Serrano, Erbenova win XTERRA Greece

May. 7, 2016

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Roger Serrano upset 3-time XTERRA World Champ Ruben Ruzafa and Helena Erbenova ran past Brigitta Poor to take the women’s title at the XTERRA Greece Championship in Vouliagmeni this morning.

It’s the second win in a row for Serrano, the reigning XTERRA European Tour Champion, who also won the season opener at XTERRA Malta last month.  For Erbenova, the 3x Euro Tour Champ, the win is her first this season, 5th straight in Europe dating back to last year, and the third time in four years she has won Greece.

With the win Serrano breaks Ruzafa’s streak of 13 straight victories in Europe dating back to 2013.  It’s just Ruzafa's third loss ever in Europe.  He is now 14-for-17 all-time on the Euro Tour.

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

A spectacular day and spectacular racing.  The city of Vouliagmeni could not have ordered it better. Temperatures in the mid 70’s, a bit of a breeze and mostly sunny with some nice puffy clouds overhead.  The sea was a typical Greek blue with a temperature of 19C (66F) so wetsuits were optional but many hardy Greeks forsake them.

There was a strong group coming out of the water on the first lap that included Malta winner and 2015 Euro Series champ Roger Serrano, new pro Pierre Antoine Guilem and age groupers including Julien Leroy, all fighting as they turned for the second lap.  Out of T1 and up the streets onto the first long climb Guilem and Serrano were still hooked together and clear of the field.  Brice Daubord was a solitary 3rd and young Aussie Max Neumann 4th.  Favorite Ruben Ruzafa was stuck as a result of a poor swim back around 7th along with Francois Carloni.  Not surprisingly Brigitta Poor led the women with young French woman Morgane Riou 2nd, Ladina Buss 3rd and Louise Fox 4th.  Helena Erbenova was over 4 minutes back coming out of the water.

At the top of the first long climb starting the second lap Serrano had separated from his 2 first lap companions but Daubord was now on his tail.  Coming back strong were Carloni and Ruzafa trading slots and pulling each other up to the leaders.  At the top of the first climb there is a 4-way intersection.  Coming up you turn right and make about a 5K look and return to the same intersection.  When Ruzafa and Carloni came to the top they were 30 seconds behind…  when they completed the 5K loop they were only 20 seconds behind.  Not far back and tied together like Serrano/Daubord and Ruzafa/Carloni were Arthur Forissier and Kris Coddens.  For the women Brigitta still had the lead and was riding beautifully.  Morgane was gone with a flat tire and Ladina was now second with Erbenova 3rd and Fox 4th.  Erbenova was looking very serious but was having problems overtaking some of the men age groupers and not gaining on the other women as fast as expected.

When Ruben made the road junction in the lead on the return, he attacked and only Roger was able to follow.  At T2 it was Roger and Ruben together – François and Brice at 1’ – Arthur Forissier at 3’30” who had moved separated from Kris Coddens at 4’ – then Tomas Kubek /Jan Pyott at 5’.

Similar to the bike, the run must go up this great set of steps that curls its way up into the Greek hills.  Then a jump over a curb and a gravely, rocky, steep section of about 200m.  Ruben now led the race but Roger Serrano was no more than 2 feet behind.  Daubord was still in 3rd but had Carloni in his shadow.  At this point early in the first run loop it was led by two Spanish followed by two Frenchmen.  The race fractured on the second run lap. Serrano headed up the hill with about 15 seconds on Ruzafa who had about 30 on Daubord.  Carloni was still in 4th but suffering and young Arthur Forissier was charging on him.

Helena Erbenova

The women did the opposite.  Where Brigitta and the others were separated on the bike they were converging on the run.  Poor still led but Ladina was close and Erbenova, while still back, could see them on the long climb. Poor Morgane was struggling with her flat and had lost all hope of a podium but she would not quit and continued in a distant 5th.

The race finished with a second straight win for Roger Serrano with Ruben Ruzafa 2nd and Brice Daubord coming hard in 3rd just 20 seconds back from the 3-time world champ.  Forissier passed Carloni for 4th and last year’s Greece winner Kris Coddens had a strong run to come 6th.

It came down to the last downhill for the women.  Helena was flying down and took the lead as the run came back to the steps.  Brigitta stayed strong for 2nd and Ladina had a great race for 3rd.

All day long athletes were going up and down the hills running and riding, smiling and yelling.  This was a hard race.  Not super technical but unrelenting.  No long downhills and no long uphills but there was also no relief. You had to push the whole way.  The race uses some small side roads in Vouliagmeni that parallel the main road and passes by dozens of neat bistro’s and restaurants as well as really great Greek ice cream shops. Spectators were cheering and whistling and others just looked confused on why all these people in funny uniforms were running and riding their bikes in the middle of the city.  But this is Greece where hospitality is a given and everyone had a wonderful day with few complaints.  Finishers were treated with pasta and traditional grilled lamb on wooden skewers.  Now that is a recovery first and they were gobbled up by the hundreds.

The move to Athens was a complete success.  23 Countries were represented at the race and more Greek triathletes than ever came to give XTERRA a try.  There is no doubt this race will be another sellout and well over 500 participants next year.  Better start thinking of making plans now.

Place Name Chip Time Points
1 ROGER SERRANO 2:17:22.9 75
2 RUBEN RUZAFA 2:18:09.4 67
3 BRICE DAUBORD 2:18:29.7 61
4 ARTHUR FORISSIER 2:20:40.1 56
5 FRANCOIS CARLONI 2:21:25.8 51
6 KRIS CODDENS 2:22:20.1 47
7 TOMAS KUBEK 2:24:56.6 43
8 CEDRIC LASSONDE 2:25:09.7 39
9 JAN KUBICEK 2:25:12.5 36
10 JAN PYOTT 2:26:05.3 33
11 MAX NEUMANN 2:27:20.2 30
12 TIM VAN DAELE 2:28:59.7 27
13 SEBASTIAN NORBERG 2:29:26.5 25
14 JULIEN BUFFE 2:30:36.3 23
16 RORY DOWNIE 2:32:49.9 DNP
17 THOMAS KERNER 2:38:34.3 DNP
Place Name Time Points
1 HELENA ERBENOVA 2:43:39.9 75
2 BRIGITTA POOR 2:44:02.4 67
3 LADINA BUSS 2:44:15.3 61
4 LOUISE FOX 2:59:10.2 56
5 MORGANE RIOU 3:23:59.7 51

Complete Results available soon at:

All-Time XTERRA Greece Pro Champions
Year Men Women
2013 Ben Allen Helena Erbenova
2014 Francois Carloni Kathrin Mueller
2015 Kris Coddens Helena Erbenova
2016 Roger Serrano Helena Erbenova

Greece Swim


Serrano and Poor sit atop the XTERRA European Tour standings after the second of 11 races in this year's series.  Pros count their best four Gold and three Silver scores to determine final points total.  Learn more

After 2 - 5.7.16      
Men     S S
1 Roger Serrano, ESP 150 75 75
2 Brice Daubord, FRA 104 43 61
3 Pierre-Antoine Guilhem, FRA 82 61 21
4 Cedric Lassonde, FRA 69 30 39
5 Jens Roth, GER 67 67 DNS
6 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 67 DNS 67
7 Maxim Chane, FRA 56 56 DNS
8 Arthur Forissier, FRA 56 DNS 56
9 Peter Lehmann, GER 51 51 DNS
10 Francois Carloni, FRA 51 DNS 51
11 Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA 47 47 DNS
12 Kris Coddens, BEL 47 DNS 47
13 Tomas Kubek, CZE 43 DNS 43
14 Dominik Wychera, AUT 39 39 DNS
15 Hannes Wolpert, GER 36 36 DNS
16 Jan Kubicek, CZE 36 DNS 36
17 Fabien Combaluzier, FRA 33 33 DNS
18 Jan Pyott, SUI 33 DNS 33
19 Max Neumann, AUS 30 DNS 30
20 Christophe Betard 27 27 DNS
21 Tim Van Daele, BEL 27 DNS 27
22 Markus Benesch 25 25 DNS
23 Sebastian Norberg, GER 25 DNS 25
24 Julien Buffe, FRA 23 DNS 23
Men     S S
1 Brigitta Poor, HUN 142 75 67
2 Morgane Riou, FRA 118 67 51
3 Helena Erbenova, CZE 75 DNS 75
4 Sandra Koblemueller, AUT 61 61 DNS
5 Ladina Buss, SUI 61 DNS 61
6 Maud Golsteyn, NED 56 56 DNS
7 Louise Fox, GBR 56 DNS 56
8 Alena Stevens, SVK 51 51 DNS
9 Diane Lee, GBR 47 47 DNS
10 Kristina Nec Lapinova, SVK 43 43 DNS
11 Danica Spiteri, MLT 39 39 DNS


The XTERRA Greece Championship was the 12th of 37 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the world could qualify to race at the 21st annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on Oct 23.

7-Feb XTERRA Philippines Brad Weiss/Lizzie Orchard
21-Feb XTERRA South Africa Brad Weiss/Flora Duffy
5-Mar XTERRA Motatapu Olly Shaw/Mary Gray
12-Mar XTERRA Saipan Brodie Gardner/Carina Wasle
20-Mar XTERRA Costa Rica Karl Shaw/Myriam Guillot-Boisset
26-Mar XTERRA Argentina Josiah Middaugh/Myriam Guillot-Boisset
3-Apr XTERRA Malta Roger Serrano/Brigitta Poor
16-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Braden Currie/Lizzie Orchard
17-Apr XTERRA La Reunion Ruben Ruzafa/Carina Wasle
23-Apr XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship Braden Currie/Lizzie Orchard
7-May XTERRA Malaysia / XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour Championship Ben Allen/Jacqui Slack
7-May XTERRA Brazil Albert Soley/Sabrina Gobbo
7-May XTERRA Greece Roger Serrano/Helena Erbenova
14-May XTERRA Tahiti Papeete
21-May XTERRA Oak Mountain State Park Pelham, Shelby County, AL, USA
21-May XTERRA Portugal Golega
11-Jun XTERRA Belgium Namur
25-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Vallee de Joux
25-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter Milton, Ontario, Canada
3-Jul XTERRA France Xonrupt
10-Jul XTERRA Victoria Victoria, B.C., Canada
16-Jul XTERRA Beaver Creek Beaver Creek, CO, USA
23-Jul XTERRA Parry Sound Ontario, Canada
31-Jul XTERRA Italy Lago Di Scanno
31-Jul XTERRA Dominican Republic Barahona
6-Aug XTERRA Mexico Tapalpa
7-Aug XTERRA Poland Krakow
13-Aug XTERRA Sweden Hellsgaarten, Stockholm
14-Aug XTERRA Canmore Canmore, Alberta, Canada
20-Aug XTERRA Germany – XTERRA European Championship Zittau
27-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
27-Aug XTERRA Korea Daeahn Reservoir, Wonju City
3-Sep  XTERRA Japan Hokkaido
4-Sep XTERRA Denmark Mons Klint
4-Sep XTERRA Quebec Quebec City, Quebec
11-Sep XTERRA Woolastook New Brunswick, Canada
17-Sep XTERRA USA / Pan Am Championship Ogden, Utah, USA
23-Oct XTERRA World Championship Kapalua, Maui
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