Weekend news digest

TriathlonWorld.com is in Frankfurt this weekend to cover the Ironman European Championship and we’ll be keeping a close eye on the action in Sweden as a number of ITU stars compete at the Vattenfall WTS Stockholm race on Saturday (women) and Sunday (men). Here are a few other news updates from the world of triathlon: Sebastian Kienle has a new ride, Xterra France is ready to go and Helle Fredericksen is leaving BMC-Etixx.

| July 2, 2016 | NEWS

Kienle Scott bike

Photo >Michael Rauschendorfer

Kienle debuts new Scott bike

As if super-cyclist Sebastian Kienle needed any help, he’ll be riding a new Scott Plasma Premium at the Ironman European Championship in Frankfurt this weekend. You can check out the photo shoot of the mechanics putting the new speedster together here.

Kienle Scott bike scenic

Photo >Michael Rauschendorfer

Michael Rauschendorfer managed to catch Kienle out training yesterday to capture some great shots of the 2014 Ironman world champ on his new machine.

Xterra France preview

From an Xterra press release:

The 10th edition of XTERRA France takes place this Sunday, July 3, in the beautiful Vosges mountains of Xonrupt.  The sixth stop on the XTERRA European Tour is an important gold-scoring event, boasts one of the most difficult courses on the World Tour, has more than 60 of the best off-roaders in the world racing, and it is once again sold-out.

Francois Carloni is here for his home race, Nicolas Fernandez and Yeray Luxem are also back in action. They all will have to go through the Spanish duo of Ruben Ruzafa and Roger Serrano who have dominated the men’s races to date.  Kris Coddens has a win and a second in the last two races and has been riding and running very fast.  Never count out South African Bradley Weiss.  Brad did not have a good race in Switzerland nor did Ben Allen.  Look to both of them to get it right here in France.  Sam Osborne has been knocking on the door all season but has had a string of bad luck.  Sam "Bam" can never be counted out.  Some great competition is coming from Germany with Veit Honle having his best race ever last week in Switzerland, the fastest swimmer Jens Roth always contends and an old friend in Felix Schumann returns to XTERRA.  This is their home race and besides the always fast Carloni, Arthur Forissier and Arthur Serrieres and Damien Guillemet are legitimate podium contenders.

For the women we have two-time XTERRA World Champion Lesley Paterson here.  She will provide some very tough competition for current leader Helena Erbenova who is recovering from an injury that kept her out of Switzerland, France's home hope Myriam Guillot-Boisset, the “Swiss-Miss” Renata Bucher, Britain’s Jacqui Slack, Austrian Carina Wasle, Hungarian points leader Brigitta Poor, and a host of other fast women (Find the full start list on their homepage at xterra-france.com).

Make no mistake - France is the toughest race around.  It usually rains, the hills are long and steep going up and coming down.  It is two laps and that means the fast pros are lapping the age groupers and it can cause problems.  Asa Shaw had a bad accident when forced off the trail by a back-marker a few years ago and is only now recovering.  The run is also steep and has its muddy, off-camber and narrow sections.  You can expect a few thousand spectators all over the hills and at the start line that features "the monster" and lots of music.

Frederiksen moves on from BMC-Etixx Pro Team

Helle Frederiksen | Helle Frederiksen

Helle Frederiksen

Photo >Bert Stephani

The BMC-Etixx Pro Triathlon Team powered by Uplace and Denmark’s Helle Frederiksen are parting ways, according to a press release sent out last night.

“After a very successful collaboration the last two years in the team, it became clear that the vision of the team and Helle’s personal vision had grown apart,” according to the release. “Helle Frederiksen joined the Uplace-BMC Pro Triathlon Team in 2014 and has played an important role in the successes of the team.”

Over the last couple of years Fredericksen has transitioned from ITU racing to non-drafting and long-distance racing. She's a four-time Ironman 70.3 champ, took the US Pro Championship 5150 Hy-Vee and took the first ever Triple Crown event in Bahrain.