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Xterra Sam!

A couple of pictures of Sam my son, an Xterra fan! The bandages are post Xterra Sardinia, where I crashed on the bike leg, but finished! True Xterra style - bloodied but determined. image image

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Xterra European Tour Championship 9th place

Xterra European Tour image image

I finished 9th in the Xterra European Tour standings. I am happy as a top ten was always my goal, however had the Germany race not have been cancelled then a top five would have been almost definite.

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Xterra Switzerland

Xterra Switzerland - Prangins - Saturday 11th September image image image image image image image

And so to the final round of the European Xterra Tour.

The village of Prangins sits about 25 kilometres east of Geneva airport, an easy 30 minute drive.  The XTERRA course starts and ends directly on fabulous Lac Leman, the huge body of water that stretches from Geneva to the west for nearly 90 kilometres.  In the morning, before the clouds settle in you can see Mont Blanc, all snow covered even in late summer, in the distance.

The swim was 2 laps of 750m in the clear waters just away the transition zone.  Nothing unusual, a bit chilly so wetsuits were the order of the day.

The bike course was unusual to say the least. Each lap was 17km with no big long climbs as you might expect in Switzerland. There were however many short steep climbs and many different surfaces to deal with. Pavement, crushed stone, single track, lots of grass, jeep trail – throw in 5 water crossings, some you could ride, some you could not, and it made for a fast on the rivet ride. Fortunately the water levels had dropped since a film was made of the course and the deepest sections were only waist deep, plenty of practice for a cyclocross style carry.

The run was also relatively flat with only one modest long climb.  Some beautiful kilometres in a wonderful forest with the sun dappling through the tall trees.  Lots of running alongside farmer’s fields where you had to watch your step as the terrain was very uneven.  The run, like the swim and bike, was two laps finishing in the last 100m with 3 huge hay bales that every competitor had to negotiate with varying styles and levels of success.

The day started sunny and warm and progressed to 23 degrees come race start, quite nice considering the weather we have been having at home.

More than 325 lined up to compete in the full Championship race which started at 2pm.

I had a good swim exiting mid bunch in 28mins, straight off with the wetsuit as it was a long run to transition and out on the bike. The first lap seemed to take ages, but this was because it was all new to me. I did however seem to be able to pass quite a few riders on the faster sections of the course. The second lap flowed better and I came into transition feeling good in a time of 1:52. On with my running shoes and time to start hunting down some victims! I always seem to run well off the bike and by the end of lap 2 and 10.4km several more scalps had fallen. My time for the run was 48mins.

I finished 16th in my age group missing age group points by just one minute and one place! Finish time was 3:08:35

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