The Junior and Under-23 European Championships start on June 30th with the mountain bike races, which will continue until July 3rd, at the XCO (Olympic Cross Country) track in Tamengos, Anadia.

There will be 11 titles in contention between June 30th and July 3rd at Curia’s XCO track in Anadia. During these four days, XCO (Olympic Cross Country), XCE (Eliminator), XCC (Cross Country Short Track) and XCR (Team Relay) races will take place, and in 2021 it was the Italian and Swiss teams who led the race for medals. Both won four in total, with Italy taking home two gold medals and Switzerland one gold medal.

June 30th will be set aside for the XCC races, which will be contested over a 1.7-kilometer course starting at 11 a.m. On this day there will be athletes in the junior and elite categories competing, both in the female and male sectors. The last race of the day will be the men’s elite, which will take place at 5:30 pm. The fact that this is the first time that the Cross Country Short Track is part of a European Championship should definitely be highlighted.

The XCR and XCE races will take place on July 1st, with the team relay final taking place between 11:30 am and 1 pm. The Eliminator finals will take place between 6:15 pm and 7:00 pm, on a course one kilometer long, where athletes from the junior, under-23, and elite categories will compete simultaneously, divided between the male and female sectors. It should be noted that the XCE and XCC courses are shorter and less technical than the XCO, in order to be adapted to the reality of each of these competitions.

The Olympic Cross Country takes off on July 2nd, with the junior category runners. The men’s sector will compete between 11am and 12:15pm and the women’s between 2pm and 3:15pm.

The national MTB coach, Pedro Vigário, highlights the feedback he has had from the teams and respective racers who have been training at the XCO Track, in Tamengos, lately. “It’s a course with almost 4 kilometers, very constant and with little elevation gain. Not having very long climbs, there is a balance between the technical component and the physical component.

Pedro Vigário also highlights the crucial points of this course and the type of rider who can take more advantage. “There are two or three very important areas that deserve a lot of attention, two steeper climbs and, in terms of obstacles, I would say the last ‘rock garden’, which is longer. These three points can decide the race. This is a course for a more complete rider. It is a more balanced circuit that will suit an athlete who can show a balance between the technical and physical part. Of course, the course of the race will depend on how you face the course, but the pace should be high from the start. I think the differences won’t be too big, and the course may bring surprises. This is because, despite not having a very high accumulation, this circuit requires a lot of pedaling. It is a high-speed course with a lot of driving and will require constant focus. This will weigh on the final result”, explains the national MTB selector.

The XCO race for under-23 athletes will close the European Mountain Bike Championships on July 3rd. The women’s sector will be competing between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., while the men’s sector will compete between 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

The national MTB coach also highlights an important point. This is a circuit that will guarantee a spectacular show for the public in attendance. “This course is relatively short and is built in a fairly small space. This means that the riders can almost always see each other, even when they are in different parts of the course. This is also an advantage for the public. The race becomes more exciting because it allows people to see the riders all the time and to follow the races in various parts of the course.

For more information about the European Mountain Bike Championships click here.

©2022 UEC JUNIORS & U23 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP

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