XTERRA European Championship Returns to Czech Republic

Top Elites from Saturday's main event will come back Sunday for exciting new fan-friendly ShortTrack race. $30K on the line over the weekend.

By XTERRA
Dec. 19, 2018

This year, the highlight of the XTERRA European Tour will be held on August 3rd when the Czech Republic hosts the XTERRA European Championship race in Prachatice.

The 11th stop on the jam-packed 15-stop XTERRA European Tour will dish out $30,000 in prize money and 51 qualifying spots into XTERRA Worlds for amateurs.

The main event features a point-to-point race format that begins with a 1500 meter swim in the warm waters of Kristanovicky Lake and continues with a challenging 35-kilometer mountain bike through Sumava National Park.  Athletes will experience lovely views, punishing climbs, technical downhills, and gorgeous singletrack. The bike course finishes in the city center of Prachatice, where competitors are cheered on by hundreds of fans. Finally, the 10.5-kilometer run course will take place both in the city streets as well as the forest and finishes next to the Statue of Justice on the Great Square of Prachatice, adding another measure of old European tradition. 

This year, the XTERRA European Championship will also debut a new XTERRA ShortTrack format. This race is a chance for the top 20 men and top 15 women from the XTERRA European Championship race on Saturday to test their skills the following day on a short, fast, and dynamic course. The ShortTrack race on Sunday, August 4th will consist of a 400-meter swim which will take place in Kristanovicky Lake. The 14-kilometer bike course consists of three, 3.5-kilometer laps of a steep route full of obstacles. The run is only 4-kilometer and will also consist of three, 1.3-kilometer laps. 

Not only is this format new for athletes, but spectators will have an up-close and personal experience of XTERRA. The top male and female athletes will earn an additional $5,000 USD in prize money. This year’s purse of $25,000 USD for the top seven men and women combined with the money from the XTERRA ShortTrack provides a total purse of $30,000 USD. 

Prachatice, the home of XTERRA Czech, is located in the south of the Czech Republic, just 30 kilometers from Austria and Germany. The city is also an easy drive from Prague, Munich, and Linz airports. The cobblestone streets of the city center in Pachatice make it a perfect venue for the XTERRA European Championship because of its ability to accommodate the over 700 expected athletes and the hundreds of fans who will come to watch the race. Just like last year, XTERRA Czech will be a true festival for the entire family and will include live music from some of the biggest pop stars in the Czech Republic. Additionally, the event will include a 5K trail run, a kids duathlon, an XTERRA Sprint (300-meter swim, 14K bike, 5K run), and relays.   The organizers also put up a big screen TV in the main square to broadcast live coverage of the events.

XTERRA Czech was the site of the first-ever XTERRA European Championship in 2004, and 2019 marks the first year the race returns to its roots.  It's the oldest XTERRA in Europe still on the schedule and began under the leadership of Michael Pilousek Sr. Today, his son, a former XTERRA elite, is continuing his father’s tradition. 

“It’s fitting that the European Championship returns to XTERRA Czech where it had its origin,” said Nico Lebrun, XTERRA Europe Director. “XTERRA Czech is the ultimate mix of wild racing in the woods of Sumava National Park and riding through the historical Renaissance city of Prachatice, which makes it wonderful for both athletes and spectators.“

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 brought XTERRA back to Prachatice in 2018. 

Learn more about the XTERRA European Championship

XTERRA CZECH ALL-TIME ELITE CHAMPS

Year Men Women

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

2018

Ruben Ruzafa

Helena Erbenova

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