Nico Lebrun, the current and four-time XTERRA European Tour Champion and winner of the last European Tour race at XTERRA France, designed a new XTERRA course in the beautiful mountain regions of Abruzzo.
The inaugural XTERRA Abruzzo triathlon – the fifth of eight majors on the XTERRA European Tour - is set for Saturday with the swim start, finish and transitions areas based at Lago di Scanno – aka “XTERRA’s Heart”
“You can see that the Lake has the shape of a heart, the heart of XTERRA immersed within a spectacular fauna of Abruzzo; an eldorado for lovers of outdoor sports, especially mountain biking, trail running and hiking,” wrote the organizers.
Conrad Stoltz (posted this view of the lake on @conradstoltz), fresh off his 7th World Championship, will go head-to-head with Lebrun for the first time this season in the men’s race. In the women’s race Erbenova looks to extend her dominance, but the formidable contingent of women’s elite are in full force to try and stop her.
Here Lebrun gives us his thoughts on the area and course for XTERRA Abruzzo…
“Last December, when I came for the first time in Abruzzo, I was so impressed to see all the mountains, the wild life with bears and wolves .. and not far from Rome! Unbelievable .. if you used to live in the alps, like me, you wouldn’t expect to find such scenery, with high peaks up to 3000 meter in the south of Italy. All this just two hours drive away from Rome International Airport, a perfect place for a European XTERRA race. And, of course, the place to be is Scanno, a typical Italian mountain village, beautiful and lovely, absorbed in the old beauty of its architecture; the historical center offers a variety of restaurants and taverns to taste the incredible Italian cuisine … reason more to love this country … ok guys, maybe you will not lose weight, even if the race consumes your energy! Okay, sorry the race! This is the reason why I’m here! The swim part of the race starts in the natural mountain lake at 1000 meters over sea level; the bike course will take you through some narrow streets of the old village …you will be climbing a lot within some single trails and you’ll always have a view to the peaks…but keep your energy for the run because for sure you will walk, fast and forward, this is “Bic Nic race course”, and I love running uphill! This is the best training for qualifying to the XTERRA World Championship in October and Maui. I'm sure you will also remember the Italian "festa" in Scanno / Lago di Scanno in the middle of the Abruzzo mountains!”
Learn more at www.xterra-abruzzo.com.