the development of the enduro spatula for pancake flipping. Maybe a titanium handle and carbon blade with precisely tuned flex.
  • 2 0
 @AndrewHornor: for pedals the choice is obvious…
  • 8 0
 The racing is fine. The long-stage format itself does not lend itself towards covering an entire race or stage. They need a highlights package released post race: coverage of the most interesting bits of trail, transfer stage interviews, some line analysis, post-race interviews. Mix it in with GoPro highlights of top 3. I am not watching 45min of heavy breathing on camera of live GoPro. Craft a 30min-60min long format official show of the race and I would watch it.

Currently everyone watches a hodge-podge of all of these things on YouTube from various channels. The market demands instant coverage of a live race, or the "market" seems to think the fans demand it. The enduro format doesn't really lend itself towards that. DH does. XC short track does. Do we really need to figure it out for enduro? Nah. Plenty of successful long-format sporting events have already figured this out. Enduro can be different.
  • 2 0
 Part of the issue is that the long format makes many of the track specifics kind of irrelevant. On a DH track you can have interesting or key sections that can make or break a race. Line choice in a certain section can be the difference between winning and finishing off the podium. In a longer race each section or line choice itself becomes less important.. So it even makes that kind of detailed track analysis that they do for DH kind of useless.
  • 2 0
 To me, the long stages are problematic for spectators for a few reasons. It certainly seems difficult to film when there could be 10 riders on course on the same stage, but I think it also brings down the rider intensity too much. Doing multiple stages and spending the whole day on the bike already requires riders to pace themselves on every stage, but when a stage is almost 15 min long then there is significant risk and minimal reward to riding aggressively like @sino428 mentioned. Also, it seems that the length also comes from large sections of fire road/winding grass routes that don't look fun to ride or to watch . There could be a middle ground of 5-10 min stages that keeps the tracks more interesting and the intensity up consistently.
  • 1 0
 I think this is key - the Pro Stage idea is good and more can be made of it, but really Enduro is something that should be reconstructed in an exciting way after the fact. It can be done it just needs a bit of overhaul but it could be a really exciting rewatch.
  • 13 5
 Enduro is by far my favourite form of racing. I would love to have more easily consumable coverage. Here are my suggestions:

1. As per @mikekazimer, narrow the field. You can have a series that allows riders to qualify for spots in the PRO series, say 10 spots. Almost like a promotion/relegation scenario that is done twice per year.

2. Focus audience on one of the segments that are more camera saturated. This would be either mid-event or the final run.

3. Incorporate drones and go-pros for better coverage.

4. Use trackers on all riders that would allow fans / commentators to overlay competitors to show real-time results.
  • 7 0
 I don't think the format is an issue. A sport driven by people who love mountain biking will likely never sit down and follow a 6 hour event on TV we'd rather be biking. I think the answer would be Saturday's pro stage live stream the stage for the top 15 to 20 riders. This would allow viewers to get invested in the weekend. Then on Sunday have the last stage well covered. Once a gain focus on a the top 10 to 20 to riders before the last stage. I think the top 10 -20 in the overall after the second last stage could be held to run last. Before their run have a 1 - 2 minute recap of the riders day with highlights maybe short post stage comments from the rider, turning points. Then stream their last stage. I'd certainly tune in for the top 10 after stage 5 about to put it all on the line. To make filming easy often the Pro Stage is used twice in an event you could finish on that same qualifying stage from the previous day to simplify logistics.
  • 7 0
 In my view from the cheap seats, EWS and WRC are essentially the exact same thing... one on bicycles and one in cars. So let's look to the WRC coverage to see what is done well, and emulate it, and don't do the stuff that isn't necessary. The WRC tracks are lined in key areas with cheering fans who have no idea who is doing well or not so figure out what gets them there. I do agree with a move to a hierarchal format with less riders in the big show may be more engaging over the long term, but it needs to be done carefully so there is enough exposure at the lower levels for rider development.
  • 11 5
 Just have Redbull start their own gravity-oriented series, with enduro and downhill. Cut-out UCI, since they don't get that bikes can be used for something OTHER than suffering through a road race in 100 degree heat, pooping in a towel held by a domestique.

Seriously, RedBull already has the good coverage for downhill, they just got cut-out of it by Discovery, and they have a legit gravity-oriented series already. Add two or three more events, make them all week-long affairs, with Enduro starting early in the week, then maybe a few days of rest, and finishing on the downhill track with small bikes...maybe after downhill qualifying on Friday / Saturday (build some suspense through the week). Have ALL gravity riding, from pumptrack to downhill in like 7 events (maybe a few separate, dedicated to each), and call it good.

In other words: "F" the UCI.
  • 3 0
 Yup. As “prestigious” and “classic” UCI series are, they’re just being greedy by messing with something that’s already so good.

I think some sort of live filming with modern phones by dedicated fans/ race officials could be the solution for enduro. Like some sort of app that taps into the potential of smartphones.
  • 2 0
 We can be like cliff diving then woohoo
  • 1 0
 No thanks, I want racing not a marketing show to sell more tins of fizzy drinks
  • 5 0
 Before I even read Mike's opinion I thought GoPro for all riders too. I love watching POV and livestream options for the top 10 or so would be awesome. If there was a way to add analytics for critical sections like they do for WCDH where you can see if time is being gained or lost vs the previous riders that would be really engaging.
  • 1 0
 Problem is that it would be near impossible to get solid live broadcast from GoPros across the distance of a full enduro stage. Even the best wireless transmitters only reach a few hundred feet, and this would require the rider also wearing a transmitter and multiple receivers all the way down the trail. GoPro race highlight reels could be a thing but the technology isn't good enough to get live GoPros yet.
  • 3 0
 @Jake-Whitehouse: Live may be difficult but what about almost live? Riders hand over the memory card for a fresh one at the end of the stage and while they liase to the next stage a staffer uploads the footage. Upload speeds will be slower in some regions than others but even a couple of runs would pacify the fans somewhat.
  • 2 0
 @mchacker: Yes almost-live would be achievable - but it would still be dependent on a team of camera technicians to handle all the GoPro batteries and memory cards and a team of editors to ingest, edit, conform and upload clips. It would be more of a post-race highlights kind of deal but I guess better than nothing
  • 2 0
 Instead of gopros I'd like to see chase drones. It may take a few more years of technology improving but that would make it very exciting to watch.
  • 7 2
 I don't want to watch something that looks pretty similar to what I do on my own bike (albeit not as fast). I want to watch super-human freaks risk life and limb riding outrageous terrain that seems near impossible to navigate. Enduro as a racing format is fantastic, but by nature its a controlled, calculated, risk-assessing style of racing that rewards those who can go fast while still under control. DH will always be the spectator draw, because its pushing the boundaries at every second of racing. Sure there are DH racers who have made a career out of 95% effort, that kind of consistency will always be respected. But there will always be a Sam HIll, a Josh Bryceland, a Danny Hart, an Amaury Pierron, a Thibaut Daprela, etc, who will take it all the way to the edge and pip everyone else for the win. That's why we tune in for WC DH coverage, for the chance to see someone risk it all and have it pay off.
  • 5 0
 DH gets a load of content that also showcases the fun personalities. EWS does little of that type of coverage. Basically a highlight reel after the race. If they need a template, mix DH and WRC coverage.
  • 1 0
 It only does that for riders with the correctly painted helmet on
  • 5 0
 Definitely a smaller field with 30-40 riders allowing more detailed analysis and actual coverage of each rider. Qualifying instead of Pro stage would also be awesome!
  • 7 2
 Course walk the day before qualifying. One really steep technical stage. Riders go in reverse order of qualifying. Lift access to the start. Longer travel bikes with stiffer forks. Hang on........................
  • 3 0
 Honestly the only EWS coverage that holds my interest at all are full race run helmet/chest cam vids. Figure out a way to get more of that, and live(-ish) and you'll have my attention. And as the article says, this would kind of side-step the difficulty of having to cover such a huge area with static cameras.
  • 5 2
 I agree with most of this. The biggest is reducing the field - even to the point of eliminating the EWS100 and 80 entirely. The EWS is the professional format of racing. There is not an open category in World Cup DH or XC. In most bike-active regions, there is already a local enduro series of races that act as qualifiers for EWS. We don't need a bunch of amateurs and wanna-be pro's adding wear and tear and mileage to trails that are more sensitive than bike park trails. Those two categories are purely a money-grab by organizers riding on the back of trail associations with minimal return to those associations. The local enduro series gives more money back to the trail associations than the EWS does, even though with 100 and 80, there are 3 times the number of riders smashing, skidding, euro-lining, and walking down the trails.

With 80 riders, local associations could justify opening up more trails to these events and help them get out of the bike park. It is easier to quantify a trail fee and use for a more tightly controlled event. Stages would wrap-up sooner and re-open to the public faster. Trails would need less post-race remediation. The EWS shouldn't be an event "for all", it should be a qualified pro event to inspire local people and fans to try enduro racing and support their local race scene, not a large organization based abroad that has no long-standing community impact.
  • 1 0
 The issue with reducing rider numbers is entry fees are the income for the event organizers. They need large numbers of riders to make the event viable. Without those $$ no races. There just isn't enough sponsorship money to cover this and the event hosting fee...Or the EWS needs to cut the hosting fee to make running an event more cost effective
  • 1 0
 @tanadog: Exactly. The EWS 80 and 100 entry fees pay for the event.
  • 3 0
 What's the chances @chris-b-mtb will dare even view this comment stream after the drubbing he received on their (lack of) plans for DH last week?!

If you want EWS to be a blue ribbon event you have to limit the field to only the best riders who have to pre-qualify with something akin to UCI DH points. This makes coverage easier and concentrates sponsorship $'s to the point where riders can earn a decent crust. The 'spirit of enduro' will live on in the great local events out there.
  • 3 0
 Make 10 rounds of World Cup Downhill that spans all the driest seasons of the individual venues where every 2 weeks I can turn on my TV and hear Rob Warner going bat shit crazy into a microphone as the races get crazier and crazier. Allow their worst event to be dropped from scoring. Only way to make it better is to force the EWS guys to do it too.
  • 3 0
 I really enjoy The Jank Files, and other after event formants of Media. I don't need to see shit live, I don't care to stay uyp till 3 am watching racing. What I like is a really good long recap of an Event. I would love to watch a full hour long episode afterwards of how it all went down. Perhaps following a different bunch of riders each race, so at the end of the season you get to see how most of the top riders went in atleast one event.
  • 2 0
 It all comes down to who is paying for what and how can this be sustainable.
There are so many aspects to that. Are the bikeparks putting in a bigger share? The participants (some fees even in regional Enduro racing are really high already)? The sponsors? The online spectators (say Outside)?
  • 3 0
 When the part I get most excited about is the recap show released the following week you know there is some truth here. I think we give Wyn a live feed the whole race too. On course interviews!
  • 2 0
 Enduro just seems like it’s true spirit is as a more exclusive racers sport.
You can’t have it both ways. Either give up on making it a spectator sport or trim the field way down and sell out to the fans. Either one is fine, they’re just different. The original spirit of the sport is lost when it becomes less about the racers and more about the fans. EWS as well as other large Enduro comps all seem to struggle with trying to make it both.

It doesn’t seem possible to make it more fan friendly and keep the free spirit it was started on alive?! Part of the original point seems to be the chaos, at least on the few small ones I’ve done.

Just my two cents.
  • 2 0
 EWS is cool, enduro is fun to compete in, but I sure can't care enough to watch it. I will watch every UCI WC downhill race, but I don't have teh time to watch enduro. I find the most compelling races to be the Trans-Provence type blind races anyway and I don't mind seeing the coverage a week later on Vital. It doesn't have to believe, not even close.
  • 4 2
 Lost interest in EWS once the stages started to look like shuttling without trucks, photos of riders sitting on ski area chairlifts, and when there are actual self-propelled transfers/liaisons, seeing riders pushing bikes uphill with full face helmets hanging off their bars.

The name "enduro" was stolen from the motorcycle world and I thought the intention of the format was to serve as a test of both rider and machine. The event's "felt" that way at first, now they just look like a multi-stage DH race.

Make the riders climb and race blind sections. It's not an issue of "stage racing" look at coverage for TDF or Dakar, two examples of extremely long stage races that are covered well.

It's the format itself.
  • 2 0
 The only way to make enduro good for telly is to water the sport itself down. So just forget about making enduro good for telly and watch downhill instead. Instead of trying to televise enduro juat run twice as many world cups and we'll have all the televised racing we need (it's all the same people now so surely they can sort themselves out with some joined up thinking)
  • 2 0
 Maybe enduro can learn something from WRC rallying?
The coverage is very good,although certainly very expensive, but it hasn't changed much the 50+ year old format besides shortening the overall lenght of the race (more due to costs than coverage).

Making enduro more like DH will only hurt both disciplines, it's happening already.
  • 2 0
 Liking the PGA Tour and WRC references above....agree with Kaz, need to limit the field so they can story tell better. Like WRC, repeat runs on less overall stages over two days, then we could get to know the stages as well as the riders (EWS coverage used to be great at characterising the venue and crap at covering riders, now they seem to have flipped and are doing almost the opposite). Less stages to camera cover and more downtime in between to then produce those stories. Why not an EWS category of protected 20 riders, with a further say 10 promoted from the top 10 in EWS2 from the last race, and another 10 promoted from a qualifier stage on the Friday.
  • 2 0
 How about we do away with all the pointless info bullshit that takes up most of the video time, and actually show some footage of more than the top 3 finishers. That's why dh coverage is great! Seeing your mate racing on the big stage in the top 60. Also Who doesn't love a raw 13 min edit!
  • 2 0
 I’m probably saying nothing new here, but I’ll shoot anyway:

These events seem more like amazing backdrops for teams, participants, and organizers to create content…tons of content…which I love watching at my leisure. Head to head race coverage could be better, but it’s not a priority (for me). In terms of content, I get stoked to see the top guys as well as the lower tier riders. They’re all amazing bike handlers and it’s just fun to watch and learn from.

The qualifier makes sense in some ways, but then I could see it creating risk for teams in terms of getting the most time on track / exposure / coverage (going to my first point). An interesting variation might be to have each stage have fewer and fewer riders. That would create some drama, maintain a good amount of track time, and provide some incremental progression to the event.

Getting back to content, I’d love to hear more about the bikes, the riders, the teams, and the places. Again, this is just one man’s opinion, but I do love all things mountain bike and more is more!
  • 1 0
 add to that some sort of media content so fans could know who the most important riders are and their personalities, i am not talking about social media, following +50 riders on the gram and getting over 200 post on your feed dilutes them a lot.

The EWS is responsible to show the personalities of the most important riders in a way, a sumarized version, but not the fans, following the Grams, the myspaces and such only dilutes the content.
  • 10 6
 Make the events a single timed downhill stage around 3-5 minutes in length. /s
  • 5 7
 That's literally just downhill.
  • 2 0
 mmm, but without the chairlift, all on their own power. They could also do several laps...
  • 1 1
 @iiman: you mean like XC?
  • 1 0
 What needs to happen is almost too complicated to happen. There should be gopros or some sort of camera all over each stage that covers about 60% of that stage, similar to how DH has a section that isn't covered. Cameras should also be on the climb up each stage, but only maybe about 35-40% of each climb should be covered. On the EWS website you should be able to click on which stage you want to watch and then you can feed into the cameras on that stage choosing which section you want to watch or you can cycle between cameras to follow your favorite rider all the way down the stage.
  • 1 0
 I think its always going to be tough if you can't watch the majority of the race. At its core, that what is fun about being a fan of any sport. Watching the best athletes perform. The GPS tracker idea is nice, but at the end of the day you are just following result, not watching the action. That would be like if the NFL or NBA had no live broadcast, and all you could do is follow on the gamecast type apps that tell you whats happening. Those are useful as a supplement for people when they cant watch, but you can develop a fanbase using only a results tracker, even if its in real time. Live POV footage would be ok, but honestly its probably the worst form of video coverage. Better than nothing, but not ideal.
  • 1 0
 Would be great if there was some sort of collection of awesome photos shot by profesional photographers. They could also include some interviews of the riders to complement the photos. Maybe one set of photos and interviews right after track walk to build some hype for the race. One after training for more hype and last one after the race to tie it all together. I would much rather view those than 20min video of Top 3 riders blasting a straight line on alpine meadows days after the race was had.
  • 2 1
 I'm with the author on this. I get really excited about every dh round but don't really pay enduro much attention. If it wants to be taken seriously as a race series the suggestions are entirely sensible, especially reducing the field size.
  • 5 1
 Seriously bad idea to introduce qualis. Already bad enough that only 60 guys race in DH
  • 3 2
 No kidding. DH needs more racers in the finals, EWS is fine the way it is.
  • 1 3
 Far too many in dh. Who cares past the top 10 or 20. They are only there to help cover the event costs with their entry fees
  • 3 0
 @chrismac70: thanks fo the support✌
  • 1 2
 @NicoOfner: Its not about rider support. The WC are about finding the best, not the also rans. I bet most riders havent got a clue who raced outside of the live feed and many outside the top 10. I know that sounds harsh on the privateer but elite sport is.
  • 1 0
 Good live coverage of EWS races will never be a thing. The task of sending all the camera feeds back to a control room is already nightmarish for downhill races, now imagine the same thing spread across an EWS day. You would need miles and miles of cable laid through forests to dozens of cameras - it's just physically not possible with current technology. Wireless video transmitters are good for a few hundred feet at best especially through trees, so until the range improves to a few miles we'll have to live with what we've got.
  • 1 0
 Enduro is boring.. but the UCI has just 'sold' the World Cup (DH and XC) to the organizers of EWS. Not sure if this means EWS is gone? or the World Cup will get boring too.
And Redbull is gone too.. and we will all have to subscribe to watch DH, XC and EWS as of 2023.
  • 1 0
 Inevitably any new bike racing format draws better and better riders-tends towards being more slick and commercial. From stage racing to BMX to gravel and enduro, that has been a common thread.

The existential question is what should Enduro racing be? Having qualifying stages, fewer EWS races, etc. would indeed make the racing more telegenic (netgenic??). Upsides would be more eyeballs watching and maybe more sponsor money.

Downsides would be fewer riders getting that money, an emphasis on courses/race format that prioritizes eyes on screens over quality racing.

Would I watch a more slick, easy to follow EWS series? Yeah, I probably would. Does that mean it should happen? Maybe not.

Enduro might be the best testing ground for actual mountain biking technology out there right now-the bikes have to climb efficiently yet descend almost as well as full-on DH bikes. That's meant that everything from frame geometry to tire casing construction has been influenced by enduro, in a good way.

Because riders like the format AND bike companies get to have their stuff thrashed and thoroughly tested, I don't think enduro racing will go away. If it stays low-key, that might just be okay.
  • 1 0
 Cutting the field down would be key to EWS and putting the cut riders in EWS 100 is what should happen. It called development and it's important to have in proper pro sports. You need to have a cut off like that in the top tier, it increases competition to get to the top and breeds higher quality competition in the top. The quality or rider at the bottom of the EWS roster is trash compared to the top. If they put half of them in EWS 100 it will give them the opportunity to place well there, build confidence and some of them will likely blossom into much better athletes. Why do think exceptional athletes get drafted and play a year or two in the minors?
  • 1 0
 When I think about what would be needed to televise an enduro race, I think about golf. Watch any golf event on TV and you see all of the best shots from each hole. If there are 5 stages in an enduro race, you'd need a crew for each stage with cameras in all of the best bits that provide good lighting and lines of sight - much like the current televised DH format from Red Bull. That type of investment wouldn't be cheap, hence maybe why it hasn't been done yet. Not to mention that a typical golf telecast is anywhere from 3 to 4 hours. Maybe just televising the last stage of the day - where everything can be won or lost - for the elite men and women would be enough.
  • 1 0
 Actually with golf you generally see mostly the guys who are near the top of the leaderboard at a given time. You don’t really see all the best shots from each hole.
  • 2 0
 Without being able to watch at least the final stage, it's just not as exciting as WC DH. I follow the EWS results too, but agree, I don't get too excited about it being a race weekend like I do for a World Cup.
  • 1 0
 While i see alot if good ideas in this article, i think that it should be possible that everyone that is in the pro category, can race it. It's just a matter of how the results are presented.
Besides that: the highlights as they were a couple years ago with those 35-40min highlights about one race and the interviews between stages etc. were great and one could see the struggle. With the current format, this sense of how hard it is, is completely missing. Also, enduro lends it's self perfectly to creating epic footage. In this regard, Trans Madeira probably did the best job. Their highlights are always a pleasure to watch.

If the fields in the pro series are too big, which i don't think, then a system like e.g. the Freeride World Tour has would work good. With feeding series from events for everybody to events that are just shy off the pro category. But in this case, there need to be races for all those categories. And i guess on this, it would fail.
  • 1 0
 What if they made a live show out of the last stage, but only for the top 20 riders (ie. the ones that are top after the earlier stages). You can pick up the action when the riders are going uphill toward the final stage, interspersing some live footage with highlights from earlier stages, to build up the excitement. If you don’t make the cut by that final stage, your race is done.
  • 1 0
 I thin every rider should have at least four 360° Kameras attached to his body / Bike. And there should be a drone following each rider down the stage. Of course a team of media / Cameraguy need to be with the rider at all times, too. The Stages could also be moved to bike parks and a special track for spectators can be built alongside each stage.

or we just keep it a mountain sport, where the fun of riding ist the most important thing.
  • 1 0
 Actually kind of interesting that there is serious demand from participants to race. Yet, on our side we used to have a proper provincial series (Enduro Western Cape), but thanks to Covid or maybe more the new organisers, it died. For now the only options to race is a new national series with a few rounds. Unfortunately this entails a lot of travelling for most riders and is not ideal for any local mountain bike scene…
  • 1 0
 I particularly like the idea of a qualifierstage, and moving the slower, albeit still stupid fast riders, to the EWS100. Ot‘s important to have the opportunity to race the same race as pros. But coverage would be so much better
  • 1 0
 How about timing the downs and also the ups just like xc race and make it into a 3 or 4 hour race, but also have bigger features and more technical descents. Then maybe call it a mountain bike race! XC has great coverage and is very spectator friendly.
  • 2 1
 I agree that the field should be smaller. But then I have always thought you could cut the dh means field by 50% and no one would notice besides the ‘slower’ riders. I guess one of the reasons for the big field is big money from entry fees that pay for the event
  • 1 0
 I’m not sure how you could film and broadcast it live. They can’t do that with dh. Imagine how many riders must be on a stage at anyone time when it takes 15 minutes to ride 20 - 30 depending on the time hair at the start. DH struggled when there are 2 riders on the stage
  • 1 0
 Personally I feel no need to watch the event live. Live results is good enough to keep me up to date. What I'd really enjoy is a long, thorough recap video a couple of days after the race. Pick a few tricky spots to place cameras and show how racers tackle them. Interviews, what went well, what went wrong? Show the sentiment and fatigue of the riders. Really it's all fine as it is, just need a lot longer highlight videos.
  • 1 0
 "but not quite gnarly enough to warrant a full-on downhill bike."

Well that's just not true. Many many EWS pros will state that the tracks are just as gnarly, maybe more so in some ways, they just have to ride them on not-a-DH bike because of the transfer stages.
  • 1 0
 Isn't Kaz the guy who said he didn't bother to watch mountain biking on the Olympics? Seems like cross country coverage has everything he's asking for. I have a hard time being interested in time trial format racing, whether it's downhill skiing or mountain biking.
  • 1 0
 itd be cool to have live updates of progress (same as in DH they show rider against the present leader)

but for enduro you would just have to divide the total rider ride time by their course progress (time elapsed / % completed) and essentially compare their "rate" of completing - this would allow instantaneous comparisons of riders even if one is a few stages ahead.
  • 1 0
 Surly enduro is a good format because its fun to race at all levels, the same format at most levels, and possible for privateers to get to the top of the sport. Changing it to be more for the spectators seems like throwing the baby out with the bath water. There are lots of mountain sports like Fell Running and Skimo Racing etc that are loved by the participants but sh*t to watch. That's not a problem some things should be fun to do for you not the people watching you.
  • 2 2
 Never raced an enduro event, but there is never any coverage of the transits between stages. I assume there are cutoffs or caps on the timing and penalties for being late to the next stage, but maybe tightening time caps or providing a time bonuses for fast transit times would at least provide some added drama for coverage. I'd like to see coverage of the sufferings during those uphill slogs...and meaningful penalties for bonking that could impact the race.
  • 3 1
 Mass start is where it's at. Make it as different to DH as possible. Race your mates all at once is the real spirit of enduro.
  • 2 0
 Great article. I agree with all of it. I really only watch the post race recaps and the Jesse Melamed go pro footage. Would be great to have this available in real time.
  • 1 0
 Make the guys pedal up the hill like in the early days. Send Dave, Sven and Boris the take incredible pics of the riders. Keep up the fantasy. To me that's what the EWS should be all about.
  • 2 0
 Dirt TV Finally is imo the best world cup videos ever created for the internet, they just hit the nail on the head. www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5VixggWJBA&t=167s
  • 1 1
 I agree about reducing the amount of racers to 60 in both the men's and the women's field but live Go pro footages from the top riders? No thanks! Go pro footages are boring. They flatten the steepness and make trail features look smaller. Nothing like a show of riders and thier bikes in the frame. A race in this level should simply get more photographers on course and drones to fill in where there are no photographers.
  • 2 2
 Cut out the super long stages like the 25 min top the the world that always makes all the whistler stages almost pointless. Keep them under ten mins so the riders are going as fast as possible keep the stages relatively close together so the media and spectators can follow the event and make the loops shorter so the racers don’t have to slog a full face, two dh tyres and a coil shock around a 50km loop.
  • 1 0
 MTB has always suffered from spectator fluctuation. This article's existence indicates EWS has peaked. Another generation will get jobs and we will see what the younger kids come up with next.
  • 2 0
 Pretty obvious here. Can't be a spectator sport if you can't see it. Good suggestions Mr. Kaz
  • 4 2
 How about the top 10 start with 5-10 sec gap between each rider, with live helmet cam and full contact passing allowed?
  • 1 0
 Yes live Go-Pro footage 1000%. This could be intersected with live drone footage for not much more logistical effort than having cameras placed up and down the tracks.
  • 2 1
 Live GoPro footage wouldn't be a viable option unless the riders raced wearing video transmitters. Live drone footage would be possible but again limited to the range of the transmitter on the drone so no more than a few hundred feet.
  • 1 2
 @Jake-Whitehouse: Live gopro footage is already possible.....
think about this: back in 2013 when streaming took off, it was possible to livestream from a Mobile phone... A MOBILE PHONE!! for god sakes, With a few gopros and basic software i could easily stream What DH racing shows us already, obviously reduced angles and movement etc
Live streaming Video is not a dark art...
  • 3 0
 @HeatedRotor: I work in the film industry believe me it's not that simple. Sure a mobile phone can livestream video, but there is a difference between doing an Instagram live video a live multi-cam broadcast, especially outdoors across vast distances. GoPros have to be connected to a mobile phone to livestream on that device. Now imagine the device that is doing the live-streaming is 10 miles away in the next valley - how does the footage from the GoPro reach? The very best wireless video transmitters can only manage a few hundred feet at best, much less through trees. It's not a mystery that we don't get live GoPro runs - it's just too much of a technical nightmare to achieve with current technology.
  • 1 0
 @Jake-Whitehouse: We Live streamed a MX Nationals Race, Top 5 riders were wearing a a gopro package, My friend works for Interlink labs and he made us a program to Combine the streams from individual OBS Runtime packets, Worked a Treat for the video, We had teething issues initially on Practice day with audio Sync not Coming over with the video.
Stream/transmit via data connections to a central Data hub, Then via a PC we were able to combine the links and Run and chose what got "broadcasted" proof of concept to the Pit and audience area.

You can work in Film industry all you like... But The film industry on a film bases isnt hugely high tech compared to whats available...

and for goodness sake i can remotely connect to my House cameras and move them around and view all at once... via my Mobile phone...

so, again, easily done with the correct people, have you seen the quality of films these days? From film structure to CGI its all gotten poor.
  • 2 0
 @HeatedRotor: That works fine at an MX track, or Formula 1 for example because the distances are not comparable to what is seen over a day of EWS. Place a few receivers around the track so that the range overlaps a little, run some cables and you're good. In EWS, you'd have to send the image all the way back to the control room across miles and miles of wilderness with zero infrastructure. Even if you made the riders wear GoPro packages with the very best transmitters (which are heavy and require even heavier batteries), you wouldn't even be close to reaching. The only way of doing it would be to have wireless video receivers placed at intervals all the way down the stages and then miles of cable connecting the receivers back to the control room - which just isn't realistic. Controlling the cameras in your house with your phone isn't remotely comparable to sending HD video across miles of wilderness.
  • 1 0
 @Jake-Whitehouse: ski resorts are hardly wilderness. They are rarely very far from civilisation for medical and safety reasons
  • 2 0
 The only way I really get engaged with EWS is following Jesse Melamed's youtube channel.
  • 4 0
 Needs more cowbell.
  • 3 0
 The most exciting part of EWS is oddly enough the fantasy league.
  • 2 0
 Free beer and those little strawberry things they have at posh horse races.
  • 2 1
 Two ways to make it more interesting would be:
1) to make it 4x
2) to make it DH

Enduro racing resembles DH racing from 25 years ago!
  • 1 1
 EWS needs to go and watch similar formats in motorsport; so WRC, Enduro GP, Hard Enduro.....

And an unpopular thought; more stages that require climbing....far too much about downhill skills.
  • 1 0
 They have uphill stages in the motor bike category
  • 1 0
 @chrismac70: I know, but they should be in the actual EWS; it's basically multi stage DH racing.....which isn't what EWS should be about.
  • 1 0
 @Starch-Anton: I shears thought out multi stage dh race. Making them rude to the top stops then using dh bikes. If anything needs changing is to reduce the use of lifts to stop the bikers becoming dh bikes with a steep seat tube. Yes you could argue that they are pretty close to that now. I would also reduce the amount of support from the pits they can get. It is supposed to be a big day out not returning to the pots every couple of states
  • 1 0
 Live go pros are possible, but not financially feasible. Relaying a video feed if that quality will require expensive relay equipment and LOTS of it.
  • 1 0
 Bring back lottery to get a ticket to ride EWS and get true unknown privateers riding along pro riders as it was previously, that's was true Enduro spirit!
  • 3 0
 Blind stage(s)
  • 2 0
 What the EWS needs is Ben Cathro.
  • 1 0
 How about 1 course and some sort of way up to the top that doesn't involve pedaling?
  • 1 0
 Enduro is already amazing to spectate. Sit on your sofa, drink 8 beers and watch last year's race. Sleep at the end
  • 3 1
 Face the truth its shit to watch.
  • 1 0
 Mass racing is what Enduro needs to adopt. Not this current single file line time style.
  • 1 0
 more BTS. I love me some good BTS. Before, during, after, I'll take it all.
  • 1 0
 I will forever dream of an MTB race where the live feed is simply the GoPro of the riders, in real time.
  • 1 0
 Boat races for each team to determine team podium rankings.....and LeMans start at each stage!
  • 1 0
 Drone coverage of top qualifiers would be awesome, although maybe difficult on forested tracks.
  • 1 0
 Is the measure of a successful format that it is great for racers, or for viewers?
  • 1 0
 With the advances in bicycle lighting systems, how about introducing a dusk or night time stage.
  • 1 0
 I like the challenge and excitement off trying to figure the timing out and finding content
  • 1 0
 Mm a "Spirit of Enduro" sticker would look awesome next to my "Pedal, Damn It" one.
  • 1 0
 Take away practise....they are Pro,s. Will make for good Friday fails and thus more viewers.
  • 1 0
 more trail coverage would be the biggest win for me we don't get to see nothing only small sections of the trails
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer 100% agree with you on this! Thanks for taking the time to put this out there.
  • 1 0
 Agree on the idea of a reduced pro class that you earn your way into through racing the 100 events
  • 3 2
 More races, globally. I mean, this is Enduro Europe Series.
  • 20 4
 Bro they were literally just in Jamaica! /s
  • 2 14
flag cypher74 (Jun 24, 2022 at 9:32) (Below Threshold)
 @fullendurbro: no they weren’t
  • 5 1
 8 events in EWS this year. 4 in Europe. 4 in North America
  • 2 6
flag tbmaddux (Jun 24, 2022 at 9:55) (Below Threshold)
 @cypher74: I count 5 Europe (UK, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, France) and 3 NA (Canada, USA x2).

@fullendurbro: Petzen Jamnica is in Slovenia.
  • 5 0
 @fullendurbro: Cannot tell you how many times my read Jamaica instead of Jamnica. Even when I watched the first video I was like, "This vegetation looks waaay different than when I was in Jamaica."
  • 10 0
 @fullendurbro: Do you remember when you could make a joke comment and people would get it? It seems nowadays even clarifying it with /s at the end doesn't work.
  • 1 0
 Kind of an unfair criticism after seeing their 2020 season which was much more global get cancelled. I assume that they will be back in places like Chile in future seasons.
  • 3 0
 @tbmaddux: I stand corrected.I mistakenly assumed it was the US Montana
  • 2 0
 @cypher74 @tbmaddux:

ok

North America and Europe Enduro Series. Happy?

The point is, make it global, or at the very very least, do some enduro 100 globally. Organize these other epics in another continents, use this series to showcase other locations in the world.

Make it go every continent every year. 100 countries every 5 years. More EWS100 between EWS world cups.
  • 2 0
 @Notmeatall I would love to see more globe-trotting from both the UCI WC circuit and EWS circuit. I think the EWS has been a little better about this in the past with stops in Australia and South America.
  • 2 0
 Drones on follow cam.
  • 1 0
 let vital mtb cover it. only way to compact it and show us the goods.
  • 1 0
 E-bike category for sure! Oh wait...
  • 1 0
 Having Live streaming gopros even in DH racing is the best idea ever....
  • 1 2
 What's enduro??..I liked the term all mountain before Enduro..it's all just bullshit marketing phrases anyways..just go ride your bike .. simple..
  • 2 0
 Enduro is a race format. There's been some discussion about how to provide better coverage for a while now.
  • 2 0
 3 words: LOTS OF DRONES
  • 1 0
 GPS is not accurate enough to determine results.
  • 1 0
 Get the fast downhill guys to race it and I’ll watch.
  • 1 0
 Agreed
  • 1 0
 More content.
  • 6 8
 Ya'll just stalk the vital forums for article ideas?
  • 1 1
 You read Vital? Any news they bother with is days after PB posted it.
Updates are a quarter of PB at best
  • 2 0
 Correction: started closer to the beginning of this month and was posted to the vital home page earlier this week.
Below threshold threads are hidden





You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2022. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.021889
Mobile Version of Website