ZAKRZÓWEK_Kraków_0063

XTERRA Poland Debuts This Sunday

More than 30 elites representing 18 countries are headed to the historic town of Krakow for the inaugural running of XTERRA Poland on Sunday (August 7).

The eighth of 11 stops on this year’s XTERRA European Tour has attracted the top three women in the Tour standings – Brigitta Poor, Helena Erbenova, and Renata Bucher – as well as the men’s winners from this year’s races at XTERRA Belgium (Kris Coddens), XTERRA Italy (Mauricio Mendez), and XTERRA Brazil (Albert Soley).

The brand new event will dish out a few surprises, including a bike section that traverses rock tunnels in Krakow?

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Photo Tomasz Ksiazek

“The bike loop will be fun, with lots of twists and some really good mountain biking,” said XTERRA European Tour technical director Nicolas Lebrun, fresh off a 16-hour drive from Italy through Austria and the Czech Republic to help the Polish crew get things ready for this weekend.

The course is close to the heart of Krakow, so has a unique urban/forest vibe, and the crew worked hard to build much of the track from scratch.

“It’s great to have a course like this after Italy, it’ll be a completely different race,” said Lebrun.  “Italy was for the climbers, this one will be more for the powerful athletes with good technical skills who are able to keep their speed on all the curves and use the terrain to their advantage.  It’s the kind of race that would be perfect for the Caveman.  And if you like the pump track, you will love it here!”

Lebrun added that “the lake (Zalew Zakrzowek) is unique, it’s an old mine for rocks and sand, and at some points, they dug too much and water came out, and now it is a beautiful lake!”

The warm water will likely create a non-wetsuit swim for all racers.

As for the competition itself, the 20-year-old phenom from Mexico City faces a whole new set of challengers on a completely different kind of course, so it’ll be interesting to see how he does here.

“I think Mendez can lead the race, maybe from start to finish, but with guys like Kris Coddens who can run fast like him – we could see a really exciting foot race here,” said Lebrun.  “Plus, Kubicek had a terrific race last weekend in Italy, with a 4th place finish, so he could take another step up and Yeray Luxem is here and has been racing great this year (2nd in Portugal and France).”

Théo Blignaut from South Africa was in Poland last year when organizers held a test event, so he knows the course better than most, and “I hope our Vegan chef, Fabrizio Bartolli, will put more energy into the race this time than into his cooking like he did last week,” said Lebrun.  “He was dead in Scanno and told me during the race he would save some energy for Poland.  It’s also nice to see Soley, the XTERRA Brazil winner, back on the Euro tour.  And, of course, there are lots of locals from here in Poland and close-by who can be strong.  I remember the Czech race when I was still competing, we always had to fight with some strong athletes that we never saw in other races. They are tough people here!”

The women’s race is certain to be a thriller with Poor, Erbenova, and Bucher – the Tour’s top three.

“If we look only at the name we might say Helena is the strongest, but in this race with no wetsuit and a flat and technical bike course, Brigitta and Renata have a real chance, especially if they can race together during the bike,” said Lebrun.  “And Brigitta will probably have more energy as the Italian race must have caused a lot of physical damage after 1750m+ climbing on the bike + run under 35°c! Ladina is here too, she was 4th last week and put a lot of energy to finish, so hope she will recover well. We haven’t seen a lot of Diane Lee this year, but I remember her being strong last year in Denmark (2nd) on the same kind of race, so maybe she will fight for a top five.”

Outside of race day there are all kinds of cool things for visiting racers to see and do.  Krakow lies on the Vistula River, the largest river in Poland, and on the boundary between Kraków-Częstochowa Upland and the Carpathian Mountains.  Its history dates back to the Paleolithic period.

“There are a lot of great attractions in the area and one could easily spend a week visiting all the tourist and outdoor sights,” said Kris Kowal, one of the event organizers.  “Old town is on the UNESCO list, as are the Wileiczka salt mines and Auschwitz-Birkenau Death Camp.”

Here’s a look at the tentative start list for Sunday’s race, and you can follow along with the updates on Facebook/XTERRAEurope and XTERRA Poland.

Elite Start Lists for inaugural XTERRA Poland

As of 8.3.16

MEN

XTERRA European Tour Rank, Name, Nationality

2 – Kris Coddens, BEL

7 – Yeray Luxem, BEL

10 – Peter Lehmann, GER

11 – Jan Kubicek, CZE

17 – Tomas Kubek, SVK

25 – Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA

26 – Mauricio Mendez, MEX

29 – Sebastian Norberg, GER

32 – Tim Van Daele, BEL

34 – Markus Benesch, AUT

42 – Tomas Jurkovic, SVK

50 – Tiago Maia, POR

NR – Mester Bálint, HUN

NR – Theo Blignaut, RSA

NR – Tomas Jiranek, CZE

NR – Xavier Jové Riart, ESP

NR – Krzysztof Kokot, POL

NR – Daniel Molnar, USA

NR – Aidan Nugent, NZL

NR – Robert Skillman, AUS

NR – Albert Soley, ESP (XTERRA Brazil Champion)

NR – Emil Stoynev, BUL

NR – Lubos Truhlar, CZE

WOMEN

XTERRA European Tour Rank, Name, Nationality

1 – Brigitta Poór, HUN

2 – Helena Erbenová, CZE

3 – Renata Bucher, SUI

8 – Ladina Buss, SUI

17 – Kristina Nec Lapinova, SVK

22 – Diane Lee, GBR

25 – Lenka Cibulková, CZE

NR – Sabina Rzepka, POL

Photo Credit Marcin Zielinski

Akerson Dominican Republic

Akerson, Snyder win XTERRA Dominican Republic

Barahona, Dominican Republic – Costa Rica’s Rom Akerson, and Pan Am Tour women’s leader Suzie Snyder (USA) took the wins today at the inaugural XTERRA Dominican Republic.  In the process, they introduced a brand new adventure destination at Casa Bonita in the beachside town of Barahona and an epic race course three hours southeast of Santo Domingo.

The win is Akerson’s first on the XTERRA Pan American Tour.  A native of Costa Rica, the hot and humid conditions suited him to a tee.  For Snyder, this was her third win on the Tour following her victories at XTERRA Oak Mountain in Shelby County, Alabama, and XTERRA Mine over Matter in Ontario, Canada.

As the sun rose over the ocean this morning, it revealed intimidating surf (which local surfers were taking full advantage of), along with a wicked shore break onto a rocky beach.  When the gun went off for the elites they encountered strong cross currents, and huge sets that some estimated were ten to fifteen feet from top to bottom.  After two laps of a 750-meter course with no beach run between due to the shore break, Puerto Rico’s Fabian Roman was first out leading a group that included Akerson, 16-year-old local DR elite Kevin Martinez, and American Branden Rakita.  Reigning world champion, Josiah Middaugh, was only steps behind in 5th.

Leaving transition for two laps of a gnarly 15.5k with 562m of elevation gain and loose, rocky downhills likened to Maui’s famous “Plunge”.  Middaugh took the lead early on the bike – was first to a closed gate which he opened for the rest of the field.  At the river crossing right before transition and the start of the second lap, Josiah had a minute and a half lead over Akerson with Rakita in 3rd about 2 mins behind Akerson.  The young kiwi, Kieran McPherson, trailed in 4th with American Ryan Ignatz in his first race back after a bad crash in June, in 5th.

About half way down the descent on the second lap, Middaugh was stopped by a flat which took him 15 minutes to repair.  “I was having a good time for a while,” he quipped.  “And then I got a puncture.  I tried to plug it. I used my first CO2 to find the hole, but the hole was too big.  So I put a tube in and inflated it with my other CO2, but the tube had a hole in it, so then I had nothing.  I started running with the bike.  Rom and Braden went by and didn’t have anything to give me…then finally somebody had a tube.  I put that in and then I couldn’t find my through axle.  It was a half a mile back up the hill.  I left the bike and ran up the hill but couldn’t find it.  I ran past it, looked everywhere and then finally, found it and ran back to the bike.”

Akerson was first back to transition with the fastest bike of the day (1:39:55) and went out on the run with a lead of four and half minutes which he extended to nine and a half minutes to take the win in 2:45:30.

“This is a super hard course and very challenging.  This race will be known for its toughness but so is the XTERRA family,” he said.  “I need the points, and this throws me up (in the Tour rankings where he moved from 7th to 4th)”.

Rakita was very happy with second, “I really powered on the run.  I wanted to stay ahead of Kieran.  He ran well in Alabama and almost closed down on me, so I had to run hard not to let him catch me. I am happy with second, but it is bitter sweet with Josiah getting the flat.”

McPherson took third and Middaugh 4th with the fastest run split at 41:26.  Ignatz was 5th in his first race back on XTERRA circuit since a bad crash in June.

Of note, local DR elite athlete Kevin Martinez was a DNF today.  He experienced a mechanical on the first lap bike.  He finished the race unofficially on a borrowed bike and completed the full run course.

Snyder Dominican Republic

SNYDER WINS THIRD OF THE YEAR

In the women’s race, it was Suzie Snyder’s day.  She led from start to finish – and her finish was strong enough for 5th place overall.

“This win means a lot,” she said.  Snyder broke her pelvis a year ago, and has had a long recovery.  “Thinking back to the beginning of the season when I didn’t know if I’d be able to race the series, or what races I’d be able to do, and at what level.  I didn’t think I could be winning races this year.  I trained really hard swimming and biking over the winter when I couldn’t run.  Here it helped going into the run knowing I had a really strong swim and bike, but I ran hard regardless.”

Finishing second, nine and a half minutes behind Snyder, was France’s Myriam Guillot-Boisset.

“Kara (LaPoint) and I worked together on the bike although she knew I would be faster in the run. We made a gap on the other girls, but I couldn’t stay with her and she dropped me.  But then I caught her at transition and we left together on the run.  I knew Suzie was very far in front, so I didn’t really push hard, I just went for a good run,” said Guillot-Boisset, who finished 2-1/2 minutes ahead of LaPoint in 3rd.

LaPoint said “the swim was very difficult as the waves were huge and getting out was a big challenge.  I was really tired and had swallowed gallons of sea water.  Myriam and I stuck together through almost the whole ride.  It was great to have someone else to share the suffering with, and it made it fun for me.  She’s an amazing runner, so I knew I couldn’t stick with her on the run, but it was great to have that carrot to guide me through.  I knew Maia (Ignatz) was somewhere behind me on the run. She is an awesome runner.  So I put my nose to the ground and charged as hard as I could.  I had enough of a gap to hang in there.  I’m excited with third.”

American Maia Ignatz took 4th with Brazil’s Sabrina Gobbo in 5th.

ELITE RESULTS:

Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Rom Akerson, CRC 2:45:30 100
2 Branden Rakita, USA 2:55:03 90
3 Kieran McPherson, NZL 2:59:01 82
4 Josiah Middaugh, USA 3:01:00 75
5 Ryan Ignatz, USA 3:22:21 69
6 Fabian Roman, PUR 3:24:13 63
7 Leandro Sanchez, DOM 3:56:03 58
Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Suzie Snyder, USA 3:14:09 100
2 Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 3:23:35 90
3 Kara LaPoint, USA 3:26:09 82
4 Maia Ignatz, USA 3:30:59 75
5 Sabrina Gobbo, BRA 3:35:26 69
6 Katharine Carter, CAN 3:43:30 63
7 Debby Sullivan, USA 3:49:26 58
8 Laura Mira Diaz, BRA 4:00:42 53

AGE GROUP RACE

Brazilian Luiz Escudero took 1st place for age group men in 3:50:36 and first place Men 50-54.  American Mimi Stockton won the age group women’s race in 3:52:34. Here’s a look at all of today’s age group champs:

Men 20-24 Fernando Rosario 5:52:08
Men 30-34 Gaston Fischer 4:00:09
Men 35-39 Juan Carlos Arenas 4:14:55
Men 40-44 Luis Manuel Gonzalez 4:02:21
Men 45-49 Rene Lopez 4:10:04
Men 50-54 Loiz Escudero 3:50:36

Women 35-39 Mirtha Lucia Re Palacios 4:26:15
Women 40-44 Mimi Stockton 3:52:34

MIDDAUGH, SNYDER LEAD XTERRA PAN AMERICA PRO SERIES

After eight of 10 events in the Pan Am Pro Series Josiah Middaugh and Suzie Snyder sit in the top spots as both have amassed 342 points, the result of two Gold-scoring race victories, one Silver-scoring race win, and one Silver-scoring race 2nd-place.

Many of the top 10 men and women are racing in the final two events at XTERRA Mexico (next weekend), and the XTERRA Pan Am Championship in Utah on September 17, so there’s still a lot that can happen.

Pros count their best four scores (two Gold, two Silver) and whatever they get (or don’t get) at the finale in Utah to determine their final score.

Learn more about the XTERRA Pan Am Tour at http://www.xterraplanet.com/xterra-pan-am-tour/

Here’s a look at the elite standings after eight:

2016 XTERRA PAN AM PRO SERIES STANDINGS
After 8 – 7.31.16
Men    
PL NAME TOT
1 Josiah Middaugh, USA 342
2 Karsten Madsen, CAN 322
3 Branden Rakita, USA 273
4 Rom Akerson, CRC 243
5 Kieran McPherson, NZL 233
6 Chris Ganter, USA 169
7 Ian King, USA 153
8 Mario De Elias, ARG 112
9 Mauricio Mendez, MEX 90
10 Thomas Spannring, USA 90
11 Sam Long, USA 90
12 Cody Waite, USA 89
13 Jonatan Morales, ARG 82
14 Karl Shaw, GBR 75
15 Oscar Galindez, ARG 75
16 Albert Soley, ESP 75
17 Ben Hoffman, USA 75
18 Lucas Mendez, ARG 69
19 Leon Griffin, USA 69
20 Ryan Ignatz, USA 69
21 Felipe Moletta, BRA 67
22 Paul Tichelaar, CAN 67
23 Fabian Roman, PUR 63
24 Diogo Malagon, BRA 61
25 Facu Medard, ARG 58
26 Greg Bennett, AUS 58
27 Leandro Sanchez, DOM 58
28 Francois Carloni, FRA 56
29 Bruno Silva, BRA 56
30 Alex VanderLinden, CAN 56
31 Brent McMahon, CAN 56
32 Brad Zoller, USA 53
33 Federico Venegas, CRC 51
34 Frederico Zacharias, BRA 51
35 Sean Bechtel, USA 51
36 Nathan Killam, CAN 51
37 Mauro Ayesa, USA 49
38 Greg Schott, USA 47
39 Raul Furtado, BRA 47
40 Daniel Molnar, USA 47
41 Victor Arenas, ARG 45
42 Michael Nunez, USA 45
43 Brian Smith, USA 45
44 Henrique Lugarini, BRA 43
45 Brian MacIlvain, USA 43
46 Clarke Lind, CAN 43
47 Parada Penagos, ARG 41
48 Eduardo Marcolino, BRA 39
49 Adam Morka, CAN 39
50 Michi Weiss, AUT 37
51 Rodrigo Altafini, BRA 36
52 Jimmy Archer, USA 36
53 Patrick McKeon, USA 34
55 Stenio Bezerra, BRA 33
56 Rogério Paula, BRA 30
57 Ramon Bustos, BRA 27
58 Cristiam Suzin, BRA 25
59 Juscelino Vasco, BRA 23
60 Wellington Conceição, BRA 21
Women    
PL NAME TOT
1 Suzie Snyder, USA 342
2 Maia Ignatz, USA 289
3 Kara Lapoint, USA 278
4 Sabrina Gobbo, BRA 274
5 Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 265
6 Debby Sullivan, USA 227
7 Caroline Colonna, USA 202
8 Laura Mira Dias, BRA 202
9 Katharine Carter, CAN 194
10 Rebecca Blatt, USA 184
11 Sarah Graves, USA 150
12 Julie Baker, USA 100
13 Fabiola Corona, MEX 90
14 Erika Simon, ARG 75
15 Katie Button, CAN 75
16 Elizabeth Gruber, USA 69
17 Joanna Brown, CAN 67
18 Zoe Dawson, CAN 67
19 Isabella Ribeiro 61
20 Danelle Kabush, CAN 61
21 Caitlin Snow, USA 56
22 Luisa Saft, BRA 56
23 Jaime Brede, USA 56
24 Mayalen Noriega, ESP 53
25 Vanessa Cabrini, BRA 51
26 Lisa Leonard, USA 51
27 Maggie Rusch, USA 49
28 Fernanda Prieto, BRA 47
29 Annie-Claude Gaudet, CAN 47
30 Brisa Melcop, BRA 43
31 Julie Stupp, USA 41
32 Beatriz Granziera, BRA 39
33 Amanda Felder, USA 39
34 Melania Giraldi, BRA 36
35 Monalisa Vieira, BRA 33

2016 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

XTERRA Dominican Republic 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 Tapalpa
7-Aug XTERRA Poland Krakow
13-Aug XTERRA Sweden Hellsgaarten, Stockholm
20-Aug XTERRA European Championship Zittau, Germany
3-Sep XTERRA Japan Hokkaido
4-Sep XTERRA Denmark Mons Klint
17-Sep XTERRA USA / Pan Am Championship Ogden, Utah, USA
23-Oct XTERRA World Championship Kapalua, Maui
From lr Shaw, Mendez, Osborne

Mendez, Paterson win XTERRA Italy

Photos courtesy Daniele Marsili

Scanno, Abruzzo – Mauricio Mendez, a 20-year-old from Mexico City, and his mentor Lesley Paterson, a two-time XTERRA World Champion, won the XTERRA Italy elite races on a hot day in Scanno this afternoon.

It’s the first XTERRA major win as a pro for Mendez, who finished fourth at XTERRA Worlds last year and was 2nd to Josiah Middaugh at XTERRA Oak Mountain earlier this season.  It was the 15th career win for Paterson and her second this month on the Euro Tour (she won XTERRA France on July 3.).

XTERRA European Tour technical director Nicolas Lebrun was on-site to take in all the action and brings us this report…

In each of the past three years we’ve finished this race with our rain jackets on, finishers covered in mud.

Not today.  This year we had Maui weather!  It was sunny and almost 35°C.  The beautiful heart of Abruzzo, the water in the “Lago di Scanno” was warm at 22°C so the pros started without wetsuits at 11 a.m., then three-minutes later the age groupers started (wetsuits optional for them).

The swim was one big 1,400-meter loop with a little run over a foot bridge for show, then back in for the last 100-meters.  It was one of several great spectator additions, and the athletes will tell you the atmosphere from start to finish, and also for the award ceremony, was something special … and this year with perfect sunny weather, it was magic.

The first to exit the water was a group of four featuring Mauricio Mendez, Karl Shaw, Sam Osborne and Stephen Bayliss.

“I wanted to swim fast and take some time on the good mountain bikers,” said Mendez.

Shaw, who won XTERRA Costa Rica earlier this year and is noted for his strong swim, said “François (Carloni) told me to take this race easy at the start and I listened.”

About 1’30” behind was François Carloni with Max Chané, then about 30″ behind them was Thjis, Lemann, Pyott, Kubicek, Kubek and Forrissier.

Danica Spiteri from Malta was first out the water for the women with about one-minute on Lesley Paterson, Elisabetta Curridori and Renata Bucher.

“When I saw Renata with me out of the water, I started to stress, because she is a really good mountain biker,” said Paterson.  “At XTERRA France I started the bike fast to put the pressure on her, not it was on me.”

Ladina Buss was a little back in the swim and Helena Erbenova was the last podium contender out of the water but she did not panic.  She has won races in this position with her fantastic bike and run.

After a few kilometers in the beautiful village center, after climbing those small stairs, the men’s positions were almost the same, just Bayliss already let the mountain bikers do their thing!

For the women, just after 3k and only 100m+ we saw some big change with Lesley already leading, Renata second one-minute back, then Danica and Ladina at 1’15”, Curidorri at 1’30” and Helena at 3’55.

The bike loop was made in two parts, one small loop of 12k with 450m+ of climbing, after this hot warm up, the three guys were still together, Mendez, Osborne and Shaw, but Mauricio was a little bit weak on every downhill, but stronger going up, so he was able to come back with them.

“I tried to attack on the big climb on the big loop, to get some lead before hardest downhill, but even though I was stronger there it was not enough,” said Mendez.

Shaw was still waiting, and said “I’ve never done so much climbing on a MTB in one day!”

That is why it is smart to save some energy.   To try to finish first, first you have to finish.

Behind those three, Carloni was alone, not with his best mountain biking legs, but better than in France, “I knew I needed to start slow, because I was not at 100% but it was hard to do it, so I think I paid a little bit at the end,” said Carloni.  He was at 2′ back, then a group of three with Max Chané another young French talent, Pyott and Kubicek.

Kubek was 10″ back of them and Forissier also on the top ten but not look at his best today. That was the position starting the big climb of the day, in the second loop (18km for 850m+). At this point Lesley had already 3’25” on Renata, Ladina was at 5′ “this race was just against the heat,” she said.

Erbenova started the comeback, on place, but not on time, because Lesley was on another planet today!

“I did lots of training in altitude in Switzerland, and I could feel the difference, and because I started to be fit, I didn’t struggle that much with heat,” said Paterson.

At the end of the bike, Sam Osborne entered T2 alone with about 1’30” on Mendez and Shaw.

“I was a little bit better then Karl and Mauricio going downhill so I attacked just before we jumped on the most technical downhill to try something,” said Osborne.

It worked! Mendez was not able to follow, Karl was, but he had a flat on the second part.

“I decided to finish on the rim, at only 3k from the finish, two down and one flat on the road,” said Shaw, who got into T2 with Mendez.

Carloni started to pay a little bit, his fast start and was now at 4′ but still in 4th position, Chané came in 5th at 5’40” then Pyott, Kubicek, Forissier and Kubek all with about 1′ from each other.

In the women’s race Paterson was really too strong today and finished the bike with more than eight-minutes on Renata and 9′ on Helena. Buss was now in 4th but with Elisabetta in 5th, she wanted to be strong again, in Italy, in her country, and she knew she can run fast on this kind of trail.

Halfway on the run there is a long and steep climb, 200m+ up in 1km, and not a lot of athletes were able to run here … and maybe this place was the key to victory because Mendez passed Osborne on this climb and never stopped.

“I like this type of run,” said Mendez.  “I like the technical trails and the steep climbing, so even though I didn’t know I could win when I started the run, I was confident in my abilities to be strong on this last part.”

Mendez will now do the rest of the XTERRA European Tour races (Poland, Sweden, Germany, and Denmark) and be in contention for the overall Tour title.

“It’s my first time in Europe, and I’m so happy to start my trip in such a nice place and with a victory,” he said.

Osborne finished second and was also really happy because he had a strong race, “I’m on the podium with some really strong guys. I loved those technical downhills, so it’s a good day for me,” said Osborne.

Shaw completed the top three, Kubicek had a fantastic run to finish in 4th, and Carloni was 5th.

From lr Erbenova, Paterson, Bucher

In the women’s race Paterson had a 14-minute lead after 5k of the run!  And, she was running when most of the others were walking.

Helena finished second and happy, she knew today Lesley was too strong and really managed the race for the second place.

“I was trying to catch Renata on the bike, and was almost with her on the last up hill, but she is too strong down. So I had to wait for the run to catch her, then I tried to enjoy this hilly and beautiful run loop, I’m happy with my second place today,” said Erbenova.

The day before, during the pre-race presentation, Erbenova had said that even after many victories here, she will need to get ready for the second position.

Renata managed to stay in third position, but it was close… our young Italian was right behind but stayed in 4th as Ladina completed the top 5th.

“It’s always good to be on the podium here at this beautiful race,” said Bucher.  “When I started the run, I knew Helena would pass me, and I just wanted to stay in this position and not lose too much energy, so I could also race well next week in Poland.  When I saw Betta at the end, I had the energy to accelerate, no more sprint! (In Switzerland – she missed the podium after a sprint finish)

From the start to the end the show was perfect, of course like in every race, some points need to be fixed, but everybody had fun and enjoyed the race even though many told me it was the hardest race of their life!

I want to thank Wolf and his crew for the show, MTB Scanno for all the volunteers and the technical part and the local community who supported the race!  Ciao e Si Vediamo l’anno prossimo Scanno!

Elite results:

Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Mauricio Mendez, MEX 2:49:37 75
2 Sam Osborne, NZL 2:53:15 67
3 Karl Shaw, GBR 2:53:56 61
4 Jan Kubicek, CZE 3:01:31 56
5 Francois Carloni, FRA 3:02:18 51
6 Arthur Forissier, FRA 3:03:11 47
7 Jan Pyott, SUI 3:03:35 43
8 Peter Lehmann, GER 3:04:57 39
9 Maxim Chane, FRA 3:05:33 36
10 Dominik Wychera, AUT 3:06:26 33
11 Stephen Bayliss, GBR 3:06:58 30
12 Markus Benesch, AUT 3:07:48 27
13 Mattia De Paoli, ITA 3:09:08 25
14 Tomas Kubek, SVK 3:10:49 23
15 Llewellyn Holmes, GBR 3:11:04 21
Also: Aidan Nugent, Richard Sumpter, Martial Schmidt, Leandro Glardon, Michael Szymoniuk, Jim Thijs, Fabrizio Bartoli, Tom Kerner, Valentine Genewe, Simone Calamai,
Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Lesley Paterson, GBR 3:15:59 75
2 Helena Erbenova, CZE 3:29:01 67
3 Renata Bucher, SUI 3:37:15 61
4 Elisabetta Curridori, ITA 3:37:26 56
5 Ladina Buss, SUI 3:43:53 51
6 Danica Spiteri, MLT 4:01:33 47

ALL-TIME XTERRA ITALY PRO CHAMPIONS

Year Men Women Venue
2004 David Henestrosa Jamie Whitmore Sardinia
2005 Olivier Marceau Melanie McQuaid Sardinia
2006 Nicolas Lebrun Renata Bucher Sardinia
2007 Olivier Marceau Eszter Erdelyi Sardinia
2008 Olivier Marceau Sibylle Matter Sardinia
2009 Franky Batelier Renata Bucher Sardinia
2010 Franky Batelier Melanie McQuaid Sardinia
2011 Olivier Marceau Marion Lorblanchet Sardinia
2012 Nicolas Lebrun Jacqui Slack Sardinia
2013 Conrad Stoltz Helena Erbenova Abruzzo
2014 Ruben Ruzafa Helena Erbenova Abruzzo
2015 Ruben Ruzafa Helena Erbenova Abruzzo
2016 Mauricio Mendez Lesley Paterson Abruzzo

RUZAFA, POOR LEAD XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR STANDINGS

Ruben Ruzafa and Brigitta Poor continue to lead the XTERRA European Tour standings after 7 of 11 events.

Elite athletes count their best 4 Gold and 3 Silver finishes.  Learn more here.

2016 XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR POINT STANDINGS              
After 7 – 7.31.16                
                   
Men     S S S S G G S
Pl Name, NAT TOTAL MLT GRE POR BEL SUI FRA ITA
1 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 342 DNS 67 75 DNS 100 100 DNS
2 Kris Coddens, BEL 253 DNS 47 DNS 75 90 41 DNS
3 Sam Osborne, NZL 243 DNS DNS 51 67 58 DNS 67
4 Roger Serrano, ESP 211 75 75 61 DNS DNF DNS DNS
5 Francois Carloni, FRA 205 DNS 51 56 61 DNS 37 x51
6 Brice Daubord, FRA 186 43 61 DNS DNS 82 DNS DNS
7 Yeray Luxem, BEL 184 DNS DNS 67 27 DNS 90 DNS
8 Veit Hoenle, GER 173 DNS DNS 23 DNS 75 75 DNS
9 Bradley Weiss, RSA 145 DNS DNS DNS DNS 63 82 DNS
10 Peter Lehmann, GER 143 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS 53 39
11 Jan Kubicek, CZE 129 DNS 36 DNS DNS 37 DNS 56
12 Maxim Chane, FRA 126 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS 34 36
13 Henry Sleight, GBR 125 DNS DNS DNS 39 28 58 DNS
14 Damien Guillemet, FRA 120 DNS DNS DNS 51 DNS 69 DNS
15 Arthur Serrieres, FRA 116 DNS DNS DNS DNS 53 63 DNS
16 Hannes Wolpert, GER 114 36 DNS 33 DNS 45 DNS DNS
17 Tomas Kubek, SVK 113 DNS 43 DNS 47 DNS DNS 23
18 Llewellyn Holmes, GBR 110 DNS DNS 25 33 DNS 31 21
19 Jan Pyott, SUI 110 DNF 33 DNS DNS 34 DNS 43
20 Christophe Betard, FRA 108 27 DNS DNS 36 DNS 45 DNS
21 Arthur Forissier, FRA 103 DNS 56 DNS DNS DNF DNS 47
22 Mattia De Paoli, ITA 94 DNS DNS DNS DNS 69 DNS 25
23 Pierre-Antoine Guilhem, FRA 82 61 21 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
24 Max Neumann, AUS 79 DNS 30 DNS DNS 49 DNS DNS
25 Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA 77 47 DNS DNS 30 DNS DNS DNP
26 Mauricio Mendez, MEX 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75
27 Dominik Wychera, AUT 72 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 33
28 Cedric Lassonde, FRA 69 30 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
29 Sebastian Norberg, GER 68 DNS 25 DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS
30 Jens Roth, GER 67 67 DNS DNS DNS DNP DNS DNS
31 Karl Shaw, GBR 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 61
32 Tim Van Daele, BEL 57 DNS 27 30 DNS DNS DNS DNS
33 Nicolas Fernandez, FRA 56 DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS
34 Markus Benesch, AUT 52 25 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 27
35 Bartosz Banach, POL 49 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 DNS
36 José Estrangeiro, POR 47 DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS
37 Maximilian Sasserath, GER 43 DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS
38 Anthony Pannier, FRA 41 DNS DNS DNS DNS 41 DNS DNS
39 Julen Loroño, ESP 39 DNS DNS 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS
40 Rui Dolores, POR 36 DNS DNS 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS
41 Fabien Combaluzier, FRA 33 33 DNS DNS DNS DNF DNS DNS
42 Toma Jurkovic, SVK 31 DNS DNS DNS DNS 31 DNS DNS
43 Stephen Bayliss, GBR 30 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 30
44 Ben Allen, AUS 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS 28 DNP DNS
45 Anthony Flinois, FRA 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 28 DNS
46 Gonzalo Orosco, ESP 27 DNS DNS 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS
47 Jim Thijs, BEL 25 DNS DNS DNS 25 DNS DNS DNP
48 Julien Buffe, FRA 23 DNF 23 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
49 Martial Schmidt, FRA 23 DNS DNS DNS 23 DNS DNP DNP
50 Tiago Maia, POR 21 DNS DNS 21 DNS DNP DHS DNS
51 Boris Chambon, FRA 21 DNS DNS DNS 21 DNS DNP DNS
Women     S S S S G G S
Pl Name, NAT TOTAL MLT GRE POR BEL SUI FRA ITA
1 Brigitta Poor, HUN 341 75 67 61 DNS 63 75 DNS
2 Helena Erbenova, CZE 307 DNS 75 75 75 DNS 82 x67
3 Renata Bucher, SUI 277 DNS DNS 51 DNS 75 90 61
4 Morgane Riou, FRA 273 67 51 DNS 61 49 45 DNS
5 Carina Wasle, AUT 244 DNS DNS 56 67 58 63 DNS
6 Maud Golsteyn, NED 232 56 DNS 39 47 41 49 DNS
7 Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 218 DNS DNS 67 DNS 82 69 DNS
8 Ladina Buss, SUI 181 DNS 61 DNS DNS 69 DNS 51
9 Louise Fox, GBR 176 DNS 56 47 DNS 45 28 DNS
10 Lesley Paterson, GBR 175 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 100 75
11 Jacqui Slack, GBR 148 DNS DNS DNS DNS 90 58 DNS
12 Elisabetta Curridori, ITA 130 DNS DNS DNS 43 31 DNS 56
13 Jessie Roberts, GBR 122 DNS DNS DNS 51 37 34 DNS
14 Sandra Koblemueller, AUT 114 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS 53 DNS
15 Michelle Flipo, FRA 100 DNS DNS DNS DNS 100 DNS DNS
16 Danica Spiteri, MLT 86 39 DNS DNS DNS DNP DNS 47
17 Kristina Nec Lapinova, SVK 74 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS 31 DNS
18 Kara LaPoint, USA 65 DNS DNS DNS DNS 28 37 DNS
19 Isabelle Klein, LUX 56 DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS
20 Coralie Redelsperger, FRA 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS 53 DNS DNS
21 Alena Stevens, SVK 51 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
22 Diane Lee, GBR 47 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
23 Sara Bonilla Bernardez, ESP 43 DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS
24 Sanne Van Paassen, NED 41 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 41 DNS
25 Lenka Cibulkova, CZE 39 DNS DNS DNS 39 DNP DNP DNS
26 Monica Cibin, ITA 34 DNS DNS DNS DNS 34 DNS DNS

Next up: XTERRA Poland on August 7.

2016 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

XTERRA Italy 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 Tapalpa
7-Aug XTERRA Poland Krakow
13-Aug XTERRA Sweden Hellsgaarten, Stockholm
20-Aug XTERRA European Championship Zittau, Germany
3-Sep XTERRA Japan Hokkaido
4-Sep XTERRA Denmark Mons Klint
17-Sep XTERRA USA / Pan Am Championship Ogden, Utah, USA
23-Oct XTERRA World Championship Kapalua, Maui
DSC_1651_1

XTERRA America Tour Notes

There are just 18 races left in the regular season and those fighting for a regional championship and the Maui spot that goes with it will have to get out and go off in the next month.

For those wanting to get away from heat, traffic, crowds, and over-priced lodging and thenn ride, run, swim in the cool, green southern Rocky Mountains XTERRA Tri the Torture at Glorieta Camps is the spot. August 6 is the date.

Northern New Mexico is a great escape from the urban sprawl and noise that collides with the solace that nature brings.

Glorieta Camps are a short, easy drive from Santa Fe, New Mexico, with its world-famous culture, shopping, and restaurants.  Accommodations at Glorieta Camps make it easy to enjoy the challenge of the XTERRA Tri the Torture triathlon along with a range of activities for the whole family. Stay at the Camps, “tri” the XTERRA and enjoy gourmet dining in town at the end of the day. Santa Fe consistently makes lists of “best destinations” in the United States and Glorieta Camps makes the whole thing a bargain that can’t be beat.

Find the most up-to-date XTERRA America Tour race results and regional standings at: http://www.xterraplanet.com/races/points/

Dominican

XTERRA Dominican Republic Sunday

Summertime is in full swing and so is the XTERRA World Tour with two important Gold-level races this Sunday in Italy and the Dominican Republic.

With just three races left in the inaugural 10-stop XTERRA Pan America Tour every point counts and many of the key players in the Pan Am Pro Series have traveled to Barahona for Sunday’s competition, including tour leader and reigning XTERRA World Champion Josiah Middaugh.

“Happy to head to Barahona and discover a new spot,” said Middaugh, who welcomed XTERRA Argentina to the tour earlier this year. “It’s the spirit of XTERRA to get out and live more, to travel to amazing places like this and enjoy the environment.”

Joining Middaugh in paradise are fellow Americans Ryan Ignatz and Branden Rakita, Costa Rican star Rom Akerson, the young kiwi Kieran McPherson, Puerto Rican Fabian Roman, and home country favorites Kevin Martinez and Leandro Sanchez.

The women’s race features Pan Am Pro Series points leader Suzie Snyder, No. 2 Maia Ignatz, No. 3 Kara LaPoint, No. 4 Sabrina Gobbo, and four other women in the top 11 including Debby Sullivan (7), Myriam Guillot-Boisset (8), Laura Mira Diaz (10), and Katharine Carter (11). Ana Arias from Cuba and Katherine Garrido from the Dominican Republic will be making their XTERRA debuts.

Pending wifi capabilities we’ll be bringing you live elite race updates on twitter @xterraoffroad starting at 7:30 a.m. EST and will post stories and photos to our Facebook page all weekend.

XTERRA PAN AM PRO SERIES TOP 10

After 7 of 10 Events
Men

PL NAME TOT
1 Josiah Middaugh, USA 342
2 Karsten Madsen, CAN 322
3 Branden Rakita, USA 199
4 Chris Ganter, USA 169
5 Kieran McPherson, NZL 158
6 Ian King, USA 153
7 Rom Akerson, CRC 143
8 Mario De Elias, ARG 112
9 Mauricio Mendez, MEX 90
10 Thomas Spannring, USA 90

Find complete elite and amateur standings at:
http://www.xterraplanet.com/xterra-pan-am-tour/

Elite Women
PL NAME TOT
1 Suzie Snyder, USA 265
2 Maia Ignatz, USA 233
3 Kara Lapoint, USA 212
4 Sabrina Gobbo, BRA 205
5 Caroline Colonna, USA 202
6 Rebecca Blatt, USA 184
7 Debby Sullivan, USA 184
8 Miriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 175
9 Sarah Graves, USA 150
10 Laura Mira Dias, BRA 149
11 Katharine Carter, CAN 131
Xterra-Xterra_tv_2015xa_E1-Full-Image1-en-US-R1

XTERRA All Day Everyday on Amazon Video

The award-winning XTERRA Adventures TV series, XTERRA USA and World Championship broadcasts are now available as a video subscription for Amazon Prime members in the U.S.

Four seasons (32 shows) of the half-hour episodes of XTERRA Adventures, and the 2012-through-2015 XTERRA USA and World Championship triathlon races are available for $2.99 per month as a video subscription available to Amazon Prime members via the Amazon Video app for TV, connected devices including Fire TV, mobile devices and online at Amazon.com/XTERRA.

Produced by TEAM Unlimited, the XTERRA Adventure Series, USA, and World Championship shows are executive produced by Tom Kiely, and narrated by triathlon-legend Whit Raymond.  The series is Amazon’s first video subscription that looks into the world of off-road triathlon and the active, outdoor adventure lifestyle.

“Expressing the XTERRA brand through video has been a big part of XTERRA since the inception of the sport in 1996, adding a dynamic personality and a broader audience than we may have enjoyed through the events alone,” said Kiely, the CEO of TEAM Unlimited/XTERRA.  “We are thrilled to work with Amazon to make XTERRA video properties available as an on demand video subscription through their dynamic and far reaching platform, and provide access to virtually everyone in the active lifestyle space.”

With XTERRA, Amazon Prime members now have access to real, authentic, endurance sports racing action from around the world with profiles on the sports’ biggest stars and events.  The XTERRA Adventure Series takes viewers on some of the world’s most accessible, and fun, outdoor adventures from surfing with legends in Hawaii to climbing the Sydney Harbor Bridge in Australia.

Start Your Free Trial Today!

Middaugh

Middaugh Coaching Corner – Give it a Rest!

IS IT TIME FOR A MIDSEASON BREAK?

(Clearly this week’s column was written by Yaro, as Josiah travels the globe in pursuit of adventure and Pan Am title).

At this point in your racing season you have probably done nearly half of your season’s races. Hopefully, you are right on track to reach your goals and crush your “A” race in a month or two. Maybe you are not exactly where you want to be and have struggled in some early races. Regardless, it might be time to consider a midseason break.

The physical and mental strain of consistent training can take its toll on you and your support group. Time to reward them before the big push to your championship race.  Too many times athletes feel the pressure to keep up the intensity to outdo their competition. They fear they will lose valuable ground, but this simply is not the case. The midseason break is just as important for mental recovery as it is for physical. Your support team could use it too!

So when do you take your break and how long should it be? We recommend taking a solid week, but no longer than two. Plan it out the same time you plan out your race schedule. Your schedule probably includes a peak race around the midseason mark. Plan your break right after this race.

Breaking your season into two sections like this makes it easier to push through and concentrate on reaching your season goals. The rest week also allows you to reevaluate the first half of the season and revise your plan for the second half based on your performances thus far. Plan a meeting with your coach or support team for the end of the break and make sure you are all on the same page as you prepare for the last few months of your season.

A rest week does not mean that you don’t do anything. It means you don’t do anything structured. This is a great time for social workouts. Triathletes and endurance athletes in general often end up on an island doing many of their workouts on their own. Your planned rest week is a great time to throw out structure, zone goals, and just enjoy the activities you do. Find your friends that would love to workout with you, but can’t quite hang and make an effort to ride, run or swim at their pace. It’s amazing how well you will feel both physically and mentally after a week with no structure and a little more social contact.

You want to relax and stay active. Some extra yoga, stand up paddle boarding and kayaking are great because they are low impact and mimic many of the movements you use in triathlon. In general, try not to do any one discipline more than twice and limit each to an hour or less. There are definitely some exceptions. A low intensity cruiser ride with your kids or significant other that lasts over 60 minutes is fine. Something like a hike with friends that is well over an hour can be fine too.

The rest week however is not time to try more intense activities that could cause injury and sabotage the rest of your season. It is not the best time to pick up crossfit or decide to jump in the local three on three basketball tournament. Your jump shot can wait! These are great activities, but not during your midseason break, and definitely not at this point in your season with your main goals still in front of you.

It’s not too late. Take a look at your schedule, talk to your coach and support team. Is it time for a midseason break?

Josiah Middaugh is the reigning XTERRA World Champion, 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.

Trail Run Nationals

Run for the Hills!! XTERRA Trail Run Nationals September 18th

The Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run National Championship half-marathon returns to the mountain slopes of Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah for the sixth straight year on September 18, 2016.

Since its debut in 2011, the course has received rave reviews from the runners.

“The course here is awesome, super flowy, climbs were sweet, downhills were awesome. It was sick!” said Travis Morrison, a 23-year-old from Schaumburg, Illinois after last year’s race. “It’s flowing coming down, and fun to hit the berms because you can hit the corners real hard and keep your momentum…you could fly.”

Runners of all ages and skill levels can experience what it feels like to “fly” on the trails at the Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run National Championship, as there is no qualifying process.

“It literally couldn’t have been more perfect for running,” said last year’s women’s winner Liz Stephen. “It’s a well laid out course. It’s really hard in so many ways but it’s up and then it lets you rest, and it’s flowy and wonderful, and gorgeous.”

There will be three different courses to accommodate the various levels of runners. A 21-kilometer half-marathon course will serve as the national championship course, but there will also be a 10K and a 5K.

Every age-group winner from the 21K course will be awarded a free entry to race at the 2016 Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run World Championship at Kualoa Ranch, Oahu, Hawaii.

The top five overall males and top five overall females from the 21K course will also receive prize money. Medals and other prizes will also be awarded to the top age-group runners from all three courses.

The Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run Nationals will be held one day after the XTERRA Pan America / USA Championship off-road triathlon to create the ultimate XTERRA racing weekend. The two events will bring more than 1,000 of the nation’s very best amateur and professional triathletes and trail runners to Northern Utah to battle for the title of XTERRA National Champion.

Learn more at http://www.xterraplanet.com/trailrun/nationals

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XTERRA European Tour Back in Action Sunday

The XTERRA European Tour gets back in action Sunday with race No. 7 at XTERRA Italy in the beautiful village of Scanno.

XTERRA European Tour technical director Nicolas Lebrun is on-site, still in awe of the natural beauty of this place, and brings us a preview to the weekend…

“For me, Scanno is always special,” writes Lebrun.  “It was the first time I was at a race working for XTERRA, and here, it’s the best job on earth! I know the place well and influenced much of the course design.  It’s my sixth time here and I’m still amazed by this lake and this village with its beautiful old streets, and even after all those years I’m still getting lost on these streets!

The food is amazing, lots of local treats, and every time you come here you must buy some olive oil, fresh tomato or basil, and the guy will tell you, “it’s from Abruzzo!”They love their land, and we can understand. I can also see that XTERRA is now part of their local life when July rolls around, as you can see pictures of XTERRA in the shop windows.”

He continues…

Now everybody knows that you need to like steep climbing and steep descents when you come here.  This stop on the Euro tour is maybe the hardest.  France is long and muddy, Swiss and Belgium were even more muddy, and in Portugal you have a long bike course and lots of fighting on loose rocks.  But here it’s steep, really steep, up and down. It’s about 1300-meters of climbing in 30k on the bike and 450m+ for 10.5k on the run.  The total climbing for this race is the most on tour, and for good reason. When you are in the center of the beautiful park of Abruzzo, you look around and see only steep mountains, ski resorts and deep gorges, so there is no choice but to go up and then to come down! If you are lucky, like the people of the restaurant “la Baita” on Monday night they film a bear crossing their parking lot, a famous female, that you can recognize from some hair loss on her side.

I did the bike and run loop, and the local mountain bike team did a great job, it’s all perfectly signed, ready for the athletes to train. I insist a lot to get this course signed early, because I know, if I was here as an athlete, I don’t want to try all those loops the day before, even to go slow you need to use too much energy.

Now about the pro race.  We will have again a big fight for the podium on the women side, with the top three for the last race in France – Lesley Paterson, Renata Bucher, and Helena Erbenova.

It’s hard to say who will be the best, but with this climbing, Lesley can be really strong, but I never saw her on technical downhills like this, and I know Renata can be good. Helena likes to climb and won here before, also this hard run loop fits her well, if she is not coming back from a five-day adventure race, she will be strong!

For the top five I will add Carina Wasle and our local girl Elisabetta Curridori, who was 3rd last year. Of course, in a perfect day, or a bad one from one of the three other girls, they get on the box.

Ladina Buss made big progress, but on this different race I can’t tell. I will be on the side and put some updates on the XTERRA Europe Facebook page, and I will be excited to see this battle. For the point, Helena will probably take the lead as Brigitta Poor (current No. 1) will be not at the start. Wasle can come back on 3rd as Morgane Riou will not start this one, and I’m sure Bucher will be back close to the podium to after this race.  Regardless, there are still three races after this one so nothing is finished.

On the men’s side, the Ogre Ruben is not racing, and our Malta and Greece winner Roger Serrano is not here either, nor Kris Coddens the Belgium winner! So for sure we will have a new name on the 2016 tour in number one on the podium!

If we look back, last year François Carloni was second, he loves this race, so on the paper he can be the one, but in bad shape in France, he had to slow down with a little virus, hope he will be back to fight at his best.

After his victory in front of Josiah, I was sure Karl Shaw will be one of the strong guys in Europe, but also with a bad virus he had to stop training for weeks.  He is starting to feel better, so let’s see if he is back 100%.

I also look forward to watching Mauricio Mendez from Mexico. This young kid is really good, if he survives this bike course, he will be one of the favorites for sure. Sam Osborne will race as well, he was not yet strong last year at ITU worlds, but maybe this is his type of race!

I’m also always happy to see this next generation, fighting, so motivated and getting stronger and stronger.  I think about Max Chané, who I saw riding a big pass in the alpes last week, training specially for this race, Peter Lehmann always who start well in Malta, good also to see Arthur Forissier back after his big crash in Switzerland. So many can finish in the top 10 : Jim Thijs, Jan Kubicek, Jan Pyott, Llewellyn Holmes..

And a special mention for our locals, the Italians, who start to play in the front, like De Paoli who did an amazing race in Switzerland, Bartolli who will cook a vegan meal for us on Friday night, and I hope Simone Calamai brought me some of his famous cheese : )

It will be also interesting to see what the Bayliss couple – Stephen and Bella – can do on a mountain bike, they are brave because this is not the easiest race to start XTERRA, hope they will not get hurt!

We don’t know who will win, for the pro and the age groupers, but I know that every athlete who will crosses the finish line will be so happy and with some goosebumps, because the atmosphere, and to celebrate a great accomplishment, and the party after the race, it is at the perfect place, and if you are not with us, book it for next year!

Now I have to go, Dave’s beer is waiting for me, and a 100% local fresh Buffala mozzarella, artichoke, prosciutto…  pizza, cook in the wood oven! Now, you will book your flight.

XTERRA ITALY ALL-TIME WINNERS
Year Men Women
2004 David Henestrosa Jamie Whitmore
2005 Olivier Marceau Melanie McQuaid
2006 Nicolas Lebrun Renata Bucher
2007 Olivier Marceau Eszter Erdelyi
2008 Olivier Marceau Sibylle Matter
2009 Franky Batelier Renata Bucher
2010 Franky Batelier Melanie McQuaid
2011 Olivier Marceau Marion Lorblanchet
2012 Nicolas Lebrun Jacqui Slack
2013 Conrad Stoltz Helena Erbenova
2014 Ruben Ruzafa Helena Erbenova
2015 Ruben Ruzafa Helena Erbenova

Find complete elite and amateur standings at:
http://www.xterraeurope.com/ranking/

2016 XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR POINT STANDINGS
After 6 – 7.3.16



Men

Pl Name, NAT TOTAL
1 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 342
2 Kris Coddens, BEL 253
3 Roger Serrano, ESP 211
4 Francois Carloni, FRA 205
5 Brice Daubord, FRA 186
6 Yeray Luxem, BEL 184
7 Sam Osborne, NZL 176
8 Veit Hoenle, GER 173
9 Bradley Weiss, RSA 145
10 Henry Sleight, GBR 125

 

Women

Pl Name, NAT TOTAL
1 Brigitta Poor, HUN 341
2 Helena Erbenova, CZE 307
3 Morgane Riou, FRA 273
4 Carina Wasle, AUT 244
5 Maud Golsteyn, NED 232
6 Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 218
7 Renata Bucher, SUI 216
8 Louise Fox, GBR 176
9 Jacqui Slack, GBR 148
10 Ladina Buss, SUI 130