Adrenaline x Speed: Brace Yourself for XTERRA Short Track 2022
by Doug Hall on 05/05/2022
As one of the most thrilling and fan-friendly race formats yet, this year XTERRA will be upping the ante with an expanded Short Track series set to run alongside the biggest and best races in the sport, with the grand final set to go down at the XTERRA 2022 World Championship in Trentino.
For the uninitiated, the Short Track format takes all the thrills and spills of XTERRA out the mountains and into the heart of the race venue, condensing all the action into one fast-paced, full-gas, elite-only sprint. Over in under 40 minutes, every section is crucial, every corner counts, and the win is decided by a fraction of a second.
And those fractions matter. With €5000 per race and a €20,000 series bonus at stake, race-day performance is everything. But athletes will have no trouble finding the necessary motivation amongst the screaming crowd at almost every section of the race. The compact course makes the Short Track format XTERRA’s most spectator-friendly event as fans can watch the entire race live from the sidelines or via livestream at home.
As with all XTERRA racing, no two courses are the same. But Short Track races typically consist of a short 400m 2-lap swim with an Australian exit halfway, a technical feature-laden 7-8km mountain bike section, and a 2.5-3km sprint to the finish.
ROUND 1 - FRANCE, XONRUPT
The 2022 XTERRA Short Track series kicks off at one of the most prestigious races on the calendar – XTERRA France, Xonrupt on the 2nd of July. Apart from the thousands of competitors and spectators that contribute to an unmistakable event atmosphere, the infamous XTERRA bike park will provide the most worthy of arenas for the elite athletes to go toe to toe for the early-season spoils.
But for many of the elites, the Short Track battle would have started much earlier than July. Only the top 20 world-ranked athletes will get an invite to contest the opening round of the series, meaning a good result in Greece, Portugal, Italy, or Namur will be crucial for those not lucky enough to be awarded one of the 5 additional wildcard invites.
ROUND 2 - XTERRA CZECH REPUBLIC, PRACHATICE
The second Short Track event of the season heads to the spiritual home of this event format – XTERRA Czech, Prachatice on the 14th of August.
Held the day after the 2022 XTERRA European Championships, the top 20 finishers from the male and female races along with the fastest Under 23 athletes from the sprint race will receive an invite to compete in the second round of the Short Track series.
ROUND 3 - GERMANY, ZITTAU
Just 6 days after Czech, the Short Track series heads to the shore of the Olbersdorfer See in the city of Zittau. Held as part of the Osee-Challenge, this event has a long history with XTERRA and will now be hosting a Short Track race for the second year running.
The historical mining works have left a literal playground for the athletes, with short steep banks, natural drops, and plenty of singletrack all within a clear view for the thousands of expected spectators. For the athletes, getting a place on the startline will require a top 20 XTERRA ranking or one of the 5 highly coveted wildcard slots.
ROUND 4 - ITALY, TRENTINO
And what better way to end the series than heading to the first ever European XTERRA World Championship in Trentino, Italy. Staged in the presence of the staggering Dolomites on a weekend of world-class, off-road racing, the atmosphere will be nothing short of electric and then event historic.
The Grand final of the Short Track series takes place the day after the 2022 XTERRA World Championship, with qualification decided by the finishing positions from the previous day's race. And with only the best athletes in the world standing shoulder to shoulder at the starting line, this all-out sprint for the €10,000 prize money and for those all-important points to secure the €20,000 series bonus could not be better suited as the final act of an epic event, series, and season.The Short Track series is best experienced live from the side of the track, but livestream will also be available for those who can’t make it. Check out XTERRA’s Short Track page for a full list of the rules, schedules and details.