Ruzafa, Redelsperger win XTERRA Portugal

Jun. 1, 2014

Complete Results / Photo Gallery

(Golega, Portugal) –XTERRA World Champion Ruben Ruzafa wins his third straight XTERRA major while Coralie Redelsperger won her first-ever at the inaugural XTERRA Portugal in Golega on Sunday.

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

A great end to a grand weekend.  Two fabulous days of competition in Golega, Portugal with perfect sunshine and weather, friendly people, tight competition and some first-time endings.

We need to talk about the total immersion of the city into XTERRA.  Organizer Jaime Rosa had "3 right arms" as he called them, who took ownership of the bike course, the run course and the volunteers.  Dozens of workers in their bright yellow CREW shirts were everywhere.  Local police had every intersection handled and the race went off without a hitch.

Brit Asa Shaw led the swim with a surprising Francois Carloni on his heels and Ruben Ruzafa and Belgium Yeray Luxem close behind.  The bike starts through the twisty, cobble streets of Golega for the first 3K and by the time the men hit the fields and double/single track Shaw had dropped back.

"I don't know what happened, I just couldn't keep up with them" he said.  Ruzafa led, but Carloni and Luxem were no more than a few feet behind him.

For the women Jacqui Slack led out of the water and had a solid lead; for a while.  Surprising teenager Ana Alcacarenho was second (she is a swimmer and lives in Golega) with new pro Sandra Koblmueller from Austria riding a bit tentatively in 3rd and French pro Coralie Redelsperger in 4th.

At 15K Carloni (always a fast biker) and Ruben were still feet apart but Luxem was back about 30-seconds with a tire that was going flat, Asa hanging in 4th.

Coralie had passed all the women to take the lead with Jacqui second and Sandra hanging in for 3rd.

But as Yogi said "It ain't over till it's over".  Yeray's tire did flat and he fell off the pace by about 3-minutes; Francois and Ruben came into T2 absolutely together but the Frenchman was penalized 15 seconds for not putting his wetsuit in his transition box.  That sealed the deal for Ruben.  He ran a controlled pace and was never threatened.

Carloni, who had suffered foot problems over the winter, had them crop up again but soldiered on to finish just over 3-minutes behind the World Champ.  Yeray pulled back some time on Carloni but it was not enough.  Another surprise was Frenchman Nicolas Durin who had pedaled and run himself into 4th overall.

Will Kelsay was a solid 4th but got himself off track twice on the run and Asa passed him for 4th pro with Will 5th.

"Next time we need to get the organizers to trim the trees for people over 6' tall" laughed Kelsay.  "I kept ducking and swatting branches out of my way the whole race.  Maybe put in some 3' hurdles just for me!"

Coralie was out front, something she had never done before.  Jacqui was hanging on and slowly reeling Coralie in but what neither knew was the Austrian Koblmueller was flying after them.  Jacqui got within a minute and a half of Coralie but Sandra passed Jacqui in the last few K and almost caught the French girl and finished just 40 seconds behind.

I once accused Carloni of running like a girl as he was consistently top 5 off the bike but always 7th or so at the finish.  He was completely overjoyed with his finish and the first thing he said was "I don't run like a girl anymore!"

Coralie improved throughout 2013 and has truly improved her bike.  "I am really getting fast on the downhills" she smiled.  Sandra admitted her technical skills are not the best, but she has plenty of power on the climbs and as she says "running is my preference".

The race finished in the center of town with lots of local folks hanging about in the shade having lunch or some "tinto" wine and watching the finish.  This is a great city and a great race.  Fast, but tough, some technical pieces, some power places and lots of surprises like a run and dive off a military pontoon in the lake and a quick rope rappel on the run.

The first two races of the European season are over.  Next weekend we head to Brazil then back to the States for XTERRA Richmond which will also serve as the USA Tri Off-Road National Championship on June 15, then back across the pond for XTERRA Greece, France and Sweden.

Pro Men
Pl Name Time
1 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 2:35:47
2 Francois Carloni, FRA 2:39:00
3 Yeray Luxem, BEL 2:41:10
4 Asa Shaw, GBR 2:49:58
5 Will Kelsay, USA 2:51:58
Also: Rafael Gomes, Rui Fernandes, Diogo Rosa

Pro Women
Pl Name Final
1 Coralie Redelsperger, FRA 3:10:01
2 Sandra Koblmueller, AUT 3:10:41
3 Jacqui Slack, GBR 3:11:27
4 Daz Parker, GBR 3:30:46
5 Boissy Elea, FRA 3:44:57
Also: Sofia Brites



XTERRA Portugal was the 15th of 36 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the globe could qualify to race at the 19th annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on October 26, 2014.  Up next, the XTERRA Brazil Championship in Ilhabela.

Date Race Location / Pro Winners
23-Feb XTERRA South Africa Dan Hugo / Flora Duffy
8-Mar XTERRA Motatapu Braden Currie / Nicky Samuels
15-Mar XTERRA Philippines Championship Dan Hugo / Renata Bucher
29-Mar XTERRA Guam Championship Dan Hugo / Renata Bucher
29-Mar XTERRA Costa Rica Leonardo Chacon / Shonny Vanlandingham
30-Mar XTERRA Great Ocean Road
Ben Allen / Jacqui Slack
5-Apr XTERRA Saipan Championship Ben Allen / Carina Wasle
12-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Championship Conrad Stoltz / Barbara Riveros
13-Apr XTERRA West Championship Josiah Middaugh / Flora Duffy
26-Apr XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship Dan Hugo / Flora Duffy
3-May XTERRA Malaysia Dan Hugo / Jacqui Slack
17-May XTERRA Southeast Championship Josiah Middaugh / Flora Duffy
24-May XTERRA Mauritius Sam Gardner / Karyn Southgate
24-May XTERRA Spain Championship Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova
1-Jun XTERRA Portugal Ruben Ruzafa / Coralie Redelsperger
8-Jun XTERRA Brazil Championship Ilhabela, Sao Paulo
15-Jun XTERRA East Championship Richmond, Virginia
21-Jun XTERRA Greece Lake Plastira
28-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Championship Vallee de Joux
29-Jun XTERRA Norway Horten
5-Jul XTERRA Ontario - Canadian Cross Tri Championship Milton, Ontario, Canada
6-Jul XTERRA France Championship Xonrupt, Gerardmer
6-Jul XTERRA Victoria British Columbia, Canada
6-Jul XTERRA Freedom Fest Kualoa Ranch, Oahu, Hawaii
13-Jul XTERRA Sweden Hellasgaarten
19-Jul XTERRA Mountain Championship Beaver Creek Resort, Avon, Colorado
26-Jul XTERRA Italy Championship Abruzzo, Scanno
2-Aug XTERRA Mexico Championship Tapalpa, Jalisco
9-Aug XTERRA Czech Championship Prachatice
16-Aug XTERRA Germany Championship Zittau
17-Aug XTERRA Canmore Alberta, Canada
24-Aug XTERRA England Cranleigh, Surrey
31-Aug XTERRA Denmark Tisvilde
31-Aug XTERRA Quebec Lac Delage, Quebec, Canada
7-Sep XTERRA Sleeping Giant Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
20-Sep XTERRA USA Championship Ogden/Snowbasin, UT
26-Oct XTERRA World Championship Maui, Hawaii

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