Franky Batelier won the XTERRA European Championships in Sardinia, Italy by a very narrow margin over Olivier Marceau. Melanie McQuaid grabbed the women's title and her first win of the season.
Under a beautiful sunny sky, Fabio Guidelli and Gianpietro deGaspari were first out of the clear blue Mediterranean water.
They were chased hard on the bikes by Franky Batelier, Felix Schuman and Olivier Marceau and it didn't take these three athletes too long to get past the early swim leaders. Batelier though got away from Marceau and Schumann and slowly built up a nice lead. By the time Batelier hit T2, his lead was 90 seconds over Marceau and another minute on Schumann.
Marceau wasn't done though and charged hard on the run. He gained on Batelier steadily but in the end ran out of time and/or distance. Batelier crossed the line first, 15 seconds ahead of Marceau, and Schummann held on to third position with an even faster run than Marceau.
Unlike the men's race the women's event wasn't quite as tight. Marion Lorblanchet and new Brit pro Jacqui Slack managed to get out of the water first just ahead of strong swimmer Sibylle Matter, but 3-time XTERRA World Champion Melanie McQuaid wasn't far behind. The Canadian doesn't usually enter the European events but was looking to get some different racing under her belt.
Once on the bike, McQuaid quickly took charge and rode past and away from her competitors in no time. A bit further behind, Renata Bucher was coming back from a slow swim and after passing Carina Wasle, managed to reach T2 in third position with Matter not that far in front of her.
McQuaid though was fast on the run too and held on to the nice 2 minute margin she had established during the bike. Bucher finished second and Matter came in third.
XTERRA European Championships
Sardinia, Italy / May 30, 2010
Top 10 men
1. Franky Batelier (FRA) 2:24:10
2. Olivier Marceau (SUI) 2:24:24
3. Felix Schumann (GER) 2:25:29
4. Nico Lebrun (FRA) 2:27:15
5. Ronny Dietz (GER) 2:29:03
6. Nico Pfitzenmaier (GER) 2:29:51
7. Yeray Luxem (BEL) 2:30:54
8. Jim Thijs (BEL) 2:33:09
9. Fabio Guidelli (ITA) 2:33:42
10. Karel Zadak (CZE) 2:36:43
Top 10 women
1. Melanie McQuaid (CAN) 2:45:10
2. Renata Bucher (SUI) 2:47:19
3. Sibylle Matter (SUI) 2:49:07
4. Carina Wasle (AUT) 2:52:27
5. Marion Lorblanchet (FRA) 2:57:09
6. Jacqui Slack (GBR) 2:58:10
7. Maud Golsteyn (NED) 2:59:22
8. Emma Ruth Smith (GBR) 3:04:38
9. Myriam Guillot (FRA) 3:05:21
10. Claudia Hossmann (SUI) 3:09:38