EF Pro Cycling have announced the first events they’ll be taking on as part of their “alternative calendar” for 2020.
The US WorldTour team have been shaking up their racing schedule in the last few seasons, with their riders heading off-road for some ultra-endurace tests.
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Gravel racing has become all the rage recently and earlier this year Wahoo announced its own off-road team featuring former WorldTour pros.
Last season, Lachlan Morton, Alex Howes and Taylor Phinney took part in unique events like the Dirty Kanza gravel race in the States, Three Peaks Cyclocross in the UK, and the Taiwan KoM challenge, alongside their standard WorldTour calendar.
For 2020, EF Pro Cycling are riding an even more ambitious alternative calendar.
So far the team have announced they will race Cape Epic, Dirty Kanza, LeadBoat, and Brasil Ride.
Cape Epic, taking place over one week in March, is described as the Tour de France of mountain biking.
Riders will take on 650km of untamed terrain in the Western Cape of South Africa, spread across eight days. Competing in teams of two, participants have to stay together to ensure their safety in the wilderness.
Dirty Kanza is back on the agenda for 2020 – a 200-mile (321km) gravel grinder through dusty Kansas in May.
Last year, EF’s Alex Howes finished third while Lachlan Morton took fourth.
Next up is the LeadBoat – a combination of the Leadville 100 mountain-bike marathon and the SBT GRVL Black gravel race in Colorada, back-to-back.
The challenge totals almost 400km over two days and is set to be a brutal endurance test.
Brasil Ride is a 75km off-road race with plenty of climbing along the Atlantic coast of Brazil.
The team will be adding more events to the calendar in the near future.