In 2024, XTERRA will introduce its inaugural XTERRA Youth Tour, a global series crafted to foster the next wave of XTERRA World Champions, setting the stage for the future stars of off-road triathlon.
The launch of the first-ever XTERRA Youth Tour will connect nearly 40 Sprint and Super Sprint Triathlon races worldwide, standardizing these events to create a cohesive global series. Top-performing youth athletes will have the opportunity to compete in the first-ever XTERRA Youth World Championship in Italy. This tour serves as a stepping stone to the full-distance races of the XTERRA World Tour.
Aligning with World Triathlon guidelines, the Youth Tour features three age divisions: Youth A (14-15), Youth B (16-17), and Junior (18-19). Distances vary by division, with Youth A competing in Super Sprint races (maximum 400m swim, 8K bike, 2K run) and Youth B and Junior races contested using the Sprint distance (maximum 750m swim, 15K bike, 5K run).
The Youth World Championship will feature both Super Sprint and Sprint races, crowning the male and female XTERRA Youth Champion in each of the three divisions.
Qualification slots to the XTERRA Youth World Championship are awarded to top finishers in each division at tour races. Sprint races provide 5 slots to top male and female finishers in the Junior and Youth B divisions, while Super Sprint races provide 5 slots to the top male and females of Youth A.
There will be no roll-down system for slots, but wild card entries can be applied for using recent cross-triathlon or duathlon results. For complete details on qualification criteria and processes, explore the XTERRA Youth Tour Championships Qualification page.
The 2024 XTERRA Youth World Championship will be held in Italy, alongside the XTERRA World Championship. This event offers young athletes the chance to compete at a high level and experience the XTERRA community firsthand. The Youth World Championship race day is set for September 24, following the XTERRA World Championship on September 23.
"We are incredibly excited about hitting this milestone in 2024," said Nico Lebrun, former XTERRA World Champion and XTERRA’s Global Technical Director. "Our youth is ultimately the future of our sport, and we are in a place now where we can connect enough races around the world to produce a global Youth Tour. 2024 will be the first year, and from there, we hope the tour will continue to grow in both the number of races we can offer our young athletes and in terms of competitiveness. It’s fantastic seeing the likes of Arthur Serrières and Solenne Billouin race, but we look forward to seeing who will be the next generation to keep pushing them to their limits in the years to come."
Michal Pilousek, Race Director of XTERRA Czech, also highlighted the importance of the Youth Tour: "We've hosted youth races for many years, and it's thrilling to see the Youth Tour and Youth World Championship become an official part of XTERRA competition. This marks a new era in our commitment to developing young athletes."
The Youth Tour emerges as a crucial platform for young triathletes, like Sullivan Middaugh, who claimed the XTERRA USA Championship at 18, and his brother Porter, who achieved a top-five finish in the 2023 USA Champs at just 17. Their journey from mountain biking to a competitive off-road series underscores the need for a structured cross-triathlon path. The XTERRA Youth Tour addresses this by providing athletes aged 14-19 a clear progression within the sport.
The 2024 XTERRA Youth Tour kicks off on February 17-18 in South Africa's Elgin Valley, initiating a global journey across EMEA, APAC, and the Americas. EMEA races span Morocco, Malta, Greece, France, Portugal, the UK, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic. In APAC, events unfold in New Zealand, Taiwan, Australia, and Japan. The Americas circuit navigates through the USA, Puerto Rico, Canada, Costa Rica, and Colombia. The tour, showcasing a variety of terrains, runs until October, offering young athletes a comprehensive international racing experience.
For more details on the XTERRA Youth Tour, please visit the XTERRA Youth Tour page.
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