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XTERRA European Championship This Sunday
XTERRA EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP THIS SUNDAY
An all-star collection of international multisport athletes will gather for the first of six races on the 2008 XTERRA European Tour this Sunday, June 1 at Cala Ginepro in Sardinia.
The 27-strong men’s pro field for XTERRA Italy - which also holds the designation as the XTERRA European Championship and dishes out $40,000 to the top pros – includes Nico Lebrun from France (2005 XTERRA World Champ, current and 2-time XTERRA European Tour Champ), Olivier Marceau representing Switzerland (2004-05 Euro Tour Champ and runner-up in last two XTERRA World Championships), Ronny Dietz from Germany (XTERRA Denmark Champ and runner-up in Euro Tour last year), Felix Schumann from Germany (No. 3 in Euro Tour and 6th at World Champs last year), Jim Thijs from Belgium (4th in Euro Tour last year), Lieuwe Boonstra from South Africa, Sam Gardner from the UK, and a strong contingent of Italians. See complete start list here.
The women’s field includes two-time European Tour Champ Renata Bucher and Sibylle Matter (2nd in Euro Tour last year) from Switzerland, Carina Wasle from Austria (3rd on Tour last year), Italian standout Stefania Bonazzi, Nicola Duggan from the UK, Hannah Cornett from the USA, Marion Summerer (who just finished 2nd at XTERRA West Championship in her first race as a pro) and Claudia Frank from Germany, and several others.
The venue in the Gulf of Orosei is nothing short of breathtaking, from the swim at Cala Ginepro - one of the most beautiful and famous beaches in Sardinia – to the mountain biking in Biderosa Natural Park - an unspoiled nature reserve complete with pine trees, junipers, eucalyptuses and shrubs of the Mediterranean maquis.
XTERRA SOUTHEAST CHAMPS PRO START LIST
Dan Hugo was in third place at this race last year before a bad crash on the bike broke his hand and kept him out of racing for the rest of the season. Revenge, anyone?
June 8 - Pelham, AL
ACE OF A RACE
The 8th annual XTERRA ACE Big Canyon Triathlon will take place Sunday at ACE Adventure Resort in Oak Hill, West Virginia.
One of the most unique XTERRA’s on the America Tour, the ACE features a 1.5 mile down-stream swim in the spectacular New River Gorge. Participants then take to a run climbing 1,000 vertical feet over 7-miles of single-track and forest service roads. The final segment is a fast 10-mile single-track bike course with many hills and the infamous steep descent found on Rigormortis Trail.
In addition to race activities, participants are invited to an open course practice on Saturday, May 31st. A special pasta dinner at ACE’s Lakeside Dining Lodge is available for racers and their families for $5.00 per person. Lodging at the event site includes chalets with hot tubs, cabin tents with beds, primitive camp-sites, bunkhouses and group tents, along with full service RV hookups and shower houses. Advanced reservations are recommended, and camping is FREE to the race athlete. Updated race information can be found at www.aceraft.com/xterra/xterra-ace-big-canyon-tri.html.
Oak Mountain State Park – site of the June 8 XTERRA Southeast Championship - is also home to the BUMP and Grind mountain bike race, one of the best mountain bike events in the Southeast now in its 14th year (this Sunday, June 1). Three-time XTERRA World Champ and recent XTERRA West Champ victor Melanie McQuaid will face off against 7-time U.S. National Mountain Bike Team Member Shonny Vanlandingham in this one. The legendary Oak Mountain "Red Trail" - an 18-mile single loop mountain bike trail that starts at about 500 feet elevation, twists, turns, and rolls through the forest for seven miles then begins a gradual 700-foot climb to the summit – is the battleground. The descent is a fast, wild ride highlighted by the notorious "blood rock" section - a series of tricky to maneuver, uneven and jagged rocks.
XTERRA GEORGIA TRAIL RUN SERIES FINALE
The last race in the XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series may be its toughest – a 15km off-road adventure held in the picturesque woodlands and winding paths of the Dauset Trails Nature Center. Urban athletes looking to “Ditch the City” can head for these beautiful, scenic woods of suburban Atlanta where they will find a variety of terrain leading them through thick grassy fields, around glistening blue lakes and over narrow creek crossings.
After attracting runners from 11 states at the last event, expectations are high for the XTERRA Deep South Trail Run. Atlanta local Chris Wiley (pictured) will be there hopeful to win his third consecutive race to complete the sweep of the XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series. After coming in first place in the last two events, Chris is in a great position to win free entry to the XTERRA National Trail Running Championship to be held on September 27 in Bend, Oregon. After the National Championship, athletes will then have the chance to compete in the XTERRA Trail Running World Championship December 7 in spectacular Hawaii.
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