The final instalment of the fast-paced series takes place beneath the Brenta Dolomites as the closing race of the XTERRA World Championship event. And with no athlete able to capture more than a single win so far, the stage is set for an all-out showdown as the curtain comes down on a huge 2022 season.
Round 4 of the Short Track series is set to go down in Molveno, Italy on October 2nd, as part of the XTERRA World Championship event. Starting at 14:00 CEST, the race takes place on the biggest stage of the year with the highest prize purse yet, so expect nothing to be held back in a battle that will decide the entire series.
At stake is the €10,000 prize purse, €20,000 series bonus, and the chance for a podium finish with the world watching on. And with no male or female racer able to clinch more than a single victory so far, the series is still wide open to whoever has the power, skill, and speed to get to the finish fastest.
Round 1 of the series kicked off in Xonrupt, France where Panagiotis Bitados (GRE) and Loanne Duvoisin (SUI) took the opening wins and an early lead in the points standings.
But both Bitados and Duvoisin were unable to back it up in Czech for round 2 where local hero Lukas Kocar (CZE) put on an absolute clinic in front of the home crowd and Sandra Mairhofer kept her momentum going from a stellar performance in the European Championship the day before.
Just 5 days later they were back at it again for round 3 in Zittau, with Felix Forissier (FRA) taking the tape alongside Alizee Paties (FRA) on a fast and furious Friday night in Germany.
So with the series shaping up the way it is, consistency is what's paying off.
The top three men, Arthur Serrieres, Maxim Chane, and Jens Nielsen haven’t placed outside of the top 5 at any of the rounds so far (with the exception of Nielsen’s 7th in France).
The same goes for the women, where the top three ranked women have all been on the podium for all three races.
As we’ve seen from the first 3 rounds, Short Track racing is completely unpredictable and anything is possible on the day. But these are the potential scenarios that could decide the winner going into the 4th and final round.
In the men’s race, Arthur Serrieres, Maxim Chane, Jens Nielsen, and Felix Forriesier are the only athletes who can win the series.
Serrieres, Chane, and Nielsen can all win the series by placing first in Molveno - it doesn’t matter where the other two finish. Mathematically, Felix Forriesier could take the series with a win in Molveno, but he’ll need Serrieres, Chane, and Nielsen to finish 3rd or worse.
Arthur Forriesier is too far back to overtake Serrieres or Chane in the series, but he could finish third if he wins and Nielsen finishes 6th or worse.
For the women, it should be a straight shoot out between Loanne Duvoisin and Alizee Paties. Both are close enough on points that a win in Molveno will wrap up the series.
If Duvoisin finishes second, and ahead of Paties it will force a tie for the series win. And following the ‘who finished ahead at the last race’ countback rule, Duvoisin wins the series.
Sandra Mairhofer could jump up as far as second place in the series with a win in Molveno, but she would need Duvoisin to finish 4th or worse.
As the last race of the series and season, you can expect a lot of risk taking, especially on the bike course where A and B options on some of the biggest elite-only features will provide an opportunity to gain those precious seconds that could decide the win.
One of the key sections will be the gravel/beach trap right on the lakeside. We saw in Germany that those able to put the power down and keep it straight took a massive speed advantage into the rest of the lap.
Round 4 of the XTERRA Short Track series takes place on October 2nd and will be live streamed direct and for free from Molveno, Italy.
The women’s race is up first at 14:00 CEST with the men following at 15:00.
Please ignore any live stream links that may show up in the comments section. If it’s not free, it’s not us!
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