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.

Marceau, Lorblanchet win XTERRA European Championship in Germany




Olivier Marceau and Marion “Bubu” Lorblanchet took home top honors at the XTERRA European Championship in Zittau, Germany on Saturday. It’s the third European Championship for Marceau and the first for Lorblanchet - who has now won three of four races in this year’s Tour and leads the points chase with just one race left (XTERRA Switzerland on Sept. 10).  Dietz still leads Marceau in the men’s points chase.

It was a beautiful day in Zittau, “Sunny and mild with a slight breeze - a perfect low 70′s day for racing,” explained “Kahuna Dave” Nicholas. Here is his complete report from Saturday’s race…

Another great XTERRA experience in Europe as the weekend was packed full of racing, festivities, concerts and food.  The town of Zittau was sold out with more than 1,000 athletes for the three adult races and three kids races, and that did not count about 40 teams playing a round robin beach volleyball tournament on Sunday.  Yep, you read it right, beach volleyball in the mountains of eastern Germany.

The big event was a combined XTERRA Germany, XTERRA European Championship and Deutsche Federation Championship.  It was a mass start with two 750m laps and a short beach run.  The water temp was right at 22C, or so the DTU feds said, so no wetsuits for anyone.  The swim ended up a bit long taking over 21 minutes even for speedy Aussie Ben Allen.  The early surprise was the strong bike form of Czech Karel Zadak.  At the top of the steepest climb at what is known as “The Tower” Zadak had a lead of about 30-seconds on a pack that included Olivier Marceau, ITU 70.3 winner Sebastien Kienle and young German age group phenom Alexander Haas.  This pack was closely followed by Ben Allen, Ronny Dietz, Nico Lebrun, Jan Kubicek and Yeray Luxem.  I expected Seth Wealing to do well here but he was struck hard with two flats and at the climb was already well back.  American Will Kelsey (known in Germany as Veel Kezley) was having a great race with German Thilo Zoberbier and both were cutting through the field after slower swims.

Nearing the end of the bike on a technical, steep downhill Marceau had passed Zadak, now in second, with Haas, Dietz and Kienle not far back and Nico Lebrun closing fast.

For the women, “Bubu” Lorblanchet as usual took the lead out of the water and simply kept it.  Shonny Vanlandingham was still bothered by the torn ligament in her thumb but this course was not as bumpy as the Czech race last week and she was able to make up six minutes on the French girl during the ride.  The problem?  She lost eight minutes in the swim.

“Yeah, the thumb slowed me down a bit on the swim, but heck, my swim is never that fast anyway” said the world champ.

Lorblanchet was worried about “Swiss Miss” Renata Bucher and said she rode hard knowing that Shonny and Renata would be catching her.  Renata had a great bike and was the only woman within two minutes of the Texas rider.  Renata’s running has not been super fast this season and Vanlandingham was able to reel her in on the run to take second under two minutes behind Lorblanchet.  Carla van Huyssteen from South Africa returned to the European tour for a fine 4th with last week’s runner-up Helena Erbanova in 5th.  Erbanova’s father said she had big problems only in the swim with “no neoprene” and indeed Erbanova was by far the fastest runner of the day to offset a swim slower than Vanlandingham’s.  Carina Wasle, expected to do well on this climbing course had bike problems but soldiered on to a hard fought 6th place.

Back to the men, Marceau had the lead, Zadak second and Haas third but Ronny Dietz is a man on a mission this year and he ran those two down to put himself into second place.  I did not get a chance to talk to young Haas, but he certainly had troubles on the run and dropped down to 9th overall.  “Professor” Lebrun had his strongest outing this season in Europe and after a great battle with Czech Jan Kubicek managed 4th place just 19 seconds ahead of Jan.  Marceau’s win tightens the points race but Dietz still holds a slight lead.  It will all come down to the final race in Switzerland in 3 weeks.

Seth had another flat on the second part of the bike losing at least 10 minutes and still put in a great run for 15th.  Will Kelsey had a great day in 11th overall and 10th pro and continues on his XTERRA World Tour, this week heading east to Japan.

On Saturday there were three triathlons – the Champ event, the O-See classic and XTERRA light.  It was great non-stop action all afternoon.  Awards started at 6pm and with five awards ceremonies – took until almost 9pm but nobody cared.  The beer was cold, tasty and cheap, there were athlete meals of bratwurst or pasta and the weather was a fabulous mid-70’s.  At 9pm a band took stage and believe it or not, they were a fantastic 8 piece Zydeco and Reggae group that simply rocked the house.  The compound was packed until well after midnight.  Beach Volleyball and Zydeco were simply not expected in this part of the world yet it was as natural as the brats and beer.

Sunday the festivities continued with over 200 kids taking place in three races and those 40 teams in beach volleyball going all day on four sand courts just outside transition.

The O-See organization is absolute first rate and this event was truly worthy of being called the European Championship.  Friday, for the opening ceremonies, there was a tent full of sponsors and dignitaries from the State of Saxony (where Zittau is located) the Bürgermeisters (Mayors) of Zittau and Olbersdorf, the minister of Sports for the region and all were very enthusiastic about the turnout from 23 countries around the world coming to the area.

It sounds like a broken record; me telling the American racers they must come over to Europe and enjoy athletes from other countries and cultures that think and act like you do and welcome you with open arms.  But take G.L. Brown, a 60+ age grouper from Michigan, that came with his wife to do Czech and Germany on back to back weekends.  When I last saw them you simply could not wipe the smiles off their faces.

The season around the World is coming to an end, but many of the races are still waiting for that final push in late August in the States and early September in Europe and Canada.  We even have the first XTERRA Venezuela in early September.  The world is out there waiting for you.

Complete Results - Men
Complete Results - Women


  1. CL says:

    Pourquoi ne voit-on que des photos de garçons? Les filles sont belles aussi, il faudrait les montrer un peu.

Leave a Reply

Latest News