XTERRA Europe | European Off-Road Triathlon Tour

The European Union's premier off-road triathlon series. Featuring championship races in five countries leading up to the XTERRA World Championship in Maui, Hawaii, USA.

Kahuna’s Korner: 2011 European Tour Preview




The European season starts next week on the island of Sardinia, just west of Rome, for the XTERRA Italy Championship.  The race has been sold out for weeks for good reason.  The race site is fabulous, the resort is gorgeous and the trails and ocean are the best.  I think it is probably unnecessary to mention the food and vino.

Mel McQuaid (pictured) is returning to defend her great win last year but will have to beat a resurgent Renata Bucher who placed a strong second at the XTERRA Pacific Championship in Santa Cruz, California, part of the XTERRA America Tour and has said she is feeling much stronger than in the early season.  Marion “Bubu” Lorblanchet has become a true force by winning twice on the XTERRA European Tour last season and taking her first season  championship title.  Carina Wasle was very fast in the early season in South Africa, Philippines and Saipan and she knows the Italian course.  That gives us a fast four women and any of them could take the top step of the podium.

With the retirement of Frankie Batellier the men’s field is open.  Top of the list has to be Olivier Marceau who has been strong on Sardinia for several years.  France’s Nico Lebrun has recovered from being sick and withdrawing from the XTERRA Pacific Championship and would like to retake the European crown he wore for years.

Where do the dark horses come from?  Young Yeray Luxem of Belgium was coming on strong at the end of last season and may be poised to start taking some money from the established stars.

England’s Ian Leitch was also strong last year and Jim Thijs and Germany’s Ronnie Dietz are always contenders for the podium.

The European season for 2011 looks to be the strongest ever.  The XTERRA France  Championship in July is already sold out and is looking at nearly 800 entrants.  The Czech Championship race returns to the mountains north of Prague, Germany will host  our one day European Championship event and Switzerland will finish up the year in September.

This first race should set the tone as to whether the new guard is ready to replace the established stars.  It seems both in the US and abroad a whole new cadre of XTERRA pro’s are coming forth.  Should be a great year.

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