XTERRA Worlds Circa 2008

While Julie Dibens prepares to take on the Leadville 100 mountain bike race we look back on her second of three straight XTERRA World Championship runs in 2008. It was the same year a young Spanish mountain biker straight out of the world cup shocked the off-road world and won his first-ever XTERRA on the biggest stage possible.

Ruzafa, just 24-years-old at the time, became the youngest racer to win the crown.

“I decided to do this just two months ago after talking with Eneko Llanos,” said the Spanish mountain biking champion that day. “I didn’t know I could do so well, but I thought if I didn’t lose too much time on the swim I would be able to catch up on the bike and hopefully hold on during the run.”

That’s exactly how it played out. Ruzafa, who only started swimming a year earlier, came out of the swim more than two minutes behind a tight pack of leaders – Brent McMahon, Craig Evans, Branden Rakita, Eneko Llanos, Olivier Marceau, Seth Wealing, Hektor Llanos, Franky Batelier, and Conrad Stoltz – but was able to work his way to the front of the pack by about mile 14 on the bike and never looked back.

Early on, this race showed all the signs of a Stoltz world championship run. The “Caveman” was out of the water with the leaders, passed everyone by the fourth mile of the bike where he had already put 30 seconds on Marceau, Dan Hugo, Batelier, and Eneko Llanos. From there he extended the gap, and was up 1:30 by mile 10 and with less than two miles left of heavy climbing before “The Plunge” steep downhill section where Stoltz’ is at his best, it looked like he was well on his way to a 4th World Title.

“I felt really good today, best I’ve felt in a long time. I was relaxed and riding really fast on the technical stuff, and even had quite a bit in the tank for the run, but then it came down to luck,” said Stoltz, who got a slow-leak somewhere around mile 13 or so that forced him to stop, repair, and watch as Ruzafa went by.

To compound matters, at mile 17 Stoltz’ back tire was completely gone, and he was dangerously riding on the rim coming down the lava fields. “It’s the last race of the season and I wanted to see what I could salvage,” said Stoltz.

Stoltz bad luck aside, Ruzafa came in with heavy mountain bike credentials and lived up to every bit of it – posting the fastest split in 1:30:25. To put that in perspective, American Josiah Middaugh who had the fastest split on this course two years ago – had the third best time in 1:33:39.

“The Euro guys were flying,” and “new faces and stiffer competition” were common sentiments from the veteran XTERRA bunch.

The run belonged to the speedy Brent McMahon who turned in a 43:18 (two minutes quicker than anyone else). McMahon passed a half-dozen others and finished in third, same as in 2005.

One of the last guys McMahon passed was Vine, who settled in for fourth place, and the consummate pro Olivier Marceau rounded out the top five. Eneko Llanos was sixth and won the Hawaiian Airlines Double for the third straight year, and Middaugh came in as the top American in 7th.

Dibens dominated the women’s race for the second straight year, taking the lead from the very start of the swim all the way through the finish line with a winning time of 3:03:57, a full minute ahead of runner-up Danelle Kabush from Canada. Dibens became just the second woman to win the XTERRA World Championship in back-to-back years (following Melanie McQuaid’s 2005/2006 titles).

“I think this one was harder, it definitely took more out of me,” said the former All-American swimmer at Louisiana State University and 2004 Olympic triathlete after the race. “I was hurting out there on the run and the heat really got to me, and just before the finish a guy passed me and said that Danelle was right behind so I had to sprint to the finish and that was murder. Despite that, XTERRA is awesome. I just wished I would have got into this earlier. It’s just something where everyone who tries it loves it, and then it’s just plain addictive.”

Melanie McQuaid was supposed to provide Dibens stiffest competition, but “some kind of intestinal thing” turned out to be her chief rival.

“I want a mulligan, can we race tomorrow,” said the three-time World Champ after the race. “I tried to keep going but just kept catapulting backwards, it was the worst. I only thank goodness that there were two other Canadians that pulled up the slack for me today.”

McQuaid is referencing Danelle Kabush who had the third-best bike and fastest run by far to finish in second place for the second time in three years (and she took off last year to have a baby).

“I was feeling leaner and meaner this year after having that child,” smiled Kabush.

Shonny Vanlandingham solidified her reputation as being the best women’s biker this course has seen by turning in the fastest bike for the third time in four years. That bike pushed her to the front of the pack and even on a bad ankle she still held off all but Kabush on the run to finish in third place and top American.

Renata Bucher, the three-time XTERRA European Tour Champ, was solid all around and finished fourth, and in the top five in her third straight Maui race. Christine Jeffrey, in just her first-year of XTERRA racing, put together her best effort yet to finish in 5th.

Fastest swim (1-mile): Brent McMahon (18:13), Linda Gallo (18:16)
Fastest bike (20-miles):
Ruben Ruzafa (1:30:25), Shonny V (1:48:12)
Fastest run (7-miles):
McMahon (43:18), Danelle Kabush (49:55)

Francois Carloni was the overall amateur champ and Keri Grosse edged out Charlotte McShane to win the women’s amateur crown.

Watch the Show / 2008 Results

2008 XTERRA World Championship from XTERRA TV on Vimeo.

Salming

Salming Official Shoe Sponsor of the XTERRA European Championship

SalmingXTERRA has named Salming Running the Official Shoe Sponsor of the XTERRA European Championship race to be held 30 August, 2015 at Vachery Estate in Cranleigh, England.

“We’re excited to get Salming fully engaged with our XTERRA Tribe, and I can’t think of a better place to do it overseas than the storied English countryside,” said XTERRA CEO Tom Kiely, who in June announced Salming as the Official Footwear Partner of the XTERRA America Tour & U.S. Championships.

The best amateur and elite XTERRA racers from around the world and across Europe will be competing in the XTERRA European Championship race, the last of 12 majors across the EU that combines a 1.5-kilometer swim with a 30km mountain bike and 10km trail run. There is also a shorter distance Sprint triathlon race on offer (750m swim / 15km bike / 5km trail run) as well as a free family fun run plus 10 and 20-kilometer trail runs.

Salming is a Swedish sporting goods company established in 2008 designing, developing and marketing premium products for the Running, Handball, Floorball and Squash markets under its Salming brand. The company has its head-office in Sisjön, Gothenburg on the west coast of Sweden and North American headquarters in Raleigh, NC. In addition to producing first in class products Salming is committed to helping athletes improve and has developed and patented one of the most advance running analysis centers in the world. Salming RunLab’s are currently located in Gothenburg and Stockholm.

www.salmingrunning.com

Roger Serrano

Serrano’s Super Season

Roger Serrano, a 24-year-old from Tarragona, Spain fell in love with XTERRA two years ago but truly dedicated himself to the sport this season, and what a season it’s been.

It all started at XTERRA South Africa in February, where he finished third behind Stuart Marais and Bradley Weiss. After that it was on to the European Tour where he raced in Malta, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Switzerland, Italy, and the Czech Republic.

He was consistent and fast at every race with three runner-ups, three 3rd place showings, and one fourth. The points he collected early put him at the top of the XTERRA European Tour standings and that’s where he has stayed all season.

While there are still two racers on the Tour – Francois Carloni and Ruben Ruzafa – that could potentially score more points in the final three races and pass Serrano, neither have it in their sights. Still, the official announcement of his XTERRA European Tour Championship will have to wait until after the season finale in England on August 30.

“Winning the XTERRA European Tour didn’t really become a goal until Ruben Ruzafa told me he was missing some of the races,” said Serrano (Ruzafa explained that his season was planned so he would be at his best at the XTERRA European Championship, ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships, and XTERRA World Championships).

Serrano said his favorite race of the season was in Lago di Scanno, Italy, and afterwards when he went to Rome and “had the best handmade pasta with carbonara cream. AWESOME!!”

“The travel was lovely, as it always is,” said Serrano. “Meeting new people every time, visiting fantastic places…I can’t stop doing this!!!”

He said his best result was just last weekend when he finished second to Aussie friend Ben Allen at the XTERRA Czech Championship and now he wants to have some fun in Germany and really push his limits in the UK, “to fight with all the big field.”

To sum up his super season of racing Serrano said “It’s hard, even harder if you try to race as much as I did, but I needed the experience and this is what it takes. But this sport makes it easier. People are open, friendly, and we have so much fun at every race, not just the pros, but with everybody. I think the mountain bike makes people less angry and more friendly.”

Zittau

XTERRA European Tour in Germany

Stop No. 10 on the XTERRA European Tour takes the Tribe to Zittau for the XTERRA Germany Championship race on Saturday.

In the men’s race Roger Serrano and Francois Carloni, ranked first and second in the XET Elite Standings after nine events, face off one final time for bragging rights. In five previous head-to-head meetings Serrano finished ahead of Carloni at XTERRA Malta, Spain, and Greece while Carloni was faster in Portugal and Italy. Carloni will not be able to catch Serrano in points, even with a win on Saturday (he’d have 522 to Serrano’s 526) and because he’s getting married on the weekend of August 29-30 will not be able to collect more points at either of the last two races of the season in Denmark or England that weekend.

Ruben Ruzafa, who is not racing in Germany, is the only other elite that could potentially score more points than Serrano and win the Euro Tour title, but he would need to race at XTERRA Denmark on Saturday then the XTERRA European Championship on Sunday, and do well at both. The three-time XTERRA World Champion said he has no plans to race in Denmark, but until that event is in the books we’ll have to wait on crowning Serrano with the XTERRA European Tour Championship title (but it’s looking really good for the kid from Tarragona).

In the women’s race Helena Erbenova is shooting for her seventh win of the season and fourth in a row.  Last weekend in her home country she wrapped up her third XTERRA European Tour Championship title in four years.

On the line to stop her in Germany are two women who have won XTERRA Germany before in Carina Wasle and Jacqui Slack, as well as Brigitta Poor who has finished one position behind Erbenova at XTERRA Portugal, Spain, Greece, and Czech this year.

XTERRA World Tour managing director Dave Nicholas is on site in Zittau and brings us this report from Wednesday…

Zittau is back for the 15th year of the O-SEE challenge, which has doubled as the XTERRA Germany Championship race since 2009 here in this wonderful east Germany village.  The weather could not be much better.  A total opposite of last year’s ITU race where the skies opened in the morning and conditions were miserable for most of the day.

Our press conference this afternoon talked about the future of XTERRA here and with a new Mayor, everything looks solid.  As this area of Germany, known as Saschen or Saxony continues to grow and prosper – it has started to infiltrate on our wonderful bike course.  A few sections that were neat single trails are now being graded and filled with gravel.  There will be a bit of disruption for this year and Benno Schwanger and his team will find or build alternatives. Regardless the course is one big lap that has spectacular views, runs through idyllic country villages and is a solid challenge to riders of every skill level.

Tonight was the big opening party for the O-SEE crew.  Bar-B-Ques going, kegs of cold Czech beer (remember we are only 5K from the borders of both the Czech Republic and Poland).  The men have added a neat, big tent and installed a raised wood floor; no doubt in response to last year’s rain and muddy grass.  With a very quiet 30K genny humming the place looks as if it should be a bedoin Sheik’s tent rather than an XTERRA headquarters in the mountains of Germany.

A nice big sold-out field is set for Saturday and I’m looking forward to watching Jens Roth – a fast, young German who was 2d at the ETU cross championships as well as Malte Plappert who was 3d at the ETU and a fantastic 5th in France.

Francois Carloni is back and last week’s Czech winner Ben Allen knows this course well.  Bradley Weiss will be looking for some revenge for last weeks cut tire and Euro Series leader Roger Serrano and Jan Pyott will all be in the hunt.

Helena Erbenova continues her unbelievable string of races and will be challenged again by Brigitta Poor, Jackie Slack and Carina Wasle. We’ll have more news on the construction and how it will impact the bike in the next few days.

Rank      Name, NAT
1              Roger Serrano, ESP
2              Francois Carloni, FRA
4              Jan Pyott, SUI
10           Markus Benesch, AUT
11           Tomas Kubek, SVK
13           Martial Schmidt, FRA
14           Veit Hönle, GER
15           Nicolas Fernandez, FRA
16           Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA
20           Malte Plappert, GER
21           Ben Allen, AUS
23           Bradley Weiss, RSA
26           Michael Szymoniuk, AUT
39           Tomas Jiranek, CZE
41           Pavel Andreev, RUS
44           Vaclav Holub, CZE
48           Christopher Schwab, AUT
57           Jens Roth, GER
NR          Theo Blignaut, RSA
NR          Jon Heasman, GBR
NR          Krzysztof Kokot, POL
NR          Peter Lehmann, GER
NR          Christian Otto, GER
NR          Dominik Wychera, AUT

Rank      Name, NAT
1              Helena Erbenova, CZE
2              Brigitta Poor, HUN
3              Carina Wasle, AUT
6              Sandra Koblemueller, AUT
13           Lenka Cibulkova, CZE
14           Jacqui Slack, GBR
NR          Corinna Choun, AUT
NR          Emilie Lefur, FRA
NR          Nicole Olivari, ITA

Middaugh

Middaugh, Corona win XTERRA Mexico

(Tapalpa, Jalisco) – America’s best off-roader Josiah Middaugh of Eagle-Vail, Colorado and Fabiola Corona, an Olympian from Mexico, captured the eighth running of the XTERRA Mexico Championship on a rainy, muddy day in Tapalpa, Jalisco on Saturday.

It’s Middaugh’s third XTERRA major win in as many tries since winning the East Championship in June, and all came against World Championship contenders.  For Corona it’s her third straight win in Tapalpa and fourth Mexico title in six years.

In the men’s race super swimmer Irving Perez blitzed the field out of the water with a 16:30 split that was one-minute faster than Mauricio Mendez, two-minutes faster than Olympian Francisco Serrano, and a full three minutes better than ultimate winner Josiah Middaugh.

In XTERRA, however, what you do on the bike and run is a lot more important and that is where Middaugh took over.  His 1:16:41 bike split was the best of the day, and nearly three minutes faster than Serrano, the runner-up.

“I knew I couldn’t take anyone for granted and I would really need a smokin’ bike to be able to pull it off,” said Middaugh, who’s been in the top 4 at XTERRA Worlds in each of the last four years and was 2nd twice (last year to Ruben Ruzafa and in 2012 to Javier Gomez).

Serrano, who upset Middaugh to win the XTERRA West Championship in April, is from Monterrey, Mexico – a sea-level town that’s hot and humid, quite the contrast to Tapalpa, a mountain town that sits above 6,000-feet. The altitude played more to Middaugh’s strength’s than Serrano’s.

“Josiah passed me right at the bottom of the main climb,” explained Serrano.  “I kept up about half way then he took off, but I was able to extend my gap to the rest of the field. I tried to come close to Josiah on the run but altitude sucks for me.  Still, against this field, I’m really happy with this result.”

Middaugh said, “The course was very muddy, and had two challenging climbs on the mountain bike with the last one lasting about 6km and parts at 22% grade.  I caught Perez, Rom, and Paco going into the long final climb and Paco hung on for a while and then I was able to break away and I just kept pushing hard.  As hard as the climbs were, I think I actually put more time on the flatter sections that had hard pedaling through bumpy grassy cow pastures with lots of puddles and mud bogs. The run was long and also had some stream crossings and also very muddy.  Everyone was pretty spent by the run but Mauricio had a superb run to break Perez and catch Rom.”

Mendez, who was 5th at XTERRA Worlds, had the best run of the day before to work his way into third at the finish line.  Rom Akerson, who upset Middaugh to win the XTERRA Costa Rica Championship in March, placed fourth and last year’s winner Irving Perez placed 5th.

Pro Men    
Pl Name Time
1 Josiah Middaugh, USA 2:18:55
2 Francisco Serrano, MEX 2:19:52
3 Mauricio Mendez, MEX 2:21:33
4 Rom Akerson, CRC 2:23:07
5 Irving Perez, MEX 2:24:40
6 Branden Rakita, USA 2:29:15
7 Esteban Rosas, MEX 2:39:06
8 Juan Gayton, MEX 2:41:01
9 Eduardo Padilla, MEX 2:43:13
10 Gustavo Penagos, MEX 2:47:37
Also: Manuel Arenas

Corona

In the women’s race the highly anticipated showdown between Corona and American great Suzie Snyder never happened as Snyder crashed pre-riding on Thursday, landed hard on her hip, and was too injured to compete on Saturday.

“She was still out there cheering the loudest for me while on crutches with a fractured pelvis. Tough chica,” said Middaugh.

Snyder’s injury left Corona to do her thing, in front of an adoring local crowd.

“I swam with Maria Barrera, but in the last buoy I passed her and took the lead,” said Corona.  “The Bike course was muddy but rideable and I began the run with six-minutes of advantage. With my family and friends, and my father’s town, I can’t ask for more. I am very happy to win in my country!”

Barrera took second, Dunia Gomez third, and Laura Mira Diaz of Brazil held off Ana Guerrero by 18-seconds to take fourth.

Women    
Pl Name Time
1 Fabiola Corona, MEX 2:59:39
2 Maria Barrera, MEX 3:09:12
3 Dunia Gomez, MEX 3:10:09
4 Laura Mira Diaz, BRA 3:18:13
5 Ana Guerrero, MEX 3:18:31

Complete Results / Pictures

Right about now XTERRA Warriors from near-and-far are enjoying the awards ceremony, fireworks, and post-race party in the town square of Tapalpa with literally thousands of locals and the best food, drink, and vibes you could imagine.  Tapalpa has been designated a “magic town” for having such rich history and beauty.

ALL-TIME XTERRA MEXICO CHAMPIONS
2015 (Tapalpa) Josiah Middaugh, Fabiola Corona
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

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

2015 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

The XTERRA Mexico Championship was the 29th 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

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

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.”

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.

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.