In his very first year of racing XTERRA Xavier Dafflon is on top of the World.
At the XTERRA World Championship in Maui two weeks ago he crossed the line in 17th place overall, the top amateur, and winner of the 30-34 division with a time of 3:08:35.
“I'm used to endurance sports, mainly mountain biking, but I was looking for some new challenges this year so I tried XTERRA for the first time in June and July for XTERRA Switzerland and XTERRA France,” said Dafflon, a 34-year-old from Fribourg, Switzerland.
The experiment worked out very well as he finished third overall in his first XTERRA at Switzerland, then was the top amateur in a very competitive field at XTERRA France.
“My swimming is not very good yet, but what motivates me is to make progress in this new sport,” exclaimed Dafflon, who has his sights set on earning his pro license for next year.
On race day Dafflon said he feared the big waves and the mud, but “everything went perfectly and I had a lot of fun because I was in very good shape.”
The week leading up to the race, however, was anything but perfect.
“I had a lot of bad luck right upon arrival,” he explained. “A few hours after landing, I went for a first swim in the ocean, but after less than 2-meters in the water I got a bad cut below my left foot from a rock or something sharp. I had to go to the emergency room and get three stitches badly placed below the foot. I was not sure the entire week whether I would even be able to race on Sunday, but luckily I could.”
Dafflon said he had no idea when he took the lead or even who is opponents were.
“I was passing other athletes during the whole race, you know, because I was very far behind after the hard swim,” he said.
His swim time was 29:45, well off the leader’s pace, but more than made up for it with the best amateur bike and run times, 1:52:16 and 46:34, respectively.
After the race Dafflon traveled all around the Hawaiian Islands with his wife, and said he loved it. Now, he’s back in Switzerland, “the country of mountains, chocolates, cheese and banks!” and the search for sponsors to turn his passion for XTERRA into a pro career is on.