All season long we’ve reported on the close racing in the Elite field and how that has shaped the competition for the European Tour titles. We crowned our champions François Carloni and Carina Wasle in Denmark but the racing goes far beyond just that of the elite category. With competitive racing across 16 events this season all AG athletes had the opportunity to become a tour champion.
There are two rules on tour;
- finish in the top 15 to score points
- every race counts.
In the upcoming European newsletters, we will present most of them in personal interviews, to learn more about them, their goals, hours of training, etc.
But let’s see in brief, who where our best XTERRA Warriors!
We’ll start with the men and in order of total accumulated points from the 2018 season.
Richie Schneider is an American living in Germany and is one of our sport’s best ambassadors. He retired from work this year and raced a lot to score our biggest points total of 732 to win the 65/69 AG. Schneider raced 14 events this year and despite a couple of bad races always remains positive, channelling the spirit of XTERRA perfectly.
David Boulous from the south of France also scored a lot of points this year. After finishing second in 2017 Boulous showed how strong he could be in 2018 by racing 10 events, only missing the podium twice to score 692 points and win the 45/49 AG.
Polish athlete Armand Survillo is the third on the list with 639 points to win the 55/59 AG category, repeating his tour victory from 2016. Armand had to fight all the way against Frenchman Raymond Ferry who improved on his 3rd place in 2017 to finish 2nd with 586 points. I think we can look forward to some more battles between these two XTERRA warriors.
There was another great battle in the 35/39 AG where Stefan Kumli from Switzerland snatched the tittle from British athlete Steve Ferguson, a previous tour champion. They both had a great season, Kumli scoring 561 points from 9 races and Ferguson with 556 points from 8 races. 9 races. The final race in Denmark was a tense and strategic affair for those guys!
Adrien Dransart from France had to work hard for his win. He made sure to race a lot did a trip to Norway at the last minute to score some extra points to secure a win in the 30/34 AG with a total of 531 points.
Young Parîs Fellmann from Luxembourg won the 15/19 AG for the second year in a row. With a total of 432 points across 7 races and 4 podiums. Fellmann improved a lot this season and was happy to win his AG in Greece having dual nationality.
Karsten Olsen from Denmark won the tour in 2016 and now repeats in 2018 to win the 60/64 AG with 403 points. Czech athlete Zdenek Orner was fighting hard and led this AG almost all of the season with Olsen only taking the lead on the last race in Denmark to finish just 9 points ahead!
Pierric Brochet from france was one of the strongest athletes in the AG field this season. He won the 25/29 AG and is now focusing on Maui where he wants to win his AG and perhaps the overall amateur race too. Brochet could race Elite in 2019 as he proved many times that he can compete at that level.
Bern Kiesel from Germany was also chasing a European Tour win in the 50/54 AG and he did it! He had to race all season, as whilst athletes such as Benoit Lalevee were stronger in one race, Kiesel raced consistently over 9 events always scoring points at every event before finally taking the win.
Louis Monville from Belgium took the win in the 20/24 AG by only two points over Matthias Gourgues from France. Gourgues had a very good early season, but Monville managed 3 wins in 3 weeks at the very end of the tour to give him victory in the tour. It’s worth noting that in this AG we saw some great performances from Karel Dusek and Ondrej Petr, both from Czech. These two guys had some amazing results showing that they can race at Elite level if they want to.
Stephane Delicourt from France won the 40/44 AG with a good start to the season and then finally taking the lead at the last race of the tour. Delicourt was second in 2017 so will be happy to go one better in 2018.
Michel Gonon from France, racing in the Challenged athlete category was again the strongest 2018. He has won in Maui already and is an amazing athlete, still competitive against able bodied athletes despite only having one hand to mountain bike with.
Doctor Steffen Neuendorff from Germany raced with us on three occasions and won each time to win the tour in the 70/74 AG. An amazing performance, and he had to really fight for the win in Denmark to beat Andrea Latrofa from Italy.
For the women, we need to make a special mention to the winner of the 15/19 AG, Lola Chané is our first winner in this category for several years. Perhaps inspired by her brother Max Chané, she raced twice this year in Greece and Germany to win her European Tour title.
Moving back to the athletes with the largest number of points, Alexandra Borrelly from France won the 40/44 AG with 497 points. She had a great season with 7 races and 6 podiums alongside managing the XTERRA/Organicoach racing team who recorded a fantastic season with wins both in the tour and in individual races.
The second highest points score was by Tina Holsher from Germany in 45/49 AG with 455 points. She scored points in 7 races and passed Emilie Le Fur (429) at the last race of the season in Denmark. Le Fur won the 40/44 last year and led the all season until the last race in Denmark.
Emily Hoy, also from Germany won the 20/24 AG with the 4th best score of 415 points.
Hoy raced well over the last part of the season, winning in Finland, Norway and placing second in Denmark. But it was not easy as Marine Echevin from France had a strong first part of season with 3 wins and one second place too. Hoy will put her Gold medal beside her boyfriend Peter Lehmann’s Bronze one from the Elite tour.
With 370 points Sandra Kocurkova from Czech won the 30/34 AG with 3 wins in 5 races. With XTERRA Czech back on the calendar we saw some amazing athletes from Czech racing more often on the Euro tour, Sandra is one of them.
Miriam Gerber from Switzerland won the 35/39 AG. She has won the tour before in 2016 and was second behind Eva Garcia in 2017. Gerber raced 4 times this season only missing the podium on one occasion.
Rita Harteis from Germany won the 50/54 AG with just 3 races thanks to 3 outstanding wins in Europe this year.
In the 25/29 AG, Malene Halling from Denmark and Irena Klingorova from Czech both raced twice and won twice but didn’t actually race each other! In the event of tie break, under the European tour rules we revert to the latest result, so Halling with her win in Denmark is our champion.
Silvia Brandstetter from Switzerland won 55/59 AG with two races. Lorenn Walker was our oldest competitor this season in the 65/69 AG but raced only once in Italy Lake Garda.
For some the racing is over and its now time to look forward to a big winter of training, for others it’s the final push towards Maui and the XTERRA world championships.
The European Tour keeps Growing, more and more athletes are racing and accumulating more points.
Some stats from last 4 years:
Athletes above 300 points in the Euro Tour:
9 in 2015
8 in 2016
26 in 2017
29 in 2018
Looking forward to see you all in Maui and/or in the upcoming races of the 2019 European Tour season.