Krakow, Poland – Yeray Luxem from Belgium and Helena Erbenova of Czechia captured the inaugural XTERRA Poland elite titles in Krakow this afternoon.
It’s the first major XTERRA win for Luxem after nine years of racing, and the 22nd career win for Erbenova, the reigning and three-time XTERRA European Tour champion.
XTERRA World Tour managing director Dave Nicholas was on-site to take in all the action and brings us this report…
A bright sunny morning greeted us here in Krakow for the first XTERRA Poland. The crew had worked really hard and the trails and area were looking great and marked to perfection. The day opened with three different kids races and they raced hard. Briefings were held with numerous volunteers, the sound system was cranking and we were ready for the noon start.
The lake here is an old quarry. It never fills so the views are bright blue water surrounded by high stone cliffs. Because there is little beach, the race started with the pros in deep water and consisted of two laps.
First out was Mauricio Mendez fresh from his win in Italy followed by our young Portuguese Tiago Maia and the giant South African Theo Blignaut. If Theo decides to stop XTERRA I know a few NFL teams who could use him. Following the leaders were a pack consisting of Yeray Luxem (BEL), Tomas Kubek (SVK) and Jan Kubicek (CZE). One of our favorites, Kris Coddens was back a bit more and Spanish rider Albert Soley even farther from the leaders.
Brit Diane Lee led the women followed by Brigitta Poor (HUN), Belinda Hadden (AUS) and Renata Bucher (SUI). XTERRA European Tour champion Helena Erbenova was off the leaders by a few minutes but riding hard.
About 8K into the bike and the end of the first technical part, Mendez was looking strong and had nearly a minute on Blignaut and Maia – and closing quickly were Kubek, Luxem, Kubicek all together and Coddens back another 30 seconds.
“I don’t like non wetsuit swims and this probably hurt me as I got cold and did not get a good start on the bike” said Coddens.
At the same distance Brigitta had taken the lead and Renata was smoking the course and already up to second. Diane Lee was holding 3rd and Helena was up to 4th but had lost more time.
“Oh, it was so hard after the swim to pass so many age groupers because the course is so tight,” smiled Erbenova after the race.
At the end of the first bike lap Mauricio still led but now by only 40-seconds. Slovakian Tomas Kubek was riding extremely well and up into 2nd with Blignaut hanging in 3rd but now Kubicek and Luxem are with them. Coddens has warmed up and is now 6th but riding much quicker.
Our Hungarian lass Brigitta was still in the lead but now Renata was taking charge.
“I really had a great second lap – I felt like I could do anything,” said Bucher. Erbenova was still 2:30 back but now clear of much of the heavy traffic.
Into the second lap Kubek had caught and passed Mauricio and Kubicek and Luxem were right behind him. The young Mexican riding a borrowed bike made a mistake on a bridge and crashed. Luxem asked if he was OK and Mendez jumped up and got on his bike, but now back a bit. Soon Yeray and Kubek started working together and they put a gap on Kubicek and Mendez. Coddens still coming but about 30-seconds farther back. Theo had a big crash and lost most of his gears and was out of it, Soley lost his hub and walked his bike back. Peter Lehmann, off a good race in Italy, was steadily moving up the charts.
Bucher hammered the second loop riding it two-minutes faster than the next woman. She had a two-minute lead over Brigitta and an equal amount over Erbenova.
Coming into T2 Luxem had fire in his eyes and the lead with the big Slovak no more than 10’ behind having his best race ever.
Coddens had caught Kubicek and Mauricio to come in 3rd. The first 5 men were within 1:15 of each other heading out over the X bridge into the very tough run.
We all know Mendez is a runner and he took off and passed Kubicek and Coddens to start the chase for first. But Luxem was having none of it. While Mau posted the fastest run time of the day, it was not enough to catch the Belgian who crossed the line for his first major XTERRA win after competing for 9 years.
Luxem was smiling and over the moon happy.
“I knew Mendez could run, but I felt very strong and was sure he could not catch me” he grinned. “Besides, I find we are having our first baby in January and this motivated me.” So congratulations on two accounts to the fastest man who until today – had not won an XTERRA.
Mauricio was second and while always smiling, had hoped for another win. He is here in Europe on the Mau’s Famous European Holiday and will compete in Sweden, Germany and Denmark. Coddens played it very smart knowing he could not beat Mendez on this day and consolidated his run for a fine 3rd place after his troubling swim. Kubicek was 4th for the second straight week with the young German Peter Lehmann home in 5th. Tomas Kubek, who had such a magnificent bike had given his all and simply had nothing in the tank but made it back for a heroic 6th.
Erbenova did it again for the 22nd time. Slow swim, good but not inspired bike and run like the wind. She caught Brigitta on the first lap, passed Renata going into the 2nd lap. Brigitta then went by the tiring Swiss Miss to take second just seconds behind Erbenova. Renata had a good third and the steady Diane Lee stayed in 4th. The new Slovakian pro woman Kristina Nec Lapinova had the second fastest run and came home a terrific 5th.
The first XTERRA Poland is in the books. Spectators everywhere, most visiting the park and stopping to enjoy the race. Everyone enjoyed the city, the amazing twisty up-and-down trails and there is little doubt this event will grow quickly.
We head to Sweden next week where we again have a race within just a few minutes of a major city, Stockholm. Things have stayed hot here on the European Tour and I don’t expect it to cool off anytime soon.
|1||Yeray Luxem, BEL||2:37:36||75|
|2||Mauricio Mendez, MEX||2:38:09||67|
|3||Kris Coddens, BEL||2:39:55||61|
|4||Jan Kubicek, CZE||2:41:08||56|
|5||Peter Lehmann, GER||2:43:35||51|
|6||Tomas Kubek, SVK||2:43:59||47|
|7||Sebastian Norberg, SWE||2:45:57||43|
|8||Aidan Nugent, RSA||2:46:47||39|
|9||Theo Blignaut, RSA||2:48:00||36|
|10||Tomas Jurkovic, SVK||2:48:19||33|
|11||Mester Balint, HUN||2:49:48||30|
|12||Emil Stoynev, BUL||2:52:04||27|
|13||Lubos Truhlar, CZE||2:53:00||25|
|14||Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA||2:53:04||23|
|15||Markus Benesch, AUT||2:54:08||21|
|Also: Albert Soley, Tiago Maia, Maciej Chmura|
|1||Helena Erbenova, CZE||3:02:11||75|
|2||Brigitta Poor, HUN||3:02:23||67|
|3||Renata Bucher, SUI||3:03:24||61|
|4||Diane Lee, GBR||3:11:08||56|
|5||Kristina Nec Lapinova||3:13:06||51|
|6||Ladina Buss, SUI||3:13:28||47|
|7||Belinda Hadden, AUS||3:23:55||43|
RUZAFA, POOR SIT ATOP XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR RANKINGS
Ruben Ruzafa and Brigitta Poor continue to lead the XTERRA European Tour standings after 8 of 11 events, however, elite athletes count their best 4 Gold and 3 Silver finishes so the next three events (a Silver race in Sweden then Gold races in Germany and Denmark, will determine the champs).
|2016 XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR POINT STANDINGS|
|After 8 – 8.7.16|
|1||Ruben Ruzafa, ESP||342||DNS||67||75||DNS||100||100||DNS||DNS|
|2||Kris Coddens, BEL||314||DNS||47||DNS||75||90||41||DNS||61|
|3||Yeray Luxem, BEL||259||DNS||DNS||67||27||DNS||90||DNS||75|
|4||Sam Osborne, NZL||243||DNS||DNS||51||67||58||DNS||67||DNS|
|5||Roger Serrano, ESP||211||75||75||61||DNS||DNF||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|6||Francois Carloni, FRA||205||DNS||51||56||61||DNS||37||x51||DNS|
|7||Peter Lehmann, GER||194||51||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||53||39||51|
|8||Brice Daubord, FRA||186||43||61||DNS||DNS||82||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|9||Jan Kubicek, CZE||185||DNS||36||DNS||DNS||37||DNS||56||56|
|10||Veit Hoenle, GER||173||DNS||DNS||23||DNS||75||75||DNS||DNS|
|11||Bradley Weiss, RSA||145||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||63||82||DNS||DNS|
|12||Mauricio Mendez, MEX||142||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||75||67|
|13||Tomas Kubek, SVK||137||DNS||43||DNS||47||DNS||DNS||x23||47|
|14||Maxim Chane, FRA||126||56||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||34||36||DNS|
|15||Henry Sleight, GBR||125||DNS||DNS||DNS||39||28||58||DNS||DNS|
|16||Damien Guillemet, FRA||120||DNS||DNS||DNS||51||DNS||69||DNS||DNS|
|17||Arthur Serrieres, FRA||116||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||53||63||DNS||DNS|
|18||Hannes Wolpert, GER||114||36||DNS||33||DNS||45||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|19||Sebastian Norberg, SWE||111||DNS||25||DNS||43||DNS||DNS||DNS||43|
|20||Llewellyn Holmes, GBR||110||DNS||DNS||25||33||DNS||31||21||DNS|
|21||Jan Pyott, SUI||110||DNF||33||DNS||DNS||34||DNS||43||DNS|
|22||Christophe Betard, FRA||108||27||DNS||DNS||36||DNS||45||DNS||DNS|
|23||Arthur Forissier, FRA||103||DNS||56||DNS||DNS||DNF||DNS||47||DNS|
|24||Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA||100||47||DNS||DNS||30||DNS||DNS||DNP||23|
|25||Mattia De Paoli, ITA||94||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||69||DNS||25||DNS|
|26||Pierre-Antoine Guilhem, FRA||82||61||21||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|27||Max Neumann, AUS||79||DNS||30||DNS||DNS||49||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|28||Markus Benesch, AUT||73||25||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||27||21|
|29||Dominik Wychera, AUT||72||39||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||33||DNS|
|30||Cedric Lassonde, FRA||69||30||39||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|31||Jens Roth, GER||67||67||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNP||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|32||Tomas Jurkovic, SVK||64||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||31||DNS||DNS||33|
|33||Karl Shaw, GBR||61||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||61||DNS|
|34||Tim Van Daele, BEL||57||DNS||27||30||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|35||Nicolas Fernandez, FRA||56||DNS||DNS||DNS||56||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|36||Bartosz Banach, POL||49||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||49||DNS||DNS|
|37||José Estrangeiro, POR||47||DNS||DNS||47||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|38||Maximilian Sasserath, GER||43||DNS||DNS||43||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|39||Anthony Pannier, FRA||41||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||41||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|40||Julen Loroño, ESP||39||DNS||DNS||39||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|41||Aidan Nugent, RSA||39||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||39|
|42||Rui Dolores, POR||36||DNS||DNS||36||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|43||Theo Blignaut, RSA||36||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||36|
|44||Fabien Combaluzier, FRA||33||33||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNF||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|45||Stephen Bayliss, GBR||30||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||30||DNS|
|46||Mester Balint, HUN||30||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||30|
|47||Ben Allen, AUS||28||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||28||DNP||DNS||DNS|
|48||Anthony Flinois, FRA||28||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||28||DNS||DNS|
|49||Gonzalo Orosco, ESP||27||DNS||DNS||27||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|50||Emil Stoynev, BUL||27||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||27|
|51||Jim Thijs, BEL||25||DNS||DNS||DNS||25||DNS||DNS||DNP||DNS|
|52||Lubos Truhlar, CZE||25||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||25|
|53||Julien Buffe, FRA||23||DNF||23||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|54||Martial Schmidt, FRA||23||DNS||DNS||DNS||23||DNS||DNP||DNP||DNS|
|55||Tiago Maia, POR||21||DNS||DNS||21||DNS||DNP||DHS||DNS||DNP|
|56||Boris Chambon, FRA||21||DNS||DNS||DNS||21||DNS||DNP||DNS||DNS|
|1||Brigitta Poor, HUN||347||75||67||x61||DNS||63||75||DNS||67|
|2||Renata Bucher, SUI||338||DNS||DNS||51||DNS||75||90||61||61|
|3||Helena Erbenova, CZE||307||DNS||75||75||75||DNS||82||x67||x75|
|4||Morgane Riou, FRA||273||67||51||DNS||61||49||45||DNS||DNS|
|5||Carina Wasle, AUT||244||DNS||DNS||56||67||58||63||DNS||DNS|
|6||Maud Golsteyn, NED||232||56||DNS||39||47||41||49||DNS||DNS|
|7||Ladina Buss, SUI||228||DNS||61||DNS||DNS||69||DNS||51||47|
|8||Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA||218||DNS||DNS||67||DNS||82||69||DNS||DNS|
|9||Louise Fox, GBR||176||DNS||56||47||DNS||45||28||DNS||DNS|
|10||Lesley Paterson, GBR||175||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||100||75||DNS|
|11||Jacqui Slack, GBR||148||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||90||58||DNS||DNS|
|12||Elisabetta Curridori, ITA||130||DNS||DNS||DNS||43||31||DNS||56||DNS|
|13||Kristina Nec Lapinova, SVK||125||43||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||31||DNS||51|
|14||Jessie Roberts, GBR||122||DNS||DNS||DNS||51||37||34||DNS||DNS|
|15||Sandra Koblemueller, AUT||114||61||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||53||DNS||DNS|
|16||Diane Lee, GBR||103||47||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||56|
|17||Michelle Flipo, FRA||100||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||100||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|18||Danica Spiteri, MLT||86||39||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNP||DNS||47||DNS|
|19||Lenka Cibulkova, CZE||78||DNS||DNS||DNS||39||DNP||DNP||DNS||39|
|20||Kara LaPoint, USA||65||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||28||37||DNS||DNS|
|21||Isabelle Klein, LUX||56||DNS||DNS||DNS||56||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|22||Coralie Redelsperger, FRA||53||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||53||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|23||Alena Stevens, SVK||51||51||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|24||Sara Bonilla Bernardez, ESP||43||DNS||DNS||43||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|25||Belinda Hadden, AUS||43||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||43|
|26||Sanne Van Paassen, NED||41||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||41||DNS||DNS|
|27||Monica Cibin, ITA||34||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||34||DNS||DNS||DNS|
Learn more at…
2016 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS
XTERRA Poland was one of more than 30 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the world could qualify to race at the 21st annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on Oct 23.