The Enduro Dad – celebrating Robin Wallner’s EWS racing career

08 October 2021

Robin Wallner has garnered a host of nicknames over his successful EWS career. However, ‘Enduro Dad’ seems to be most fitting, seeing as he devoted so much time as a pro athlete to bringing on countless young riders and helping them rise through the ranks of the sport. 

Robin racing in Corral, Chile back in 2016

Alongside being a father figure in the sport of enduro, he’s also a parent to two young boys at home in Sweden. At the penultimate round of the 2021 season, Robin announced his retirement from pro-level racing at the same venue as he raced his first ever Enduro World Series event back in 2014 -  the Bluegrass EWS Finale. 

Before turning his hand to enduro, Sweden’s Robin Wallner was a world-level downhill racer with regular top-thirty World Cup results, multiple European Cup wins and even more podium finishes. However, towards the end of the 2014 downhill season, Robin realised he had fallen out of love with the discipline. By chance, he managed to secure a last-minute entry to the final EWS round of the year in Finale.

Robin announced he would be stepping back from race duties in Finale this year

I remember it vividly. I was number 179 and back then, the number one plate started last. I raced the ‘dawn patrol’ but ended up doing OK and by the end, I was just as excited about racing again as I was when I started racing downhill in 2001!”

Sharing the podium with Martin Maes and Sam Hill in Lo Barnechea, Chile in 2018

Robin finished his first-ever EWS with a top-twenty result. More importantly, he was hooked on the sport of enduro. In 2015, Robin raced as a privateer, juggling full-time work and a stacked calendar of races. However, it all paid off as Wallner bagged his first EWS podium with a third-place finish in Punta Ala. His success didn’t go unnoticed and Robin signed a deal with the newly formed Ibis Racing Team in the build-up to the 2016 season.

Ibis on the podium in Madeira in 2017

During the next five years, Robin worked tirelessly to build the Ibis Racing Team into the formidable force it is today, all while rarely finishing outside of the top ten himself. Despite showing no signs of slowing down in the 2021 season, Robin announced his retirement from pro racing, stating: “I’m happy that I’m able to make this decision on my own. I’m still competitive, I'm still healthy, and I’m able to walk away with some great memories and stories to tell my boys. 

“I still love racing bikes and I’m still excited to be at the races. My future will still involve mountain bikes, so this won’t be the last you hear from me. I’m just ready for the next chapter.”

Wallner sharing a hug with Damien Oton in the Tweed Valley, which marked the last EWS for both riders 

We’re excited to hear that Robin will be taking over the role of Ibis Enduro Team Manager and look forward to seeing his face at the races again soon. Until then, we wish him and his family the best of luck.