Kahuna’s Korner: XTERRA Czech - Race #4 in Euro Tour

The XTERRA Czech Championship on Saturday is the fourth of six races in the 2010 XTERRA European Tour and more than 30 pros (see start list) are on-site to check out the new course in Spindleruv Mlyn - one of the most well-known mountain resorts in the Czech Republic.

Franky Batelier, the Euro Tour leader after three races, has won six of the last seven championships in Europe and is the clear frontrunner in the men’s race.  In the women’s race 4-time Euro Tour Champ Renata Bucher will face XTERRA France winner Marion Lorblanchet and long-time foe Carina Wasle.

“Kahuna Dave” Nicholas, the managing director of the XTERRA World Tour, is in Czech and writes here about the new course and venue…

The new site for the XTERRA Czech Championship is very different from any other place I have been to in this country.  We are up north very near the Poland border.  While altitude is not crazy high, the start and swim are at 2,500′ and the climbs will take racers up to the ski resort of Spindleruv Mlyn.  The place is packed with Europeans; many from Germany and the old Soviet countries like Latvia, Estonia, etc…   The actual site of the race has played host to FIS World Cup downhills and in the summer to UCI Mountain Bike downhills.

The course starts near the village with a two lap swim.  After T1 the road is fairly flat for about 1K and then goes into a steep, long climb.  After that the course is on top of the mountains and racers will do two fast laps followed by a neat downhill partly on the downhill mountain bike course.  Back at the main ski area the run will go up and down several times on a three lap circuit.

The entry is limited to 200 by the National Forest service.  They want events like XTERRA to come in the summer but want to use this year as a test case to see if the trails and the area can handle a whole new crowd of people.  Lots of restaurants, pretty little lake, resorts and everything you could want.  It’s about a two hour drive from the Prague airport through some lovely, rolling farmland.