Reigning XTERRA World Champion Bradley Weiss from South Africa and 4x XTERRA European Tour Champion Helena Karásková-Erbenová from the Czech Republic captured the XTERRA Poland off-road triathlon elite titles on a hot and humid day in Krakow. It’s the third XTERRA World Tour win of the year for both.
The race combined a 1500m swim in the Zakrzowek quarry, a technical and twisting 36km mountain bike around the local woodland and finished with a 10km trail run up, over, and through the remains of the famous Krakow limestone mine.
In the elite men's race XTERRA rookie Will Crudgington from the UK lead out of the water in 16:51 with Sam Osborne from New Zealand right on his heels. Max Chané and Ben Allen charged hard from the start as well, however, Weiss managed to hang onto the pack and emerge from the water just 24-seconds behind the leaders. From then on, it was Weiss all the way.
He pushed hard early to quickly bridge to Osborne at the front of the race on the bike and the two worked together on the twisty single track to put 40-seconds on Chane, who was sitting in third at the 11-kilometer mark. By the end of the bike Weiss had a big lead over Osborne and was putting significant time into everybody else in the race.
"Once I’d caught up to the front group Sam and I worked really well together to build a bit of a lead over the rest of the group. I knew how well Sam and Arthur have been running recently so I put in a little attack to get away on the bike and build a gap. Once I hit the run I felt really good. I’ve just completed a block of training at altitude and feel like I have stepped my fitness up to another level,” said Weiss.
Weiss had the fastest bike split of 01:34:40 and started the run with a healthy 1:30 lead over Osborne, 2:09 to Arthur Serrieres and Allen, and 2:30 on Chané.
Weiss then posted the fastest run split of the day to win his first European Tour race of 2018. Osborne would hold on to take 2nd place.
“Oh man that was a pretty tough day out there,” said Osborne. “I felt good on the swim, sat in second position with a plan to go full gas in transition to create a gap. Brad was the only guy to come across and he was riding super strong. He kept forcing me to respond to some massive surges over and over again before it was too much for me to follow. Onto the run I didn’t feel my normal self, my stomach was in knots and I didn’t get into my stride until deep into the second lap but it was too late to do anything to try to catch Brad by then."
Allen and Serrieres finished in the third and fourth spots, but due to a missed turn caused by down course signage, were forced to add a 3-minute penalty to their bike splits and ultimately placed fourth and fifth, respectively. That gave Chane the third spot in the final results.
“I had a good race today, I decided to sit on feet in the swim to save energy for the bike,” said Chane. “I wanted to try to ride with Bradley and Sam, but they are just too fast! I ended up riding the bike alone before running strongly. I’m happy with my performance but I feel that my best shape wasn’t there following a big training block. I’m really looking forward to a week of recovery before trying to do something special in Germany next weekend."
|XTERRA Poland Elite Men|
|1||Bradley Weiss, RSA||02:34:45||75||$1 200|
|2||Sam Osborne, NZL||02:38:24||67||$900|
|3||Maxim Chane, FRA||02:41:12||61||$700|
|4||Ben Allen, AUS||02:41:49||56||$550|
|5||Arthur Serrieres, FRA||02:43:02||51||$400|
|6||Peter Lehmann, GER||02:43:24||47|
|7||Jan Kubicek, CZE||02:44:25||43|
|8||Rui Dolores, POR||02:44:40||39|
|9||Christophe Betard, FRA||02:46:28||36|
|10||Doug Hall, GBR||02:46:51||33|
|11||Bartosz Banach, POL||02:47:03||30|
|12||Dominik Wychera, AUT||02:47:54||27|
|13||Will Crudgington, GRB||02:48:39||25|
|14||Tomas Kubek, SVK||02:48:48||23|
|15||Sylwester Swat, POL||02:53:51||21|
|DNP : Kyle Boosma CAN, Lukas Netik CZE - DNF : Patryk Piasecki, POL|
In the women’s race Karaskova came out of the water nearly three-minutes behind the leaders but put together the best bike-run combo to take the tape in 2:59:02, just 19-seconds ahead of her rival Brigitta Poor from Hungary.
It’s the second win in three years here in Poland for Karaskova, who won the inaugural race in Krakow in 2016.
“I am so happy to win today,” Karaskova exclaimed. “I cannot believe it as I was so far behind after the swim and then made a lot of mistakes on the technical bike course. This will probably be my last season of racing so it’s good to know I can still compete. Now, I look forward to seeing what I can do at the XTERRA European Championship in Germany next week.”
Local Polish triathlete Aleksandra Rudzińska had a fantastic swim in 18:29 to take a big lead heading into transition to start the day. The group of pre-race favorites containing Samantha Kingsford from New Zealand, Poor, Daria Radczuk from Poland and Carina Wasle from Austria emerged from the water all together 60-seconds from the lead. Morgane Riou from France was 2:29 back then Karásková.
By 11km into the bike it was business as usual for Poor, who was leading the race and riding strongly. She had put one-minute into a hard chasing Wasle, while Riou was making up time overhauling Kingsford and moving into 3rd place 1:58 from the front of the race.
Behind the front three women, Karásková was using all of her experience to make light work of the single track. Overtaking and moving up on this course is difficult, however, she was proving capable, reducing her gap to the front by nearly one-minute at such a short distance into the race.
At the beginning of the second mountain bike lap, the positions and time gaps stayed roughly the same between Poor, Wasle and Riou, but the big move was coming from Karaskova who was now only 2:40 from the lead and right behind Riou in 4th place. Kingsford would start her second lap 3:45 from the front of the race.
Poor took the lead into T2 and was the only athlete to not be caught by Karásková on the bike. Wasle and Karásková got into transition 1:37 behind Poor and all three went on to put significant time into the rest of the field. Riou would end the bike in 4th place 4:27 back, with Kingsford in 5th over 10mins behind the lead.
"I had a really good race, I swam well and didn’t lose much time coming out close to the leaders,” said Wasle. “The bike course here at XTERRA Poland is really fun, lots of singletrack trails but my favorite part must be the cave. They’d put out candles to mark the way and were playing some creepy music, but it is good to have different challenges at each race. I didn’t have the strongest run today, but I still managed to get onto the podium again."
Onto the run and whilst Poor was running strongly, Karásková was flying, reducing her gap to the front of the race by 60-seconds within the first 2.5km. Wasle was also making up time to the lead but couldn’t keep up with the pace set by Karaskova.
At the halfway point Poor and Karásková were running side by side. Upon reaching the front of the race Karásková never gave up the lead, crossing the line with the fastest run split of 45:51.
Poor showed her class and despite losing 1:37 in the first lap of the run would only concede another 15-seconds over the second lap to finish close behind Karaskova. Wasle would produce another consistent run to complete the podium in third, while Riou and Kingsford would place 4th and 5th, respectively.
“I’m a little disappointed with second place today, but I’ve done a lot of training ahead of my main goal, the XTERRA European Championships in Germany next week,” said Poor. “This raced served as some good training, so I guess I’m satisfied and will hope for a better race next weekend.”
|XTERRA Poland Elite Women|
|1||Helena Karaskova-Erbenova, CZE||02:59:02||75||$1 200|
|2||Brigitta Poor, HUN||02:59:21||67||$900|
|3||Carina Wasle, AUT||03:01:08||61||$700|
|4||Morgane Riou, FRA||03:09:27||56||$550|
|5||Samantha Kingsford, NZL||03:14:28||51||$400|
|6||Penny Slater, AUS||03:17:27||47|
|7||Marta Menditto, ITA||03:22:45||43|
|8||Sabina Rzepka, POL||03:25:23||39|
|9||Daria Radczuk, POL||03:26:42||36|
|10||Anna Brychtova, CZE||03:28:01||33|
|11||Mikaela Jonsson, ZAF||03:32:51||30|
|DNF : Aleksandra Rudzinska, POL - Ania Tomica POL - Nicole Walters GBR|
The 12th race on the XTERRA European Tour was a fantastic battle with plenty of changes throughout and some interesting display of form ahead of the XTERRA European Championships hosted in Zittau, Germany next Saturday. After the race athletes headed into old town to celebrate a fantastic race with excellent food and the warm hospitality Poland is known for.
XTERRA European Tour Elite Points Standings, after 12 of 16
Despite not starting in Poland François Carloni is still leading the Tour. However, there was a big move from Arthur Serrières who has pushed up to 2nd and Peter Lehmann moves to 3rd. Max Chané is also gaining some good points and now sits in 5th.
For the women there were no major moves following XTERRA Poland. Carina Wasle still holds a solid lead following her 2018 podium streak. Australian athlete Penny Slater moved into the top 10 following good results at France, Czech and Poland and is now in the 8th position.
Next week is the XTERRA European Championship in Germany, and almost all the athletes in the top 10 for both the men and women will be on the start line.
|Pos||Name, country||Total||Pos||Name, coutry||Total|
|1||Francois Carloni, FRA||416||1||Carina Wasle, AUT||661|
|2||Arthur Serrieres , FRA||393||2||Brigitta Poor, HUN||598|
|3||Peter Lehmann, GER||349||3||Helena Karaskova, CZE||499|
|4||Roger Serrano, ESP||348||4||Nicole Walters, GBR||378|
|5||Maxim Chane, FRA||329||5||Morgane Riou, FRA||352|
|6||Arthur Forissier, FRA||307||6||Ania Tomica, POL||233|
|7||Xavier Dafflon, SUI||260||7||Jessica Roberts, GBR||165|
|8||Rui Dolores, POR||253||8||Penny Slater, AUS||163|
|9||Ruben Ruzafa, ESP||250||9||Sandra Mairhofer, ITA||160|
|10||Marcello Ugazio, ITA||250||10||Maud Golsteyn, NED||154|
|11||Bradley Weiss, RSA||224||11||Renata Bucher, SUI||148|
|12||Geert Lauryssen, BEL||209||12||Eva Garcia Gonzalez, ESP||136|
|13||Doug Hall, GBR||177||13||Cecilia Jessen, SWE||128|
|14||Jan Kubicek, CZE||171||14||Diane Luethi, SUI||119|
|15||Fausto Fognini, ITA||146||15||Elizabeth Orchard, NZL||112|
|16||Victor Del Corral Morales, ESP||128||16||Bianca Morvillo, ITA||102|
|17||Tomas Kubek, SVK||122||17||Angela Niklaus, SUI||102|
|18||Ben Allen, AUS||117||18||Diane Lee, GBR||78|
|19||Anthony Pannier, FRA||114||19||Sabina Rzepka, POL||78|
|20||Sam Osborne, NZL||110||20||Lesley Paterson, GBR||75|