Cross-country is part of the Olympic programme. Cross-country races are held over undulating circuits (with technical descents, forest roads, rocky paths and obstacles) of 4 to 6 km. The race varies from 1 h 20 minutes to 1 h 40 minutes depending on the category.
Downhill is a race against the clock in which the rider negotiates a succession of fast and technical passages. The participant must demonstrate courage as well as sharp technical and piloting skills in order to affront tree roots, banked sections, bumps, jumps and other natural obstacles along the way. Speeds reach around 80km/h in the men’s races and 70km/h for women.