The Xterra World Championship mountain bike course has been redesigned from a big 32K loop to two 16.4K loops to improve the race experience and minimize the impact severe weather has on the route. In 2018, following weeks of torrential rain, the mud-soaked bike trails created less than desirable race conditions for competitors – professional and age group.
“We’ve always said that in Xterra, Mother Nature is your toughest competitor, and while last year’s mud-fest was certainly entertaining, challenging, and even fun for some, it’s not the kind of race experience we want to deliver on our sports biggest day,” said Xterra President, Janet Clark.
To address the concerns, race director Chris Appleton, in conjunction with landowners at Troon Golf and the Maui Land & Pineapple Company, identified alternate routes to eliminate trouble spots and maximize the best riding sections.
Last April, Appleton and the operations crew travelled to Kapalua to cut a new trail, connect existing sections, and solidify a 16K loop that will provide a great mountain bike experience. The course is said to have lots of single track sections, switchbacks, berms, and opportunities to pass. It’ll also feature a ton of climbing with roughly 1,000m of elevation gain in 30K.
The course restructure will be a year-long effort that will involve several trips by Appleton and the crew to build a sustainable trail system to benefit the local community and Xterra World Championship for years to come. “By cutting the route now and having local mountain biking enthusiasts ride it regularly until October, it’ll create a much better racing surface and bike grooves,” says Appleton.
The 2019 XTERRA World Championship is scheduled for October 27 at The Ritz-Carlton in Kapalua, Hawaii.