THE SHOWDOWN IN SWITZERLAND
The fifth of 11 stops on the XTERRA European Tour takes us to the beautiful village of Les Charbonnieres in Vallee de Joux, Switzerland on Saturday.
More than 60 elite racers representing 16 countries as well as 700+ amateurs from around the EU will take part in XTERRA Switzerland, which is doubling as the ETU European Cross Triathlon Championships.
XTERRA Switzerland is the first of four 100-point Gold-level events on the tour, attracting the very best off-roaders from around the world and a sold-out field in the amateur ranks.
In the men’s field you’ll find 3x XTERRA World Champion and 2016 XTERRA Portugal winner Ruben Ruzafa, the defending XTERRA European Tour, Malta, and Greece winner Roger Serrano, the inaugural XTERRA Belgium Champion Kris Coddens, this year’s XTERRA Philippines and South Africa Champion Bradley Weiss, the reigning XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour Champion Ben Allen, the defending XTERRA Switzerland Champion Arthur Forissier, and last year’s XTERRA Sweden winner Sam Osborne.
The women’s elite field is just as strong with 3x XTERRA European Tour Champion Helena Erbenova looking for her eighth straight win in the EU against the likes of reigning ETU Cross Triathlon European Champion Renata Bucher, XTERRA Costa Rica and Argentina Champ Myriam Guillot-Boisset, defending XTERRA Switzerland Champion Carina Wasle, XTERRA Malaysia Champ Jacqui Slack, the top ranked American in the XTERRA Pan Am Pro Series Kara LaPoint, and a host of others.
You can find the full start list online here.
This is the fourth year of racing in the Vallee de Joux and XTERRA World Tour managing director Dave Nicholas says, “Everything looks superb. The location is stunning with long green hills, typical Swiss cows munching grass and ringing their bells. The lake is cool and clear and the forests tall and dark. The pro field is enormous. We’ll find out how they are feeling and get some more news for you tomorrow.”
Here’s a look at the past champs from XTERRA Switzerland:
DESANTIS’ 16 IN 2016 OFF TO EUROPE
XTERRA Warrior David DeSantis is taking his 16 in 2016 campaign to Vallee de Joux this weekend.
The big idea, which started off as a mission to race in 16 events in 16 countries to raise $16,000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation this season, has had its fair share of ups-and-downs this year.
On the upside he’s completed six races and already surpassed his fundraising goal by bringing in more than $21,000 for CAF. On the downside, the damn cancer came back and he’s going through chemo again.
DeSantis finished a fourth round of chemo last week and said “the left side of my body went nuts. My left knee, ankle, elbow, and wrist blew up. No one knows why just the left side had all the swelling, and the treatment has drastically reduced my appetite and it’s become difficult to keep weight on. Kathy is forcing the avocados, nuts, protein powder etc. I’m thinking of stuffing a few hot fudge sundaes in my camelback and going for a ride!”
If there is one thing we’ve come to count on with DeSantis, it’s his tongue-in-check demeanor and relentlessly positive attitude.
“Great news though, the chemo is working!” he said. “On Wednesday I had a clean brain scan. The oncologist said there is nothing in my head … Kathy said she could have told him that without doing an MRI!”
Those lucky enough to be at XTERRA Oak Mountain last month got to revel in his spirit and celebrate his mission, but little did we know he was seeing double.
“In Pelham I had double vision on the run,” he said. “It took 3 days for my vision to correct itself. My oncologist believes it is due to a combination of over exertion and the chemo – he wants me to cool it a bit. I thought it was a one-time issue, but, it occurred again last Tuesday on an easy mountain bike ride. Either way we’ve already paid for the tickets so were going to Europe! Not sure how everything will unfold…but, it should be interesting. Switzerland on Saturday and France next Sunday.”
Follow along with DeSantis in his historic season on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/DeSantis-16-in-2016-1702613439998697/),
XTERRA WHITEWATER ONE OF A KIND
The U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, North Carolina plays host to XTERRA Whitewater on July 9, putting triathletes to the test at the world’s premiere outdoor recreation facility.
The brand new course for 2016 begins with a 1K flatwater swim split between the natural waters of the Catawba River and a portion of our man-made whitewater rafting channel, followed by 23K on mountain bike across all difficulty levels of the USNWC trail system, and concluding with an 6.5K trail run to cross the finish line.
Over 1,100 acres of maintained woodlands along the Catawba River provide the ideal location for this challenging trail race as well as a weekend getaway for the whole family. Competitors will find themselves swimming underneath three separate zip lines overhead, as they pass by the world’s first Deep Water Solo Climbing Complex.
Home to the world’s largest man-made recirculating river, the USNWC features over 30 unique activities available to all ages and skill levels, including whitewater rafting and kayaking, flatwater kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, mountain biking, rock climbing, zip lines, and ropes courses. Spend the weekend challenging yourself at XTERRA Whitewater and enjoying all the adventure that the U.S. National Whitewater Center has to offer.
XTERRA Ambassador Marcus Barton will be hosting his annual transition clinic at the facility on Friday, July 8th, at 6:30pm, followed by a QnA with race director’s Adam Bratton and Jimmy Lawler.
For more information, visit http://usnwc.org/play/whitewater-race-series/upcoming/xterra-whitewater-triathlon/