What is Mountainbike-Orienteering (short: MTBO)?


MTBO is, as the name says a combination of Mountainbiking and Orienteering.

At the start every competitior gets a map of a forest in the scale of 1:15 000. The competitor shall try to find the controls that are marked on the map in the correct order as fast as possible. In many countries it is only allowed to use tracks and roads.


The difficult thing is to find the best route choice after a just short look at the map. On the way between the controls the competitor has to know where he is all the time if he doesn't want to get lost. He has to adjust the speed to the situation. Nothing is more annoying than having to push the bike up a hill because you have missed a junction on the downhill.

Map example of Bisamberg (Vienna, Austria)

Michi Gigon punching a control

Following Disziplines exist in MTBO:


Distance Women Men
Sprint 20-25 min 20-25 min
Middle 45-50 min 55-60 min
Long 85-95 min 105-115 min
Relay (each leg) 40-45 min 45-50 min

The course lenghts depend quite much on the terrain. In a flat and fast terrain the couses will be longer than in a hilly, rough area.


Until year 2003 a World Cup in MTBO existed and was reintroduced in 2010.
In the year 2002 the first World Championships were arranged in Fontainebleau (France).
Since 2004 World Championships are being arranged every single year and World Ranking Events which are open for everyone were introduced.
The first European Championships were arranged in Warszawa (Poland) in 2006. From 2009 the European Champs take place in odd years only.

The next World Championships will take place in Montecchio Maggiore (Italy) in August 2011 and the next European Championships in St. Petersburg (Russia) in September 2011.

In Austria there is the Austria Cup which usually consists of 6-8 races.

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