Mendez, Paterson win XTERRA Italy

Jul. 31, 2016

Photos courtesy Daniele Marsili

Scanno, Abruzzo - Mauricio Mendez, a 20-year-old from Mexico City, and his mentor Lesley Paterson, a two-time XTERRA World Champion, won the XTERRA Italy elite races on a hot day in Scanno this afternoon.

It’s the first XTERRA major win as a pro for Mendez, who finished fourth at XTERRA Worlds last year and was 2nd to Josiah Middaugh at XTERRA Oak Mountain earlier this season.  It was the 15th career win for Paterson and her second this month on the Euro Tour (she won XTERRA France on July 3.).

XTERRA European Tour technical director Nicolas Lebrun was on-site to take in all the action and brings us this report…

In each of the past three years we’ve finished this race with our rain jackets on, finishers covered in mud.

Not today.  This year we had Maui weather!  It was sunny and almost 35°C.  The beautiful heart of Abruzzo, the water in the "Lago di Scanno" was warm at 22°C so the pros started without wetsuits at 11 a.m., then three-minutes later the age groupers started (wetsuits optional for them).

The swim was one big 1,400-meter loop with a little run over a foot bridge for show, then back in for the last 100-meters.  It was one of several great spectator additions, and the athletes will tell you the atmosphere from start to finish, and also for the award ceremony, was something special … and this year with perfect sunny weather, it was magic.

The first to exit the water was a group of four featuring Mauricio Mendez, Karl Shaw, Sam Osborne and Stephen Bayliss.

“I wanted to swim fast and take some time on the good mountain bikers,” said Mendez.

Shaw, who won XTERRA Costa Rica earlier this year and is noted for his strong swim, said "François (Carloni) told me to take this race easy at the start and I listened."

About 1'30" behind was François Carloni with Max Chané, then about 30" behind them was Thjis, Lemann, Pyott, Kubicek, Kubek and Forrissier.

Danica Spiteri from Malta was first out the water for the women with about one-minute on Lesley Paterson, Elisabetta Curridori and Renata Bucher.

"When I saw Renata with me out of the water, I started to stress, because she is a really good mountain biker,” said Paterson.  “At XTERRA France I started the bike fast to put the pressure on her, not it was on me.”

Ladina Buss was a little back in the swim and Helena Erbenova was the last podium contender out of the water but she did not panic.  She has won races in this position with her fantastic bike and run.

After a few kilometers in the beautiful village center, after climbing those small stairs, the men’s positions were almost the same, just Bayliss already let the mountain bikers do their thing!

For the women, just after 3k and only 100m+ we saw some big change with Lesley already leading, Renata second one-minute back, then Danica and Ladina at 1'15", Curidorri at 1'30" and Helena at 3'55.

The bike loop was made in two parts, one small loop of 12k with 450m+ of climbing, after this hot warm up, the three guys were still together, Mendez, Osborne and Shaw, but Mauricio was a little bit weak on every downhill, but stronger going up, so he was able to come back with them.

“I tried to attack on the big climb on the big loop, to get some lead before hardest downhill, but even though I was stronger there it was not enough," said Mendez.

Shaw was still waiting, and said “I’ve never done so much climbing on a MTB in one day!"

That is why it is smart to save some energy.   To try to finish first, first you have to finish.

Behind those three, Carloni was alone, not with his best mountain biking legs, but better than in France, "I knew I needed to start slow, because I was not at 100% but it was hard to do it, so I think I paid a little bit at the end," said Carloni.  He was at 2' back, then a group of three with Max Chané another young French talent, Pyott and Kubicek.

Kubek was 10" back of them and Forissier also on the top ten but not look at his best today. That was the position starting the big climb of the day, in the second loop (18km for 850m+). At this point Lesley had already 3'25" on Renata, Ladina was at 5' "this race was just against the heat," she said.

Erbenova started the comeback, on place, but not on time, because Lesley was on another planet today!

"I did lots of training in altitude in Switzerland, and I could feel the difference, and because I started to be fit, I didn't struggle that much with heat," said Paterson.

At the end of the bike, Sam Osborne entered T2 alone with about 1'30" on Mendez and Shaw.

"I was a little bit better then Karl and Mauricio going downhill so I attacked just before we jumped on the most technical downhill to try something," said Osborne.

It worked! Mendez was not able to follow, Karl was, but he had a flat on the second part.

“I decided to finish on the rim, at only 3k from the finish, two down and one flat on the road," said Shaw, who got into T2 with Mendez.

Carloni started to pay a little bit, his fast start and was now at 4' but still in 4th position, Chané came in 5th at 5'40" then Pyott, Kubicek, Forissier and Kubek all with about 1' from each other.

In the women’s race Paterson was really too strong today and finished the bike with more than eight-minutes on Renata and 9' on Helena. Buss was now in 4th but with Elisabetta in 5th, she wanted to be strong again, in Italy, in her country, and she knew she can run fast on this kind of trail.

Halfway on the run there is a long and steep climb, 200m+ up in 1km, and not a lot of athletes were able to run here … and maybe this place was the key to victory because Mendez passed Osborne on this climb and never stopped.

"I like this type of run,” said Mendez.  “I like the technical trails and the steep climbing, so even though I didn't know I could win when I started the run, I was confident in my abilities to be strong on this last part."

Mendez will now do the rest of the XTERRA European Tour races (Poland, Sweden, Germany, and Denmark) and be in contention for the overall Tour title.

“It's my first time in Europe, and I'm so happy to start my trip in such a nice place and with a victory," he said.

Osborne finished second and was also really happy because he had a strong race, "I'm on the podium with some really strong guys. I loved those technical downhills, so it's a good day for me," said Osborne.

Shaw completed the top three, Kubicek had a fantastic run to finish in 4th, and Carloni was 5th.

From lr Erbenova, Paterson, Bucher

In the women’s race Paterson had a 14-minute lead after 5k of the run!  And, she was running when most of the others were walking.

Helena finished second and happy, she knew today Lesley was too strong and really managed the race for the second place.

"I was trying to catch Renata on the bike, and was almost with her on the last up hill, but she is too strong down. So I had to wait for the run to catch her, then I tried to enjoy this hilly and beautiful run loop, I'm happy with my second place today,” said Erbenova.

The day before, during the pre-race presentation, Erbenova had said that even after many victories here, she will need to get ready for the second position.

Renata managed to stay in third position, but it was close... our young Italian was right behind but stayed in 4th as Ladina completed the top 5th.

"It's always good to be on the podium here at this beautiful race,” said Bucher.  “When I started the run, I knew Helena would pass me, and I just wanted to stay in this position and not lose too much energy, so I could also race well next week in Poland.  When I saw Betta at the end, I had the energy to accelerate, no more sprint! (In Switzerland - she missed the podium after a sprint finish)

From the start to the end the show was perfect, of course like in every race, some points need to be fixed, but everybody had fun and enjoyed the race even though many told me it was the hardest race of their life!

I want to thank Wolf and his crew for the show, MTB Scanno for all the volunteers and the technical part and the local community who supported the race!  Ciao e Si Vediamo l'anno prossimo Scanno!

Elite results:

Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Mauricio Mendez, MEX 2:49:37 75
2 Sam Osborne, NZL 2:53:15 67
3 Karl Shaw, GBR 2:53:56 61
4 Jan Kubicek, CZE 3:01:31 56
5 Francois Carloni, FRA 3:02:18 51
6 Arthur Forissier, FRA 3:03:11 47
7 Jan Pyott, SUI 3:03:35 43
8 Peter Lehmann, GER 3:04:57 39
9 Maxim Chane, FRA 3:05:33 36
10 Dominik Wychera, AUT 3:06:26 33
11 Stephen Bayliss, GBR 3:06:58 30
12 Markus Benesch, AUT 3:07:48 27
13 Mattia De Paoli, ITA 3:09:08 25
14 Tomas Kubek, SVK 3:10:49 23
15 Llewellyn Holmes, GBR 3:11:04 21
Also: Aidan Nugent, Richard Sumpter, Martial Schmidt, Leandro Glardon, Michael Szymoniuk, Jim Thijs, Fabrizio Bartoli, Tom Kerner, Valentine Genewe, Simone Calamai,
Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Lesley Paterson, GBR 3:15:59 75
2 Helena Erbenova, CZE 3:29:01 67
3 Renata Bucher, SUI 3:37:15 61
4 Elisabetta Curridori, ITA 3:37:26 56
5 Ladina Buss, SUI 3:43:53 51
6 Danica Spiteri, MLT 4:01:33 47


Year Men Women Venue
2004 David Henestrosa Jamie Whitmore Sardinia
2005 Olivier Marceau Melanie McQuaid Sardinia
2006 Nicolas Lebrun Renata Bucher Sardinia
2007 Olivier Marceau Eszter Erdelyi Sardinia
2008 Olivier Marceau Sibylle Matter Sardinia
2009 Franky Batelier Renata Bucher Sardinia
2010 Franky Batelier Melanie McQuaid Sardinia
2011 Olivier Marceau Marion Lorblanchet Sardinia
2012 Nicolas Lebrun Jacqui Slack Sardinia
2013 Conrad Stoltz Helena Erbenova Abruzzo
2014 Ruben Ruzafa Helena Erbenova Abruzzo
2015 Ruben Ruzafa Helena Erbenova Abruzzo
2016 Mauricio Mendez Lesley Paterson Abruzzo


Ruben Ruzafa and Brigitta Poor continue to lead the XTERRA European Tour standings after 7 of 11 events.

Elite athletes count their best 4 Gold and 3 Silver finishes.  Learn more here.

After 7 - 7.31.16                
Men     S S S S G G S
1 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 342 DNS 67 75 DNS 100 100 DNS
2 Kris Coddens, BEL 253 DNS 47 DNS 75 90 41 DNS
3 Sam Osborne, NZL 243 DNS DNS 51 67 58 DNS 67
4 Roger Serrano, ESP 211 75 75 61 DNS DNF DNS DNS
5 Francois Carloni, FRA 205 DNS 51 56 61 DNS 37 x51
6 Brice Daubord, FRA 186 43 61 DNS DNS 82 DNS DNS
7 Yeray Luxem, BEL 184 DNS DNS 67 27 DNS 90 DNS
8 Veit Hoenle, GER 173 DNS DNS 23 DNS 75 75 DNS
9 Bradley Weiss, RSA 145 DNS DNS DNS DNS 63 82 DNS
10 Peter Lehmann, GER 143 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS 53 39
11 Jan Kubicek, CZE 129 DNS 36 DNS DNS 37 DNS 56
12 Maxim Chane, FRA 126 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS 34 36
13 Henry Sleight, GBR 125 DNS DNS DNS 39 28 58 DNS
14 Damien Guillemet, FRA 120 DNS DNS DNS 51 DNS 69 DNS
15 Arthur Serrieres, FRA 116 DNS DNS DNS DNS 53 63 DNS
16 Hannes Wolpert, GER 114 36 DNS 33 DNS 45 DNS DNS
17 Tomas Kubek, SVK 113 DNS 43 DNS 47 DNS DNS 23
18 Llewellyn Holmes, GBR 110 DNS DNS 25 33 DNS 31 21
19 Jan Pyott, SUI 110 DNF 33 DNS DNS 34 DNS 43
20 Christophe Betard, FRA 108 27 DNS DNS 36 DNS 45 DNS
21 Arthur Forissier, FRA 103 DNS 56 DNS DNS DNF DNS 47
22 Mattia De Paoli, ITA 94 DNS DNS DNS DNS 69 DNS 25
23 Pierre-Antoine Guilhem, FRA 82 61 21 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
24 Max Neumann, AUS 79 DNS 30 DNS DNS 49 DNS DNS
25 Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA 77 47 DNS DNS 30 DNS DNS DNP
26 Mauricio Mendez, MEX 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75
27 Dominik Wychera, AUT 72 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 33
28 Cedric Lassonde, FRA 69 30 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
29 Sebastian Norberg, GER 68 DNS 25 DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS
30 Jens Roth, GER 67 67 DNS DNS DNS DNP DNS DNS
31 Karl Shaw, GBR 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 61
32 Tim Van Daele, BEL 57 DNS 27 30 DNS DNS DNS DNS
33 Nicolas Fernandez, FRA 56 DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS
34 Markus Benesch, AUT 52 25 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 27
35 Bartosz Banach, POL 49 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 DNS
36 José Estrangeiro, POR 47 DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS
37 Maximilian Sasserath, GER 43 DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS
38 Anthony Pannier, FRA 41 DNS DNS DNS DNS 41 DNS DNS
39 Julen Loroño, ESP 39 DNS DNS 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS
40 Rui Dolores, POR 36 DNS DNS 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS
41 Fabien Combaluzier, FRA 33 33 DNS DNS DNS DNF DNS DNS
42 Toma Jurkovic, SVK 31 DNS DNS DNS DNS 31 DNS DNS
43 Stephen Bayliss, GBR 30 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 30
44 Ben Allen, AUS 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS 28 DNP DNS
45 Anthony Flinois, FRA 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 28 DNS
46 Gonzalo Orosco, ESP 27 DNS DNS 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS
47 Jim Thijs, BEL 25 DNS DNS DNS 25 DNS DNS DNP
48 Julien Buffe, FRA 23 DNF 23 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
49 Martial Schmidt, FRA 23 DNS DNS DNS 23 DNS DNP DNP
50 Tiago Maia, POR 21 DNS DNS 21 DNS DNP DHS DNS
51 Boris Chambon, FRA 21 DNS DNS DNS 21 DNS DNP DNS
Women     S S S S G G S
1 Brigitta Poor, HUN 341 75 67 61 DNS 63 75 DNS
2 Helena Erbenova, CZE 307 DNS 75 75 75 DNS 82 x67
3 Renata Bucher, SUI 277 DNS DNS 51 DNS 75 90 61
4 Morgane Riou, FRA 273 67 51 DNS 61 49 45 DNS
5 Carina Wasle, AUT 244 DNS DNS 56 67 58 63 DNS
6 Maud Golsteyn, NED 232 56 DNS 39 47 41 49 DNS
7 Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 218 DNS DNS 67 DNS 82 69 DNS
8 Ladina Buss, SUI 181 DNS 61 DNS DNS 69 DNS 51
9 Louise Fox, GBR 176 DNS 56 47 DNS 45 28 DNS
10 Lesley Paterson, GBR 175 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 100 75
11 Jacqui Slack, GBR 148 DNS DNS DNS DNS 90 58 DNS
12 Elisabetta Curridori, ITA 130 DNS DNS DNS 43 31 DNS 56
13 Jessie Roberts, GBR 122 DNS DNS DNS 51 37 34 DNS
14 Sandra Koblemueller, AUT 114 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS 53 DNS
15 Michelle Flipo, FRA 100 DNS DNS DNS DNS 100 DNS DNS
16 Danica Spiteri, MLT 86 39 DNS DNS DNS DNP DNS 47
17 Kristina Nec Lapinova, SVK 74 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS 31 DNS
18 Kara LaPoint, USA 65 DNS DNS DNS DNS 28 37 DNS
19 Isabelle Klein, LUX 56 DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS
20 Coralie Redelsperger, FRA 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS 53 DNS DNS
21 Alena Stevens, SVK 51 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
22 Diane Lee, GBR 47 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
23 Sara Bonilla Bernardez, ESP 43 DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS
24 Sanne Van Paassen, NED 41 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 41 DNS
25 Lenka Cibulkova, CZE 39 DNS DNS DNS 39 DNP DNP DNS
26 Monica Cibin, ITA 34 DNS DNS DNS DNS 34 DNS DNS

Next up: XTERRA Poland on August 7.


XTERRA Italy was one of more than 30 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
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 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 Josiah Middaugh/Lesley Paterson
21-May XTERRA Oak Mountain State Park Josiah Middaugh/Suzie Snyder
21-May XTERRA Portugal Ruben Ruzafa/Helena Erbenova
11-Jun XTERRA Belgium Kris Coddens/Helena Erbenova
25-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Ruben Ruzafa/Michelle Flipo
25-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter Karsten Madsen/Suzie Snyder
3-Jul XTERRA France Ruben Ruzafa/Lesley Paterson
10-Jul XTERRA Victoria Karsten Madsen/Katie Button
16-Jul XTERRA Beaver Creek Josiah Middaugh/Julie Baker
31-Jul XTERRA Italy Mauricio Mendez/Lesley Paterson
31-Jul XTERRA Dominican Republic Rom Akerson/Suzie Snyder
6-Aug XTERRA Mexico Tapalpa
7-Aug XTERRA Poland Krakow
13-Aug XTERRA Sweden Hellsgaarten, Stockholm
20-Aug XTERRA European Championship Zittau, Germany
3-Sep XTERRA Japan Hokkaido
4-Sep XTERRA Denmark Mons Klint
17-Sep XTERRA USA / Pan Am Championship Ogden, Utah, USA
23-Oct XTERRA World Championship Kapalua, Maui
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