from left to right: FIM/CMS Director Antonio Alia Portela, Anze Svetek, Caroline Duchene, Roberto Fabbri, Niki Makk, Youthstream CEO David Luongo, FIM CEO Tony Skillington
The inaugural FIM E-X Bike World Cup took place in Imola during the MXGP of Italy where contestants from several parts of Europe attempted the Italian MXGP track at ‘Autodromo Enzo and Dino Ferrari’ for the first time with an electric bicycle.
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The unique race, which took place at the end of the MX racing day to make the track adapted to electric bicycles, combined together 2 classes of e-bicycles, the premier class EXBGP which saw bikes whose assistance can exceed the can exceed 25 km/h but does not exceed 45 km/h and the second class EXB2 whose assistance can not exceed the 25 km/h both with separated classifications for men and women.
While among the E-X Bike athletes big names such as former MXGP rider Davide Guarneri, current WorldSBK star Marco Melandri, EMX2T Presented by FMF racing rider Todd Kellet and former Dakar riders such as Marek Dabrowski were in attendance, surprising winners were the Slovenian Anze Svetek in EXBGP class who also won the overall race, Italian Roberto Fabbri in EXB2 category and the 2 female E-X Bike riders attending the event, the French Caroline Duchene and Hungarian Niki Makk in EXBGPW and EXB2 respectively.
When the gate dropped it was the German Mark Scheu who took the first holeshot of this competition followed by the Slovenian Anze Svetek who was able to take the lead straight away running on the outside of Scheu and managed to lead for the whole race.
Following the Slovenian the second position changed as Italian Gianni Meschini made past the early leader Scheu who was able to passed him back a few second after. The first EXB2 rider was the Italian Mattia Arduino in 4th followed by Superenduro E-Bike rider Mattia Folchi in 5th while Italian athletes Davide Guarneri and Marco Melandri both riding the EXB2 category were in 8th and 10th position respectively.
While the race carried on Folchi found himself in fourth as Finnish Eddie Findling went trough for third and a few seconds later Davide Guarneri, who pushed hard for a podium on his category, the EXB2, managed for a 5th place after battling with Folchi and Mattia Arduino. The French lady Caroline Duchene was consistent on her 14th place and Hungarian Niki Makk was back in the pack after a bicycle technical issue she suffered at the start.
Scheu kept going to push hard in second position in the EXBGP class, the same category of the race leader Svetek while Roberto Fabbri finished third overall in the race and first in category EXB2.
At the end of the 25 minutes plus 1 lap Slovenian Anze Svetek won the EXBGP category followed by the German Mark Scheu and Italian Gianni Meschini while Caroline Duchene was the first ever EXBGPW World Cup Winner.
The top step of the podium in EXB2 was for Roberto Fabbri followed by Davide Guarneri and
Mattia Folchi while Niki Makk was the 2019 EXB2W World Cup Winner.
EXBGP World Cup Winner Anze Svetek: “It was not as easy as it looked and I had no idea on what to expect today but it was just an amazing day. I had Slovenian fans cheering on me at every corner and it was a fantastic feeling”
EXBGPW World Cup Winner Caroline Duchene: “It’s a honour for me to be here. I normally ride the E-Bike French Championship but the circuits are very different. The start was the hardest part for me but I really enjoyed the whole race. It’s such a nice feeling to be a World Cup winner”
EXB2 World Cup Winner Roberto Fabbri: “I had a very good race and I did not expect it was that fun. I trained on my e-bike just a few days and I did not expect it could work so well on a motocross track.”
EXB2W World Cup Winner Niki Makk: "Unfortunately at the first lap I had an issue with the engine of my bike but I made it work eventually, it was tough but I’m happy I have done it. It was such a cool experience and I smiled the whole race. I wish to thank all people who supported me to make it real”.