XTERRA Zen Master Tamara Tabeek

It’s impossible to spend time with two-time XTERRA age-group World Champ and 2016 XTERRA Pan Am Champ, Tammy Tabeek, without feeling a bit like a Padawan. Talking with her is like spending time with a master – which of course she is.

Tabeek has been an athlete for over 45 years, starting off-road motorcycling as a kid and playing softball and basketball in high school. She found mountain biking in her twenties.

“In 1987 I worked for a guy and he was like, ‘Tam, you grew up off-road motorcycling. You gotta try mountain biking.’”

Together, they went to North Park Cycling Tunes in San Diego where Tabeek bought her first bike – a blue Miyata Valley Runner. It was $674 and she would pay for it over the next year in fifty-dollar installments.

Next, they went to Mission Trails, a popular place to hike and mountain bike in the hills east of San Diego.

“I was like, ‘Holy smokes this is just like riding a motorcycle,” says Tabeeek. “Except you’re pedaling.”

It wasn’t long before Tabeek began competing in both mountain and road races.

“I was full bore,” she admits. “I became a professional mountain biker and downhill racer. By the time I was competing in masters races on the downhill circuit, I had two world titles.”

And yet, this full-bore, self-described jock credits meditation for her positive outlook and ability to balance a busy job, training, and life.

“My job is super demanding with people wanting stuff yesterday. It’s running and gunning all the time. In order to keep a level of sanity, I meditate. It’s crucial because my head gets a little too busy – and not always with the information I need to hear.”

Tabeek was introduced to meditation by her close friends Dr. Simon Marshall and two-time XTERRA World Champion, Lesley Paterson.

Perhaps this is a well-deserved payback, because it was Tabeek who taught Paterson how to mountain bike.

“Simon and I have been friends for about 20 years,” says Tabeek. “When he brought Les to the states, he told me she wanted to learn how to mountain bike. At that time, I was riding mountain bikes professionally and I was running a business with my ex-husband. I was like, oh jeez, I’m right in the throes of my career and I have to teach somebody?”

Tabeek laughs. “Instantaneously, we became best friends.”

And as these things go, it was Paterson who nudged Tabeek away from her focus on mountain biking and encouraged her to try XTERRA off-road triathlons.

“Lesley said, ‘Tam, you should try this XTERRA thing,’ and I said, ‘Well what do I have to do?’ She asked me, ‘Well, you run a little, right?’ and I said ‘Yeah, for like five or ten minutes.’ And she said, ‘You swim,’ and I said, ‘Not really.”

Lesley and Simon, who coach amateur and professional athletes through Braveheart Coaching, created a training plan for Tabeek.

“The first thing I had to do was a twenty minute run,” says Tabeek. “After five minutes, I got a cramp. I had to stop and was like, holy crap, how am I going to put 20 minutes together, much less an hour?”

Tabeek felt the same way about swimming. “Good God, I can only breathe every other stroke? How am I going to get air?”

Tabeek kept going, literally putting one foot in front of the other. Once she was able to run for 30 minutes, she started working out with the San Diego Track Club and began swimming with a masters program, which she felt was a turning point for her.

“It was progressive,” she admits. “Baby steps. What really made a difference was training with people my same ability. Once I got comfortable, I could raise the bar, and I got better.”

In 2007, she entered XTERRA Big Bear – her first – and was the third overall women. After that, Tabeek was hooked.

“Tam is one of the toughest chicks I know,” said Paterson. “Not only is she just a complete badass in everything that she does – especially downhill mountain biking – but she has a level of passion and commitment that you rarely see. She taught me what I know on the mountain bike but more importantly she’s been my soul mate through all of my hard times. She’s my best pal.”

“I’m a calculated risk taker but I’m also a realist,” said Tabeek. “I know myself pretty well by this point and I figure I can do anything provided I have a plan.”

Tabeek also acknowledges that while age can be a benefit in terms of wisdom, it can be challenging to try a new sport, come back from injuries, and discover that the body does indeed have limits.

“Here’s the thing,” says Tabeek, “When you are new at something, you have a goal and you’re getting better all the time. But when you’ve been there already and you know what you can run or swim or bike, it’s much harder to make a comeback after an illness or injury or whatever life throws at you. Those are the real challenges and struggles.”

Still, Tabeek makes it look easy. Despite being an athlete for over 40 years while also creating a successful career, she has no plans to slow down. She recently returned from a three-day mountain bike stage race in Moab, where she was 5th over all in the 40-plus age group.

“I’m definitely going to XTERRA Nationals,” she says. “That’s a fun race. But I decided a while ago to sit out XTERRA Worlds because to train from January to October is a bit much.”

But don’t count on that for sure.

“I keep saying I won’t go to Worlds, but in the back of my head, I’m like, if I nail Utah and I’m feeling good, well, maybe I’ll go to Maui.”

We will keep our fingers crossed.

XTERRA Abruzzo is “Primo” for Active Families

Some of the best off-road triathletes in the world will be heading to Italy for XTERRA Abruzzo on July 30th. But at its heart, this is an event for active families who want to immerse themselves in the food, culture, and beauty of the area.

“The type of family and athlete attention you will get at XTERRA Abruzzo is truly incredible,” said XTERRA managing director, Dave Nicholas. “There are affordable family excursions from Thursday through Saturday offering everything from a relaxed hike to a guided mountain bike ride.”

For athletes competing in XTERRA Abruzzo, guided course previews and a thirty minute massage are included in race registration. Families and companions are welcome to join and will receive discounts on rental bikes and massage packages.

Alternatively, while athletes pre-ride the course, families and friends can hike to the Path of the Heart, Lake San Domenico, and Castrovalva. All hikes are led by a local guide and most include a stop at a local stazzo – or resting spot – for a sampling of food from the region.

Evenings are also family affairs and include music, pasta, and wonderful company.

“We always say, ‘XTERRA is family,'” said Kostas Koumargialis, marketing director, XTERRA Europe. “What race director Massimo Massacesi has done transforms an elite racing experience into an elite racing experience the whole family can enjoy.”

Whether you are an athlete who has spent too much time away from your family or you are simply looking for a unique and affordable way to experience the heart and soul of Italy, XTERRA Abruzzo is a wonderful way to spend a summer weekend with the tribe.

For more information about XTERRA Abruzzo, visit www.xterra-italy.it.

Forissier, Flipo win XTERRA Switzerland

Complete Results / Gallery

June 24, 2017 : For Immediate Release

Arthur Forissier from France and Michelle Flipo from Mexico captured the 8th annual XTERRA Switzerland Championship in the Vallee de Joux this afternoon.

The win is the second in three years for Forissier on this course and the second in a row for Flipo. Forissier’s win also ended three-time XTERRA World Champ Ruben Ruzafa’s five-race win streak (Ruzafa is now won 28-of-35 XTERRA majors in his career).

XTERRA World Tour managing director Dave Nicholas was on-site to take in all the action and brings us this report…

The weather was unusual but the winners were not.

There were surprises, however, starting from when Nicole Walters came out of the water in front of Flipo.  We know Nicole as a wonderful sportswoman and guide for challenged athletes but I had no idea she could be so quick.  And it did not end with the swim.  She rode equally well and those of us who expected Michelle and Brigitta to catch her never saw it happen.

Nicole held the lead into T2 and out onto the run trails.  Michelle put in a very fast run to catch Nicole on the first lap and pulled away to her second XTERRA Swiss win in two years with a 3+ minute lead.

Farther back Morgane Riou was having an excellent race with a good bike and an excellent run.   As good as her run was, Myriam “the rocket” Guillot-Boisset was having an extraordinary run passing Carina Wasle, Nicole and Morgane to finish second.

“I had no idea of my “XTERRA” shape this morning, so I started with no stress,” said Guillot-Boisset.  “I thought I had a good swim exiting the water, but after seeing my split it really wasn’t.  Still, I was in front of Helena, so a place I’m used to being. I built slowly on the bike, and had no idea of my position, just focusing on my sensation and myself. Starting the run, I was still 7th and thought this is not very good, but I didn’t know most of the girls weren’t too far away, and slowly I started to pass one, two, and get back on the podium.  Finishing second is very good, I’m so happy and now fired up for next week in France with a harder race that will fit me way better.”

Riou came home a superb 3rd, Nicole Walters a very well deserved 4th and Carina Wasle 5th.  Poor Helena Erbenova had a terrible day and struggled to 8th.  Brigitta Poor was 6th and Maud Golsteyn 7th.

“I had a very good swim today,” said Riou.  “In Belgium, I was almost 2′ back of Carina and this time I was with her out of the water, and I was not that far from Brigitta, so that brought me lots of confidence. On the bike, I had Isabelle Klein in the front most of the time but wasn’t able to catch her, but that helped me to push all the time. Starting the run, I never thought I could catch Carina or Brigitta, so passing those girls – who I have never beat in my life – was amazing and when in the last K I passed Nicole to finish on the podium, it was amazing. I’m so happy, today was my best performance ever.”

A refreshed looking Flipo looked entirely different from the mud caked woman we saw at the finish last year.  “I was also surprised we could not catch Nicole.  I passed her on the run and then started feeling like I had a migraine.  Things were getting a bit blurry and this is usually the first sign” she said.  “But it never got too bad and I just held my pace to the end.”

On the men’s side Hannes Wolpert led from the swim with a huge pack behind him.  The first 5K of the mountain bike was a full-on sprint.  At that point Kiwi Sam Osborne led with Ruben Ruzafa closing in, Brad Weiss 3rd and then a gang fight after them.  It was exciting stuff.

There is a small loop of 2K at the far end of the bike course.  It takes about three minutes to get around and return to where it started and by the time they returned Ruzafa had taken the lead.  Sam stayed second just a few feet behind and Brad 3rd.  Then the pack of Francois Carloni, Arthur Serrieres, Tiago Maia, Hannes Wolpert and Anthony Pannier.  The Swiss favorite, Xavier Dafflon, was 6+ minutes back after a horrible swim.  While Dafflon has been the fastest biker over the past two races, this course is too fast and not technical enough for him to make up such a gap.  He did close it to within four-minutes by the end of the bike.  Today Mother Nature’s trails were his biggest competitor.

Weiss punctured his tire on the bike while in the lead and did not finish.

Onto the second bike lap Arthur Forissier was up into 3rd behind Osborne.  Ruben had a solid lead but both Sam and Arthur were within striking distance.

“I had a bad stomach last week,” Ruzafa said.  “I did not get a lot of training between my last event so I was worried about these guys.  I am very happy with 2nd.”

Forissier passed Osborne, then caught Ruzafa to take the lead and the footrace was on.

“I had the perfect race,” said Forissier. “It was tough, though, and on the run every time I looked back Ruben was there and getting closer.”

Indeed, the three-time XTERRA World Champ (pictured above) was not done.  “I thought I would stay close in case he got tired, but he never did,” smiled Ruzafa.

In the end, the gap was just 15-seconds.

“I swam as fast as possible knowing it would be the key today, and totally killed my arms,” exclaimed Forissier.  “I started the bike not afraid to be alone as I knew many athletes would start fast trying to follow Ruben and will pay for that on the second loop, and that is what happened. I was 7th after one loop and 2nd at the end of the bike. On the run, I saw Ruben not going so fast so I started as fast as possible to catch him quick but at the end I really struggled to finish.  I ran out of energy, and my mind took over. I’m so happy to win again here, especially in front of Ruben. If you told me this morning I would beat Ruben I would not have believed you.”

Another Frenchman named Arthur, Arthur Serrieres, also had a great race today.

“I rode really well and came into T2 with Francois and Sam,” said Serrieres.  “I went to leave T2 and had racked my bike the wrong way, so I had to go back and make it right and by that time those guys were gone.”

It didn’t take long for Serrieres to catch and pass into 3rd with Sam Osborne just a half minute behind.  Our Swiss warrior Dafflon was not taking it easy.  Xavier was running hard and pulled his way into 5th overall.  Carloni took 6th with Anthony Pannier an excellent 7th.

It was a fantastic pro field and a fast and furious race with the winners not decided until the last 7K of the run.  The Swiss race is quite unique.  The bike is fast and the strong rider who may not have great technical skills can earn a good result.  It is the kind of course where there is no chance to breathe a bit and save some energy.  It is a sprint from start to finish.

We were supported today by Renata Bucher who served as one of our announcers and did so in English and in German.  Quite a talent as she has such great insights into what is happening.

Our first Gold event is in the books.  A grand success as it was sold out with more than 450 racers and a beautiful day for racing.  We head next to Xonrupt in the Vosges mountains of northern France.  This is the biggest XTERRA in Europe and the longest.  Many of the same players will be there and it will be interesting to see the results because the circuits are so different.  You’ll see it live on XTERRA Europe Facebook next Sunday and read about it Sunday eve.

XTERRA SWITZERLAND
Pro Men
Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Arthur Forissier, FRA 2:10:43 100
2 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 2:10:58 90
3 Arthur Serrieres, FRA 2:13:02 82
4 Sam Osborne, NZL 2:13:36 75
5 Xavier Dafflon, SUI 2:15:55 69
6 Francois Carloni, FRA 2:16:35 63
7 Anthony Pannier, FRA 2:17:32 58
8 Theo Dupras, FRA 2:19:17 53
9 Tiago Maia, POR 2:19:45 49
10 Clement Briere, FRA 2:20:40 45
11 Rui Dolores, POR 2:21:02 41
12 Hannes Wolpert, GER 2:21:14 37
13 Doug Hall, GBR 2:22:52 34
14 Jan Pyott, SUI 2:24:10 31
15 Tomas Kubek, SVK 2:24:27 28
Also: Xavier Jove Riart, Julien Buffe, Thomas Rusch, Maxim Chane, Jacky Boisset, Philippe Giauque
Women
Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Michelle Flipo, MEX 2:31:13 100
2 Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 2:34:47 90
3 Morgane Riou, FRA 2:35:26 82
4 Nicole Walters, GBR 2:35:52 75
5 Carina Wasle, AUT 2:37:18 69
6 Brigitta Poor, HUN 2:37:36 63
7 Maud Golsteyn, NED 2:38:59 58
8 Helena Erbenova, CZE 2:40:11 53
9 Isabelle Ferrer, FRA 2:40:49 49
10 Ladina Buss, SUI 2:41:28 45
11 Isabelle Klein, LUX 2:41:45 41
12 Angela Niklaus, SUI 2:41:46 37
13 Rebecca Kaltenmeier, GER 2:50:38 34
14 Lydia Hale, NZL 2:52:01 31
15 Sanne Van Paassen, NED 2:57:34 28

RUZAFA, POOR REMAIN ON TOP OF EURO TOUR AFTER EIGHT

Ruben Ruzafa and Brigitta Poor, the reigning XTERRA European Tour Champions, are still the leaders after eight of 14 races on this year’s tour.  In the men’s chase Carloni retains his spot at No. 2, with Xavier Dafflon jumping over Yeray Luxem into the third position, and Rui Dolores making a big leap from the 10-spot to No. 5.

In the women’s chase Poor, Erbenova, and Golsteyn remain in the 1,2,3 spots but Morgane Riou jumped from sixth to fourth position, and Wasle stayed at No. 5.

Next Up:  XTERRA France, July 2

2017 XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR ELITE POINTS STANDINGS
After 8 – 6.24
Men     S S S S S S S G
Pl Name, NAT TOTAL MLT CYP GRE ESP POR BEL FIN SUI
1 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 390 DNS DNS 75 75 75 75 DNS 90
2 Francois Carloni, FRA 326 61 47 43 DNS 61 51 DNS 63
3 Xavier Dafflon, SUI 239 DNS DNS 47 DNS 56 67 DNS 69
4 Yeray Luxem, BEL 203 DNS 75 DNS DNS 67 61 DNS DNS
5 Rui Dolores, POR 163 DNS DNS 39 36 47 DNS DNS 41
6 Oivind Bjerkseth, NOR 156 33 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS
7 Arthur Forissier, FRA 151 DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS 100
8 Jan Kubicek, CZE 149 DNS DNS DNP 39 DNS 43 67 DNS
9 Jan Pyott, SUI 145 56 DNS 25 33 DNS DNS DNS 31
10 Arthur Serrieres , FRA 143 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNP DNS 82
11 Roger Serrano, ESP 142 75 DNS 67 DNS DNS DNF DNS DNS
12 Maximilian Sasserath, GER 128 67 DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS
13 Thomas Kerner, GER 127 DNS 61 33 DNS DNS 33 DNS DNS
14 Xavier Jove Riart, ESP 118 DNS DNS DNS 67 51 DNS DNS DNP
15 Jens Roth, GER 117 DNS DNS 61 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS
16 Hannes Wolpert, GER 116 DNF 43 DNP DNS 36 DNP DNS 37
17 Maxim Chane, FRA 113 30 DNS 36 DNS DNS 47 DNS DNP
18 Theo Dupras, FRA 80 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS 53
19 Julien Buffe, FRA 79 DNS 56 23 DNS DNS DNP DNS DNP
20 Tiago Maia, POR 79 DNS DNS 30 DNS DNF DNS DNS 49
21 Geert Lauryssen, BEL 75 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS 39 DNS DNS
22 Pavel Andreev, RUS 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS
23 Tomas Kubek, SVK 75 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 28
24 Sam Osborne, NZL 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75
25 Mark Hamersma, NED 66 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS 23 DNS DNS
26 Stephan Radeck, GER 64 25 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
27 Panu Lieto, FIN 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS
28 Doug Hall, GBR 61 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 34
29 Llewellyn Holmes, GBR 58 DNS DNS DNS 25 33 DNS DNS DNS
30 Anthony Pannier, FRA 58 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 58
31 Peter Lehmann, GER 57 DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS 30 DNS DNS
32 Kris Coddens, BEL 56 DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
33 Bradley Weiss, RSA 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNF
34 Tim Van Daele, BEL 52 DNS DNS 27 DNS DNS 25 DNS DNS
35 Jörg Scheiderbauer, GER 51 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
36 Sebastian Neef, GER 51 DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
37 Pavel Jindra, CZE 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 51 DNS
38 Albert Soley, ESP 47 DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS
39 Pekka Nieminen, FIN 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS
40 Clement Briere, FRA 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 45
41 Pau Botella Tarres, ESP 43 DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS
42 Mattia De Paoli, ITA 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS
43 Samuli Heikkila, FIN 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS
44 Jim Thijs, BEL 39 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
45 Dominik Wychera, AUT 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS 39 DNS DNS DNS
46 Jonne Tuomas Mustonen, FIN 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 39 DNS
47 Pierre Alain Nicole, FRA 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 36 DNS DNS
48 Guillaume Jeannin, FRA 30 DNS DNS DNS 30 DNS DNS DNS DNS
49 Alejandro Salmeron Tenorio, ESP 30 DNS DNS DNS DNP 30 DNS DNS DNS
50 Rafael Gomes, POR 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS DNS DNS
51 Octavio Vicente, POR 25 DNS DNS DNS DNS 25 DNS DNS DNS
52 Callum Hughes, GBR 23 23 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
53 Javier Oliver Vives, ESP 23 DNS DNS DNS 23 DNS DNS DNS DNS
54 Markus Benesch, AUT 21 DNS DNS 21 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
55 Zeus Gutierrez Ochoa, ESP 21 DNS DNS DNS 21 DNS DNS DNS DNS
56 Morten Olesen, DEN 21 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 21 DNS DNS
WM     S S S S S S S G
Pl Name, NAT TOTAL MLT CYP GRE ESP POR BEL FIN SUI
1 Brigitta Poor, HUN 422 75 75 67 67 75 DNS DNS 63
2 Helena Erbenova, CZE 406 67 DNS 75 75 61 75 DNS 53
3 Maud Golsteyn, NED 268 56 DNS 47 DNS 56 51 DNS 58
4 Morgane Riou, FRA 266 DNS 67 56 DNS DNS 61 DNS 82
5 Carina Wasle, AUT 254 51 DNS DNS DNS 67 67 DNS 69
6 Cecila Jessen, SWE 206 39 61 DNS DNS DNS 39 67 DNS
7 Nicole Walters, GBR 136 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75
8 Louise Fox, GBR 118 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS
9 Isabelle Ferrer, FRA 100 DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS 49
10 Michelle Flipo, MEX 100 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 100
11 Rocío Espada, ESP 98 DNS DNS DNS 51 47 DNS DNS DNS
12 Isabelle Klein, LUX 97 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS 41
13 Ladina Buss, SUI 96 DNS DNS DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS 45
14 Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 90 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 90
15 Kathrin Mueller, GER 89 33 DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS
16 Anna Pauline Sasserath, GER 79 36 DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS
17 Miriam Casillas Garcia, ESP 61 DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
18 Sara Bonilla, ESP 61 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS
19 Elina Honkavuori, FIN 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS
20 Daz Parker, GBR 56 DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
21 Marika Wagner, SWE 51 DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
22 Kristina Lapinova, SVK 47 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
23 Aina Picas, ESP 47 DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS
24 Ine Couckuyt, BEL 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS
25 Renata Bucher, SUI 43 DNS DNS 43 DNF DNS DNS DNS DNS
26 Sheila Marques, POR 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS
27 Jessica Roberts, GBR 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS
28 Angela Niklaus, SUI 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 37
29 Anne-Sophie Marechal, BEL 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 36 DNS DNS
30 Rebecca Kaltenmeier, GER 34 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 34
31 Lydia Hale, NZL 31 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 31
32 Marta Menditto, ITA 30 30 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
33 Sanne Van Paassen, NED 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 28

XTERRA Switzerland was the eighth of 14 races on the XTERRA European Tour, and 22nd of 40 on the XTERRA World Tour where amateur athletes from around the world can qualify to race at the 22nd annual XTERRA World Championship in Maui on October 29.

Date Race Elite Winners or Location
25-Feb XTERRA South Africa Richard Murray / Flora Duffy
4-Mar XTERRA Motatapu Dougal Allan / Josie Wilcox
18-Mar XTERRA Saipan + Silver Sam Osborne / Carina Wasle
25-Mar XTERRA Argentina # Silver Gonzalo Tellechea / Suzie Snyder
1-Apr XTERRA Thailand + Silver Kieran McPherson / Renata Bucher
1-Apr XTERRA Chile # Silver Felipe Barraza / Barbara Riveros
2-Apr XTERRA Malta * Silver Roger Serrano / Brigitta Poor
8-Apr XTERRA New Zealand + Silver Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen
9-Apr XTERRA Costa Rica # Silver Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
16-Apr XTERRA La Reunion Ruben Ruzafa / Carina Wasle
23-Apr XTERRA Danao + GOLD Bradley Weiss / Carina Wasle
23-Apr XTERRA Cyprus * Silver Yeray Luxem / Brigitta Poor
29-Apr XTERRA Langkawi + GOLD Osborne,Allen,Weiss,McPherson/Wasle
30-Apr XTERRA Greece * Silver Ruben Ruzafa, Helena Erbenova
6-May XTERRA Tahiti + Silver Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen
13-May XTERRA Brazil # Silver Felipe Moletta / Sabrina Gobbo
14-May XTERRA Spain * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova
20-May XTERRA Oak Mountain # GOLD Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
27-May XTERRA Portugal * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Brigitta Poor
10-Jun XTERRA Belgium * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova
17-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter ^ Karsten Madsen / Heather Pady
18-Jun XTERRA Finland * Silver Pavel Andreev / Louise Fox
24-Jun XTERRA Switzerland * GOLD Arthur Forissier / Michelle Flipo
2-Jul XTERRA France * GOLD Xonrupt
9-Jul XTERRA Victoria # Silver Victoria, B.C., Canada
15-Jul XTERRA Beaver Creek # GOLD Beaver Creek, CO, USA
30-Jul XTERRA Abruzzo * Silver Scanno, Abruzzo, Italy
5-Aug XTERRA Mexico # GOLD Tapalpa
5-Aug XTERRA Norway * Silver Norefjell
6-Aug XTERRA Canmore ^ Canmore, Alberta, Canada
12-Aug XTERRA Quebec ^ Quebec City, Canada
12-Aug XTERRA Parry Sound ^ Ontario, Canada
13-Aug XTERRA Dominican Republic # Silver Barahona
13-Aug XTERRA Poland * Silver Krakow
19-Aug XTERRA Germany * GOLD Zittau
26-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant ^ Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
2-Sep XTERRA Japan + Silver Hokkaido
3-Sep XTERRA European Championship (DEN) * GOLD Mons Klint
16-Sep XTERRA Pan Am Championship / USA # D-GOLD Ogden, Utah, USA
29-Oct XTERRA World Championship Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

XTERRA Tsali, Rain or Shine

On Sunday, June 25th, XTERRA heads to Bryson City in western North Carolina.

“The course at XTERRA Tsali is one of the most popular trails in North Carolina,” said race director, David Berger. “It features a lot of rolling hills and scenic views of Lake Fontana. It’s definitely suitable for beginners, but they need to be ready to do some climbing.”

We know it’s going to be an awesome race. The rain expected this weekend may add some muddy fun, and the course will take athletes through the spectacular national forest land in the Tsali Recreation Area.

Berger admitted he is crossing his fingers about the weather. “But the good thing is, if it does rain, the trail can handle it.”

We are crossing our fingers too, but it’s not about the weather. What we at XTERRA would love to see, is the fabulous group of racers you can always find at XTERRA Southeast Region events.

“2017 XTERRA Fort Yargo Champ Marcus Barton will be at the race, and we are hoping that 2016 XTERRA Tsali Champ, Dwayne Dixon will be there as well,” said Berger.

If we are lucky, 2017 XTERRA Myrtle Beach Champ, Caleb Baity, and 2017 XTERRA Blackwater Champ, Yaro Middaugh will also make an appearance.

These Fab Four swap podium spots the way the rest of us pass around energy bars and training tips. And they do so with a great sense of humor and an even better display of sportsmanship.

“We have a close-knit group,” said Middaugh, back in May. “The races have been very competitive, which makes them fun for us.”

For more information and to register for XTERRA Tsali, visit www.goneriding.com.

XTERRA Pan Am Champ Lewis Ryan

Last year, Lewis Ryan traveled to the XTERRA Pan Am Championship in Utah from his hometown of Rotorua, New Zealand. As the 15-19 age group winner, Ryan is still very young, but he uses his youth to his advantage and fearlessly takes on the trails.

We caught up with Ryan and learned about his poker prowess, his penchant for “lollies,” and his pre-race warm up in a “wagon.”

Q. What do you remember from last year’s Pan Am Championship in Snowbasin? 
A. I was blown away by the amazing landscape as soon as I arrived, a few days before the race. Snowbasin is such an iconic location, and that course has to be one of the hardest in the world.

I can vividly remember looking up after every switchback on that brutal mountain bike climb just thinking, “We can’t be going any higher!” But somehow that mountain kept growing taller, the closer I got to the summit.

Then, as if you haven’t battled hard enough, the wall to start the run course is soul crushing. It’s the kind of soul crushing you learn to love in XTERRA though, because it’s an extra special feeling of accomplishment when you do cross the finish line.

Q. How did you prepare for the race?
A. I definitely had a new pre-race warmup, that’s for sure. As a Kiwi, we are normally pretty underground and don’t usually have the most ideal equipment. So on a freezing cold Utah morning, it was a bit classic to find myself relaxing inside seven-time and reigning XTERRA Age Group World Champ, Barb Peterson’s kitted out “sportsmobile.” She had the furnace cranking! It’s the type of wagon you only find in the US, and it was a pretty cool way to get ready for the race.

Q. When did you take the lead?
A. After a solid swim, I knew I wasn’t going to be far behind the overall amateur leader. I pushed the first part of the bike particularly hard. I think I took the lead on the lower slopes of the first climb, and fortunately, I managed to hold onto it.

Q. What was the hardest part of the race?
A. More than anything, Snowbasin really challenges you mentally. There were so many times when I had elements of doubt sneak into my mind about what pace I was setting. I raced the course blind, so I had no idea how far along I was. On a course with so much climbing, it’s hard to find balance between raw speed and blowing up.

Q. Did anything or anyone inspire you during the race?
A. We had a solid group of Kiwis together in Utah, so if anything inspired me to dig deeper, it was having all the lads out there with me, trying to do the Silver Fern proud.

Q. How did you celebrate your victory?
A. The house we were staying in was massive, and for whatever reason, it had a poker room. So the Kiwi lads and I binged on as many lollies (candy) as the local market could provide and played some low-key poker.

Q. How did you do in poker?
A. It’s fair to say, the older boys had their revenge that night. Cam Paul managed to con me out of a dollar.

Q. Who are your heroes?
A. Oh, there are so many great athletes. I can’t really put anyone ahead of anyone else. But a few of the greats include fellow Kiwi and 2016 XTERRA Asia-Pacific 70-74 age group champ, Ry Lichtwark, Barb Peterson, and seven-time XTERRA World Champ Conrad Stoltz. Of course, my dad is in there too.

Q. Do you have a strict training diet – besides the lollies? 
A. I’ve recently partnered with Dr. Paul Laursen from Plews & Prof to help transition me to a high-fat, low-carb diet. But I do love breakfast cereal from time to time.

Q. What are your racing plans for 2017?
A. I kicked off my season with XTERRA Rotorua, where I was runner up in the 14-24 age group. I’ve never raced local, so it was nice to have a genuine crack at it. I’m also going to XTERRA Switzerland this weekend, and then XTERRA France before I head back to North America. I’m excited to get back to Utah for the XTERRA Pan Am Championship. That course is one of my favorites.

Learn more about Lewis Ryan in the following interview:

XTERRA athlete profile by Reyn Okimoto, Shidler College of Business, class of 2017

Pan Am Champ Steve Croucher on XTERRA French River

XTERRA French River in Oxford, Massachusetts is quickly becoming a staple event on the east coast XTERRA circuit. Not only does the race offer traditional XTERRA and sprint distances, but athletes can also enter a “paddle-tri” or a duathlon this Saturday, June 24.

“XTERRA French River packs nearly everything you could ask for in off-road racing in a sprint-sized package,”said 2015 XTERRA French River Champ and 2016 XTERRA Pan Am Champ, Steve Croucher.

Having found varied success at this race in the past, one thing is absolutely certain – this is anyone’s race for the taking. XTERRA French River will test your mental strength, your capacity to burn some big matches, and your general spirit – if it doesn’t break you! An event with everything to offer, this is quickly becoming a can’t-miss-XTERRA-legend.” 

Croucher expects the water to be warm enough to shed the wet suit, but weather in Massachusetts can be unpredictable in June. He also recommends bringing a second set of running shoes to the beach for the short run to T1 if you have sensitive feet.

“The 12 mile bike course could stand alone and operate as a solo mountain bike race,” Croucher said. “It’s got it all: steep, punchy climbs; fast flowy, single track; and double track sections to hammer on. You will encounter loose shale, hard packed dirt, gnarly roots, and piney, loamy sections. While not as technical as XTERRA Way Over Yonder, XTERRA French River attracts cyclists and beginner triathletes of all abilities because of this bike course. This is a spot-on layout by MRA race staff.” 

“After the ride, runners head back out onto the trails on a challenging run course measuring at three and a half miles for short course, and five and a half miles for the long course race,” said race director, Alex Rogozenski. “You will cross a river, you will go up rocky hills, you will go down rocky hills, you might go through mud, you will traverse over typical New England rooty sections, and you will have the time of your life.”

“If you were looking for just a bit more single track bliss following the bike, this run course will deliver,” added Croucher. “There’s a river crossing in the first mile, a big gut-busting climb up the ridge line, and a spectator-friendly sprint to the finish.  You won’t forget these 5 miles even if you try.” 

Watch Steve Croucher’s 2015 XTERRA French River post-victory interview on www.dirtwire.tv.

For more information and to register for XTERRA French River, visit www.mramultisport.com.

XTERRA for the Next Generation

John Hendricks realized early on that his family needed a special kind of sport.

“We have seven kids and one more on the way,” said Hendricks. “And we are adopting a child from Haiti later this year.”

For a while, his oldest two played baseball, but Hendricks quickly realized that three practices a week plus games was taking too much time. “Will was playing on one field and Sam was on another. I was running back and forth watching them, but they were just standing there in the outfield. I was burning more calories than they were.”

Hendricks had just begun training for triathlons, so instead of going to baseball practice, he started working out with his kids.

“We homeschool so are flexible during the day. I can take them on a mountain bike ride or go for a run. Soon, I was telling them, ‘Hey, there’s a kids’ race, do you want to sign up?’ For us, it’s not about being first. It’s about my kids having an active lifestyle. As an adult, it’s a lot easier to fit in a run than organize a baseball game.”

As Will and Sam began entering races, Hendricks’ younger children followed. “Two of them did a race when they were three. They did a small swim, rode on a strider bike, and then ran 400 yards. Of course, there was also ice cream afterwards.”

Sam is now into martial arts and making his way towards a black belt. But Will – who is going to be 15 – has become an XTERRA competitor like his dad.

“Will legitimately trains,” said Hendricks. “I got him a mountain bike for his birthday and he saved up for a road bike. He swims with a masters group every Tuesday and we do trail runs on our farm.”

At XTERRA ATX in April, Will competed in his first XTERRA triathlon with his dad. John was 9th in his 40-44 age group and Will was 4th in the 15-19 age group, completing the 800m swim, 13 mile mountain bike ride, 6k trail run in 3:20:21.

“If we are going to establish XTERRA as a sport for the next generation, we need to include them,” said John Hendricks, “And XTERRA does that. I love that XTERRA doesn’t just cater to today’s racers, but also caters to tomorrow’s athletes. My kids can meet a World Champ and shake hands with Josiah Middaugh. You can’t say the same thing about Lebron James.”

Hendricks’ advice to other parents is not to push. “We’ve all seen that parent at the ball games and on the soccer field. Sam has crazy talent but he doesn’t want to ride with Will and I. That’s fine. Karate is his thing.”

Hendricks adds that sometimes, it’s a balancing act to train, work, and spend time with his growing family.

“I have to be very intentional. But that’s fine. That’s what it’s about. I don’t know of any mother or father who said, ‘I wish I spent less time with my kids.’”

 

Andreev, Fox win XTERRA Finland

Complete Results / Gallery

Pavel Andreev (RUS) and Louise Fox (GBR) captured the inaugural XTERRA Finland Championship off-road triathlon race in Rauha this afternoon.

The event combined a 1.5 kilometer swim in the beautiful Saimaa Lake, followed with a 30-kilometer mountain bike in the forest surrounding the lake, and concluded with a 10-kilometer challenging trail run.

XTERRA World Tour managing director Dave Nicholas was on-site to take in all the action and brings us this report…

I hate it when the weatherman is right.  And right on time the sprinkles began about 10am.  This small rain did not deter the Finns at all and it did help the temperatures were in the high 60’s.

Everything was perfectly organized and ready for a noon start and the bunch took off from a deep water start on a one lap 1500m swim.  We expected local triathlete Panu Lieto would be quick, but he destroyed the field and came out of T1 with a 3 minute lead.  Czech Jan “the fox” Kubicek and Russian Winter Tri World Champion Pavel Andreev left literally side by side in 2nd and 3rd.  The first K of the bike is on paved paths headed to the forest.  Riders cross a bridge and take a 270 degree circle under the road and onto the trails.  It is gravel and downhill and with the fresh rain – slick.  Kubicek locked his brake and fell hard.  “I was surprised by this and lost contact with Pavel” he said “But Pavel was so strong today I don’t think I could stay with him”

Indeed the Russian rode well putting in the fastest bike time by far.  With Kubicek’s having lost time on his fall, he never caught our Finnish triathlete until T2.  In a pretty slick move, Kubicek came in behind Lieto and left before him.   One of the favorites, Norwegian Oivind Bjerkseth had a bad day.  His first open water swim in his life was at XTERRA Malta and although he has been training, he lost over 8 minutes to Pavel and over 11 to Lieto.  Oivind did have the second fastest bike of the day but had lost too much in the beginning and ended 4th.

For the women, Louise Fox had a good swim and led Swede Cecilia Jessen by over a minute.  “Foxy” as we often call her rode well and made no mistakes.  She was able to pull out nearly another minute over Cecilia and she needed it as our Swedish woman pulled it back on the run for a very solid second place.

The weatherman had predicted the rain would stop in the afternoon but it never did.  It never came down hard but was on and off all day.  Great for the athletes as they stayed cool the whole race.  The now famous “Swamp” a typical Finnish bog was wonderful with people sloshing through, feet plunging into the bog up to the ankle.  Leader Pavel Andreev lost his shoe running through and had to stop, find it and put it back on.  I was there and stayed outside it but to no avail, my shoes went through the moss and I spent the rest of the afternoon with soaked feet.  I can only imagine what the runners feet were like having to run another 5K lap and through it again!

Rave reviews from everyone about the bike and the run.  Every trail was beautifully marked and despite the cloudy day and rain nobody got lost.  Dozens of volunteers were everywhere, aid stations manned by enthusiastic workers.

Finland will be held in August next year and this place will be rocking.  Imatra has a major league baseball team and you will not believe Finnish baseball.  The trails and lake are beyond great – women’s winner Louise Fox said it was the only swim she was ever in where she could drink the water !

St. Petersburg, Russia is only a few hundred K away and the Russian Border only 10K.  Get your VISA now.  Simply a great experience.

ELITE RESULTS

Xterra Finland 
Men
Pos Time Points
1 Pavel Andreev  (RUS) 02:32:25 75
2 Jan Honza Kubicek  (CZE) 02:36:42 67
3 Panu Lieto  (FIN) 02:39:11 61
4 Oivind Bjerkset  (NOR) 02:48:57 56
5 Pavel Jindra  (CZE) 02:53:12 51
6 Pekka Nieminen  (FIN) 02:56:29 47
7 Samuli Heikkila  (FIN) 03:02:55 43
8 Jonne Mustonen  (FIN) 03:42:33 39
Women
Pos Time Points
1 Louise Fox  (GBR) 03:08:28 75
2 Cecilia Jessen  (SWE) 03:10:25 67
3 Elina Honkavuori  (FIN) 04:01:12 61

RUZAFA, POOR KEEP LEADING EURO TOUR AFTER SEVEN

No changes at the first 4 places of the elite men’s standings, after XTERRA Finland.
With his 2nd place today, Kubicek jumped to sixth. Bjerkseth, after having an operation in his hand 5 weeks ago, finished fourth and is back in 5th position. Those were the only big moves on the men side.

In the women’s standings, Poor is still leading wth 6 points ahead of Erbenova. Golsteyn holds on the third spot, but the move of the day was from Cecilia Jessen who moved to 4th after her second place in Finland. Fox was able to get some points with her win today and is now in 7th position.

XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR ELITE POINT STANDINGS

After 7 – 18 June 2017

Men S S S S S S S
Pl Name, NAT TOTAL MLT CYP GRE ESP POR BEL FIN
1 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 300 DNS DNS 75 75 75 75 DNS
2 Francois Carloni, FRA 263 61 47 43 DNS 61 51 DNS
3 Yeray Luxem, BEL 203 DNS 75 DNS DNS 67 61 DNS
4 Xavier Dafflon, SUI 170 DNS DNS 47 DNS 56 67 DNS
5 Oivind Bjerkseth, NOR 156 33 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS 56
6 Jan Kubicek, CZE 149 DNS DNS DNP 39 DNS 43 67
7 Roger Serrano, ESP 142 75 DNS 67 DNS DNS DNF DNS
8 Maximilian Sasserath, GER 128 67 DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS
9 Thomas Kerner, GER 127 DNS 61 33 DNS DNS 33 DNS
10 Rui Dolores, POR 122 DNS DNS 39 36 47 DNS DNS
11 Xavier Jove Riart, ESP 118 DNS DNS DNS 67 51 DNS DNS
12 Jens Roth, GER 117 DNS DNS 61 56 DNS DNS DNS
13 Jan Pyott, SUI 114 56 DNS 25 33 DNS DNS DNS
14 Maxim Chane, FRA 113 30 DNS 36 DNS DNS 47 DNS
15 Julien Buffe, FRA 79 DNS 56 23 DNS DNS DNP DNS
16 Hannes Wolpert, BEL 79 DNF 43 DNP DNS 36 DNP DNS
17 Geert Lauryssen, BEL 75 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS 39 DNS
18 Pavel Andreev, RUS 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75
19 Mark Hamersma, NED 66 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS 23 DNS
20 Stephan Radeck, GER 64 25 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
21 Arthur Serrieres , FRA 61 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNP DNS
22 Panu Lieto, FIN 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 61
23 Llewellyn Holmes, GBR 58 DNS DNS DNS 25 33 DNS DNS
24 Peter Lehmann, GER 57 DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS 30 DNS
25 Kris Coddens, BEL 56 DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS
26 Bradley Weiss, RSA 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS
27 Tim Van Daele, BEL 52 DNS DNS 27 DNS DNS 25 DNS
28 Jörg Scheiderbauer, GER 51 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
29 Sebastian Neef, GER 51 DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
30 Arthur Forissier, FRA 51 DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS
31 Pavel Jindra, CZE 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 51
32 Tomas Kubek, SVK 47 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
33 Albert Soley, ESP 47 DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS
34 Pekka Nieminen, FIN 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 47
35 Pau Botella Tarres, ESP 43 DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS
36 Mattia De Paoli, ITA 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS
37 Samuli Heikkila, FIN 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 43
38 Jim Thijs, BEL 39 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
39 Dominik Wychera, AUT 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS 39 DNS DNS
40 Jonne Mustonen, FIN 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 39
41 Pierre Alain Nicole, FRA 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 36 DNS
42 Tiago Maia, POR 30 DNS DNS 30 DNS DNF DNS DNS
43 Guillaume Jeannin, FRA 30 DNS DNS DNS 30 DNS DNS DNS
44 Alejandro Tenorio, ESP 30 DNS DNS DNS DNP 30 DNS DNS
45 Doug Hall, GBR 27 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
46 Rafael Gomes, POR 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS DNS
47 Theo Dupras, FRA 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS
48 Octavio Vicente, POR 25 DNS DNS DNS DNS 25 DNS DNS
49 Callum Hughes, GBR 23 23 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
50 Javier Oliver Vives, ESP 23 DNS DNS DNS 23 DNS DNS DNS
51 Markus Benesch, AUT 21 DNS DNS 21 DNS DNS DNS DNS
52 Zeus Gutierrez Ochoa, ESP 21 DNS DNS DNS 21 DNS DNS DNS
53 Morten Olesen, DEN 21 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 21 DNS
WM S S S S S S S
Pl Name, NAT TOTAL MLT CYP GRE ESP POR BEL FIN
1 Brigitta Poor, HUN 359 75 75 67 67 75 DNS DNS
2 Helena Erbenova, CZE 353 67 DNS 75 75 61 75 DNS
3 Maud Golsteyn, NED 210 56 DNS 47 DNS 56 51 DNS
4 Cecilia Jessen, SWE 206 39 61 DNS DNS DNS 39 67
5 Carina Wasle, AUT 185 51 DNS DNS DNS 67 67 DNS
6 Morgane Riou, FRA 184 DNS 67 56 DNS DNS 61 DNS
7 Louise Fox, GBR 115 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75
8 Rocío Espada, ESP 98 DNS DNS DNS 51 47 DNS DNS
9 Kathrin Mueller, GER 89 33 DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS
10 Anna Pauline Sasserath, GER 79 36 DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS
11 Nicole Walkers, GBR 61 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
12 Miriam Casillas Garcia, ESP 61 DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS
13 Sara Bonilla, ESP 61 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS
14 Elina Honkavuori, FIN 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 61
15 Daz Parker, GBR 56 DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
16 Isabelle Klein, LUX 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS
17 Marika Wagner, SWE 51 DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
18 Isabelle Ferrer, FRA 51 DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS
19 Ladina Buss, SUI 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS
20 Kristina Lapinova, SVK 47 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
21 Aina Picas, ESP 47 DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS
22 Ine Couckuyt, BEL 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS
23 Renata Bucher, SUI 43 DNS DNS 43 DNF DNS DNS DNS
24 Sheila Marques, POR 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS
25 Jessica Roberts, GBR 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS
26 Anne-Sophie Marechal, BEL 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 36 DNS
27 Marta Menditto, ITA 30 30 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
XTERRA Finland was the seventh of 14 races on the XTERRA European Tour, and 21st of 40 on the XTERRA World Tour where amateur athletes from around the world can qualify to race at the 22nd annual XTERRA World Championship in Maui on October 29.
Date Race Elite Winners or Location
25-Feb XTERRA South Africa Richard Murray / Flora Duffy
4-Mar XTERRA Motatapu Dougal Allan / Josie Wilcox
18-Mar XTERRA Saipan + Silver Sam Osborne / Carina Wasle
25-Mar XTERRA Argentina # Silver Gonzalo Tellechea / Suzie Snyder
1-Apr XTERRA Thailand + Silver Kieran McPherson / Renata Bucher
1-Apr XTERRA Chile # Silver Felipe Barraza / Barbara Riveros
2-Apr XTERRA Malta * Silver Roger Serrano / Brigitta Poor
8-Apr XTERRA New Zealand + Silver Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen
9-Apr XTERRA Costa Rica # Silver Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
16-Apr XTERRA La Reunion Ruben Ruzafa / Carina Wasle
23-Apr XTERRA Danao + GOLD Bradley Weiss / Carina Wasle
23-Apr XTERRA Cyprus * Silver Yeray Luxem / Brigitta Poor
29-Apr XTERRA Langkawi + GOLD Osborne,Allen,Weiss,McPherson/Wasle
30-Apr XTERRA Greece * Silver Ruben Ruzafa, Helena Erbenova
6-May XTERRA Tahiti + Silver Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen
13-May XTERRA Brazil # Silver Felipe Moletta / Sabrina Gobbo
14-May XTERRA Spain * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova
20-May XTERRA Oak Mountain # GOLD Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
27-May XTERRA Portugal * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Brigitta Poor
10-Jun XTERRA Belgium * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova
17-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter ^ Karsten Madsen / Heather Pady
18-Jun XTERRA Finland * Silver Pavel Andreev / Louise Fox
24-Jun XTERRA Switzerland * GOLD Vallee de Joux
2-Jul XTERRA France * GOLD Xonrupt
9-Jul XTERRA Victoria # Silver Victoria, B.C., Canada
15-Jul XTERRA Beaver Creek # GOLD Beaver Creek, CO, USA
30-Jul XTERRA Abruzzo * Silver Scanno, Abruzzo, Italy
5-Aug XTERRA Mexico # GOLD Tapalpa
5-Aug XTERRA Norway * Silver Norefjell
6-Aug XTERRA Canmore ^ Canmore, Alberta, Canada
12-Aug XTERRA Quebec ^ Quebec City, Canada
12-Aug XTERRA Parry Sound ^ Ontario, Canada
13-Aug XTERRA Dominican Republic # Silver Barahona
13-Aug XTERRA Poland * Silver Krakow
19-Aug XTERRA Germany * GOLD Zittau
26-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant ^ Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
2-Sep XTERRA Japan + Silver Hokkaido
3-Sep XTERRA European Championship (DEN) * GOLD Mons Klint
16-Sep XTERRA Pan Am Championship / USA # D-GOLD Ogden, Utah, USA
29-Oct XTERRA World Championship Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

Inaugural XTERRA Finland This Sunday

The XTERRA European Tour rolls on with stop number seven of 14 in Imatra, Finland on Sunday.

The inaugural XTERRA Finland Championship race takes place at Lake Sainaa, a three-hour drive from Helsinki airport. The lake is the largest in Finland, a country that boasts more than 1,000 lakes.

“From here in Sainaa one can navigate nearly 300K on water,” said XTERRA World Tour managing director Dave Nicholas. “This lake alone is over 100K in length. The wind was whipping up some small waves yesterday that reminded me a bit of Lake Tahoe.           Our event coincides with the 100th anniversary of a free Finland.  On December 6, 1917 Finland became independent from Russia who had taken Finland from Sweden in 1809.  Prior to 1809, the area now Finland was under Swedish rule from the 13th century.  The Finns are a very proud and very strong people and are celebrating the entire year of 2017.”

XTERRA is held near a big resort named Holiday Club Sainaa, an all-inclusive club with a fantastic indoor swim park complete with slides, sauna’s, and fountains.

“There are game rooms, kids activities, even a full bowling alley with 6 lanes,” said Nicholas. “It’s really quite amazing. Three restaurants, a sports bar and a huge sundeck complete about everything you could want. There are dozens of small “Norwegian” fishing village houses all connected and near the lake and other condos that surround the resort.  A big choice of places to stay.  In winter, the huge lake is frozen over for skating or fishing.  Cross country ski, snowmobiles and sauna are the big features.  Yes, there are sauna’s right at the lakes edge.  Sweat it out and jump into the frozen lake.  As I said – the Finns are tough people.”

The mountain bike course in Finland features a very unusual three-lap course.  Transition is very close to the lake and bikes will ride up and past the resort before entering the forest, which is home to brown bears, fox, wolves and lots of moose. The run goes in a different direction and is two laps and dishes out more than 300m of climbing in just 10K.

In the elite men’s race Olli Miettinen, who won the Finnish Cross Triathlon Championship on this same course, will be the local athlete everyone is cheering for. Czech veteran Jan Kubicek will be strong, he was 7th last week in the middle of a big pro field at XTERRA Belgium. He will have competition from Pavel Andreev, the Russian winter triathlon champion who has done well in other XTERRA’s and Cross triathlons.  Like Kubicek, he is not a strong swimmer but will be very strong on the bike and run.  It will be nice to have him back, maybe again directly from Siberia where he lives.

Another strong athlete with the same profile is Oivind Bjerkseth from Norway.

“He started in Malta and almost sank on his first open water swim,” joked XTERRA European Tour director Nicolas Lebrun. “But then he finished second at XTERRA Cyprus, which was a duathlon.”

Other contenders include Pavel Jindra, and Barret Fishner from the USA who is hopefully recovered from an injury he had at XTERRA Portugal.

“I’m also curious to see the other four Finnish elite men, Nieminen, Heikkilä, Mustonen and Lieto, who might just surprise us on Sunday,” said Lebrun.

There are just two elite women in the field; Cecilia Jessen who has competed at Malta, Cyprus and Belgium and is 6th in the Euro Tour rankings currently.  She can jump to 3rd after this race if she wins.  Louise Fox from England will get her season started on Sunday, and could very well take the lead out of the swim and stay in front all day.

“We have about 20 age group women who will start and we may find some strong local mountain bikers or trail runners in the field.  This can happen when we start in a new country, as athletes new to our sport come in and compete quite well,” said Lebrun.

“We have also some famous European Tour age group racers coming here to chase some big points,” added Lebrun. “Didier Bucheler, despite a bad day at home in Belgium, is leading the 50/54 category, and will come here to secure even more points to add to his top ranking.  Same with Christophe Maury, who was not in Belgium, but did the first five races on the tour. The “The Frenchman” is smart and knows where he can get big points.  Marco Lanzetta from Switzerland is leading the 55/59 division with four races in his basket, and with another good race here in Finland could be almost untouchable. For the women we have Maria Kring and Maria Sturluson, who were 2nd and 3rd on the 40/44 Euro tour ranking last year and are coming from Denmark.”

Follow the race online at Facebook.com/xterraeurope.

Elite Men

XET Rank – Name, Nationality

13 – Øivind Bjerkseth, NOR

14 – Jan Kubicek, CZE

NR – Olli Miettinen, FIN

NR – Barret Fishner, USA

NR – Pekka Nieminen, FIN

NR – Simone Calamai, ITA

NR – Samuli Heikkilä, FIN

NR – Pavel Andreev, RUS

NR – Jonne Tuomas Mustonen, FIN

NR – Panu Lieto, FIN

NR – Pavel Jindra, CZE

 

Elite Women

XET Rank – Name, Nationality

6 – Cecilia Jessen, SWE

21 – Louise Fox, GBR