Mathieu van der Poel won the short track event ©Twitter/UCI MTB

Dutch star Mathieu van der Poel and world champion Kate Courtney claimed short track wins as the International Cycling Union Mountain Bike World Cup season began in Albstadt.

The short track competitions marked the start of the cross-country season, with the Olympic distance races due to take place tomorrow.

Van der Poel had enjoyed a successful classics campaign on the road, including a victory in the Amstel Gold Race.

The Dutchman turned his attentions back to cross-country in impressive fashion by winning the men’s short track race in Germany in 20min 28sec.

He edged out Switzerland’s Lars Forster in the short format event, which was recently included by the UCI on the World Cup circuit.

Forster ended on the same time as the winner in second, with his compatriot Nino Schurter two seconds back in third.

The women’s race saw Courtney emerge as the winner, with the American achieving a time of 21:05.

Switzerland’s Jolanda Neff, the world champion in 2017, finished one second adrift to end as the runner-up.

The top three was rounded off by Switzerland’s Kathrin Stirnemann, who ended in 21:07.

The results will see van der Poel and Courtney wear the World Cup leaders jerseys tomorrow when the Olympic distance races take place.