ITU Cross Triathlon World Championship

Pontevedra/Spain 2019

After my travels to Cyprus and Greece, testing my performance and getting into racing cross triathlon again after the long winter break, brought me to Pontevedra/Spain. I have been to Spain only once in my life, and I liked it a lot. Also this time I was pretty stoked getting there, even if it was raining the first few days.

Credits: MW Photography

Together with some friends from Austria and Germany I stayed in a big apartment, training on the course together, having fun as well as cooking together the best food. The preparations and the vibes were on point.

Credits: MW Photography

The WCS race course:

1000m swimming

30km mountainbiking

7km running

ITU Triathlon Multisport World Championship

The swimming course was in the end of the river that joins into the sea right next to Pontevedra city center. The temperature was about 14,2 Degrees Celsius, which made it really tough in the beginning, as well as some current going down from the river.

Credits: MW Photography

We checked out the bike course several times, it was hard in the beginning, because it had lots of turns and hidden corners. It was full of gravel road, and some single trail sections, but mostly it was super fast. We had to climb to bigger mountains, so gain about 1200hm on the whole course. Drafting was definitely helping putting down a fast bike split.

Credits: Susanne Aumair

The run was super flat and fast, mostly straight and a little bit of uphill single trail. It wasn’t much of an “offroad trail run”, more some ITU road racing course with a touch of nature.

RACEDAY

At the raceday we decided to cycle to the venue, it was a nice 10k road cycle- perfect for warming up the legs. The start was only at the afternoon, so the typical “race tension” was a bit gone over the day. I was putting all my gear into transition area, my bike, my running shoes, helmet and glasses. This time it was a wetsuit swim, because of the low temperatures, so I put it on and went for a little swim, checking out the river one more time.

Credits: MW Photography

“always beat your number”

Dominik Wychera

We lined up for the starting ceremony, this time I had bib. number 9 (from the 2018 ranking) and I was super stoked about it. My first goal is always beating my number, but this time it was really unlikely and I set my goal for the TOP15.

Credits: MW Photography

We all jumped into the water and waited between the two starting buoys for the final starting shot. It was a big mess, everyone was excited to race fast and I got some hits on me. I tried to find my rhythm, but it was really hard this time, the current and the low temperature didn’t make me feel comfortable and fast. As I am already an average swimmer I lost even more time because of the current. I exited the swim at the very end of the field.

Credits: MW Photography

Onto my bike and I felt comfortable again, I could push from the beginning, closed the gab to the group in front of me very fast, and found myself with some other good mountainbikers. Together we tried to catch up the time we lost on the swim, it worked pretty well, but slowly I lost all of them behind me. I felt really good on the bike and rode mostly by myself, catching one after the other. I made up more than 20 positions on the bike and entered T2 on the 24th spot.

Credits: MW Photography

My legs were already a bit tired because I never had the possibility to relax a bit on the bike due to riding most of the course by myself- no drafting possibility. So I jumped into my running shoes and tried to put the hammer down, behind me already some other athletes. In the beginning I couldn’t see anyone close in front of me. But then I got a nice running pace and caught two other athletes. The problem was, that there came faster runners from the back and shortly before the finish I lost 2 positions again and finished on the 24th spot in the end.

Credits: MW Photography

It wasn’t really close to my goal of finishing in the TOP15, but with a better and relaxer swim, it would have definitely been possible.

Credits: MW Photography

thanks Pontevedra 2019

Dominik Wychera

Xterra Greece

  • 2nd Xterra of the season
  • 2nd time at Xterra Greece
  • 2nd in the 2019 European Tour standings

I am back here in Greece, I just love this beautiful place south of Athens called Vouliagmeni. And its not only the beautiful landscapes and the great weather that made me come back, its the whole atmosphere here at the race venue, the great service with a pickup from the airport with a personal rental car, the perfectly marked race courses, the time management before and during the race and of course the people.

Credits: 641 photography / Xterra

After my Xterra season opener in Cyprus I came here for my second race of the season, I already know the course from last year, so it was a very easy preparation for me. I still did two loops on the bike course to know where to attack, and one loop on the running course, to get a feeling of the 2 steep technical uphill trails again.

Credits: 641 photography / Xterra

On the day before the actual race, the XTERRA Greece crew also offered a couple of other events to take part in, for kids, beginners and just for fun. So we took part in the Laser-Gun-Run. It was actually planned to be a game for the little kids, but then also the PRO athletes wanted to be part of it, so we had a little fun battle with shooting and running.

1000m swim (with a quick run between the 2 loops)

30km mountainbike

10km trailrun

XTERRA Greece
Credits: 641 photography / Xterra

The race start of this years Xterra Greece was at 10 in the morning, which was good as the weather was pretty cold the last few days before the race, so some extra minutes of sun before jumping into the cold sea was pretty awesome. I set um my transition, put on my Zoggs FX1 wetsuit and went for a warmup swim. The PRO field started ahead of the age groupers, and we had to swim 2 loops each 750m with a little beach-run in between.

Credits: 641 photography / Xterra

I came out the water in 9th position, just behind Kris Coddens, my transition was really fast so we went on the bike together, and pushed each other to ride fast. So we came back to T2 with the 4th and 5th fastest split of the day, I knew he can run fast, so I tried to get a gap between us with changing fast in transition, I ran out some seconds ahead and had a small gap, I wasn’t really thinking back, only wanted to catch the one in front of me. At this stage I didn’t know how far this would be, but all my focus was to the front. Kris then could catch me and we were running together on the first loop. These 2 technical uphills were really tough after our fast bike ride. I unluckily lost some time on the fast running downhills due to some little cramps in my legs. I was now in 7th position for the second running loop. I still had a good pace, but there was no chance of running to the TOP 5 anymore.

Credits: 641 photography / Xterra

I finished 7th on my second Xterra Europe race of 2019, and I am super happy how it came out. My 5th place from Xterra Cyprus and my 7th place from Xterra Greece means a 2nd place in the overall European Tour ranking, just behind Xavier Dafflon (lots will change, because we are only 2 of a few having 2 races in the calculation).

Xterra Cyprus

Season opener of the 2019 Xterra European Tour in Cyprus.

Its my first time here in Cyprus and of course my first time in the Xterra Cyprus. The course got changed to last years one and is super fun racing on.

Credits: Carel du Plessis

We arrived in Cyprus a couple of days before the race, spent our time on the course and enjoyed the island a lot. I went onto the bike course several times, it had nice and long climbs, as well as technical downhills, rock gardens and water sections- of course some single trail. The run was not as fancy, mostly flat and fast with a little bit of climbing and off-trail-feeling, but still nice for racing.

1500m swimming

38km mountainbike

10km trailrun

Xterra Cyprus
Credits: Carel du Plessis

The start was at 9am and we jumped into the Cristal clear water of Paphos. As always it was a triangle course with two loops, I started a very solid pace in the beginning, but I had to take out some speed for the second loop before my arms started to explode. With two minutes back on the leaders I exited the swim.

Credits: Carel du Plessis

Now the fun part started: Onto my new Scott Spark RC World Cup, I pushed it all out on the awesome bike course. I found a good speed and felt very confident from my last MTB-Races the weeks before. I was able to make up some positions, catch the guys ahead of me. I really had fun out there. I cycled to the 4th place when I suddenly crashed in the rock garden.

A lady who got overtaken decided to change the side of the single trail, as I was only short before this section- shit happened and I jumped over my handlebar. I have no idea how I did it, but I landed onto my feet, no scratches, no hits, nothing. I was sad about my bike but luckily even my bike didn’t get any pain, the only problem was the handlebar twisted sideways from the impact. I was very loose so I could turn it back, but I didn’t bring a tool to fix it. So I rode very carefully back to T2 (about 5k) downhill and at the beach over some rocky sections, very carefully of not loosing control over my bike because of the loose handlebar.

Credits: Carel du Plessis

Onto the run I was in 5th position, fighting with another athlete from Denmark for the 4th spot. The podium was too far anyway so we both went for the points and the cash. We started a very solid running pace and pushed each other going faster. It was a really great competition until Jens started to attack at the last turning point (2,5km before finish). I couldn’t hold his speed anymore and had to let him go. I tried to catch up again, but in the end it was a 16 seconds gap between us.

Credits: Carel du Plessis

I had the fastest run of the day in 35:11.5

Xterra Cyprus

I finished 5th in the first Xterra of the season and made some points for the European Tour standing. Cyprus is a great place and I might come back in future.

Credits: Carel du Plessis

ITU Cross Triathlon ECS Ibiza/Spain

The last big race of the season was the this years ITU Cross Triathlon European Championship on the beautiful island of Ibiza.

We arrived there a week before the race. I shared an Appartement with friends from Switzerland, it was great. We had lots of fun, good training and amazing food. My season was already super long, and it was hard for my head to focus on the race. We checked out the bike and run course properly to know exactly where to ride and run during the race. It was a very fast course with lots of rocks and some roots, my Scott Spark fully from Nora Pure Sports was the perfect weapon for this terrain. Also on the running course it was super rocky with some sharp rocks and deep sand passage on the beach.

The start was pretty late at only 2pm in the afternoon and the swim course was one big loop of 1000m. There were lots of fast swimmers in the elite field so I couldn’t really follow. I was pretty much swimming all by myself with 2 other athletes behind me. As I am not one of the fast swimmers its hard for me to swim any tactics like I could do on the bike, my rule is always fulgas and giving all I have.

I came in T1 quite far back with 2 other guys which I dropped back already by only changing onto the bike. I pushed as hard as I could on this crazy loop course. We had to ride 4 laps each 5km which is only 20km in total with a super high average speed which made it even harder to catch up some time on the bike. My legs were quite lazy that day and not really well performing. So I came in T2 still out of top 20 which made me really focusing on the run.

The run started on the beach which was super tiring but fun, and lots of people were cheering us threw the deep sand. I found a good pace and made the run to my personal best discipline of the day. I was running together with a friend from Portugal and we pushed us to the limits together. My running pace was quite nice and I could made up some places.

In the end I just finished in the Top 20 at this ITU Cross Triathlon European champs. Extremely far away from my top 7 goal but still happy to finish without crash or cramps. There are some very good days and there are days where you just can’t show your performance.

I am glad to finish this 2018 season on this beautiful island to get the first relaxation on such a beautiful place. Program for the next few weeks: offseason, legs up and party.

Xterra Denmark

The Xterra European Tour Final and Gold Event took place in the beautiful are of Denmark called Mons Klint. I did this race already two years ago and I liked it a lot. After the last 3 very strong races for me I went into this last Xterra with a lot of confidence. We started at 10am in the morning, and we had to swim in the nice but cold sea. After 2 laps of swimming with a total distance of 1500m we had to climb up 297 steps up to transition area. Some athletes took off their wetsuit already at the bottom of the stairs.

I came out of the water quite far back, but I was running up the stairs fast to T1. With my bike performance I tried to push myself to the front of the field, and it worked out pretty well. After 3okm on the bike I came into T2 on the 8th position with some   tired legs from the bike, but the run worked out even better than the bike.

With a gap of 2 minutes to the guy in front of me I started the 10km trail run. After the first of 2 laps I already made the gap smaller to one minute. When I finally could see the guy in front of me the gap between us was only 30 seconds when we reached the stairs for the second time in this race. He looked a bit tired already and I knew this could be my chance. I pushed myself into the limit, I gave all I had and I managed to close the gap until the top of the stairs. After this we had a sprint finish for the last 100m into the finish and we both gave everything we had. in the end it became a photo finish with my unluckily on the 8th place.

I was a bit sad with how this came out in the end, but I was still happy with my 8th place finish which gave me some extra points in the European overall ranking and pushed me to the 9th place over all. I have never finished a season in the top 10 overall ranking so this was a great extra achievement for me.

Xterra Norway

When I started to put all my racing gear, my bike, my shoes, the helmet etc. into transition, the race director told us the water temperature of the lake we had to swim in today and it was down on 13 degrees. They made the decision to reduce the swim course to the half distance- only one loop. I was really happy about it as the swim is my weakest discipline. My motivation level went up immediately.

After 750m of of swimming in this cold but beautiful lake in Norefjell I came out of the water on the 5th position, only 1:30 back on the leader, I couldn’t believe and knew this could be my day. My legs felt fresh on the bike and I instantly rode away from the athletes who came out of the water together with me. I pushed myself further and further and caught almost everyone in front of me, managed to ride into second position on a 30km bike course with more meters up than down, because the T2 was up on the mountain. I finally came into T2 in 3rd position, with only 30 seconds onto the second.

Behind me there was a bigger gap with more than a minute. The run was super hard with again lots of steep uphill trails before the long and technical descent started. The distance to the first and second stayed the same all the time, but from behind there came a very fast athlete and friend of mine, Peter. He definitely had the best running legs today and made up lots of positions.

Only about 1,5km before the finish line I had to pull out a bit because of cramps and he overtook me just in the perfect moment, there was no possibility for me to fight back. Finally I finished only seconds behind the podium on the 4th position. I could redo me last weeks podium experience but still collected important point for the overall tour ranking.

Next stop: Xterra Denmark Mons Klint

Xterra Finland

MY FIRST XTERRA WORLD SERIES PODIUM.

One week before after my race in Germany I started driving north. On my way I picked up my teammate Raphael and from now on we did the trip together. After sleeping each night on our way in a different country, we finally made it to Imatra, a beautiful little village in the east of Finland.

We checked out the course properly 2 days before the race. We knew every corner, every rock and every single root. It was great. The importance was clear because we had to ride three loops on this course. During this day we also had some nice photo shooting and interview sessions with the team of Xterra.

Exactly at 12 o clock we started into the race. 22 elite athletes and lots of amateurs started together into the race. The 1500m got a little bit longer dew to a drifting boje and it became 1850m instead. I didn’t really felt it, but when I checked my watch after coming out of the water it made me crazy a bit. On my bike I rode a very fast tempo with the idea of showing the others who is the boss today. My plan worked out perfectly and I rode up to the front. With the 2nd fastest bike split of the day, I came into T2 in 2nd position, but behind me a tail of 4 other athletes. We almost started the run together and I knew, that running is not my best discipline. If was a fight, but my legs were incredible fresh and fast on this day. I couldn’t follow one very fast runner, but all the others I kept behind me. With the 3rd best running split of the day I finally finished on the third place. My first ever Xterra major race podium. I was stoked as hell.

Super happy with my performance we relaxed a bit in the SPA of the amazing hotel to get our legs fresh for the next days drive to Sweden. We took the ferry from Finland to Sweden and kept on driving west to Norway- heading north to Norefjell. Next race: Xterra Norway

Photos: Carel du Plessis

Xterra Germany European Championship

I started at this race the first time in 2014 when there were also the ITU World Championships and I truly fell in love with it.

The very known “O-See-Challenge” is now one of my to dos during the last seasons. I started there for the 4th time already and it became one of my race classics. This time it was not only a normal Xterra race, it was the Xterra European Championship, so almost every athlete who wanted to show what is in him/her, came there to race.

I got there the Tuesday before for some relaxing days at the lake and the beautiful forests. I checked out the course twice, because it got changed a bit. It had never been so fast like this year. The long and hot summer dried the course like never before. The run course was completely new, we had to run 2 laps of 5km now instead of one big loop. It became more technical and less fast, but harder to run. On the Saturday the 18th of August we started into the race. 37 Elite athletes raced for the top spot of the podium. We had to swim 2 loops each 750m with a little running passage on the beach. I had a great swim and could follow my teammate Markus who is normally one minute faster than me out of the water. We came out super far back of the pack in 32/33 position.

I had a super fast T1 and managed to get out first of our group, but behind me 4 athletes following. I started to attack and managed to ride away from them, only one guy from France was able to follow me and we rode to the big climb together. I made up position by position and found myself in the top 15 after the bike.

I ran out of T2 on the 13th position with the goal to reach top 10. I tried to attach as strong as on the bike, but there wasn’t so much energy left to run fast on that day. I overtook one more guy and finished on the 12th place in this stacked pro field. Super happy with my performance I knew that I have to work on my run until the next big race in Finland in a week of time.

Photos: Carel du Plessis