In non-Olympic years it will be mandatory for professional athletes wishing to race at the XTERRA World Championship to compete in at least one XTERRA event during the course of the season.
“The spirit of the rule is to honor the core collection of elite athletes that race with us year-round and support our growing number of XTERRA World Tour Championship events,” said XTERRA managing director Dave Nicholas. “From February through September we offer 25 major races in 18 countries around the world – including eight in Europe and five in the U.S. We feel this provides ample opportunity for professionals serious about racing in Maui to compete in at least one qualifying race. We need to honor the commitment and loyalty of the pros that are with us during the year.”
There are four notable exceptions to the rule, which are granted to a) former world champions, b) XTERRA World Tour race champions from previous year, c) sponsor exemptions, and d) extenuating circumstances due to injury.
a) Former XTERRA World Champions are always welcome
b) All World Tour Championship race winners from the previous season will automatically qualify to enter the XTERRA World Championship the following year.
c) The Title Sponsor of the XTERRA World Championship is allowed two racer selections per year. Presenting Sponsors are allowed one racer selection per year. The decision as to who receives the sponsor exemptions is made by the managing director in conjunction with each sponsor.
d) The managing director is able to use their best judgment on a case-by-case basis in determining severity of injuries that kept an athlete from competing in a qualified race.
The “must race in one” rule will not be in effect in 2016 and future Olympic years with the understanding triathletes racing for a spot on their national team are confined to a strict schedule.