Helena Erbenova is back in Hellasgaarden to defend her XTERRA Sweden Championship crown on Saturday.
The 2nd annual XTERRA Sweden off-road triathlon serves as stop No. 7 on the XTERRA European Tour, and one of the most dream-worthy destination races on the World Tour.
“This has to be one of the most ideal locations on tour,” explained managing director Dave Nicholas. “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. 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.”
Erbenova, an Olympian from the Czech Republic, will have to contend with XTERRA Switzerland Champ Carina Wasle of Austria and current European Tour points leader Brigitta Poor from Hungary. Last year in Sweden Erbenova won big over Wasle, the runner-up, and Poor finished in fourth behind Renata Bucher who is recovering from injury.
In the men’s elite race hometown hero Jonas Djurback, who was fourth last year, is the top returning finisher. Last year’s champ Braden Currie is in the U.S. racing the America Tour, runner-up Dan Hugo retired, and third-place finisher Ben Allen is training in Boulder, Colorado.
Djurback is in for a true challenge racing against the likes of Kris Coddens, the XTERRA Greece Champion, and Sam Osborne – a Kiwi who finished runner-up at XTERRA New Zealand in April. He also has Jan Pyott, Jan Kubicek, James Walker, Fabrizio Bartoli, Chris Schwab, and Lars Eric Fricke to deal with.
XTERRA Sweden will be posting live updates to their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/xterrasweden and on twitter @xterrasweden. In addition, you can find videos showcasing the course on their website at http://www.xterrasweden.se/