(Lago di Scanno, Abruzzo) – Reigning and three-time XTERRA World Champion Ruben Ruzafa of Spain and Helena Erbenova of the Czech Republic won the XTERRA Italy Championship in Scanno this afternoon.
It’s the 14th straight major for Ruzafa and his 4th in a row on this year’s XTERRA European Tour. Ruzafa hasn’t lost an XTERRA Championship race since winning the 2013 World Championship.
For Erbenova it marks the end of an incredible two months where she raced eight times in eight weeks. During the stretch she won at XTERRA Spain, XTERRA Greece, XTERRA Sweden, and today in Italy.
“So many races and I knew I couldn’t be in top form at all of them but just tried to do my best,” said Erbenova, a two-time XTERRA European Tour Champion. “I enjoy the races, to be at such amazing places and meet amazing people. Now I’d like to have a good rest and spend some time with my daughter!”
XTERRA Managing Director Dave Nicholas was on-site to take in all the action and brings us this report…
After two years of hard rain and cold weather the day could not have been more perfect for XTERRA Italy. And, another perfect day for the unstoppable Ruben Ruzafa and 3-time Italy winner Helena Erbenova.
Ruben took the win by 5 1/2 minutes over Francois Carloni. For Carloni, second was a complete surprise.
“I came this morning thinking I cannot finish because I cannot run. Yesterday my back was terrible and my knee terrible because of a fall last week,” he grinned. “But today I am the most surprised person here because everything went perfect. I could run better than I have all year.”
As for Ruben – he laughed at Carloni saying “I tried to go ahead of Francois and pull him a little bit, but every time I passed him, he comes and passes me back. Finally at the top of the big hill I got ahead and stayed ahead.”
Roger Serrano had another good performance with a solid 3rd. As usual Serrano had the big lead from the swim, but “Ruben and Carloni are just too strong on the bike now,” he said.
The best story of the day has to be Belgian Jim Thijs and his Italian partner Elisabetta Curridori. They have been together now for a while and both have been racing XTERRA for many years. Elisabetta comes from a Sardinia family of XTERRA champions and has graduated to elite this year. Jim Thijs ran by me yelling “JIMBO IS BACK.” The reason why this is such a great story is the couple both finished fourth. Jim has had trouble this year after having been a contender years ago. It was a great day for Italy with Elisabetta 4th woman and age grouper Francesca Figini 5th overall and a total of three Italian men in the top 10 overall.
Winner Erbenova said she had a terrible swim, but she always says this.
“I had a really good bike, but it was so hard,” she smiled.
Starting the first loop of 18K Carina Wasle and Curridori led into town but Erbenova was coming on strong. The always smiling Myriam Guillot-Boisset was 4th in town just behind Renata Bucher. By the time the women came back to town to start the shorter second loop Helena was up by two minutes.
“Carina passed me on the downhill so fast” said Erbenova.
“I was really happy with my downhill” said the tiny Austrian Wasle.
Guillot-Boisset had a fall on the downhill and had to fix her bike. “This took so much energy because I am not so good fixing the bike” she said. But Myriam kept her 3rd place on the bike and for 3rd woman overall. Renata had won the ETU race last weekend and was a bit tired coming in. She relinquished 4th to Elisabetta on the run but continued to a top 5 finish.
A great race with smiles everywhere. The village of Scanno was totally crazy. Businesses were open with bikers and runners whizzing by. Tourists out for a stroll walked the streets and bikers had to sometimes swerve to miss them. The marshals did what they could, but the citizens and visitors were so thrilled seeing this colorful event there were times you could count dozens of phones taking videos and photos and people jostling to get a better view.
The vibe through town stayed constant all day. Riders come up to the village from transition then take a hard right turn down a few sets of stairs making a loop in town and climbing back up just a few feet from where they descended minutes ago. Red Bull had their disco wagon at this spot and the music rocked all afternoon. It was truly exciting. Think of hundreds of bikers climbing past 1,000-year-old churches on cobbled streets, blasting down steps past fruit stands, climbing back up again past restaurants and more fabulous, ancient stone houses and then disappearing up into the mountain – only to come and do it again on the second lap. Some might say there is too much biking on the rough streets of Scanno, but nobody that raced here would agree. This is one tough, hard course that simply everyone enjoys to the max. It took the amazing Ruben Ruzafa nearly 3 hours to finish; that should say enough.
The event ended with a big Abruzzo BBQ at the main compound. The DJ kept the music going, the announcers hailed every finisher. It was one heck of a day. Why weren’t you here?
Pro Men Results
|1||Ruben Ruzafa, ESP||2:52:49||100|
|2||Francois Carloni, FRA||2:58:23||90|
|3||Roger Serrano, ESP||3:03:26||82|
|4||Jim Thijs, BEL||3:05:27||75|
|5||Markus Benesch, AUT||3:06:30||69|
|6||Jan Pyott, SUI||3:11:43||63|
|7||Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA||3:13:11||58|
|8||Fabio Guidelli, ITA||3:13:26||53|
|9||Martial Schmidt, FRA||3:13:42||49|
|10||Henry Sleight, GBR||3:16:11||45|
Also: Antonello Pallotta (41), Marco Spadaccia (37), James Walker (34)
Pro Women Results
|1||Helena Erbenova, CZE||3:24:02||100|
|2||Carina Wasle, AUT||3:28:57||90|
|3||Elisabetta Curridori, ITA||3:37:16||82|
|4||Renata Bucher, SUI||3:41:23||75|
|5||Olga Parfinenko, RUS||3:52:01||69|
|6||Jessie Roberts, GBR||3:52:21||63|
|7||Karin Hansen, SUI||3:53:25||58|
|8||Sabina Rzepka, POL||4:01:49||53|
|9||Genziana Cenni, ITA||4:04:30||49|
XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR UPDATE
XTERRA Italy was the eighth of 12 races in the XTERRA European Tour, and the fourth of seven Gold level events. Elite athletes count their best four (4) Gold and three (3) Silver finishes. Elites can compete in as many events as they wish, but will count only their best four Gold and three Silver finishes. How it Works.
*Tentative standings, pending final Italy results for elite finishers past top 10 men / top 5 women.
Next up: August 8 – XTERRA Czech Championship, Prachatice*
2015 XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR STANDINGS
|1||Roger Serrano, ESP||436||67||56||82||67||82||DNS||DNS||82|
|2||Francois Carloni, FRA||422||47||67||75||61||DNS||82||DNS||90|
|3||Ruben Ruzafa, ESP||375||DNS||75||100||DNS||DNS||100||DNS||100|
|4||Jan Pyott, SUI||265||DNS||23||49||DNS||69||DNS||61||63|
|5||Kris Coddens, BEL||232||DNS||DNS||DNS||75||90||DNS||67||DNS|
|6||Albert Soley, ESP||219||43||39||90||47||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|7||Henry Sleight, GBR||210||DNS||25||DNS||33||58||49||DNS||45|
|8||Arthur Forissier, FRA||175||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||100||75||DNS||DNS|
|9||Jan Kubicek, CZE||153||39||DNS||DNS||DNS||63||DNS||51||DNS|
|10||Yeray Luxem, BEL||136||DNS||61||DNS||DNS||75||DNF||DNS||DNS|
|11||Martial Schmidt, FRA||132||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||49||34||DNS||49|
|12||Nicolas Fernandez, FRA||122||75||47||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|13||Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA||118||30||DNS||DNS||30||DNS||DNS||DNF||58|
|14||Markus Benesch, AUT||112||DNS||DNS||DNS||43||DNS||DNS||DNS||69|
|15||Xavier Riart, ESP||105||36||DNS||69||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNF|
|16||Tim Van Daele, BEL||103||25||27||DNS||51||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|17||James Walker, GBR||102||DNS||DNS||DNS||21||DNS||DNS||47||34|
|18||Fabien Combaluzier, FRA||92||56||36||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|19||Veit Hönle, GER||90||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||53||37||DNS||DNS|
|20||Bradley Weiss, RSA||90||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||90||DNS||DNS|
|21||Tomas Kubek, SVK||82||DNS||43||DNS||39||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|22||Sam Osborne, NZL||75||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||75||DNS|
|23||Jim Thijs, BEL||75||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||75|
|24||Malte Plappert, GER||69||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||69||DNS||DNS|
|25||Lars Van der Eerden, NED||66||21||DNP||DNS||DNS||45||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|26||Gonzalo Bernal, ESP||63||DNS||DNS||63||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|27||Damien Guillemet, FRA||63||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||63||DNS||DNF|
|28||Brice Daubord, FRA||61||61||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|29||Ruben Salmeron, ESP||58||DNS||DNS||58||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|30||Rory Downie, GBR||58||33||DNP||DNS||25||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|31||Damien Derobert, FRA||58||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||58||DNS||DNS|
|32||Llewellyn Holmes, GBR||57||DNS||30||DNS||27||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|33||Tomas Jurkovic, SVK||56||DNS||DNS||DNS||56||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|34||Lars Erik Fricke, GER||56||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||56||DNS|
|35||Jose Borrino, ESP||53||DNS||DNS||53||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|36||Tomas Jiranek, CZE||53||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||53||DNS||DNS|
|37||Fabio Guidelli, ITA||53||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||53|
|38||Clement Briere, FRA||51||51||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|39||Hector Guerra, ESP||51||DNS||51||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNF|
|40||Juan Gracia, ESP||45||DNS||DNS||45||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|41||Florian Luquet, FRA||45||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||45||DNS||DNS|
|42||Christopher Schwab, AUT||43||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||43||DNS|
|43||Dominique Fernando, ESP||41||DNS||DNS||41||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|44||Antonello Pallotta, ITA||41||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||41|
|45||Juan Marti, ESP||37||DNS||DNS||37||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|46||Marc Pschebizin, GER||37||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||37||DNS||DNS|
|47||Marco Spadaccia, ITA||37||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||37|
|48||Grigoris Souvatzoglou, GRE||36||DNS||DNS||DNS||36||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|49||Carlos Martinez, ESP||34||DNS||DNS||34||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|50||Jens Roth, GER||33||DNS||33||DNS||DNS||DNF||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|51||Sergio Espejo, ESP||31||DNS||DNS||31||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|52||Dr. Felix Schumann, GER||31||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||31||DNS||DNF|
|53||Javier Oliver, ESP||28||DNS||DNS||28||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|54||Sebastian Veith, GER||28||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||28||DNS||DNS|
|55||Arthur Serrieres, FRA||27||27||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNF||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|56||Nicolas Corentin, BEL||25||DNS||DNS||DNS||25||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|57||Matt Dewis, GBR||23||23||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|58||Simone Calamai, ITA||23||DNS||DNS||DNS||23||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|59||Rob Woestenborghs, BEL||21||DNS||21||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|1||Helena Erbenova, CZE||589||DNS||67||100||75||82||90||75||100|
|2||Brigitta Poor, HUN||446||75||61||90||67||90||63||x61||DNS|
|3||Louise Fox, GBR||340||51||51||82||56||63||37||DNS||DNS|
|4||Carina Wasle, AUT||318||DNS||DNS||DNS||61||100||DNF||67||90|
|5||Jessica Roberts, GBR||259||47||DNF||DNS||51||53||45||DNS||63|
|6||Myriam Guillot, FRA||151||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||69||82||DNS||DQ|
|7||Karin Hansen, SUI||197||43||47||DNS||DNS||49||DNF||DNS||58|
|8||Kathrin Mueller, GER||175||DNS||75||DNS||DNS||DNS||100||DNS||DNS|
|9||Morgane Riou, FRA||156||DNS||56||DNS||47||DNS||53||DNS||DNS|
|10||Maud Golsteyn, NED||136||61||DNS||DNS||DNS||75||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|11||Sandra Koblemueller, AUT||136||67||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||69||DNS||DNS|
|12||Elisabetta Curridori, ITA||138||56||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||82|
|13||Coralie Redelsperger, FRA||75||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||75||DNS||DNS|
|14||Renata Bucher, SUI||75||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||75|
|15||Olga Parfinenko, RUS||69||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||69|
|16||Ladina Buss, SUI||58||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||58||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|17||Becci Kaltenmeier, GER||58||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||58||DNS||DNS|
|18||Celine Augueux, FRA||49||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||49||DNS||DNS|
|19||Sabina Rzepka, POL||53||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||53|
|20||Genziana Cenni, ITA||49||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||49|
|21||Sofia Brites, POR||43||DNS||43||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|22||Deniz Dimaki, GRE||43||DNS||DNS||DNS||43||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|23||Lenka Cibulkova, CZE||41||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||41||DNS||DNS|
|24||Danica Spiteri, MLT||39||39||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
2015 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS
The XTERRA Italy Championship was the 26th of 40 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the world qualify for the 20th annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on Nov. 1.
* European Tour / + Asian Tour / # America Tour / ! Canada Series / = Hawaii qualifiers