Is Short Track The Future?

Xterra to introduce professional short track racing

This year the Czech republic will not only host the Xterra European Championships, but will be the first to exhibit an exciting new race format, the short track race. The race will provide a platform to showcase some of Xterra’s best male and female athletes with the top 20 men and top 15 women from the Xterra European Championships qualifying to race. With a $5000 prize pot up for grabs it is set to be a fast and furious race, but with less than 24 hours to recover from the previous days efforts it will be a real test for these athletes. Who will recover in time, or who fancies their chances for a short race and will save their legs?

The course will be comprised of a 400m swim, a 13.2km MTB and a 3.9km trail run which should take less than an hour to complete.

The swim takes place in the Kristanovicky Lake and will provide an excellent opportunity for spectators to see the action. The athletes will take on 2 laps of a 200m loop with a short run in between. The start is sure to be incredibly fast with a battle to the first buoy. Although a short swim by Xterra standards, the race can still be won or lost here. Faster swimmers will have the opportunity to gain between 30-40seconds which will be tough to pull back over the short bike and run sections.

The bike will be 4 laps of 3.3km in the woodland around the lake. The course promises to be twisty and technical with rock gardens, jumps and drop-offs. You won’t be short of exciting places to watch. The course will certainly reward riders with good technical skills and we could well see some changes in position as the athletes make there way through the race arena at the end of each lap.

The run will again stay within the vicinity of the Lake with athletes completing 3 laps of a 1.3km loop. Although short this run will really test the athletes. A lap of two halves, the first will be super fast and the second super technical. Who will have the leg speed and also the technical skill to be victorious over this new style of racing?

One thing is for sure, this will be an exciting race. If you are heading over to Prachatice for the Xterra European Championships make sure come along and watch. Racing starts at 10am for the VIP race, followed by the elite women at 12pm and the elite men at 2pm.