Currie, Erbenova win inaugural XTERRA Sweden

Braden leads xterra switzerland

Louise Fox claims 5th

Braden Currie of New Zealand and Helena Erbenova of the Czech Republic captured the inaugural XTERRA Sweden Championship at Hellasgarden Park in Stockholm today. It’s the second major for both, as Currie also won at XTERRA Motatapu and Erbenova won at XTERRA Spain.

XTERRA managing director Dave Nicholas was on-site to bring us this report…

For the second week in a row the weatherman promised rain and the Hawaiian Gods brought none. The first XTERRA Sweden started under leaden skies but as the day progressed it got brighter and brighter…and so did the competition.

Another battle royal among the men as Dan Hugo and Braden Currie staged an epic fight from the swim to the end of the bike. Benny Allen shadowed the duo and kept in a position where if either faltered he was there.

Hugo came out of T1 first with Braden right behind – but the Kiwi could not find his shoe and nearly stopped. Ben Allen was right behind and made a great zig to miss Currie and they were off. We had a few local . competitors that we knew could threaten. Jonas Djurback is an Ironman competitor of note having done some 8:11’s; Eskild Ebbeson is a 3-time Olympic medal winner, but in rowing. Both men had that sly glimmer as race time approached.

The bike is a technical but fast marvel. Everyone loves it – and it provided everything one could ask for. While no extended hills, there were plenty of short and very steep and technical climbs that challenged everyone. First it was Dan leading Braden – then it was Braden leading Dan and always Ben sitting about a minute or so back.

“I could see them often and I just felt like I could catch them but it never . happened,” said Allen.

Behind the lead three there was another fight between Jan Pyott, young Scot Rory Downie, and Jonas. Yeray Luxem, usually in the middle of the fight, was having a bad day on the bike, saying “I could never get my rhythm.”

Without the two fast swimmers, the women came out in a fairly tight pack. The always improving Brigitta Poor leading by a bit from Carina Wasle, Louise Fox and Helena Erbenova. Renata Bucher did not have a good swim and came out over a full minute back. “For two years I was the queen” smiled the Czech Champion “but this year not so good”.

What this courageous woman doesn’t say is she has not been 100%. Her father, who travels to all the races, made her rest and stay home from France and she looked much more like herself today. About 2/3 of the way through the first lap she led Carina by about 30 seconds. Renata had taken 3rd away from Brigitta but was a long way back from the lead duo.

On the second lap it was more of the same. Dan leads Braden, Braden leads Dan and Ben Allen just behind but not close enough to challenge. That all ended at the start . . of the run. Currie took off like he owed a lot of money and never looked back. Dan knew he was not going to catch the New Zealander and ran a smart race. He worried about Ben and every lap asked what the gap was. I kept giving him the gap to Braden and after the race he said “I knew where he was and wanted to know how far behind Ben was” he laughed. “I wasn’t going to catch Braden but did not want to get caught”.

That’s the way it ended. The top 3 were the top 3 all race. But behind things were getting mixed up. Young Rory crashed hard and Jan and Jonas got away. Jonas is a runner and left out of T2 passing Jan – Yeray might have had a bad bike but he posted the fastest run to pass Downie and Pyott to take a very nice 5th. Our Olympic rower was having a great day. We had a young age group phenom in France and now a 40-44 phenom in Sweden. Eskild was 8th overall and says he is coming to Maui. That will be a treat.

Erbenova hooked a pedal on a gate post on the 2d lap and came off in a big way. She broke the pedal and could not clip in for the entire second lap, but still continued to lead. After the race she spent a bit of time in the medics tent and went to the podium with her jacket on to cover the bandages and trail rash. Carina had a tough run this . week but had no trouble holding onto 2d. For the second week in a row our Swiss Miss finished 3rd but only by a few seconds. Brigitta was having another fine race and nearly caught Renata finishing just 23 seconds behind.

So the first XTERRA Sweden is in the books and a great job by the Nordic team and their local crew. This has to be one of the most ideal locations on tour. Only 15 minutes from the old town of Stockholm, inexpensive cabins for athletes to stay in at the park, lots of hotels, shopping and services within minutes, two airports within 30 minutes and simply fabulous cycling and running and a clear, warm lake to swim in.
. . .
Pl First name Last name Time Swim Bike Run
1 Braden Currie 02:13:47 00:19:44.19 1:10:27 0:42:54
2 Dan Hugo 02:18:16 00:19:43.00 1:10:28 0:47:17
3 Ben Allen 02:19:07 00:19:43.47 1:12:52 0:45:43
4 Jonas Djurback 02:23:47 00:19:49.23 1:16:33 0:46:17
5 Yeray Luxem 02:25:24 00:21:11.68 1:17:35 0:45:27
6 Jan Pyott 02:25:46 00:21:07.61 1:15:25 0:48:27
7 Rory Downie 02:28:24 00:19:46.10 1:18:14 0:49:25
8 Markus Benesch 02:33:32 00:21:45.84 1:19:24 0:51:09
9 Michal Bucek 02:52:50 00:22:43.92 1:26:23 1:01:38
10 Fredrik Ahlinder 02:58:47 00:19:41.89 1:39:12 0:58:48

Pl First name Last name Time Swim Bike Run
1 Helena Erbenová 02:37:48 00:24:43.92 1:22:32 0:49:12
2 Carina Wasle 02:46:17 00:24:23.86 1:24:54 0:55:42
3 Renata Bucher 02:52:03 00:25:48.25 1:25:33 0:59:30
4 Poór Brigitta 02:52:26 00:24:21.65 1:31:06 0:55:30
5 Louise Fox 03:01:40 00:24:28.69 1:34:47 1:00:28
6 Belinda Hadden 03:17:42 00:26:57.34 1:45:41 1:03:27
7 Ladina Buss 03:18:43 00:25:44.04 1:33:00 1:18:17

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