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Batelier, Bucher win XTERRA Germany Championship
Frenchman Franky Batelier edged local pro Felix Schumann by two minutes and Renata Bucher outran fellow countrywoman Sibylle Matter from Switzerland to win the XTERRA Germany Championship in Zittau on Saturday.
The event also served as the DTU German National Championship so although he finished as the runner-up in the overall, Schumann was crowned the German National Champ.
"Batelier was simply too strong today, it is easy to see why he is leading the tour," said Schumann.
Third-place finisher Ronny Dietz had a tough time staying in front of the ever improving Czech, Karel Zadak, but was able to pull away near the end of the run to make it so there were two German's on the podium.
Batelier (pictured courtesy Hitziger.net) is now 3-for-3 on the XTERRA European Tour (he also won at Italy and Czech). For Bucher, it's her second Euro Tour win on the season (she captured Italy title and was 2nd at Czech) and the victory also marked Bucher's 19th career XTERRA Championship in 11 countries (Saipan, Czech Republic, Austria, France, German, Italy, Spain, Great Britain, Japan, Malaysia, America).
A pair of XTERRA America Tour regulars - 5x XTERRA World Champ in the 50-54 division Barbara Peterson from California and brand-new pro Brandyn Roark Gray from New Mexico took part in XTERRA Germany and bring us these reports:
BRANDYN: The race was spectacular, the German people and race crew were absolutely fantastic. They were very welcoming and warm people and were excited for us to be there. The race site was beautiful and very easy to get to. We didn't need a car, had a grocery store within walking distance and had our bikes to go back and forth on the 10 minute ride to the race site from our flat.
The start of the race was interesting with not speaking the language. They are very organized in Germany and very punctual which was wonderful. I was 2nd out of the swim after getting a bit "lost" but only due to my own goggle fog issues.
I jumped on my bike and while riding over the first bridge, I glanced down at my handlebars and noticed my stem was bent completely to the side! My stem came loose and I had to stop and twist it back, but had NO tools to tighten it! AWE MAN! I was a little worried about how the downhills would go but blasted off anyway. Then I looked down and discovered my rear tire was almost flat, and my CO2 had been taken by the airline so I was in NO luck! I asked a German racer for some "air" and he happily gave me his CO2, and I spent the next hour and a half stopping and filling my tire until finally I got enough pressure in and it "seeded" right! The downhills were scary with the bent stem and no tire pressure but it was gorgeous and super fun!
Off to the run out of transition I finally felt the JET LAG! Two days arrival time was not enough but I ran ok and finished 13th. Not too bad after my 2nd Pro race and racing some talented ITU German women! Overall, the race was excellent. We had wine, cheese and amazing German potatoes every night and I have not even mentioned the after party! A live band that played American 80's music the whole night! The race venue was safe too, we rode around at midnight with our headlamps and felt nothing but safe the entire week.
A world class event that will only get better in my mind. Organizers Benno and Torsten are to thank immensely. We will be going back next year and the Brits (Sam Gardner, Jim McConnel, etc) said they would bring the United Kingdom and we will bring the United States to Germany! Awesome race, wonderful people, excellent experience and tremendous memories!
BARBARA: Blue sky and warm August winds greeted the eager souls ready for the O-See Challenge, otherwise known as the brand new XTERRA GERMANY. As far as one can go east in Europe, where Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic can now share with the world, their sweet meadows, rugged forests and rustic farm houses. A fully international field of pro and amateur off-road triathletes began the no-wetsuit swim in what used to be an old coal mine but has been transformed into a beautiful park and is now the area’s recreational highlight: Olbersdorferee.
Pre-race highlights: Fantastic bakery’s, great café’s and diverse restaurants in Zittau. No one starved – the local food was fantastic. At the compound, there was wonderful music, a festive and full environment with booths from many great local and international cycling and clothing sport shops offering special products for triathletes at special prices. Race start was at 11:30 a.m. – not too late, not too early --- perfect for jet-lagged participants (many traveled from far – there were Americans, many Brits, New Zealanders, and for all the others in Europe, it was a long drive to east Germany).
Race highlights: Swim was two laps in 22.7 degrees Celsius, close to 72.8 degrees Fahrenheit. The water was choppy because the wind had come up, but it was sunny and warm so no complaints.
The bike course was ideal, as the sun and wind had sufficiently dried most of the deep puddles and mud. The terrain varied between climbing, long downhills, single track, gentle dirt roads, open and sunny hillsides, dark forests. From beginning to end, it was scenic beyond words. Weaving in-and-out of the Czech Republic forests, with beautiful views of Poland and Germany in the distance, and very friendly spectators shaking bells and shouting encouragement in many different languages, motivating more than just deep breathing up the very steep climbs that were evenly spaced over the 36 kilometers. There isn’t any competitor that wouldn’t agree it was super challenging, and absolutely magical.
The run was a pure treat – a low-land track around the lake, as fast or slow as each competitor desired. Another mix of single track, dirt road, a little bit of creek water, too. The finish line was a great site, with music, laughter, new and old friends there to greet.
COMING UP ON THE XTERRA WORLD TOUR
August 22 - XTERRA European Championship/XTERRA Austria Championship (Klopeinersee)
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