The second long-distance XTERRA event in Europe combines a 1900m swim with a 60km mountain bike, and an 18km trail run centred around the lake of Piana degli Albanesi in Sicily, Italy.
Taking place on June 23, 2019, XTERRA Sicily is the first long-distance XTERRA race in Italy, and one of three events in the country this season. It joins XTERRA Italy-Lake Garda on May 26 and XTERRA Italy – Scanno on July 21.
All three events offer qualifying spots into the XTERRA Worlds to the top finishers in each age group. Meanwhile, the Scanno event is a gold-level race offering 100-point scoring and US$15K in prize money for elites racing on the XTERRA European Tour.
XTERRA Altifort, the other long-distance XTERRA in Europe, will be held on September 22, 2019 in Megeve, France.
“I’m happy to see a second XTERRA long-distance in Europe and I hope to see more in the future,” said XTERRA Europe Director Nicolas Lebrun. “I think a lot of people don’t want to fight against a chrono or chase a podium spot, they just want to live an adventure and be proud to finish something hard and long. These races fit the adventurous ‘Live More’ spirit of XTERRA and I think will become popular in the future.”
He continued, “This race in Sicily won’t have a very technical mountain bike leg, so it will be attractive even for road triathletes who are bored of drafting. We saw the success of the first long race in France last year, and we’ve seen how long distances races for road triathlon and trail runs have had great success, and I think our events will as well. I’d even love to see an XTERRA LD World Championship someday.”
Base camp for XTERRA Sicily is Oasi Lago, a pine forest located at 2,600ft elevation. Both the bike and run courses feature a significant amount of climbing up and around a series of imposing mountains, the Pizzuta, Kumeta, Maganoce and Xëravulli.
“The bike climbs about 1,500m and starts in a tortuous but fast way along the long lake to the entrance of the dam, which they will cross to arrive on the other shore of the lake,” explained Massimo Massacesi, from the local event organizing team. “Then begins a first ascent, not very demanding but spectacular, which will lead them inside a pine forest, inside where the second and final climb begins.
“This is shorter but more demanding. At the end of the bike is a descent that alternates fast sections with single track that will lead riders back to the shores of the lake. The athletes will have a view of the lake almost the entire time.”
The 19K trail run climbs about 500m in elevation, noted Massacesi, adding that, “once out of transition, athletes will head back to the dam, and across to the other side. The first 5K are relatively flat along the lake, then runners will ascend a rising slop to the top before coming down onto single track towards the finish.”