Xonrupt, Gerardmer - Ruben Ruzafa and Lesley Paterson captured the XTERRA France Championship titles in Xonrupt this afternoon.
The win is Ruzafa’s third straight on the European Tour this year and his 22nd XTERRA major victory in 27 races since winning Worlds as a rookie in 2008. For Paterson, the win is her second major this season (she won XTERRA Tahiti back in May) and the 14th of her career.
“I like this course and I like this race,” said Ruzafa, who has won it three years in a row now. “It is very technical and this is where I am at my best. I rode very good today and was able to control everything. It was almost perfect for me.”
In the men’s race Aussie Ben Allen had the fastest swim of the day followed by Veit Honle from Germany, and those two got the early lead on the bike but by the halfway point it was Ruzafa in the lead thanks to his race-best 1:02:37 bike split. By the bike-to-run transition Ruzafa had more than five minutes on South Africa’s Bradley Weiss, and cruised into the finish line with a winning time of three hours, seven-minutes flat.
Behind Ruzafa, Yeray Luxem from Belgium was powering his way to the fastest run of the day and overtook Weiss to finish as the runner-up.
“This course is good for me,” said Weiss. “I came out of the water with Ruben but he was so strong on the bike I could not keep up with him. Then on the run Yeray surprised me. He was going so fast and when he passed me I knew I must settle for third.”
Honle finished in 4th for the second week in a row and Damien Guillemet finished in 5th.
In the women’s race it was all Lesley Paterson, who has proven time-and-time again that when the going gets tough, she gets going.
"XTERRA France lives up to its reputation...the beauty, the true toughness and the unbelievable organization and support,” said Paterson, who owns two XTERRA World Championships, an ITU Cross Tri World Title, and was the European Championship race winner last season.
“I felt great all day and just so grateful to be able to compete against great gals and in one of the best XTERRAs I’ve ever experienced! Roll on the rest of the summer!
Jacqui Slack took the early lead out of the swim, with Tour leader Brigitta Poor and Paterson close behind, but once Paterson got in front 'that was that.'
“I knew this was a long race so I took it very easy on the first lap of the bike,” said Paterson. “I heard Renata was close to me so I pushed really hard on the second lap and got a good gap.”
Bucher did have a great bike, cut into Paterson’s lead and worked her way into the second position where she stayed through the finish line.
“I was so disappointed and sad after Switzerland,” said Bucher, who finished 4th in her home country last weekend. “I rode good today and the race was long, so I was able to make enough time to keep second place on the run.”
Erbenova, who finished in third, had a good run to make her way to the podium, but thinks she fell too far behind during the opening swim leg.
“My swim was just terrible today,” said the reigning European Tour Champion, who came out of the water four-minutes behind Paterson and two-minutes behind Bucher. “I worked hard to move up into third, and am very happy with it.”
Brigitta Poor held on for fourth and Myriam Guillot-Boisset finished in 5th.
XTERRA Managing Director Dave Nicholas was on site and brings us this report...
As is usual, it rained in the Vosge Mountains in Xonrupt. The good news is it rained on Friday and we were cool and dry for race day Saturday. The Charbonnier's once again did their Magic with a multi lingual race briefing and huge pasta party on Saturday eve. Sunday morning showed a bit of blue and sunshine and racer spirits were high. The decouvert or discovery race had over 900 entrants and the usual, hi energy music, clapping, yelling and cheering start right at 8am. The day progressed with two youth races, the first for ages 11-13 and the second for 8-10 year olds. These kids and families are serious. I saw small bikes and race kits that cost more than half the adult field's gear. Clubs came from as far away as Calais and between the two kids events there were over 200 entries. No wonder the French have the biggest fields in Europe. They have a genuine feeder system and it works.
The start was equally chaotic for the Big Show. It was impossible to keep the masses back in a water start so the gun went off at 1:58. The dynamic duo of Ben Allen and Jacqui Slack led the men and women out of the water, respectively. But lurking just behind each was the amazing Ruben Ruzafa and the equally amazing Leslie Patterson. These two have 5 World Championships between them so it was no surprise that by the 3K mark on the bike Nico Lebrun reported both had the lead. A lead neither would relinquish all day.
Renata Bucher had a fantastic day on the bike being only 20 seconds slower than Lesley for the bike leg. "I knew this was a long race and made sure there were no mistakes on the first bike lap" said the wee Scottish lass. Renata got within 25 seconds starting the second lap but Patterson put the speed back on and kept the gap at over a minute. Then Les did what she does best and that is run. She put in the 2d fastest womens run on a technical course to win by 3 minutes. Renata's bike was so strong she had no problem taking second by over 5 minutes over Czech Helena Erbenova. "I was so disappointed and sad from Switzerland to lose 2d place by less than a minute" said the Swiss Miss. "Here the bike is longer and more technical and I am so happy to finish second". Erbenova was just as happy with 3rd. "My swim was so bad. So many people in the water and then I had difficulty all day passing on the bike".
For Ruzafa it was another epic ride. "I was with him coming out of the swim but he just took off and no matter how hard I rode, I could not stay with him" said 3rd place Bradley Weiss. "This is my kind of course with lots of climbing and technical parts but right now Ruben is just too good".
German Veit Honle (pronounce that white, like the color) was 4th last week in Switzerland and again here in France. His swim was second only to Ben Allen and he rode very well. So did Spain's Roger Serrano but Serrano suffered from two flats and retired - Belgian winner and Swiss 2d placer Kris Coddens also had a flat and walked his bike a long way. Kris kept going and put in the 2d fastest run only to finish 13th. The days mens story had to be Yeray Luxem. Yeray had a great 2d behind Ruben in Portugal but a bad home race in Belgium. He did not race in France to recover and did a great job here today passing Weiss on the run to finish second. French speedster Francois Carloni had a bad day back in 14th so with 3 of the top men scoring very little, Ruzafa now has a huge lead in the men's standings.
The big field of age groupers provided tons of entertainment. The Charbonnier's always have some great wooden structures near the finish and this year was no exception. "Le Monster" super steep ramp plunked riders smack in the middle of a sand beach volleyball court and the slips and flips were many. The huge difference in skill sets was wonderful to observe and even some age group world champs were caught out. The pros skip onto the sand, rock the bike over and pedal away. The normal citizen rider has the front wheel squish out or the back wheel start to spin and down they go. The end of the feature was a neat jump ramp about 1m high. Hundreds had fun doing mini knack-knacks and I saw one guy come to a complete stop at the end of the ramp, look it over, turn around and walk back about 20 feet and pedal hard and jump it. Now that is entertainment and the crowd went wild for him.
If you want the longest, toughest race anywhere with hours of entertainment for the spectators you simply cannot do better than France. And if you podium? You get a bottle of custom XTERRA France Champagne.
|1||Ruben Ruzafa, ESP||3:07:01||100|
|2||Yeray Luxem, BEL||3:12:50||90|
|3||Bradley Weiss, RSA||3:13:57||82|
|4||Veit Holne, GER||3:18:19||75|
|5||Damien Guillemet, FRA||3:18:39||69|
|6||Arthur Serrieres, FRA||3:18:46||63|
|7||Henry Sleight, GBR||3:19:48||58|
|8||Peter Lehmann, GER||3:20:13||53|
|9||Bartosz Banach, POL||3:20:19||49|
|10||Christophe Betard, FRA||3:20:58||45|
|11||Kris Coddens, BEL||3:23:56||41|
|12||Francois Carloni, FRA||3:26:21||37|
|13||Maxim Chane, FRA||3:27:51||34|
|14||Llewellyn Holmes, GBR||3:29:25||31|
|15||Anthony Flinois, FRA||3:32:00||28|
|Also: Boris Chambon, Felix Schumann, Martial Schmidt, Ben Allen, Rich Sumpter, Pascal Faivre-Pierret, Florian Luquet, Izar Van Gool, Valentine Genewe,|
|1||Lesley Paterson, GBR||3:38:30||100|
|2||Renata Bucher, SUI||3:42:48||90|
|3||Helena Erbenova, CZE||3:48:04||82|
|4||Brigitta Poor, HUN||3:51:57||75|
|5||Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA||3:53:03||69|
|6||Carina Wasle, AUT||3:54:37||63|
|7||Jacqui Slack, GBR||3:57:16||58|
|8||Sandra Koblmueller, AUT||3:57:42||53|
|9||Maud Golsteyn, NED||3:59:13||49|
|10||Morgane Riou, FRA||3:59:41||45|
|11||Sanne Van Paassen, NED||3:59:56||41|
|12||Kara LaPoint, USA||4:03:16||37|
|13||Jessie Roberts, GBR||4:05:31||34|
|14||Kristina Nec Lapinova, SVK||4:11:41||31|
|15||Louise Fox, GBR||4:13:15||28|
|Also: Lenka Cibulkova, Belinda Hadden|
DESANTIS 16 IN 2016 HITS HALFWAY MARK
XTERRA Warrior David DeSantis knocked off race No. 8 of 16 at XTERRA France with a little help from his good mate, XTERRA elite Ben Allen from Australia.
With a knee swollen up to the size of a grapefruit following his race at XTERRA Switzerland last weekend, one of the many unexplainable side effects of chemo, DeSantis smartly decided to watch this one from the bleachers and let Allen carry the torch for his cause to raise funds (goal $32,000) for the Challenged Athletes Foundation.
“Wish I could have finished on the podium for him, but it wasn't my day,” said Allen. “Gave 100% with what I had on the day and that's all I could ask for! I'm proud to race for David, he fights the fight of life, everyday! He is a true inspiration to everyone in XTERRA and the world. I admire him as a friend, person and athlete. We have had the best week in France altogether. Home cooked meals, laughter, it's like a big family! I will remember this trip forever. It's why I do this sport because of people like David and his wife Kathy!”
Learn more about 16 in 2016 and join the fight at: http://www.desantis16in2016.org/.
|All-Time XTERRA France Elite Winners|
|Year||Men's Champ||Women's Champ||Site|
|2006||Cedric Fleureton||Renata Bucher||Saint Raphael|
|2008||Nicolas Lebrun||Renata Bucher||Auron|
|2008||Nicolas Lebrun||Renata Bucher||Mondelieu|
|2010||Nicolas Lebrun||Marion Lorblanchet||Xonrupt|
|2011||Victor Del Corral||Renata Bucher||Xonrupt|
|2012||Asa Shaw||Helena Erbenova||Xonrupt|
|2013||Nicolas Lebrun||Helena Erbenova||Xonrupt|
|2014||Ruben Ruzafa||Kathrin Mueller||Xonrupt|
|2015||Ruben Ruzafa||Kathrin Mueller||Xonrupt|
|2016||Ruben Ruzafa||Lesley Paterson||Xonrupt|
RUZAFA, POOR LEAD XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR STANDINGS
With his third straight win, including two 100-point scores from Gold races in the last seven days, Ruben Ruzafa has taken a commanding lead in the men's Euro Tour title chase with five events to go. In the women's chase Brigitta Poor sits in the top spot with five scoring races, with Erbenova not too far behind. Elite athletes count their best 4 Gold and 3 Silver finishes.
Next up: XTERRA Italy on July 31.
|2016 XTERRA EURO TOUR STANDINGS|
|After 6 - 7.3.16|
|1||Ruben Ruzafa, ESP||342||DNS||67||75||DNS||100||100|
|2||Kris Coddens, BEL||253||DNS||47||DNS||75||90||41|
|3||Roger Serrano, ESP||211||75||75||61||DNS||DNF||DNS|
|4||Francois Carloni, FRA||205||DNS||51||56||61||DNS||37|
|5||Brice Daubord, FRA||186||43||61||DNS||DNS||82||DNS|
|6||Yeray Luxem, BEL||184||DNS||DNS||67||27||DNS||90|
|7||Sam Osborne, NZL||176||DNS||DNS||51||67||58||DNS|
|8||Veit Hoenle, GER||173||DNS||DNS||23||DNS||75||75|
|9||Bradley Weiss, RSA||145||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||63||82|
|10||Henry Sleight, GBR||125||DNS||DNS||DNS||39||28||58|
|11||Damien Guillemet, FRA||120||DNS||DNS||DNS||51||DNS||69|
|12||Arthur Serrieres, FRA||116||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||53||63|
|13||Hannes Wolpert, GER||114||36||DNS||33||DNS||45||DNS|
|14||Christophe Betard, FRA||108||27||DNS||DNS||36||DNS||45|
|15||Peter Lehmann, GER||104||51||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||53|
|16||Tomas Kubek, CZE||90||DNS||43||DNS||47||DNS||DNS|
|17||Maxim Chane, FRA||90||56||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||34|
|18||Llewellyn Holmes, GBR||89||DNS||DNS||25||33||DNS||31|
|19||Pierre Guilhem, FRA||82||61||21||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|20||Max Neumann, AUS||79||DNS||30||DNS||DNS||49||DNS|
|21||Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA||77||47||DNS||DNS||30||DNS||DNS|
|22||Jan Kubicek, CZE||73||DNS||36||DNS||DNS||37||DNS|
|23||Cedric Lassonde, FRA||69||30||39||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|24||Mattia De Paoli, ITA||69||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||69||DNS|
|25||Sebastian Norberg, GER||68||DNS||25||DNS||43||DNS||DNS|
|26||Jan Pyott, SUI||67||DNF||33||DNS||DNS||34||DNS|
|27||Jens Roth, GER||67||67||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNP||DNS|
|28||Tim Van Daele, BEL||57||DNS||27||30||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|29||Arthur Forissier, FRA||56||DNS||56||DNS||DNS||DNF||DNS|
|30||Nicolas Fernandez, FRA||56||DNS||DNS||DNS||56||DNS||DNS|
|31||Bartosz Banach, POL||49||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||49|
|32||José Estrangeiro, POR||47||DNS||DNS||47||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|33||Max Sasserath, GER||43||DNS||DNS||43||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|34||Anthony Pannier, FRA||41||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||41||DNS|
|35||Dominik Wychera, AUT||39||39||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|36||Julen Loroño, ESP||39||DNS||DNS||39||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|37||Rui Dolores, POR||36||DNS||DNS||36||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|38||Fabien Combaluzier, FRA||33||33||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNF||DNS|
|39||Toma Jurkovic, SVK||31||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||31||DNS|
|40||Ben Allen, AUS||28||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||28||DNP|
|41||Anthony Flinois, FRA||28||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||28|
|42||Gonzalo Orosco, ESP||27||DNS||DNS||27||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|43||Markus Benesch, AUT||25||25||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|44||Jim Thijs, BEL||25||DNS||DNS||DNS||25||DNS||DNS|
|45||Julien Buffe, FRA||23||DNF||23||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|46||Martial Schmidt, FRA||23||DNS||DNS||DNS||23||DNS||DNP|
|47||Tiago Maia, POR||21||DNS||DNS||21||DNS||DNP||DHS|
|48||Boris Chambon, FRA||21||DNS||DNS||DNS||21||DNS||DNP|
|1||Brigitta Poor, HUN||341||75||67||61||DNS||63||75|
|2||Helena Erbenova, CZE||307||DNS||75||75||75||DNS||82|
|3||Morgane Riou, FRA||273||67||51||DNS||61||49||45|
|4||Carina Wasle, AUT||244||DNS||DNS||56||67||58||63|
|5||Maud Golsteyn, NED||232||56||DNS||39||47||41||49|
|6||Myriam Guillot, FRA||218||DNS||DNS||67||DNS||82||69|
|7||Renata Bucher, SUI||216||DNS||DNS||51||DNS||75||90|
|8||Louise Fox, GBR||176||DNS||56||47||DNS||45||28|
|9||Jacqui Slack, GBR||148||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||90||58|
|10||Ladina Buss, SUI||130||DNS||61||DNS||DNS||69||DNS|
|11||Jessie Roberts, GBR||122||DNS||DNS||DNS||51||37||34|
|12||Sandra Koblemueller, AUT||114||61||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||53|
|13||Michelle Flipo, FRA||100||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||100||DNS|
|14||Lesley Paterson, GBR||100||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||100|
|15||Elisabetta Curridori, ITA||74||DNS||DNS||DNS||43||31||DNS|
|16||Kristina Nec Lapinova, SVK||74||43||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||31|
|17||Kara LaPoint, USA||65||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||28||37|
|18||Isabelle Klein, LUX||56||DNS||DNS||DNS||56||DNS||DNS|
|19||Coralie Redelsperger, FRA||53||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||53||DNS|
|20||Alena Stevens, SVK||51||51||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|21||Diane Lee, GBR||47||47||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|22||Sara Bonilla Bernardez, ESP||43||DNS||DNS||43||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|23||Sanne Van Paassen, NED||41||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||41|
|24||Danica Spiteri, MLT||39||39||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNP||DNS|
|25||Lenka Cibulkova, CZE||39||DNS||DNS||DNS||39||DNP||DNP|
|26||Monica Cibin, ITA||34||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||34||DNS|
2016 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS
XTERRA France was the 20th 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.
|DATE||WORLD TOUR EVENT||LOCATION or WINNERS|
|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||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|
|13-Aug||XTERRA Sweden||Hellsgaarten, Stockholm|
|14-Aug||XTERRA Canmore||Canmore, Alberta, Canada|
|20-Aug||XTERRA European Championship||Zittau, Germany|
|27-Aug||XTERRA Sleeping Giant||Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada|
|27-Aug||XTERRA Korea||Daeahn Reservoir, Wonju City|
|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|