Ötztal Vertical Hunt tries new format

Sölden, Austria, will host the Ötztal Vertical Hunt from August 21 to 24. The race format is a...

Sölden, Austria, will host the Ötztal Vertical Hunt from August 21 to 24. The race format is a result of a survey asking mountain bikers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland about their event preferences.

The majority of the respondents asked for multi-day events and short stage races that could be hosted on a weekend. Other topics on the wish list were a creative race format, a mix of several disciplines and scenically attractive routes.

The Vertical Hunt features four different disciplines: hill climb, short track, marathon and cross country and after the first two events, riders will be started in order, with time gaps based on their standings.

"We have been organising stage races for years," said event director Mike Hamel. "Out on the route it has always been difficult for both, leaders and chasers, to estimate how many places they have caught up in the overall ranking. With a pursuit as race format the respective position in the GC (general classification) becomes transparent. We expect a thrilling pursuit, both in the field and at the top."

Since Ötztal Vertical Hunt takes place on the same weekend as the cross country races of the Olympic Games in Beijing, organizers are bringing along a giant TV so that the public can follow the Olympics while at the race.

For more information, visit www.oetztal-verticalhunt.com.

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