In November of last year, Bikerumor’s Jessie-May Morgan sat down with Sport Science Professor and Enduro Coach, Geraint Florida-James, and asked him to transform her from the Weekend Warrior she was, into an athlete worthy of racing the Enduro World Series.

It was bold. Perhaps foolish, even.

Her request was met with raised eyebrows. After all, she’d never actually put any dedicated training into the sport. Though she’d raced plenty of local and national enduros in the UK, and landed a few podiums, she had no idea what it would take to race on the World Stage.

jessie-may-morgan-the-path-ews-qualify-enduro-world-series-training
Jessie-May is based in Innerleithen, Scotland – a destination set to host the EWS in 2021. Photo by Robyn Wilkinson.

Professor Geraint Florida-James, coach to none other than Trek Factory Racing’s Katy Winton, agreed to take Jessie-May on. The Path follows her journey through one winter off-season to her first EWS event at Petzen/Jamnica.

This series will cover all preparations from qualification, to base training, strength and conditioning, the psychological highs and lows, fitness testing, skills development, component selection, protection, going packless, and, ultimately, racing against the top female EWS athletes in the world.

Follow along as we learn what it takes to go pro at the Enduro World Series…

The Path to the Enduro World Series

ews-2019-petzen-jamnica-austria-slovenia-enduro-world-series_1.13.2
Photo credit: Enduro World Series // Feature image by Robyn Wilkinson

How do you qualify for the EWS?

The Enduro World Series have introduced a point-based qualification system whereby riders accrue qualification points over a season of racing. The number of points you finish up with determines your Global Rank.

jessie-may-morgan-enduro-world-series-the-path-training-qualification-mtb
Jessie-May is Bikerumor’s test editor for all things enduro. Hear her thoughts on the DH-Certified MET Parachute MCR.

The system is three-tiered. You can pick up qualification points at three types of races; EWS races, Continental Enduro Series races, and local EWS Qualifiers. Here’s a word of warning. You must have an EWS membership to bag qualification points. Without it, it doesn’t matter how well you perform on the day, you’ll get zero qualification points. And no, they aren’t awarded retrospectively. So get one!

For men, you’ll need to be in the Top 300 of the Global Rankings come the end of the season to get a place on the Reserved Entry List. For women, it’s the Top 75.

european-enduro-series-continental-round-2019-innerleithen-jessie-may-morgan
Senior Female podium at Rd 2 of the European Enduro Series. 1st Jess Stone, 2nd Jessie-May Morgan (that’s me!), 3rd Louise Borthwick. Photo by Brody Hood.

So I did a bunch of racing last year. British Nationals, Scottish Enduros and some smaller local races. Round Two of the Scottish Enduro Series, which happened to be in my hometown, Innerleithen, was also round two of the European Enduro Series. I bagged 2nd place behind my pal and ex-World Cup Downhill racer, Jess Stone.

Then I got this email:

pro womens EWS enduro world series qualification email letter for bikerumor writer jessie may morgan

This is how I qualified.

A podium place at a Continental Series Round automatically secures you a place on the Reserved Entry List. I actually had no idea at the time but Nathalie from the EWS athlete support team sent me that lovely email informing me of the good news. Stoked!

ews-qualifier-perth-fair-city-enduro-jessie-may-morgan-fastest-female-mtb
A top step at an EWS Qualifier event in Scotland. Photo by Raymond Leinster of MSC Tires.

I continued to pick up qualification points throughout the season, placing 4th at a qualifier event in the Lake District and winning another in Scotland’s Fair City, Perth. At the end of the season my accumulated 385 points placed me at #26 in the Global Rankings.

Here’s where it gets interesting

ews-global-rankings-women-2019-enduro-world-series-standings
Source: EWS Global Rankings 2019

So what if I earn more points, I already qualified, right?

Well, that Global Rank actually determines my seeding position at EWS events. Thus, I’ll be setting off on stages just 30 seconds in front of some serious pinners. I’m totally fine about this. Honestly. I’M FINE.

At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

Now it’s time to get really fast, right?

jessie-may-morgan--training
Jessie-May riding her local trails in Innerleithen, Scotland. Photo by Robyn Wilkinson.

Next time on The Path…

In our next installment of The Path Jessie-May shares the details of her Enduro World Series training program, including base training, interval training, conditioning and more. Enlisting the help of Sport Scientist, Professor Geraint Florida-James, Jessie-May discusses how getting a coach has helped her stick to a training program she believes in.

Join us for the highs and the lows as we follow her training journey through deepest winter in Scotland. And stay tuned as we follow her through this season, culminating with Round 2 of the Enduro World Series at Petzen/Jamnica on 3rd-4th October, 2020.

jessie-may-morgan-enduro-innerleithen-tweed-valley-the-path-programme-mtb
Photo by Arron Barnes

This project is supported by MET Helmets and Bluegrass Eagle Protection.

Thank you to Arron Barnes of Albashots Media, Robyn Wilkinson, Brody Hood and Raymond Leinster for photography. Thank you also to Professor Geraint Florida-James and The Health Rooms for supporting my EWS Training, and BSpoke Cycles, Peebles and Cannondale for their ongoing support.

3 COMMENTS

  1. That’s all fine and true but maybe it would be good to include the costs of this transformation from weekend warrior to ews racer.
    Only the entry fees and accomodation for one ews event is high which for anyone with a regular job and is also hard to balance timewise.
    Do not even say how little money is in professional enduro racing – even some od the top athletes need to rely mostly on themselves to raise funds in order to appear at ews.

    • I can’t believe that i just now saw these stories! Very stoked to read your adventures as i want to do an EWS 80 in Northstar, Ca. I have never ever raced anything should I be extra nervous?

COMMENT HERE: (For best results, log in through Wordpress or your social media account. Anonymous/fake email comments may be unapproved or deleted. ALL first-time commenter's posts are held for moderation. Check our Comment Policy for full details.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.