(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
|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|
|10||Henry Sleight, GBR||2:32:17||33|
|Also: Fabrizio Bartoli (30), Llewellyn Holmes (27), Rory Downie (25), Simone Calamai (23), James Walker (21)|
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
|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|
|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|
|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.
* European Tour / + Asian Tour / # America Tour / ! Canada Series / = Hawaii qualifiers