European Tour Finale Sunday in Denmark

The XTERRA European Tour finale takes place Sunday in the scenic and sleepy beach town of Tisvilde, which lies about an hour north of Copenhagen on the North Sea.  It is a place of great beauty where the beach meets the forest.  In summer time local and international tourists flock to the charming town but right now it’s all about the XTERRA Tribe.

The course itself embraces all Tisvilde has to offer, from the cold water to the sandy dunes and singletrack through the dense, mystic forest trails.  This is the “spiritual home of the Viking” and out on the course competitors will ride by an elaborate Viking grave.  There’s no doubt some of the Viking spirit will be on display this Sunday as participants go storming through the woods.

The weather in Tisvilde has been delightful … tee shirts and clear blue skies.  The food here is remarkable, so much care to be taken in the preparation and presentation of meals and the locals are famously friendly folk, enjoying the opportunity to mingle in the international languages of XTERRA.

Today, Friday, athletes can pick up their packet, go on a designated pre-ride of the course with organizers, and later join in a classic beach barbeque.  On Saturday they offer everyone the chance to experience the grueling 10K trail run course.  While there’s no sustained climbs the run course goes up-and-down incredibly steep ravines carved out of the hillside more than a dozen times (see pictures).  Those calf-burning climbs and tricky descents are complimented by long shuffles through deep, soft, white sand filled with rocks waiting to roll the unsuspecting ankle.  On Sunday the XTERRA Denmark Championship starts at 1pm local time, and the weather forecast is calling for calm air and sunny skies.

The competition itself will be fierce, with exciting match-ups in both the men’s and women’s elite races.  The Caveman, Conrad Stoltz from South Africa, is here fresh off his 50th major XTERRA win at England on Sunday and will face-off against fellow countryman Dan Hugo, one of the stars of the 2014 XTERRA World Tour.  Hugo has won eight XTERRA races on five continents this season, including a big one at the Asia-Pacific Championship in Australia against a stacked international field.  The field also includes some of XTERRA’s very best – Ben Allen, Jan Pyott, Jim Thijs, Yeray Luxem, and more.

The women’s race features ALL of Europe’s top performers including this year’s Tour Champion – winner of five majors and the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championship – Kathrin Mueller.  She’ll be up against the top 5 in the Tour with two-time champ Helena Erbenova, Carina Wasle, Jacqui Slack, and Renata Bucher.

As the last of 11 races on the circuit elite and age group champions will be crowned after Sunday’s race.  There is no drama in the pro ranks as Ruben Ruzafa and Kathrin Mueller have already claimed the elite XTERRA European Tour Champions title.  Vice-champions have also been decided with Braden Currie and Helena Erbenova claiming the runner-up spots.  On the line, however, are intriguing battles for the 3rd thru 7th spots, which are rewarded with increasing levels of Tour prize payouts. In particular, Carina Wasle, Renata Bucher, and Jacqui Slack are all within 14 points of each other in the battle for 3rd.

Here’s a look at the current top 10 elites in the standings:

Pl, Name, Pts
1 – Ruben Ruzafa, 600
2 – Braden Currie, 527
3 – Francois Carloni, 417
4 –  Yeray Luxem,377
5 –  Kris Coddens, 317
6 –  Ben Allen, 302
7 –  Jan Pyott, 302
8 –  Asa Shaw, 282
9 –  Will Kelsay, 245
10 –  Conrad Stoltz, 235

Pl, Name, Pts
1 – Kathrin Müller, 590
2 – Helena Erbenova, 562
3 – Carina Wasle, 455
4 – Jacqui  Slack, 443
5 – Renata Bucher, 441
6 – Brigitta Poór,402
7 – Maud Golsteyn,335
8 – Chantell Widney, 322
9 – Louise Fox, 296
10 – Sandra Koblmueller, 280

Complete XTERRA European Tour Standings

Pros are fighting for their share of the $15,000 USD race purse plus XTERRA European Tour points towards the final standings split of $20,000 USD to the top performers in the Series. For amateur racers there are 41 qualifying spots into the 19th annual XTERRA World Championship in Maui this October 26.