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If you are eager to feel the excitement from watching a new MTB racing format, you should definitely come to the Vysočina Aréna on Friday. Why, you ask? Because much will be at stake as a short race will be held on a short track, which is why the race is called Short Track (officially referred to by this abbreviation: XCC). 40 best women and then 40 best men will start into it, so it is out of question that you might become bored. Quite the reverse, the race will be packed with thrill as it will speak into pole positions for the Sunday’s race of Cross Country Olympic and points into the World Cup series will be awarded for it, too!

The duration of the Short Track race shall be about 25 minutes for both categories, so that approximately 10 laps are ridden. Unlike the XCO track, the shortened variant will leave out most single trail and technical sections, and the reason for it is simple: The organizers want the track to be wide and “permeable” enough to offer as many opportunities for overtaking and tactics as possible. This is supposed to increase attractiveness of the race both for spectators along the track, and those in front of their TVs. 

Short Track shall have its grand premiere in Albstadt (GER) this Friday, which is the venue of the 2nd race of the World Cup series. The race is intended for racers from the Elite category, however, racers from U23 category who start in the Elite class this year can participate in it, too. 40 racers will start: sixteen best racers as given by current ranking in the World Cup series will be accompanied by 24 best racers in the UCI ranking.

Motivation is huge since points for the XCO World Cup will be awarded: 125 points for finishing first (half of the amount awarded for cross-country race). Points for team ranking will be awarded, too. The best sixteen racers from the Short Track race shall stand in the first two lines in the subsequent XCO race!

The winner of the World Cup series, Nino Schurter (SUI) from Scott Sram team commented on it: “I am looking forward to it very much, it will be an interesting change and I am curious about how all of us will deal with it. I think that it might suit me, I am fast starter, I also trained dynamics, so I am fairly confident.” The greatest of the stars from the world of mountain biking, who won all World Cup races and the World Championships last year, also said: “The actual track will have a great impact, and it will decide on whether the concept is successful or not. My personal goal is to finish among the best eight racers so that the second row at the start of the Sunday’s race would be sure.“

And which Czech racers should start into the XCC race on Friday? Jaroslav Kulhavý from Specialized is sure to be there, and we have high hopes in Jan Škarnitzl (Sram Mitas Trek), too. Among women, we will keep our fingers crossed so that Jitka Škarnitzlová (GAPP System - Cabtech) and Karla Štěpánová (N1 BMC Team) will race, too.

So find your way to the Vysočina Aréna on Friday, May 25, and help create astonishing backdrop for the racers in the Short Track race to have extra motivation to race as hard as possible. The women’s race starts at 6:00 PM, men will set out on the track at 6:45 PM.

The whole programme can be found here: