Saab announced in June of 2004 that
Saab and Salomon will co-host the 2004 International X-Adventure Raid Series.
Team Saab 9-2Xtras will compete
the second event of the series, in Bend Oregon
June 11-13, 2004.
SAAB AND SALOMON WILL HOST MULTI-SPORT X-ADVENTURE SERIES
Endurance athletes from 14 nations are competing in
the 2004 X-Adventure Raid Series, presented by Saab and Salomon.
Each of the four stages, held on a different continent, can be called
"The equivalent of Mt. Everest in two days." Top teams will battle
for the prestigious World Cup, and a chance to qualify for this year's
week-long Raid World Championship.
Swedish automaker Saab continues its partnership with action sports
equipment company Salomon in sponsoring this series of uniquely
challenging outdoor adventure racing competitions in some of the most
beautiful locations around the world. The X-Adventure Raid Series is
the only international adventure race series of four identically
regulated races, each offering a world-class field of mixed teams
the opportunity to earn points towards an overall ranking and qualify
for the annual Raid World Championship, to be held November 28
through December 5 in
The second qualification race in the competition will be held June
11-13 in Bend, OR, only a few hours from Salomon's US headquarters
in Portland. Among the approximately 50 teams will be the Saab 9-2Xtras,
captained by Patrik Riese, director of Customer Relationship Management
at Saab Cars USA in Norcross, and an accomplished marathon runner.
Other team members are Somer Bokatzian, Saab marketing coordinator,
Kurt Schirm, Saab dealer principal from International Motors in Falls
Church, VA, and Phil Schwartz, a Saab owner from Elkridge, MD.
Inspired by Saab executives Knut Simonsson and Michael Mauer, who raved about
their participation in the 2002 Swedish stage, Riese wanted to experience
first-hand the exciting and demanding sport sponsored by the company.
"We've named our team the 9-2Xtras after our newest model, the Saab 9-2X,"
Riese explained, "because this car is perfect for the outdoor adventurer.
It embodies high-performance with full-time all-wheel-drive, precision handling,
outstanding driver control and a high level of utility and versatility with its
five-door body style."
More than 50 teams will compete in the series of four X-Adventure races, each
two-day competition covering 100-145 miles of varied mountainous terrain by
foot, mountain biking, inline skating, canoeing, rappelling, and other
outdoor sports disciplines while strictly respecting the natural environment.
Albeit physically extremely challenging, the X-Adventure Raid (Rare Adventures,
Intense Discoveries) Series is a unique experience, requiring both teamwork
and team spirit, in a variety of weather conditions, often on the same day.
A race typically covers mountainous terrain that includes ascending an
accumulated total of 13,000 to 30,000 ft.
While some of the competitors are full-time, sponsored athletes, others are
dedicated amateurs. But the rules are the same for everyone. Each team has
four members, at least one of whom must be a woman. Three members of each
team compete in each stage and must not become separated, and the woman
team member must compete in at least eight of the 11 stages. Severe time
penalties are imposed for breaking this or any other of the strict rules.
The 2004 season began in May amidst the rugged Atlas Mountains in Morocco.
Series Two is set for June 11-13 in the heart of the Cascade Mountains,
Oregon, home to some of North America's most active volcanoes. In one of
the longest contests of the season, the competitors will face 142 miles
of trail running, mountain biking, canoeing, inline skating and rock
climbing/rope works. The race starts in Mount Bachelor, the youngest volcano
in the Cascades range and one of the premier snow sports areas in Oregon.
The finish line is in Bend, along the western border of Central Oregon's
high desert plateau and is bounded to the east by the mighty Ponderosa
pines of the 1.6 million-acre Deschutes National Forest, one of the most
forests in the Pacific Northwest.
2004 Saab-Salomon X-Adventure Raid Series Calendar
#1 - May 7-9 - Atlas Mountains, Morocco
#2 -June 11-13 - Bend, Oregon, USA
#3 - July 9-11 - Les Arcs-Courmayeur, France/Italy
#4 - September 3-5 - Kalbarri, Australia
Raid World Championship:
Nov. 28-Dec. 5 -- Patagonia, Argentina
Commenting on the partnership between Saab and Salomon,
Knut Simonsson, Saab Automobile's brand director, said,
"There is a natural synergy between the Saab and
Salomon brands. We both have high quality, innovative products and appeal
to individualistic customers who like to make their own decisions in life,
including their choice of sport."
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