Currently reading: Bold new EBK series aims to be Formula E for e-bikes
Innovative global race series for electric bikes is due to kick off in Dubai later this year

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.

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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.

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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.

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The two-day format for the racing will include a team time trial (TTT) on day one, the results of which will decide the starting groups for the grand prix on day two. The grand prix will be a one hour plus one lap criterium race, on a 2.5-5km city centre circuit. Each track will feature specially designed inclines, or 'power zones', as well as intermediate sprints and eliminations. The organisers will not allow teams to recharge the batteries between the TTT and the grand prix. 

In a similar way to the Extreme E off-road SUV championship, the EBK series isn't just about racing. Organisers want to build a legacy in each city it races in through a 'Sustainable Transformative Mobility programme'. Cities across Europe, Asia, North America, Australasia and Africa will host the series, with each also featuring a 'micro-mobility expo'.

The race series is due to begin in late 2022 in Dubai, and then run throughout 2023.  

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