Bafang was in action with the CST PostNL Bafang MTB Racing Team competing in the first Wesseries eMTB race of the season. The international competition’s first race was set in the rocky hills of Monaco, with Jeroen van Eck at the helm of the competition-ready American E-agle eMTB.
Before any racing began, preparations had to be made for the e-bike, as well as arrangements around the complicated travel conditions. A PCR test was conducted three days before racing to allow travel between countries, enabling the team to compete, so long as rules and restrictions for each country were adhered to. The team set off through to Luxembourg and traveled to France following the prescribed lockdown times, and eventually settling in a small village in France called Drap, which was a great place to warm up before the eMTB race weekend.
The team arrived in Monaco on Saturday the 24th of April for the 3.30pm race, that would consist of 6 laps on a 2km track, with a total 1200+ climbing meters. The track proved to be difficult for all riders, and compared more to an endurance track rather than a cross-country circuit. Jeroen was equipped with the Bafang M500 with 95Nm of torque and 600Wh, which was more than enough to tackle the course.
For race day one, all eMTB riders had a 1-hour practice session and a 1 lap time trial shortly afterward to determine the grid position for the professional cyclists. Jeroen qualified in 8th position, feeding back that the tough rocky obstacles impeded a better time, but complemented the downhill performance.
The race day results came in with an 11th place finish for Jeroen, who spoke about the intense pace of the eMTB cyclists. He was confident that with a bit more luck and a few more tweaks, a strong performance could be gained on race day 2.
Race day 2 dawned, and an addition to the circuit was made by including a new downhill section. The first day's nerves were over and the team were excited to race again! Jeroen placed 6th in the second-day qualifier, which was good news as it meant being in the front row of the grid. In the second circuit race, everything went a lot smoother on the proven rocky surfaces. E-bike and athlete were pushed to the very limits, finishing 9th in the team’s second eMTB race of the season, a great finish for the 1st week of the international competition.
Afterward, Jeroen reflected on the classification results, expressing that eMTB is a serious sport and should be more recognized for the extensive and intensive challenges riders face in each race. Both Bafang and Jeroen are looking forward to the next Wesseries eMTB race held in Italy, to show off new techniques and regimes that will help triumph over the competition.