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Lebrun, Dibens Win at XTERRA UK, XTERRA Czech Next
LEBRUN, DIBENS WIN AT XTERRA UK
By Dave “Kahuna” Nicholas, managing director of the XTERRA Global Tour…
The first day of summer in Wales was a pretty typical day. Cool, misty, a bit of rain. Oddly enough this weather followed a few weeks of unseasonably high temps, so even the stoutest of Welshmen were confused by it all.
XTERRA returned to its Resolven Rugby Club site, and again the local folks were a delight to work with as well as the forest and counsel members.
The UK swim is unusual. A lap of a fairly large reservoir with a brief run out of the first lake and then back into a shorter lake for a straight shot at T1. The swim is about 2 miles from the finish/compound and this year there was ample parking for family and friends to go and watch the start. Julie Dibens did her usual phenomenal swim followed closely by Mike Dibens (seems swimming runs in the family). For the pro men it looked like another Conrad Stoltz and Dan Hugo show as they headed up the mountain in tandem.
This particular bike course is almost totally up or down. Very little level stuff to recover on and the downhills are pretty technical. This scenario played perfectly into the hands of France’s Nico Lebrun who lost only 1 minute on the swim to Stoltz and made 30 seconds of that back on the bike. For once, Conrad could not get away. Dirt bikers have been tearing up the forest trails for a few years and Wales Forestry put in around 12 narrow steel posts to act as gates. This meant that each competitor had to dismount, wheel or carry his/her bike through the gate and head on again. This on a cold, muddy, rainy day…the cyclo-cross kind of scenario had to help Nico.
Hugo ran into trouble with a flat and a good crash that left his right shoulder bloodied and cost him 10 minutes. He toughed it out all the way for a 9th place finish where more mortal men would have been in the med tent.
Nico has always been one of XTERRA’s premier runners. And like the bike course, the run is also primarily either up or down and then throw in a few rivers and streams to cross and it is tailor made for him. Nico passed Conrad at the top of the mountain and held his lead to the finish. Germany’s Ronnie Dietz put in another great race for 3rd. He had it much easier than in Italy where he had bike problems and had to run everyone down. Here, Ronnie put in 3 solid segments – 7th fastest swim, 3rd fastest bike and 4th run. Behind him was German mountain biker Jörg Scheiderbauer. Jorg was able to get past South Africa’s Lieuwe Boonstra on the bike and held him off coming home for 4th with “Looie” 5th.
Reigning XTERRA World Champ Julie Dibens knows this course well and rode a solid bike to keep Anna Baylis - Scheiderbauer in second. Anna put in the fastest bike but only by a few seconds over Dibens. A nice race by young Brit pro Nicola Duggan put her in third ahead of two more experienced women pro’s, Finland’s Riikka Kelja and Holland’s Ingrid Van Lubek in 4th and 5th. Melanie McQuaid was scheduled to race Europe the next few weeks, but a bad accident by her partner Ross took her back to Canada.
I’ve said it a few years in a row, but this place, with good or bad weather, is simply magic. Hilly and green, not too expensive, great food, lots of places to stay, easy to get to and best of all the Welsh people. Swansea (100,000 people) is 15 minutes away and has everything one could ask for… even some things Conrad and Amber will have to tell you about.
The course is damn tough – one of our longer ones. But this year, despite everyone being completely covered in mud, they all came across with grand war stories and a smile. Heck, maybe we should order up the rain every year.
UP NEXT: XTERRA CZECH CHAMPIONSHIP, June 29
The South African duo of Conrad Stoltz and Dan Hugo will make their way to the Czech Republic to take on the best XTERRA racers in Europe at the XTERRA Czech Championship on Sunday in Hluboka nad Vltavou. The race happens in the center of town, with the swim in the river Vltava. The first half of the 1.2 km swim goes against a soft current and the second part returns with the current. After the swim, competitors mountain bike through the private Stará Obora where deer is bred (the field is open only due to XTERRA Czech). The course is 35km long and since it is closed during the rest of the year there are beautiful places untouched by people. The bike course finishes at the central square in Hluboká nad Vltavou where the running part starts in the same time direction as Hluboká castle park. The run course is 10 km long and the finish area is again at the central square by the historical Town Hall.
Nicolas Lebrun and Renata Bucher won the last XTERRA Czech Championship in June of 2006.
OLYMPIC MEDALIST WINS XTERRA BUFFALO CREEK
Olympic bronze medalist (2004 Triathlon) Susan Williams of Littleton, Colorado won the women’s race at the XTERRA Buffalo Creek off-road triathlon in Buffalo Creek, CO on Saturday. Williams finished 17th overall in 2:40:34 - more than six minutes ahead of XTERRA Pro Sara Tarkington (Lisa Isom was third in 2:49:16). The course featured a one-mile swim; 20-mile mountain bike; and 5-mile trail run. A solid pro contingent turned out for the men’s race as Greg Krause took home top honors in 2:15:43, followed by Dave Messenheimer (2:19:48), Ryan Ignatz (2:21:17), and Cody Waite (2:28:10). Ed Oliver was the top amateur in 2:28:13.
XTERRA UK PRO RESULTS
SCOTT, HOUSER WIN XTERRA TORN SHIRT
XTERRA Pro Ryan DeCook won the overall at the XTERRA Torn Shirt off-road tri in Brighton, MI yesterday in a time of 1:56:31. Chris Scott of Morrison, IL was the top amateur in 2:04:22 and Mindy Houser of West Bloomfield, MI won the women’s race in 2:27:59.
GORDON, ROARK-GRAY WIN XTERRA SOLSTICE
Michael Gordon from Seattle won the XTERRA Solstice in La Grande, OR in a time of 2:30:38 on Saturday. Brandyn Roark Gray from Aztec, NM won the women’s race in 3:04:00.
LHOMMEAU, WOOD WIN XTERRA DAWG DAYZ
Patrick Lhommeau from Germantown, TN won the XTERRA Dawg Dayz off-road tri in North Little Rock, Arkansas with a time of 1:28:41. Jocelyn Wood from Broken Arrow, OK was the top female in 1:40:52.
STUFFITTS TUESDAY, 7/1
Register on Tuesday, July 1 for the XTERRA Mountain Champs or Sport race, XTERRA Wheeler Canyon 21km Xduro Trail Run, XTERRA Nevada, XTERRA Trail Run National Championship or XTERRA Trail Run World Championship and Mike Huebner, owner of stuffitts, will send you out a complimentary pair of his cedar-filled sachets to keep your shoes race ready. Check it out at stuffitts.com.
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