Das XTERRA Magazin verbrachte ein wenig Zeit, um mit den Favoritinnen der XTERRA Saison 2018 zu sprechen und um herauszufinden, wie es um die derzeitige Vorbereitung steht und was die anstehenden Rennen sind.
The battle between Brigitta and Helena was really strong all the way. With our rule “all race count” it was a matter of points collection. The choice of Poor to race and win the ETU Cross Triathlon Championship cause the loss of critical points and gave the title to Helena Karaskova-Erbenova from Czech Republic. “This year I will follow the Euro Tour but will not be focused on collecting points. Last year Brigitta was stronger but at the end, the points system put me on top. I want to have more fun this year. Maybe I will try something new, I am working with my Czech mtb trainer and my swim coach, not sure of my final approach. ” said Karaskova.
“Helena was second at the ITU Winter Triathlon World Championship in 2018. She won this race in the past, she is an Olympian in Cross Country Skiing, she won some of the biggest Adventure races in China with Thule team in 2017, so I can’t wait to see what will be her next challenge” said Lebrun, XTERRA European Tour Director.
“XTERRA Belgium was my best experience last year. The place is amazing the atmosphere is great, there is such a spirit in the air. Can’t wait to be back in Namur.” said Karaskova.
We know she will be in Malta for the first race of the season, Brigitta will be there too, so the big fight for the women will start very early. After Malta Helena will go to Greece, Italy-Lake Garda, Belgium, France, Germany, Denmark, Spain and of course at home, at XTERRA Czech in Prachatice, who is back in the European Tour for 2018.
“With her race schedule and knowing her potential, she will be for sure in the top 3 ranking for this year. Can’t wait to see her performance in Malta on April 15th” said Lebrun.
Our Hungarian elite, Brigitta Poor will be in Malta to defend her title. She will then participate in many other races including Cyprus, Greece, Portugal, Switzerland, France, Romania, Poland, Denmark and Spain. Her main goal will be the XTERRA European Championship in Zittau, Germany. She won this race in 2017 with a great performance and she took the title in the European Championship in Denmark at the end of the season.
“Every race, every organization and every place have its own specialties. Maybe the European Championship in Denmark was my favorite. This location is amazing and I loved the “elite race” on Saturday before the age group race on Sunday. For the first time the Age Groupers were there to cheer for us and we were able to see them racing the next day. I was really tired at the end of the season and I hardly believe that I won this race” said Poor.
“She wants to be the queen of Europe for second year in a row and she will fight hard for it. Like Helena she doesn’t want to put any pressure on her fighting for the Tour points, but with 11 races on her schedule she will still be among the favorites for the title. She made a big step in her performance last year and she proved she is in a position to win big events. This year she is starting the season with a 4th place in Maui under her belt, she is confident and had a very good winter training. She is here to win more and this will put a lot of pressure in her competitors” said Lebrun
Carina Wasle, one of our most experienced elites from Austria, was 3rd last year in the Euro Tour. She is traveling all over the world for XTERRA racing and won few races last year in the Asia-Pacific tour.
This year, despite the fact that she had a small bike crash few weeks before the race, she started the season with an impressive win at XTERRA South Africa. “Of course I will race in Europe again this season. I will be for sure at the start line of XTERRA Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, and Switzerland. I’ll decide later which races I’ll add on my schedule. I don’t have any specific goal for this year. I am working hard to get more power on the bike at this time. It’s nice to push and fight with the other girls, enjoy the race, the country, the atmosphere. I will try to keep up with them and hopefully win some races. One of my favorites race is XTERRA Belgium. I love the swim around the small island in the river. The atmosphere during the hard bike and run course around the citadel is superb. And yes they have a great after race party” said Carina.
“She is fighter. She did a lot of X-country skiing and ski mountaineering is Austria during the winter to build a strong base. I am sure she will be many times on the podium this year and might be able to win some. She is a great ambassador of the XTERRA Family spirit. Training hard, racing hard, respect every other competitor and enjoy a drink with them after the race ” said Lebrun.
Morgane Riou from France will be back in Europe, planning to race around 12 events this year. She was third last year in the Pan-American Tour, enjoying some nice trips, using XTERRA as an excuse to visit many countries. She won her first XTERRA in Dominican Republic and improved a lot her performance in all three disciplines of our sport the last 3 years.
“I did some cyclocross races this winter during my preparation and I loved it. I also did a winter camp with lots of cross country skiing with Organicoach and some athletes of the new XTERRA Racing Team. Working full time in a big city like Paris it will be hard for me to compete against the full time elite athletes. I don’t make a living out of races so I am more relaxed. Racing is my passion” said Riou.
“She will start the season in Malta, hopefully with a new bike as her 5 years old 14kg one, did its time. She started her winter training with no injury, so already way better than last year as she is able to run from the start of the preparation. Would love to see her making her first win in Europe this season” said Lebrun.
Laura Philipp (GER)
XTERRA France 2017 winner, is currently still unsure if she will be able to race the XTERRA 2018 season. Her main focus will be the Ironman World Championship in Kona. “Ironman preparation is very different from XTERRA racing and with Frankfurt early in July and most of the nice XTERRA races so close to that event, it might not be possible. I really enjoyed my excursion to the XTERRA events last year. It was challenging but so much fun. I love the playful side of the events and the deeper connection to nature. Maybe I will make a spontaneous trip to an event and get that Maui qualification.” said Philipp
Nicole Walters (GBR)
Malta again kicks us off as the first race on the European calendar, and whilst doing Facebook live at Malta in 2017, I remember how awkward I felt commentating on the tall, blond, British athlete leading the swim and racing for the podium. Nicole Walters, unbeknown to us at the time is a seasoned road triathlete and competed at the Rio Paralympics as a guide athlete and won a silver medal. She quickly established herself as a competitive XTERRA athlete fighting for podium places and rounding up her season with a podium in Møns Klint, Denmark at the XTERRA European Championship and she has big plans for 2018
Lizzie Orchard (NZL)
Lizzie Orchard also spent a few months in Europe during the 2017 tour. Her season started in Italy, due to an injury early in the race season, but she finished the season strong. This lingering foot injury is still not 100% and Lizzie will decide in the next few weeks what the season has in store for her. We hope it will be good news and we will see her back on the European Circuit.