Mountain biking is an ever-growing sport that started gaining popularity in the 1970s. There are many forms of mountain biking, but our calendar focuses on the endurance events like cross-country and MTB marathons, rather than downhill, trail or all-mountain events.
Mountain biking events give a great opportunity to test your physical ability against a backdrop of stunning scenery.
Local races, especially those which are not sanctioned by the national cycling federations, have various formats and distances, starting from as little as 20km to well over 100km, especially for 12-hour or 24-hour competitions.
Mountain biking events take place on all sorts of unpaved surfaces like mountain trails, single tracks, rock gardens, fire roads, often featuring natural or man made obstacles built of wood, dirt or concrete.
The only mountain biking discipline that made it to the Olympic calendar is Cross-Country Olympic (XCO). Those races are disputed in under two hours, during several laps of a short circuit. This fast-paced discipline requires technical skills and the ability to produce a lot of power in short bursts. Riders have to pass frequent obstacles and many short but steep climbs.
Mountain bike marathon racing (XCM) is a discipline open to all levels of riders. XCM events range from 60 km to over 100 km. They are not as technical as XCO races. Riders lacking power and skills can compensate with endurance and mental strength.
Stage races are becoming a more popular form of XC racing. During those multi-day events, athletes complete a cross-country marathon a day.
There are so many formats to choose from and our comprehensive calendar of mountain biking events from around the world has something for you whether this is your first taste of it or you’re seeking your next challenge.