Reigning XTERRA European Tour Champions Franky Batelier from France and Renata Bucher from Switzerland won the first race of the 2010 Tour at the inaugural XTERRA Portugal Championship this afternoon.
It's Batelier's fifth straight win in Europe, having swept the four-race European Tour last season. On the women's side Bucher, the "Swiss Miss" of XTERRA, continued her world domination tour by picking up her 21st career championship race victory since 2005. Her resume now includes six XTERRA Saipan titles, three wins in France, two in Czech, Austria, and Italy, and one each in Japan, Malaysia, Spain..., U.K., U.S., and now Portugal.
"Kahuna Dave" Nicholas, the managing director of the XTERRA World Tour, was at the race and brings us this report...
Franky Batelier (pictured) simply walked away with the race. Local triathlon standout Bruno Pais led out of the water, however, Batelier put him away quickly on the bike.
"I wanted to open it up fast so he would not try to catch me - he is a very fast runner," said Batelier, who did not have it easy all day. A camera moto was going slowly and as Batelier went to pass the driver swerved the wrong way and Batelier hit the ground hard but is o.k.
Nico Lebrun had a typical early season race going at a measured pace and only passing the very surprising Yeray Luxem from Belgium with about 200 meters to go.
2010 XTERRA Portugal Pro Men Results:
|10||Borja Gabriel Figueroa||ESP||2:31:06|
In the women's race Bucher was hard pressed to get to the front. Lorblanchet had a great swim, rode hard and Bucher did not catch her until the last lap of the bike.
"This course is not too technical so it's hard for me to catch these strong riders" said Bucher.
Local favorite Maria Areosa took the lead early and went smoothly all the way to the finish. "I can't wait to go to Maui" she cried in joy, referring to the XTERRA World Championship race site on Oct. 24.
2010 XTERRA Portugal Pro Women Results:
|7||Judy van den Berg||NED||2:57:29|
|10||Yolanda Magallon Vallejo||ESP||3:29:17|
The city provided fantastic security with roads closed and police and marshals everywhere. While last night's rains made the trails slippery, the overall opinion was Portugal is a fantastic race location with fabulous food, world class table wine, and a beach that just won't quit. Next year the organizers are thinking of moving the event back into May to go with XTERRA Italy in Sardinia. Now that is a trip you really have to consider - one week in Portugal and one in Sardinia. Start saving now.