XTERRA France Kicks off the Summer Season in Europe
XTERRA France will take place on July 8 in picturesque Xanrupt in the Massif Vosges region of Alsace. Paul Charbonnier and his men have created a new course this year and held a preview of it for almost 200 avid XTERRA racers and mountain bikers. Ben Radacot, an experienced biker from the area made a video of the course during that day and from the number of people he passed – it will be as challenging as the past two years.
You can view it on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQ3j42wlExE
The new course looks just as brutal and steep as in years past with hike a bikes and a long, very fast downhill. Charbonnier likes to mix things up so athletes won’t get bored riding and running the same course. Hah – nobody could get bored with what he produced the past two years. This race is superb in both the organization, the location and the great atmosphere. To make things even better, the Tour de France passes by our XTERRA location on stage 7 Saturday 7 June as it travels from Tromblaine to the brutal final climb to La Planche des Belles Filles. This will be an action packed weekend. The big question? Will it rain again?
XTERRA France has been sold out for months and the remaining three races are getting close. You should plan your schedule NOW for XTERRA Czech on 4 August, Germany 11 August and the final in Switzerland on 8 September.
The Czech race has moved from the northern mountains to the sunny hills of southern Bohemia. This new location is a fabulous, historical village full of things to see and do. Founded in the 11th century, Prachatice was an important stop on the “Golden Path” route which carried salt through Europe. Because of its strategic location the city went through a dozen kings and rulers. The architecture is very unique with the main interests being the new town hall (built 1903) the old town hall (built 1571) and the churches of St. James the greater (1511) and the small and gorgeous Petr and Pavel church. The town square is an absolute delight.
Prachatice sits in the Sumava mountains at 1,800’ elevation (561m). The course is a typical Michal Pilousek design which means – tough. Lots of climbing, fast downhills, singletrack and some spectacular views of the village and valleys. You can preview the entire swim, bike and run maps and descriptions at http://www.xterra.cz/en/xterra-czech-trat
The village has a population of 12,000 so there are lots of choices of hotels, guest houses, restaurants, swimming pools, bike shops and always – fabulous Czech beer. Keep in mind the city of Budweiser (Ceske Budejovice) is just 40k away. For a discount on hotels in Prachatice go to http://www.xterra.cz/en/xterra-czech-ubytovani
Germany the following week returns to the beautiful village of Zittau in the Saxony region of east Germany. The amazing race venue was reclaimed from a Soviet era coal mine and is the perfect place for XTERRA. Devastated by the 2010 central Europe floods, the 2011 race was a huge success with a big entry and great weather. It would make a lot of sense to get entered into both races, enjoy Czech hospitality in and around Prague, head on an easy drive to Zittau. From the host city you can visit Dresden (just under two hours away) plus Bautzen (an unbelievably beautiful medieval village or the equally beautiful and historical Gorlitz used so often by movie makers. Both are under an hour from Zittau. The town square in Zittau has restaurants from chic to student and is active in the evening.
The racing is pure mountain bike and trail running. The lake is always open for swimming and you can ride and run laps to your hearts delight. You can find out about the courses and see some videos at http://www.xterragermany.de/en/competition/course
The full website is in German, English, Spanish and French. Surf around – it is an excellent website and can fill you in on everything you’d want to know. http://www.xterragermany.de/
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