Ruzafa, Philipp win XTERRA France

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Ruben Ruzafa from Spain and Laura Philipp from Germany captured the titles at XTERRA France Championship, at the Lac de Longemer in Xonrupt this afternoon.

The win is the sixth this year, for the three-time XTERRA World Champ Ruben Ruzafa and the first for Philipp (3x Ironman 70.3 titles), in her debut at XTERRA racing.

XTERRA World Tour managing director Dave Nicholas was on-site to take in all the action and brings us this report…

Who?  We all recognize Ruben Ruzafa and to see him winning is nothing new.  But who is Philipp?  Philipp is Laura Philipp and she stamped her name hard and clear on one of the toughest, longest XTERRA’s in a while.

Ruzafa’s win was not easy.  He gained the lead on the first bike lap after a decent swim, but Sam Osborne would not go away.  After Osborne, Bradley Weiss kept the Spanish Champion company and then Arthur Forissier took his turn challenging Ruzafa.  “I just kept my pace the whole race” said Ruben “the other guys would come up close but I did not attack.  I knew my limits and rode fast but did not want to get into a fight”.  As it turned out the others could get close but could not stay with him for long.  His bike was over 4 minutes faster than any other and he left T2 covered in mud with a healthy lead.

Playing stealth was Belgian Yeray Luxem.  “I had a race only a few days ago in Belgium so I was not expecting too much.  I came here to get some good points for the European Tour Championship and am really happy with second” he shivered.  Luxem had a very quick bike and came into T2 in 3rd behind Bradley Weiss.  Brad was riding really well putting in the 2d fastest bike but suffered a hard fall on the slick wood of the Charbonnier ramps just meters from T2.  “Yeah, that kind of took some out of me.  There were people I was lapping who were so slow, I went around one on the way down but he moved and I went off line and couldn’t hold it”.  I saw him go down and it was a stunner.

Young Arthur Forissier, last weeks winner in Switzerland was having another great race coming into T2 in 4th.  Luxem was quickly by the ailing South African and Forissier was soon past Brad and into 3rd.  But nobody was going to touch Ruben this day.  And so it ended with Ruzafa up 2.5 minutes on Luxem who was a minute ahead of Forissier.  Josiah Middaugh had come to France to test how strong the European riders were.  “I always heard what a great race this is and it did not disappoint” he said with his usual Josiah smile.  “I fell a lot and one time bent my rear derailleur.  The chain kept coming off so I bent it pretty hard and then the chain was hitting the wheel.  I finally got it about right but it never did shift well”.  It was good enough for 5th and a great look at what his competition will be for Maui.

While it never rained hard on race day, it did the night before.  The earth here soaks the water up well and the trails were all ridable, but very slick.  By the time 900 decouvert (sprint) athletes did the course and 900+ more finished the first lap it was SLOW.  Ruzafa’s 2nd lap was 9 minutes slower than his first, womens winner Phillip was 10 minutes slower on her second lap.  And it was cold with the water temp about 10 degrees warmer than the air.

Each year the Charbonnier family creates a new monster ramp.  This year was no exception and they built it in two parts.  The first was a quick climb to the top of a ramp and then a steep downhill over some moguls and into a tight, off camber turn.  The second was another uphill with an S turn and then a wicked run down and around a 45 degree banked U turn.  Both down ramps and the banked U turn were getting slick.  Some riders simply lacked the confidence to let their bike roll down the ramp and tried to walk it – and slipped and slid and usually dropped their bike.  Others rode it but touched their brakes and down they went.  It was mud wrestling on mountain bikes.

The race staff was terrific and helped fallen riders get back up, get their bike and carry on.  This was necessary as people were at the top of the ramp and when a rider fell and was sprawled at the bottom everything stopped.  There were literally queues, at times, waiting to ride the ramps.  The crowd howled and cheered and every rider laughed it off and just kept going.  Fantastic Live More spirit if I ever saw it.

Brigitta Poor had an excellent race, got into second early on the bike and kept it the entire race.  Helena Erbenova just kept coming strong and finished up into 3rd after coming out of the water with a 3 minute deficit to Brigitta.  Nicole Walters had the fastest swim and was holding onto 3rd for most of the race but Erbenova ran her down as well as Myriam “the rocket” Guillot-Boisset to take 4th leaving Walters, in her first year in XTERRA an excellent 5th.

The story was all Laura Philipp.  Second fastest swim, fastest bike and fastest run.  This created an 8 minute win in her first XTERRA and she picked one of the hardest anywhere to make her debut.  “I like riding my mountain bike but don’t really train on it as much as I would like.  The last two weeks I did spend a lot of time riding it.  I also don’t run on trails very much and this honestly was my first trail run.  My coach taught me to run like I was stepping on hot coals and it really works over the rocks and roots”.  Philipp is from Germany, speaks perfect English and outside riding and running, where she clearly is a rocket, is simply a sweet woman.  “I will go to Maui” she grinned.  From the looks of today, we have some new and very fast women coming over to challenge double champ Flora Duffy this October.

We now have 3 weeks off before Italy for everyone to regroup.  We have 5 races left this season and there are at least a dozen age group races that could go any of several ways.  What we’ve seen in the pro ranks is that while he can be beaten occasionally, Ruben Ruzafa is still the King of the Hill.

Arthur Forissier has matured and is now a dangerous competitor.  Xavier Dafflon has put in some incredible rides and his swim is improving.  Here, his bike was stolen from his hotel and Belgium organizer Florian Badoux loaned him his “lefty”.  A very difficult task to take a totally different bike and try to make a long comeback through 130 others after losing 4 minutes on the swim.

Bradley Weiss has been an animal on the bike these past couple races but has suffered from some bad luck.  Yeray Luxem has won 1 this year and has the speed to challenge anybody.  Sam Osborne continues to swim and ride well and needs to get in a decent run to top the field.

For the women we now have a new face in Laura Philipp, Michelle Flipo has shown she is as fast as ever, Brigitta is gaining speed and consistency as she matures, Helena has won 3 and is always a threat no matter where.  Nicole Walters has shown she can outswim most and is also gaining confidence on the bike.

What has been a fabulous start to the 2017 season looks to continue.  We have had 5 different men’s and women’s winners in 9 races and it ain’t over yet.  Have a great July and we are all looking forward to a return to Lago di Scanno in Abruzzo in 3 weeks.

Pro Men
Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 100
2 Yeray Luxem, BEL 90
3 Arthur Forissier, FRA 82
4 Bradley Weiss, RSA 75
5 Josiah Middauh, USA 69
6 Marcello Ugazio, ITA 63
7 Sam Osborne, NZL 58
8 Xavier Jove Riart, ESP 53
9 Jens Roth, GER 49
10 Maxim Chane, FRA 45
11 Dominik Wychera, AUT 41
12 Xavier Dafflon, SUI 37
13 Rui Dolores, POR 34
14 Mattia De Paoli, ITA 31
15 Mark Hamersma, NED 28
Also: Christophe Betard, Geert Lauryssen, Doug Hall, Tim van Dale, Hannes Wolpert, Tiago Maia, Llewhellyn Holmes, Felix Shumann, Henry Sleight, Théo Dupras, Christian Joost, Jorg Scheiderbauer, Arthur Serrière, Pavel Andreev, Lukas Netik, Christiaan Solleveld
Pro Women
Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Laura Philipp, GER 100
2 Brigitta Poor, HUN 90
3 Helena Erbenova, CZE 82
4 Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 75
5 Nicole Walters, GBR 69
6 Carina Wasle, AUT 63
7 Isabelle Klein, LUX 58
8 Angela Niklaus, SUI 53
9 Kristina Lapinova, SVK 49
10 Kathrin Mueller, GER 45
11 Jessica Roberts, GBR 41
12 Daria Rogozina, RUS 37
13 Mikaela Alicsandra Jonsson, RSA 34

RUZAFA, POOR REMAIN ON TOP OF EURO TOUR AFTER NINE

Ruben Ruzafa and Brigitta Poor, the reigning XTERRA European Tour Champions, are still the leaders after nine of 14 races on this year’s tour.  In the men’s chase Carloni retains his spot at No. 2 although he DNF, with Yeray Luxem now in third position followed by Xavier Dafflon, who dropped in 4th. Arthur Forrisier, after another great performance in France is now in 5th place.

In the women’s chase Poor and Erbenova remain in the 1,2 spots and now Carina Wassle is in 3rd position dropping Golsteyn in 4th place. Morgane Riou, lost one place and is now at No. 5.

Next Up:  XTERRA Italy, July 30

2017 XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR ELITE POINTS STANDINGS
After 9 – 7.04
Men     S S S S S S S G G
Pl Name, NAT TOTAL MLT CYP GRE ESP POR BEL FIN SUI FRA
1 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 490 DNS DNS 75 75 75 75 DNS 90 100
2 Francois Carloni, FRA 326 61 47 43 DNS 61 51 DNS 63 DNF
3 Yeray Luxem, BEL 293 DNS 75 DNS DNS 67 61 DNS DNS 90
4 Xavier Dafflon, SUI 276 DNS DNS 47 DNS 56 67 DNS 69 37
5 Arthur Forissier, FRA 233 DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS 100 82
6 Rui Dolores, POR 197 DNS DNS 39 36 47 DNS DNS 41 34
7 Xavier Jove Riart, ESP 171 DNS DNS DNS 67 51 DNS DNS DNP 53
8 Jens Roth, GER 166 DNS DNS 61 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS 49
9 Maxim Chane, FRA 158 30 DNS 36 DNS DNS 47 DNS DNP 45
10 Oivind Bjerkseth, NOR 156 33 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS
11 Jan Kubicek, CZE 149 DNS DNS DNP 39 DNS 43 67 DNS DNS
12 Jan Pyott, SUI 145 56 DNS 25 33 DNS DNS DNS 31 DNF
13 Arthur Serrieres , FRA 143 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNP DNS 82 DNP
14 Roger Serrano, ESP 142 75 DNS 67 DNS DNS DNF DNS DNS DNS
15 Sam Osborne, NZL 133 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 58
16 Bradley Weiss, RSA 131 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNF 75
17 Maximilian Sasserath, GER 128 67 DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
18 Thomas Kerner, GER 127 DNS 61 33 DNS DNS 33 DNS DNS DNS
19 Hannes Wolpert, GER 116 DNF 43 DNP DNS 36 DNP DNS 37 DNP
20 Mark Hamersma, NED 94 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS 23 DNS DNS 28
21 Theo Dupras, FRA 80 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS 53 DNP
22 Julien Buffe, FRA 79 DNS 56 23 DNS DNS DNP DNS DNP DNS
23 Tiago Maia, POR 79 DNS DNS 30 DNS DNF DNS DNS 49 DNP
26 Tomas Kubek, SVK 75 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 28 DNS
24 Geert Lauryssen, BEL 75 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS 39 DNS DNS DNP
25 Pavel Andreev, RUS 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS DNP
27 Mattia De Paoli, ITA 74 DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS 31
28 Josiah Middauh, USA 69 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 69
29 Stephan Radeck, GER 64 25 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
30 Marcello Ugazio, ITA 63 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 63
31 Panu Lieto, FIN 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS
32 Doug Hall, GBR 61 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 34 DNP
33 Llewellyn Holmes, GBR 58 DNS DNS DNS 25 33 DNS DNS DNS DNP
34 Anthony Pannier, FRA 58 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 58 DNF
35 Peter Lehmann, GER 57 DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS 30 DNS DNS DNF
36 Kris Coddens, BEL 56 DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
37 Tim Van Daele, BEL 52 DNS DNS 27 DNS DNS 25 DNS DNS DNP
39 Sebastian Neef, GER 51 DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
40 Pavel Jindra, CZE 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS
38 Jörg Scheiderbauer, GER 51 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNP
41 Albert Soley, ESP 47 DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
42 Pekka Nieminen, FIN 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS
43 Clement Briere, FRA 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 45 DNF
44 Pau Botella Tarres, ESP 43 DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
45 Samuli Heikkila, FIN 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS
46 Jim Thijs, BEL 39 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
48 Jonne Tuomas Mustonen, FIN 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 39 DNS DNS
47 Dominik Wychera, AUT 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS 39 DNS DNS DNS 41
49 Pierre Alain Nicole, FRA 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 36 DNS DNS DNS
50 Guillaume Jeannin, FRA 30 DNS DNS DNS 30 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
51 Alejandro Salmeron Tenorio, ESP 30 DNS DNS DNS DNP 30 DNS DNS DNS DNS
52 Rafael Gomes, POR 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS
53 Octavio Vicente, POR 25 DNS DNS DNS DNS 25 DNS DNS DNS DNS
54 Callum Hughes, GBR 23 23 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
55 Javier Oliver Vives, ESP 23 DNS DNS DNS 23 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
56 Markus Benesch, AUT 21 DNS DNS 21 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
57 Zeus Gutierrez Ochoa, ESP 21 DNS DNS DNS 21 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
58 Morten Olesen, DEN 21 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 21 DNS DNS DNS
WM     S S S S S S S G G
Pl Name, NAT TOTAL MLT CYP GRE ESP POR BEL FIN SUI FRA
1 Brigitta Poor, HUN 512 75 75 67 67 75 DNS DNS 63 90
2 Helena Erbenova, CZE 488 67 DNS 75 75 61 75 DNS 53 82
3 Carina Wasle, AUT 317 51 DNS DNS DNS 67 67 DNS 69 63
4 Maud Golsteyn, NED 268 56 DNS 47 DNS 56 51 DNS 58 DNS
5 Morgane Riou, FRA 266 DNS 67 56 DNS DNS 61 DNS 82 DNS
6 Cecila Jessen, SWE 206 39 61 DNS DNS DNS 39 67 DNS DNS
7 Nicole Walters, GBR 205 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 69
8 Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 165 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 90 75
9 Isabelle Klein, LUX 155 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS 41 58
10 Kathrin Mueller, GER 134 33 DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS 45
11 Louise Fox, GBR 118 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS DNS
12 Isabelle Ferrer, FRA 100 DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 DNS
13 Michelle Flipo, MEX 100 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 100 DNS
14 Laura Philipp, GER 100 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 100
15 Rocío Espada, ESP 98 DNS DNS DNS 51 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS
16 Ladina Buss, SUI 96 DNS DNS DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS 45 DNS
17 Kristina Lapinova, SVK 96 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 49
18 Angela Niklaus, SUI 90 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 37 53
19 Jessica Roberts, GBR 84 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS 41
20 Anna Pauline Sasserath, GER 79 36 DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
21 Miriam Casillas Garcia, ESP 61 DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
22 Sara Bonilla, ESP 61 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
23 Elina Honkavuori, FIN 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS
24 Daz Parker, GBR 56 DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
25 Marika Wagner, SWE 51 DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
26 Aina Picas, ESP 47 DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
27 Ine Couckuyt, BEL 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS
28 Sheila Marques, POR 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS
29 Renata Bucher, SUI 43 DNS DNS 43 DNF DNS DNS DNS DNS DNF
30 Daria Rogozina, RUS 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 37
31 Anne-Sophie Marechal, BEL 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 36 DNS DNS DNS
32 Rebecca Kaltenmeier, GER 34 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 34 DNS
33 Mikaela Alicsandra Jonsson, RSA 34 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 34
34 Lydia Hale, NZL 31 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 31 DNF
35 Marta Menditto, ITA 30 30 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
36 Sanne Van Paassen, NED 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 28 DNS

XTERRA France was the ninth of 14 races on the XTERRA European Tour, and 23rd of 40 on the XTERRA World Tour 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
25-Feb XTERRA South Africa Richard Murray / Flora Duffy
4-Mar XTERRA Motatapu Dougal Allan / Josie Wilcox
18-Mar XTERRA Saipan + Silver Sam Osborne / Carina Wasle
25-Mar XTERRA Argentina # Silver Gonzalo Tellechea / Suzie Snyder
1-Apr XTERRA Thailand + Silver Kieran McPherson / Renata Bucher
1-Apr XTERRA Chile # Silver Felipe Barraza / Barbara Riveros
2-Apr XTERRA Malta * Silver Roger Serrano / Brigitta Poor
8-Apr XTERRA New Zealand + Silver Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen
9-Apr XTERRA Costa Rica # Silver Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
16-Apr XTERRA La Reunion Ruben Ruzafa / Carina Wasle
23-Apr XTERRA Danao + GOLD Bradley Weiss / Carina Wasle
23-Apr XTERRA Cyprus * Silver Yeray Luxem / Brigitta Poor
29-Apr XTERRA Langkawi + GOLD Osborne,Allen,Weiss,McPherson/Wasle
30-Apr XTERRA Greece * Silver Ruben Ruzafa, Helena Erbenova
6-May XTERRA Tahiti + Silver Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen
13-May XTERRA Brazil # Silver Felipe Moletta / Sabrina Gobbo
14-May XTERRA Spain * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova
20-May XTERRA Oak Mountain # GOLD Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
27-May XTERRA Portugal * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Brigitta Poor
10-Jun XTERRA Belgium * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova
17-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter ^ Karsten Madsen / Heather Pady
18-Jun XTERRA Finland * Silver Pavel Andreev / Louise Fox
24-Jun XTERRA Switzerland * GOLD Arthur Forissier / Michelle Flipo
2-Jul XTERRA France * GOLD Xonrupt
9-Jul XTERRA Victoria # Silver Victoria, B.C., Canada
15-Jul XTERRA Beaver Creek # GOLD Beaver Creek, CO, USA
30-Jul XTERRA Abruzzo * Silver Scanno, Abruzzo, Italy
5-Aug XTERRA Mexico # GOLD Tapalpa
5-Aug XTERRA Norway * Silver Norefjell
6-Aug XTERRA Canmore ^ Canmore, Alberta, Canada
12-Aug XTERRA Quebec ^ Quebec City, Canada
12-Aug XTERRA Parry Sound ^ Ontario, Canada
13-Aug XTERRA Dominican Republic # Silver Barahona
13-Aug XTERRA Poland * Silver Krakow
19-Aug XTERRA Germany * GOLD Zittau
26-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant ^ Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
2-Sep XTERRA Japan + Silver Hokkaido
3-Sep XTERRA European Championship (DEN) * GOLD Mons Klint
16-Sep XTERRA Pan Am Championship / USA # D-GOLD Ogden, Utah, USA
29-Oct XTERRA World Championship Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii