The 2019 XTERRA European Tour gets underway this Sunday, April 7, at the third-annual XTERRA Cyprus off-road triathlon on an island rich in history, culture, and charm.

Brigitta Poor Cyprus

In the women’s elite race the reigning XTERRA European Tour Champion, Carina Wasle, is on the start list to take on the reigning and two-time Cyprus Champ, Brigitta Poor.

“I had a great season in 2018 and would like to continue this way in 2019,” said Wasle, who finished third at the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship in Taiwan last Saturday. “I will do races in Europe and some on the Asian Tour and hope to be on the podium again in some of them.  I changed my training this year as I broke my ribs in February. I followed some training sessions with the Swiss Olympic team and did a lot of cross country skiing. I rode my bike for the first time after Maui just two weeks ago and I feel pretty good. My 3rd place in Taiwan was a good test as I don’t want to push a lot in the beginning of the season. I think Brigitta will be strong again this year, and I’m looking forward to checking my performance against her in Cyprus.”

For Poor, 2019 will be about reclaiming her XTERRA European Tour title after being so close two years in a row.  With the new elite rules counting an elite’s best eight scores, Poor enters the year as the clear-cut favorite to win it.  She also wants to secure a three-peat at the XTERRA European Championship (this year’s race is in the Czech Republic on August 3).

“The basic training is over now,” said Poor, who won seven races on the European Tour last year. “Now it’s time to go fast.”

Nicole Walters, the 2018 XTERRA Greece Champ, is also looking forward to going fast following a frustrating week in Taiwan spent dealing with injuries and a cold.

“Spending the week leading up to the race recovering from XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship and the long travel back to Europe,” said Walters.  “The race will be what it will be, but it will be nice to be back in the Akamas National Park. It’s a really nice place, Doug and I are actually staying in Cyprus for another 10 days post-race to train for the ITU World Cross champs later in April.”

Nicole Walters XTERRA Cyprus

In the men’s elite race, it’s all about Xavier Dafflon from Switzerland.

“My goal is to win all the races where I take the start,” exclaimed Dafflon, half-seriously. “No, but seriously, there are quantitative and qualitative objectives. Qualitatively, first of all, I want to have fun. The results will come or not, but if I have fun and I am healthy, I will achieve my main goal. But something I have learned over the years, is that you can only deserve a success if you know how to progress after each “defeat” or “disappointment”. So, I will enjoy as much as I can to be fit and achieve good results.  My real goal is to find a good balance between sport, job and family with the baby. This is the most important objective.”

All that said, Dafflon also aspires to get on the podium in the final XTERRA European Tour standings after finishing fourth the last two seasons.

“I’d also like to be the XTERRA Swiss Champion and get to Maui in good shape. It is a challenge to be ready for it in October for a Swiss citizen but I’ve always been a bit frustrated not to be there with the world’s best the last two years so why not go for it this year if possible!”

XTERRA veteran Doug Hall, fresh off a 7th place showing against a stacked field at the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship, thinks Dafflon is the guy to beat.

“If the body recovers in time after racing APAC champs, and I can get over the jetlag I’d love to improve on my 5th place last year,” said Hall. “I really enjoy the bike course and it seems to suit me quite well. I still expect to get a hammered on the bike by Xavier Dafflon.”   

Other elite men of note include Rui Dolores, who was 6th in the final tour standings last year, Dominik Wychera (9th), Geert Larsen (12th), and Tomas Kubek (17th).

All the action takes place Sunday at the scenic Akamas National Park, and Agios Georgios Harbor.

Learn more at xterraplanet.com/cyprus / Pics and videos on Facebook

XTERRA Cyprus Elite Start List

WOMEN
Position in Final 2018 XET Standings – Name, COUNTRY
1 – Carina Wasle AUSTRIA
2 – Brigitta Poor HUNGARY
4 – Nicole Walters GREAT BRITAIN
6 – Anna Tomica POLAND
34 – Maria Döring GERMANY
36 – Eleonora Peroncini ITALY
41 – Marta Menditto ITALY
NA – Matilde Bolzan ITALY
NA – Alizee Paties FRANCE
NA – Pauline Vie PORTUGAL

MEN
Position in Final 2018 XET Standings – Name, COUNTRY

4 – Xavier Dafflon SWITZERLAND
6 – Rui Dolores PORTUGAL
9 – Dominik Wychera AUSTRIA
12 – Geert Lauryssen BELGIUM
15 – Doug Hall GREAT BRITAIN
17 – Tomas Kubek SLOVAKIA
34 – Hannes Wolpert GERMANY
Samuel Jud SWITZERLAND
Ricard Costa Puigpelat SPAIN
Gaetan Vivien FRANCE
Oliver Kreindl AUSTRIA
Andrea Giuseppe Zanenga ITALY
Jens Emil Sloth Nielsen DENMARK
Andres  Carnevali SPAIN
Jeremy Morel FRANCE
Filippo Rinaldi ITALY
Tiago Maia PORTUGAL
Ivan Vasilyev RUSSIA

All-time XTERRA Cyprus Elite Champions
2017 – Yeray Luxem / Brigitta Poor
2018 – Roger Serrano / Brigitta Poor

© 2013 XTERRA Greece
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