The cross triathlon and duathlon series formally known as the XTERRA Benelux Tour (2004-2005) and X-athlon (2006-2016) had a major restructuring and reorganization for 2017. The old series was a combination of the cross triathlon and duathlon events spanning November through September. The new organization breaks the original single series into two separate groups of races – cross triathlon and cross duathlon. The series is now called the Schwalbe Cross Series 2017.
Both groups of events are comprised of one day races that showcase the unique geography of Holland. Some races take athletes across kilometer after kilometer of sandy beaches, dunes, and dune forests. Others wind through beautiful forests with hand built, designed mountain bike tracks. These forest trails flow over hills, up and down dikes, and in and out of agricultural lands. There is a LOT of rain in winter time, so get ready for fun, muddy, and slippery trails.
These races all have a rural atmosphere because they are based at farms and national parks, away from the towns. Over the years these events draw 600-750 competing in the series. Each event is a little different with some comprising of multiple races, such as short distance duathlon, long distance duathlon, team duathlon, and even kids races.
A series like this is a great way to do a bunch of fun races in close proximity and compete against your friends in the overall general classification.
Schwalbe Cross Triathlon Series 2017
Currently there are three events schedule for 2017, with more in the works.
- June 17th – The Beach Challenge
- August 26th – Rijntocht Cross Triathlon
- September 9th – Tri-Ambla Cross Triathlon
Schwalbe Cross Duathlon Series 2017
Between January and May, there are five cross duathlons scheduled so far, with more pending.
- January 14th – Henschotermeer Games
- February 5th – Cross Run Bike Run
- February 12th – Crossduathlon
- March 12th – Maresia Duathlon
- May 20th – Pyramide Duathlon
Big thanks to up and coming professional cross triathlete Mark Hamersma for gathering the info and bringing this amazing series to our attention. We first met Mark at the 2016 ITU Cross Triathlon World Championship in Australia, and we could tell this guy is one to watch. Not only is he a solid athlete, but a funny, and very passionate, guy. Follow along with Mark’s adventures on his site here.
To learn more about the Schwalbe Cross Series, you can join their Facebook Group, or contact Joost Christiaans. Joost is a professional cross triathlete and like Mark, is a fantastic guy. The Dutch really do know how to have a good time when it comes to cross triathlon and duathlon.
On a total side note, if you need a little clarification on the terms “Dutch, Holland, and The Netherlands”, check out the following video.