The XCO Race format

XCO or Cross country Olympic Format is one of the most common disciplines of mountain biking. Cross country MTB became an Olympic sport in 1996 and is the only form of mountain biking practiced at the Olympics.The rules for cross country mountain biking for the Olympics are actually pretty simple. The race has a mass start, with all of the riders starting at the same time, and the riders then have to finish a set amount of laps around a course between 4km and 6km in length. The number of laps to be completed is dependant on the category entered.

The Series & How it Works:

There are 9 rounds in this series and your best 5 results will be counted towards your series result.  Meaning if you miss a race or have a mechanical etc you still have a chance.


  • Elite Men & Women
  • Under 30 Men & Women (18-29)
  • Masters 1/2 Men & Women (30-39)
  • Masters 3/4 Men & Women (40-49)
  • Master 5/6 Men & Women (50-59)
  • Masters 7 Men & Women (60+)
  • U19 Men & Women
  • U17 Men & Women
  • U15 Men & Women
  • U13 Men & Women
  • E Bike Open Men & Women
  • E Bike Recreational

The current standard XCO format uses a course between 4km and 6km in length. Depending on the category entered there will be a certain number of laps to be completed to create a race time within a given range

Age Calculation for categories:

Based on the UCI Rules for the National MTB Championships: The date on which the age of a rider is calculated is December 31 of the year the National Championships occurs during or concluding the series in which an event takes place. For the 2023 – 2024 Victorian MTB championship Series this is December 31, 2024


Insurance conditions for events may be different depending on who is the host club / company of that round.

It is advised for all riders to hold a valid Aus Cycling Off Road membership as a minimum. For most club events if a rider does not hold this membership they will need to purchase an Aus Cycling Event permit for the day at a cost of $44. There is also a 4 week trial option which is a great way for new comers to the sport.

Category Target race times (h:mm):

Elite Men & Women (1.30 – 1.45)
Under 30 Men & Women (1.00 – 1.15)
Masters 1/2 Men & Women (1.15 – 1.30)
Masters 3/4 Men & Women (1.00 – 1.15)
Master 5/6 Men & Women (0.45 – 1.00)
Masters 7 Men & Women (0.45 – 1.00)
U19 Men & Women (1.00 – 1.15)
U17 Men & Women (0.45 – 1.00)
U15 Men & Women (0.30 – 0.45)
U13 Men & Women (0.30 – 0.45)
E Bike Men & Women (1.30 – 1.45)
E Bike Recreational Men & Women (0.45 – 1.00)

These are indicative times and the number of laps will be subject to change based on weather and course conditions.

The Points System:

1st – 80, 2nd 65, 3rd 55, 4th 48, 5th 43, 6th 38, 7th 33, 8th 29, 9th 25, 10th 22, 11th 20, 12th 19, 13th 18, 14th 17, 15th 16 and 16th to last all get 15 points each.
Did not finish (DNF) will get 15 points
Did not start (DNS) will get 0

The Championship round will be for double points.


At each round: 1st, 2nd and 3rd in every category will be awarded a trophy.  Any on the day prizes is up to the individual event host.

For Series prizes there is a $7000 Falls Creek Resort prize pool which will be distributed across all categories with even amounts paid to each category (30% less for junior categories).  To be eligible for the series prize money you must compete in a minimum of 3 rounds.

Race Start Times:

At each round there will be 2 race start times.  The groups for these start times have been created to group riders who through Aus Cycling recommendations are to compete for similar time lengths.  This also means that as a general rule faster riders are not sharing the course with more beginner slower riders which makes it more enjoyable for everybody.
Each from below starts 2mins apart. Ie. 1B starts at 9:02am

Start Group 1 – 9:00am start time
1A – Under 17 Men, Under 15s Men
1B – Masters 5/6 Men, Masters 7+ Men, E Bike Recreational Men
1C – Under 30 Women, Masters 1/2 Women, Masters 3/4 Women, Masters 5/6 Women, Masters 7+ Women, Under 19 Women, Under 17 Women, E Bike Recreational Women
1D – Under 15 Women, Under 13 Men / Women

No new laps are allowed to be started by any categories in these groups after 1:30 of race time.  Any riders not allowed to go out will record a finish as +1 Lap or similar as their position in the race when they crossed the line the last time.

Start Group 2 – 10:45 Start Time
2E – E-Bike Open Men and Women
2A – Elite Men, Under 19 Men
2B – Masters 1/2 Men, Masters 3/4 Men, 
2C – Under 30 Men, Elite Women

No new laps are allowed to be started after the first elite rider has crossed the line to complete their race. Any riders not allowed to go out will record a finish as +1 Lap or similar as their position in the race when they crossed the line the last time.