Xterra Czech - solid working my way up to the podium
August 8, 2015
April 5, 2017
XTERRA Italy - "we will kill you"
July 29, 2015
Scanno, Italy - always special to go back to the village nestled in the Abruzzo mountains about 2hrs away from Rome Airport. The people and landscape are very nice and this race is one of the highlights in my race calendar. This year was the 3rd edition of XTERRA Italy and the course was left as it was last year.
All the racers and organisation seams to enjoy this stop a lot and with this the days leading to the race were full of fun and jokes.
The 1500m swim is in a very clean lake bellow the village. Special is every year the course how the course in the water is set up. Last year an orientation swim, this year on super long strait, turn around and come back. The australian exit remained and we ran 80m on land over the little bridge and did again the short leg out into the middle of the lake before you turn 180 degrees to the exit.
The 30km bike course has 2 loops, a 18km loop to start with 850m climbing, followed by the shorter loop with another 450m of climbing. Both go through Scanno and onto the famous steps, some down, some up. On the long loop is the ski sloop downhill, also known as “the bream fluid boiler”. A 7km section with some very steep downhills and turns.
Finally the run is 10km and had 500m of climbing in it. Again it goes though Scanno onto the stairs, this time only up. After Scanno is the long and steep uphill to the very top in the forest. A second uphill is on the same road as with the bikers before. It splits off to go on the ridge and into the long downhill back down to the lake. The final kilometre is on tar and you can hear the music and speaker at the finish line.
My race was tricky this year. This was the 3rd race in 3 weeks and my body started to show that it was not 100% fresh anymore, plus I still had some scratches from the crash the week before. In the swim I made a good start and I could see Roger on the other side starting to lead a group. Slowly they approached me on the directer line to the fare turn around. I could make out Ruben and Francois next to me, but at the turn around I must have fallen asleep for a few second. Just in a few meters distance they gaped me and from now on I was swimming 15m behind them.
Arriving in T1 I just saw Ruben and Francois leave and I was counted being in 5th position. On the bike at 3km I overtook the Italian Guerrieri - now I was 4th. After Scanno I saw 150m up the lead Ruben and Francois going like crazy. Later Ruben told us that at this point he had difficulties following Francois! I knew this speed was too much for me today, so I seeded in for my pace and soon after Jim and Markus caught up. Together we road to the top of the mountain. Markus having the best legs in our group and Jim being a great descender made his move there.
At the bottom of the long descend in the first loop I was 30sec behind Jim and this gap would remain all through the end of the bike. In T2 I saw Markus and Jim behind him leave when I entered. I though I could catch them on the run, but my legs were toast. I had to control myself a long time to not cramp up and with this I was defending my 6th position all the way to the finish
I had a lot of fun again in Scanno and it is one of the best races in the world. A true test of XTERRA, mountain biking and trail running. I wish more race directors would do races like this.
Thank you Wolf, your team and the sponsors for such an awesome weekend! I will return next year!
Best DJ - Giacomo turning the place into a made house :)