Tarragona – Ruben Ruzafa and Helena Erbenova captured the elite titles on a hot day at XTERRA Spain, on a new course in Tarragona.
This is the second win in a row for each of them on the XTERRA European Tour after they both took home victories at XTERRA Greece on April 30th.
Three-time XTERRA World Champion and two-time European Tour Champion Ruzafa won on his home turf today in 2:23:50, coming in five minutes ahead of runner up and fellow Spaniard Xavier Jove who finished in 2:29:09. Frenchman Arthur Serrieres was a close third in 2:29:52.
“It was great,” said Ruzafa. “I had a good swim and I tried pushing the bike, and on the run, I tried keeping the gap. I’m really happy to win here in Spain. Now it’s time to enjoy."
German Jens Roth was first out of the water, followed by Ruzafa and young German, Maximilian Sasserath.
Ruzafa took the lead on the second lap of the bike course, and never looked back.
Runner-up Xavier Jove' who finished nearly five minutes behind Ruzafa boasted. "It was a great day for me. Now we have so many strong Spanish guys with Ruben, Roger and me. This is my best XTERRA ever."
“It was a tough race, it was so hot,” said Roth, disappointed that no Germans were on the podium. “I would have liked to have followed Ruben on the bike when he caught me, but I wasn’t able to. But I’m thankful to be here in Spain and I'm looking forward to the next race.”
“It was a great day in Spain today, and Roger Serrano did a fantastic job for his debut,” added European Tour marketing director Kostas Kourmargialis. “Ruzafa, Jove, and Serrieres were strong as was Jens Roth. The young German, Maximilian Sasserath also raced well today. He narrowly missed the podium but he cemented his spot as one to watch after his second place finish at XTERRA Malta in April.
In the women’s race, it was a battle between reigning European Tour Champion Brigitta Poor of Hungary and Czech Helena Erbenova. The pair have now faced each other three times this year and have begun to separate themselves from the pack of early tour contenders.
Today, Erbenova crossed the line in 2:48:48 for 16th place overall. Poor came through in 2:54:51 and Spain’s Sara Bonilla was third in 3:01:12 after passing Germany’s Kathrin Muller on the run. Muller was fourth in 3:01:54.
Bonilla was first out of the water followed by German Pauline Sasserath, Brigitta Poor and Mueller.
Poor and Erbenova then pushed hard on the bike and reeled in the others with Poor eventually holding a nearly four minute lead on Erbenova until she crashed near the middle of the second loop.
Erbenova pulled ahead and widened her lead, making it look easy on the run as she floated to the finish line.
“I’m disappointed to have crashed,” said Poor. “But I’m happy nothing is broken and I could finish the race in second place.”
Sara Bonilla added, "I was so surprised to hear I am 3rd. I think I am fourth or fifth. Now I must think to go to Maui."
XTERRA World Tour managing director “Kahuna Dave” Nicholas was on-site to take in all the action and brings us this report…
The return of XTERRA to Spain is complete. Over 400 men and women athletes enjoyed a great day and some epic trails in a fabulous setting.
Because both T1 and T2 are on public property we did not finish T2 until 10 last night. This morning the crew took over the waterfront in Tarragona and created T1 from what is normally the street that runs past their beach. But it all happened and we were ready to race well before the scheduled 10am start time.
The sea was perfect. Just a few, small waves but basically flat. Pros started first with age groupers three minutes later. With a broad, white beach everyone came out of the water for a short beach run to start their second lap. Literally a thousand spectators lined the sea walls and the joint was jumping.
Jens Roth was far out in front after the swim and led easily onto the streets. The first 2K of the bike are done on city streets. Riders then go up and down a ramp and ride on broad, flat trails alongside the river before arriving at the Pont Des Diablo park. Then the fun begins.
Ruben Ruzafa had an excellent swim and while Roth led into the park, the 3-time World Champ was firmly in second with young Max Sasserath just behind in third.
It was a bunch and quite exciting as Arthur Serrieres, Jan Pyott, Peter Lehmann came splashing through the tunnel under the highway and up into the forest.
At the end of the first bike lap Ruben had complete control with Roth in second. The surprise was Xavier Jove’ from Spain up into 3rd. Xavier has raced with us for a few years and always was quick, but this was a big step up.
Poor Serrieres had his derailleur fail on him with a few K left on the bike and got passed by Pyott and Max to complete the top 6 coming into T2.
Spanish pro Sara Bonilla led First year pro Anna Pauline Sasserath and our current points leader Brigitta Poor from the water, but our Hungarian woman passed them just as they headed out into the woods at the park.
By the end of the first big loop Poor had a good lead but it was Czech Helena Erbenova who was second and riding very well.
"I was feeling strong today, and even with my hard tail bike, I was surprise to ride that fast” said a clearly hurting Brigitta. “But in a technical single track I went down hard and hit my knee and few ribs, I had a hard time to get back on my bike and it became hard to breath, another race started for me".
Our old friend and former champion Kathrin Muller is back racing after a few years away and was doing well in 3rd but losing ground. Erbenova caught Brigitta and led easily onto the run.
Ruzafa had about three minutes on Roth but did not look confident. The run here is very hard with a signature huge hill that runners go both ways on. The day was getting hotter and the sun was taking its toll on our athletes.
Xavier Jove’ was making his move and passed Roth into 2nd. Serrieres also moved up passing Pyott and Sasserath to go into 4th and his race was not finished.
In a similar story, Sara Bonilla was tearing up the run course and had moved up into 4th. At the end Bonilla and Serrieres both ran their way into 3rd.
Despite the few setbacks, it was a super event. The recovery area had free, cold beer and a fabulous Catalan pasta dish and even a vegetarian variation. There were nothing but smiles in the picnic area.
Tarragona has a brilliant future. Everyone loved the bike course “it was technical but really fun” was what we heard exclusively.
XTERRA Spain was the fourth of fifteen races on this year's XTERRA European Tour, and with the win Ruzafa moves into second place on the tour standings, one point shy of tour leader Francois Carloni who did not start today's race.
Erbenova continued to make ground on women's tour leader Brigitta Poor of Hungary with back-to-back wins at XTERRA Greece and today in Spain.
The XTERRA European Tour now goes to XTERRA Portugal in Golega on May 27.
|1||Ruben Ruzafa, ESP||2:23:50||75||$1,200|
|2||Xavier Jove, ESP||2:29:09||67||$900|
|3||Arthur Serrieres , FRA||2:29:52||61||$700|
|4||Jens Roth, GER||2:30:00||56||$550|
|5||Maximilian Sasserath, GER||2:30:35||51||$400|
|6||Albert Soley, ESP||2:31:58||47|
|7||Pau Botella Tarres, ESP||2:32:53||43|
|8||Jan Honza Kubicek||2:32:55||39|
|9||Rui Dolores, POR||2:34:01||36|
|10||Jan Pyott, SUI||n/a||33|
|11||Guillaume Jeannin, FRA||2:39:44||30|
|12||Peter Lehmann, GER||2:40:16||27|
|13||Llewellyn Holmes, GRB||2:41:33||25|
|14||Javier Oliver Vives, ESP||2:45:22||23|
|15||Zeus Gutierrez Ochoa, ESP||2:46:47||21|
|1||Helena Erbenova, CZE||2:48:48||75||$1,200|
|2||Brigitta Poor, HUN||2:54:51||67||$900|
|3||Sara Bonilla, ESP||3:01:12||61||$700|
|4||Kathrin Mueller, GER||3:01:54||56||$550|
|5||Rocío Espada, ESP||3:08:12||51||$400|
|6||Aina Picas, ESP||3:11:14||47|
|7||Anna Pauline Sasserath, GER||3:13:56||43|
XTERRA European Tour Elite Standings - After 4
|1||Francois Carloni, FRA||151||61||47||43||DNS|
|2||Ruben Ruzafa, ESP||150||DNS||DNS||75||75|
|3||Roger Serrano, ESP||142||75||DNS||67||DNS|
|4||Maximilian Sasserath, GER||118||67||DNS||DNS||51|
|5||Jens Roth, GER||117||DNS||DNS||61||56|
|6||Jan Pyott, SUI||114||56||DNS||25||33|
|7||Oivind Bjerkseth, NOR||100||33||67||DNS||DNS|
|8||Thomas Kerner, GER||94||DNS||61||33||DNS|
|9||Julien Buffe, FRA||79||DNS||56||23||DNS|
|10||Yeray Luxem, BEL||75||DNS||75||DNS||DNS|
|10||Rui Dolores, POR||75||DNS||DNS||39||36|
|12||Xavier Jove Riart, ESP||67||DNS||DNS||DNS||67|
|13||Maxim Chane, FRA||66||30||DNS||36||DNS|
|14||Stephan Radeck, GER||64||25||39||DNS||DNS|
|15||Arthur Serrieres , FRA||61||DNS||DNS||DNS||61|
|16||Kris Coddens, BEL||56||DNS||DNS||56||DNS|
|17||Jörg Scheiderbauer, GER||51||51||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|17||Sebastian Neef, GER||51||DNS||51||DNS||DNS|
|17||Arthur Forissier, FRA||51||DNS||DNS||51||DNS|
|20||Tomas Kubek, SVK||47||47||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|20||Xavier Dafflon, SUI||47||DNS||DNS||47||DNS|
|20||Albert Soley, ESP||47||DNS||DNS||DNS||47|
|23||Mark Hamersma, NED||43||43||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|23||Hannes Wolpert, BEL||43||DNS||43||DNP||DNS|
|23||Pau Botella Tarres, ESP||43||DNS||DNS||DNS||43|
|26||Jim Thijs, BEL||39||39||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|26||Jan Honza Kubicek||39||DNS||DNS||DNP||39|
|28||Geert Lauryssen, BEL||36||36||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|29||Tiago Maia, POR||30||DNS||DNS||30||DNS|
|30||Guillaume Jeannin, FRA||30||DNS||DNS||DNS||30|
|31||Doug Hall, GBR||27||27||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|31||Tim Van Daele, BEL||27||DNS||DNS||27||DNS|
|31||Peter Lehmann, GER||27||DNS||DNS||DNS||27|
|34||Llewellyn Holmes, GRB||25||DNS||DNS||DNS||25|
|35||Callum Hughes, GBR||23||23||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|35||Javier Oliver Vives, ESP||23||DNS||DNS||DNS||23|
|37||Markus Benesch, AUT||21||DNS||DNS||21||DNS|
|37||Zeus Gutierrez Ochoa, ESP||21||DNS||DNS||DNS||21|
|39||Ivan Munoz, ESP||0||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNP|
|39||Barret Fisher, USA||0||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNP|
|39||Nil Riudavets, ESP||0||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNP|
|39||Alejandro Salmeron Tenorio, ESP||0||DNS||DNS||DNS||DMP|
|39||Diego Silva , POR||0||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNP|
|1||Brigitta Poor, HUN||284||75||75||67||67|
|2||Helena Erbenova, CZE||217||67||DNS||75||75|
|3||Morgane Riou, FRA||123||DNS||67||56||DNS|
|4||Maud Golsteyn, NED||103||56||DNS||47||DNS|
|5||Cecila Jessen, SWE||100||39||61||DNS||DNS|
|6||Kathrin Mueller, GER||89||33||DNS||DNS||56|
|7||Anna Pauline Sasserath, GER||79||36||DNS||DNS||43|
|8||Nicole Walkers, GBR||61||61||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|9||Miriam Casillas Garcia, ESP||61||DNS||DNS||61||DNS|
|10||Sara Bonilla, ESP||61||DNS||DNS||DNS||61|
|11||Daz Parker, GBR||56||DNS||56||DNS||DNS|
|12||Carina Wasle, AUT||51||51||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|13||Marika Wagner, SWE||51||DNS||51||DNS||DNS|
|14||Isabelle Ferrer, FRA||51||DNS||DNS||51||DNS|
|15||Rocío Espada, ESP||51||DNS||DNS||DNS||51|
|16||Kristina Lapinova, SLK||47||47||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|17||Aina Picas, ESP||47||DNS||DNS||DNS||47|
|18||Louise Fox, GRB||43||43||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|19||Renata Bucher, SUI||43||DNS||DNS||43||DNF|
|20||Marta Menditto, ITA||30||30||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|21||Anne Sphie Marechal, FRA||0||DNS||DNS||DNF||DNS|
2017 XTERRA World Championship Qualifying Series Schedule
XTERRA Spain was the 16th of 41 events where amateur athletes from around the world could qualify to race at the 22nd annual XTERRA World Championship in Maui on October 29.
|Date||Race||Elite Winners or Location|
|Feb 25||XTERRA South Africa||Richard Murray / Flora Duffy|
|Mar 4||XTERRA Motatapu||Dougal Allan / Josie Wilcox|
|Mar 18||XTERRA Saipan + Silver||Sam Osborne / Carina Wasle|
|Mar 25||XTERRA Argentina # Silver||Gonzalo Tellechea / Suzie Snyder|
|Apr 1||XTERRA Thailand + Silver||Kieran McPherson / Renata Bucher|
|Apr 1||XTERRA Chile # Silver||Felipe Barraza / Barbara Riveros|
|Apr 2||XTERRA Malta * Silver||Roger Serrano / Brigitta Poor|
|Apr 8||XTERRA New Zealand + Silver||Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen|
|Apr 9||XTERRA Costa Rica # Silver||Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder|
|Apr 16||XTERRA La Reunion||Ruben Ruzafa / Carina Wasle|
|Apr 23||XTERRA Danao + GOLD||Bradley Weiss / Carina Wasle|
|Apr 23||XTERRA Cyprus * Silver||Yeray Luxem / Brigitta Poor|
|Apr 29||XTERRA Langkawi + GOLD||Osborne,Allen,Weiss,McPherson/Wasle|
|Apr 30||XTERRA Greece * Silver||Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova|
|May 6||XTERRA Tahiti + Silver||Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen|
|May 14||XTERRA Spain * Silver||Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova|
|May 14||XTERRA Brazil # Silver||Ilhabela, Sao Paolo|
|May 20||XTERRA Oak Mountain # GOLD||Pelham, AL, USA|
|May 27||XTERRA Portugal * Silver||Golega|
|Jun 10||XTERRA Belgium * Silver||Namur|
|Jun 17||XTERRA Mine over Matter ^||Milton, Ontario, Canada|
|Jun 18||XTERRA Finland * Silver||Imatra|
|Jun 24||XTERRA Switzerland * GOLD||Vallee de Joux|
|Jul 2||XTERRA France * GOLD||Xonrupt|
|Jul 9||XTERRA Victoria # Silver||Victoria, B.C., Canada|
|Jul 15||XTERRA Beaver Creek # GOLD||Beaver Creek, CO, USA|
|Jul 30||XTERRA Abruzzo * Silver||Scanno, Abruzzo, Italy|
|Aug 5||XTERRA Mexico # GOLD||Tapalpa|
|Aug 5||XTERRA Norway * Silver||Norefjell|
|Aug 6||XTERRA Canmore ^||Canmore, Alberta, Canada|
|Aug 12||XTERRA Quebec ^||Quebec City, Canada|
|Aug 12||XTERRA Parry Sound ^||Ontario, Canada|
|Aug 13||XTERRA Dominican Republic # Silver||Barahona|
|Aug 13||XTERRA Poland * Silver||Krakow|
|Aug 19||XTERRA Germany * GOLD||Zittau|
|Aug 26||XTERRA Sweden * Silver||Hammarbybacken, Stockholm|
|Aug 26||XTERRA Sleeping Giant ^||Thunder Bay, ON, Canada|
|Sep 2||XTERRA Japan + Silver||Hokkaido|
|Sep 3||XTERRA European Championship (DEN) * GOLD||Mons Klint|
|Sep 16||XTERRA Pan Am Championship / USA # D-GOLD||Ogden, Utah, USA|
|Oct 29||XTERRA World Championship||Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii|
* XTERRA European Tour / # XTERRA Pan American Tour / + Asia-Pacific Tour
Silver = Min. $7,500 pro purse & 75-point scale // GOLD = Min $15,000 pro purse & 100-point scale