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August 13, 2017 : For Immediate Release
Sam Osborne from New Zealand and Brigitta Poor from Hungary captured the elite titles at XTERRA Poland in Krakow this afternoon.
The victory is Osborne's fourth this season, and first on the European Tour. It's also the fourth win of the year for Poor, the reigning 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…
It went about perfect for Brigitta Poor and Sam Osborne. Both led from T1 and never gave it up. Osborne was pushed hard by 2nd place Roger Serrano but was able to pull away on the run to win comfortably by close to four-minutes. Poor had a strong swim, passing leader Nicole Walters when she missed a turn just after T1, and defeated her rival Helena Erbenova by more than two-minutes.
“I did not have a great first lap on the run, however, when I got close to the second loop I felt great and strong all the way to the end," said Poor.
The finishes move the Kiwi Osborne up to 6th in the Euro Tour point standings and brought Poor eight-points closer to Erbenova with two races left in the series.
Serrano and Osborne had a fabulous battle from swim start through T2.
“I had real problems with my shoes in T2 and lost about 30 seconds.” moaned Serrano, and indeed Sam saw it and pushed super hard early in the run and had over a minute by the 3K mark. Jens Roth, as usual, had a great swim and was holding a steady 3rd behind Serrano and Osborne.
On the second lap of the bike it became apparent that the chase group featuring two young French pros – Maxim Chane’ and Arthur Serrieres - were closing on the fast German. Serrieres is very quick on the trails and passed Jens on the first run lap and set out after Roger.
“I wanted to go hard very soon so nobody could follow me and maybe catch Roger, but I went too hard and paid for it on the second loop,” said Serrieres.
Maxim got hit by a car after France while on Holiday in Croatia. He hurt his back and has not fully recovered. “I was OK on the swim and bike but could not run,” he said after the race. Chane put a valiant effort into the run but fell back steadily ending up in 8th.
Russia’s Pavel Andreev was chasing the two French riders as hard as the French duo were after Roth. He had closed to within 20-seconds when he started tiring.
“I felt so good early but could not go so hard at the end. I will be better next week in Germany” said Andreev, who had his first XTERRA win in Finland this year. No matter what happens he has a winning and quick smile befitting a 4-time Winter Triathlon World Champion.
Another quiet gentleman is Rui Dolores from Portugal. Rui came off the bike 9th and ran his way to 6th behind Pavel. Dolores has put together a string of top 10 finishes and finds himself in 5th place on the Tour.
In the women's race it was all Brigitta, all day. Erbenova, as is typical, rode hard and ran harder to pass Carina Wasle on the run to take 2nd. Carina was feeling good today and had a very steady and impressive 3rd.
Coming back after a nice 2nd in Italy was Kiwi, Lizzie Orchard to take 4th. Nicole Walters managed to come back to a top five after her misdirection on the bike. Behind the top five was a battle royal with three women finishing within 45-seconds of each other.
Diane Lee (GBR) made it first of this bunch into 6th, with Kristina Niczapinova (SVK) and Angela Niklaus (SUI) separated by only five seconds.
The race was darn near flawless. Dozens of volunteers were everywhere, aid stations were full, the police did a fantastic job of intermittent traffic on the double road crossing, the awards were sensational and even the weather decided to warm up a bit with sunshine sneaking through just before Osborne came home to take his first win since Sweden in 2015.
We head to Zittau, Germany next and it is only a four-hour drive from Krakow. A substantial number of athletes are doing this mini “double” and enjoying the short distance between the two venues. As well, a lot of athletes (and your XTERRA European Staff) are staying in Krakow tomorrow for some shopping before heading west on the A4 (E40) with fond memories of a sensational second edition of XTERRA Poland.