Israel hosts several official UCI XC races during 2014, in Haifa (which also hosted a European championship previously), Misgav and Mishmar Ha’emek, the later two being amongst our favorite trail centers.

Racers getting ready on the start line.
Gentlemen, start your engines!

We went to check out the first race of the series in Mishmar Ha’emek. The track laid out for the day was pretty intense even by international XC race standards with quite a few steep bits, absolutely no time to rest, and muddy and wet conditions to add to the challenge.

Riding in the wet
Unusually wet conditions for March in Israel

Check out our short video here with impressions of the course and a few words from some of the participants (for the full results of the race, check UCI’s website).