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Franky Batelier and Renata Bucher are the best XTERRA athletes in Europe. As proof, the duo won the XTERRA European Championship race, which doubled as the XTERRA Austrian Championship, and the XTERRA European Tour titles as well on a picture perfect day in Klopeinersee (a beautiful lake village nestled in the Carinthian Alps) on Saturday.
For Batelier the victory marks his fourth win in as many chances on the Euro Tour and seals his fate as the 2009 XTERRA European Tour Champion. Bucher, who has won three of the four races on the Tour this year (as well as Saipan, Malaysia, and the Northeast Cup in Vermont) solidified her fourth consecutive XTERRA European Tour Championship with the win.
undreds of athletes from 25 countries took part in the challenge which combined a 1.5-kilometer swim in a warm lake, a tricky 30km mountain bike and grueling 10km trail run that featured 300 stairs and the signature mud tank at the finish line.
Batelier had yet another flawless race and finished nearly three minutes ahead of runner-up Karel Zadek from the Czech Republic (who also placed second at the Czech Championship). Sam Gardner, the reigning XTERRA Saipan and Japan Championship, posted his best-ever result by finishing third ahead of Olivier Marceau (4th) and Nico Pfitzenmaier (5th). Of note, XTERRA World Championship runner-up Michi Weiss from Austria – who won this race last year – punctured his tire on the bike shortly after the swim-to-bike transition and did not finish.
In the women’s race it was Bucher all the way, crossing the finish line more than four minutes ahead of hometown hero Carina Wasle. Great Britain’s Nicola Duggan was third, with Jenny Smith (New Zealand by way of Gunnison, CO) in fourth and Germany’s Claudia Frank in fifth. Also of note, Rebecca Dussault – who represented the U.S. at the last winter Olympics in Italy – placed sixth and Brandyn Roark Gray was 7th among female pros and the first woman out of the water.
Here’s a look at the top placing pros at XTERRA Austria.
1 Franky Batelier FRA 2:26:45
2 Karel Zadak CZE 2:29:18
3 Sam Gardner GBR 2:29:42
4 Olivier Marceau SUI 2:30:41
5 Nico Pfitzenmaier GER 2:31:02
6 Yeray Luxem BEL 2:31:33
7 Felix Schumann GER 2:32:52
8 Ronny Dietz GER 2:35:39
9 Mikko Vastaranta FIN 2:36:46
10 Tomas Jurkovic SVK 2:38:11
1 Renata Bucher SUI 2:54:39
2 Carina Wasle AUT 2:59:00
3 Nicola Duggan GBR 3:07:01
4 Jennifer Smith NZL 3:09:53
5 Claudia Frank GER 3:12:55
6 Rebecca Dussault USA 3:14:56
7 Brandyn Roark Gray USA 3:28:35
Press release provided by XTERRA.