New e-road bike racing series to launch in London this summer

The new EBK series is hoping to attract an elite field of riders

EBK rider in futuristic world
(Image credit: EBK/Whistle Group)

A brand new e-bike racing series, the EBK, will host its first event in London this summer. 

Organised by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), the series hopes to take e-road bike racing mainstream and promote sustainable travel. In 2024, it will embark on an international calendar, staging criterium races in cities around the world. 

Speaking to Cycling Weekly inside London's Lee Valley Velodrome, EBK ambassador Ed Clancy said the series should make for a thrilling tactical spectacle. 

"I've always liked crit racing," the three-time Olympic champion said, "and, for me, to add the e-assistance to that will make it even faster and more exciting.

“It’s about how we manage the battery power and how to integrate that with human performance. We've got another element to it now. We’re going to have a finite amount of battery power for these races, right? So we’re going to have to think carefully about where we deploy it.” 

Though the race format is yet to be decided, it is expected that rounds will last 45 minutes, with riders given enough battery power to cover around half the race. 

The series will count 30 male and 30 female riders, split into 10 teams and competing in gendered fields. Already, the organisers have been reaching out to crit racing's biggest names, as well as WorldTour pros, in the hope of drawing in a world-class field. 

“I’d love to get those guys and girls involved,” said Clancy. “Hopefully this series grows and becomes an established thing and we can start talking about some real superstars in the sport.”  

Those that take part will race on de-restricted e-road bikes supplied by Swiss brand BMC. Though the model is yet unnamed, the press materials claim the bikes will be capable of reaching up to 90km/h. 

“These motors are going to give us an additional 250-350 watts,” Clancy explained. “So it’ll make the acceleration fast and punchy, but it’s not going to be outrageously dangerous.

“We’re going to have a big power zone, a big artificial hill where we can sort of show and exploit the torque and drive these motors and bikes up short, steep climbs. We need to have tight, technical sections, as well.”

The former Olympian, who was recently appointed the Active Travel commissioner for South Yorkshire, is also excited about the potential technology that might come out of the series. “Engineers and technicians will develop apps off the back of it," he predicted, "where you can say, right, I’m going to ride the commute bike from Sheffield to Manchester, I’ve got X amount of battery power and we know the wind direction is coming from here, we know the air temperature is this. 

“You’ll have an app on the bike which can deploy the battery life as effectively as possible over the terrain ahead of you.” 

For the moment, though, the focus is on building the series ahead of its first event. The date of the inaugural EBK race in London will be announced in the coming weeks, along with details of the route. 

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Tom Davidson
News and Features Writer

Tom joined Cycling Weekly as a news and features writer in the summer of 2022, having previously contributed as a freelancer. He is the host of The TT Podcast, which covers both the men's and women's pelotons and has featured a number of prominent British riders. 

An enthusiastic cyclist himself, Tom likes it most when the road goes uphill and actively seeks out double-figure gradients on his rides. 

He's also fluent in French and Spanish and holds a master's degree in International Journalism.