The stage is set for another incredible season of racing - as the Enduro World Series reveals a record number of EWS and EWS-E teams will be getting between the tapes.
After an off-season filled with rumours and predictions, it’s time to explore the 47 teams that will be battling it out for glory at the EWS and EWS-E. You can find the full list of the teams here, but in the meantime, we explore some of the biggest transfers to look out for when racing kicks off in Scotland in June.
This move sparked rumours long before it was officially announced in December 2021. After winning the last race of the season onboard his long-term sponsor GT Factory Racing, Maes announced he would be flying new colours in 2022. Orbea seemed like a good match and, with Damien Oton stepping back from EWS racing, a space opened up in their roster. Martin’s three year contract with Orbea shows a mutual commitment to putting in the work necessary to get Orbea on the top step in the near future.
It’s safe to say that Bex Baraona had a breakthrough season in 2021. After a tough start, the British racer found some fire and grit, putting her doubts behind her and showing what she’s capable of with a stand-out third-place finish at Bluegrass EWS Finale (more on that here). Then, just a couple of weeks later, Bex rode that wave of form to win her home race - Vittoria EWS Tweed Valley. Coming into the off-season as the woman to beat and with an expiring contract (with Ibis Cycles Enduro Team), things were getting exciting. Just last week she made history, becoming the first elite female enduro racer to sign with Yeti / FOX Factory Team. Alongside teammates Richie Rude and Kasper Woolley, she’s going to be one to watch this year and beyond.
Katy Winton is one of the most well-known female racers on the EWS circuit. After her long-standing relationship with Trek Factory Racing came to an end, Katy was left with no option but to put together her own privateer programme for 2021. Unphased, she took on the full race season, earning a number of strong results and a whole load of respect from fans and racers alike. Katy’s efforts paid off and she signed with GT Factory Racing for 2022 and beyond, joining Noga Korem on the brand’s first female-led EWS factory team.
Another privateer to make the jump up to full factory support in 2022 is Germany’s Raphaela Richter. Raphaela spent the last few years balancing her studies and part-time work with full seasons of racing under the Juliana Free Agents banner. Now, having signed with the Ibis Cycles Enduro Team, she can focus fully on her racing and performance on the bike. We’re excited to see what the future holds for her!
The Nukeproof crew are gearing up for the 2022 season with a new name and two new riders. Now known as Nukeproof SRAM Factory Racing, the team has added up-and-coming shredders Corey Watson and Dan Booker to their ranks. Alongside teammates like Sam Hill, Elliott Heap and Kelan Grant, this has to be one of the most experienced team setups in the paddock.
After a successful first year on the circuit, Sunn French Connexion Racing have bolstered their ranks with the addition of Irenée Menjou, who joins Theo Galy in the hunt for elite top-ten results alongside junior shredder Nans Arnaud. Lucas Frigout moves from rider to team manager.
Chilean shredder Florencia Espiñeira is no stranger to enduro racing, having posted numerous top 10 EWS finishes in the past. Now, the four-time Chilean enduro champion has teamed up with Orbea to race select events on the 2022 calendar. We’re very excited to see Flo back between the tapes this year.
Specialized Racing’s Charlie Murray, Kevin Miquel, Sofia Wiedenroth and Francescu Camoin are back. However, a close look at the team's Instagram page reveals that a fifth rider may be joining them... Judging by the Tricolore flag in their bio, we’d put our money on it being a third french shredder. Time will tell.
The COMMENCAL Les Orres team is packed to the brim with bright young talent. Under the watchful eye of Cecile Ravanel, Lisa Baumann and Antoine Vidal will be testing their mettle in the elite field, whilst Alizés Lassus and Jack Piercy will take on the U21 category. It’s always exciting to see up-and-coming riders with the support they need and we can’t wait to watch them between the tapes.
Joe Nation and Leigh Johnson of the Pole Enduro Race Team will be focussing on the EWS-E this year while helping the Finnish brand to expand its eMTB offerings. We’re excited to see some more young riders taking on the EWS-E and challenging the likes of Lapierre Overvolt’s Nico Vouilloz.
COMMENCAL Enduro Project
The COMMENCAL Enduro Project is the Andorran brand’s new factory setup, dedicated entirely to EWS racing. With Alex Rudeau, Guillaume Labeyrou, Louis Jeandel racing and with Mathieu Ruffray at the helm, the new team is sure to shake up the overall standings this season.
Laura Charles to focus exclusively on EWS-E with Miranda Factory Team
After one year and two EWS-E wins with Orbea FOX Enduro Team, reigning champion Laura Charles has joined Miranda Factory Team in 2022, focussing exclusively on eMTB racing. A young up-and-coming Portuguese rider, André Francisco, also joins the team.
Polygon Factory Racing are a new face on the EWS circuit. Continuing their support for Dan Wolfe, the new team has also signed young shredder Brady Stone and privateer Matt Stuttard. Another new team for 2022 is Propain Factory Enduro. With names like Jono Jones in their ranks, Propain is sure to mean business. Cannondale Enduro Team is also making the jump up to Pro status for 2022, with Ella Conolly and Mitch Ropelato leading the charge.
2022 will also see the return of RockShox Trek Race Team, with U21 series champion Jamie Edmondson and young downhill star Vali Höll taking to the start line at EWS Crans-Montana and EWS Val Di Fassa. EWS-E rider Yannick Pontal will be racing under the banner of the new BlackBox Test Pilot Program. It’s interesting to see component manufacturer SRAM creating their own EWS-E team.
Not every team has switched up their roster for the new season. The Lapierre Zipp Collective return with Isabeau Courdurier and Adrien Dailly leading the charge. Sticking with their tried and tested format, they’ll be one to watch this year. Lapierre’s Overvolt EWS-E team remains as strong as ever, led by the legendary Nico Vouilloz. Another unchanged setup is the Rocky Mountain Race Face Enduro Team. With two Canadian national champions in their ranks, this squad will have the top step of the podium firmly in their sights. Orange Factory Racing also return with Lachlan Blair, Tom Wilson and Joe Connell in their ranks.
Both 2021 series champions (Canyon Collective’s Jack Moir and BH Enduro Racing’s Melanie Pugin) are sticking with their respective teams. Will anyone be able to challenge them this year? Which team has what it takes to dethrone Canyon Collective in the teams overall? It’s all to play for.
Keep your eyes posted throughout the season, as we deliver in-depth spotlights on all your favourite teams. For now, you can dive deep into every team on the EWS circuit by checking out our team page.
Do you want to race on the same trails as your favourite riders? Well, you can make that dream a reality. Entries for the EWS100 & EWS80 open next week, from Monday 21st February. Click here for all the key info.
Is eMTB riding your thing? Then check out everything you need to know about our E100 and E50 races here. Entries open from 3rd March.