The ESO, who run the Enduro World Series and the Scottish Enduro Series, will be working with Warner Brothers Discovery to help run, promote and develop the UCI MTB World Cup for the next 8 years


The UCI MTB World Cup is almost synonymous with Red Bull, so it was quite a shock to a lot of fans when news broke that 2022 would be the last year the global action sports and drinks brand would be working on the event. Speculation has been rife as to who would take over the reins, and it’s now been confirmed that the ESO and Warner Brothers Discovery are going to be taking it forward, having won the contract from the UCI for the next eight years.

Image showing enduro, dh and xc mountain bikers

The ESO and Warner Brothers Discovery will unite all MTB disciplines under one organisation for the next 8 years

ESO – or Enduro Sports Organisation – is the company behind the Enduro World Series, and also the Scottish Enduro Series. With extensive expertise in the logistics of running a large-scale mountain bike event series, they’re an obvious choice to work on such a globally important series. The company has also got a strong track record in working with athletes, brands and communities to inform the development of a sport.

After all, ten years ago enduro wasn’t a discipline that many people had heard of; now, its fair to say it’s changed the landscape of mountain biking for everyone, from the development of a premier race series right down to the development of trail bikes themselves.

Chris Ball, the CEO of ESO Sports and one of the founders of the EWS, comments that “the next eight years will see a new era for mountain bike racing and events and we’re proud and excited to take the lead for the sport with the UCI from 2023.”

Enduro mountain biker riding with snowcapped mountain in the background

Having run the popular Enduro World Series, the ESO are well placed to develop the sport further

“This is an incredible opportunity to further mountain biking’s development, with the power of one of the world’s largest media companies and producers of live sport behind us,” he continues. “For the first time, all mountain bike formats will have a central point of leadership that can amplify the sport 365 days a year, champion the athletes, support the growth of the teams and elevate the sport around the world.”

“Building on the brilliant work done within Cross-Country, Downhill, Enduro and E-MTB in recent years, we will begin this incredible long-term project by working with riders, teams and destinations to bring the mountain bike community together at festival-style events celebrating the entire discipline.”

“We will elevate mountain biking alongside the biggest sports in the world and within the home of cycling. Over the coming years we will improve this cycling discipline’s environmental credentials, push forward course design, innovate safety standards, and give fans an entirely new experience, whilst making mountain bike more accessible than ever before.”

Black and white photo of the finish of the UCI DH World Cup at Fort William showing a large crowd with the mountain in the background

What changes will this mean for spectators and fans? That’s yet to be confirmed

If you’re wondering what link Warner Brothers Discovery has to cycling, and mountain biking in particular, then it becomes clear when you know that it’s the parent company behind Eurosport, GCN, GMBN, EMBN, discovery+ and others. Through these companies it already features over 200-plus pro-level events covering a range of cycling disciplines including BMX, road, track, cyclocross, mountain biking and Olympic cycling disciplines.

Extending our relationship with the UCI to support the next phase of development and growth for mountain biking fits Warner Bros. Discovery’s expertise and ambitions perfectly,” comments Andrew Georgiou, President and MD of Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe. “We will bring the scale of our global broadcast, streaming and online platforms to engage millions of people with the sport, as well as the capabilities of Discovery Sports Events and ESO Sports.”

“Together they have the expertise and tools to develop the sport, alongside the understanding of the intricacies and existing strengths of mountain biking that are essential to best support the mountain bike community and grow the sport.”

Together, ESO and Warner Brothers Discovery will be responsible for the organisation of future World Cup events, including media production and broadcast, promotion and commercialisation.

For the first time, all mountain bike formats will have a central point of leadership that can amplify the sport 365 days a year, champion the athletes, support the growth of the teams and elevate the sport around the world

The UCI state that the goal in bringing these companies on board is to develop “innovations to the on-site and on-screen fan experience in order to continue to grow the fanbase and improve the global footprint of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.”

I am elated by our partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery, which will take our UCI Mountain Bike World Cup to the next level,” comments David Lappartient, president of the UCI. “Discovery Sports Events has already worked wonders with track cycling – thanks to the innovative UCI Track Champions League – and I know that the exciting discipline of mountain bike will also benefit from their expertise, their in-depth understanding of the expectations of athletes and fans, and the increased exposure that this partnership will bring. Mountain bike will get the impetus it deserves as we work together for the future of this vast and varied discipline.”

What innovations specifically? That information is yet to be confirmed, but we’re keen to find out and will be keeping a watchful eye on developments.