Xterra Czech - solid working my way up to the podium
August 8, 2015
April 5, 2017
XTERRA Czech 2013
August 10, 2013
This past weekend the Xterra warriors made their way to the Czech city of Prachatice in southern Bohemia, for those of you that have as little idea how to pronounce this correctly the closest I got was “pra – ka –teets – ay”, but this is one of those things you need to learn as a kid to be able to do it right.
The race was in a point-to-point style with two transition areas, one at the lake roughly 10km away from the city, and transition 2 in the city center on the stunning beautiful medieval market square. In-between the two areas there is one of the very beautiful Czech forests, which house the largest and most numerous ant hills I have ever seen. The race was packed with the top names of the sport, six of the top seven men and eight of the top nine women were on the starting line including the defending champions Nicolas Lebrun and Helena Erbenova.
The 1500m swim took place in a very brown pond. I started on the fare left and made on the first buoy contact with the lead group. At the second buoy a group of 3 swimmers made the split and I stayed back in a 10 men chase pack. This remained unchained until transition 1. On the bike a group with Asa Shaw, Yeray Luxem, Jim Thijs, Jan Kubicek and me formed to chase the 3 fugitives, Ben Allen, Felix Schumann and Steve Ferguson in front, down.
At the first uphill Steve was caught and at the second Ben. In the following long downhill Jim Thijs flew by me, showing us all how downhill was done really. In this section Nicolas Lebrun closed the gap to our group, but Yeray and Jan Kubicek made it all the way in the front and reached with Felix the city 40sec prior my now growing in numbers group.
In the second bike loop and very steep climb Cedric Lassonde came out of nowhere and demonstrated a very strong bike form. The group got split by the very high speed now and unfortunately I was not able to hold the speed. The next 10km I had the course almost all by myself, only Hector Guerra (2nd) blew by me, leaving me no chance to catch his wheel and like this I reached Prachatice in 10th position. On the 2 loop run, into the same forest, I had to cut back on speed to not cramp in the uphills and let pass 5 more professionals. Reaching the finish in 16th position overall and first in my age group I am very happy with the race. A year ago I suffered to run 10km and it took me several weeks to recover from a Xterra, now I am racing amongst the Pro’s and enjoying this lifestyle a lot again!
This 4th podium in a row is securing me the Xterra European Tour title and I am now looking forward to race next weekend in Zittau in the Xterra Germany race.
Congratulations to Felix Schumann and Helena Erbenova for their victories. Two great racers and people in the Xterra sport - a great honor to race with them. Last, but most important a big thank you to the race organization and volunteers, they made a perfect race and day possible. I am looking forward to return to Prachatice in 2014!