Forissier, Flipo win XTERRA Switzerland

Complete Results / Gallery

June 24, 2017 : For Immediate Release

Arthur Forissier from France and Michelle Flipo from Mexico captured the 8th annual XTERRA Switzerland Championship in the Vallee de Joux this afternoon.

The win is the second in three years for Forissier on this course and the second in a row for Flipo. Forissier’s win also ended three-time XTERRA World Champ Ruben Ruzafa’s five-race win streak (Ruzafa is now won 28-of-35 XTERRA majors in his career).

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

The weather was unusual but the winners were not.

There were surprises, however, starting from when Nicole Walters came out of the water in front of Flipo.  We know Nicole as a wonderful sportswoman and guide for challenged athletes but I had no idea she could be so quick.  And it did not end with the swim.  She rode equally well and those of us who expected Michelle and Brigitta to catch her never saw it happen.

Nicole held the lead into T2 and out onto the run trails.  Michelle put in a very fast run to catch Nicole on the first lap and pulled away to her second XTERRA Swiss win in two years with a 3+ minute lead.

Farther back Morgane Riou was having an excellent race with a good bike and an excellent run.   As good as her run was, Myriam “the rocket” Guillot-Boisset was having an extraordinary run passing Carina Wasle, Nicole and Morgane to finish second.

“I had no idea of my “XTERRA” shape this morning, so I started with no stress,” said Guillot-Boisset.  “I thought I had a good swim exiting the water, but after seeing my split it really wasn’t.  Still, I was in front of Helena, so a place I’m used to being. I built slowly on the bike, and had no idea of my position, just focusing on my sensation and myself. Starting the run, I was still 7th and thought this is not very good, but I didn’t know most of the girls weren’t too far away, and slowly I started to pass one, two, and get back on the podium.  Finishing second is very good, I’m so happy and now fired up for next week in France with a harder race that will fit me way better.”

Riou came home a superb 3rd, Nicole Walters a very well deserved 4th and Carina Wasle 5th.  Poor Helena Erbenova had a terrible day and struggled to 8th.  Brigitta Poor was 6th and Maud Golsteyn 7th.

“I had a very good swim today,” said Riou.  “In Belgium, I was almost 2′ back of Carina and this time I was with her out of the water, and I was not that far from Brigitta, so that brought me lots of confidence. On the bike, I had Isabelle Klein in the front most of the time but wasn’t able to catch her, but that helped me to push all the time. Starting the run, I never thought I could catch Carina or Brigitta, so passing those girls – who I have never beat in my life – was amazing and when in the last K I passed Nicole to finish on the podium, it was amazing. I’m so happy, today was my best performance ever.”

A refreshed looking Flipo looked entirely different from the mud caked woman we saw at the finish last year.  “I was also surprised we could not catch Nicole.  I passed her on the run and then started feeling like I had a migraine.  Things were getting a bit blurry and this is usually the first sign” she said.  “But it never got too bad and I just held my pace to the end.”

On the men’s side Hannes Wolpert led from the swim with a huge pack behind him.  The first 5K of the mountain bike was a full-on sprint.  At that point Kiwi Sam Osborne led with Ruben Ruzafa closing in, Brad Weiss 3rd and then a gang fight after them.  It was exciting stuff.

There is a small loop of 2K at the far end of the bike course.  It takes about three minutes to get around and return to where it started and by the time they returned Ruzafa had taken the lead.  Sam stayed second just a few feet behind and Brad 3rd.  Then the pack of Francois Carloni, Arthur Serrieres, Tiago Maia, Hannes Wolpert and Anthony Pannier.  The Swiss favorite, Xavier Dafflon, was 6+ minutes back after a horrible swim.  While Dafflon has been the fastest biker over the past two races, this course is too fast and not technical enough for him to make up such a gap.  He did close it to within four-minutes by the end of the bike.  Today Mother Nature’s trails were his biggest competitor.

Weiss punctured his tire on the bike while in the lead and did not finish.

Onto the second bike lap Arthur Forissier was up into 3rd behind Osborne.  Ruben had a solid lead but both Sam and Arthur were within striking distance.

“I had a bad stomach last week,” Ruzafa said.  “I did not get a lot of training between my last event so I was worried about these guys.  I am very happy with 2nd.”

Forissier passed Osborne, then caught Ruzafa to take the lead and the footrace was on.

“I had the perfect race,” said Forissier. “It was tough, though, and on the run every time I looked back Ruben was there and getting closer.”

Indeed, the three-time XTERRA World Champ (pictured above) was not done.  “I thought I would stay close in case he got tired, but he never did,” smiled Ruzafa.

In the end, the gap was just 15-seconds.

“I swam as fast as possible knowing it would be the key today, and totally killed my arms,” exclaimed Forissier.  “I started the bike not afraid to be alone as I knew many athletes would start fast trying to follow Ruben and will pay for that on the second loop, and that is what happened. I was 7th after one loop and 2nd at the end of the bike. On the run, I saw Ruben not going so fast so I started as fast as possible to catch him quick but at the end I really struggled to finish.  I ran out of energy, and my mind took over. I’m so happy to win again here, especially in front of Ruben. If you told me this morning I would beat Ruben I would not have believed you.”

Another Frenchman named Arthur, Arthur Serrieres, also had a great race today.

“I rode really well and came into T2 with Francois and Sam,” said Serrieres.  “I went to leave T2 and had racked my bike the wrong way, so I had to go back and make it right and by that time those guys were gone.”

It didn’t take long for Serrieres to catch and pass into 3rd with Sam Osborne just a half minute behind.  Our Swiss warrior Dafflon was not taking it easy.  Xavier was running hard and pulled his way into 5th overall.  Carloni took 6th with Anthony Pannier an excellent 7th.

It was a fantastic pro field and a fast and furious race with the winners not decided until the last 7K of the run.  The Swiss race is quite unique.  The bike is fast and the strong rider who may not have great technical skills can earn a good result.  It is the kind of course where there is no chance to breathe a bit and save some energy.  It is a sprint from start to finish.

We were supported today by Renata Bucher who served as one of our announcers and did so in English and in German.  Quite a talent as she has such great insights into what is happening.

Our first Gold event is in the books.  A grand success as it was sold out with more than 450 racers and a beautiful day for racing.  We head next to Xonrupt in the Vosges mountains of northern France.  This is the biggest XTERRA in Europe and the longest.  Many of the same players will be there and it will be interesting to see the results because the circuits are so different.  You’ll see it live on XTERRA Europe Facebook next Sunday and read about it Sunday eve.

XTERRA SWITZERLAND
Pro Men
Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Arthur Forissier, FRA 2:10:43 100
2 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 2:10:58 90
3 Arthur Serrieres, FRA 2:13:02 82
4 Sam Osborne, NZL 2:13:36 75
5 Xavier Dafflon, SUI 2:15:55 69
6 Francois Carloni, FRA 2:16:35 63
7 Anthony Pannier, FRA 2:17:32 58
8 Theo Dupras, FRA 2:19:17 53
9 Tiago Maia, POR 2:19:45 49
10 Clement Briere, FRA 2:20:40 45
11 Rui Dolores, POR 2:21:02 41
12 Hannes Wolpert, GER 2:21:14 37
13 Doug Hall, GBR 2:22:52 34
14 Jan Pyott, SUI 2:24:10 31
15 Tomas Kubek, SVK 2:24:27 28
Also: Xavier Jove Riart, Julien Buffe, Thomas Rusch, Maxim Chane, Jacky Boisset, Philippe Giauque
Women
Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Michelle Flipo, MEX 2:31:13 100
2 Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 2:34:47 90
3 Morgane Riou, FRA 2:35:26 82
4 Nicole Walters, GBR 2:35:52 75
5 Carina Wasle, AUT 2:37:18 69
6 Brigitta Poor, HUN 2:37:36 63
7 Maud Golsteyn, NED 2:38:59 58
8 Helena Erbenova, CZE 2:40:11 53
9 Isabelle Ferrer, FRA 2:40:49 49
10 Ladina Buss, SUI 2:41:28 45
11 Isabelle Klein, LUX 2:41:45 41
12 Angela Niklaus, SUI 2:41:46 37
13 Rebecca Kaltenmeier, GER 2:50:38 34
14 Lydia Hale, NZL 2:52:01 31
15 Sanne Van Paassen, NED 2:57:34 28

RUZAFA, POOR REMAIN ON TOP OF EURO TOUR AFTER EIGHT

Ruben Ruzafa and Brigitta Poor, the reigning XTERRA European Tour Champions, are still the leaders after eight of 14 races on this year’s tour.  In the men’s chase Carloni retains his spot at No. 2, with Xavier Dafflon jumping over Yeray Luxem into the third position, and Rui Dolores making a big leap from the 10-spot to No. 5.

In the women’s chase Poor, Erbenova, and Golsteyn remain in the 1,2,3 spots but Morgane Riou jumped from sixth to fourth position, and Wasle stayed at No. 5.

Next Up:  XTERRA France, July 2

2017 XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR ELITE POINTS STANDINGS
After 8 – 6.24
Men S S S S S S S G
Pl Name, NAT TOTAL MLT CYP GRE ESP POR BEL FIN SUI
1 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 390 DNS DNS 75 75 75 75 DNS 90
2 Francois Carloni, FRA 326 61 47 43 DNS 61 51 DNS 63
3 Xavier Dafflon, SUI 239 DNS DNS 47 DNS 56 67 DNS 69
4 Yeray Luxem, BEL 203 DNS 75 DNS DNS 67 61 DNS DNS
5 Rui Dolores, POR 163 DNS DNS 39 36 47 DNS DNS 41
6 Oivind Bjerkseth, NOR 156 33 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS
7 Arthur Forissier, FRA 151 DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS 100
8 Jan Kubicek, CZE 149 DNS DNS DNP 39 DNS 43 67 DNS
9 Jan Pyott, SUI 145 56 DNS 25 33 DNS DNS DNS 31
10 Arthur Serrieres , FRA 143 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNP DNS 82
11 Roger Serrano, ESP 142 75 DNS 67 DNS DNS DNF DNS DNS
12 Maximilian Sasserath, GER 128 67 DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS
13 Thomas Kerner, GER 127 DNS 61 33 DNS DNS 33 DNS DNS
14 Xavier Jove Riart, ESP 118 DNS DNS DNS 67 51 DNS DNS DNP
15 Jens Roth, GER 117 DNS DNS 61 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS
16 Hannes Wolpert, GER 116 DNF 43 DNP DNS 36 DNP DNS 37
17 Maxim Chane, FRA 113 30 DNS 36 DNS DNS 47 DNS DNP
18 Theo Dupras, FRA 80 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS 53
19 Julien Buffe, FRA 79 DNS 56 23 DNS DNS DNP DNS DNP
20 Tiago Maia, POR 79 DNS DNS 30 DNS DNF DNS DNS 49
21 Geert Lauryssen, BEL 75 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS 39 DNS DNS
22 Pavel Andreev, RUS 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS
23 Tomas Kubek, SVK 75 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 28
24 Sam Osborne, NZL 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75
25 Mark Hamersma, NED 66 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS 23 DNS DNS
26 Stephan Radeck, GER 64 25 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
27 Panu Lieto, FIN 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS
28 Doug Hall, GBR 61 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 34
29 Llewellyn Holmes, GBR 58 DNS DNS DNS 25 33 DNS DNS DNS
30 Anthony Pannier, FRA 58 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 58
31 Peter Lehmann, GER 57 DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS 30 DNS DNS
32 Kris Coddens, BEL 56 DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
33 Bradley Weiss, RSA 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNF
34 Tim Van Daele, BEL 52 DNS DNS 27 DNS DNS 25 DNS DNS
35 Jörg Scheiderbauer, GER 51 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
36 Sebastian Neef, GER 51 DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
37 Pavel Jindra, CZE 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 51 DNS
38 Albert Soley, ESP 47 DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS
39 Pekka Nieminen, FIN 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS
40 Clement Briere, FRA 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 45
41 Pau Botella Tarres, ESP 43 DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS
42 Mattia De Paoli, ITA 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS
43 Samuli Heikkila, FIN 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS
44 Jim Thijs, BEL 39 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
45 Dominik Wychera, AUT 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS 39 DNS DNS DNS
46 Jonne Tuomas Mustonen, FIN 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 39 DNS
47 Pierre Alain Nicole, FRA 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 36 DNS DNS
48 Guillaume Jeannin, FRA 30 DNS DNS DNS 30 DNS DNS DNS DNS
49 Alejandro Salmeron Tenorio, ESP 30 DNS DNS DNS DNP 30 DNS DNS DNS
50 Rafael Gomes, POR 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS DNS DNS
51 Octavio Vicente, POR 25 DNS DNS DNS DNS 25 DNS DNS DNS
52 Callum Hughes, GBR 23 23 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
53 Javier Oliver Vives, ESP 23 DNS DNS DNS 23 DNS DNS DNS DNS
54 Markus Benesch, AUT 21 DNS DNS 21 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
55 Zeus Gutierrez Ochoa, ESP 21 DNS DNS DNS 21 DNS DNS DNS DNS
56 Morten Olesen, DEN 21 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 21 DNS DNS
WM S S S S S S S G
Pl Name, NAT TOTAL MLT CYP GRE ESP POR BEL FIN SUI
1 Brigitta Poor, HUN 422 75 75 67 67 75 DNS DNS 63
2 Helena Erbenova, CZE 406 67 DNS 75 75 61 75 DNS 53
3 Maud Golsteyn, NED 268 56 DNS 47 DNS 56 51 DNS 58
4 Morgane Riou, FRA 266 DNS 67 56 DNS DNS 61 DNS 82
5 Carina Wasle, AUT 254 51 DNS DNS DNS 67 67 DNS 69
6 Cecila Jessen, SWE 206 39 61 DNS DNS DNS 39 67 DNS
7 Nicole Walters, GBR 136 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75
8 Louise Fox, GBR 118 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS
9 Isabelle Ferrer, FRA 100 DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS 49
10 Michelle Flipo, MEX 100 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 100
11 Rocío Espada, ESP 98 DNS DNS DNS 51 47 DNS DNS DNS
12 Isabelle Klein, LUX 97 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS 41
13 Ladina Buss, SUI 96 DNS DNS DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS 45
14 Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 90 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 90
15 Kathrin Mueller, GER 89 33 DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS
16 Anna Pauline Sasserath, GER 79 36 DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS
17 Miriam Casillas Garcia, ESP 61 DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
18 Sara Bonilla, ESP 61 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS
19 Elina Honkavuori, FIN 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS
20 Daz Parker, GBR 56 DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
21 Marika Wagner, SWE 51 DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
22 Kristina Lapinova, SVK 47 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
23 Aina Picas, ESP 47 DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS
24 Ine Couckuyt, BEL 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS
25 Renata Bucher, SUI 43 DNS DNS 43 DNF DNS DNS DNS DNS
26 Sheila Marques, POR 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS
27 Jessica Roberts, GBR 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS
28 Angela Niklaus, SUI 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 37
29 Anne-Sophie Marechal, BEL 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 36 DNS DNS
30 Rebecca Kaltenmeier, GER 34 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 34
31 Lydia Hale, NZL 31 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 31
32 Marta Menditto, ITA 30 30 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
33 Sanne Van Paassen, NED 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 28
XTERRA Switzerland was the eighth of 14 races on the XTERRA European Tour, and 22nd 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

XTERRA Muleshoe Kicks Off Summer Running

It’s officially hot in Texas right now, but that isn’t stopping XTERRA runners from hitting the trails. On June 11th, the Texas Trail Run Series continued at XTERRA Muleshoe, just outside of Spicewood, Texas on the north shore of beautiful Lake Travis.

Athletes had the option of choosing the 21K, 10.5K, or 6K runs.

The race went off without a hitch, as usual with Joel Grimmett as race director,” said Michael Fussell, who was third overall and the first Master’s Runner. In 2016, Fussell was the XTERRA Trail Run World Champ for the 55-59 age group.

 “My time was seven minutes faster than last year on the same course so I’m really happy with that. It goes to show you can teach an old dog new tricks.”

XTERRA Ambassador Steven Stoot was the Muleshoe 21K Champ with a time of 1:29:07, which is about 6:49 pace. Runner up Robert Smith finished in 1:31:15.

“Muleshoe is such a fun race,” said Stoot. “The footing is great and the course isn’t as hilly as some of the other Texas XTERRA runs.”

Stoot added that his training has been up and down due to an injury.

“Muleshoe was my first long run in my return to training after a three week break. Since I hadn’t run much longer than eight or nine miles since Pace Bend, I decided to tuck into second for a bit in the race. Once I warmed up though, I could feel a bit of fitness and decided to move up when we crossed a road just after the first mile. From there, it was smooth sailing and I just focused on running an even effort.

“In the future, I’d like to just keep building back some mileage. Summer has arrived in Central Texas making it tough to run many road workouts after work, but I’ll keep trying to hit the trails as much as I can. I’m excited to head back home to Colorado in two weeks for a vacation, hopefully get some trail running done in the high country.”

Next up for Stoot is XTERRA Magnolia Hill on July 16th.

Race director Joel Grimmett pointed out the special podium for the XTERRA Muleshoe Trail Run.

“It was made by one of our triathletes,” said Grimmett. “His wife made the XTERRA stencil for the platforms, and it’s a pretty cool set up.”

Fussell posed for a photo Dion Papafote on the left and Grimmett on the right.

“I wanted to take a picture of them with my U.S. and National medals on since it is their race series and support that made it possible for me to achieve those goals,” said Fussell. “XTERRA really is a family affair of friends!”

View complete results for the XTERRA Muleshoe Trail run at www.redbarnsystems.com.

Returning Champs Smoke XTERRA Mine Over Matter

XTERRA Mine over Matter brought some heat to Milton, Ontario last weekend. On an unusually hot and humid day, Karsten Madsen and Heather Pady kept their feet to the fire and claimed top spots on the podium.

Both Karsten Madsen and Heather Pady have won this event several times before, although they both do it in a different manner,” said race director James Kowalewski. “Today Karsten led right from the gun, exiting the water about 20 seconds ahead of former training partner, Sean Bechtel, followed by amateur Steve Good – who had the race of his life – and French Polynesian pro Cedric Wane.”

From there, Karsten put down the hammer on the first and shorter mountain bike lap, opening up the gap from seconds to minutes over Sean and the rest of the field.

On lap two, Sean returned the favor and started to close the gap,” said Kowalewski. “Sean entered into transition only two and a half minutes behind Karsten, but in the end, that extra effort on lap two caught up to Sean. Karsten put in the fastest run time of the day to go along with the fastest swim and bike splits. He broke the tape in 1:56:29 with Sean finishing in 2:03:38.”

Photo by Christina Nolan

Cedric Wade made up a lot of time on the run, but experienced pro Sean Bechtel was able to hold him off in the final kilometer of the course, crossing the line only 12 seconds ahead of a charging Cedric Wane, who finished in 2:03:50.

Photo by Dick Winters

On the women’s side, returning amateur champion Heather Pady did what she has been able to do for so many races before.

“Heather put in a very strong swim followed by an absolutely crushing performance on the bike, finishing four minutes faster than her next competitor” said Kowalewski.  “She followed that up with the fastest run split for the women too. This proven formula was more than enough for her to finish over 10 minutes faster than runner up Molly Hurford.”

Age-grouper and XTERRA Ambassador Brad Scholtz finished eighth overall and first in his 45-49 age group. He shared his race experience:

XTERRA Mine over Matter was a blast! I came out of the water in the middle of the lead pack and moved quickly through T1. As I started the brutal climb out of the quarry, my heart rate was through the roof, but I knew it was crucial to hit the single track in front of as many bikes as possible due to limited places to pass.  The bike course has two loops, but each is a different set of trails and it’s all single track.

Despite the heat, I settled into my rhythm and was able to pick off a couple of people on the bike course. I was so impressed with how friendly everyone was. 

The climb out of T2 was particularly painful as I tried to stay with the faster runners. But as I settled into my pace at the top of the quarry, I had a huge smile on my face as we twisted and turned through all the trails!  I ran step for step with another guy in my age group for the first 3.5 miles.  

At that point I was feeling pretty good and decided to take a chance and try and gap my “new friend” who, incidentally, was celebrating his birthday.  When I took a glance over my shoulder I could see two athletes closing fast as we worked our way around the quarry toward the finish line.  I dug in deep for all I had, and pushed it all the way home, barely hanging onto my spot.

Photo by Christina Nolan

Since 2010, XTERRA Mine Over Matter has gone from a small, local race to the largest off-road triathlon in Canada. It is the first of two races in the XTERRA Ontario Points Series, in which athletes can compete for 14 spots at the XTERRA World Championship in Maui.

The second race in the series is XTERRA Parry Sound on August 12, 2017.

View complete results for XTERRA Mine Over Matter at www.elementracing.ca

Photos courtesy of Christina Nolan, Dick Winters, and Nance Fleming. For copies of the photos, visit www.christinanolanphotography.com.

Grieser, McAllister Win XTERRA Muleshoe

XTERRA Muleshoe kicked off summer racing on the shores of Lake Travis, just outside of Spicewood, Texas. 

The men’s champ, Kyle Griesercame out of the water in seventh place overall. His quick transition to the bike was followed by an uber fast ride to put him in first place with a time of 1:42:30. Runner up Hans Ryham was about eight minutes behind in 1:50:52 and Philippe Le Duffe was third in 1:53:54.

“Kyle had a very impressive race this past weekend taking first place overall,” said race director, Joel Grimmett. “He narrowly missed out on first place last year to Andy Lee, and last weekend, at XTERRA Gator Terra, he had a tire blowout. But today, there is no doubt that Kyle redeemed himself.”

The cedar-lined trail system at Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area includes limestone outcroppings and ledges, hairpin turns, gravel washes, compressed dirt, some stairs, and rock paths. Despite the technical sections and rain the night before, XTERRA Muleshoe remained fast for the race. 

“Liesel McAllister won the women’s race in her second XTERRA triathlon ever,” said Grimmett. “At XTERRA ATX in April, she finished just behind Melanie Etherton.  Today, Liesel was the fourth woman out of the water. She really excelled on the bike leg and then had a strong run. She finished in 2:15:42, about nine minutes ahead of runner up, Alissa Magrum who finished in 2:24:41.”

Martsel Emile Leiva was third in 2:29:49.

Age grouper, Jenny Burden, whose blog Cowgirls Tri is always entertaining, was the hero of the day and helped out a fellow competitor who was having an asthma attack. From her blog:

My friend Sara passed me a mile or so into the first loop, so I was very surprised to see her at the top of a hill not long after that. I won’t lie, I was hoping she had a flat tire or something so I’d have a miniscule chance of beating her (we are in the same age group) but when I got close, I could hear her gasping for air and knew she was having an asthma attack.

Say it with me, people: Respiratory distress is NOT to be messed with. If you pass someone on the trail, even in a race, who is having trouble breathing, you STOP, even if they are your competitor! She was struggling to get her inhaler with her gloves on thanks to the TINY pockets on tri tops, so I helped her find it and pull it out, and stayed with her until her breathing was back to normal and she was ready to go. She probably would have been fine on her own – she’s a smart, grown adult who knows what to do – but it’s never worth the risk. I’m not going to win at the expense of a friend needing a ride in the ambulance instead of on their bike.

Next up in the Pure Austin Fitness Texas XTERRA Series is XTERRA Magnolia Hill on July 15th.

View the complete results for XTERRA Muleshoe at www.redbarnsystems.com.

 

Andreev, Fox win XTERRA Finland

Complete Results / Gallery

Pavel Andreev (RUS) and Louise Fox (GBR) captured the inaugural XTERRA Finland Championship off-road triathlon race in Rauha this afternoon.

The event combined a 1.5 kilometer swim in the beautiful Saimaa Lake, followed with a 30-kilometer mountain bike in the forest surrounding the lake, and concluded with a 10-kilometer challenging trail run.

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

I hate it when the weatherman is right.  And right on time the sprinkles began about 10am.  This small rain did not deter the Finns at all and it did help the temperatures were in the high 60’s.

Everything was perfectly organized and ready for a noon start and the bunch took off from a deep water start on a one lap 1500m swim.  We expected local triathlete Panu Lieto would be quick, but he destroyed the field and came out of T1 with a 3 minute lead.  Czech Jan “the fox” Kubicek and Russian Winter Tri World Champion Pavel Andreev left literally side by side in 2nd and 3rd.  The first K of the bike is on paved paths headed to the forest.  Riders cross a bridge and take a 270 degree circle under the road and onto the trails.  It is gravel and downhill and with the fresh rain – slick.  Kubicek locked his brake and fell hard.  “I was surprised by this and lost contact with Pavel” he said “But Pavel was so strong today I don’t think I could stay with him”

Indeed the Russian rode well putting in the fastest bike time by far.  With Kubicek’s having lost time on his fall, he never caught our Finnish triathlete until T2.  In a pretty slick move, Kubicek came in behind Lieto and left before him.   One of the favorites, Norwegian Oivind Bjerkseth had a bad day.  His first open water swim in his life was at XTERRA Malta and although he has been training, he lost over 8 minutes to Pavel and over 11 to Lieto.  Oivind did have the second fastest bike of the day but had lost too much in the beginning and ended 4th.

For the women, Louise Fox had a good swim and led Swede Cecilia Jessen by over a minute.  “Foxy” as we often call her rode well and made no mistakes.  She was able to pull out nearly another minute over Cecilia and she needed it as our Swedish woman pulled it back on the run for a very solid second place.

The weatherman had predicted the rain would stop in the afternoon but it never did.  It never came down hard but was on and off all day.  Great for the athletes as they stayed cool the whole race.  The now famous “Swamp” a typical Finnish bog was wonderful with people sloshing through, feet plunging into the bog up to the ankle.  Leader Pavel Andreev lost his shoe running through and had to stop, find it and put it back on.  I was there and stayed outside it but to no avail, my shoes went through the moss and I spent the rest of the afternoon with soaked feet.  I can only imagine what the runners feet were like having to run another 5K lap and through it again!

Rave reviews from everyone about the bike and the run.  Every trail was beautifully marked and despite the cloudy day and rain nobody got lost.  Dozens of volunteers were everywhere, aid stations manned by enthusiastic workers.

Finland will be held in August next year and this place will be rocking.  Imatra has a major league baseball team and you will not believe Finnish baseball.  The trails and lake are beyond great – women’s winner Louise Fox said it was the only swim she was ever in where she could drink the water !

St. Petersburg, Russia is only a few hundred K away and the Russian Border only 10K.  Get your VISA now.  Simply a great experience.

ELITE RESULTS

Xterra Finland 
Men
Pos Time Points
1 Pavel Andreev  (RUS) 02:32:25 75
2 Jan Honza Kubicek  (CZE) 02:36:42 67
3 Panu Lieto  (FIN) 02:39:11 61
4 Oivind Bjerkset  (NOR) 02:48:57 56
5 Pavel Jindra  (CZE) 02:53:12 51
6 Pekka Nieminen  (FIN) 02:56:29 47
7 Samuli Heikkila  (FIN) 03:02:55 43
8 Jonne Mustonen  (FIN) 03:42:33 39
Women
Pos Time Points
1 Louise Fox  (GBR) 03:08:28 75
2 Cecilia Jessen  (SWE) 03:10:25 67
3 Elina Honkavuori  (FIN) 04:01:12 61

RUZAFA, POOR KEEP LEADING EURO TOUR AFTER SEVEN

No changes at the first 4 places of the elite men’s standings, after XTERRA Finland.
With his 2nd place today, Kubicek jumped to sixth. Bjerkseth, after having an operation in his hand 5 weeks ago, finished fourth and is back in 5th position. Those were the only big moves on the men side.

In the women’s standings, Poor is still leading wth 6 points ahead of Erbenova. Golsteyn holds on the third spot, but the move of the day was from Cecilia Jessen who moved to 4th after her second place in Finland. Fox was able to get some points with her win today and is now in 7th position.

XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR ELITE POINT STANDINGS

After 7 – 18 June 2017

Men S S S S S S S
Pl Name, NAT TOTAL MLT CYP GRE ESP POR BEL FIN
1 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 300 DNS DNS 75 75 75 75 DNS
2 Francois Carloni, FRA 263 61 47 43 DNS 61 51 DNS
3 Yeray Luxem, BEL 203 DNS 75 DNS DNS 67 61 DNS
4 Xavier Dafflon, SUI 170 DNS DNS 47 DNS 56 67 DNS
5 Oivind Bjerkseth, NOR 156 33 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS 56
6 Jan Kubicek, CZE 149 DNS DNS DNP 39 DNS 43 67
7 Roger Serrano, ESP 142 75 DNS 67 DNS DNS DNF DNS
8 Maximilian Sasserath, GER 128 67 DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS
9 Thomas Kerner, GER 127 DNS 61 33 DNS DNS 33 DNS
10 Rui Dolores, POR 122 DNS DNS 39 36 47 DNS DNS
11 Xavier Jove Riart, ESP 118 DNS DNS DNS 67 51 DNS DNS
12 Jens Roth, GER 117 DNS DNS 61 56 DNS DNS DNS
13 Jan Pyott, SUI 114 56 DNS 25 33 DNS DNS DNS
14 Maxim Chane, FRA 113 30 DNS 36 DNS DNS 47 DNS
15 Julien Buffe, FRA 79 DNS 56 23 DNS DNS DNP DNS
16 Hannes Wolpert, BEL 79 DNF 43 DNP DNS 36 DNP DNS
17 Geert Lauryssen, BEL 75 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS 39 DNS
18 Pavel Andreev, RUS 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75
19 Mark Hamersma, NED 66 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS 23 DNS
20 Stephan Radeck, GER 64 25 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
21 Arthur Serrieres , FRA 61 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNP DNS
22 Panu Lieto, FIN 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 61
23 Llewellyn Holmes, GBR 58 DNS DNS DNS 25 33 DNS DNS
24 Peter Lehmann, GER 57 DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS 30 DNS
25 Kris Coddens, BEL 56 DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS
26 Bradley Weiss, RSA 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS
27 Tim Van Daele, BEL 52 DNS DNS 27 DNS DNS 25 DNS
28 Jörg Scheiderbauer, GER 51 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
29 Sebastian Neef, GER 51 DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
30 Arthur Forissier, FRA 51 DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS
31 Pavel Jindra, CZE 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 51
32 Tomas Kubek, SVK 47 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
33 Albert Soley, ESP 47 DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS
34 Pekka Nieminen, FIN 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 47
35 Pau Botella Tarres, ESP 43 DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS
36 Mattia De Paoli, ITA 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS
37 Samuli Heikkila, FIN 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 43
38 Jim Thijs, BEL 39 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
39 Dominik Wychera, AUT 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS 39 DNS DNS
40 Jonne Mustonen, FIN 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 39
41 Pierre Alain Nicole, FRA 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 36 DNS
42 Tiago Maia, POR 30 DNS DNS 30 DNS DNF DNS DNS
43 Guillaume Jeannin, FRA 30 DNS DNS DNS 30 DNS DNS DNS
44 Alejandro Tenorio, ESP 30 DNS DNS DNS DNP 30 DNS DNS
45 Doug Hall, GBR 27 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
46 Rafael Gomes, POR 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS DNS
47 Theo Dupras, FRA 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS
48 Octavio Vicente, POR 25 DNS DNS DNS DNS 25 DNS DNS
49 Callum Hughes, GBR 23 23 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
50 Javier Oliver Vives, ESP 23 DNS DNS DNS 23 DNS DNS DNS
51 Markus Benesch, AUT 21 DNS DNS 21 DNS DNS DNS DNS
52 Zeus Gutierrez Ochoa, ESP 21 DNS DNS DNS 21 DNS DNS DNS
53 Morten Olesen, DEN 21 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 21 DNS
WM S S S S S S S
Pl Name, NAT TOTAL MLT CYP GRE ESP POR BEL FIN
1 Brigitta Poor, HUN 359 75 75 67 67 75 DNS DNS
2 Helena Erbenova, CZE 353 67 DNS 75 75 61 75 DNS
3 Maud Golsteyn, NED 210 56 DNS 47 DNS 56 51 DNS
4 Cecilia Jessen, SWE 206 39 61 DNS DNS DNS 39 67
5 Carina Wasle, AUT 185 51 DNS DNS DNS 67 67 DNS
6 Morgane Riou, FRA 184 DNS 67 56 DNS DNS 61 DNS
7 Louise Fox, GBR 115 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75
8 Rocío Espada, ESP 98 DNS DNS DNS 51 47 DNS DNS
9 Kathrin Mueller, GER 89 33 DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS
10 Anna Pauline Sasserath, GER 79 36 DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS
11 Nicole Walkers, GBR 61 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
12 Miriam Casillas Garcia, ESP 61 DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS
13 Sara Bonilla, ESP 61 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS
14 Elina Honkavuori, FIN 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 61
15 Daz Parker, GBR 56 DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
16 Isabelle Klein, LUX 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS
17 Marika Wagner, SWE 51 DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
18 Isabelle Ferrer, FRA 51 DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS
19 Ladina Buss, SUI 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS
20 Kristina Lapinova, SVK 47 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
21 Aina Picas, ESP 47 DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS
22 Ine Couckuyt, BEL 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS
23 Renata Bucher, SUI 43 DNS DNS 43 DNF DNS DNS DNS
24 Sheila Marques, POR 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS
25 Jessica Roberts, GBR 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS
26 Anne-Sophie Marechal, BEL 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 36 DNS
27 Marta Menditto, ITA 30 30 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
XTERRA Finland was the seventh of 14 races on the XTERRA European Tour, and 21st 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 Vallee de Joux
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

Record Falls at XTERRA Big Elk Trail Run

XTERRA Ambassador Eric Barton had an inkling he could break the course record at the XTERRA Big Elk Half Marathon Trail Run on June 10th in Elkton, Maryland.

“But the only thing that got me under that 1:26 mark was that at each water station, I focused on looking strong and just enjoying myself.”

Barton finished in 1:25:56. Taylor Shoulders was second in 1:34:43 and Iain Banks was third in 1:38:19.

“This was a different race than any other,” admitted Barton. “This was the first year I’ve been able to train specifically for this event. It’s my favorite race of the year and I was honored to represent XTERRA.”

Barton took the lead from the start, knowing that both Shoulders and Banks have been running strong this season.”I wanted to put a gap between them from the start, but they both stayed with me for almost three miles,” said Barton.

Barton admitted to starting out quickly and said he began to feel tired at the three mile mark. “That makes for a tough ten miles,” he said, “But I kept remembering all of the work I put in and kept telling my legs to go faster.”

Iain Banks, who suffered a stomach bug at the beginning of the week, met his goal of winning his 40-44 age group last Saturday.

“XTERRA Big Elk was an adventure!” said Banks. “Eric Barton went off in search of his fourth win in a row, and we wouldn’t see him until the finish. I went out purposely slower than usual and settled into fourth behind Taylor, who has been a regular in the series.”

The bulk of the elevation gains were made in the first half of the race. Shoulders pulled into second at the halfway mark, and by mile eight, Banks clawed his way into third.

Banks is training for the XTERRA Ex2 on July 9th, so he capped off his weekend by competing in a mountain bike race the next day.

 

In the women’s race, Shannon Cebron came through in 1:59:37 and Michelle Ankenbrand was right behind her in 2:00:09. Christine Reiner was third in 2:01:55.

In the XTERRA Big Elk Marathon, XTERRA Ambassador Laura Lunardi was the women’s champ in 3:56:55. Jacob Sinn was the men’s champ in 3:44:09.

“This was a tough race for me this year,” admitted Lunardi. “I didn’t feel well and had a lot of stomach cramping, which made for a long morning on the trails.”

Lunardi has won all of the XTERRA trail runs she has entered this year. Additionally, she competes in about six to eight Spartan races a year. She runs about 55-75 miles a week and fits in additional HIIT sessions and strength training.

While Lunardi runs on roads most mornings out of convenience, trails are her first love. “The XTERRA Big Elk course was great. It was a perfect mix of single track, wooded trails, and grassy meadows.”

Iain Banks agrees. “XTERRA Big Elk is the best in the series. Put it on your calendar for 2018.”

View the complete results at www.XTERRAAtlantic.com

Ruzafa, Erbenova win XTERRA Belgium

Complete Results / Gallery

June 10, 2017 (Namur, Belgium) – Ruben Ruzafa (ESP) and Helena Erbenova (CZE) captured the second-annual XTERRA Belgium Championship off-road triathlon race in Namur this afternoon.

For Ruzafa, a three-time XTERRA World Champion, the win is the 28th of his career, fifth of the season, and fourth-in-a-row on the XTERRA European Tour.  For Erbenova, a three-time XTERRA European Tour Champion, the win is the 26th of her career, third this season, and second-straight in Belgium.

The event combined a 1-kilometer swim in the Meuse River, followed with a 34-kilometer mountain bike in the forest surrounding the Citadel, and concluded with a 10-kilometer trail run.

Both Ruzafa and Erbenova came from behind out of the water, took the leads by the midway point on the bike and held on for the wins.  Ruzafa had a winning time of 2:45:42, 52-seconds faster than runner-up Xavier Dafflon of Switzerland.  Erbenova took the tape in 3:14:59, nearly five minutes ahead of runner-up Carina Wasle of Austria.

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

A beautiful day and a beautiful race.  It rained hard yesterday and it rained hard on the race last year, however, everything came good this morning and both the XTERRA Lite and championship races were held in near perfect weather.

The swim is unique here as it is a deep water start headed against the current of the Meuse river.  And this is no small piece of water; the Meuse is over 950k long.  There are no buoys except at the finish ramp as the course circumnavigates a huge island in the river.  Pretty neat.

Young French pro Maxim Chane dropped the field to come out of the water first and he held that lead to the top of the long climb from the river to The Citadel Fortress.  He was met by literally thousands of very enthusiastic fans banging plastic “bangers” together and shouting encouragement.  Following him starting the single track was Roger Serrano, but it was not to be his day.  Roger is still tired from organizing his XTERRA Spain and it showed today.  Brad Weiss up from South Africa was third at this point with a huge bunch including Ruben Ruzafa, Francois Carloni, Yeray Luxem and four others.

In the women’s race Carina Wasle got the lead quickly and we were all quite surprised to see Helena Erbenova much closer than usual.  “I had a very good swim today” she grinned.  “The ducks were with me in practice and I saw them on the island.  It seemed they were cheering me.” Hey, whatever works.

This course has a long climb on cobblestones before doing two loops of a fast and, at places, technical mountain bike course.  This means racers have to do that huge climb three times before T2.  At the top of the second-loop Ruben had asserted himself and Francois Carloni had moved into second with Luxem in third and Weiss in fourth.  At this point young first year pro Xavier Dafflon was not far behind.  Dafflon did the unthinkable in Portugal by posting a faster bike time than Ruben, and it appeared he was going to repeat that today.

Helena had taken the lead by the end of the first loop and looked very determined.  Carina had slowed a bit and told us after the race she was not feeling very strong, however, the mighty little Austrian gal felt good enough to have a commanding lead over third-place Isabelle Klein.  Unless a tree fell on her, this was Erbenova’s race and she controlled it well to win by five minutes.  Carina, sick or not, kept pace and was four minutes in front of Morgane Riou, who had passed Klein to move into third. Also on the move was Christine Verdonck, a very quick Belgian age group women who impressed by finishing 4th overall.  Klein finished 5th (4th elite), with Maud Golsteyn was 6th (5th elite).

On the mens side, Dafflon had caught and passed everyone but Ruzafa.

“I had a good race today but Xavier went past me on the last climb like he was on a motorbike,” exclaimed Carloni.

Luxem held onto Dafflon’s wheel and they came into T2 separated by seconds.

“My plan today was to pace myself on the bike during the first lap to save my legs, but when Dafflon went by me that plan went away,” said Luxem.

Dafflon took off on the run with intent to catch Ruzafa and indeed he turned in the fastest run of the day as well as the fastest bike of the day, but Ruzafa had too much for the big Swiss.  The promise that Dafflon showed in Portugal was cemented today and his bike time was exactly two-minutes faster than Ruzafa.  The kicker?  Dafflon had two flat tires today.

“It was a hectic day, two flat tires, cramps on the run, it was tough,” said Dafflon at the finish line.  “Still, happy to come in second to Ruben.”

Luxem took 3rd with Weiss 4th, and Carloni 5th.  Young Maxim Chane’ was having a great race but suffered badly on the run and dropped to 6th and was nearly caught by the old fox, Jan Kubicek, who was just one-second behind.

And so ended the second edition of XTERRA Belgium.  With about 1,200 entrants in just their second year, organizers Denis Detinne and Florian Badoux have exceeded anything we could have hoped for.  The courses are beautifully marked, volunteers everywhere, lots of parking, more than enough water safety, food vendors and expo to buy anything you need.  This race truly has it all.

We head back soon for the awards and after party. While I have a lot of great things to say about how good the race is – the after party is even better.

ELITE RESULTS

Men      
Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 2:45:42 75
2 Xavier Dafflon, SUI 2:46:34 67
3 Yeray Luxem, BEL 2:48:27 61
4 Bradley Weiss, RSA 2:48:39 56
5 Francois Carloni, FRA 2:52:47 51
6 Maxim Chane, FRA 2:54:34 47
7 Jan Kubicek, CZE 2:54:35 43
8 Geert Lauryssen, BEL 2:55:28 39
9 Pierre Alain Nicole, FRA 2:57:13 36
10 Thomas Kerner, GER 2:57:40 33
11 Peter Lehmann, GER 2:57:47 30
12 Theo Dupras, FRA 2:59:19 27
13 Tim Van Daele, BEL 3:00:17 25
14 Mark Hamersma, NED 3:01:54 23
15 Morten Olesen, DEN 3:03:46 21
Also: Hannes Wolpert, Christophe Betard, Julien Buffe, Joost Christiaans, Arthur Serrieres, Caimin Stevens
Women      
Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Helena Erbenova, CZE 3:14:59 75
2 Carina Wasle, AUT 3:19:49 67
3 Morgane Riou, FRA 3:23:52 61
4 Isabelle Klein, LUX 3:28:16 56
5 Maud Golsteyn, NED 3:33:13 51
6 Ine Couckuyt, BEL 3:37:58 47
7 Jessica Roberts, GBR 3:40:11 43
8 Cecilia Jessen, SWE 3:52:23 39
9 Anne-Sophie Marechal, BEL 3:54:36 36

RUZAFA, POOR LEAD EURO TOUR AFTER SIX

Ruben Ruzafa pulled further in front of the elite men’s standings following his fourth straight win today.  Carloni holds on to the No. 2 spot, Luxem jumps from fourth to third, Dafflon moves up six spots from 10th to 4th, and Serrano drops from 3rd to 5th after a DNF today.

In the women’s chase Erbenova closed to within six points of the reigning XTERRA European Tour Champ Brigitta Poor.  Poor has three wins and two runner-ups.  Erbenova has three wins, a runner-up, and a third-place finish. There are still eight races remaining, however, this is shaping up to be a great duel between the two.  Golsteyn holds on to the third spot, while Wasle leapfrogs over Riou into the 4th spot.

XTERRA EURO TOUR ELITE PTS STANDINGS

After 6 – 6.10.17
Men     S S S S S S
Pl Name, NAT TOTAL MLT CYP GRE ESP POR BEL
1 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 300 DNS DNS 75 75 75 75
2 Francois Carloni, FRA 263 61 47 43 DNS 61 51
3 Yeray Luxem, BEL 203 DNS 75 DNS DNS 67 61
4 Xavier Dafflon, SUI 170 DNS DNS 47 DNS 56 67
5 Roger Serrano, ESP 142 75 DNS 67 DNS DNS DNF
6 Maximilian Sasserath, GER 128 67 DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS
7 Thomas Kerner, GER 127 DNS 61 33 DNS DNS 33
8 Rui Dolores, POR 122 DNS DNS 39 36 47 DNS
9 Xavier Jove Riart, ESP 118 DNS DNS DNS 67 51 DNS
10 Jens Roth, GER 117 DNS DNS 61 56 DNS DNS
11 Jan Pyott, SUI 114 56 DNS 25 33 DNS DNS
12 Maxim Chane, FRA 113 30 DNS 36 DNS DNS 47
13 Oivind Bjerkseth, NOR 100 33 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS
14 Jan Kubicek, CZE 82 DNS DNS DNP 39 DNS 43
15 Julien Buffe, FRA 79 DNS 56 23 DNS DNS DNP
16 Hannes Wolpert, BEL 79 DNF 43 DNP DNS 36 DNP
17 Geert Lauryssen, BEL 75 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS 39
18 Mark Hamersma, NED 66 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS 23
19 Stephan Radeck, GER 64 25 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS
20 Arthur Serrieres , FRA 61 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNP
21 Llewellyn Holmes, GBR 58 DNS DNS DNS 25 33 DNS
22 Peter Lehmann, GER 57 DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS 30
23 Kris Coddens, BEL 56 DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS
24 Bradley Weiss, RSA 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56
25 Tim Van Daele, BEL 52 DNS DNS 27 DNS DNS 25
26 Jörg Scheiderbauer, GER 51 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
27 Sebastian Neef, GER 51 DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS
28 Arthur Forissier, FRA 51 DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS
29 Tomas Kubek, SVK 47 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
30 Albert Soley, ESP 47 DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS
31 Pau Botella Tarres, ESP 43 DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS
32 Mattia De Paoli, ITA 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS
33 Jim Thijs, BEL 39 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
34 Dominik Wychera, AUT 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS 39 DNS
35 Pierre Alain Nicole, FRA 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 36
36 Tiago Maia, POR 30 DNS DNS 30 DNS DNF DNS
37 Guillaume Jeannin, FRA 30 DNS DNS DNS 30 DNS DNS
38 Alejandro Tenorio, ESP 30 DNS DNS DNS DNP 30 DNS
39 Doug Hall, GBR 27 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
40 Rafael Gomes, POR 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS
41 Theo Dupras, FRA 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 27
42 Octavio Vicente, POR 25 DNS DNS DNS DNS 25 DNS
43 Callum Hughes, GBR 23 23 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
44 Javier Oliver Vives, ESP 23 DNS DNS DNS 23 DNS DNS
45 Markus Benesch, AUT 21 DNS DNS 21 DNS DNS DNS
46 Zeus Gutierrez Ochoa, ESP 21 DNS DNS DNS 21 DNS DNS
47 Morten Olesen, DEN 21 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 21
WM     S S S S S S
Pl Name, NAT TOTAL MLT CYP GRE ESP POR BEL
1 Brigitta Poor, HUN 359 75 75 67 67 75 DNS
2 Helena Erbenova, CZE 353 67 DNS 75 75 61 75
3 Maud Golsteyn, NED 210 56 DNS 47 DNS 56 51
4 Carina Wasle, AUT 185 51 DNS DNS DNS 67 67
5 Morgane Riou, FRA 184 DNS 67 56 DNS DNS 61
6 Cecila Jessen, SWE 139 39 61 DNS DNS DNS 39
7 Rocío Espada, ESP 98 DNS DNS DNS 51 47 DNS
8 Kathrin Mueller, GER 89 33 DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS
9 Anna Pauline Sasserath, GER 79 36 DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS
10 Nicole Walkers, GBR 61 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
11 Miriam Casillas Garcia, ESP 61 DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS
12 Sara Bonilla, ESP 61 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS
13 Daz Parker, GBR 56 DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS
14 Isabelle Klein, LUX 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56
15 Marika Wagner, SWE 51 DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS
16 Isabelle Ferrer, FRA 51 DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS
17 Ladina Buss, SUI 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS 51 DNS
18 Kristina Lapinova, SVK 47 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
19 Aina Picas, ESP 47 DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS
20 Ine Couckuyt, BEL 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 47
21 Louise Fox, GBR 43 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
22 Renata Bucher, SUI 43 DNS DNS 43 DNF DNS DNS
23 Sheila Marques, POR 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS
24 Jessica Roberts, GBR 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 43
25 Anne-Sophie Marechal, BEL 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 36
26 Marta Menditto, ITA 30 30 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS

XTERRA Belgium was the sixth of 14 races on the XTERRA European Tour, and 20th 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 ^ Milton, Ontario, Canada
18-Jun XTERRA Finland * Silver Imatra
24-Jun XTERRA Switzerland * GOLD Vallee de Joux
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

Next up on the XTERRA European Tour: XTERRA Finland, June 18 (Imatra)

Learn more at www.xterraeurope.com.

Lockwood, Kelsay Win XTERRA Deuces Wild

Will Kelsay and Kathryn Lockwood took home individual championships at XTERRA Deuces Wild last weekend on a notoriously challenging course in Show Low, Arizona. It was made even more difficult by heavy rains, which provided an extra water crossing during the run section of the course.

“Our lake was so full that the trail was completely submerged,” said race director, Debbie Claggett. “It was basically a second swim.”

Will Kelsay was the overall champ with a time of 1:56:19, about three minutes ahead of John Sarikas, who finished in 1:59:26. Caleb Guest was third in 2:03:32.

This year was all about coming back and having fun, so the goal of this race was to have a good time,” said Kelsay. “I struggled on the swim with the altitude, cold water, and lack of time in the wetsuit, but I wasn’t panicked. The bike went smooth and comfortably for me as I didn’t push 100 percent. After going too hard on the bike and having bad cramps at XTERRA Oak Mountain just out of T2, I decided to back off a bit for this event. It worked perfectly as I felt smooth and comfortable on the run. It does make the race a bit more enjoyable when you aren’t absolutely burying yourself.” 

Like most competitors, Kelsay commented on how challenging this race truly is.

“The run course took a sharp turn and led us down to the lake, where we jumped in for a 50 meter swim across. Spectators were treated to a good view from the hill above as we struggled to make it across. Seriously, try swimming 50 meters with your shoes on. It’s not easy. Once you get out, you have about half a mile to the finish line and your legs feel like total lead. Add in about 30 stairs just 200 meters from the finish line and there wasn’t a racer out there who wasn’t struggling. It was so fun!”

Kathryn Lockwood, who won with a time of 2:19:49, came in about 15 minutes ahead of runner up Melissa Ross, who finished in 2:35:19. Marie Boone was close behind in third with a time of 2:36:33.

This was Lockwood’s first time competing in XTERRA Deuces Wild. In February, Lockwood had corrective surgery for a double hernia and didn’t start running or biking again until March. She was advised to go slowly and her first race of the year was XTERRA Renegade in May.

“XTERRA Deuces Wild was a challenging course with it’s own, unique quirks, like a short swim across a lake inlet at mile 4 on the run,” said Lockwood. “I felt good during the race and very relaxed, despite being at altitude. I had a good swim and found myself  in second place out of  T1, right behind the leader.”  

Lockwood took the lead shortly after she hit the first section of the trail.

“But I knew there were others in the field with more experience that were in chase mode right behind me,” she continued. “I was probably pushing harder than I thought when I took a spill on a sandy down hill of the bike, but didn’t get hurt. On the run I still felt good  -and probably felt just a little too comfortable – when I tripped  over a rock, so got to finish with a bloody knee. But what’s an XTERRA race without a little blood?”

View complete results at www.deuceswildtriathlon.com

McCurdy, Baldini Win XTERRA Gator Terra

Deanna McCurdy and Dane Baldini won the overall championship at the XTERRA Gator Terra on June 4th at DeGray Lake and Iron Mountain in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

Baldini completed the 1500m swim, 32K mountain bike ride, and 10K run in 2:49:34, nearly four minutes ahead of runner up Ryan Terry. Marcus Barton was third in 2:55:30.

McCurdy won the women’s division in 3:05:22, more than 10 minutes ahead of Courtney Kaup. Jane Zeigler was third in 3:18:04.

At the XTERRA World Championship last year, Kaup was second overall in the women’s amateur standings and finished about 12 minutes ahead of McCurdy. McCurdy, who won the 40-44 age group at the XTERRA Gator Terra, is having an excellent year so far. Two weeks ago, she was the fastest female amateur at XTERRA Oak Mountain.

“You know what I love about XTERRA?” asked McCurdy. “The races are really just the excuse to get together with friends, share stories and make memories together that we will replay in our heads for years to come. This weekend was full of such great ones. Fred Phillips of DTL Events and his crew took a championship event and made it just that, but didn’t lose the feel of small town grass roots racing that I love. And nothing beats southern hospitality out on the trail.”

For the second year in a row, the XTERRA Gator Terra served as the USA Triathlon Off-Road Championship race.

USA Triathlon published the following race report:

Deanna McCurdy (Littleton, Colo.) and Dane Baldini (Bentonville, Ark.) raced their way to overall titles on Sunday at the USA Triathlon Off-Road National Championships, held at DeGray Lake and Iron Mountain in conjunction with XTERRA Gator Terra.

The course covered a 1500-meter swim, 32-kilometer mountain bike and 10-kilometer trail run. Athletes battled heavy rain and muddy conditions, racing over deep woods single-track featuring steep climbs and descents, large banked turns and more.

McCurdy was the top finisher for the women, clocking in at 3 hours, 5 minutes, 22 seconds to claim the overall win and the women’s 40-44 age-group title. She crossed the line more than 10 minutes ahead of Courtney Kaup (Richmond, Vt.), who placed second overall in 3:16:00 and successfully defended her women’s 35-39 title. Jane Zeigler (Tulsa, Okla.) rounded out the overall podium in third with a time of 3:18:04.

“It was so much fun. Running and biking upstream made for an exciting day,” McCurdy said. “The bike was a blast, it was a roller coaster out there. In Colorado we’re used to climbing for miles and miles, where here it was fast, it was flowy. The run course was fun, splashing through puddles. You just had to be a kid. If you think about how much it hurts and how tired you are, your race is over. But if you just play, it’s an adventure.”

Baldini had the fastest time of the day, with a final time of 2:49:34. In addition to the overall title, he also claimed the top spot in the men’s 30-34 age group. Baldini finished nearly four minutes ahead of runner-up Ryan Terry (West Sacramento, Calif.), who took the men’s 35-39 title in 2:53:33. Marcus Barton (Waxhaw, N.C.) was third in 2:55:30, successfully defending his men’s 45-49 title.

“I’ve been racing here seven years now, and this is the best venue around,” Baldini said. “The single track is fast, there’s a little bit of climbing which helps me out, and man, that run course was perfect for me. A little bit of road, a little bit of dirt. I got a nice lead and made sure second place couldn’t see me – that way they’d have to really pick it up.”

In total, twenty athletes captured age-group off-road national titles at DeGray Lake on Sunday. The top 18 finishers in each age group, rolling down to 25th place after applying the age-up rule, qualify to represent Team USA at the 2018 ITU Cross Triathlon (Off-Road) World Championships. The top-20 off-road triathletes per age group in the USA Triathlon off-road triathlon annual rankings as of Dec. 31, 2017, will also qualify for the World Championships. 

2017 USA Triathlon Off-Road National Champions
1500m swim, 32k mountain bike, 10k trail run
Complete Results

Overall Female: Deanna McCurdy (Littleton, Colo.), 3:05:22
Overall Male: Dane Baldini (Bentonville, Ark.), 2:49:34
M17-19: DeWight Winchester (Bryson City, N.C.), 3:18:23
M20-24: Reiner Guenther (San Antonio, Tex.), 3:03:59
F25-29: Kaitlyn Siebert (Fayetteville, Ark.), 4:20:52
M25-29: Kevin Jett (Columbia, S.C.), 2:57:22
F30-34: Elisabeth Graham (Pea Ridge, Ark.), 4:03:14
M30-34: Dane Baldini (Bentonville, Ark.), 2:49:34
F35-39: Courtney Kaup (Richmond, Vt.), 3:16:00
M35-39: Ryan Terry (West Sacramento, Calif.), 2:53:33
F40-44: Deanna McCurdy (Littleton, Colo.), 3:05:22
M40-44: Fernando Lopez (Houston, Tex.), 3:12:50
F45-49: Debra Monroe (Gypsum, Colo.), 4:01:21
M45-49: Marcus Barton (Waxhaw, N.C.), 2:55:30
F50-54: Patricia Smaldone (Portland, Ore.), 3:43:15
M50-54: Andrew Kelsey (Irving, Tex.), 3:08:36
F55-59: Wendy Ewing (Shalimar, Fla.), 3:52:47
M55-59: Cliff Millemann (Davis, Calif.), 3:12:53
F60-64: Lucia Colbert (Cordova, Tenn.), 3:52:27
M60-64: Scott Ewing (Shalimar, Fla.), 3:16:51
F65-69: Cindi Toepel (Pahrump, Nev.), 4:23:42
M65-69: Walt Rider (Germantown, Tenn.), 4:04:13