Chain Reaction Cycles have announced that the three-time defending Enduro World Series champion Sam Hill will not travel to Europe to contest the 2020 season which is set to kick off at Specialized EWS Zermatt 30 August.
The announcment was made on the online behemoth's in-house brand Nukeproof's Instagram account earlier today. Hill said:
”I’m unfortunately not going to be at the upcoming EWS races this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation around the world. Traveling across the world right now is not a risk I want to put myself or my family through. It’s a very tough decision to make as I love racing and being with my team and the fans but I feel it’s the right choice for myself at this time. Hopefully next year things can get back to normal and I will be ready to chase another title.”
The team's manager and Masters racer, Nigel Page, had this to say:
"Like most of you, we’ve been eager to get back to do what we love; racing bikes. However, after much discussion and consideration and in respect for all involved, we have decided Sam Hill will not travel to Europe this year to compete in the 2020 EWS races."
"Where Sam lives in Western Australia, they have strict rules on international travel and whilst air travel companies are doing an amazing job to make travel as risk free as possible, the prospect of none essential travel and 14 day isolation & quarantine on return is something we are not comfortable and unwilling to ask any of our athletes to do."
The revised look of the 2020 season has seen the overall championships for individual scrapped in favour of a teams contest. With many countries adhering to their own individual travel restrictions, the move leaves teams free to field a more flexible array of riders with the prospect of some wildcards really shaking up the standings.
The focus is now being placed squarely on individual race wins. The lack of racing in 2020 making wins an altogether more coveted proposition. The victors of each round will receive a one-of-a-kind Giro winners jersey to acknowledge their triumph and battle is expected to be intense. You can check out the full entry list here.
Sam Hill became the first male rider to win three-in-a-row when he did things the hard way back in Zermatt 2019, grabbing the title on the very last day after never having lead the points race up until then. With Hill not in attendance, who can step up and prove themselves as the king of the time sheets?! Find out when we go racing in Zermatt at Specialized EWS Zermatt 30 August.