Although mountain biking maintains its validity as an adventurous and extreme hobby on an all-terrain or mountain bike, where some like to take their body to the limit of resistance and others to the maximum adrenaline in the descents, always in the mountainous regions and away from the paved roads, it has also developed as a high-level sports discipline.
For those who are not yet aware of the world’s highest authority on mountain biking issues (and the other modalities) is the International Cycling Union (ICU), based in Switzerland. And it is from your website that this research has been done about the different modalities of competition in the MTB.
The following disciplines are an excerpt from the official ICU regulation in Section No. 4, about mountain biking competitions (attached at the end)
Types of mountain biking skills or modalities
A brief description of each and the types of routes and tracks will be given below.
- Cross-country Olympic: CXO
Cross country can be translated as “cross country,” although it is not such a competition, as tracks with special tours are designed.
The route for the Olympic Cross-country modality must be between 4 and 6 kilometers, it must have a technical assistance area, and it must have signs indicating the type of Route and each kilometer indicating the distance to the goal (in descending order).)
According to the categories, the routes will have a minimum and a maximum of time ranging from 1 hour to 1 hour 45. (see full document), for which the number of turns to the circuit should be established. Competitors all come out together (they can be separated by categories).
- Cross-country Marathon
Marathon competitions must be between 60Km and a maximum of 160Km. Routes must be marked every 10 kilometers indicating the distance remaining to reach the goal. The game can have a single lap or a maximum of 3 laps. Competitors all come out together (categories can separate them).
- Cross-country Point-to-Point: XCP
This modality is known as point-to-point in Spanish, in Guatemala there exists the mythical point-to-point competition organized by Bike Center in ancient Guatemala.
It consists of a one-round competition between 25 and 60 kilometers in length. The game ends at one point and ends anywhere or at the same point of departure. Competitors come out in the same group (they can be separated by categories).
- Cross-country for short track: CXC
The exit and finish must be in the exact area. And the distance from the road should not be greater than 2 kilometers. The use of natural and artificial obstacles is allowed; for UCI dates, the approval of a technical delegate of the UCI for UCI championships is required.
- Cross-country Eliminator: XCE
This is the newest modality the ICU has implemented for the 2012 championship. It consists of races in groups of 4 or 6 competitors, the first two of each passing to the next round.
Competitors are eliminated in each round until they reach a final of 4 or 6 competitors, depending on the modality.
The tracks must be between 500 and 1000 meters, and each race must not last more than 3 minutes, the whole route must be manageable. However, obstacles can be placed to make the competition more dynamic.
They can access the official ICU document, where it is explained in detail.
Cross-country Time Trial: XCT
In Spanish, it is known as “contra-clock.” It must have a distance of between 4 and 25 kilometers. Like the previous tours, it must have technical difficulties (promotions, descents, etc.) to make it more interesting.
The output is individual; each one will have a time of 1 to 3 minutes’ advantage over the previous one.
A qualifying date and a final competition date can be arranged.
- Cross-country Team Relay: XCR
In Spanish, it would be a relief. A path is defined, and a point or several points are set for relay teams of 4. The team may include participants from different categories, including mixed with men and women.
This modality motivates teamwork and according to the topography, allows one to enhance the individual abilities of each member of the team: a climber, one for descents, one for technique, and the one for the final sprint, for example.
- Cross-country Stage Race: XCS
Competition stages. The teams can have a maximum of 6 cyclists. You run one step a day. The competition must last at least three days and a maximum of 9 days.
Part of the XCS tour the Quetzal challenge in Guatemala
Each stage may contain any of the cross-country mentioned above modalities, with their respective characteristics and limitations. It can be one CXO day, the next XCM, and the third XCE, for example.
- Downhill Individual: DHI
The DHI competition Tour must have a minimum of 1,500 meters of descent for a time of 2 minutes and a maximum of 3,500 meters for a maximum of 5 minutes.
The exits are individual, and there can be no two competitors at the same time on the track. Another competitor cannot start until the previous one is off the road, whether it has completed the tour or is withdrawn due to mechanical failure or accident.
Judges must be placed throughout the course, which must be adequately marked.
The Downhill Marathon or group departure competitions are regulated by each organizer, following the safety regulations that are established for individual tours, except for the group exit, for which it must have an area with a minimum of 6 meters wide.
- Enduro competencies
They are currently being regulated by the UCI. However, the Enduro World Series group held the first Enduro World Cup this 2013. The competition format is versatile and still has variants in each country and “track” where it is performed.
Each competition consists of link stages and counter-clock stages. The link stages can be free (free time) or regulated (time window). These may have a flat or ascent path.
And the counterclockwise stages, special calls that must be of descent, which can mix technical sections and sections of speed, in sidewalks or full paths.
The competition must have at least three unique stages, on at least two different routes (one route may be repeated).