Sunday saw the conclusion of the inaugural edition of the only festival dedicated to e-mountain biking in all its forms (E-MTB, E-Gravel and E-Road). The Verbier E-Bike Festival attracted 3,250 participants from 27 different nationalities, from 2 years old to 89 years old! There was something for everyone on offer from the 30 bike brands who arrived with 1,000 E-bikes to test, making this Festival the biggest E-mountain bike meeting in the world.
The organizers opted for the most inclusive format possible in order to meet the demands of a large audience, from novices to experts, and to show off e-biking in all of its different forms. From the E-Bike Test which generated 5,600 tests, to the contemplative “Rando Gourmande”, which delighted ‘foodies’, the “Discovery Tours” with routes for all levels, to the ultra-elite E-Tour du Mont-Blanc (E-TMB) played out over 3 days and 300km with the final stage being broadcast live.
The turnout surpassed the expectations, the choices on offer as well as the radiant sunshine boosted attendance. The organizers had initially stated that having 2000 participants would be a success, in the end 3,250 curious and passionate participants arrived.
The event began on the 14thAugust with the start of the E-TMB, the festival opening its doors to the public the following morning, concluding on Sunday 18thAugust.
The Tour du Val de Bagnes by Altis, an enduro race open to amateurs, less demanding than the E-TMB, took place on Saturday and was a great success, attracting iconic figures in the Ski and Snowboard industry, such as, Enak Gavaggio (FR) and Xavier de le Rue (FR), who joined in for fun and to discover a new sport. The race was won by enduro rider Rémy Absalon (FR), the younger brother of five-time world cup winner and double Olympic cross-country champion, Julien Absalon (FR).
In the end, the Verbier E-Bike Festival attracted a lot of people. In addition to the dream roster gathered on the E-TMB, the Festival also enjoyed the presence of Fréderic Favre, Valais State Councillor, Head of the Department of Security, Institutions and Sport, Christophe Dubi, Executive Director of the Olympic Games and Steve Morabito, Pro Lapierre / Groupama FDJ rider and President of the Valais Cycling Federation.
The organising committee is delighted with this first edition, which was received very well by the participants.
"The first edition of the Verbier E-Bike Festival exceeded all our expectations, in terms of the number of participants, most of whom loved the experience. The feedback from the E-Bike brands present and the bicycle industry in general is excellent. I would like to thank in particular the Commune of Bagnes, which believed in the project, and the staff and volunteers who did an extraordinary job. The wheel is rolling for Verbier to become the world capital of the E-Bike!” said Nicolas Hale-Woods - President of the Organising Committee
The same satisfaction was expressed by the resort and its director, Joel Sciboz. "The tourist authorities of Verbier and Val de Bagnes are extremely satisfied with this first edition of the VEBF, which was undoubtedly a success, both in terms of organization and attendance. The resort’s tourism service providers and partners welcomed this event with enthusiasm and motivation and are already looking forward to future editions!”
After these four dynamic days dedicated to electricity, the future looks bright for the discipline and for the Festival, whose objective is to inspire and enrich the resort's summer program. The dates of the second edition of the festival will be announced in September 2019.