Who will be CX80 World Cup winners in MTBO this year? All will be decided over 2 races, Middle and Long, near Folgaria in Trentino, Italy later this week. The event doubles as the U-23 World Championships.
17 nations will be represented, including riders from Australia and USA. Nicoline Splittorff, Denmark is hot favourite for the women’s title, as she has a lead of 121 points over her nearest rival, Finland’s Kaarina Nurminen. Emily Benham Kvåle, third in the table, will not be taking part, and so Gabriele Andrasiuniene, Lithuania and Martina Tichovska, Czechia will be the other leading riders fighting for a top-three position.
There is no doubt that the men’s title will be a Czech athlete – but who? The current top three are all from Czechia, and only 13 points separate leader Krystof Bogar from second-placed Vojtech Ludvik. Vojtech Stransky is somewhat behind, but well-placed to hold third position at the end. Nearest challengers are André Haga, Finland and Simon Hellmüller, Switzerland (pictured left below).
Krystof Bogar (centre) and Vojtech Ludvik (right): strongest contenders for the overall win
The Italian organisers have chosen some challenging alpine terrain at Lavarone Gionghi for the World Cup’s final round, to be held between 1100 and 1400 m above sea level. Forest, pasture and small villages will all feature on the courses, with the Long race in the hilliest terrain. Riding off-track/trail is absolutely forbidden here!
On Saturday the season ends with a Mixed Relay close to the Event Centre in Folgaria, where a greater proportion of urban terrain can be expected – but still some good hills! This race is for teams of three including at least one woman (the women ride first leg), and nations can enter up to four teams. This is the final race in the Team World Cup, where Finland are the current leaders by 5 points, with Czechia in second place and Switzerland third.
The two individual races will be used to determine this year’s U-23 World Champions in Middle and Long distance. In these races, competitors are divided into 4 Start Groups, with athletes in the best group starting last. Alongside the CX80 World Cup races, the World Masters Series (M/W35 up to M/W80 at 5-year intervals) and the Young Guns World Series (M/W17 and M/W20) will be taking place.
More information can be found on the event website https://www.gronlait.it/it/pagina/world-mtbo-cup-2023 and in IOF LIVE on this website.
Reports and leading results, with photos, will appear here each day.
CX80 MTBO World Cup final round – Programme
Thursday 21 September: Middle Distance, first start 09.00 local time
Friday 22 September: Long Distance, first start 09.00
Saturday 23 September: Mixed Relay, start 10.00