The XTERRA Germany Championship in Zittau on Saturday is the seventh of eight races on this year's XTERRA European Tour, and one of just two races remaining for pros and age groupers to collect points towards Tour championship titles.
XTERRA managing director "Kahuna Dave" Nicholas gives us his thoughts on the chase for championships here.
As the XTERRA European Tour heads into its last two races, the pro men's field as well as a bundle of age group races are very tightly contested.
Spanish first-year XTERRA Pro Hector Guerra (pictured) popped onto the scene at the first race of the year with a solid 4th place. He loved the format and made the decision to do as much of the Tour as he could. Second in Switzerland, 3rd in France and another 2nd last week in Czech puts him just 50 points behind leader Nico Lebrun, but Nico is counting 5 races where Hector has only 4. Pro's can count their best 6 of the 8 races. Hector can easily pass the Frenchman this weekend as he is racing elsewhere. That will make England the deciding factor for the men.
Helena Erbenova has had a storybook year with 5 wins and a 2nd and cannot be caught. Renata Bucher lies second with Kathrin Muller not far behind and again - only counting 4 races to Renata's 5.
The mens age groups largely undecided. Jan Pyott in the 30-34 group has a big lead and we should see him in the pro field soon. The same lead for Scott teammate Peter Naegli in 55-59 and Patrick Lichtsteiner in 40-44. Bernd Pannewitz can't be caught in 50-54. All the other age groups are close and will probably come down to England.
The womens fields are more determined but several are still up for grabs and the field of women in Germany is strong.
With Lebrun and last weeks winner Felix Schumann not racing, is this the race Hector wins after so many podiums? Ruben Ruzafa is here and we're all waiting for Asa Shaw to come on form - remember he won XTERRA Germany last year. Yeray Luxem has been knocking on the door and Ben Allen, on a hard luck streak the past few races is very due for another win. There are several new names in the field and without knowing - anything could happen.
For the women we know that Kathrin Muller will be charging hard to win her home race. She will be in the top out of the swim but she'll need to ride hard to hold back Erbenova, Bucher and Jacqui Slack.
Great season and what is shaping up as a fabulous finish.
2013 XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR TOP 10 (THRU 6 RACES)
|1||Nicolas Lebrun, FRA||69||75||-||100||90||53||387|
|2||Hector Guerra, ESP||75||-||90||82||-||90||337|
|3||Asa Shaw, GBR||82||69||45||69||63||-||328|
|4||Yeray Luxem, BEL||-||82||82||63||-||82||309|
|5||Cedric Lassonde, FRA||45||63||53||53||-||69||283|
|6||Francois Carloni, FRA||41||49||-||45||69||-||204|
|7||Jim Thijs, BEL||53||41||-||-||58||49||201|
|8t||Ruben Ruzafa, ESP||100||-||-||90||-||-||190|
|8t||Ben Allen, AUS||90||100||-||-||-||-||190|
|10||Victor del Corral, ESP||-||-||100||75||-||-||175|
|1||Helena Erbenova, CZE||90||100||100||100||100||100||590|
|2||Renata Bucher, SUI||100||75||75||-||90||90||430|
|3||Kathrin Muller, GER||82||82||82||-||-||82||328|
|4||Marion Lorblanchet, FRA||69||-||63||82||75||-||289|
|5||Jacqui Slack, GBR||75||90||-||90||-||-||255|
|6||Brigitta Poor, HUN||58||63||58||-||-||53||232|
|7t||Carina Wasle, AUT||63||69||-||-||75||207|
|7t||Maud Golsteyn, NED||-||-||63||75||-||69||207|
|9||Nienke Oostra, AUS||-||-||49||49||63||37||198|
|10||Coralie Redelsperger, FRA||-||-||69||69||-||49||187|
Find complete pro and age group standings at www.xterraeurope.com