Coddens, Erbenova win XTERRA Belgium

Photos / Complete Results

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

Pro Men      
Pl Name Points Time
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
15 Boris Chambon 21 2:58:36
Also: Glenn Wesseling, Lars Van der Eerden, Max Sasserath, Jon Heasman, Joost Christiaans, Thomas Kerner, Jonathan Pybus, Kenny Van Laere, Anthony Verhamme
Pro Women    
Pl Name Points Time
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


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.

After 4 - 6.11.16          
Men     S S S S
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
15 Christophe Betard 63 27 DNS DNS 36
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
34 Markus Benesch 25 25 DNS DNS 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
40 Boris Chambon 21 DNS DNS DNS 21
Women     S S S S
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


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.