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Allen, Erbenova win XTERRA Czech

(Prachatice, Czech Republic) – Ben Allen of Australia and Helena Erbenova of the Czech Republic captured the 13th edition of the XTERRA Czech Championship on a hot afternoon in Prachatice.

With the win Erbenova also secured her third XTERRA European Tour (XET) Championship crown in four years (she also won in 2012 and 2013).   XTERRA Czech was the ninth of 12 races in the XET and the fifth of seven Gold level events.  Elite athletes count their best four Gold and three Silver finishes.  In her seven scoring races this year Erbenova won three Gold events (Spain, Italy Czech), two silver events (Greece and Sweden) and was second at France and Portugal for a total of 607 points (625 is max possible).

It’s the former winter Olympians third win in a row on the European Tour and third win in four years at her home country championship race.

Ben Allen

For Allen the victory marks his third XTERRA World Tour win this season (16th lifetime) but his first victory in the Czech Republic after five tries.

“I’ve raced here many times before, and have always dreamed to take the win,” said Allen, who was making his first appearance on the XTERRA European Tour this season.  “I’m so stoked to have accomplished that dream today. It wouldn’t have been possible without the love and support of my team.”

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

The posters say 2002 – 2015 and the Czech XTERRA race keeps going.  We never saw one like this however. The sun burned most of the day and the temps were in the high 80’s.  The organizers were on it and put out lots more water and the local population turned out in droves, and while not exactly legal, houses offered bottles and cups of water to passing runners and bikers.

It was Welcome Back Ben and Jacqui Day with Allen coming out of the swim second, passing Roger Serrano until he finally broke free on the 2nd lap going up the first technical climb.

“Ben pulled me a bit and I forgot where I was” said the soaking wet Serrano.  “I got to the steep part and was in the wrong gear and had to unclip and run the bike.  After that I never saw him.”

Allen continued to hammer the bike having the fastest time by more than one-minute.  He led by nearly three-minutes coming into T2 and ran a smart two, tough laps.

“I knew I had a gap on Roger but did not know where Bradley (Weiss) was” said Allen.

Weiss, the South African who won the XTERRA Asian Tour Championship this year, had rear tire problems on the first lap and had to stop.  “There was a small cut that was just in the wrong place and no way I could fix it” he said while watching the race out on the course.

Serrano was worried about Weiss as well.  He came by me on a nasty uphill asking “where is Bradley?”   Brad was right next to me and when Roger completed the mountain loop the second time and came down the hill Brad ran out yelling “Here I Am.” Everybody laughed in the middle of a very hard race; but that is the XTERRA way isn’t it?

Tomas Kubek had a great day – almost.  The man from Slovakia was right on Serrano’s heels coming into T2 after posting the 2d fastest bike.  They were together going up the hill on the first lap, but when they came down Tomas was clearly in pain and had dropped back giving 2nd to Serrano by a wide margin.

There is a super fun, tricky, technical part on the bike loop that has a steep up ramp that turns 90 degrees and goes down over a small rock jump and then into a series of bermed esses that is just a joy to watch.  Everyone from the best biker to the most tentative rider has to do it and the differences are amazing.  Ben came by in the lead, Serrano second, Kubek third, Jan Pyott fourth and then you could hear screeching brakes, crunching tires locking up on the sandy base and four bikes came through so fast and furious I had no idea who was who until I looked back into my photo file.  Vaclav Holub led with Lubos Truhlar on his rear wheel followed by Czech champ Jan Kubick and Austrian Michael Szymoniuk.

Things started settling down as the weather and a tough course started taking its toll.  Allen had it pretty much his way, Roger was solid in second.  Poor young Tomas Kubek had given it all on the bike and was headed backwards.  First Jan Pyott passed him and then the battling Szymoniuk and Kubick.  These two had dropped the others and ran to a photo finish with the Austrian less than two-seconds ahead.  Kubek never gave up and had a grand 5ht place.  He’s only 24 and has a lot of years in front of him.

“Great to be back on the Euro Tour again,” said Allen after the race.  “Spending some time away has left me hungry to come back!  Roger and I exited the water with a handy lead and we worked together on the bike for 12km before Roger faded and wasn’t able to stay with me.  I know the bike course in Czech extremely well having raced here five times before. It’s not easy and if you red line on any of the climbs you will pay for it later in the race. I rode within myself and really enjoyed the race. Loads of the locals came out to support all the athletes on a very hot and humid day!  The course in Czech is extremely challenging, steep climbs, rocky descents and encompasses the Czech culture riding/running in and out of the town square.  Michal (Pilousek) and his team do an amazing job creating a fun filled weekend for all the participants. The food and beer is cheap and you will always walk away, never forgetting your Czech adventure!”

Pro Men      
Pl Name Time Points
1 Ben Allen, AUS 2:40:19 100
2 Roger Serrano, ESP 2:44:27 90
3 Jan Pyott, SUI 2:45:02 82
4 Michael Szymoniuk, AUT 2:46:08 75
5 Jan Kubicek, CZE 2:46:10 69
6 Tomas Kubek, SVK 2:46:21 63
7 Lubos Truhlar, CZE 2:47:17 58
8 Pavel Andreev, RUS 2:47:44 53
9 Vaclav Holub, CZE 2:49:54 49
10 Jan Francke, CZE 2:52:41 45
Also: Veit Honle (41), Markus Benesch (37), Pavel Jindra (34), Malte Plappert (31)
DNF: Brad Weiss, Theo Blignaut, Clement Briere, Christopher Schwab, Lukas Kocar

The women put on an equally, maybe more interesting race.  Jacqui Slack won the swim with Brigitta Poor second.  Brigitta was wise in taking a few weeks off and missing Italy to recover.  She had not missed a race in a very grueling season and showed some fresh legs today.  Carina Wasle was 3rd and coming strongly on the bike but it was not to be her day.  She flatted and fell far behind.

Up front Jacqui maintained a minute to minute and a half lead over Poor.  Czech Champion Helena Erbenova was caught in a gaggle of men and was having problems getting past them.  The same problem for Austrian Sandra Koblemueller.

“I am Austrian and my strength is climbing” she Koblemueller.  “I was so far back in the swim I would get to a hill I could climb but people in front could not and I had to walk.  I need to learn to swim,” she smiled.

Erbenova is such a racer that she never leaves anything on the table.  If she is strong she wins, if not, she still pushes until her body gives up.

“Today was so different” she sighed.  “I would be super strong and then my legs would go away.  Carina passes me going up the hill and I pass her coming down.  And oh, getting by those men was so hard.”

The heat began to get to Slack and while Erbenova had passed Brigitta for second, the Hungarian was not about to give in.  Brigitta passed Erbenova to come into T2 with all three leading women together.   It became a foot race and this is no pushover run course.  Some is flat and some is on pavement but there are two really tough hills and two equally tough, steep, loose downhills.  Helena was able to hold off Brigitta, but not by much (just 52 seconds).  Jacqui fought a valiant battle against fatigue and came home a wonderful 3rd.  As for our slow swimmer Sandra?  She ran a fabulous 45-minute run segment beating the second fastest woman by nearly 4 minutes, actually having the 8th fastest run of the day and was able to pass Wasle for 4th.

So XTERRA Czech XIII is in the books.  Awards and free beer tonight; a great race from a neat fresh water lake to a tasty, technical bike and run to a postcard perfect Bohemian village.  What more could you ask for?

XTERRA Czech Photos

Women      
Pl Name Time Points
1 Helena Erbenova, CZE 3:07:04 100
2 Brigitta Poor, HUN 3:07:56 90
3 Jacqui Slack, GBR 3:12:04 82
4 Sandra Koblmueller, AUT 3:13:59 75
5 Carina Wasle, AUT 3:19:29 69
6 Verena Eisenbarth, GER 3:23:04 63
7 Lenka Cibulkova, CZE 3:27:06 58
8 Elke Innerebner, ITA 3:27:39 53
XTERRA CZECH ALL-TIME PRO WINNERS
Year Men Women
2002 Olivier Marceau Candy Angle
2003 Nicolas Lebrun Jamie Whitmore
2004 Nicolas Lebrun Jamie Whitmore
2005 Olivier Marceau Renata Bucher
2006 Nicolas Lebrun Renata Bucher
2008 Nicolas Lebrun Carina Wasle
2009 Franky Batelier Carina Wasle
2010 Franky Batelier Renata Bucher
2011 Ronny Dietz Marion Lorblanchet
2012 Nicolas Lebrun Helena Erbenova
2013 Felix Schumann Helena Erbenova
2014 Ruben Ruzafa Kathrin Mueller
2015 Ben Allen Helena Erbenova

XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR UPDATE

Erbenova made it mathematically impossible for anyone to catch her after today’s win and Roger Serrano nearly did the same thing with his second-place showing.   With three races to go only Francois Carloni and Ruben Ruzafa have a mathematical chance at catching Serrano.  For Ruzafa to contend he’d have to do the XTERRA Denmark / XTERRA European Championship double – a tough task as Denmark is on Saturday, August 29th and the European Championship in England is on Sunday, August 30th.  Not impossible, but not easy.  And while there are a myriad of scenarios where Carloni could catch Serrano all are tough and Serrano does hold his destiny in his own hands.  With wins at the last three races (Germany, Denmark, England) nobody could match his final points score.  XTERRA European Tour Points Rules Document.

2015 XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR POINT STANDINGS              
After 9 – 8.8.15                    
                       
Men     S S G S G G S G G
Pl Name, NAT TOTAL MLT POR ESP GRE SUI FRA SWE ITA CZE
1 Roger Serrano, ESP 526 67 56 82 67 82 DNS DNS 82 90
2 Francois Carloni, FRA 422 47 67 75 61 DNS 82 DNS 90 DNS
3 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 375 DNS 75 100 DNS DNS 100 DNS 100 DNS
4 Jan Pyott, SUI 347 DNS 23 49 DNS 69 DNS 61 63 82
5 Kris Coddens, BEL 232 DNS DNS DNS 75 90 DNS 67 DNS DNS
6 Jan Kubicek, CZE 222 39 DNS DNS DNS 63 DNS 51 DNS 69
7 Albert Soley, ESP 219 43 39 90 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
8 Henry Sleight, GBR 210 DNS 25 DNS 33 58 49 DNS 45 DNS
9 Arthur Forissier, FRA 175 DNS DNS DNS DNS 100 75 DNS DNS DNS
10 Markus Benesch, AUT 149 DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS 69 37
11 Tomas Kubek, SVK 145 DNS 43 DNS 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS 63
12 Yeray Luxem, BEL 136 DNS 61 DNS DNS 75 DNF DNS DNS DNS
13 Martial Schmidt, FRA 132 DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 34 DNS 49 DNS
14 Veit Hönle, GER 131 DNS DNS DNS DNS 53 37 DNS DNS 41
15 Nicolas Fernandez, FRA 122 75 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
16 Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA 118 30 DNS DNS 30 DNS DNS DNF 58 DNS
17 Xavier Riart, ESP 105 36 DNS 69 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNF DNS
18 Tim Van Daele, BEL 103 25 27 DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
19 James Walker, GBR 102 DNS DNS DNS 21 DNS DNS 47 34 DNS
20 Malte Plappert, GER 100 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 69 DNS DNS 31
21 Ben Allen, AUS 100 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 100
22 Fabien Combaluzier, FRA 92 56 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
23 Bradley Weiss, RSA 90 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 90 DNS DNS DNF
24 Sam Osborne, NZL 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS DNS
25 Jim Thijs, BEL 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS
26 Michael Szymoniuk, AUT 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75
27 Lars Van der Eerden, NED 66 21 DNP DNS DNS 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS
28 Gonzalo Bernal, ESP 63 DNS DNS 63 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
29 Damien Guillemet, FRA 63 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 63 DNS DNF DNS
30 Brice Daubord, FRA 61 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
31 Ruben Salmeron, ESP 58 DNS DNS 58 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
32 Rory Downie, GBR 58 33 DNP DNS 25 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
33 Damien Derobert, FRA 58 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 58 DNS DNS DNS
34 Lubos Truhlar, CZE 58 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 58
35 Llewellyn Holmes, GBR 57 DNS 30 DNS 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
36 Tomas Jurkovic, SVK 56 DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
37 Lars Erik Fricke, GER 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS
38 Jose Borrino, ESP 53 DNS DNS 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
39 Tomas Jiranek, CZE 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 53 DNS DNS DNS
40 Fabio Guidelli, ITA 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 53 DNS
41 Pavel Andreev, RUS 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 53
42 Clement Briere, FRA 51 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNF
43 Hector Guerra, ESP 51 DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNF DNS
44 Vaclav Holub, CZE 49 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 49
45 Juan Gracia, ESP 45 DNS DNS 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
46 Florian Luquet, FRA 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 45 DNS DNS DNS
47 Jan Francke, CZE 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 45
48 Christopher Schwab, AUT 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNF
49 Dominique Fernando, ESP 41 DNS DNS 41 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
50 Antonello Pallotta, ITA 41 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 41 DNS
51 Juan Marti, ESP 37 DNS DNS 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
52 Marc Pschebizin, GER 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 37 DNS DNS DNS
53 Marco Spadaccia, ITA 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 37 DNS
54 Grigoris Souvatzoglou, GRE 36 DNS DNS DNS 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
55 Carlos Martinez, ESP 34 DNS DNS 34 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
56 Pavel Jindra, CZE 34 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 34
57 Jens Roth, GER 33 DNS 33 DNS DNS DNF DNS DNS DNS DNS
58 Sergio Espejo, ESP 31 DNS DNS 31 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
59 Dr. Felix Schumann, GER 31 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 31 DNS DNF DNS
60 Javier Oliver, ESP 28 DNS DNS 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
61 Sebastian Veith, GER 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 28 DNS DNS DNS
62 Arthur Serrieres, FRA 27 27 DNS DNS DNS DNF DNS DNS DNS DNS
63 Nicolas Corentin, BEL 25 DNS DNS DNS 25 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
64 Matt Dewis, GBR 23 23 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
65 Simone Calamai, ITA 23 DNS DNS DNS 23 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
66 Rob Woestenborghs, BEL 21 DNS 21 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
Wom     S S G S G G S G G
Pl Name, NAT TOTAL MLT POR ESP GRE SUI FRA SWE ITA CZE
1 Helena Erbenova, CZE 607 DNS 67 100 75 x82 90 75 100 100
2 Brigitta Poor, HUN 536 75 61 90 67 90 63 x61 DNS 90
3 Carina Wasle, AUT 387 DNS DNS DNS 61 100 DNF 67 90 69
4 Louise Fox, GBR 340 51 51 82 56 63 37 DNS DNS DNS
5 Jessica Roberts, GBR 259 47 DNF DNS 51 53 45 DNS 63 DNS
6 Sandra Koblemueller, AUT 211 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS 69 DNS DNS 75
7 Karin Hansen, SUI 197 43 47 DNS DNS 49 DNF DNS 58 DNS
8 Kathrin Mueller, GER 175 DNS 75 DNS DNS DNS 100 DNS DNS DNS
9 Morgane Riou, FRA 156 DNS 56 DNS 47 DNS 53 DNS DNS DNS
10 Myriam Guillot, FRA 151 DNS DNS DNS DNS 69 82 DNS DQ DNS
11 Elisabetta Curridori, ITA 138 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 82 DNS
12 Maud Golsteyn, NED 136 61 DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS
13 Lenka Cibulkova, CZE 99 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 41 DNS DNS 58
14 Jacqui Slack, GBR 82 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 82
15 Coralie Redelsperger, FRA 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS DNS DNS
16 Renata Bucher, SUI 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS
17 Olga Parfinenko, RUS 69 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 69 DNS
18 Verena Eisenbarth, GER 63 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 63
19 Ladina Buss, SUI 58 DNS DNS DNS DNS 58 DNS DNS DNS DNS
20 Becci Kaltenmeier, GER 58 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 58 DNS DNS DNS
21 Sabina Rzepka, POL 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 53 DNS
22 Elke Innerebner, ITA 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 53
23 Celine Augueux, FRA 49 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 DNS DNS DNS
24 Genziana Cenni, ITA 49 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 DNS
25 Sofia Brites, POR 43 DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
26 Deniz Dimaki, GRE 43 DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
27 Danica Spiteri, MLT 39 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS

Next up: August 15 – XTERRA Germany Championship, Zittau*


2015 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

The XTERRA Czech Championship was the 28th of 40 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the world qualify for the 20th annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on Nov. 1.

DATE WORLD TOUR EVENT (Pro Winners)
8-Feb XTERRA Philippines Championship (Brad Weiss / Flora Duffy)
22-Feb XTERRA South Africa Championship (Stuart Marais / Flora Duffy)
7-Mar XTERRA Motatapu (Dougal Allan / Jess Simson & Simone Maier)
28-Mar XTERRA Saipan Championship (Ben Allen / Jacqui Slack)
29-Mar XTERRA Malta (Nicolas Fernandez / Brigitta Poor)
29-Mar XTERRA Costa Rica (Rom Akerson / Lesley Paterson)
11-Apr XTERRA Guam Championship (Ben Allen / Carina Wasle)
11-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Championship (Braden Currie / Suzie Snyder)
18-Apr XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship (Braden Currie / Flora Duffy)
25-Apr XTERRA West Championship (Francisco Serrano / Lesley Paterson)
25-Apr XTERRA Tahiti (Brice Daubord / Sarah Backler)
26-Apr XTERRA Reunion (Brad Weiss / Carla Van Huyssteen)
2-May XTERRA Asian Tour Championship (Brad Weiss / Myriam Guillot)
10-May XTERRA Brazil (Diogo Malagon / Sabrina Gobbo)
16-May XTERRA Southeast Championship (Braden Currie / Lesley Paterson)
16-May XTERRA Portugal (Ruben Ruzafa / Kathrin Mueller)
7-Jun XTERRA Spain Championship (Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova)
14-Jun XTERRA East Championship (Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder)
20-Jun XTERRA Greece (Kris Coddens / Helena Erbenova)
27-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Championship (Arthur Forissier / Carina Wasle)
27-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter (Karsten Madsen / Heather Pady)
4-Jul XTERRA Freedom Fest (Sergio Florian / Laurel Dudley)
5-Jul XTERRA Victoria (Brent McMahon / Zoe Dawson)
5-Jul XTERRA France Championship (Ruben Ruzafa / Kathrin Mueller)
11-Jul XTERRA Sweden (Sam Osborne / Helena Erbenova)
18-Jul XTERRA Mountain Championship (Josiah Middaugh / Flora Duffy)
25-Jul XTERRA Parry Sound (Sean Bechtel / Heather Pady)
26-Jul XTERRA Italy Championship (Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova)
8-Aug XTERRA Mexico (Josiah Middaugh / Fabiola Corona)
8-Aug XTERRA Czech Championship (Ben Allen / Helena Erbenova)
15-Aug XTERRA Germany Championship, Zittau*
16-Aug XTERRA Canmore, Alberta, Canada!
22-Aug XTERRA Adventure Fest Maui, Kapalua, HI, USA =
23-Aug XTERRA Quebec – Quebec City, Quebec, Canada!
29-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada!
29-Aug XTERRA Denmark, Tilsvilde*
29-Aug XTERRA Japan, Hokkaido+ (start 2016 Asian Tour)
30-Aug XTERRA England / European Championship, Vachery Estate, Surrey*
13-Sep XTERRA Woolastook, Upper Kingsclear, New Brunswick, Canada
19-Sep XTERRA USA Championship, Ogden/Snowbasin, Utah, USA#
1-Nov XTERRA World Championship, Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

* European Tour / + Asian Tour / # America Tour / ! Canada Series / = Hawaii qualifiers

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New Date for XTERRA Dino

The XTERRA Dino Southern Indiana off-road triathlon in Versailles, IN has been rescheduled to September 5th after a gnarly storm wiped out the original date.

“More than 100 trees were cut and cleared off of the mountain bike trail the weekend after the original race date, thousands of small branches removed, and numerous washouts were repaired,” explained organizer Brian Holzhausen. The hiking trails were hit every bit as hard, but have also been cleared of fallen trees.”

The new date makes it a points scoring event for the 2016 America Tour, and a great chance for amateurs around the Midwest to get a jump start on next year’s regional championship chase. All those registered for the original date will have their entries transferred to the new date and new registrations are available at http://www.dinoseries.com/southern-indiana-triathlon.

“The park’s campground is booked full for Labor Day Weekend, however, the park management has given us special exception to allow camping at the race site!” exclaimed Holzhausen. “There will be hot showers available at the pool shower house building. Camping will be $5 per person per night ($20 maximum per family) going directly to the park to cover the cost of water heaters, cleaning, etc.”

JulieDibensBeachwideMauibyCruse

Maui Circa 2007 was All Stoltz and Dibens

In 2007 Conrad “The Caveman” Stoltz became the first pro man to win his third XTERRA World Title on the same day Julie Dibens won the first of her three straight XTERRA World Championships in Maui.

“Oh the good times,” recalled Dibens.  “I remember showing up to Maui for the first time and totally feeling out of my depth! I knew I was in good shape but really feared for my life on the plunge. I remember riding my bike like I stole it and literally wanting to stop after making it down the plunge unscathed to regroup and have a big sigh of relief. Once on the run I was just pumped to be in the lead of the world champs and was determined to try and run away for a world title.”

The first leg – a one-mile swim in the warm waters of the clear blue Pacific Ocean – proved who the strongest swimmers were. 20-year-old Jordan Bryden was first out of the water in 19:47, followed by Sergio Saruiento from Mexico, Bevan Docherty from New Zealand, then Olivier Marceau and Cedric Fleureton from France.  The second pack included the brothers from Spain – Hektor and Eneko Llanos, chased closely by South Africans Lieuwe Boonstra and Stoltz.

Once out on the treacherous lava-strewn jeep track trails heading up the lower slopes of Haleakala, the race belonged to those with the biggest lungs and best abilities on the mountain bike.  Stoltz went from 10th out of the water to first on the bike by the notorious Heartbreak Hill section at mile 4, followed 20 seconds back by Marceau, then Fleureton, Docherty and Llanos.

Six miles and more than 1,000-feet of climbing later (there’s 3,000 total feet of climbing on the bike) Marceau had taken over the lead with Stoltz 20 seconds back. Two-minutes later came Eneko Llanos, Docherty, and German Felix Schumann had moved into 5th. For the next mile the field was tasked with climbing roughly 600-feet to Ned’s Peak – the highest point on the course at 1,400 feet.

What goes up, must come down and a sharp right hand turn at the Peak sends riders down the Plunge – a furious downhill and site of some of the most gnarly crashes in XTERRA history. This is the spot on the course where Stoltz was anticipating making his move, but Marceau held position and remained in the lead at mile 15.5.

“I thought I could get away from him on the downhill but his technical skills have improved and I didn’t catch him until right at transition,” said Stoltz.

Stoltz and Marceau rode shoulder-to-shoulder into the bike-to-run transition and went stride for stride in the beginning of the 6.9 mile trail run until the first big climb when Stoltz started to pull away.

“We’ve been racing against each other for 11 years and I’ve never run faster and he’s always been a superior athlete, especially running,” said Stoltz. “At the 2000 Olympic games we were in the lead coming off the bike together and he ran two minutes faster, so I just thought I’d try to hang in there and see what happens. Then on the climbs I couldn’t believe it, he started slacking off and I though he was playing games with me. I concentrated, stuck to my pace and he dropped off. I was really blown away.  I would have never fancied running away from Olivier, and even the other strong runners because this field is classy.”

Turned out Marceau wasn’t playing cat-and-mouse, he simply didn’t have enough to respond when Stoltz took off.

“My legs were very weak and I couldn’t keep up with Conrad. He’s used to this kind of race and he’s very strong and his pace is always the same,” said Marceau.

Marceau finished 1:11 behind Stoltz and in the runner-up spot for the second straight year (he was 19 seconds behind Hamish Carter in 2006) and for the third time in Maui (also 2nd in 2004).

Perhaps the most remarkable feat of the afternoon happened on the bike course behind the two frontrunners as American Brian Smith picked off more than 100 riders to move into the third position. Smith was 113th out of the water, and moved up to 3rd place by virtue of the fastest bike split – a blazing 1:30:51.

“This is definitely the best race of my XTERRA career and to do it in the biggest race of the season is really special,” said Smith.

While Smith was stellar on the bike, Aussie Chris Legh was magic on the run. Propelled by the fastest split of the day (43:53) he passed eight guys to finish 4th overall, his best finish in Maui. It’s the second time Legh has had the fastest run of the day in Maui (also in 2003).

“I’ve raced here enough to know you gotta keep going and when I got to the run I was fortunate my legs turned around because if I ran like I rode I’d have been in trouble,” said Legh.

Bevan Docherty, the Silver medalist at the 2004 Olympic triathlon event, came out of the water with the leaders, had the 13th best bike and the second best run to round out the top 5.

“It was a fun race, harder than I thought, and I certainly have a lot of respect for those guys like Conrad,” said Docherty, whose only other XTERRA was in Colorado back in 2002. “But, for my first world champs I’m really happy because this is one of the hardest races out there. On the bike I was just waiting for the descent, but then you can’t sit down, you can’t even relax on the downhill, so you’re constantly working and that’s something that gets to you. Just the constant grinding and no relaxing. It’s a really hard race.”

Felix Schumann had a brilliant race for 6th, 2005 XTERRA World Champ Nico Lebrun finished 7th, Canadian Mike Vine was 8th, Spain’s David Henestrosa 9th, and Nico Pfitzenmaier placed 10th. American favorites Josiah Middaugh (17th) and Seth Wealing (46th) both had mechanicals.

In the women’s race, for the first time in four years, the women’s XTERRA World Champion wasn’t named Melanie McQuaid (2003-05-06 winner) or Jamie Whitmore (04).

“Breaking the Melanie-Jamie streak had to be done. They’ve dominated the last four years, and somebody needed to break in there and the fact it was me was fantastic,” said Dibens that day. “Of course I know they’ll come back next year stronger and they’ll be gunning for me.”

Julie Dibens was flawless and led the race from start to finish by posting the fastest swim (more than a minute faster than Sibylle Matter and two minutes quicker than McQuaid), the 4th best bike and the best run.

“I think I pretty much had the perfect race, it was awesome! I had a good swim, and knew I had to have that lead coming out. Then I got out on the bike and put my head down, didn’t look back, didn’t ask for splits, just concentrated on what I was doing,” said Dibens.

Early on the bike 3x XTERRA World Champ McQuaid looked poised to chase Dibens down as she cut a minute out of Dibens swim lead by mile 4.  By mile 15, Dibens had added a little to her lead and by the bike-to-run transition she had 1:24 on McQuaid.

“Julie was really strong and I don’t want to take anything away from her race because she’s awesome and I look forward to another chance to do battle with her, but I didn’t have the kind of race that really made it much of a battle and that’s disappointing,” said McQuaid.

Whitmore was in a pretty big hole from the start as she exited the swim more than four minutes behind Dibens. Her sixth best bike split landed her in 6th position at the bike-to-run transition where she turned on the jets and moved into 3rd at the finish.

“I actually had a strong swim but definitely not what Julie can do,” said Whitmore. “After crashing out last year there’s no way I can complain this year. I learned something new, and I had a phenomenal season and this isn’t the end of me so it’s just a matter of getting everything together.”

Watch the 2007 Show – 2007 Results

2007 XTERRA World Championship from XTERRA TV on Vimeo.

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Saipan Hit By Typhoon Soudelor

Saipan holds a special place in the hearts of the XTERRA Tribe so when the news and images from Typhoon Soudelor’s impact on the island started surfacing the social media accounts of XTERRA racers around the world lit-up with notes of prayer and encouragement for the people of the Northern Marianas.

Located in the middle of the Western Pacific Ocean – 1,300 miles south of Tokyo, 1,400 miles east of Manila, 3,200 miles west of Honolulu, and 2,900 miles north of Sydney, Saipan has been a staple on the XTERRA World Tour and dubbed the “Crown Jewel” since 2002. As such, a wealth of deep-rooted friendships have formed and the devastation caused by the storm was heartbreaking.

The good news is there have been no casualties reported from Saipan after the “strongest tropical cyclone on Earth this year” rolled directly over the island two days ago.

A weather.com report explains how “high winds downed power poles, removed roofs off buildings and flooded Saipan’s power plant. About 500 people were in emergency shelters, as of Thursday morning, the Red Cross told the Associated Press.”

Officials are expecting the power to be out for perhaps two months.

If you’d like to help out our many friends in Saipan perhaps the best way is to make a specific donation to the Saipan chapter of the American Red Cross. Click here for a donation form and be specific on the form and on your check to have it applied to the Saipan Typhoon Soudelor relief fund.

P1210404

Some of World’s Best in Action on Saturday

The XTERRA World Tour features two major races Saturday with the 13th running of the XTERRA Czech Championship and the 8th edition of the XTERRA Mexico Championship.

Both feature some of the sports best off-roaders and here we provide a glimpse of the showdowns to come…

XTERRA CZECH PREVIEW

It’s going to be a hot one in Prachatice, both literally and figuratively, with temperatures expected to be in the high 90s on race day for the ninth of 12 races on the XTERRA European Tour (XET).

“The weather is really hot right now,” exclaimed organizer Michal Pilousek Jr. “We expect 36 C (97 F) on race day! The course is very dry and fast, but the hills around Prachatice are so steep and rocky they will make the race really challenging!”

Pilousek said the water in the Kristanovicky Rybnik (highest elevation of any pond in the Czech) is heating up too and they may just have the first non-wetsuit swim in history, and the Czech race has a lot of history to look back on. XTERRA Czech was one of the first international races on the World Tour when it debuted in 2002, and each year they host a series of events in country, including kids races, that have built a strong XTERRA following.

On Friday afternoon they’ll host 250 little XTERRA Warriors for a free duathlon race in the middle of the city.  “For most of the children it‘s the first time they‘ve raced in a wonderful renaissance city center on closed roads with a full-size transition area and finish under the official XTERRA arch!” exclaimed Pilousek.

On Saturday it’s the big kids turn, and some really big kids are turning out with the likes of XTERRA European Tour points leader Roger Serrano of Spain, XTERRA Asian Tour Champion Bradley Weiss of South Africa, 15x XTERRA World Tour race winner Ben Allen of Australia, and Euro Tour regulars Jan Pyott (4th), Jan Kubicek (9th), Markus Benesch (14th), Tomas Kubek (21st), Malte Plappert (24th). Theo Blignaut from South Africa is also in Prachatice for a run at the title, along with Vaclav Holub and Lubos Truhlar.

In the women’s race two-time winner, current XET leader, Olympian, and home country hero Helena Erbenova

Erbenova has been on fire of late, winning four XTERRA majors in the last two months. She’ll be up against another two-time Czech winner, Carina Wasle from Austria who won this year’s XTERRA Switzerland Championship, Jacqui Slack of the UK who won in Saipan this year, and Brigitta Poor of Hungary who won in Malta and is ranked 2nd in the Tour right now. Other contenders include Sandra Koblmueller (11th), Sabina Rzepka (21st), Lenka Cibulkova (23rd), and Nicole Olivari.

Learn more at www.xterra.cz and look for more pictures, race previews and recaps from managing director Dave Nicholas on our Facebook page /xterraeurope.

XTERRA CZECH ALL-TIME PRO WINNERS
Year Men Women
2002 Olivier Marceau Candy Angle
2003 Nicolas Lebrun Jamie Whitmore
2004 Nicolas Lebrun Jamie Whitmore
2005 Olivier Marceau Renata Bucher
2006 Nicolas Lebrun Renata Bucher
2008 Nicolas Lebrun Carina Wasle
2009 Franky Batelier Carina Wasle
2010 Franky Batelier Renata Bucher
2011 Ronny Dietz Marion Lorblanchet
2012 Nicolas Lebrun Helena Erbenova
2013 Felix Schumann Helena Erbenova
2014 Ruben Ruzafa Kathrin Mueller

MIDDAUGH TO RACE XTERRA MEXICO

A few of America’s fastest XTERRA racers – Josiah Middaugh, Branden Rakita, and Suzie Snyder – are headed south of the border to the mountains of Tapalpa, Jalisco for a battle against Mexico’s best on their home soil on Saturday.

Last year’s winner Irving Perez, a bronze medalist at the Pan Am Games two weeks ago, returns to defend his title. Francisco “Paco” Serrano, a former Olympian and long-time XTERRA star who upset Middaugh to win the West Championship in April is on the list and so is Rom Akerson, who got the best of Middaugh in Costa Rica in March. The young-gun Mauricio Mendez, who was 5th at XTERRA Worlds last year, is also racing.

“I think I will have my work cut out for me with some very tough and fast athletes from Mexico and Central America,” said Middaugh. “I don’t know much about the course so I’m not sure what to expect but that is what I look forward to.”

Serrano said it’s “by far the strongest field for the XTERRA Mexico Championship” and added “I hope I come up with my best form to be at the podium and a win will make me so happy. I cancelled pretty much all other plans to focus on this race, Maui, and the ITU Cross Champs. I’m not very happy with mud and altitude, but bring it on!”

In the women’s race Snyder looks to pick up her third win of the season but will have to get past the defending and three-time XTERRA Mexico Champion and former Olympian Fabiola Corona, as well as Maria Barrera and Brazil’s Laura Diaz.

“I’ve actually never been to Mexico,” said Snyder. “That is kind of why I’m going; it’s a new place and culture to experience. I’m not sure what to expect really, especially against Fabiola who obviously has the home course advantage, but I’m certainly going in with the goal of winning and enjoying the experience!”

While it’s the first time to Tapalpa for Middaugh and Snyder, it’s a familiar and favorite stop on the World Tour for Rakita.

“Javier (Rosas) and his team always put on an amazing event in Tapalpa and I’m really excited to go back,” said Rakita.  “The community support is great for the race and the post-race awards ceremony in the town square is a lot of fun and the fireworks display at the end is a sight to see.  Tapalpa is a cool, sleepy little town with some amazing food and entirely different as it is not a tourist trap area.  I am looking forward to getting homemade ice cream from the street carts.”

Learn more at http://www.xterramexico.com.mx/

ALL-TIME XTERRA MEXICO CHAMPIONS
2014 (Tapalpa) Irving Perez, Fabiola Corona
2013 (Tapalpa) Leonardo Chacon, Fabiola Corona
2012 (Tapalpa) Francisco Serrano, Renata Bucher
2011 (Tapalpa) Seth Wealing, Shonny Vanlandingham
2010 (Valle de Bravo) Seth Wealing, Fabiola Corona
2009 (Valle de Bravo) Seth Wealing, Shonny Vanlandingham
2006 (Puerto Vallarta) Francisco Serrano, Jamie Whitmore

Duffy

XTERRA on FOX Sports This August

The 2014 XTERRA USA and World Championship race broadcasts are starting a big run on Fox Sports Networks around the nation in August.

The hour-long broadcasts will be showcased in just about every Fox Sports market via regional networks such as Fox Sports West, South, North, etc…

Up first is the USA Championship with several repeat airings through August 15.

The World Championship show debuts on August 21 and runs through August 30.

Check your local listings for Fox Sports programming schedule or visit the XTERRA TV broadcast schedule for more listings: http://www.xterraplanet.com/television/broadcast-schedule/

Helena Ramp2Web

XTERRA World Tour Update

For the first weekend since the end of May there are no major XTERRA championship races on the World Tour schedule this weekend.

The lull doesn’t last long, however, with gems in Mexico and the Czech Republic next weekend, a classic at XTERRA Germany on August 15, the return of XTERRA racing in Japan at a new venue in Hokkaido on August 29, then Denmark (Aug. 29) and the XTERRA European Championship in England on August 30.

With four races remaining in the XTERRA European Tour the men’s and women’s Tour titles are still up for grabs.  Here’s a look at the top 10 men and women in points after the first eight of 12 races:

Men    
Pl Name, NAT TOTAL
1 Roger Serrano, ESP 436
2 Francois Carloni, FRA 422
3 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 375
4 Jan Pyott, SUI 265
5 Kris Coddens, BEL 232
6 Albert Soley, ESP 219
7 Henry Sleight, GBR 210
8 Arthur Forissier, FRA 175
9 Jan Kubicek, CZE 153
10 Yeray Luxem, BEL 136
Fem    
Pl Name, NAT TOTAL
1 Helena Erbenova, CZE 589
2 Brigitta Poor, HUN 446
3 Louise Fox, GBR 340
4 Carina Wasle, AUT 318
5 Jessica Roberts, GBR 259
6 Myriam Guillot, FRA 151
7 Karin Hansen, SUI 197
8 Kathrin Mueller, GER 175
9 Morgane Riou, FRA 156
10 Maud Golsteyn, NED 136

Find complete, detailed rankings at:
http://www.xterraeurope.com/ranking/

Here’s a look at the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series Standings, with just the finale in Utah on September 19th to determine the final standings:

PRO MEN            
Pl Name West SE East Mtn TOT
1 Josiah Middaugh, USA x90 90 100 100 290
2 Braden Currie, NZL DNS 100 90 82 272
3 Chris Ganter, USA 82 82 75 x49 239
4 Branden Rakita, USA 69 63 69 x31 201
5 Ryan Ignatz, USA x45 53 82 63 198
6 Alex Modestou, USA x49 58 63 69 190
7 Craig Evans, USA 58 75 49 DNS 182
8 Brad Zoller, USA 53 x49 53 53 159
9 Karsten Madsen, CAN 63 DNF 58 DNS 121
10 Francisco Serrano, MEX 100 DNS DNS DNS 100
PRO WOMEN          
Pl Name West SE East Mtn TOT
1 Emma Garrard, USA x90 90 90 90 270
2 Suzie Snyder, USA 82 82 100 x69 264
3 Lesley Paterson, GBR 100 100 DNS DNS 200
4 Sara Schuler, USA 58 58 DNS 82 198
5 Maia Ignatz, USA x49 63 75 58 196
6 Kara LaPoint, USA 63 53 69 DNS 185
7 Catherine Sterling, USA DNS 75 82 DNS 157
8 Debby Sullivan, USA 45 x31 58 49 152
9 Rebecca Blatt, USA 31 34 45 41 151
10 Sara McLarty, USA x41 45 49 53 147
Erbenova

Ruzafa, Erbenova win XTERRA Italy

(Lago di Scanno, Abruzzo) – Reigning and three-time XTERRA World Champion Ruben Ruzafa of Spain and Helena Erbenova of the Czech Republic won the XTERRA Italy Championship in Scanno this afternoon.

It’s the 14th straight major for Ruzafa and his 4th in a row on this year’s XTERRA European Tour.  Ruzafa hasn’t lost an XTERRA Championship race since winning the 2013 World Championship.

For Erbenova it marks the end of an incredible two months where she raced eight times in eight weeks.  During the stretch she won at XTERRA Spain, XTERRA Greece, XTERRA Sweden, and today in Italy.

“So many races and I knew I couldn’t be in top form at all of them but just tried to do my best,” said Erbenova, a two-time XTERRA European Tour Champion.  “I enjoy the races, to be at such amazing places and meet amazing people.  Now I’d like to have a good rest and spend some time with my daughter!”

Ruben Ruzafa

XTERRA Managing Director Dave Nicholas was on-site to take in all the action and brings us this report…

After two years of hard rain and cold weather the day could not have been more perfect for XTERRA Italy.  And, another perfect day for the unstoppable Ruben Ruzafa and 3-time Italy winner Helena Erbenova.

Ruben took the win by 5 1/2 minutes over Francois Carloni.  For Carloni, second was a complete surprise.

“I came this morning thinking I cannot finish because I cannot run.  Yesterday my back was terrible and my knee terrible because of a fall last week,” he grinned.  “But today I am the most surprised person here because everything went perfect.  I could run better than I have all year.”

As for Ruben – he laughed at Carloni saying “I tried to go ahead of Francois and pull him a little bit, but every time I passed him, he comes and passes me back.  Finally at the top of the big hill I got ahead and stayed ahead.”

Roger Serrano had another good performance with a solid 3rd.  As usual Serrano had the big lead from the swim, but “Ruben and Carloni are just too strong on the bike now,” he said.

The best story of the day has to be Belgian Jim Thijs and his Italian partner Elisabetta Curridori.  They have been together now for a while and both have been racing XTERRA for many years.  Elisabetta comes from a Sardinia family of XTERRA champions and has graduated to elite this year.  Jim Thijs ran by me yelling “JIMBO IS BACK.”  The reason why this is such a great story is the couple both finished fourth.  Jim has had trouble this year after having been a contender years ago.  It was a great day for Italy with Elisabetta 4th woman and age grouper Francesca Figini 5th overall and a total of three Italian men in the top 10 overall.

Winner Erbenova said she had a terrible swim, but she always says this.

“I had a really good bike, but it was so hard,” she smiled.

Starting the first loop of 18K Carina Wasle and Curridori led into town but Erbenova was coming on strong.  The always smiling Myriam Guillot-Boisset was 4th in town just behind Renata Bucher.  By the time the women came back to town to start the shorter second loop Helena was up by two minutes.

“Carina passed me on the downhill so fast” said Erbenova.

“I was really happy with my downhill” said the tiny Austrian Wasle.

Guillot-Boisset had a fall on the downhill and had to fix her bike.  “This took so much energy because I am not so good fixing the bike” she said.  But Myriam kept her 3rd place on the bike and for 3rd woman overall.  Renata had won the ETU race last weekend and was a bit tired coming in.  She relinquished 4th to Elisabetta on the run but continued to a top 5 finish.

A great race with smiles everywhere.  The village of Scanno was totally crazy.  Businesses were open with bikers and runners whizzing by.  Tourists out for a stroll walked the streets and bikers had to sometimes swerve to miss them.  The marshals did what they could, but the citizens and visitors were so thrilled seeing this colorful event there were times you could count dozens of phones taking videos and photos and people jostling to get a better view.

The vibe through town stayed constant all day.  Riders come up to the village from transition then take a hard right turn down a few sets of stairs making a loop in town and climbing back up just a few feet from where they descended minutes ago.  Red Bull had their disco wagon at this spot and the music rocked all afternoon.  It was truly exciting.  Think of hundreds of bikers climbing past 1,000-year-old churches on cobbled streets, blasting down steps past fruit stands, climbing back up again past restaurants and more fabulous, ancient stone houses and then disappearing up into the mountain – only to come and do it again on the second lap.  Some might say there is too much biking on the rough streets of Scanno, but nobody that raced here would agree.  This is one tough, hard course that simply everyone enjoys to the max.  It took the amazing Ruben Ruzafa nearly 3 hours to finish; that should say enough.

The event ended with a big Abruzzo BBQ at the main compound.  The DJ kept the music going, the announcers hailed every finisher.  It was one heck of a day.  Why weren’t you here?

Pro Men Results

Pl Name Time Points
1 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 2:52:49 100
2 Francois Carloni, FRA 2:58:23 90
3 Roger Serrano, ESP 3:03:26 82
4 Jim Thijs, BEL 3:05:27 75
5 Markus Benesch, AUT 3:06:30 69
6 Jan Pyott, SUI 3:11:43 63
7 Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA 3:13:11 58
8 Fabio Guidelli, ITA 3:13:26 53
9 Martial Schmidt, FRA 3:13:42 49
10 Henry Sleight, GBR 3:16:11 45

Also: Antonello Pallotta (41), Marco Spadaccia (37), James Walker (34)

Pro Women Results

Pl Name Time Points
1 Helena Erbenova, CZE 3:24:02 100
2 Carina Wasle, AUT 3:28:57 90
3 Elisabetta Curridori, ITA 3:37:16 82
4 Renata Bucher, SUI 3:41:23 75
5 Olga Parfinenko, RUS 3:52:01 69
6 Jessie Roberts, GBR 3:52:21 63
7 Karin Hansen, SUI 3:53:25 58
8 Sabina Rzepka, POL 4:01:49 53
9 Genziana Cenni, ITA 4:04:30 49

Photos

XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR UPDATE

XTERRA Italy was the eighth of 12 races in the XTERRA European Tour, and the fourth of seven Gold level events.  Elite athletes count their best four (4) Gold and three (3) Silver finishes.  Elites can compete in as many events as they wish, but will count only their best four Gold and three Silver finishes. How it Works.

*Tentative standings, pending final Italy results for elite finishers past top 10 men / top 5 women.

Next up: August 8 – XTERRA Czech Championship, Prachatice*

2015 XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR STANDINGS

Men S S G S G G S G
Pl Name, NAT TOTAL MLT POR ESP GRE SUI FRA SWE ITA
1 Roger Serrano, ESP 436 67 56 82 67 82 DNS DNS 82
2 Francois Carloni, FRA 422 47 67 75 61 DNS 82 DNS 90
3 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 375 DNS 75 100 DNS DNS 100 DNS 100
4 Jan Pyott, SUI 265 DNS 23 49 DNS 69 DNS 61 63
5 Kris Coddens, BEL 232 DNS DNS DNS 75 90 DNS 67 DNS
6 Albert Soley, ESP 219 43 39 90 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS
7 Henry Sleight, GBR 210 DNS 25 DNS 33 58 49 DNS 45
8 Arthur Forissier, FRA 175 DNS DNS DNS DNS 100 75 DNS DNS
9 Jan Kubicek, CZE 153 39 DNS DNS DNS 63 DNS 51 DNS
10 Yeray Luxem, BEL 136 DNS 61 DNS DNS 75 DNF DNS DNS
11 Martial Schmidt, FRA 132 DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 34 DNS 49
12 Nicolas Fernandez, FRA 122 75 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
13 Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA 118 30 DNS DNS 30 DNS DNS DNF 58
14 Markus Benesch, AUT 112 DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS 69
15 Xavier Riart, ESP 105 36 DNS 69 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNF
16 Tim Van Daele, BEL 103 25 27 DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS
17 James Walker, GBR 102 DNS DNS DNS 21 DNS DNS 47 34
18 Fabien Combaluzier, FRA 92 56 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
19 Veit Hönle, GER 90 DNS DNS DNS DNS 53 37 DNS DNS
20 Bradley Weiss, RSA 90 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 90 DNS DNS
21 Tomas Kubek, SVK 82 DNS 43 DNS 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS
22 Sam Osborne, NZL 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS
23 Jim Thijs, BEL 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75
24 Malte Plappert, GER 69 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 69 DNS DNS
25 Lars Van der Eerden, NED 66 21 DNP DNS DNS 45 DNS DNS DNS
26 Gonzalo Bernal, ESP 63 DNS DNS 63 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
27 Damien Guillemet, FRA 63 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 63 DNS DNF
28 Brice Daubord, FRA 61 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
29 Ruben Salmeron, ESP 58 DNS DNS 58 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
30 Rory Downie, GBR 58 33 DNP DNS 25 DNS DNS DNS DNS
31 Damien Derobert, FRA 58 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 58 DNS DNS
32 Llewellyn Holmes, GBR 57 DNS 30 DNS 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS
33 Tomas Jurkovic, SVK 56 DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS
34 Lars Erik Fricke, GER 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS
35 Jose Borrino, ESP 53 DNS DNS 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
36 Tomas Jiranek, CZE 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 53 DNS DNS
37 Fabio Guidelli, ITA 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 53
38 Clement Briere, FRA 51 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
39 Hector Guerra, ESP 51 DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNF
40 Juan Gracia, ESP 45 DNS DNS 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
41 Florian Luquet, FRA 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 45 DNS DNS
42 Christopher Schwab, AUT 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS
43 Dominique Fernando, ESP 41 DNS DNS 41 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
44 Antonello Pallotta, ITA 41 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 41
45 Juan Marti, ESP 37 DNS DNS 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
46 Marc Pschebizin, GER 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 37 DNS DNS
47 Marco Spadaccia, ITA 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 37
48 Grigoris Souvatzoglou, GRE 36 DNS DNS DNS 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS
49 Carlos Martinez, ESP 34 DNS DNS 34 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
50 Jens Roth, GER 33 DNS 33 DNS DNS DNF DNS DNS DNS
51 Sergio Espejo, ESP 31 DNS DNS 31 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
52 Dr. Felix Schumann, GER 31 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 31 DNS DNF
53 Javier Oliver, ESP 28 DNS DNS 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
54 Sebastian Veith, GER 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 28 DNS DNS
55 Arthur Serrieres, FRA 27 27 DNS DNS DNS DNF DNS DNS DNS
56 Nicolas Corentin, BEL 25 DNS DNS DNS 25 DNS DNS DNS DNS
57 Matt Dewis, GBR 23 23 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
58 Simone Calamai, ITA 23 DNS DNS DNS 23 DNS DNS DNS DNS
59 Rob Woestenborghs, BEL 21 DNS 21 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
Women S S G S G G S G
Pl Name, NAT TOTAL MLT POR ESP GRE SUI FRA SWE ITA
1 Helena Erbenova, CZE 589 DNS 67 100 75 82 90 75 100
2 Brigitta Poor, HUN 446 75 61 90 67 90 63 x61 DNS
3 Louise Fox, GBR 340 51 51 82 56 63 37 DNS DNS
4 Carina Wasle, AUT 318 DNS DNS DNS 61 100 DNF 67 90
5 Jessica Roberts, GBR 259 47 DNF DNS 51 53 45 DNS 63
6 Myriam Guillot, FRA 151 DNS DNS DNS DNS 69 82 DNS DQ
7 Karin Hansen, SUI 197 43 47 DNS DNS 49 DNF DNS 58
8 Kathrin Mueller, GER 175 DNS 75 DNS DNS DNS 100 DNS DNS
9 Morgane Riou, FRA 156 DNS 56 DNS 47 DNS 53 DNS DNS
10 Maud Golsteyn, NED 136 61 DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS DNS DNS
11 Sandra Koblemueller, AUT 136 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS 69 DNS DNS
12 Elisabetta Curridori, ITA 138 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 82
13 Coralie Redelsperger, FRA 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS DNS
14 Renata Bucher, SUI 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75
15 Olga Parfinenko, RUS 69 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 69
16 Ladina Buss, SUI 58 DNS DNS DNS DNS 58 DNS DNS DNS
17 Becci Kaltenmeier, GER 58 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 58 DNS DNS
18 Celine Augueux, FRA 49 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 DNS DNS
19 Sabina Rzepka, POL 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 53
20 Genziana Cenni, ITA 49 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 49
21 Sofia Brites, POR 43 DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
22 Deniz Dimaki, GRE 43 DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS
23 Lenka Cibulkova, CZE 41 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 41 DNS DNS
24 Danica Spiteri, MLT 39 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS

2015 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

The XTERRA Italy Championship was the 26th of 40 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the world qualify for the 20th annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on Nov. 1.

DATE WORLD TOUR EVENT (Pro Winners)
8-Feb XTERRA Philippines Championship (Brad Weiss / Flora Duffy)
22-Feb XTERRA South Africa Championship (Stuart Marais / Flora Duffy)
7-Mar XTERRA Motatapu (Dougal Allan / Jess Simson & Simone Maier)
28-Mar XTERRA Saipan Championship (Ben Allen / Jacqui Slack)
29-Mar XTERRA Malta (Nicolas Fernandez / Brigitta Poor)
29-Mar XTERRA Costa Rica (Rom Akerson / Lesley Paterson)
11-Apr XTERRA Guam Championship (Ben Allen / Carina Wasle)
11-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Championship (Braden Currie / Suzie Snyder)
18-Apr XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship (Braden Currie / Flora Duffy)
25-Apr XTERRA West Championship (Francisco Serrano / Lesley Paterson)
25-Apr XTERRA Tahiti (Brice Daubord / Sarah Backler)
26-Apr XTERRA Reunion (Brad Weiss / Carla Van Huyssteen)
2-May XTERRA Asian Tour Championship (Brad Weiss / Myriam Guillot)
10-May XTERRA Brazil (Diogo Malagon / Sabrina Gobbo)
16-May XTERRA Southeast Championship (Braden Currie / Lesley Paterson)
16-May XTERRA Portugal (Ruben Ruzafa / Kathrin Mueller)
7-Jun XTERRA Spain Championship (Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova)
14-Jun XTERRA East Championship (Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder)
20-Jun XTERRA Greece (Kris Coddens / Helena Erbenova)
27-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Championship (Arthur Forissier / Carina Wasle)
27-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter (Karsten Madsen / Heather Pady)
4-Jul XTERRA Freedom Fest (Sergio Florian / Laurel Dudley)
5-Jul XTERRA Victoria (Brent McMahon / Zoe Dawson)
5-Jul XTERRA France Championship (Ruben Ruzafa / Kathrin Mueller)
11-Jul XTERRA Sweden (Sam Osborne / Helena Erbenova)
18-Jul XTERRA Mountain Championship (Josiah Middaugh / Flora Duffy)
25-Jul XTERRA Parry Sound (Sean Bechtel / Heather Pady)
26-Jul XTERRA Italy Championship (Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova)
8-Aug XTERRA Mexico, Tapalpa
8-Aug XTERRA Czech Championship, Prachatice*
15-Aug XTERRA Germany Championship, Zittau*
16-Aug XTERRA Canmore, Alberta, Canada!
22-Aug XTERRA Adventure Fest Maui, Kapalua, HI, USA =
23-Aug XTERRA Quebec – Quebec City, Quebec, Canada!
29-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada!
29-Aug XTERRA Denmark, Tilsvilde*
29-Aug XTERRA Japan, Hokkaido+ (start 2016 Asian Tour)
30-Aug XTERRA England / European Championship, Vachery Estate, Surrey*
13-Sep XTERRA Woolastook, Upper Kingsclear, New Brunswick, Canada
19-Sep XTERRA USA Championship, Ogden/Snowbasin, Utah, USA#
1-Nov XTERRA World Championship, Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

* European Tour / + Asian Tour / # America Tour / ! Canada Series / = Hawaii qualifiers

Melanie McQuaid

A Decade Ago in Maui

Ten years ago at the 2005 XTERRA World Championship Nico Lebrun broke his arm in a hard-to-watch fall on lava rock just before winning his first world title and Melanie McQuaid became the first woman to win two.

We caught up with both of the champs from ’05 to see what they remembered from that day…

“I remember the swim in Maui that year started with a beautiful rainbow,” said McQuaid. “2005 was a great Worlds because I was very confident in my ability going into that race and I wasn’t off the mark. It was special because I had both Peter Reid and Brent McMahon, two Canadian legends, there to help me celebrate along with my dad and some of my best friends from Victoria. The 2005 season was excellent because Jamie and I had an amazing battle and went into the finals tied with two wins (my first time winning at high altitude thanks to training with Josiah) and a 2nd apiece- but she was stronger and took the top spot in Tahoe. I spent a lot of 2005 traveling with Danelle Kabush as she became a regular on tour and we did a bunch of the big Canadian mtb races together along with her becoming more regular in XTERRA.  In 2003 when I won my first one in Maui I found a Canadian loonie and some quarters on the way to the start line on the beach. It began a weird superstition that if I see any coins (silver or higher) it meant a good race was coming so I HAVE to pick them up even if it means stopping on my bike and turning around. I’m pretty sure I found money before 2005 as well : )”

Nico Lebrun

For Lebrun it was all in the master plan to win that one race…

“I remember a lot, and it’s full off emotions,” he wrote.   “I knew from the previous years that I was strong at this race, and always strong enough for the podium, but two times flats stopped me but I was always there … just never enough for the victory. So, in 2005 I changed my season.  I stopped longer, started the season slower, I wasn’t competitive in winter tri, and then I trained more slowly with more body weights during the Spring and I was not winning anything. Then in July, I said, now I start, and I built slowly in July and did a crazy month of August where my smallest week was 35h and biggest 40h with long ride on the road bikes, with many passes.  I wanted to climb, climb, climb…. and wanted to do 40000m+ (120000ft+) in the month on the bike plus in the run, but I really focused on the bike. Then in September I slowed down my training to race more, and started to be really fast by the end of the month. And it worked, I had my only big peak right in time and was full of energy. But I was lucky too, because with the hard tail I was riding all out, like I knew that nothing bad could happened. But in another side I was so stressed about flatting again on the last part of the bike when I took the lead. Then I hit the paved road and I knew it was for me, nothing could happen now! Nobody will run me down but I stayed focused, my body was at 100% and this feeling was amazing, to lead this race, with the helicopter on the side, I thought about the all way to get to this point. And we know the story after that. I lost my concentration a little bit too early on the last Km and crashed! At first it was embarrassing because everybody is watching you… then you get up and start to feel the pain and then I said to myself, what an idiot! I crossed the line and my friend René jump on me, saying, you won it, you won it… and I was thinking “fuck its painful, my arm, my elbow!!  It was my biggest success and my worst body problem at the same time. But now we remember the story, I wanted to win again with no pain to enjoy more, and I was close in 2009, but already so happy with one title and 3 podiums. And to be part of this family for almost 15 years, and I hope for the next 15 again minimum ;)”

Here are some excerpts from the official race report:

Overcast but warm conditions and a welcoming rainbow that touched down on the Pacific Ocean greeted 500 athletes at the sandy start line to the XTERRA World Championship at the Maui Prince Hotel in Makena. Nicolas LeBrun of France and Melanie McQuaid of Canada found the pot of gold at the end of that rainbow, capping a magical day for both as they won their respective pro divisions.

The fifth time’s a charm for LeBrun, who had the best bike of the day (1:29:13) in a field full of great mountain bikers. “He crushed the bike!” is how it was best described. LeBrun came out of the water more than two minutes behind the leaders in 55th place but went out on the run in first place by more than a minute. He finished the grueling 27-mile off-road adventure in 2:38:19, three minutes and twenty seconds faster than runner-up Eneko Llanos of Spain.

“I had a good swim, not my best, but good,” said LeBrun. “And I was able to start the bike with a good group, Josiah Middaugh, Nico Pfitzenmaier, and Robert Latschen and we go very fast together, but I did not feel very good at the start. It was because ‘Pfitz’ was very, very strong so I had a hard time to stay with him. After Heartbreak Hill (the first big climb on the bike) I could push more on the uphill and catch everybody and felt better and better.”

Better and better until he eventually caught and passed everybody, including Josiah Middaugh, Greg Krause, Francisco Serrano, Conrad Stoltz, Brent McMahon, Olivier Marceau, Eneko Llanos, and finally Mike Vine.

“When Nico caught me I could tell he had some horsepower today,” said Vine, who finished in 4th place.  “The last traverse he put a minute on me and my chain jammed and I had to get off the bike but even if I didn’t have that problem I think he still would’ve gapped me. When I got to T2 1:25 back I knew I was running for second place.”

LeBrun’s strength is his run, and with the elusive world title (he finished 2nd here in 2003 and 3rd in 2002) waiting at the finish line motivation wasn’t an issue.

“When you know you might win this race it’s not about your legs, it’s about your head, and your heartbeat,” said LeBrun, who might’ve broken his arm just a half-mile from the finish after taking a nasty tumble on lava rock (X-rays are tomorrow).

For the first time in a few years, two-time XTERRA World Champ Eneko Llanos had some bad luck.

“You never know what’s going to happen here.  A flat tire, a broken chain, a crash…that’s the magic of Maui,” said Llanos.  “I hit a rock and had a flat before halfway on the bike.  I fixed it with air because I have the liquid inside of the tires, but I didn’t want to put another tube inside because I was going to lose a lot of time. But the tire was losing so much air I had to stop four or five times to refill and put more air and it made the downhill very dangerous.”

First-year XTERRA pro Brent McMahon made a splash in his Maui debut by coming out of the water first in 19:42 and posting the fastest run, reeling in Pfitzenmaier, Marceau, and Vine and getting on the heels of Llanos before settling in for third place overall. McMahon’s 10k split was 44:01 (8:18 per mile), so you can tell it’s not your average run. There was roughly 1,500 feet of climbing and descending involved.

Australian Chris Legh turned in his best ever XTERRA thanks to the second fastest run of the day. He came into transition somewhere around 8th place with nearly a dozen other guys before turning on the jets.

McQuaid Makes History. In the first nine years of the XTERRA World Championship there were nine different women’s winners. In year 10, Melanie McQuaid won her second.

“This is the best race I’ve ever had,” said McQuaid, who was also victorious in 2003.  “I knew it was going to happen today.  I knew it yesterday, I knew it last week. I knew I had the form and the only thing that was going to stop me was a mechanical.”

But there were no mechanicals, just Melanie McQuaid in perfect form. She was the fourth female pro out of the water, had the second-fastest bike and the sixth best run, just enough to cross the finish line first and in one piece.

Early on, however, it looked like the string of new champs might continue as Sibylle Matter came out of the water first by a minute and held off all challengers on the bike until McQuaid caught up about halfway through the 20-mile course.  Out on the run Matter impressed again, posting the fastest run among women in 51:53. McQuaid’s winning time of 3:07:16 was less than a minute faster than Matter’s 3:08:00.

“I had a very good swim and on the bike I just kept my rhythm,” said Matter, who won at XTERRA Spain last month. “Melanie went by me like a rocket but I never knew where the others were.”

The others, like last year’s champ Jamie Whitmore, were well behind and never did catch up. Whitmore settled into the third spot on the bike and held off a pair of great runners, Renata Bucher and Jenny Tobin, to finish there. It’s her fourth straight year in the top 3 (was 2ND in 2002 and 2003).

“Gave all that I had and it wasn’t enough,” said Whitmore.

Bucher, who was happy to just survive the swim (she was the 33RD woman a full six minutes behind) capped a great rookie season that included wins at XTERRA Saipan, Czech, and Austria. She needed a strong sprint to the finish to hold off XTERRA veteran Jenny Tobin, who fell just three seconds shy of

Watch the 2005 Show / 2005 Results

2005 XTERRA World Championship from XTERRA TV on Vimeo.

The 10th annual XTERRA World Championship.