The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has announced that the Belgian city of Waregem will host the 2019 UCI Mountain Bike Eliminator (XCE) World Championships on 15 August.
With this award, XCE will for the first time have its own UCI World Championships, after two years in which the discipline formed part of the UCI Urban Cycling World Championships, an event that in 2019 will be held for the third year running in Chengdu (China).
Launched in 2012, XCE was on the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships programme – along with cross-country Olympic (XCO) and downhill – until 2015, before joining the UCI Urban Cycling World Championships. XCE has now embarked on a new phase in its development, with the backing of the UCI and Citymountainbike, which also organises the UCI XCE World Cup.
Waregem is a well-known venue, having hosted Class 3 XCE events on the UCI International Mountain Bike Calendar from 2012 to 2016 before becoming a stop on the UCI World Cup circuit in 2017 and then hosting the City Mountain Bike Festival in 2018.
The Belgian city was scheduled to host a round of this season’s UCI Mountain Bike Eliminator World Cup powered by citymountainbike.com on 15 August, but will now welcome the 2019 UCI XCE World Championships on that same day.
The male and female riders crowned UCI XCE World Champions in Waregem will wear the coveted rainbow jersey at the final three rounds of the 2019 UCI World Cup season, which are as follows:
18 August – Valkenswaard (NED)
15 September – Winterberg (GER)
20 September – Graz (AUT)
Mountain Bike Eliminator is a fast-moving, dynamic, action-packed format in which four riders race in heats on technical tracks featuring obstacles such as jumps and bridges. Competitions begin with a qualifying heat. This takes the form of an individual timed lap of the circuit, as a result of which the fastest 32 men and 16 women qualify for the main competition.
The fastest two riders in each heat thereafter qualify for the next round, with the format continuing until only four riders remain to contest the final. Heats are contested over a distance of 1km (two 500m laps), with races lasting for between 90 seconds and 2 minutes.