Paul Martin

PC Athletes Light the Way

As the 2016 Paralympics get underway today in Rio (J-Dawg just won a silver medal) we give thanks and praise to the long line of physically challenged athletes who have inspired a generation of XTERRA racers.

We’ve been in awe since 1999 when we first witnessed Paul Martin hop out of the water on one leg, then tackle the unforgiving XTERRA World Championship bike and run courses.

Soon after that a pre-teen Rudy Garcia-Tolson captured our hearts and spirits as a super-fast relay team swimmer at XTERRA events all over the west coast in the early 2000’s.  Today, he’s the captain of the 2016 USA Paralympic swim team and participating in his fourth games with four medals (two golds) already in his pocket.

We knew the sky was the limit when we met “one-arm” Willie Stewart.  He was the first challenged athlete with one-arm to race XTERRA thanks in part to a futuristic prosthetic arm that would break-away in case of a bike crash.

Then came Bobby McMullen, who raced it blind, and Taylor Seavey, who couldn’t hear a thing.

Through the years every physically challenged athlete that raced in the dirt with XTERRA – and there have been dozens upon dozens – have shown us the strength of the human spirit, the kind of courage we are capable of, and the perseverance to find a way.

Next week at the XTERRA Pan America Championship race in Ogden, Utah – a grueling event that mixes a one-mile swim with 18-miles of mountain biking and 6.5-miles of running, we have the privilege to cheer on four physically challenged athletes.

Two-time XTERRA PC Division World Champion Judy Abrahams, a below-knee amputee, is back racing off-road after a year spent dealing with prosthetic problems.  It’s been 10 years since the bike accident which subsequently lead to her amputation.

“I think this race is a fitting tribute to a comeback, although I feel like I seem to go through a comeback almost every year with all the silly stuff that goes on in my life,” said Abrahams.

Michael Stone knows the feeling.  The two-time XTERRA PC National Champion, who is legally blind with Retinitis Pigmentsosa, has experienced a persistent decline in his sight.

“One of the biggest challenges despite navigating everyday life, was to figure out how to continue my participation in the sports I have come to love so much,” he said.  “It became quite obvious that I could no longer safely participate in these sports, namely running, cycling and triathlon independently. Losing this independence has been quite a personal challenge. However, with some amazing support I am continuing to race.”

Stone will race with guides Kristin Brown (swim) and Kimberly Baldwin for the bike and run, and all the while raise awareness for the specific research his doctors are doing to treat his condition.

“They have had great success thus far as they have proven in the lab that they can repair our retinas and restore sight,” said Stone.  “Their work has been well documented and published.”

Craig Vogstberger, the most decorated PC athlete on the America Tour having captured his record-setting 9th XTERRA Regional Championship this year, returns to Utah for a duel against friend and four-time regional champ Darren Smith.  Those two wear the same carbon fiber orthodic brace that provides the balance and agility necessary for them to run and bike.

For many physically challenged athletes, the equipment plays a major role.  That is why the Paul Mitchell Cut-a-thon, as it has for 20 years now, will be on-site in Utah providing professional haircuts with 100% of the proceeds going to the Challenged Athletes Foundation.

To support that cause XTERRA Warrior and cancer survivor David DeSantis, who won the Northeast 55-59 Regional Championship for the third time this year, has raised nearly $29,000 for the CAF as part of his campaign to race 16 XTERRAs around the world this year.  He’s done a dozen races so far, most of them while tumors grew and chemo raged through his body.  DeSantis had surgery Tuesday to remove those cancerous tumors, and says he’s doing fine and can now focus his energy on training to race at XTERRA Worlds.  You can help him reach is goals, which is to help physically challenged athletes reach their goals, at https://www.gofundme.com/DeSantis16in2016.

We wish all the Paralympians racing in Rio this week – particularly Team USA’s Jamie Whitmore, Megan Fisher, and Rudy Garcia-Tolson – the best of luck and thank all the physically challenged athletes for the endless amount of inspiration they provide to us all.

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Mendez, Poor win XTERRA Denmark

Ruzafa, Poor win XTERRA European Tour

Results

Mons Klint, Denmark – Mauricio Mendez from Mexico and Brigitta Poor from Hungary captured the XTERRA European Tour finale at XTERRA Denmark in Mons Klint this afternoon.

It’s the third win in five weeks for Mendez, who is just 20-years-old, and the second win of the season for Poor who also secured her first XTERRA European Tour title with the victory.

A cold and wet day “aka Viking weather” didn’t dampen the spirits for the several hundred XTERRA Warriors who took part in the days’ event, held at one of the most stunning locations in Europe with its signature 497-steps down to the swim, up after the swim, and back up again at the end of the run.

“It was a really hard race today for the athletes,” said XTERRA European Tour technical director Nicolas Lebrun.  “It was a tough swim with waves, and currents, then those crazy stairs and it was wet, muddy, and a lot of people fell it because it was so slippery all over.”

In the men’s race Mendez and Sam Osborne were the leaders out of the water, followed closely by Roger Serrano and Maxim Chane.  Once on the bike, however, Francois Carloni and Serrano took over with the best bike splits and took the lead heading into the run together.

“Carloni told me that he was able to get back in the race on the bike not because he was pushing hard, but with a lot of skills,” said Lebrun.  “He said just to stay on his bike was faster than most people going hard in these muddy conditions.”

Osborne, who could have won the tour with a win today in Denmark, gave everything on the run and passed Carloni and Serrano, but was then caught and passed by Mendez, who had the fastest run of the day and took the tape in 2:56:13, less than one-minute ahead of Osborne.

Mendez

“It was a really exciting race to watch, to see Sam leading, then Roger, then Francois, and finally Mauricio,” said Lebrun.

For Mendez, the win marked the end of a six-week European race-cation.

“This trip was really successful, a fun mix of travel and holiday. I think I have to come back because I’ve never had such a great experience, and met so many good people,” said Mendez.

“It was a really extreme adventure today,” he added.  “This was my first time in these kinds of conditions and it was hard to deal with.  I tried to stay calm and enjoy the experience, and when I started three-minutes down on the run I told myself to just enjoy it because it’s the last race of the trip.  Then, when I saw the three guys at the 8K mark I pushed hard and it worked.”

In the women’s race Poor dominated from start-to-finish, posting the fastest swim-bike-and-run times of the day for a winning time of 3:30:39. Carina Wasle finished in 2nd nearly seven-minutes back and Renata Bucher placed third.

“Brigitta took all the excitement out of the women’s race early on,” said Lebrun.  “She led the swim, and after one loop on the bike she had a four-minute lead and it was done!  After that only a mechanical could stop her, but she managed it and did the job perfectly.”

Wasle got kicked in the swim, lost some time, but was able to manage it “even with blue lips and maybe a broken tooth,” said Lebrun.  “She was not at her best, but consistent, and Renata was not 100% for sure.  She said the season started to be really long, and she did not have enough energy to fight hard in these conditions.”

Now it’s time for the best in Europe to get ready for Maui, and the ultimate showdown at the XTERRA World Championship on October 23.

QUOTES FROM THE PODIUM

Sam Osborne

It was a really tough race, there was so much mud on the course and we were just bathing in it. I think everyone had some kind of problem out there and it was just about trying to deal with it. My shoes had so much mud in them the velcro wouldn’t stick so I raced with the shoes open most of the way. I know others lost a brake or kept dropping their chains. But that’s why we love this game, you never know what it’s going to serve up to you one week to the next. This is the sort of race we will look back at and just laugh about how crazy it was

Kris Coddens

Not my best weekend. Bruised rib and constantly dropping chain made it a big adventure on the bike. I will have to fight back next year. I enjoy adventure and still loved the epic race.

Brigitta Poor

I don’t like muddy races and jelly fish but today everything worked and I am really happy to win the race and the European Tour! This was a good finish to my season!

Renata Bucher

I loved the mudslide course a lot, but my head was not in the game today. The European XTERRA tour was amazing but long, and as an XTERRA Granma, I need a rest. See you next year.

Carina Wasle
Pretty cool race venue here. Rollercoaster bike in the mud and a scenic, but hard run with lots and lots of steps. Only the sun was missing! And now also a part of my tooth is missing after a really bad knock out in the swim. Thanks XTERRA Denmark, great finish of the European Tour.

Find pictures, videos, and more stories from XTERRA Denmark at:
https://www.facebook.com/xterranordic / https://www.facebook.com/xterraeurope

Men's Podium

ELITE RESULTS:

Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Mauricio Mendez, MEX 2:56:13 100
2 Sam Osborne, NZL 2:57:09 90
3 Roger Serrano, ESP 2:57:50 82
4 Francois Carloni, FRA 3:01:48 75
5 Peter Lehmann, GER 3:03:22 69
6 Jan Pyott, SUI 3:07:53 63
7 Jan Kubicek, CZE 3:08:37 58
8 Maxim Chane, FRA 3:09:21 53
9 Kris Coddens, BEL 3:11:18 49
10 Theo Blignaut, RSA 3:12:39 45
11 Tim Van Daele, BEL 3:13:57 41
12 Anders Bregnhoj, DEN 3:16:08 37
13 Mark Hamersma, NED 3:17:26 34
14 Thomas Kerner, GER 3:21:24 31
15 Dominik Wychera, AUT 3:23:14 28
Also: Henrik Soeberg, Lars VanderEerden, Simone Calamai, Glenn Wesseling, Lars Kauffman, Serge Messens
Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Brigitta Poor, HUN 3:30:39 100
2 Carina Wasle, AUT 3:37:08 90
3 Renata Bucher, SUI 3:47:17 82
4 Louise Fox, GBR 3:50:57 75
5 Maud Golsteyn, NED 4:10:59 69

Complete Results

Women's Podium

RUZAFA, POOR WIN XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR

Ruben Ruzafa of Spain and Brigitta Poor from Hungary won the 2016 XTERRA European Tour titles.  It’s the second time in three years Ruzafa, a three-time XTERRA World Champion, has won the XTERRA European Tour and the first time for Poor.  The top 10 men and women will share $20,000 USD Tour bonus (details).

Ruzafa finished 2nd to Roger Serrano at XTERRA Greece in the second race of the season then rattled off wins at XTERRA Portugal, XTERRA Switzerland, XTERRA France, and XTERRA Germany to rack up 442 points.

Sam Osborne was 10 points and less than one-minute away from winning the Tour today.  He finished second at XTERRA Denmark, just 56-seconds behind Mauricio Mendez.  If he had won the race, he would’ve won the Tour.  Kris Coddens also had a shot at the Tour title today, had he finished 1st or 2nd, but ended up 9th on the day and settles for third in the final Euro Tour standings.  With the win today Mendez moves into the fourth position, and Francois Carloni rounds out the top five.

In the women’s chase Brigitta Poor won the first race of the year in Malta, and the last race of the year today in Denmark.  In between she was 2nd at XTERRA Greece, 3rd at XTERRA Portugal, 6th at XTERRA Switzerland, 2nd at XTERRA Poland, and 3rd at XTERRA Germany.

Renata Bucher, who won the tour four times between 2005 and 2009, had a remarkable year to finish in the runner-up position, Carina Wasle was steady in third, Helena Erbenova posted the most tour wins with five (but they were all silver races thus two didn’t count towards her point total) to finish the season fourth in the standings, and rookie pro Morgane Riou was fifth.

Pros counted their best four gold and three silver race finishes out of the 11 events.

2016 XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR STANDINGS                    
FINAL – 9.4.16                        
                           
Men     S S S S G G S S S G G
Pl Name, NAT TOTAL MLT GRE POR BEL SUI FRA ITA POL SWE GER DEN
1 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 442 DNS 67 75 DNS 100 100 DNS DNS DNS 100 DNS
2 Sam Osborne, NZL 433 DNS DNS x51 67 58 DNS 67 DNS 61 90 90
3 Kris Coddens, BEL 409 DNS x47 DNS 75 90 41 DNS 61 56 37 49
4 Mauricio Mendez, MEX 386 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 67 75 69 100
5 Francois Carloni, FRA 338 DNS 51 56 61 DNS 37 x51 DNS DNS 58 75
6 Peter Lehmann, GER 308 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS 53 39 51 DNS 45 69
7 Yeray Luxem, BEL 299 DNS DNS 67 x27 DNS 90 DNS 75 67 DNS DNS
8 Roger Serrano, ESP 293 75 75 61 DNS DNF DNS DNS DNS DNS DNP 82
9 Jan Kubicek, CZE 292 DNS 36 DNS DNS 37 DNS 56 56 DNS 49 58
10 Brice Daubord, FRA 261 43 61 DNS DNS 82 DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS
11 Arthur Serrieres, FRA 230 DNS DNS DNS DNS 53 63 DNS DNS 51 63 DNS
12 Bradley Weiss, RSA 227 DNS DNS DNS DNS 63 82 DNS DNS DNS 82 DNS
13 Veit Hoenle, GER 226 DNS DNS 23 DNS 75 75 DNS DNS DNS 53 DNS
14 Maxim Chane, FRA 179 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS 34 36 DNS DNS DNP 53
15 Jan Pyott, SUI 173 DNF 33 DNS DNS 34 DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS 63
16 Arthur Forissier, FRA 150 DNS 56 DNS DNS DNF DNS 47 DNS 47 DNS DNS
17 Tomas Kubek, SVK 137 DNS 43 DNS 47 DNS DNS x23 47 DNS DNS DNS
18 Dominik Wychera, AUT 136 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 33 DNS 36 DNP 28
19 Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA 127 47 DNS DNS 30 DNS DNS DNP 23 27 DNS DNS
20 Henry Sleight, GBR 125 DNS DNS DNS 39 28 58 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
21 Theo Blignaut, RSA 124 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 36 43 DNS 45
22 Damien Guillemet, FRA 120 DNS DNS DNS 51 DNS 69 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
23 Hannes Wolpert, GER 114 36 DNS 33 DNS 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNP DNS
24 Sebastian Norberg, SWE 111 DNS 25 DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS 43 DNF DNS DNS
25 Llewellyn Holmes, GBR 110 DNS DNS 25 33 DNS 31 21 DNS DNS DNP DNS
26 Christophe Betard, FRA 108 27 DNS DNS 36 DNS 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
27 Tim Van Daele, BEL 98 DNS 27 30 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 41
28 Mattia De Paoli, ITA 94 DNS DNS DNS DNS 69 DNS 25 DNS DNS DNS DNS
29 Nicolas Fernandez, FRA 87 DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 31 DNS
30 PA Guilhem, FRA 82 61 21 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
31 Max Neumann, AUS 79 DNS 30 DNS DNS 49 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
32 Markus Benesch, AUT 73 25 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 27 21 DNS DNP DNS
33 Stephen Bayliss, GBR 71 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 30 DNS DNS 41 DNS
34 Thomas Kerner, GER 70 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 39 DNP 31
35 Cedric Lassonde, FRA 69 30 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
36 Jens Roth, GER 67 67 DNS DNS DNS DNP DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
37 Tomas Jurkovic, SVK 64 DNS DNS DNS DNS 31 DNS DNS 33 DNS DNS DNS
38 Karl Shaw, GBR 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNF DNS
39 Bartosz Banach, POL 49 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
40 José Estrangeiro, POR 47 DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
41 Max Sasserath, GER 43 DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
42 Anthony Pannier, FRA 41 DNS DNS DNS DNS 41 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
43 Julen Loroño, ESP 39 DNS DNS 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
44 Aidan Nugent, RSA 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 39 DNS DNP DNS
45 Anders Bregnhoj, DEN 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 37
46 Rui Dolores, POR 36 DNS DNS 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNP DNS
47 Christian Otto, GER 34 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 34 DNS
48 Mark Hamersma, NED 34 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 34
49 Fabien Combaluzier, FRA 33 33 DNS DNS DNS DNF DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
50 Norbert Durauer, AUT 33 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 33 DNS DNS
51 Mester Balint, HUN 30 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 30 DNS DNS DNS
52 Jari Palonen, SWE 30 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 30 DNS DNS
53 Ben Allen, AUS 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS 28 DNP DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
54 Anthony Flinois, FRA 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
55 Jan Francke, CZE 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 28 DNS
56 Gonzalo Orosco, ESP 27 DNS DNS 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
57 Emil Stoynev, BUL 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS DNS DNS
58 Jim Thijs, BEL 25 DNS DNS DNS 25 DNS DNS DNP DNS DNS DNS DNS
59 Lubos Truhlar, CZE 25 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 25 DNS DNP DNS
60 Simone Calamai, ITA 25 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 25 DNS DNP
61 Julien Buffe, FRA 23 DNF 23 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
62 Martial Schmidt, FRA 23 DNS DNS DNS 23 DNS DNP DNP DNS DNS DNS DNS
63 Tiago Maia, POR 21 DNS DNS 21 DNS DNP DHS DNS DNP DNS DNS DNS
64 Boris Chambon, FRA 21 DNS DNS DNS 21 DNS DNP DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
Women   S S S S G G S S S G G
Pl Name, NAT TOTAL MLT GRE POR BEL SUI FRA ITA POL SWE GER DEN
1 Brigitta Poor, HUN 529 75 67 x61 DNS 63 75 DNS 67 DNS 82 100
2 Renata Bucher, SUI 483 DNS DNS 51 DNS 75 90 61 61 DNS 63 82
3 Carina Wasle, AUT 454 DNS DNS 56 67 58 63 DNS DNS 51 69 90
4 Helena Erbenova, CZE 382 DNS 75 75 75 DNS 82 x67 x75 x75 75 DNS
5 Morgane Riou, FRA 331 67 51 DNS 61 49 45 DNS DNS DNS 58 DNS
6 Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 308 DNS DNS 67 DNS 82 69 DNS DNS DNS 90 DNS
7 Louise Fox, GBR 304 DNS 56 47 DNS 45 28 DNS DNS DNS 53 75
8 Maud Golsteyn, NED 301 56 DNS 39 47 41 49 DNS DNS DNS DNS 69
9 Ladina Buss, SUI 228 DNS 61 DNS DNS 69 DNS 51 47 DNS DNS DNS
10 Michelle Flipo, FRA 200 DNS DNS DNS DNS 100 DNS DNS DNS DNS 100 DNS
11 Lesley Paterson, GBR 175 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 100 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS
12 Jacqui Slack, GBR 148 DNS DNS DNS DNS 90 58 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
13 Elisabetta Curridori, ITA 130 DNS DNS DNS 43 31 DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS
14 Kristina Nec Lapinova, SVK 125 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS 31 DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS
15 Jessie Roberts, GBR 122 DNS DNS DNS 51 37 34 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
16 Lenka Cibulkova, CZE 119 DNS DNS DNS 39 DNP DNP DNS 39 DNS 41 DNS
17 Sandra Koblemueller, AUT 114 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
18 Diane Lee, GBR 103 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS
19 Danica Spiteri, MLT 86 39 DNS DNS DNS DNP DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS
20 Cecilia Jessen, SWE 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 67 DNS DNS
21 Kara LaPoint, USA 65 DNS DNS DNS DNS 28 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
22 Mayalen Noriega, ESP 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS
23 Isabelle Klein, LUX 56 DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
24 Sandra Santanyes, ESP 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS
25 Coralie Redelsperger, FRA 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
26 Alena Stevens, SVK 51 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
27 Ivana Loubkova, CZE 49 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 DNS
28 Sabina Rzepka, POL 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 45 DNS
29 Sara Bonilla Bernardez, ESP 43 DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
30 Belinda Hadden, AUS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS
31 Sanne Van Paassen, NED 41 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 41 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
32 Birgit Jüngst-Dauber, GER 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 37 DNS
33 Monica Cibin, ITA 34 DNS DNS DNS DNS 34 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS

ALL-TIME XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR WINNERS

Year Men’s Champion (NAT) / Women’s Champion (NAT)
2016 Ruben Ruzafa (ESP) / Brigitta Poor (HUN)
2015 Roger Serrano (ESP) / Helena Erbenova (CZE)
2014 Ruben Ruzafa (ESP) / Kathrin Mueller (GER)
2013 Hector Guerra (ESP) / Helena Erbenova (CZE)
2012 Nicolas Lebrun (FRA) / Helena Erbenova (CZE)
2011 Olivier Marceau (SUI) / Marion Lorblanchet (FRA)
2010 Franky Batelier (FRA) / Marion Lorblanchet (FRA)
2009 Franky Batelier (FRA) / Renata Bucher (SUI)
2008 Nicolas Lebrun (FRA) / Renata Bucher (SUI)
2007 Nicolas Lebrun (FRA) / Eszter Erdelyi (HUN)
2006 Nicolas Lebrun (FRA) / Renata Bucher (SUI)
2005 Olivier Marceau (SUI) / Renata Bucher (SUI)
2004 Olivier Marceau (SUI) / Jamie Whitmore (USA)
2003 Royce Kortekaas (NED) / Jamie Whitmore (USA)

Learn more at…

http://www.xterraeurope.com

http://www.xterraplanet.com/races/pro-racing

2016 XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR AMATEUR CHAMPIONS

Women:
20/24 Clara Blohm Clemmensen – Denmark

25/29 Sjoukje Dufoer – Belgium

30/34 Chloé Carloni – France

35/39 Miriam Gerber – Switzerland

40/44 Emilie Le Fur – France

45/49 Riikka Vreeswijk-Kelja – Netherlands

50/55 Carol Rasmussen – Denmark

Men :

15/19 Rémi Jeaugey – France

20/24 Loïc Doubey – France

25/29 Pierre Roblot – France

30/34 Alexandre Montel – France

35/39 Bartosz Jamruskiewicz – Poland

40/44 Francisco Javie Notario Fernandez – Portugal

45/49 Mat Stephenson – Great Britain

50/54 Jean-Marie Bertres – France

55/59 Armand Surwilo – Poland

60/64 Karsten Olsen – Denmark

2016 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

XTERRA Denmark was one of more than 30 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the world could qualify to race at the 21st annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on Oct 23.

DATE WORLD TOUR EVENT LOCATION or WINNERS
7-Feb XTERRA Philippines Brad Weiss/Lizzie Orchard
21-Feb XTERRA South Africa Brad Weiss/Flora Duffy
5-Mar XTERRA Motatapu Olly Shaw/Mary Gray
12-Mar XTERRA Saipan Brodie Gardner/Carina Wasle
20-Mar XTERRA Costa Rica Karl Shaw/Myriam Guillot-Boisset
26-Mar XTERRA Argentina Josiah Middaugh/Myriam Guillot
3-Apr XTERRA Malta Roger Serrano/Brigitta Poor
16-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Braden Currie/Lizzie Orchard
17-Apr XTERRA La Reunion Ruben Ruzafa/Carina Wasle
23-Apr XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship Braden Currie/Lizzie Orchard
7-May XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour Championship Ben Allen/Jacqui Slack
7-May XTERRA Brazil Albert Soley/Sabrina Gobbo
7-May XTERRA Greece Roger Serrano/Helena Erbenova
14-May XTERRA Tahiti Josiah Middaugh/Lesley Paterson
21-May XTERRA Oak Mountain State Park Josiah Middaugh/Suzie Snyder
21-May XTERRA Portugal Ruben Ruzafa/Helena Erbenova
11-Jun XTERRA Belgium Kris Coddens/Helena Erbenova
25-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Ruben Ruzafa/Michelle Flipo
25-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter Karsten Madsen/Suzie Snyder
3-Jul XTERRA France Ruben Ruzafa/Lesley Paterson
10-Jul XTERRA Victoria Karsten Madsen/Katie Button
16-Jul XTERRA Beaver Creek Josiah Middaugh/Julie Baker
31-Jul XTERRA Italy Mauricio Mendez/Lesley Paterson
31-Jul XTERRA Dominican Republic Rom Akerson/Suzie Snyder
6-Aug XTERRA Mexico Rom Akerson/Suzie Snyder
7-Aug XTERRA Poland Yeray Luxem/Helena Erbenova
13-Aug XTERRA Sweden Mauricio Mendez/Helena Erbenova
20-Aug XTERRA European Championship Ruben Ruzafa/Michelle Flipo
4-Sep XTERRA Denmark Mauricio Mendez/Brigitta Poor
17-Sep XTERRA USA / Pan Am Championship Ogden, Utah, USA
23-Oct XTERRA World Championship Kapalua, Maui
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XTERRA European Tour Finale Sunday in Denmark

The last of 11 events on the XTERRA European Tour takes place Sunday in Mons Klint, Denmark.

“They’ve found the only place in Denmark that isn’t flat,” exclaimed XTERRA European Tour technical director Nicolas Lebrun upon his arrival.

“Mons Klint is the translation for “Cliffs of Mon.” Completely white, made of chalk, you can see the impact of the Baltic sea. The highest point is 120m above the water and 6km long. On top of it there is a beautiful forest with huge beech trees and pastures with nice black cows that look almost like Buffaloes. The entire area is a protected nature reserve, and very popular area with tourists.”

You’ll find the signature spot on this course before the race even starts as competitors (and hardy spectators) will have to walk down nearly 500-steps of stairs to get to the swim.

“This is the “fun” part of the race, the already famous 487-stairs athletes will have to climb from the beach to T1,” said Lebrun. “It’s a perfect wooden path that athletes can do barefoot. And for the best, they can try to beat the fastest Strava time to the top, 2’47”.

Athletes get to do it again on the run, just before the finish.

In between racers will do two laps of a 14km mountain biking loop in a beautiful forest, with lots of small climbs and descents.

“It’s a lot of climbing for Denmark, and also a lot of corners that require technical skills to to break, turn, and shift at the same time.   It’ll be good for mountain bikers.”

There is a lot at stake in both the pro and amateur divisions as everyone tries to win their European Tour Championship title and custom jersey that goes with it. Read pro preview here.

XTERRA European Tour Rank – Name, Nationality

2 – Kris Coddens, BEL

3 – Sam Osborne, NZL

5 – Mauricio Mendez, MEX

6 – Francois Carloni, FRA

8 – Peter Lehmann, GER

9 – Jan Kubicek, CZE

13 – Roger Serrano, ESP

14 – Arthur Forissier, FRA

16 – Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA

17 – Maxim Chane, FRA

23 – Jan Pyott, SUI

25 – Dominik Wychera, AUT

31 – Markus Benesch, AUT

37 – Tim Van Daele, BEL

44 – Thomas Kerner, GER

58 – Simone Calamai, ITA

NR – Anders Bregnhoj, DEN

NR – Mikkel Johnsen, DEN

NR – Mark Hamersma, NED

NR – Glenn Wesseling, NED

 

XTERRA European Tour Rank – Name, Nationality

1 – Poór Brigitta, DEN

2 – Renata Bucher, SUI

4 – Carina Wasle, AUT

7 – Maud Golsteyn, NED

8 – Louise Fox, GBR

17 – Sandra Koblmüller, AUT

20 – Cecilia Jessen, SWE

Lionrock_2016-08-29_0100Z

XTERRA Japan Cancelled

Typhoon Lionrock wreaked havoc all over Hokkaido and northern Japan late Tuesday night causing widespread flooding, landslides, and power outages.

As a direct result the XTERRA Japan Championship race scheduled for Saturday at Lake Kanayama in Hokkaido was cancelled.

Roads to the race site were closed, debris flooded the lake making the water un-swimmable, trails were blocked with downed trees, and the local hotel lost electricity. The entire area will be in recovery mode through the next several days.

Organizers sent out notices as soon as it was clear the race could not be held, however, many athletes were either en route or decided to still come to Hokkaido.

XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour Champion Ben Allen had just landed in Chitose from Australia when he heard the news.

“I’m so sad I won’t get the chance to race XTERRA Japan as I have been wanting to for the past few years, but safety is first and foremost and my heart goes out to all the people here in this region that have been effected by the Typhoon,” said Allen.

“All I know of Japan was seven hours in the airport, but I was in good hands with Mai who did her best to take me on a tour of the Sapporo airport, eat Sushi, check out the Pokémon store for some cool toys for my niece and nephew. I was so impressed by the people and food I tasted even though I didn’t even exit the airport. I can only imagine what it’s like outside.”

Two other Aussie pros headed to Hokkaido had different fates. Last year’s XTERRA Japan winner Courtney Atkinson missed the notice of cancellation by about 45 minutes and got all the way to Tokyo before turning back around. The lucky ones seem to have been Brodie Gardner, who learned of the cancellation before he left Australia and Mieko Carey, who was able to get off the plane in Tokyo and take advantage of an opportunity to catch up with family and friends.

For others, the trip started anew in a coffee shop in the Chitose Aiport. That’s where former XTERRA Japan Champion Takahiro Ogasawara, several amateur racers and the organizing committee gathered Thursday morning … to talk about what’s next.

“Life is what you make of it, ya know, you have to take the bad with the good,” said Allen. “I’ll be back here, you can guarantee that, and next time I’ll have my partner in crime (Jacqui) with me and we’ll go nuts and dive deep into Japan’s culture, fads, and outrageous technology. I can’t wait.”

Snyder

XTERRA Pan Am Championship Elites

The XTERRA Pan America Championship race is just two weeks away (Sept. 17) in Ogden, Utah and the elite field is looking strong with nine of the top 10 ranked men and women headed to the Beehive State.

XTERRA PAN AM CHAMPIONSHIP ELITE START LIST

 

Bib #/Pan Am Pro Series Rank – Name, NAT

1/1 – Josiah Middaugh – 38 – Vail, Colorado

2/2 – Rom Akerson – 32 – Tambor, Costa Rica

3/3 – Karsten Madsen – 24 – Guelph, Ontario, Canada

4/4 – Kieran McPherson – 24, Matamata, New Zealand

5/5 – Branden Rakita – 35 – Colorado Springs, Colorado

6/6 – Chris Ganter – 37 – Boise, Idaho

7/7 – Ian King – 26 – Virginia Beach, Virginia

8/9 – Sam Long – 20 – Boulder, Colorado

9/10 – Thomas Spannring – 40 – Longmont, Colorado

10/12 – Cody Waite – 38, Lakewood, Colorado

11/16 – Karl Shaw – 36, Great Britain

12/21 – Ryan Ignatz – 37, Boulder, Colorado

14/37 – Brad Zoller – 39, Avon, Colorado

15/45 – Dan Molnar – Bismark, North Dakota

16/46 – Brian Smith – 41, Gunnison, Colorado

17/47 – Michael Nunez – 35, Salt Lake City, Utah

18/56 – Eduardo Marcolino – 36 – Sao Paulo, Brazil

19/62 – Patrick McKeon – 27, Philadelphia, Penn.

20/NR – Rodrigo Acevedo – 30 – Bogota, Colombia

21/NR – Felipe Barraza – 24 – Santiago, Chile

22/NR – Barret Fishner – 33, Blodgett, Oregon

23/NR – Matt Lieto – 37, Bend, Oregon

24/NR – Alex Martinek – 24 – Durango, Colorado

25/NR – Alex Modestou – 29, Durham, North Carolina

26/NR – Cameron Paul – 26 – Taupo, New Zealand

27/NR – Jean-Philippe Thibodeau – 25 – Quebec, Canada

28/NR – Walter Schafer – 25 – Centennial, Colorado

29/NR – Braden Currie – 29, Wanaka, New Zealand

30/NR – Alex Roberts – 26, Taupo, New Zealand

31/NR – JP Donovan – 29, Incline Village, Nevada

 

Race #/Pan Am Pro Series Rank – Name – Age – Hometown

51/1 – Suzie Snyder – 34 – Reno, Nevada

52/2 – Myriam Guillot-Boisset – 37 – Brindas, France

53/3 – Maia Ignatz – 36 – Boulder, Colorado

54/4 – Kara LaPoint – 29 – Truckee, California

55/5 – Sabrina Gobbo – 39 – Sao Paulo, Brazil

56/7 – Katharine Carter – 29 – North Vancouver, BC, Canada

57/8 – Debby Sullivan – 35 – Stafford, Virginia

58/9 – Caroline Colonna – 52 – Taos, New Mexico

59/10 – Rebecca Blatt – 36, Lakewood, Colorado

60/12 – Sarah Graves – 39 – Ballantine, Montana

61/13 – Julie Baker – 40, Sonora, California

62/17 – Liz Gruber – 27, Colorado Springs, Colorado

63/28 – Lisa Leonard – 28 – Las Vegas, Nevada

64/36 – Amanda Felder – 34, Del Mar, California

65/NR – Elizabeth Orchard – 31 – Auckland, New Zealand

66/NR – Annie Bergen – Kelowna, B.C., Canada

 

NR = Not Ranked in Pan Am Pro Series

 

www.xterrautah.com

Steve Cole

2016 XTERRA Regional Champions

The 2016 XTERRA America Tour regular season racing schedule came to a close Sunday, points were tallied, and the regional champions list is out.

Click here to view the 11×17 PDF listing all 185 athletes who won their region this year.

Winners have been invited to race in the XTERRA World Championship and will be honored on the eve of the XTERRA Pan America/USA Championship race in downtown Ogden, Utah on Friday, Sept. 16.

Topping the list once more is 2011 Mr. XTERRA and former National Champ Steve Cole, a pilot living in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Cole remains the only racer in XTERRA history to win all 16 regional championships since the inception of the America tour back in 2001. He was the best age group racer in the South Central’s 45-49 division from 2001 to 2005, won the SC 50-54 division from 2006-2010, swept through the 55-59 division from 2011-2015, and welcomed himself to the 60-64 division in style by posting a perfect score (325 points) with wins in Saipan, Tsali, Knoxville, and Oak Mountain.

While Cole is the only 16-time regional champ, Beverly Enslow of Metamora, Illinois is the most prolific female age grouper with 15 regional titles in the Midwest region.

Cindi Toepel is right behind with 14 titles. Russell Clark and Linda Usher have 13. Kyle Grieser, Barbara Peterson, and GL Brown have 12. Casey Fannin, Kathy Frank, Errol Lassiter, Hans Dieben, and Ken Robins have 11, and new this year to the double-digit club are Ron Hill and Mike Carter, who each won their 10th regional championship crown.

The 2016 XTERRA America Tour featured more than 50 races in 30 U.S. States and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas. Learn more at http://www.xterraplanet.com/races/america-tour.

Middaugh

Middaugh Coaching Corner – Tapering Explained

Tapering is a seemingly simple concept but so many athletes still get it wrong usually due to an insecurity in their fitness. The two primary goals for a taper are 1) disappearance of cumulative fatigue, and 2) maintenance and sharpening of fitness.  A successful taper requires a trust in the process and a reversal of thinking.  Through training, athletes learn that consistency is a key to success and there is a fear of loss of fitness if their routine is disrupted. High training loads may be a prerequisite for peak performance, but the results will not be realized without a proper taper.  Done right, a taper will boost performance to a significantly higher level than otherwise possible.

Keep in mind that different abilities have different training residuals.  For example aerobic endurance has one of the longest training residuals of around 30 days, whereas maximum speed has a training residual of around 5 days (Issurin, 2008).  The explanation is that most of the aerobic endurance adaptations are structural, such as mitochondrial density, capillary density, red blood cell volume and hemoglobin capacity.  Anaerobic adaptations have a shorter training residual because most of the adaptations have to do with anaerobic enzymes and buffering capacity.  Maximum speed has the shortest training residual because it depends on neuromuscular interactions and motor control.  This partially explains why volume is dramatically reduced but intensity and frequency remained mostly unchanged.

There are primarily four different tapering strategies:

1. Step Taper:  This is probably the most common and a typical example would be a two-week taper with a 33% reduction in training volume and intensity the first week, followed by an additional 33% reduction in training volume the second week.  So an athlete training 15 hours per week, would drop to 10 hours and then to 5 hours the week before a big competition.  A step taper could also be a 3 week taper with maybe a 20-25% reduction in training each week.
2. Linear taper:  This is simply a linear, progressive reduction in training load so you would see a gradual reduction in both volume and intensity.
3. Exponential, slow decay taper: With this strategy, there is a greater reduction in training load at the beginning of the taper and then training load almost levels off at around 40-50%.
4. Exponential, fast decay taper:  Compared to the slow decay taper, there is an even greater reduction in training at the beginning of the taper and training load is reduced to 20-30% of normal.  Although tapering is individual, research indicates this to be the most effective tapering strategy.

All tapering strategies can be effective, but there is some research to suggest there may be an ideal tapering strategy.  Bosquet (2007) conducted a meta-analysis on the effects of taper on performance and found the most effective tapering strategy to be a 2 week exponential, fast-decay taper in which training volume is reduced by 41-60% without altering training intensity or frequency.  The primary goal of a taper is the disappearance of fatigue without the negative effects of detraining.  Since volume is drastically reduced, it may also be possible to enhance certain fitness parameters with short residual training effects with high intensity interval and repetition training performed in a rested state with adequate recovery (sharpening).

Tapering is individual

A taper implies that there is a training load that requires tapering from.  For a weekend-warrior type athlete maybe training 4-5 hours per week a taper is probably not necessary.  At the other end of the spectrum, an ultra long distance triathlete at 25+ hours of training per week may benefit from an even longer taper of 3 or even 4 weeks.  For long distance athletes such as marathon runners and ultra-distance athletes, I often place the longest run 4 or even 5 weeks before the race.  For most endurance athletes a one to two week taper is ideal.  Here are more guidelines to help you develop the best tapering strategy for you:

1. The higher the training load, the longer the taper and the greater the reduction in training volume.  Conversely, the lower the training load, the less you need to reduce your training.
2. A longer taper should decay slower than a shorter taper.  If you have a long three week taper, then it can be more linear with a gradual dissipation of fatigue.  If you are planning just a one-week taper, then shut it down quickly to a lower training load.
3. Decrease volume first, but mostly maintain frequency and some intensity.
4. Focus on shorter intervals during a taper with longer recovery.  Intervals can be slightly higher than race intensity, but only if you are used to this type of training.  Race week I usually just have one key session on a Tuesday, which is shorter than normal, and I don’t go all out.
5. Avoid the temptation to over-cook your final high intensity workouts since you are feeling fresh and can likely swim, bike, or run personal bests during the final week.  Leave the Strava records alone.  Also consider the demands of your race and it may be unnecessary to perform high intensity repetition work.
6. Have confidence in the process and expect some feelings of guilt. Just because your training load is low, doesn’t mean you didn’t earn your next meal.  Back off your type A personality for just a short time.
7. Don’t overcompensate by restricting your diet.  Muscle and liver glycogen (carbohydrate) stores need to be at a maximum and hydration optimal.  Since glycogen is stored with water, expect a small amount of weight gain–this is a good thing.  Although you might feel like it, you won’t get fat in your final week of tapering.
8. Decreasing fatigue is the most important part of a taper, so any last-ditch effort to boost your fitness will likely backfire.  When in doubt, leave it out.

The biggest pitfall I see is the sabotage, which usually occurs about a week out from the race.  Again, it is the lack of confidence and the unnecessary urge to complete one final confidence-building workout.  Save it for the race.  For XTERRA racing, the other challenge is deciding how much pre-riding is necessary.  Riding 2 hours at moderate to somewhat high intensity one or two days before the race is a bad idea.  Consider riding just a portion of the course or not at all.  Another strategy is to be very well rested before you arrive so a pre-ride of the course will be easier to recover from.  I often place a complete day off 2 or 3 days out from the race, usually coinciding with travel.

Potentiation

The final piece to get you feeling fresh on race day is a short potentiation workout, often referred to as “openers”.  If you are well rested, but it has been a while since any high intensity training, it may be beneficial to potentiate the muscles with a few short intervals on the bike the day before the race.  A typical workout would be 3-4 reps of 1-2 minutes at goal race intensity in the middle of a 30 to 40 minute ride.  Some suggest that a potentiation workout should be reserved for elite athletes, but if you have trouble with heavy legs on race day, then it would be worth trying first before a low priority race.  For it to be effective, you need to be rested and don’t go all out.  If you have some fatigue from a pre-ride the previous day, then skip the potentiation reps.

For more great tips on how to nail your taper week, check out 4-time World Champion Melanie McQuaid’s latest blog post at http://racergirl.com

Final thought

“Rest is good after the work is done” — Danish proverb

Josiah Middaugh is the reigning XTERRA World Champion.  He has left a knee cap in Alabama, a tooth in Utah, and an appendix in Mexico … and he dances for good causes!   He has a master’s degree in kinesiology and has been a certified personal trainer for 15 years (NSCA-CSCS). His brother Yaro also has a master’s degree and has been an active USAT certified coach for a decade. Read past training articles at http://www.xterraplanet.com/training/middaugh-coaching-corner and learn more about their coaching programs at www.middaughcoaching.com.

References

Bosquet, L., Montpetit, J., Arvisais, D., & Mujika, I. (2007).  Effects of tapering on performance:  A meta-analysis.  Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 39(8), 1358-1367.

Issurin, V. (2008).  Block periodization versus traditional training theory:  A review.  Journal of Sports Medicine & Physical Fitness, 48(1), 65-75.

Shepley, B, MacDougall, JD, Cipriano, N, Sutton JR, Tarnopolsky, MA, Coates, G (1992).  Physiological effects of tapering in highly trained athletes.  Journal of Applied Physiology, 72(2), 706-711.

Sam-Osborne

Interview with Osborne

We caught up with Sam Osborne, the 24-year-old from Rotorua, New Zealand, to ask him about the XTERRA European Tour finale in Denmark and other random things…

XTERRA: When was the first time you raced XTERRA?
Sam Osborne: 2013 in Rotorua was my first time on the line, although things didn’t go all to plan that year. 2014 in Rotorua was the first time I finished an XTERRA.

XT: We understand your Dad has been running the coffee stand at XTERRA New Zealand for a long time.  That race has been growing in legend since 2003, even before Hamish Carter won it three years in a row.  Was your Dad there from the beginning?
SO: Yup, Dad is the man behind the machine at XTERRA NZ. I don’t think he was there from day one but very close, possibly after that first year. He’s been known to ditch the machine for the finish and when we come off the bike to give me a bit of a yell.

XT: There’s a big XTERRA crowd back home, it’s a recognized sport isn’t it?
SO: XTERRA at home is getting bigger and bigger every year. Kiwi’s historically love this kind of adventure sport so naturally its taking off. Hopefully after this year with me being over here there’s a few more young guys who are getting fired up for it. 

XT: How bad do you want to win one in Rotorua?
SO: Really bad!! That is huge goal for me next year is to win my home race. I got very close last year and this year I had a brilliant battle again with Braden Currie. I’m sure we’ve put on a good show Braden and I going head-to-head there but the show needs to end with me breaking that tape next year. 

XT: Let’s talk about breaking the tape next Sunday, how big would that be for you?
SO: It would be massive for me.  Before I came over to Europe this year I had said it was what I wanted to do over here.  Not sure if people thought that was a bit ambitious or not, but it was a big goal and now leading into Denmark I’m now faced with the possibility of pulling it off. 

XT: What’s it going to take?
SO: I’m going to really have to bring my A game to the table there. The thing is I’m not just racing Kris for the overall Tour, I’m racing a whole lot of other guys who all want to win that race on the day. I expect it to be a pretty fast aggressive race. This year the racing has become much more aggressive with a lot of attacking, and the way the course looks there this year it will just encourage that sort of thing.

XT: Let’s get to some lighter stuff.  Do you always pass out at the finish line?
SO: Haha, no…it has happened a couple of times, but it’s not common and I hope it doesn’t become frequent in races to come.  To take down a guy like Ruben though I think you have to be prepared to bleed out there (referring to last week in Germany).

XT: You did a couple races last year, but really got into it this year, why?
SO: Yea I only raced three off-road races over here last year but enjoyed all of them, so I thought why not give it a proper go this year. 

XT: Have you been a triathlete forever?  Did you come from athletic family?
SO: Both my parents were pretty active, Dad was a mad keen mountain biker and he actually wanted me to get into downhill. I ended up racing cross country when I was a junior and only made the switch to triathlon at high school when a couple of my teachers thought it would be good for me to have a crack at. 

XT: Favorite race?
SO: Would have to be my home race in Rotorua. I think the setting for that race is one of the best around and the course they’ve got going on there is just so good. I love racing at home as well, I spend a lot of time over here in Europe and you know there’s not a huge amount of support, no one really knows you that well, but racing at home everyone knows you and the support there is just unreal. 

XT: Most satisfying race?  Was it the win at Sweden last year?
SO: The win at XTERRA Sweden last year was awesome, it was my first XTERRA race out of Rotorua and I won it.  But, I think Euro Champs last weekend in Germany (second to Ruzafa in stacked field) and Sardegna Cross Tri Worlds (3rd) were probably more satisfying for me. I absolutely love this fast and close racing and with the fields being that stacked I live for that stuff. 

XT: How much fun are you having touring around Europe, outside of the racing?
SO: There hasn’t been a huge amount of exploring in between racing and I’ve been kept busy with my uni work in between that. The fun is with all the other guys on the tour, you see the same guys most races and we are all pretty good mates even if it is a bit of a dog eat dog affair out on the course. 

XT: Do people in Europe think you’re an Aussie or a Kiwi?
SO: Luckily I haven’t been asked that too many times, because when they do they almost get a smack. Although I’ve had the Aussie flag put on my number plate a few times here. NOTE: We have the red stars

XT: Can you do the haka?
SO: The haka is almost part of the curriculum in NZ…. but you need more than just one kiwi to pull it off.

XT: Do you have any rituals or good luck charms?
SO: Not so much, although I have a Tiki that was hand-sewn for me a few years back which I think is pretty cool.

XT: Do you have a nickname?
SO: Sammy is about as far as nicknames go for me. Nothing quite as cool as “The Caveman” or anything like that.  


XT: Well, let’s throw Bam Bam against the wall and see if it sticks.  Say, if you weren’t racing as a pro triathlete, what would you be doing?
SO: I’m still at uni over here while I’m racing studying math, still entirely unsure what I will do with that. I like the idea of teaching but it would be something with that degree. 

XT: Got any hobbies when you’re not racing?
SO: I’m quite into my coffee, probably enjoy making it more than drinking it. Dad’s got a fairly big reputation around Rotorua for his coffee and I think mine gives a good go. It is a bit of a running competition out at my parents’ bike shop and there’s a fair bit of banter over whose is better.

XT: How’s your road tri racing going, what are you up to for that?
SO: I haven’t actually done any of the ITU style racing since I’ve been over in Europe this year.  The Euro tour has so many races now it’s hard to do both. I’m still unsure how the season will pan out with it next year, but I’d say I will at least to a few back in the NZ summer, I still love that racing. I have been asked by my Bundesliga team to come back for next year, so we will see.  Probably a bit of that will depend on how the next two-months pan out for me.
top-3-menWeb

Epic Showdown On Tap in Denmark

It all comes down to this.

The Belgian, Kris “Cool Cat” Coddens VS the Kiwi, Sam “Bam Bam” Osborne

Heading into the XTERRA European Tour finale at XTERRA Denmark next Sunday (Sept 4) those two sit in second and third-place in the elite standings, separated by just 13 points.

The leader, three-time XTERRA World Champion Ruben Ruzafa, will not make the trip.

“No, my focus now is on Maui,” Ruzafa explained.  “This year I have done two parts in the season, Reunion to XTERRA France, then two-weeks rest, and now I have Maui and ITU Worlds on my mind.  This year we have tried to make little changes to my swimming, so I can be faster in the water, and my running so I can be better on the climbs and the downhills.  The secret, however, is arriving fresh at each race.  With seven weeks focus on the preparation for Maui, I hope to arrive healthy and with energy, that is the key.”


Ruzafa collected 442 points on the XTERRA European Tour this season, 82 more than Coddens and 99 more than Osborne.

“What that means is if Kris finishes 1st or 2nd he beats Ruben.  If Sam finishes 1st he also beats Ruben, but if Kris is 2nd he beats Sam,” said XTERRA World Tour managing director Dave Nicholas, who notably went out of his way to prod those two with these facts.

The tight race sets up an exciting finale in Mons Klint.  In head-to-head racing this year Coddens got the better of Osborne at XTERRA Belgium (He won, Sam was 2nd) and XTERRA Switzerland (He was 2nd, Sam was 7th) but Osborne finished ahead of Coddens at the last two races, placing 3rd at XTERRA Sweden (Kris was 4th) and 2nd at XTERRA Germany (Kris was 12th).

Ah, but it’s not just about Bam Bam and Cool Cat!  The “Kid” Mauricio Mendez from Mexico will be in Denmark as well, eager to claim his third win on the European Tour this season and mess-up the whole deal.  If Mendez wins, and Coddens doesn’t finish second, the title goes to Ruzafa.

Looking back, Mendez was faster than Osborne on his way to winning at XTERRA Italy (Sam was 2nd), and he got the better of both Sam and Kris when he won in Sweden, but then Osborne bounced back in Germany last weekend with a runner-up showing to Ruzafa (Mauricio was 5th).

And let’s not forget about Roger Serrano, the reigning XTERRA European Tour Champ, who won the first two races of the season at XTERRA Malta and XTERRA Greece (where he beat Ruzafa).  He’s back from injuries and looking to re-establish his spot on top.

There’s drama in the women’s race as well, with Brigitta Poor looking to become the first elite racer from Hungary to win an XTERRA European Tour title.  She’s got the lead with 429 points, and behind her is the “Swiss Miss” Renata Bucher with 401 points.  Poor can lock-down the crown with a fourth-place finish or better.  If Renata wins it, and Poor is fifth-or-worse, Bucher will walk away with her fifth XTERRA European Tour title.