Luxem, Erbenova win XTERRA Poland

Aug. 7, 2016

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 bikeWeb

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.

Find pictures, videos, and more stories from XTERRA Poland at: //

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Pos Name, NAT Time Points
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
Pos Name, NAT Time Points
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
8 Lenka Cibulkova 3:24:25 39

Complete Results


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).

After 8 - 8.7.16                  
Men     S S S S G G S S
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
32 Tomas Jurkovic, SVK 64 DNS DNS DNS DNS 31 DNS DNS 33
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
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
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
Women   S S S S G G S S
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

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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.

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