The first dedicated global electric bike racing championship will be launched this year and the organisers of the new E-Bike Grand Prix Racing (EBK) series are aiming for it to become a pedal-powered equivalent to the Formula E World Championship, with frenetic races held on feature-packed city centre courses.
Although there have previously been dedicated e-bike categories in several professional racing events, such as the E-MTB XC World Cup, this is the first dedicated series devoted to electrically assisted bikes.
The inaugural EBK season is set to include 10 one-hour criterium-style races, each of which will take place on closed public roads within major cities, starting in Dubai. That mirrors the approach of the Formula E single-seater championship, which races purely on street circuits.
Ten teams will be given the chance to compete in the series and will be required to enter both a female and male team to promote equality from the start.
Every team will be required to use a 'spec' bike with a fixed frame, motor and battery. Swiss manufacturer BMC has been given a contract to provide those, but has yet to issue any details of what they will look like or their technical specifications. Teams will be able to provide other components.
EBK bosses have promised the rider line-up will feature "world-class athletes" and is aiming to attract interest from World Tour professional cycling teams.
The race format and use of e-bikes should add an intriguing aspect to the racing, and sheer rider power is unlikely to be the key factor. The use of e-bikes will allow for data-driven tactics and strategies, particularly given that the city centre are likely to be tight and technical.