XTERRA European Championship in Zittau on Saturday
XTERRA Germany is always a big event and this year hosts the XTERRA European Championships for a second time. The German crew always deliver a fantastic event for competitors, so athletes can look forward to a perfect race day.
XTERRA Germany, also known as the famous OSEE Challenge takes place in a disused mine which has now been turned into a large recreation area. There is a very nice lake complete with a sandy beach, restaurants, hotels and a campsite, all situated inside a beautiful woodland. Zittau is close to both the Polish and Czech border and its town centre is famous having some of the oldest buildings in Germany.
When you arrive at the race venue, you might mistake the set up for that of a music festival! A huge race site with large tents, a big stage, live music and food trucks everywhere! The organisers do a fantastic job of ensuring athletes and spectators have a great experience at one of the oldest races in our XTERRA European history.
The course has changed slightly for 2018; whilst the classic 2-lap non-wetsuit swim and the 36km single lap marathon style mountain bike course remains the same, the run is now a 2-lap affair with some extra challenges and keeps the course closer to the event village.
The biggest race in Europe has attracted a world class field to Zittau. Reigning XTERRA World and European Champion Bradley Weiss from South Africa will start as favourite. With multiple podiums in 2018 and a win just last week in Poland shows us that he is in great shape to win here.
2017 winner Sam Osborne will push his South African friend and training partner as hard as he can. Sam showed good form at Poland last week and will want to defend his XTERRA Germany title, making him the second best favourite for victory.
From here it gets harder to predict!
Our XTERRA European Tour leader François Carloni will race in Zittau. He has a small chance to win but can animate the race on the bike and ride towards a top 5.
Roger Serrano has won 3 XTERRA races this year has been training hard alongside developing XTERRA Spain and will be able to scare our World Champion for sure.
Arthur Serrieres did not show his best shape last week in Poland, but with two wins this year and a 2nd place in Zittau in 2017 he will be extremely motivated to produce a good result this weekend.
Our best German athletes on Sunday will be Peter Lehmann and Jens Roth. Lehmann has moved up to 3rd in the European Tour after a consistent season will hope to improve upon last year’s 9th place. Jens has raced less this year, but will race as the DTU German Cross Champion and was 5th last year so knows how to do well on this course.
Other athletes ranked in the top ten who will fighting for position on Sunday include Max Chané (5th), Xavier Daflon (7th), Rui Dolres (8th). Wildcard athletes who could surprise here are Marcello Ugazio from Italy, Pavel Andreev from Russia and Lukas Kocar from Czech.
With 36 elite men on the startlist from 14 different countries, XTERRA Germany is set to be the biggest race of the European Season. We are only missing Ruben Ruzafa through and Arthur Forissier who focussing on training for races later in the season.
Start List Elite Men
|Euro Tour||XT GER #17||Name||Last Name||Country||Bib|
For the Woman we have our best Elites in Europe competing to become the XTERRA European Champion with some extra competition coming from New Zealand and Australia!
The favourite has to be Brigitta Poor from Hungary. She has won 6 times in Europe this season and is the current European champion after winning in Denmark last year. However, we said the same last week in Poland before Helena Karaskova from Czech got the better of her! We understand both athletes raced Poland at the end of a big training block so with a little rest this week we should see a fantastic race between the two big favourites. I think that XTERRA Germany could suit Karaskova better, with the big climbs suiting her mountain bike ability.
Austrian Carina Wasle will be close to the front, with 10 podium finishes in 2018 she leads the tour by a considerable margin. Carina has never won here in Zittau but won XTERRA Germany back in 2005 when the race was hosted in Titisee. 13 years later, she is still racing strong and hungry for the win!
This big race will be also be the comeback for Nicole Walters from the UK. After her amazing second place at ITU worlds, she had to take a break from racing to recovery an injury.
Eva Garcia from Spain, winner in Scanno, Italy and Morgane Riou winner in Belgium will also be in the mix for a top 5 and maybe the podium.
Lizzie Orchard and Samantha Kingsford from New Zealand will animate the front of the race too. Lizzie skipped Poland last week to focus on preparing for this weekend.
As we’ve seen at many races this year, a strong Italian presence with Sandra Mairhofer, Bianca Morvillo and Marta Mendito. For this race I will bet on Mairhofer to be the first Italian home.
Penny Slater, all the way from Australia sit in 8th on the European tour and will get more points and might move up another place on Saturday. Young Loanne Duvoisin will represent Switzerland and will also feature in the top 10. Daria Rogozina from Russia was 7th here in 2017 and have to run fast again to come back into the top ten in 2018. Two athletes from Germany, Bianca Reitwiessner who was 11th in Zittau last year and Maria Doring will represent the host country.
Start List Elite Women
|Euro Tour||XT GER #17||Name||Last Name||Country||Bib|
The XTERRA Euro Team will be on site to keep you updated as we head towards race day. As usual there will be a Facebook Live feed to follow the action on Saturday