By popular demand XTERRA Czech, one of the most cherished and storied races in XTERRA history, returns to the European Tour on July 15th in Prachatice. It's the ninth of 16 stops on this year's tour.
XTERRA made its debut in the Czech Republic among the castles of Hluboka nad Vltavou in 2002, moved to Spindleruv Mlyn in 2009, and then was held in the historic city of Prachatice in 2011 where it remained through 2015. After a two-year hiatus, the Pilousek family is bringing XTERRA back to Prachatice on the weekend of July 14-15th in conjunction with a kids’ triathlon and running races, a sprint distance XTERRA, and a post-race party that has been the stuff of legends.
Since 2002, XTERRA Czech Republic has been well known for its ultimate mix of racing in both the city center and deep in the woods. This year, XTERRA Czech Republic debuts with a new course, which begins with 1500 meters of swimming in waters of Kristanovicky Pond. It is the highest elevation pond in the Czech Republic, but the water is warm (20 – 24 C). Competitors will get to swim two 750m long laps, and there will be short run between laps with a fun jump from the pier to the second lap.
This year, the biggest stars of XTERRA are coming back to Prachatice. The reigning XTERRA World Champion Bradley Weiss is gunning to win the race and beat legendary Ruben Ruzafa for the first time this year. Additionally, Ben Allen, the 2015 XTERRA Czech Republic Champ will try to reclaim his title. Sam Osborne, Maxim Chané, and Peter Lehmann will be on hand to give it their best shot. Local off-roaders will also be in full force to show off for their fellow countrymen with old fox Jan Kubicek; young gun Lukas Kocar; and former stand-out Karel Zadak.
In the women's field, home country hero Helena Karaskova is the favorite. She has won in Prachatice three times and no doubt wants to make it four. Newer XTERRA athletes, like Nicole Walters, Penny Slater, and Belinda Hadden will have to do their best to beat Karaskova, or Renata Bucher, from Switzerland, who has been racing XTERRA since 2004 and won the Euro Tour four-times.
The mountain bike course is 32K long. It involves an elegant combination of fire roads and technical elements, including singletracks and a few steep hills and three big climbs. Near the city, competitors will get to climb up to Dubovy Vrch (Hill) and ride on the ridge of the hill on a very narrow and technical singletrack. This is a challenging part of the course because athletes will be fatigued after 30K on the bike.
One of the signature parts of our race is the transition area on the Rennaissance Great Square in Prachatice. The two-lap run course begins and ends on the cobblestones and tarmac of the town, but the most exciting part of the course takes place in the woods above the town.
The run loop has been completely altered this year to include short up and downhills, which are more fun to race on. Additionally, there are two long sections on fire roads where you can run very fast and enjoy spectacular views of the city. The finish line will be stretched before the Old Town hall for a traditional and spectator-friendly finish.
This year will be incredibly special for both organizers and competitors in the Czech Republic. For one thing, the XTERRA race is a great excuse for a festival. You can hear music all day long, take the kids to a big park full of kids' attractions, and visit stalls in the city center filled with great local food and drinks. You can enjoy live bands and coverage of the race on the square.
This race weekend will also offer an XTERRA Sprint on Saturday, Jul 14th, an XTERRA Kids Triathlon, and Kids' City Run run through the wonderful streets of Prachatice. Registration is still open, and you can register for the race also on the race day. Located just 50 kilometers from Austria and Germany, Prachatice is easy to travel to. By plane, it is very easy to find tickets to Prague, which is less than 150K to the race site. Local accommodations are first-class, the food is delicious, the people are friendly, and you will feel the history of our sport during every step of the race.
XTERRA CZECH ALL-TIME ELITE WINNERS
|2002||Olivier Marceau||Candy Angle|
|2003||Nicolas Lebrun||Jamie Whitmore|
|2004||Nicolas Lebrun||Jamie Whitmore|
|2005||Olivier Marceau||Renata Bucher|
|2006||Nicolas Lebrun||Renata Bucher|
|2008||Nicolas Lebrun||Carina Wasle|
|2009||Franky Batelier||Carina Wasle|
|2010||Franky Batelier||Renata Bucher|
|2011||Ronny Dietz||Marion Lorblanchet|
|2012||Nicolas Lebrun||Helena Erbenova|
|2013||Felix Schumann||Helena Erbenova|
|2014||Ruben Ruzafa||Kathrin Mueller|
|2015||Ben Allen||Helena Erbenova|
More information: www.xterra.cz