Since the UCI & Warner Bros Discovery took over the event organisation, media production and broadcasting rights of the global Enduro World Series – changing its name to the Enduro World Cup (EDR) – there’s been a lot going on in our favourite sport. However, it’s not just good things happening, and if you trust the paddock gossip, there will soon be no more Enduro World Cup. So, what happens next?
With the final race in Chatel marking the end of the 2023 EDR racing season, the first year of the new series is a wrap – it’s now time to reflect on the new format. Since UCI & Warner Bros Discovery took over the event organisation, media production, and broadcasting of the former Enduro World Series, changing its name to EDR enduro World Cup, enduro racing has the same status as XC and downhill racing – at least on paper! While part of the enduro fan-base has always been sceptical about the transition, others saw it as an opportunity for the sport to grow bigger and become more popular. In other words, it was a great chance to get more exposure and become more professional.
However, the initial optimism soon soured as we progressed into the season, as it became clear that the merger was actually detrimental to enduro racing, with all the most crucial aspects of the series getting far less attention than expected, from event organisation to broadcasting and public relations. If the paddock rumours from the last races are true, there will probably be no more Enduro World Cup from as early as 2025, and thus no more major international enduro racing series. The next EDR season has already been cut back, with events held only within Europe, and apparently only the EDR-E will continue going forward.
After speaking to some seasoned EDR and EDR-E racers, team managers and industry insiders about the current situation and the uncertain future that lies ahead, we’d also like to hear your opinion!
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Words & Photos: Peter Walker