Coddens, Erbenova win XTERRA Greece

By XTERRA
Jun. 20, 2015

(Lake Plastira, Greece) - Kris Coddens of Belgium and Helena Erbenova of the Czech Republic each posted come from behind wins to capture the third annual XTERRA Greece Championship race at Lake Plastira this afternoon.

It’s the first-ever XTERRA major title for Coddens, and for Erbenova, a two-time European Tour Champion, her second big win in three weeks (she won XTERRA Spain on June 7).

In the men’s race Roger Serrano, the XTERRA European Tour points leader through the first four races, took an early lead out of the water but it was last year’s Greece champion Francois Carloni who took control during the bike.

Carloni was first out on the run, followed by Serrano, but Coddens can fly and chased both of them down to take the tape in 2:20:28, 35-seconds ahead of Serrano with Carloni another minute behind in third.

Coddens has come close to the top step before, he was 2nd at XTERRA England last year and second here at XTERRA Greece two years ago, but this was his first signature win.

Top 15 Elite Men

Pl Name Time Points
1 Kris Coddens, BEL 2:20:28 75
2 Roger Serrano, ESP 2:21:03 67
3 Francois Carloni, FRA 2:22:07 61
4 Tomas Jurkovic, SVK 2:24:54 56
5 Tim Van Daele, BEL 2:28:41 51
6 Albert Soley, ESP 2:28:50 47
7 Markus Benesch, AUT 2:29:48 43
8 Tomas Kubek, SVK 2:30:09 39
9 Grigoris Souvatzoglou 2:32:01 36
10 Henry Sleight, GBR 2:32:17 33
Also:  Fabrizio Bartoli (30), Llewellyn Holmes (27), Rory Downie (25), Simone Calamai (23), James Walker (21)

Helena Erbenova Greece

ERBENOVA IN FINE FORM

In the women’s race it was all Brigitta Poor early on.  The XTERRA Malta winner led out of the water and off the bike but Erbenova charged to the front early on the run and took the tape by 45-seconds over Poor with a winning time of 2:44:03.

Success at Lake Plastira is nothing new to Erbenova, a former Winter Olympian and Winter Tri World Champ, who won the inaugural XTERRA Greece Championship title two years ago.

Top 7 Elite Women

Pl Name Time Points
1 Helena Erbenova, CZE 2:44:03 75
2 Brigitta Poor, HUN 2:44:48 67
3 Carina Wasle, AUT 2:46:29 61
4 Louise Fox, GBR 2:56:26 56
5 Jessica Roberts, GBR 3:01:21 51
6 Morgane Riou, FRA 3:01:32 47
7 Deniz Dimaki, GRE 3:20:15 43

XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR UPDATE

XTERRA Greece was the fourth of 12 races in the XTERRA European Tour, and the third of five Silver 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.

Next up: June 27 - XTERRA Switzerland Championship, Vallee de Joux*

2015 XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR POINT STANDINGS
After 4 - As of 6.20.15
Men   S S G S  
Pl Name, NAT MLT POR ESP GRE TOTAL
1 Roger Serrano, ESP 67 56 82 67 272
2 Francois Carloni, FRA 47 67 75 61 250
3 Albert Soley, ESP 43 39 90 47 219
4 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP DNS 75 100 DNS 175
5 Nicolas Fernandez, FRA 75 47 DNS DNS 122
6 Xavier Riart, ESP 36 DNS 69 DNS 105
7 Tim Van Daele, BEL 25 27 DNS 51 103
8 Fabien Combaluzier, FRA 56 36 DNS DNS 92
9 Tomas Kubek, SVK DNS 43 DNS 39 82
10 Kris Coddens, BEL DNS DNS DNS 75 75
11 Jan Pyott, SUI DNS 23 49 DNS 72
12 Gonzalo Bernal, ESP DNS DNS 63 DNS 63
13 Brice Daubord, FRA 61 DNS DNS DNS 61
14 Yeray Luxem, BEL DNS 61 DNS DNS 61
15 Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA 30 DNS DNS 30 60
16 Ruben Salmeron, ESP DNS DNS 58 DNS 58
17 Henry Sleight, GBR DNS 25 DNS 33 58
18 Rory Downie, GBR 33 DNP DNS 25 58
19 Llewellyn Holmes, GBR DNS 30 DNS 27 57
20 Tomas Jurkovic, SVK DNS DNS DNS 56 56
21 Jose Borrino, ESP DNS DNS 53 DNS 53
22 Clement Briere, FRA 51 DNS DNS DNS 51
23 Hector Guerra, ESP DNS 51 DNS DNS 51
24 Juan Gracia, ESP DNS DNS 45 DNS 45
25 Markus Benesch, AUT DNS DNS DNS 43 43
26 Dominique Fernando, ESP DNS DNS 41 DNS 41
27 Jan Kubicek, CZE 39 DNS DNS DNS 39
28 Juan Marti, ESP DNS DNS 37 DNS 37
29 Grigoris Souvatzoglou, GRE DNS DNS DNS 36 36
30 Carlos Martinez, ESP DNS DNS 34 DNS 34
31 Jens Roth, GER DNS 33 DNS DNS 33
32 Sergio Espejo, ESP DNS DNS 31 DNS 31
33 Javier Oliver, ESP DNS DNS 28 DNS 28
34 Arthur Serrieres, FRA 27 DNS DNS DNS 27
35 Nicolas Corentin, BEL DNS DNS DNS 25 25
36 Matt Dewis, GBR 23 DNS DNS DNS 23
37 Simone Calamai, ITA DNS DNS DNS 23 23
38 Lars Van der Eerden, NED 21 DNP DNS DNS 21
39 Rob Woestenborghs, BEL DNS 21 DNS DNS 21
40 James Walker, GBR DNS DNS DNS 21 21
41 Pablo Navarrete, ESP DNS DNS DNP DNS
 Women Name, NAT MLT POR ESP GRE TOTAL
Pl Brigitta Poor, HUN 75 61 90 67 293
1 Helena Erbenova, CZE DNS 67 100 75 242
2 Louise Fox, GBR 51 51 82 56 240
3 Morgane Riou, FRA DNS 56 DNS 47 103
4 Jessica Roberts, GBR 47 DNF DNS 51 98
5 Karin Hansen, SUI 43 47 DNS DNS 90
6 Kathrin Mueller, GER DNS 75 DNS DNS 75
7 Sandra Koblemueller, AUT 67 DNS DNS DNS 67
8 Maud Golsteyn, NED 61 DNS DNS DNS 61
9 Carina Wasle, AUT DNS DNS DNS 61 61
10 Elisabetta Curridori, ITA 56 DNS DNS DNS 56
11 Sofia Brites, POR DNS 43 DNS DNS 43
12 Deniz Dimaki, GRE DNS DNS DNS 43 43
13 Danica Spiteri, MLT 39 DNS DNS DNS 39

THE KAHUNA'S TAKE

Dave "The Kahuna" Nicholas describes the day here...

"Race day in the mountains of Greece dawned sunny and warm. It appeared as if the rain was going to stay away and we would have a perfect day.

As with most Mediterranean cultures, racers started appearing about 9:30am for the 11am start. Greek Federation official Andreas Galanos laughed "we will need to check in 200 bikes in an hour. This is the Greek way."

But it all happened in fine order and promptly at 11 the gun went off and the Championship race was off. A few, fast local relay swimmers beat Roger Serrano out of the water, but the quick Spaniard took charge and had a big lead over the other contenders coming out of T1. The circuit here has two laps of the bike and run. Coming past the lake at the end of the first lap Frenchman Francois Carloni had taken the lead and had a minute on Serrano with Slovakia's Tomas Jurkovic in third and Belgian Kris Coddens in 4th about 3 minutes back.

Out of nowhere, those pesky clouds came overhead and it looked as if we would get the expected rain. A cloud also appeared over Carloni as he broke his right pedal. "I could push on the arm but could not pull and had to climb with mostly my left" he grinned. "When I start the run my left leg is tired and I just cannot go". For the women, young Hungarian Brigitta Poor had a nice lead from the swim with Morgan Riou, Louise Fox, Jessie Roberts and Carina Wasle together. Brigitta kept the lead for the entire bike but Czech Champion Helena Erbenova was coming fast. "I think I make a mistake doing adventure race last week" said Erbenova. "I push hard on the bike but I am tired". Then she smiled, looked at Brigitta and said "She is growing up so fast" !!

Out in the hills of the bike course the rains came - and they came hard. Nico Lebrun was out there at a short, steep climb where organizers had cut steps to help people up the slippery slope. "by the second loop there were no more steps. People just push and slide to get up in the rain". Carloni still led despite the missing pedal. "I think I need maybe 3-4 minutes on Coddens from the bike. He is so fast" said Carloni. The heavy rain helped him a bit. "It rained so hard you couldn't see at all" said Coddens.

Surprisingly the quickly improving Poor held the lead at T2 but Helena had rode into second. Carina Wasle, in her first race back since crashing hard in Malaysia, had gotten within 30 seconds of Brigitta but fell back to third. "I have not had any chance to train for so long. I only started a few weeks ago and am happy I was still fast but I had no endurance today. But now I am 100%" she laughed.

The rains stopped and the winners came from behind. Coddens caught Carloni at the end of the first run loop and never looked back. Erbenova caught and passed Poor but could not get away and won by less than a minute. Coddens put in the fastest run of the day for the win, and Roger Serrano ran really well to get past poor Carloni for second.

Coddens was grinning from ear to ear. "I have a job and kids and have to fit in training, this is very special for me". Erbenova's mention that "Brigitta is growing up" meant the Hungarian is no longer just a fast swimmer but then no threat.

The Belgians sang and roared all during the awards ceremony in support of Coddens. Certainly the loudest I have heard in 20 years of being at awards. The Greek lifeguards were a big highlight as the new female uniforms look more like thongs than lifesaver suits. The whistles and howls from male athletes as they headed out at the start of the race were hilarious.

Great organization, a great race and a fabulous place to visit. Next up is Switzerland, the second of 4 in a row here in Europe."

2015 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

The XTERRA Greece Championship was the 19th 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, Vallee de Joux*
27-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter – Canadian Cross Tri Championships, Ontario, Milton, Canada!
4-Jul XTERRA Freedom Fest, Oahu, HI, USA =
5-Jul XTERRA Victoria, B.C., Canada!
5-Jul XTERRA France Championship, Xonrupt, Gerardmer*
11-Jul XTERRA Sweden, Hellasgaarden, Stockholm*
18-Jul XTERRA Mountain Championship, Beaver Creek, CO, USA#
25-Jul XTERRA Parry Sound, McDougall, Ontario, Canada!
26-Jul XTERRA Italy Championship, Abruzzo, Italy*
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

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