Ruzafa, Paterson win XTERRA France

Jul. 3, 2016

Complete Results | Photo Gallery

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.

Ruzafa France

Elite results:

Pos Name, NAT Time Points
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,
Pos Name, NAT Time Points
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

France swim


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:

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


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.

After 6 - 7.3.16              
Men     S S S S G G
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
Women     S S S S G G
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


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.

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
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 European Championship Zittau, Germany
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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