The first mountain bike competitions were held in California (USA) in the early eighties. Since then the discipline has grown very fast, in all aspects. The first World Championships to be officially recognized by the UCI dates back to 1990. A World Cup was set up the following year.
The mountain bike disciplines comprise the following formats:
Cross-Country Olympic (XCO)
Cross-country is part of the Olympic programme.
Cross-country races are held over undulating circuits (with technical descents, forest roads, rocky paths and obstacles) of 4 to 6 km. The race varies from 1 h 20 minutes to 1 h 40 minutes depending on the category.
Cross-country Marathon (XCM)
The Cross-country marathon events are a long version of cross-country held over a course of 60 to 160 km. A special feature is that riders from all categories, from enthusiasts to professionals, race together. The marathon is held in a mountainous region.
Downhill is a race against the clock in which the rider negotiates a succession of fast and technical passages. The participant must demonstrate courage as well as sharp technical and piloting skills in order to affront tree roots, banked sections, bumps, jumps and other natural obstacles along the way. Speeds reach around 80km/h in the men’s races and 70km/h for women.
Enduro events includes several liaison stages and timed stages. The times achieved in all timed stages will be accumulated to a total time. An enduro course comprises varied off-road terrain. The track should include a mixture of narrow and wide, slow and fast paths and tracks over a mixture of off-road surfaces. Enduro racing requires athletes to use a combination of endurance, speed and technical skills.
Cross-country Eliminator (XCE)
The Cross-country eliminator event must be between 500m and 1000m. It’s is a fast-moving, dynamic, action-packed format in which four riders race in heats on technical tracks featuring obstacles such as jumps and bridges. Competitions begin with a qualifying heat that takes the form of an individual timed lap of the circuit, as a result of which the fastest 32 men and 16 women qualify for the main competition. The fastest two riders in each heat thereafter qualify for the next round, with the format continuing until only four riders remain to contest the final.
In four-cross (often abbreviated to “4X”), four participants set off together to ride down a track that alternates banked corners and jumps. The races are very rapid (between 30 seconds and one minute) and give rise to fierce and closely contested confrontations between the riders. The winner is the first to cross the finish line. The four-cross races take place over several qualifying rounds.
Deputy MTB Director
Coordinator, Administration, National Teams, National Series and Events
High Performance and Convenor of Selections
Youth, Development and Transformation
Safety & Security
Veteran and Masters
|Convenor of Selectors||Grevile Ruddock|
|XCO Specialist||Ian Smith|
|XCM Specialist||Greg Stedman|
|DHI Specialist||Nigel Hicks|
|Women Representative||Dellah Paul|
|PDI Representative||Ian Goetham|
|Free State||Willem Raubenheimer|
|Kwa-Zulu Natal||Greg Stedman|
|Northern Cape||Dirk Oberholzer|
|North West||Sias Le Roux|
|Western Cape||Geoff McGiven|
|Gauteng (XCM Commissioner)||Enzo di Sante|
|Central Gauteng||Paola Damilano|
|Northern Gauteng||Pierre Nel|
|Southern Gateung||Christo Faasen|
|West Coast||Sunet Steenkamp|
Men’s Road Cycling
Women’s Road Cycling
Men’s Track Cycling
Women’s Track Cycling
Men’s Mountain Biking
Women’s Mountain Biking
PIETER DU PREEZ
ERNST VAN DYK
SASCOC Athlete Commission
MOUNTAIN BIKING NEWS
Having proved herself to be a tenacious rider both on and off road, we look forward to cheering on Candice Lill as she punches out the watts on the challenging IZU XCO course. Rainfall is expected overnight and during the course of race day which could dramatically change line choice and test the skills of the best XCO Women in the world in their hunt for gold.
The new 4.1km man-made Izu XCO course has 180m ascent per lap, and is said to be harder than previous Olympic XCO courses. The course boasts many features, including big rock gardens, drops, and plenty of rocks. Sections to look out for are Amagigoe, Joren-no-taki, Chopsticks, Sakura Drop, Wasabi, Odoriko Trail, Izu Peninsula and Karesansui.
Eight of the 23 riders selected to represent South Africa at this year’s UCI MTB World Championships will be making their debut appearances at a UCI World Championship event.
CyclingSA is proud to announce the full Team South Africa contingent that have qualified and are set to race at Val di Sole, Italy, from 25 – 29 August 2021.