Bennett's

Boulder’s Best to Race at Beaver Creek

XTERRA Beaver Creek, scheduled for July 16 in Avon, Colorado, has always had a way of luring legendary road triathletes onto the dirt.

Remember 2013 when Flora Duffy took to the trails for the first time? She finished 7th that year and swore she’d never do another.         Lucky for us she did, and look at her now, literally, on top of the world with the ITU Cross Tri World Title, the last two XTERRA World Titles, and the No. 1 ranking in the WTS under her feet.

Could there be something to the challenge against Mother Nature that brings out the best in athletes?

Superstar couple Greg and Laura Bennett are about to find out.

“This will be our first XTERRA, so our expectations are low,” said Greg, one of the most decorated triathletes of all-time. “We got on our mountain bikes (the first-time ever for Laura) and 28 years ago for me, back in November. We’ve had a ball, and are enjoying the process. We feel like newbies starting a brand new sport… so much to learn… can’t wait!”

Laura, a two-time Olympian, said “I am having thoughts of intimidation. Not only because I know I won’t be as prepared as I would like to be but because I feel like race brain will take over and I will be riskier than my skill level, & I would really not like to get hurt ;)”

“We only just tried mountain biking for the first time last fall, and fell in love with it!  I like the dynamics of it (more on the uphill skill challenges than the all-out downs of just letting go).  You are getting a great workout in, while staying entertained the whole time.  I will always keep in touch with my running and swimming, so having XTERRA if we want to do some racing is brilliant!  I really wish I would have tried it sooner in my career, when I was younger, fitter, and had less development of my frontal lobe!”

The Bennett’s will have plenty of fans and familiar faces from around Boulder joining them on the start line in a few weeks with the likes of three-time XTERRA World Champion Julie Dibens and American Ironman great Ben Hoffman.

“Excited to make my annual appearance at the XTERRA Beaver Creek Championship in a few weeks and see where I stack up against some of the best athletes on the circuit,” said Hoffman, who finished second last year behind Middaugh.

“This year should be even more interesting as plenty of the on-road guys are having a crack at the high-altitude course in the Colorado mountains, including a big crew from Boulder (AJ Baucco, Sam Long, Rodrigo Acevedo, Leon Griffin, among others). Last year was the closest I’ve come to Josiah on his home course, and it will be fun to do battle again and see if I can take down the current world champion. He’s on the top of his game right now, and always shows up ready in Beaver Creek, so it won’t be easy.”

Indeed Beaver Creek is never easy, although Middaugh has made it look pretty easy while winning the last three years on the course here he helped to design.  This year, the 37-year-old father of three enters the race as the reigning XTERRA World Champion, a title he chased for 15 years ever since he moved to Colorado.

“I was in Maui last year for Josiah’s big win, and it’s great to see an American bring it home after so many years without a title,” said Hoffman (noting Michael Tobin was the last American to win Worlds back in 2000). “He’d been right there so many times, and it’s really cool to see the perseverance pay off. XTERRA is truly a global sport now, and to have the trophy back in the U.S. is definitely special.”

www.xterrabeavercreek.com

Have-you-seen-my-friend

The 10th edition of XTERRA France Set for Sunday

The 10th edition of XTERRA France takes place this Sunday, July 3, in the beautiful Vosges mountains of Xonrupt.  The sixth stop on the XTERRA European Tour is an important gold-scoring event, boasts one of the most difficult courses on the World Tour, has more than 60 of the best off-roaders in the world racing, and it is once again sold-out.

“The Charbonnier family are the key to the success of XTERRA France,” said Nicolas Lebrun, a three-time winner of the event who now serves as the technical director for the European Tour.  “They have with the triathlon of Gerardmer one of the oldest races in France, and a very professional crew with all the structure to be really the best set up in the tour.”

Lebrun last won XTERRA France in 2013, then Ruben Ruzafa took over with victories the last two years.

“It’s a big race and with the big screen showing all the live action, two pro announcers, and lots and lots of spectators it feels really special to win here in France,” added Lebrun.

XTERRA World Tour managing director Dave Nicholas is also in France to take in all the action and brings us this report from around the field on Thursday…

The buildup for Europe’s biggest event is well underway.  The always fabulous “le monster” wood track is about half finished, the Canyon bridge is done, the ramp for Saturdays eliminator start is done and the best part – the pallets of beer have arrived.  Tomorrow things start happening as registration opens at 14:00 (2pm).  At 10am Nico Lebrun will lead an investigation ride of the very tough mountain bike course.  Lebrun will also compete in the Eliminator head to head competition on Saturday with some extreme bikers.

Francois Carloni is here for his home race, Nicolas Fernandez and Yeray Luxem are also back in action.  They all will have to go through the Spanish duo of Ruben Ruzafa and Roger Serrano who have dominated the men’s races to date.  Kris Coddens has a win and a second in the last two races and has been riding and running very fast.  Never count out South African Bradley Weiss.  Brad did not have a good race in Switzerland nor did Ben Allen.  Look to both of them to get it right here in France.  Sam Osborne has been knocking on the door all season but has had a string of bad luck.  Sam “Bam” can never be counted out.  Some great competition is coming from Germany with Veit Honle having his best race ever last week in Switzerland, the fastest swimmer Jens Roth always contends and an old friend in Felix Schumann returns to XTERRA.  This is their home race and besides the always fast Carloni, Arthur Forissier and Arthur Serrieres and Damien Guillemet are legitimate podium contenders.

For the women we have two-time XTERRA World Champion Lesley Paterson here.  She will provide some very tough competition for current leader Helena Erbenova who is recovering from an injury that kept her out of Switzerland, France’s home hope Myriam Guillot-Boisset, the “Swiss-Miss” Renata Bucher, Britain’s Jacqui Slack, Austrian Carina Wasle, Hungarian points leader Brigitta Poor, and a host of other fast women (Find the full start list on their homepage at xterra-france.com).

Make no mistake – France is the toughest race around.  It usually rains, the hills are long and steep going up and coming down.  It is two laps and that means the fast pros are lapping the age groupers and it can cause problems.  Asa Shaw had a bad accident when forced off the trail by a back-marker a few years ago and is only now recovering.  The run is also steep and has its muddy, off-camber and narrow sections.  You can expect a few thousand spectators all over the hills and at the start line that features “the monster” and lots of music.

As always, the Charbonnier family has changed things up a bit. The “monster” of last year has been toned down but has become an even better show. It now features more dips on the first section, but no banked wall. Now riders will circle around the first section and have to navigate a series of jumps – a la motocross. For the less adventurous there is a chicane that is pretty slow but avoids the jumps.

Brad Weiss looks quite happy. He had an OK race last weekend in Switzerland but is happier here.

“I like hills and Switzerland was pretty flat. I should have a good race on Sunday,” he said.

Francois Carloni skipped Swiss to prepare for his home race in France. “I had a great weekend of training and feel very strong,” he said “this is my goal for 2016, to win in France.”

The bearded one, Roger Serrano loves the downhills “I can crush them and will on the first lap – but I must slow down a bit on the second when passing age groupers.”

He had a wicked smile when he said that and somehow I don’t think the Spaniard will slow down much. Llewellyn Holmes showed up with a red beard and we all poked fun at him because it has a lot of gray in it. Nicolas Fernandez also looked happy. “I like the long races as I am in good shape and won’t get tired.” As this is the longest race in Europe look for good things from him.

Helena Erbenova is back after missing Switzerland. “I was so sick” she moaned “but I am better now and think I am OK.”

Rain is expected tomorrow but only a 50% chance. It was partly sunny and cool today in the mid 70’s. If we can get Sunday like today it will be perfect.

There are two great kids races (with some 500 kids!), lots of food, dozens of vendors and the always popular beer tent.  Now if the weather will only cooperate.  Here in the north in the beautiful Vosges mountains one can never be certain.

Follow along in the days to coming and during the race (which starts at 1:30pm in France) at https://www.facebook.com/xterraeurope.

All-Time XTERRA France Elite Winners
Year Men’s Champ Women’s Champ Site
2006 Cedric Fleureton Renata Bucher Saint Raphael
2008 Nicolas Lebrun Renata Bucher Auron
2008 Nicolas Lebrun Renata Bucher Mondelieu
2010 Nicolas Lebrun Marion Lorblanchet Xonrupt
2011 Victor Del Corral Renata Bucher Xonrupt
2012 Asa Shaw Helena Erbenova Xonrupt
2013 Nicolas Lebrun Helena Erbenova Xonrupt
2014 Ruben Ruzafa Kathrin Mueller Xonrupt
2015 Ruben Ruzafa Kathrin Mueller Xonrupt

 

LorennWeb

My 2016 Belgium XTERRA

By Lorenn Walker

“Bravo Madame! Bravo Madame!” spectators yell enthusiastically to me during Belgium’s first XTERRA June 11, 2016 as I finish climbing a steep dirt path and complete the first lap of the bike course. Along with these lovely people, is Dave Nicholas (aka Kahuna), who’s yelling: “Come on old lady, get your butt going!” I laugh and throw him my sunglasses asking: “Can you hold these for me?” I’ve known and appreciated Dave since the 1990s when he directed the Wahine Windsurfing contests at Diamond Head on O’ahu.

My first XTERRA experience was at Wailea, Maui in 1999, when no qualification was necessary for the World Championships. I had gotten a mountain bike about two years before, and an off-road triathlon sounded fun. Unfortunately, my mountain biking experience consisted mainly of riding O’ahu’s asphalt paved Peacock Flats road. The World’s bike course at Wailea was A LOT more technical than I expected. I crashed about ten miles into the bike course and dislocated two right hand fingers that stuck out at a 90-degree angle. I ran for about six miles pushing my bike, trying to avoid seeing my finger’s hideously twisted out sideways, but that’s another story.

In June 2016, I had some work and conferences in Europe, and thought it would be fun to do an XTERRA there, which my friend Barbara Peterson encouraged me to do. Like my first Maui race, the Belgium XTERRA turned out to be way more demanding than expected.

Forty-eight hours after I leave my house on the North Shore of O’ahu, I arrive in Namur, Belgium, an hour train ride from Brussels. I had arrived in Belgium the day before and spent my first night in Leuven where I gave a talk about my work in restorative justice. My work reminds me of XTERRA because it’s about suffering and healing, only from crime, not mountain biking.

Denis Detinne and Florian Badoux are the brilliant Belgium race organizers. They helped me find my hotel and a bike to use. The first bike I try is my size, but its shifters are broken and it won’t go into the lowest gear. Another kind Belgium biker tries to fix it, but he ends up messing it up further. Luckily, there is another bike. I use it even though it is too big for me and has tubed tires that need to be inflated around 40-45 pounds, while I’ve been using tubeless tires running about 20 pounds. The bike I use also has less gears than what I am used to, which coupled with my jet lag, makes biking up the hills especially hard. I am spoiled from my beloved Santa Cruz carbon bikes and Evo wheels. Still, I am hugely grateful to Denis and Florain for their kindness and help getting me the bike. It was much easier than bringing one from Hawai’i. Besides I only want to finish the race in a decent time, and not be last.

The race venue Namur is stunningly beautiful. It is an ancient European capital for French speaking Belgians. The town is filled with cobblestone streets from the Middle Ages, and old ornate stone buildings.

The race is held in the Citadel, which was first developed in the year 1000: “The Citadel of Namur has, at all times, held a strategic position in the heart of Europe. First of all as a command centre of an important earldom in the Middle Ages, it was then coveted and besieged by all the Great Powers of Europe between the 15th and 19th century.”

The Citadel is a fantastic fort that sits on a giant hill overlooking the town and rushing rivers that come together below. A massive stonewall encloses the Citadel that includes a castle, numerous other rock structures, along with all the cobblestone roads. The race center is held in an area of the Citadel that looks like an arena. Denis says this area was developed in the 17th Century as a village with markets, and other facilities for the community.

I practice riding the bike course two days before the race. I am exhausted, but confident I can take my time seeing what the course is like because the sun stays out in Belgium until after 10 pm in June. It’ll still be light when I finish.

The course is surprisingly tough to me. “What was I thinking?” begins to pop into my head frequently. I’d watched the race videos, and the distance didn’t seem so far, 20 miles, and the hills didn’t look super steep. Belgium is pretty flat, right? I signed up thinking we were going to ride in some easy peasy park course.

Maybe if Belgium hadn’t been inundated with torrential rains all spring, the bike course would have been much drier. I appreciated how the rain made the course lush with bright green trees and bushes, but the muddy and deeply rooted trails are hard to ride; especially on the steep sections. There is so much water coming down some of the trails I’m trying to ride up that there are gushing tiny rivers flowing down! I end up pushing my bike uphill so much that my shoulder (not the one I broke at the 2014 XTERRA Worlds, sorry yet another story) gets hurt from the bike pushing activity. No worries about an injured shoulder decreasing my swimming performance though. The unprecedented rains create extremely strong currents in the river. The swim is canceled. As Dave explains: “It’s like a dam burst basically. Normally the force of the river current flows around 70m but now it’s 450m.” Despite having practiced for months getting a wetsuit on and off (thank you again Jay Weber from XTERRA Wetsuits for the helpful info on that) it’s a relief that we’re spared having to swim in what looks like Willy Wonka’s chocolate river. We do an extra run instead of the swim on race day.

After it takes me three hours to finish one loop practicing the bike course catastrophe thinking sets in. I am worried about getting hurt, and being in the way of more competent bikers during the race. “I’m gonna get lapped for sure,” I think. I consider not doing it at all or maybe doing the XTERRA Lite that is only half the distance? After a few hours of obsessing, I decide: “Of course I’m doing it! I brought all my stuff. I’ll go slow. Be careful. No Cindi Topel or Barbara Peterson here to beat me. I’ll do my best and just have fun!”

The race starts at 1:30 pm on June 11th, four days after I arrived in Europe. It’s raining when I leave the hotel on my big bike. I’m cold until I start biking up the hill to the start at the Citadel, which takes about 45 minutes due to closed roads for the race.

By the time I get to the race start I feel good. I rack my bike next to Nathan an American Navy man, working in Germany. I’m wondering now if it was Nathan who told me that the bike course is 5000 feet in elevation? It sure seemed like it was that much during my practice ride, but it turns out the bike course is only 1200 meters, which equals about 3900 feet, and is about 1100 feet more than the Worlds at Kapalua that is roughly 2800 feet.

It’s fun chatting with Dave’s girlfriend Rosemary, and others waiting for the race to start. I notice most of the racers are really fit young men.

The race begins. My run (replacing the swim) is really slow, but I feel fine! I know I am going to finish the race, and with care, injury free.

After my first bike loop, when the dear Belgians who are cheerfully bravo-ing me, and Dave’s yelling at me to get my old ass going, I’m feeling confident I can do the second loop faster. Too bad I got a little too confident, and go too fast on a downhill muddy section.

My crash is one of those projectile headfirst sort. It’s like your body’s a missile and shoots straight out. Luckily, my helmet stays on when my head slams into a stonewall. Quickly I’m back on my bike peddling. I notice only minor scrapes and little blood. Nothing really hurts, but I begin to feel my helmet increasingly get tighter around my forehead. It takes me about thirty minutes to muster enough courage to touch my forehead. “Shit, black eye” I think when I finally feel a big swollen lump above my left eyebrow. “Just in time for the Spain speech in five days.” I brought makeup though and have developed humility from about five black eyes in my lifetime from sports (once I mediated a child protection case in family court with two black eyes from a windsurfing contest at Hookipa on Maui, and really, my husband is a business professor and one of the nicest people in the world).

After the crash I slow down, and bike way more conservative. But on some of the hills towards the end of the bike course, I manage to pass some of the younger guys pushing their bikes up. Bad me yells, “Watch out your grandma’s on your left!” Those who understand English laugh, and again I enjoy hearing. “Bravo Madame!”

Finally, I finish the bike course and am running the 10K. I have been racing for 4 hours by now, and feel strong. I’m surprised that I manage to pass people running. My usual cramps are kept at bay with the HotShot (formerly Itsthenerve) potion that I took, and tell others about who are walking because of their cramps (for real, if you cramp try this stuff that Rod MacKinnon, a long distance paddler, MD, and 2003 Nobel Chemistry Prize winner, developed to deal with his cramps).

I finish the race in 5:02, the longest XTERRA I’ve ever done. The men’s winner is 35-year-old Kris Coddens who finished in 2:33 and the women’s winner is 37-year-old Helena Erbenova who did it in 3:01. It turns out there were a lot of young men in the race. Out of the 472 finishers only 35 were women, and of the 28 people who DNF’ed, only one was a woman.

After the race I long to soak in a nice warm bath at my cozy hotel, but the after race meal seduces me. It’s giant sized meatballs covered in garlic tomato sauce with a huge serving of freshly made pommes frites (French fries). I sit and enjoy the food, and company of Johannes Franzky, and his mom, from Germany. He won the 35-year old age group finishing in 2:51.

As we eat, the weather worsens. It’s pouring rain now with lightening and thunder. I’m shivering and fantasizing about a warm jacket I left in my suitcase at the hotel. I’m not sure how I did in the race, and while I didn’t see any women around my age, I wonder if I won my age group? I can wait no longer and decide to leave. It’s getting darker out, and I have to ride the bike back to my hotel, which turns out to be the scariest part of the race. I ride down a long winding steep hill on slippery cobblestones in pouring rain with thunder. I go ridiculously slow imagining my hot bath.

I’m really happy I did the race, and makeup worked fine for the speech in Spain. Most of my restorative justice friends also know I do these races and sometimes look beat up.

BIG bravos to everyone who does what they fear they cannot. Thank you Denis and Florian, and a GIANT mahalo to Dave Nicholas for all the races, kindness and laughs over the years (but dude, please dump Trump!).

Lorenn is a sixteen time XTERRA World Championship female age group finisher—5 first places and 15x on the podium—64 years old in 2016.

Ruben Bike Web

Ruzafa, Flipo win XTERRA Switzerland

Photos / Complete Results

Vallee de Joux, Switzerland – Ruben Ruzafa and Michelle Flipo captured the XTERRA Switzerland / ETU European Cross Triathlon Championship under extreme weather conditions in the Vallee de Joux on Saturday afternoon.

The win is Ruzafa’s second straight on the European Tour this year and his 21st XTERRA major victory in 26 races since winning Worlds as a rookie in 2008.  For Flipo, the win is her first on the XTERRA World Tour.

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

What a mess!  The day started with some sun and a breeze after a monster storm Friday eve.  “I think we’ll be good, maybe some little rain” said Thomas Vasser, head of the Sports Center of the Vallee de Joux.  Nine minutes into the swim it started to rain, by 15 minutes it was steady and by 25 minutes it was a downpour.  Let The Mudfest Begin!

The swim was divided in three waves; pro men, pro women and then all age groupers.

“I never saw anything like it” marveled Spain’s Roger Serrano. “It was a war.  These guys went crazy.”

German Jens Roth led big out of the water and took a nice lead early.  By 1K Ben Allen, Sam Osborne and Brice Daubord were nose to tail chasing Jens.  By 5K, 3-time World Champ Ruben Ruzafa was already up into 3rd having passed Roth in a full slide down a muddy slope and in another 2K had taken the lead.

“This condition today is good for me” he smiled. “I like technical and today with the mud and steep places – I was very fast on the downhills.”

Fast? How about nearly four-minutes faster than the second best bike time.

Michelle Run Web

The women’s swim was no surprise as ITU and former XTERRA racer from Mexico now living in France, Michelle Flipo took first out of the water.  Brit Jacqui Slack caught her by the 4K mark and started to ride away.

“I really like XTERRA but my technical bike skills are not as good as I would like,” Michelle said shortly after the finish.  “I could keep up on the flats and uphills but lost time on the downhills and technical sections.”

I had to smile while interviewing her as she is a lovely woman, tall with blonde hair, but was totally covered in mud and one could only see her eyes and smile.  Jacqui Slack put in a great ride in the lead, but 33-time XTERRA winner Renata “the Swiss Miss” Bucher was the Mistress of the Mud today.  She was almost three minutes faster than Jacqui and came into T2 with the lead.  Another Swiss, Ladina Buss was 3rd and Flipo 4th. Our winner put in the fastest run of the day and picked off Buss, then Slack and finally Renata to take the lead and come home with a 2.5-minute lead.

The back story was Myriam Guillot-Boisett.  Her run was only a handful of seconds slower than Flipo’s and she passed Ladina and Renata to take a hard fought 3rd.  Second-place to fourth-place was separated by less than four seconds, a fantastic finish.

Back with the men, poor Sam Osborne took a wicked fall on lap two about 100m from me and nearly took Brice Daubord with him.  I’m not sure how Brice got around the Kiwi but this put him solidly in 2nd.  Sam never really recovered.  “I hit really hard and it knocked me pretty good” he said after the event.

Our fast swimmer Jens Roth was 4th, Ben Allen 5th and Veit Honle 6th.  XTERRA Belgium winner Kris Coddens was coming fast but was still back around 9th.  Allen did not look happy and yelled “I HATE MUD” every time he went past.  The men were really fighting on the bike.  A bunch were scrapping hard on the 2nd lap.

“I knew I could not run because I had a muscle tear” said Roger Serrano, the reigning XTERRA European Tour Champion.  “These guys were going so hard I ask how will they run? Maybe I should go.”

Passing up and down the hills, slipping and sliding on the ever-worsening mud they came into T2 as a bunch with Roger, Veit Holne, Sam Osborne, Brice Daubord, Italian Mattia De Paoli and Kris Coddens all mixed together and now four minutes behind Ruzafa.

Serrano stopped, Sam was still stunned by his fall and dropped back.  Brice was a good second with Veit 3rd but Coddens was charging, caught them on the 1st lap and started chasing after Ruben.  At the end of the first lap officials stopped Kris in the penalty booth for a 15-second helmet infraction at T2.  This dropped him back to 4th but about the 2K mark the speedy Belgian was past Daubord and settled in for a great 2nd place finish just over a minute behind Ruben.

Today the mud was worse than Belgium two weeks ago, but the finish line was full of smiles as racers washed themselves off in the fresh water stream coming down from the mountains.

“Nobody was going to catch Ruben today,” said Ben Allen as he chatted with Brad Weiss at the awards.  “All those years as a pro mountain biker just makes him unbelievable in conditions like this.”

Our women’s winner was also all smiles and like a champ should say – she told me “I’m going to Maui.”

Top 3 Women Web

Tentative Elite Results

Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 2:47:58 100
2 Kris Coddens, BEL 2:49:18 90
3 Brice Daubord, FRA 2:49:28 82
4 Veit Holne, GER 2:49:36 75
5 Mattia De Paoli, ITA 2:50:28 69
6 Bradley Weiss, RSA 2:51:36 63
7 Sam Osborne, NZL 2:52:49 58
8 Arthur Serrieres, FRA 2:53:17 53
9 Max Neuman, AUS 2:53:22 49
10 Hannes Wolport, GER 2:55:12 45
11 Anthony Pannier, FRA 2:55:49 41
12 Jan Kubicek, CZE 2:56:02 37
13 Jan Pyott, SUI 2:56:27 34
14 Toma Jurkovic, SVK 2:56:38 31
15 Ben Allen, AUS 2:57:37 28
Also: Henry Sleight, Maxim Chane, Andreas Silberbauer, Filippo Galli, Andy Klay, Ronnie Schildknecht, Jens Roth, Norbert Durauer, Lars Van der Eerden, Maia Tiago, Thomas Kerner, BG Orozco, Anthony Flinois, Julien Pousson, Rene Wuthrich, Joosh Christiaans, Leandro Glardon, Staps Joep, Richard Sumpter, Llie Regost, Barret Fishner, Kenny Van Laere
       
Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Michelle Flipo, FRA 3:18:40 100
2 Jacqui Slack, GBR 3:21:16 90
3 Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 3:21:20 82
4 Renata Bucher, SUI 3:21:20 75
5 Ladina Buss, SUI 3:22:21 69
6 Brigitta Poor, HUN 3:25:37 63
7 Carina Wasle, AUT 3:28:18 58
8 Coralie Redelsperger, FRA 3:29:39 53
9 Morgane Riou, FRA 3:32:22 49
10 Louise Fox, GBR 3:32:45 45
11 Maud Golsteyn, NED 3:34:29 41
12 Jessica Roberts, GBR 3:34:47 37
13 Monica Cibin, ITA 3:35:55 34
14 Elisabetta Curridori, ITA 3:36:58 31
15 Kara LaPoint, USA 3:39:43 28
Also:  Sabina Rzepla, AL Marechal, Lenka Cibulkova, Danica Spiteri
All-Time XTERRA Switzerland Elite Winners  
       
Year Men’s Champ Women’s Champ Location
2010 Olivier Marceau Marion Lorblancet Prangins
2011 Olivier Marceau Marion Lorblancet Prangins
2012 Nicolas Lebrun Helena Erbenova Prangins
2013 Victor Del Corral Helena Erbenova Vallee de Joux
2014 Ruben Ruzafa Kathrin Mueller Vallee de Joux
2015 Arthur Forissier Carina Wasle Vallee de Joux
2016 Ruben Ruzafa Michelle Flipo Vallee de Joux


RUZAFA, POOR LEAD XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR STANDINGS

Ruben Ruzafa and Kris Coddens jumped past Roger Serrano to take the No. 1 and No. 2 positions in the elite men’s standings after five of 11 races in the XTERRA European Tour.  Elite athletes count their best 4 Gold and 3 Silver finishes.  In the women’s chase Brigitta Poor and Morgane Riou moved into the 1 and 2 spots after recording their fourth scoring event.  Erbenova, who was a scratch in Switzerland, is still perfect having won all three races she’s entered and sits in third.
Next up: XTERRA France on July 3.

2016 XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR STANDINGS            
Elites after 5 (Tentative) – as of 6.25.16            
               
Men   S S S S G
Pl Name, NAT TOTAL MLT GRE POR BEL SUI
1 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 242 DNS 67 75 DNS 100
2 Kris Coddens, BEL 212 DNS 47 DNS 75 90
3 Roger Serrano, ESP 211 75 75 61 DNS DNF
4 Brice Daubord, FRA 186 43 61 DNS DNS 82
5 Sam Osborne, NZL 176 DNS DNS 51 67 58
6 Francois Carloni, FRA 168 DNS 51 56 61 DNS
7 Hannes Wolpert, GER 114 36 DNS 33 DNS 45
8 Veit Hoenle, GER 98 DNS DNS 23 DNS 75
9 Yeray Luxem, BEL 94 DNS DNS 67 27 DNS
10 Tomas Kubek, CZE 90 DNS 43 DNS 47 DNS
11 Pierre-Antoine Guilhem, FRA 82 61 21 DNS DNS DNS
12 Max Neumann, AUS 79 DNS 30 DNS DNS 49
13 Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA 77 47 DNS DNS 30 DNS
14 Jan Kubicek, CZE 73 DNS 36 DNS DNS 37
15 Cedric Lassonde, FRA 69 30 39 DNS DNS DNS
16 Mattia De Paoli, ITA 69 DNS DNS DNS DNS 69
17 Sebastian Norberg, GER 68 DNS 25 DNS 43 DNS
18 Jan Pyott, SUI 67 DNS 33 DNS DNS 34
19 Jens Roth, GER 67 67 DNS DNS DNS DNP
20 Henry Sleight, GBR 67 DNS DNS DNS 39 28
21 Christophe Betard, FRA 63 27 DNS DNS 36 DNS
22 Bradley Weiss, RSA 63 DNS DNS DNS DNS 63
23 Llewellyn Holmes, GBR 58 DNS DNS 25 33 DNS
24 Tim Van Daele, BEL 57 DNS 27 30 DNS DNS
25 Maxim Chane, FRA 56 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS
26 Arthur Forissier, FRA 56 DNS 56 DNS DNS DNF
27 Nicolas Fernandez, FRA 56 DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS
28 Arthur Serrieres, FRA 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS 53
29 Peter Lehmann, GER 51 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS
30 Damien Guillemet, FRA 51 DNS DNS DNS 51 DNS
31 José Estrangeiro, POR 47 DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS
32 Maximilian Sasserath, GER 43 DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS
33 Anthony Pannier, FRA 41 DNS DNS DNS DNS 41
34 Dominik Wychera, AUT 39 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS
35 Julen Loroño, ESP 39 DNS DNS 39 DNS DNS
36 Rui Dolores, POR 36 DNS DNS 36 DNS DNS
37 Fabien Combaluzier, FRA 33 33 DNS DNS DNS DNS
38 Toma Jurkovic, SVK 31 DNS DNS DNS DNS 31
39 Ben Allen, AUS 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS 28
40 Gonzalo Orosco, ESP 27 DNS DNS 27 DNS DNS
41 Markus Benesch, AUT 25 25 DNS DNS DNS DNS
42 Jim Thijs, BEL 25 DNS DNS DNS 25 DNS
43 Julien Buffe, FRA 23 DNS 23 DNS DNS DNS
44 Martial Schmidt, FRA 23 DNS DNS DNS 23 DNS
45 Tiago Maia, POR 21 DNS DNS 21 DNS DNP
46 Boris Chambon 21 DNS DNS DNS 21 DNS
Women   S S S S G
Pl Name, NAT TOTAL MLT GRE POR BEL SUI
1 Brigitta Poor, HUN 266 75 67 61 DNS 63
2 Morgane Riou, FRA 228 67 51 DNS 61 49
3 Helena Erbenova, CZE 225 DNS 75 75 75 DNS
4 Maud Golsteyn, NED 183 56 DNS 39 47 41
5 Carina Wasle, AUT 181 DNS DNS 56 67 58
6 Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 149 DNS DNS 67 DNS 82
7 Louise Fox, GBR 148 DNS 56 47 DNS 45
8 Ladina Buss, SUI 130 DNS 61 DNS DNS 69
9 Renata Bucher, SUI 126 DNS DNS 51 DNS 75
10 Michelle Flipo, FRA 100 DNS DNS DNS DNS 100
11 Jacqui Slack, GBR 90 DNS DNS DNS DNS 90
12 Jessie Roberts, GBR 88 DNS DNS DNS 51 37
13 Elisabetta Curridori, ITA 74 DNS DNS DNS 43 31
14 Sandra Koblemueller, AUT 61 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS
15 Isabelle Klein, LUX 56 DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS
16 Coralie Redelsperger, FRA 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS 53
17 Alena Stevens, SVK 51 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS
18 Diane Lee, GBR 47 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS
19 Kristina Nec Lapinova, SVK 43 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS
20 Sara Bonilla Bernardez, ESP 43 DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS
21 Danica Spiteri, MLT 39 39 DNS DNS DNS DNP
22 Lenka Cibulkova, CZE 39 DNS DNS DNS 39 DNP
23 Monica Cibin, ITA 34 DNS DNS DNS DNS 34
24 Kara LaPoint, USA 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS 28

2016 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

XTERRA France was the 18th of 37 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 Xonrupt
10-Jul XTERRA Victoria Victoria, B.C., Canada
16-Jul XTERRA Beaver Creek Beaver Creek, CO, USA
23-Jul XTERRA Parry Sound Ontario, Canada
31-Jul XTERRA Italy Lago Di Scanno
31-Jul XTERRA Dominican Republic Barahona
6-Aug XTERRA Mexico Tapalpa
7-Aug XTERRA Poland Krakow
13-Aug XTERRA Sweden Hellsgaarten, Stockholm
14-Aug XTERRA Canmore Canmore, Alberta, Canada
20-Aug XTERRA European Championship Zittau, Germany
27-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
27-Aug XTERRA Korea Daeahn Reservoir, Wonju City
3-Sep XTERRA Japan Hokkaido
4-Sep XTERRA Denmark Mons Klint
4-Sep XTERRA Quebec Quebec City, Quebec
11-Sep XTERRA Woolastook New Brunswick, Canada
17-Sep XTERRA USA / Pan Am Championship Ogden, Utah, USA
23-Oct XTERRA World Championship Kapalua, Maui
DSC00585

Madsen, Snyder win XTERRA Mine over Matter

Milton, Ontario, Canada – Karsten Madsen and Suzie Snyder won the elite titles at the XTERRA Mine over Matter off-road triathlon on a beautiful day at the Kelso Conservation Area in Milton this morning.

For Madsen, it’s his first-ever XTERRA major victory and it came in front of a big contingent of family and friends on a course he’s ridden “a million times.”

“This race had more stress than the others, since it is more of a hometown race. You feel you are expected to win, although that is the pressure I put on myself,” said Madsen.

Madsen was on fire from the start, posting the fastest swim and bike splits.  He took an early lead out of the swim, increased the gap on Branden Rakita to nearly two minutes by the end of the first bike lap, made that a 3:30 gap heading into the run, and crossed the finish line in 1:37:53, almost a full five minutes ahead of runner-up Chris Ganter.

“Everything fell in place and I had the race I knew I could have,” said Madsen.  “I executed well and had no mechanicals. The race is unique as there is no travel, such as to the U.S. or Argentina, and you have friends and family who support you all season and you want to show them their dedication to you is important.”

Ganter came out of the water more than two-minutes behind the leaders but strung together the third-best bike and second-best run splits to move into second-place by the finish, and Rakita held on for third.  Canadian Alex VanderLinden had the fastest run split to finish fourth with fellow countryman Sean Bechtel not too far behind in 5th.

Of note, Daniel Molnar finished sixth in his pro debut, and Brian MacIlvain and Adam Morka came in 7th and 8th in their XTERRA debuts.

In the women’s race Suzie Snyder won her second Pan Am Pro Series race in as many tries, solidifying her successful return to the sport after nearly a full year spent recovering from a broken pelvis.

“It was amazing,” said Snyder, who picked up her fourth XTERRA major in the span of one calendar year.  “It was hard today, the shorter distance makes it that much harder in intensity and mentally, which also makes it more enjoyable and lots of fun while you are suffering.”

In her first-ever XTERRA race Joanna Brown took the early lead with the fastest swim of the day, one-minute quicker than Snyder, but XTERRA is all about the mountain bike and that’s where Snyder took over – posting the fastest bike split and crossing the line two-minutes in front of Brown.

Maia Ignatz was solid in third, her second top three finish of the season, with Canadian Katharine Carter in fourth and Debby Sullivan in fifth.

Special thanks to Briana Rickertsen for race correspondence and live twitter coverage @xterraoffroad 

Tentative Elite Results

Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Karsten Madsen, CAN 1:37:53 75
2 Chris Ganter, USA 1:42:42 67
3 Branden Rakita, USA 1:43:36 61
4 Alex VanderLinden, CAN 1:44:46 56
5 Sean Bechtel, USA 1:45:24 51
6 Daniel Molnar, USA 1:46:33 47
7 Brian MacIlvain, USA 1:53:01 43
8 Adam Morka, CAN 2:02:36 39
Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Suzie Snyder, USA 1:52:12 75
2 Joanna Brown, CAN 1:54:11 67
3 Maia Ignatz, USA 1:54:23 61
4 Katharina Carter, CAN 1:59:05 56
5 Debby Sullivan, USA 2:03:53 51
6 Annie-Claude Gaudet, CAN 2:04:21 47
7 Caroline Colonna, USA 2:08:36 43

DSC00608

MIDDAUGH, GOBBO STILL LEAD IN PAN AM PRO SERIES STANDINGS

At the midway point in the inaugural 10-stop XTERRA Pan Am Pro Series Josiah Middaugh from the U.S. and Sabrina Gobbo from Brazil still hold the top spots in the rankings.   With the win today Madsen moves into the second-position, just 20 points behind Middaugh.  In the women’s chase Suzie Snyder moves into a tie for 2nd with Myriam Guillot-Boisset.  Each of those two have one Gold and one Silver race victory for 175 points.

Racers count their best four scores (two Gold, two Silver) plus what they earn at the XTERRA Pan American Championship race September 17 in Utah.
Learn more about the XTERRA Pan Am Tour at http://www.xterraplanet.com/xterra-pan-am-tour/
Next up: XTERRA Victoria on July 10 on the other side of Canada in British Columbia.

2016 XTERRA PAN AM PRO SERIES STANDINGS            
After 4 – 6.25.16            
               
Men     S G S G S
PL NAME TOT CRC ARG BRA ALA MOM
1 Josiah Middaugh, USA 267 67 100 DNS 100 DNS
2 Karsten Madsen, CAN 247 DNS 90 DNS 82 75
3 Branden Rakita, USA 136 DNS DNS DNS 75 61
4 Chris Ganter, USA 130 DNS DNS DNS 63 67
5 Ian King, USA 106 DNS 53 DNS 53 DNS
6 Mauricio Mendez, MEX 90 DNS DNS DNS 90 DNS
7 Jonatan Morales, ARG 82 DNS 82 DNS DNS DNS
8 Karl Shaw, GBR 75 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS
9 Oscar Galindez, ARG 75 DNS 75 DNS DNS DNS
10 Albert Soley, ESP 75 DNS DNS 75 DNS DNS
11 Lucas Mendez, ARG 69 DNS 69 DNS DNS DNS
12 Kieran McPherson, NZL 69 DNS DNS DNS 69 DNS
13 Felipe Moletta, BRA 67 DNS DNS 67 DNS DNS
14 Mario De Elias, ARG 63 DNS 63 DNS DNS DNS
15 Rom Akerson, CRC 61 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS
16 Diogo Malagon, BRA 61 DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS
17 Facu Medard, ARG 58 DNS 58 DNS DNS DNS
18 Cody Waite, USA 58 DNS DNS DNS 58 DNS
19 Francois Carloni, FRA 56 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS
20 Bruno Silva, BRA 56 DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS
21 Alex VanderLinden, CAN 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS 56
22 Federico Venegas, CRC 51 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS
23 Frederico Zacharias, BRA 51 DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS
24 Sean Bechtel, USA 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS 51
25 Mauro Ayesa, USA 49 DNS 49 DNS DNS DNS
26 Thomas Spannring, USA 49 DNS DNS DNS 49 DNS
27 Greg Schott, USA 47 47 DNS DNS DNF DNS
28 Raul Furtado, BRA 47 DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS
29 Daniel Molnar, USA 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS 47
30 Victor Arenas, ARG 45 DNS 45 DNS DNS DNS
31 Michael Nunez, USA 45 DNS DNS DNS 45 DNS
32 Henrique Lugarini, BRA 43 DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS
33 Brian MacIlvain, USA 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS 43
34 Parada Penagos, ARG 41 DNS 41 DNS DNS DNS
35 Eduardo Marcolino, BRA 39 DNS DNS 39 DNS DNS
36 Adam Morka, CAN 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS 39
37 Rodrigo Altafini, BRA 36 DNS DNS 36 DNS DNS
38 Stenio Bezerra, BRA 33 DNS DNS 33 DNS DNS
39 Rogério Paula, BRA 30 DNS DNS 30 DNS DNS
40 Ramon Bustos, BRA 27 DNS DNS 27 DNS DNS
41 Cristiam Suzin, BRA 25 DNS DNS 25 DNS DNS
42 Juscelino Vasco, BRA 23 DNS DNS 23 DNS DNS
43 Wellington Conceição, BRA 21 DNS DNS 21 DNS DNS
Women     S G S G S
PL NAME TOT CRC ARG BRA ALA MOM
1 Sabrina Gobbo, BRA 205 61 DNS 75 69 DNS
2 Miriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 175 75 100 DNS DNS DNS
3 Suzie Snyder, USA 175 DNS DNS DNS 100 75
4 Caroline Colonna, USA 157 51 DNS DNS 63 43
5 Maia Ignatz, USA 151 DNS DNS DNS 90 61
6 Laura Mira Dias, BRA 149 DNS 82 67 DNS DNS
7 Kara Lapoint, USA 149 67 DNS DNS 82 DNS
8 Debby Sullivan, USA 126 DNS DNS DNS 75 51
9 Rebecca Blatt, USA 100 47 DNS DNS 53 DNS
10 Fabiola Corona, MEX 90 DNS 90 DNS DNS DNS
11 Erika Simon, ARG 75 DNS 75 DNS DNS DNS
12 Joanna Brown, CAN 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS 67
13 Isabella Ribeiro 61 DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS
14 Sarah Gravves, USA 58 DNS DNS DNS 58 DNS
15 Caitlin Snow, USA 56 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS
16 Luisa Saft, BRA 56 DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS
17 Katharina Carter, CAN 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS 56
18 Vanessa Cabrini, BRA 51 DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS
19 Maggie Rusch, USA 49 DNS DNS DNS 49 DNS
20 Fernanda Prieto, BRA 47 DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS
21 Annie-Claude Gaudet, CAN 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS 47
22 Brisa Melcop, BRA 43 DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS
23 Beatriz Granziera, BRA 39 DNS DNS 39 DNS DNS
24 Melania Giraldi, BRA 36 DNS DNS 36 DNS DNS
25 Monalisa Vieira, BRA 33 DNS DNS 33 DNS DNS
DNS Did Not Start

2016 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

XTERRA Mine Over Matter was the 19th of 37 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 Xonrupt
10-Jul XTERRA Victoria Victoria, B.C., Canada
16-Jul XTERRA Beaver Creek Beaver Creek, CO, USA
23-Jul XTERRA Parry Sound Ontario, Canada
31-Jul XTERRA Italy Lago Di Scanno
31-Jul XTERRA Dominican Republic Barahona
6-Aug XTERRA Mexico Tapalpa
7-Aug XTERRA Poland Krakow
13-Aug XTERRA Sweden Hellsgaarten, Stockholm
14-Aug XTERRA Canmore Canmore, Alberta, Canada
20-Aug XTERRA European Championship Zittau, Germany
27-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
27-Aug XTERRA Korea Daeahn Reservoir, Wonju City
3-Sep XTERRA Japan Hokkaido
4-Sep XTERRA Denmark Mons Klint
4-Sep XTERRA Quebec Quebec City, Quebec
11-Sep XTERRA Woolastook New Brunswick, Canada
17-Sep XTERRA USA / Pan Am Championship Ogden, Utah, USA
23-Oct XTERRA World Championship Kapalua, Maui
Whitewater

XTERRA Whitewater One of a Kind

The U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, North Carolina plays host to XTERRA Whitewater on July 9, putting triathletes to the test at the world’s premiere outdoor recreation facility.

The brand new course for 2016 begins with a 1K flatwater swim split between the natural waters of the Catawba River and a portion of our man-made whitewater rafting channel, followed by 23K on mountain bike across all difficulty levels of the USNWC trail system, and concluding with an 6.5K trail run to cross the finish line.

Over 1,100 acres of maintained woodlands along the Catawba River provide the ideal location for this challenging trail race as well as a weekend getaway for the whole family. Competitors will find themselves swimming underneath three separate zip lines overhead, as they pass by the world’s first Deep Water Solo Climbing Complex.

Home to the world’s largest man-made recirculating river, the USNWC features over 30 unique activities available to all ages and skill levels, including whitewater rafting and kayaking, flatwater kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, mountain biking, rock climbing, zip lines, and ropes courses. Spend the weekend challenging yourself at XTERRA Whitewater and enjoying all the adventure that the U.S. National Whitewater Center has to offer.

XTERRA Ambassador Marcus Barton will be hosting his annual transition clinic at the facility on Friday, July 8th, at 6:30pm, followed by a QnA with race director’s Adam Bratton and Jimmy Lawler.

Lock 4 Blast

Evans, Stockton win XTERRA Lock 4 Blast

Another year, another Lock 4 Blast title for “former” XTERRA pro Craig Evans over the weekend.

The long-time XTERRA fan favorite jumped into his hometown race and showed one-and-all he’s still got game.

He justified his performance by posting, “I hate losing more than I like winning” to his Facebook account.  I think Saturday’s win was his 12th in Gallatin.

There was a ringer in the women’s race as well, 3x XTERRA World Champion (40-44) Mimi Stockton and here she gives us a first-person perspective on the day…

XTERRA Lock 4 Blast is one of the longest runniner XTERRA events in America, and for good reason. This was the 16th year the event was held and after racing it, it’s easy to see why it has endured all these years.  The race is held in Lock 4 Park, about 30 minutes north of Nashville.  It’s an idyllic lakeside haven that boasts scenic mountain biking and running trails as well as warm, calm waters.  The race directors and volunteers were top notch, not only were they some of the friendliest people on the planet, but incredibly organized as well.

Race morning was picture perfect.  Clear skies, temperature hovering around 70.  The race started at 8 am (a bit on the early side), but seeing as the forecast was calling for a high of 95 that day, I think everyone was eager to get started.  The swim was an 880 meter triangle course in Old Hickory Lake (formed from the Cumberland River).  Water temperature was a balmy 81 degrees so the wetsuits had to stay in the car.

The trails in the park were clearly designed and built with mountain bikers in mind.  The day before the race, the directors decided to change the bike section from 2, 6.1 mile loops to 3, 4.2 mile loops.  This was done to protect part of the trail that was slightly damaged from the previous day’s wind and rain storm and to make it more spectator friendly. Overall, the trails were fast, fun and flowy with minimal climbs and quick descents, lots of switchbacks and plenty of rocks and roots to keep it interesting.  Some great obstacles and pretty cool jumps made this one sweet and challenging trail to ride.  The run course was equally as picturesque and demanding.  It was a 2 lap, 4.2 total mile roller coaster jaunt through the woods, with the beginning part of the trail abutting the lake and the finishing chute up on the hill overlooking the lake and transition area.

As we lined up in the water, waiting for the official start, all eyes were on former XTERRA Pro Craig Evans (who also doubled as one of the race directors!) to break free early and take the lead.  And take the lead he did! He claimed to have only swam 4 times over the past year, but nobody was buying that seeing as he completed the swim in a blistering 11:13.  Next out of the water at 14:26 was Lara Houseman, with Mimi Stockton a few steps behind. Transition was set up at water’s edge making for a very fast T1.  Stockton threw on her bike gear and was out of transition second, behind Evans.  She came into T2 with a significant lead over Christine Grant, took off on the run and never looked back.  She finished in 1:58:24 with only 2 men in front of her.  In second place was Christine Grant with a time of 2:09:17.  Susan Finney was close behind in third coming in at 2:10:34.

In the men’s race, Craig was obviously the guy to beat.  Seeing as he had an almost insurmountable lead coming out of the water, it was going to be pretty hard for anybody to catch him on the bike.  Trent Lowery was the second male out of the water after Craig in 15:49, with Alex Ohman on his tail in 15:56.  As was expected, Craig was a beast on the bike course, crushing it in under an hour.  Alex took over second place from Trent on the bike and ended up in second with a time of 1:53:09.  Trent was the third place male, coming in at 2:03:45.

The Lock 4 Blast race is a wonderful, low key event in a beautiful setting.  With opportunities to see racers 3 times on the bike and 2 times on the run, it is probably one of the most spectator friendly XTERRA’s out there.  Crossing the finish line, with rap and rock-n-roll blasting on the speakers and high-fives all around, the true #Livemore XTERRA spirit was in full display! 

DeSantis

DeSantis’ 16 in 2016 Off to Switzerland

XTERRA Warrior David DeSantis is taking his 16 in 2016 campaign to Vallee de Joux this weekend.

The big idea, which started off as a mission to race in 16 events in 16 countries to raise $16,000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation this season, has had its fair share of ups-and-downs this year.

On the upside he’s completed six races and already surpassed his fundraising goal by bringing in more than $21,000 for CAF. On the downside, the damn cancer came back and he’s going through chemo again.

DeSantis finished a fourth round of chemo last week and said “the left side of my body went nuts. My left knee, ankle, elbow, and wrist blew up. No one knows why just the left side had all the swelling, and the treatment has drastically reduced my appetite and it’s become difficult to keep weight on.  Kathy is forcing the avocados, nuts, protein powder etc.  I’m thinking of stuffing a few hot fudge sundaes in my camelback and going for a ride!”

If there is one thing we’ve come to count on with DeSantis, it’s his tongue-in-check demeanor and relentlessly positive attitude.

“Great news though, the chemo is working!” he said. “On Wednesday I had a clean brain scan. The oncologist said there is nothing in my head … Kathy said she could have told him that without doing an MRI!”

Those lucky enough to be at XTERRA Oak Mountain last month got to revel in his spirit and celebrate his mission, but little did we know he was seeing double.

“In Pelham I had double vision on the run,” he said. “It took 3 days for my vision to correct itself.  My oncologist believes it is due to a combination of over exertion and the chemo – he wants me to cool it a bit.  I thought it was a one-time issue, but, it occurred again last Tuesday on an easy mountain bike ride.  Either way we’ve already paid for the tickets so were going to Europe!  Not sure how everything will unfold…but, it should be interesting.  Switzerland on Saturday and France next Sunday.”

Follow along with DeSantis in his historic season on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/DeSantis-16-in-2016-1702613439998697/), check out the article his local paper wrote about his efforts, and if you can, donate to his fundraising page for CAF at https://www.gofundme.com/DeSantis16in2016.

Snyder

In Ontario, It’s All About Mine Over Matter

Intrigue awaits at the XTERRA Mine Over Matter off-road triathlon set for Saturday in Milton, Ontario, Canada as local boy Karsten Madsen carries the hopes of Ontario on his shoulders.

Madsen is off to hot start in 2016 following a runner-up performance at XTERRA Argentina (finishing behind World Champ Josiah Middaugh) and a third-place showing at XTERRA Oak Mountain, and has a wealth of experience and success in past races on the Kelso course, but will all that be enough to carry him past a quality collection of closely-matched competitors?

American pros Chris Ganter, Branden Rakita, and Ryan Ignatz – each ranked in the top six of last year’s XTERRA U.S. Pro Series – are all capable of being the fastest on the day and just like Madsen, none have an XTERRA major title on their resume.         This Saturday one of those guys – not to discount newcomers Alex VanderLinden, Brian MacIlvain, or Daniel Molnar – is going to have his name added to the scroll of 2016 XTERRA World Tour major champions.

In the women’s race Suzie Snyder comes into Ontario fresh off a win at XTERRA Oak Mountain, and will be joined on the start line by fellow Americans Maia Ignatz, Caroline Colonna, and Debby Sullivan as well as home country standouts Katharine Carter and Joanna Brown.

It all starts at 8am EST and we’ll have live twitter updates from the pro race @xterraoffroad.

XTERRA Mine over Matter is stop number five of 10 on the XTERRA Pan America Tour where elites and amateurs count their best four scores (two Gold, two Silver) from the first nine events plus whatever they get, or don’t get, at the XTERRA Pan American Championship race in Utah.

For more information, visit www.xterrapanam.com.