Cycling News

Canada left off Enduro World Cup qualifier calendar

Miranda Miller races by a crowd during the 2022 Canadian Open Enduro during Crankworx

Amateur racing is finally coming back to top-level enduro racing. It’s just not coming to Canada. At least not this year, probably.

Return of EWS100-style racing and qualifier events

Back when enduro racing was under the Enduro World Series banner, events held EWS 100 and EWS 80 races for amateurs.

EWS 100 and EWS 80 were part of what made EWS brilliant. At almost every stop, any average Joe or Jane could sign up to race the exact same course as the pro Enduro World Series athletes, just one day earlier. Just like the classic Bill Murray joke that “every Olympic event should include one average person competing for reference,” you could show up in Whistler and be absolutely humbled trying to survive what the top riders race week, in week out. Or, if you were actually fast, it was an opportunity to qualify for the main event for the following season.

How hard is Whistler’s Enduro World Series, really?

When UCI and Discovery took over the EWS, turning it into the World Cup (EDR), that ended. Organizers promised it would return, though. And, finally, it has.  Now called “open” racing, amateur events will be included in every Enduro World Cup round in 2024.

In addition, a series of qualifier events will be held outside the EDR World Cup rounds. These will be additional opportunities for riders not on trade teams to earn their way into the World Cup. Somewhat like how the XC and downhill World Cup require a certain number of UCI points, earned at UCI-sanctioned races, enduro racers will now have to attend sanctioned races to earn their way into the EDR events.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that there are no events scheduled in Canada.

Miranda Miller draws a crowd during the 2022 Crankworx Canadian Open Enduro. Photo: Clint Trahan.

Qualifier series is maple-free

EWS used to have a massive calendar of qualifier events. For the first year that route to the global stage returns, there will be a solid, but not spectacular 25 events spread across 21 countries. Unfortunately for the vast talent pool of aspiring Canadian enduro racers, none of those events are in Canada.

In fact, the only North American stop is in North Carolina. Ride Rock Creek Bike Park in Zirconia, N.C. will host U.S.A. national championships. The next closest events are in Puerto Rico or in Costa Rica. Neither of the latter two states are booming nations in the enduro scene, or at least not on the level of Canada’s current stature. That’s great for expanding the…

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