Cross-country Eliminator joins the UCI Urban Cycling World Championships
When the UCI Urban Cycling World Championships take place in Chengdu, China, on November 8-12, the youngest sport on the programme will be the cross-country Eliminator (XCE) for women and men.
The Eliminator is a short, fast mountain bike race - featuring a series of natural and artificial obstacles - that usually lasts less than five minutes. Competitors race in heats of four, with the top two from each round moving on to the next, until four riders remain for the medal final.
The Eliminator had its first international test in 2011, when competitions were held at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup rounds in Dalby Forest (Great Britain) and Nove Mesto na Morave (Czech Republic). One year later, the Eliminator officially joined the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup with three rounds in Houffalize (Belgium), Nove Mesto and La Bresse, (France). The first rainbow jerseys for the discipline were awarded that same year, in Saalfelden (Austria), where Ralph Naef of Switzerland and Alexandra Engen of Sweden became the first UCI World Champions for the discipline.
The Eliminator continued as part of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in 2013 and 2014 before being discontinued. However, it was revived for 2017 as a six-race urban series, in partnership with City Mountainbike.
While the UCI World Cup was discontinued for two years, the Eliminator remained part of the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in 2015 and 2016, and now joins the UCI Urban Cycling World Championships.
Daniel Federspiel of Austria comes to Chengdu as the two-time defending UCI World Champion. But watch for last year’s silver medallist Simon Gegenheimer of Germany, who won this year's UCI World Cup overall title. In the women's field, Linda Indergand of Switzerland has won the world title the last two years, while Lizzy Witlox of the Netherlands won this year’s UCI World Cup overall title with two victories.