The first-ever 2023 UCI MTB World Series is approaching and it’s time to get familiar with the new broadcasting, regulations, and event formats. Whether you’re a seasoned fan or new to mountain bike racing, this guide will provide you with all the necessary information to understand the World Series and how to watch all of it. From the different World Cup disciplines to the points system and the race schedule, this guide will give you an in-depth look at the 2023 season.
What you need to know about the 2023 UCI MTB World Series:
- 40 races across 6 MTB disciplines held in Australia, Europe and North America.
- Enduro and XC Marathon got lifted to World Cup status.
- One 10-day mega event with all disciplines in France.
- World Championships held at Fort William, Scottland, in August.
- Races and highlight shows are broadcast on discovery+, GCN+ and Eurosport.
- The season starts on March 25 with EDR and ends on October 8 with XCO.
What’s the UCI MTB World Series?
The UCI Mountain Bike World Series is the overall series that includes the Mountain Bike World Cup events of all major mountain bike racing disciplines. The six MTB world cup disiplines are Cross Country Olympic (XCO), Cross Country Short Track (XCC), Cross Country Marathon (XCM), Downhill (DHI), Enduro (EDR) and E-Enduro (E-EDR).
It’s a new name for 2023 representing the addition of three major MTB racing formats into the UCI MTB schedule, simultaneously elevating them to World Cup status: Enduro, E-Enduro and XC Marathon. This will be the first time all these different types of races are together under one brand and sanctioned by one governing body, the European UCI.
More on each discipline further down!
The MTB World Series events span over 6 months from March to October. Downhill sees the latest season start probably ever and ends pretty late as well back in October. The biggest change to the schedule happens for Enduro, which formerly was organized under the EWS banner racing at different venues entirely. For Cross Country, much stays the same for 2023 with XCO and XCC raced on the same weekends and XCM added for four events.
With so much under one umbrella for the first time, this calls for an epic festival of MTB racing. And in September fans in France will get exactly that: A 10-day event in the Châtel / Morzine / Les Gets region (home of the best bike parks in France) where every one of the 6 World Cup disciplines is being raced.
Good news for amateur racers: Both Enduro and Cross Country Marathon can be entered by amateurs this season. All four rounds of XCM will have open racing categories, meaning there are not even pre-qualification requirements for entry.
2023 UCI MTB World Series Calendar
|March 25 - 26 2023||Maydena, Tasmania||Australia||Enduro||EDR||Oceania|
|April 1 - 2 2023||Derby, Tasmania||Australia||Enduro||EDR||Oceania|
|May 12 - 14 2023||Nové Mesto na Morave||Czech Republic||Cross Country||XCO, XCC, XCM||Europe|
|June 3 - 4 2023||Finale Ligure||Italy||Enduro, Cross Country||EDR, EDR-E, XCM||Europe|
|June 9 - 11 2023||Lenzerheide||Switzerland||Downhill, Cross Country||DHI, XCO, XCC||Europe|
|June 15 - 18 2023||Leogang||Austria||Downhill, Enduro, Cross Country||DHI, EDR, EDR-E, XCO, XCC||Europe|
|June 24 - 25 2023||Val di Fassa, Trentino||Italy||Enduro||EDR, EDR-E||Europe|
|June 30 - July 2 2023||Val di Sole, Trentino||Italy||Downhill, Cross Country||DHI, XCO, XCC||Europe|
|August 23 - 27 2023||Pal Arinsal||Andorra||Downhill, Cross Country||DHI, XCO, XCC||Europe|
|September 1 - 3 2023||Loudenvielle||France||Downhill, Enduro||DHI, EDR, EDR-E||Europe|
|September 7 - 17 2023||Les Gets, Chatel, Morzine||France||Downhill, Enduro, Cross Country||DHI, EDR, EDR-E, XCO, XCC, XCM||Europe|
|September 28 - October 1 2023||Snowshoe||USA||Downhill, Cross Country||DHI, XCO, XCC, XCM||North America|
|October 6 - 8 2023||Mont-Saint-Anne||Canada||Downhill, Cross Country||DHI, XCO, XCC||North America|
Where are the 2023 UCI World Championships?
The 2023 MTB World Championships will be held in Fort William, Scotland from August 3rd to 13th. Downhill is raced first with Junior finals on August 4th, and Elite finals on August 5th. Cross Country is raced the following weekend with XCO finals on August 13th.
How to watch UCI MTB World Series races
The following races are available live and free on the UCI World Series Youtube channel:
- Downhill Junior races, Elite semi-finals (Elite finals are pay-per-view)
- Enduro, e-Enduro and XC marathon get a free race highlight show like the EWS shows in the past
- Cross Country Junior races only (Elite XCO and XCC races are PPV)
Discovery+ streaming is only available in US, Canada, Brazil, parts of Asia, and most of Europe. Discovery+ streaming is only possible in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, UK and Ireland.
Fans from countries not listed above may still get a Livestream by setting up a virtual private network (VPN) like NordVPN to route their traffic through a server in one of those countries. The region-specific streaming my caused by Warner Bros. Discovery Europe managing the distribution.
How much it costs to watch MTB World Cups
Discovery Plus has two pricing options: a $5 monthly plan that includes ads, and a $7 monthly plan that is ad-free. GCN+ is $7 per month or §40 per year. Eurosport Pass has a monthly fee of $7 as well. Amazon Prime Video users can also add discovery+ at $5 or $7 to watch via Amazon Video, but cannot use the apps.
That’s a cost of $30 to watch the entire 6-month World Cup season using the cheapest plan or $42 for the ad-free subscription.
Who will broadcast UCI MTB World Cup 2023?
Warner Bros. Discovery Sports (WBDS) will broadcast all UCI World Cup races of the World Series. WBDS has been responsible for the promotion and broadcast of the EWS (Enduro World Series). It’s a subsidiary of the public company Warner Bros. Discovery.
What happened to Red Bull MTB?
Warner Bros. Discovery bid more than Red Bull in the auction for the rights to the UCI World Series. Presumably, the sum was more than Red Bull was willing to spend using their free distribution model. So, WBD took over broadcasting, and sister company ESO organizing the Mountain Bike World Cups starting in 2023.
New for the 2023 season
Regulation changes are common for every new season, and even more so when broadcasting and organization is changing hands as well.
Luckily, the rules for the action on track remained largely the same. XC has generally only seen administrative changes. So has the team structure and presentation (matching outfits across all disciplines within the same team) and the entry fees associated.
However, Downhill has seen a big change in the race format with the inclusion of semi-finals. Looking at the number of series points they award, this will affect how riders prepare and approach race weekends.
For Enduro, it’s confirmed that all races will be one-day events. Some have been longer two-day events in EWS. It is likely to see some major changes to the points system, qualifying requirements, and start order as well. But the UCI hasn’t included much of EDR in the official rulebook yet. Which is surprising as Enduro is the first discipline to race in 2023.
(Source: UCI MTB Regulation 2023)
Disciplines of the MTB World Series
There are now 6 disciplines in UCI World Cup Mountain Bike competition:
- DHI: Downhill MTB
- EDR: Enduro MTB
- E-EDR: Enduro eMTB
- XCC: Cross Country Short Track
- XCO: Cross Country Olympic
- XCM: Cross Country Marathon
Cross Country Explained
Cross Country racing is a form of endurance mountain bike competition that tests both fitness and bike skill. It’s done for multiple laps on looped circuits with the distance and track design being different between the three main formats XCO, XCC and XCM.
Olympic (XCO) is the most well-known format and is also raced in the Olympic Games. Mass starts, multiple laps and technical climbs and descents are staples. In Short Track (XCC) both the loop and the duration are much shorter, providing for quick, intense and close racing. Marathon (XCM) is on the other spectrum, being raced on courses sometimes over 100km long for multiple hours.
For more info on XCO, XCC and XCM, check out the full guide on Cross Country World Cup 2023.
In MTB Downhill racing competitors are timed on a single descent down a very challenging mountain bike track. There are intervals between starts and the rider with the fastest time wins. While bike handling skill and good line choice is key, strength and stamina play an important role too.
It’s one of the more spectacular types of bike racing around. The guys and girls attacking these technical tracks (often unrideable for amateurs) go over big jumps, rock gardens and root carpets at eye-watering speeds. If you’ve never experienced one of these races, you should! The energy and enthusiasm from racers and spectators is electric.
For more info on DHI, check out the full guide for the Downhill World Cup 2023.
Enduro MTB races take an entire day and consist of multiple timed downhill stages and uphill pedals between them. While only the downhills are timed, the liaison stages have to be ridden on pace too to make the predetermined starting times. The special stages are hardly known beforehand.
You could say Enduro mountain bike racing is a discipline that combines elements of both cross-country and downhill riding. Like in Downhill, on each special stage, riders start individually at regular intervals, with all their recorded times added up to decide the winner. The objective of the race is to complete the whole course with the fastest overall time.
For more info on EDR and E-EDR, check out the full guide for the Enduro World Cup 2023.