Shaw, Erbanova Win Xterra France Championship
Asa Shaw and Helena Erbanova won the Xterra France Championship under muddy conditions in Xonrupt, France on Sunday.
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Asa Shaw and Helena Erbanova won the Xterra France Championship under muddy conditions in Xonrupt, France on Sunday, July 8. For both, it’s their first-ever Xterra championship, and it came on perhaps the longest and toughest course on the World Tour.
Men’s Recap From Xterra
While Shaw is no stranger to Xterra, having raced in Maui (14th in 2010) and Europe for years, today he had a breakthrough performance. The Englishman who lives in France put together the third-best swim (behind only Aussie Ben Allen and his brother Karl), the fastest bike, a 2:15:06 split that was a minute-30 better than eventual runner-up Alexander Haas, and the second-best run for a combined winning time of 3:17:04 – more than three minutes ahead of Haas.
Haas, the overall amateur Xterra world champ last year, is proving the transition to racing as a pro was the correct decision. His runner-up in France follows a third-place showing at the season-opener in Italy.
“I was running scared and thought I could hear Nico (Lebrun) behind me the whole way,” laughed Haas after the race.
Lebrun was indeed behind him, and posted the fastest run of the day to pull within just 24 seconds at the finish line for third place.
Cedric Lassonde, a Frenchman living in England, posted his best Xterra European Tour result of his career in fourth, and Llewellyn Holmes rounded out the top five.
“I took quite a few tumbles on the bike to remind me the taste of the Vosgian mud. Love it. To celebrate I’ve missed the podium, missed my plane and will now spend the night at a Formula 1 Hotel. How glamor is that…” posted Lassonde, a famous DJ by trade, to his Facebook status.
Also of note, the reigning Xterra European Tour Champion Olivier Marceau broke a chain and did not finish, and Francois Carloni finished in sixth for the second straight race.
Women’s Recap From Xterra
In her rookie season of 2011 Helena Erbanova placed fifth in the Xterra European Tour and an impressive third at the Xterra World Championship in Maui.
This year the former Olympic cross country skier from the Czech Republic finished second at Xterra Italy and won her first Xterra title in France. Six races, six straight top-five finishes.
Four-time Xterra European Tour Champ Renata Bucher got within one minute of Erbanova heading out on the run but could not keep up, ultimately finishing nearly seven minutes back in second place.
Xterra Italy champ Jacqui Slack had the fastest swim and a strong all-around performance to finish in third, followed by Carina Wasle and Carla Van Huyssteen.