World Champions, European Champions and Euro Tour race winners. All those guys are preparing really hard for our 2018 European Tour. We had a little chat with them to find out what they have changed if anything with their training plans this winter, what their main focus and goals are, and also where we will see them racing this season.
Part 1.1 Elite Men
“Our season is divided into 3 parts for 2018. We have our first 3 races in April (Malta, Cyprus, Greece) and then a break of 3 weeks. The second part starts in Italy-Lake Garda and ends in France at the beginning of July. The last part begins with Czech Republic until the end of the season in Spain” said Nico Lebrun.
2017 XTERRA World Champion – Bradley Weiss
We saw Bradley a lot last year in Europe. He started slow but finished the season winning the European Championship in Mons Klint, Denmark. “XTERRA Denmark was my favorite race last year. I loved the Elites only format and the multiple lap course on the mountain bike leg too. I hope we will see more of this style of racing in 2018” said Weiss.
“I don’t think we will be able to do that this season. The European Championship will be in Zittau, Germany for 2018 and the challenging part of the bike loop is far away from the lake. But yes, we loved it too and we believe that we might see this format in Maui one day” said Lebrun.
Coming from a solid performance and a victory in his hometown at XTERRA South Africa last week we asked him about his plans for this year.
“I will be present in some selected races of the Euro Tour, but I will not be chasing points. I will be in Belgium, Switzerland, France, Denmark and Germany. I have not changed much of my training over the winter. The only difference this year is that I will be racing a few more Ironman 70.3 events, so I have started spending more time on my TT bike. But XTERRA will still be my main focus for the 2018 season.” said Weiss.
“We have seen that Bradley is in great shape already. Being the World Champion I’m sure that he will want to prove that his fantastic title in Maui was not a fluke. We are very much looking forward to seeing him in action this year, and we are sure that he won’t disappoint” said Lebrun.
Our 2017 Euro Tour winner, will start his season with the regional XTERRA in Spain in Rincón de la Victoria, followed by XTERRA Portugal, a race that he has won 3 times previously already. However, the Tour will not be his main focus this year “My main goal will be XTERRA Worlds and ITU Worlds” said Ruzafa, but he will still be present to race a few others like France, Czech, Germany and the Euro Tour final in Madrid. “XTERRA France is my favorite race. I know I am repetitive, but for me this race shows by far the best example of the XTERRA spirit. The place, the people, the organizers, the courses, the weather, just the perfect combination”.
“The weather? I am sure that not everybody will agree with your Ruben.” said Lebrun.
Asking him about any changes that he may be making in his training in preparation for this season, he said “Now my main coach is Ainhoa Murua triathlete, and Mikel Zabala who will be supporting him. My training has changed and we will focus much more on specific triathlete training. We are going to increase the volume in almost everything” said Ruzafa.
Roger will start his season in Malta. He has already won this race twice and will be there once again to defend his title. He will be at XTERRA Cyprus and of course in Greece too, a race that he won in 2016 in front of Ruben Ruzafa. Being a race organizer in Spain since 2017, he is not planning to race a lot this year.
“I will be very busy as we have to organize 2 regional races in my country starting with Rincon De La Victoria on May 19th and then our gold race in Madrid at the end of the season. I am in pretty good shape already, and 5kg lighter in comparison with last year. I have no big goals for 2018, I just want to feel happy with my racing performance and will try to be on the podium in some races” said Serrano.
“I bet he will also be in Scanno in Italy, as he loves the food and the course there and will relish the chance to be in one of the big races of the season to fight with the best” said Lebrun.
François will also start his season with XTERRA Malta, he was third there last year. After this race he will be in Greece, Italy-Lake Garda, Belgium, France and maybe Italy-Scanno and Germany. Depending on how his performance and season pans out, he will then make the decision as to which races he will do to end the season.
“Having a full time job, It’s hard to have a main goal but having said that, I would like to perform at my best in France and Maui. I was 3rd last year in the Euro Tour ranking but I don’t plan to follow the full Tour again this year” said Carloni.
“Last year Francois started the season with some injuries and I am really happy to see him back in a good shape” said Lebrun
“I feel better this winter and was able to start running earlier. I went to South Africa for a short training camp and will be in Lanzarote for a hard training session to be ready for the beginning of the season. My favorite race last year was Belgium. The place is very nice, people are friendly, I was in really good shape and was able to have a big fight on the bike with some of the best athletes out there! And of course I really enjoyed the after race party (ask Roger lol)” said Carloni.
Stay tuned for our 2nd part with news from Mauricio Mendez who is returning for some races in Europe, Arthur Forissier, Xavier Dafflon and Sam Osborne.