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XTERRA France Championships go Sunday

Plus the Pro Start List for the XTERRA Mountain Championships.

More than 50 professionals will race Sunday’s XTERRA France Championship – the second of five majors in the XTERRA European Tour.

Frenchman Nico Lebrun, who won the Euro opener in Italy, headlines the men’s field.  The 2005 XTERRA World Champ and three-time XTERRA European Tour champ married Alexandra Borrelly (who will compete in women’s pro race) last week and would no doubt like to couple that new ring with another XTERRA championship title.

Ben Allen, the Aussie sensation who won the XTERRA Guam, Philippines, Saipan, and New Zealand Championship crowns before finishing 2nd to Lebrun in Italy, is one of many exceptionally fast men who will push Lebrun.  Others include the defending XTERRA European Tour champ Olivier Marceau, mountain bike phenom Cedric Lassonde, and rookie pro Alexander Haas (who was third in Italy).

On the women’s side Jacqui Slack, who has won the last two XTERRA World Tour championship races in New Zealand and Italy, will face perhaps her toughest challenge yet – a stacked field that includes past and current XTERRA Euro Tour Champions Renata Bucher (SUI) and Marion Lorblanchet (FRA) along with rising star Carla van Huyssteen from South Africa, plus Carina Wasle (AUT), Brigitta Poor (HUN), and Maud Golsteyn (NED) among others.

Click here to view the complete start list (in PDF format).

XTERRA Mountain Championships Pro Start List

Beaver Creek Resort – Avon, Colorado – July 14, 2012 @ 9am MST
Pro Men : Rank – Name – Age, Hometown

1 – Conrad Stoltz – 38, Stellenbosch, South Africa
2 – Josiah Middaugh – 33, Vail, Colorado
3 – Craig Evans – 34, Hendersonville, Tennessee
4 – Branden Rakita – 31, Manitou Springs, Colorado
5 – David Henestrosa – 35, Clearfield, Utah (Spain)
6 – Chris Legh – 39, Lyons, CO (Australia)
7 – Will Kelsay – 30, Boulder, Colorado
8 – Cody Waite – 33, Lakewood, Colorado
9 – Will Ross – 22, Anchorage, Alaska
10 – Adam Wirth – 33, Boise, Idaho
14 – Damian Gonzalez – 35, Stockton, California
16 – Bradley Weiss – 23, Cape Town, South Africa
29 – Patrick Valentine – 26, Colorado Springs, Colorado
NR – Tim DeBoom – 41, Boulder, Colorado
NR - Ben Hoffman – 29, Boulder, Colorado
NR - Ryan Ignatz – 33, Boulder, Colorado
NR - Travis Macy – 29, Evergreen, Colorado
NR – Brian Smith – 37, Gunnison, Colorado

Pro Women : Rank – Name – Age, Hometown
2 – Melanie McQuaid – 38, Victoria, B.C., Canada
3 – Renata Bucher – 34, Lucerne, Switzerland
4 – Danelle Kabush – 36, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
5 – Suzie Snyder – 29, Fredericksburg, Virginia
6 – Shonny Vanlandingham – 43, Durango, Colorado
8 – Heather Holmes – 31, Pocatello, Idaho
9 – Sara Tarkington – 31, Boulder, Colorado
10 – Tamara Donelson – 36, Edwards, Colorado
12 – Caroline Colonna – 46, Taos, New Mexico
19 – Kathryn Ross – 21, Boulder, Colorado
22 – Kim Baugh – 32, Colorado Springs, Colorado

There are two new faces in the men’s pro field for next Saturday’s XTERRA Mountain Championship at Beaver Creek Resort, and both could be major factors in the race.

One is Ironman star Ben Hoffman, a Specialized rider out of Boulder who proved toughness isn’t an issue by winning IM St. George earlier this year.  While this is Hoffman’s first championship race, he is no stranger to XTERRA as he knows the gang and even won the XTERRA REAL points series race in California last year.

The other “newbie” is 29-year-old Travis Macy, a high school English teacher by trade.  Macy, born and raised in Evergreen, Colorado, has been an elite adventure racer since he was 21 but just did his first-ever XTERRA last weekend.  He posted the fastest bike and run times at XTERRA Curt Gowdy in Wyoming, and finished second to fellow pro Ryan Ignatz.

“I’ve been meaning to do some swimming and sign-up for an XTERRA for a long time, and I’m glad that the chance has finally come,” said Macy.

Macy (pictured above courtesy Steven DeWitt) earned his undergrad degree from the University of Colorado- Boulder and got his masters in education curriculum and instruction from California Coast University.  In addition to a full-time teaching gig, he’s also a new father, husband, and is addicted to exercise and the great outdoors.

“He’s good, and about the nicest guy you will meet,” said Josiah Middaugh, who has competed against him in many snowshoe races and mountain games competitions.  “He will be Brian Smith-like on the bike and run, and if the race were about 10 times longer he would win for sure.”