Ruzafa, Poor win XTERRA Portugal

Reigning XTERRA European Tour Champions Ruben Ruzafa of Spain and Brigitta Poor from Hungary captured the fourth-annual XTERRA Portugal Championship race in Golega this afternoon.

The win is the 27th of Ruzafa’s career, his fourth of the season, fourth straight in Portugal, and third-in-a-row on the European Tour. For Poor, it’s her third win of the year and in the other two races she finished runner-up to Helena Erbenova.

Highlights / Live Coverage

In the men’s race Ruben Ruzafa broke away from a pack of four at about 7km into the bike and never looked back, crossing the line with a winning time of 2:33:46.

Yeray Luxem and Francois Carloni were together for much of the bike, however, Luxem pulled away on the run for a solid 2nd-place finish, with Carloni two-minutes back in third, last year’s overall amateur XTERRA World Champ turned pro Xavier Dafflon in fourth and Xavier Jove Riart in fifth.

ELITE RESULTS (TENTATIVE)

Pl Name, NAT Time Points
1 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 2:33:46 75
2 Yeray Luxem, BEL 2:37:23 67
3 Francois Carloni, FRA 2:39:02 61
4 Xavier Dafflon, SUI 2:39:41 56
5 Xavier Jové, ESP 2:40:25 51
6 Rui Dolores, POR 2:41:08 47
7 Mattia De Paoli, ITA 2:43:57 43
8 Dominik Wychera, AUT 2:45:38 39
9 Wolpert Hannes, GER 2:48:23 36
10 Llewellyn Holmes, GBR 2:48:51 33
11 Alejandro Tenorio, ESP 2:58:29 30
12 Rafael Gomes, POR 2:59:05 27
13 Octavio Vicente, POR 3:19:52 25
Pl Name, NAT Time Points
1 Brigitta Poór, HUN 3:00:48 75
2 Carina Wasle, AUT 3:04:18 67
3 Helena Erbenová, CZE 3:05:43 61
4 Maud Golsteyn, NED 3:13:08 56
5 Ladina Buss, SUI 3:13:23 51
6 Rocio Espada Vazquez, ESP 3:21:16 47
7 Sheila Azevedo Marques, POR 3:38:49 43

In the women’s race it was all Brigitta Poor right from the start.  Her strong swim gave her a lead she would never relinquish, and she crossed the line in 3:00:48, more than three-minutes ahead of runner-up Carina Wasle.

Helena Erbenova, who won this race last year, came in third at 3:05:43, with Maud Golsteyn in fourth and Ladina Buss in 5th.

Here’s some more insight from XTERRA World Tour managing director Dave Nicholas:

We’ve been blessed with great weather for the first third of the European Tour and today was exceptional.  Portugal was hot for practice days and this is a course is tough enough without temperatures in the 90’s.  Race day morning was cloudy and cool.  No rain in sight but the drop in temps were well received.

Golega is a very laidback village with neat hotels and lots of good restaurants. This kind of atmosphere plus the great work Jaime Rosa and his crew have done makes it a wonderful experience.

The water temp was 24C so it was a no wetsuit race except for those over 50.  The layout is a long up and back on a small river for 750m.  You exit the water, run up a cut out in the bank, run onto a half dam, half bridge and dive back in to start your second lap.  Hannes Wolpert was the clear winner of the swim, but surprising everyone were Francois Carloni and Ruben Ruzafa who have clearly improved their swim speed.  Carloni dove into the second lap on top of Ruzafa.  “I love the non-wetsuit swim and I’m always stronger” said François.  Ruben was only 10″ behind coming into T1.

By the “new” bridge at the 5K mark, Wolpert had a big lead with Tiago Maia second but Carloni and Ruben were already pushing through the field with Yeray Luxem coming on strong.  By 8K the lead 4 were together and Luxem had closed more.  In Spain last week Xavier Jove’ finished 2nd.  Jove’ is the ETU cross duathlon champ and can clearly bike and run.  At this point he was behind over 3 minutes.  Xavier Dafflon, top age group finisher at Maui last year is a mountain biker.  He had lost over 5 minutes in the swim, but this course is flat and open for the first 8K and Dafflon was able to pass heaps of riders before getting to the single track, technical pieces.

For the women, Brigitta Poor took the lead from the swim and never let it go.  Carina Wasle challenged and got within 30 seconds but dropped back.  Then she would challenge again, but the Hungarian woman was simply too strong today.  Ladina Buss had a good 3rd for a while, Maud Golsteyn was 4th and Helena Erbenova back 3 minutes after a poor swim.  “I felt good everywhere today” smiled Brigitta.  Obviously the 2 weeks after Spain helped heal the injuries she got there.

At the 15K mark, Ruzafa had pulled away and Carloni and Luxem were working together to keep him in sight.  “I had a strong bike today and Yeray and I rode really good together” said Francois.  Tiago Maia flatted, but Portugal buddy Rui Delores was riding really well and was up into 5th.  Jove’ had carved his way into 7th and Dafflon, while still back, was not in the top 10.

Out of T2 Ruben had 2′ on François and 2’15” on Yeray who had a flat near the end of the bike, but did not lose him a lot of time.  Amazing Xavier Dafflon had ridden himself up to 4th but was more than 5′ behind Ruben and 3′ behind Luxem.   Xavier Jove was 5th, Rui Delores now 6th, Hannes 7th.

Brigitta had 2 minutes on the tiny Carina.  Helena was up to 3rd but was 4’ behind.  These trails are flat and fast and although on certain courses both Carina and Helena can post very fast run times, it would be difficult to do that in Portugal.  Carina again closed to under a minute and Erbenova was running well but looked tired.  Ladina was in 3rd and Maude in 4th.

“I got within 30 sec on Ruben at one point” said Luxem “but I started feeling a bit tired and had to drop back.  I knew I could push hard and close more, but maybe only for 500m.  It was better for me to stay strong and finish second today”.

Carloni is coming into his strong season.  “It is May and this is where I really feel my training is coming good”.  Indeed, his swim was good, his bike very strong and today his run was good enough to keep his 3rd place.  “But these two guys behind me!  If they learn to swim I am in trouble” he laughed.  Yes, indeed our two Xavier’s were closing in on the Frenchman finishing 4th and 5th.  Dafflon even put in the fastest bike split of the day.  Both he and Xavier Jove have committed to the XTERRA season and we will see them many times over the next months.  Rui Delores had his best day and upheld the colors of Portugal to take a fine 6th in front of our Italian pro Mattia De Paoli.

Brigitta kept her cool to take a solid wire-to-wire victory.  Carina held 2nd and speedy Helena Erbenova could not get it done today but was very happy with 3rd.  Maude Golsteyn caught Ladina going into the last 4K to take 4th with Buss just 20 seconds behind in 5th.

The awards and after party in the village park are simply wonderful.  Each top 3 get a laser etched Portugal cork medal to the applause of hundreds of spectators.  Big, juicy pork sandwiches on hearty bread, a drink and a sweet are on sale for 4 euros and cold beers are 1 euro each.  Needless to say almost all the athletes enjoyed the evening.  The Mayor and the city council were all in attendance and on Sunday we’ll have a sprint distance tri for local folks and nearly 300 kids participating in XTERRA races at the park.  This is a full Portuguese festival with something for everyone.

XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR ELITE STANDINGS

With his win today Ruzafa jumps into the pole position on the XTERRA European Tour, with Carloni right behind in 2nd and Roger Serrano and Yeray Luxem tied for third.

In the women’s chase Poor remains in the top spot with three wins and two runner-ups, followed by Erbenova who has won two, was second at Malta and third in Portugal today.  Maud Golsteyn sits in third, followed by Morgane Riou and Carina Wasle.

The next stop on the XTERRA European Tour is XTERRA Belgium on June 10, followed a week later by the inaugural XTERRA Finland in Imatra on June 18.

2017 XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR PRO POINTS STANDINGS
After 5 – 5.27

Division Name Hometown
15-19 Will Stacey Nashville, TN
20-24 Caleb Baity Huntersville, NC
20-24 Joshua Looney Vinemont, AL
25-29 Humberto Rivera Chula Vista, CA
25-29 Donald Davis III Jacksonville, FL
30-34 Brett Tack Boulder, CO
30-34 Tyler Harbin Madison, AL
30-34 Jesper Smith Pensacola, FL
35-39 AJ Petrillo Blue Ridge, GA
35-39 Geoffrey Whitfield Decatur, GA
35-39 Gabriel Piriz Kent, OH
40-44 David Dornaus Wayland, MA
40-44 Michael Dorr Avon, CO
40-44 Patrick Clark Virginia Beach, VA
45-49 Marcus Barton Waxhaw, NC
45-49 Karl Stover St Louis, MO
45-49 Keith Schumann Williamsburg, VA
50-54 Darren Cox Toano, VA
50-54 Andrew Kelsey Irving, TX
50-54 David Ciaverella Happy Valley, OR
55-59 Ali Arasta Asheboro, NC
55-59 Cliff Millemann Davis, CA
60-64 Thomas Monica Thousand Oaks, CA
60-64 Ian Davidson Clemson, SC
65-69 Frank George Rome, GA
65-69 Alan Moore Ada, MI
70-74 Dale Vaughan Macon, GA
WM S S S S S S S G G S S S G S G
Pl Name, NAT TOTAL MLT CYP GRE ESP POR BEL FIN SUI FRA ITA NOR POL GER SWE DEN
1 Brigitta Poor, HUN 359 75 75 67 67 75
2 Helena Erbenova, CZE 278 67 DNS 75 75 61
3 Maud Golsteyn, NED 159 56 DNS 47 DNS 56
4 Morgane Riou, FRA 123 DNS 67 56 DNS DNS
5 Carina Wasle, AUT 118 51 DNS DNS DNS 67
6 Cecila Jessen, SWE 100 39 61 DNS DNS DNS
7 Rocío Espada, ESP 98 DNS DNS DNS 51 47
8 Kathrin Mueller, GER 89 33 DNS DNS 56 DNS
9 Anna Pauline Sasserath, GER 79 36 DNS DNS 43 DNS
10 Nicole Walkers, GBR 61 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS
11 Miriam Casillas Garcia, ESP 61 DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS
12 Sara Bonilla, ESP 61 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS
13 Daz Parker, GBR 56 DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS
14 Marika Wagner, SWE 51 DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS
15 Isabelle Ferrer, FRA 51 DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS
16 Ladina Buss, SUI 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS 51
17 Kristina Lapinova, SLK 47 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS
18 Aina Picas, ESP 47 DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS
19 Louise Fox, GRB 43 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS
20 Renata Bucher, SUI 43 DNS DNS 43 DNF DNS
21 Sheila Marques, POR 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS 43
22 Marta Menditto, ITA 30 30 DNS DNS DNS DNS

 

2017 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING SERIES SCHEDULE

XTERRA Portugal was the 19th of 41 events where amateur athletes from around the world can qualify to race at the 22nd annual XTERRA World Championship in Maui on October 29.

Date
Race
Elite Winners or Location
Feb 25
Richard Murray / Flora Duffy
Mar 4
Dougal Allan / Josie Wilcox
Mar 18
XTERRA Saipan + Silver
Sam Osborne / Carina Wasle
Mar 25
Gonzalo Tellechea / Suzie Snyder
Apr 1
Kieran McPherson / Renata Bucher
Apr 1
XTERRA Chile # Silver
Felipe Barraza / Barbara Riveros
Apr 2
XTERRA Malta * Silver
Roger Serrano / Brigitta Poor
Apr 8
Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen
Apr 9
Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
Apr 16
Ruben Ruzafa / Carina Wasle
Apr 23
Bradley Weiss / Carina Wasle
Apr 23
XTERRA Cyprus * Silver
Yeray Luxem / Brigitta Poor
Apr 29
Osborne,Allen,Weiss,McPherson/Wasle
Apr 30
XTERRA Greece * Silver
Ruben Ruzafa, Helena Erbenova
May 6
Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen
May 13
XTERRA Brazil # Silver
Felipe Moletta / Sabrina Gobbo
May 14
XTERRA Spain * Silver
Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova
May 20
Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
May 27
Ruben Ruzafa / Brigitta Poor
Jun 10
Namur
Jun 17
Milton, Ontario, Canada
Jun 18
Imatra
Jun 24
Vallee de Joux
Jul 2
Xonrupt
Jul 9
Victoria, B.C., Canada
Jul 15
Beaver Creek, CO, USA
Jul 30
Scanno, Abruzzo, Italy
Aug 5
Tapalpa
Aug 5
XTERRA Norway * Silver
Norefjell
Aug 6
Canmore, Alberta, Canada
Aug 12
Quebec City, Canada
Aug 12
Ontario, Canada
Aug 13
Barahona
Aug 13
XTERRA Poland * Silver
Krakow
Aug 19
Zittau
Aug 26
XTERRA Sweden * Silver
Hammarbybacken, Stockholm
Aug 26
Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
Sep 2
XTERRA Japan + Silver
Hokkaido
Sep 3
Mons Klint
Sep 16
Ogden, Utah, USA
Oct 29
Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

* XTERRA European Tour / # XTERRA Pan American Tour / + Asia-Pacific Tour
Silver = Min. $7,500 pro purse & 75-point scale // GOLD = Min $15,000 pro purse & 100-point scale

About TEAM Unlimited/XTERRA
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