Coddens, Erbenova win XTERRA Belgium
Namur, Belgium (June 11, 2016) - Kris Coddens and Helena Erbenova captured the inaugural XTERRA Belgium elite titles in Namur this afternoon.
The swim was cancelled due to the extraordinarily high water levels in the Meuse River and turned into a run-bike-run event instead. XTERRA World Tour managing director Dave Nicholas was on-site for the event and brings us this report…
A superb day for racing in Belgium. Low 70’s with clouds and a slight breeze made it easy on the athletes to conquer a very difficult course. Because of the heavy rains in France, the current in the Meuse River made the swim impossible and it became a run-bike-run, but not exactly duathlon distances. Just over 650 athletes made a heavy jam of bodies running on the road around the compound before heading into the woods. It was wonderful, it was chaos and everyone survived.
The first run was just over 4K. Straight out onto the bike it was local favorite Kris Coddens shadowed by Kiwi Sam Osborne.
“I wanted to be sure to lead on the bike and went very hard on the first climb” said Coddens. “I figured soon it was too fast and backed down to save some energy. In a moment, Sam was with me and I had to go again.”
Indeed, those two ran away from the field right from the start. Damien Guillemet, Francois Carloni and Nicolas Fernandez were all together but already two-minutes back at the end of the first bike lap. Namur is one of those trail systems where it just seems that everything goes up and very little comes down so it is easy to run out of energy early. The other local favorite, Yeray Luxem clearly had problems and was mired back over five minutes at the end of the first bike lap. You have to give him credit as he never bowed out, never quit and ended up an amazing 14th.
It’s well known that Helena Erbenova is not a great swimmer. Equally well known is she can run. The layout this weekend suited her perfectly and despite cramping on the first bike lap, she came out of the woods to start the second loop already four-minutes ahead. The surprise was young French star Morgane Riou was up into 2nd followed by Carina Wasle, Maud Golsteyn, Elisabetta Curridori and Luxembourg’s own Isabelle Klein.
Out onto the second lap Coddens and Osborne were still within a few seconds of each other and suddenly Kris showed up almost a minute ahead.
“I saw this muddy spot coming up and Kris was being careful,” grinned Osborne. “I decided to go for it, but then thought maybe not and that indecision caught me out. I started sliding, caught it and then slid some more and had to get off the bike and run up the next hill. I went hard but I just could not close the gap”.
That minute stayed constant and Coddens ran it home to a very loud crowd cheering for their own man.
There were spectators everywhere. It sometimes caught the organizers out as nobody had planned on thousands coming. We saw people walking up the crazy stairs that took bikers down to transition. Fans lined the hills, they sat on the medieval walls surrounding the Citadel and they clapped and cheered and tooted horns. It was great.
Erbenova was dominant today and her cramps went away on the second bike lap and she never looked back, winning by seven-minutes over Wasle. Morgane was completely exhausted, muddy and a bit bloody but over-the-moon happy. She was a mess and talked about hitting the mud and falling. “But I think a lot of people did the same thing” she laughed.
The rain stayed away; the local boy won the race; the location at the top of Namur overlooking the city and the Meuse River and mostly the fantastic Citadel, a huge stone fortress that has guarded Namur for centuries. We could not have written a better script.
The action returns to Switzerland in a couple weeks. This race will serve as the ETU cross triathlon championship as well as XTERRA Switzerland and will have just as big an entry in a very different but equally stunning setting. We’re off to the after race dinner, awards and party which has been promised to be awesome. The Belgians say they are famous for three things - Frites, Beer and Chocolates. I think that makes for a pretty interesting evening.
Tentative Elite Results
|1||Kris Coddens, BEL||75||2:33:35|
|2||Sam Osborne, NZL||67||2:34:41|
|3||Francois Carloni, FRA||61||2:38:10|
|4||Nicolas Fernandez, FRA||56||2:40:26|
|5||Damien Guillemet, FRA||51||2:43:04|
|6||Tomas Kubek, GER||47||2:43:53|
|7||Sebastian Norberg, SWE||43||2:44:25|
|8||Henry Sleight, GBR||39||2:45:43|
|9||Christophe Betard, FRA||36||2:47:07|
|10||Llewellyn Holmes, GBR||33||2:47:42|
|11||Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA||30||2:47:47|
|12||Yeray Luxem, BEL||27||2:48:31|
|13||Jim Thijs, BEL||25||2:51:28|
|14||Martial Schmidt, FRA||23||2:56:23|
|Also: Glenn Wesseling, Lars Van der Eerden, Max Sasserath, Jon Heasman, Joost Christiaans, Thomas Kerner, Jonathan Pybus, Kenny Van Laere, Anthony Verhamme|
|1||Helena Erbenova, CZE||75||3:01:41|
|2||Carina Wasle, AUT||67||3:08:56|
|3||Morgane Riou, FRA||61||3:12:30|
|4||Isabelle Klein, LUX||56||3:26:41|
|5||Jessie Roberts, GBR||51||3:27:54|
|6||Maud Golsteyn, NED||47||3:29:56|
|7||Elisabetta Curridori, ITA||43||3:36:13|
|8||Lenka Cibulkova, CZE||39||3:37:39|
SERRANO, ERBENOVA LEAD XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR STANDINGS
Despite not racing Roger Serrano is still the top ranked athlete in the XTERRA European Tour, while Francois Carloni moved into the No. 2 spot ahead of Ruben Ruzafa. In the women’s standings Helena Erbenova jumped past Brigitta Poor into the No. 1 spot after winning her third straight race on the European Tour this season. For Erbenova, the 3x Euro Tour Champ, the win is her 7th straight in Europe dating back to last year,
Elite athletes count their best 4 Gold and 3 Silver finishes. Next up is XTERRA Switzerland on June 25.
Standings pending confirmation of today’s XTERRA Belgium results.
|2016 XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR POINT STANDINGS|
|After 4 - 6.11.16|
|1||Roger Serrano, ESP||211||75||75||61||DNS|
|2||Francois Carloni, FRA||168||DNS||51||56||61|
|3||Ruben Ruzafa, ESP||142||DNS||67||75||DNS|
|4||Kris Coddens, BEL||122||DNS||47||DNS||75|
|5||Sam Osborne, NZL||118||DNS||DNS||51||67|
|6||Brice Daubord, FRA||104||43||61||DNS||DNS|
|7||Yeray Luxem, BEL||94||DNS||DNS||67||27|
|8||Tomas Kubek, CZE||90||DNS||43||DNS||47|
|9||Pierre-Antoine Guilhem, FRA||82||61||21||DNS||DNS|
|10||Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA||77||47||DNS||DNS||30|
|11||Cedric Lassonde, FRA||69||30||39||DNS||DNS|
|12||Hannes Wolpert, GER||69||36||DNS||33||DNS|
|13||Sebastian Norberg, GER||68||DNS||25||DNS||43|
|14||Jens Roth, GER||67||67||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|16||Llewellyn Holmes, GBR||58||DNS||DNS||25||33|
|17||Tim Van Daele, BEL||57||DNS||27||30||DNS|
|18||Maxim Chane, FRA||56||56||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|19||Arthur Forissier, FRA||56||DNS||56||DNS||DNS|
|20||Nicolas Fernandez, FRA||56||DNS||DNS||DNS||56|
|21||Peter Lehmann, GER||51||51||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|22||Damien Guillemet, FRA||51||DNS||DNS||DNS||51|
|23||José Estrangeiro, POR||47||DNS||DNS||47||DNS|
|24||Maximilian Sasserath, GER||43||DNS||DNS||43||DNS|
|25||Dominik Wychera, AUT||39||39||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|26||Julen Loroño, ESP||39||DNS||DNS||39||DNS|
|27||Henry Sleight, GBR||39||DNS||DNS||DNS||39|
|28||Jan Kubicek, CZE||36||DNS||36||DNS||DNS|
|29||Rui Dolores, POR||36||DNS||DNS||36||DNS|
|30||Fabien Combaluzier, FRA||33||33||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|31||Jan Pyott, SUI||33||DNS||33||DNS||DNS|
|32||Max Neumann, AUS||30||DNS||30||DNS||DNS|
|33||Gonzalo Orosco, ESP||27||DNS||DNS||27||DNS|
|35||Jim Thijs, BEL||25||DNS||DNS||DNS||25|
|36||Julien Buffe, FRA||23||DNS||23||DNS||DNS|
|37||Veit Hoenle, GER||23||DNS||DNS||23||DNS|
|38||Martial Schmidt, FRA||23||DNS||DNS||DNS||23|
|39||Tiago Maia, POR||21||DNS||DNS||21||DNS|
|1||Helena Erbenova, CZE||225||DNS||75||75||75|
|2||Brigitta Poor, HUN||203||75||67||61||DNS|
|3||Morgane Riou, FRA||179||67||51||DNS||61|
|4||Maud Golsteyn, NED||142||56||DNS||39||47|
|5||Carina Wasle, AUT||123||DNS||DNS||56||67|
|6||Louise Fox, GBR||103||DNS||56||47||DNS|
|7||Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA||67||DNS||DNS||67||DNS|
|8||Sandra Koblemueller, AUT||61||61||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|9||Ladina Buss, SUI||61||DNS||61||DNS||DNS|
|10||Isabelle Klein, LUX||56||DNS||DNS||DNS||56|
|11||Alena Stevens, SVK||51||51||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|12||Renata Bucher, SUI||51||DNS||DNS||51||DNS|
|13||Jessie Roberts, GBR||51||DNS||DNS||DNS||51|
|14||Diane Lee, GBR||47||47||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|15||Kristina Nec Lapinova, SVK||43||43||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|16||Sara Bonilla Bernardez, ESP||43||DNS||DNS||43||DNS|
|17||Elisabetta Curridori, ITA||43||DNS||DNS||DNS||43|
|18||Danica Spiteri, MLT||39||39||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|19||Lenka Cibulkova, CZE||39||DNS||DNS||DNS||39|
2016 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS
XTERRA Belgium was the 17th of 37 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the world could qualify to race at the 21st annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on Oct 23.