Some of the best off-roaders in Europe will showcase their speed and mountain bike skills at the inaugural XTERRA Molveno ShortTrack races in northern Italy this Saturday, October 3, 2020.
Staged on the shores of Lake Molveno in front of the breathtaking Brenta Dolomites, the exciting multi-lap, made-for-TV format of XTERRA racing will be broadcast to a worldwide audience live on Facebook/XTERRAEurope and triathlonlive.tv.
The men’s elite race starts at 1:45pm CEST and the women at 3:45 CEST.
“This style of racing is gritty and intense, it’s fun for athletes, and great for spectators and TV,” said Nico Lebrun, a former XTERRA World Champ (2005) who is now the director for XTERRA Europe.
In the men’s race reigning XTERRA European Champ Arthur Serrieres from France and seven-time off-road tri World Champ Ruben Ruzafa from Spain highlight an all-star cast of elites from the EU.
“It’s great to have such good coverage of the race on TV with this ShortTrack format, it lifts XTERRA to another level,” said Serrieres, who put on quite a show while winning the XTERRA Czech ShortTrack race earlier this month (you can watch the recorded broadcast here).
Other contenders include Lukas Kocar from the Czech Republic (who finished 2nd to Serrieres in the Czech ShortTrack race), plus Swiss great Xavier Dafflon, home country favorite Filippo Rinaldi, Jens Nielsen from Denmark, and Francois Carloni from France.
“The ShortTrack races are an interesting and exciting format for XTERRA, it's so fast and unpredictable that it's almost impossible to plan tactics, you just have to go full gas from start to finish,” said Kocar.
Nielsen was quick to agree, saying, “These short track events have been awesome. I have improved on my swimming and with a wetsuit I should be in a much better position after the swim. Plus, the weather conditions (which are predicted to be wet and wild on Saturday) are just like back home so that might play to my strengths as I deal well with colder conditions."
In the women’s race reigning ITU Cross Triathlon World Champion Eleanora Peroncini from Italy looks for redemption in the ShortTrack format after crashing-out of last year’s event in the Czech Republic.
“I am very happy to be back in the XTERRA world,” said Peroncini. “I will never be the best in the technical sections but have learned to be more careful and race smarter. And I’m excited to discover a new location in Molveno!"
She’ll be joined by Italian Cross Tri National Champion Sandra Mairhofer and the vice-champion Marta Menditto, who finished third behind Laura Philipp and Alizee Paties at the ShortTrack race in the Czech Republic earlier this month.
“I really like the short track format, it’s fun and all about digging deep,” exclaimed Mairhofer.
Menditto was quick to agree, adding that it’s “a fun format but also stressful. One mistake and you are out so I just want to get into T2 in a good position, then I can fly on the run!”
Massimo Massacesi and Alex Miconi, the organizers for XTERRA Molveno, are the first organizers to host an off-road triathlon event weekend dedicated exclusively to the XTERRA ShortTrack format.
Athletes will race a time trial in the morning that combines a 200-meter swim with a 4-kilometer mountain bike and 1.5K trail run to set their time and ranking for the main event in the afternoon. Each position will be rewarded with a three-second advantage at the start.
The main event for TV will combine two 200-meter swim laps (400m) with four 1.75-kilometer bike loops (7K), and two 1.25K run laps (2.5K), and $10,000USD prize money will be awarded to the top 10 men and women.
Kostas Koumargialis, the marketing director for XTERRA Europe, says the XTERRA ShortTrack format is pushing boundaries for the sport in the best of ways.
“The drama and action are unbelievable,” explains Koumargialis. “It’s unlike anything we’ve seen before in our sport. Athletes are constantly fighting for position over a short, twisting course. There are jumps, crashes, frustration, tears of disappointment and tears of joy, all happening right in front of the crowd and cameras over the course of 40 minutes of racing. I think it’s a great, and we are excited to show it off to a global audience this year in Molveno.”
For more information visit https://xterra-italy.it/en/molveno-short-track/.