Ruzafa, Erbenova win XTERRA Belgium

Jun. 10, 2017

Complete Results / Gallery

June 10, 2017 (Namur, Belgium) - Ruben Ruzafa (ESP) and Helena Erbenova (CZE) captured the second-annual XTERRA Belgium Championship off-road triathlon race in Namur this afternoon.

For Ruzafa, a three-time XTERRA World Champion, the win is the 28th of his career, fifth of the season, and fourth-in-a-row on the XTERRA European Tour.  For Erbenova, a three-time XTERRA European Tour Champion, the win is the 26th of her career, third this season, and second-straight in Belgium.

The event combined a 1-kilometer swim in the Meuse River, followed with a 34-kilometer mountain bike in the forest surrounding the Citadel, and concluded with a 10-kilometer trail run.

Both Ruzafa and Erbenova came from behind out of the water, took the leads by the midway point on the bike and held on for the wins.  Ruzafa had a winning time of 2:45:42, 52-seconds faster than runner-up Xavier Dafflon of Switzerland.  Erbenova took the tape in 3:14:59, nearly five minutes ahead of runner-up Carina Wasle of Austria.

XTERRA World Tour managing director Dave Nicholas was on-site to take in all the action and brings us this report…

A beautiful day and a beautiful race.  It rained hard yesterday and it rained hard on the race last year, however, everything came good this morning and both the XTERRA Lite and championship races were held in near perfect weather.

The swim is unique here as it is a deep water start headed against the current of the Meuse river.  And this is no small piece of water; the Meuse is over 950k long.  There are no buoys except at the finish ramp as the course circumnavigates a huge island in the river.  Pretty neat.

Young French pro Maxim Chane dropped the field to come out of the water first and he held that lead to the top of the long climb from the river to The Citadel Fortress.  He was met by literally thousands of very enthusiastic fans banging plastic “bangers” together and shouting encouragement.  Following him starting the single track was Roger Serrano, but it was not to be his day.  Roger is still tired from organizing his XTERRA Spain and it showed today.  Brad Weiss up from South Africa was third at this point with a huge bunch including Ruben Ruzafa, Francois Carloni, Yeray Luxem and four others.

In the women’s race Carina Wasle got the lead quickly and we were all quite surprised to see Helena Erbenova much closer than usual.  “I had a very good swim today” she grinned.  “The ducks were with me in practice and I saw them on the island.  It seemed they were cheering me.” Hey, whatever works.

This course has a long climb on cobblestones before doing two loops of a fast and, at places, technical mountain bike course.  This means racers have to do that huge climb three times before T2.  At the top of the second-loop Ruben had asserted himself and Francois Carloni had moved into second with Luxem in third and Weiss in fourth.  At this point young first year pro Xavier Dafflon was not far behind.  Dafflon did the unthinkable in Portugal by posting a faster bike time than Ruben, and it appeared he was going to repeat that today.

Helena had taken the lead by the end of the first loop and looked very determined.  Carina had slowed a bit and told us after the race she was not feeling very strong, however, the mighty little Austrian gal felt good enough to have a commanding lead over third-place Isabelle Klein.  Unless a tree fell on her, this was Erbenova’s race and she controlled it well to win by five minutes.  Carina, sick or not, kept pace and was four minutes in front of Morgane Riou, who had passed Klein to move into third. Also on the move was Christine Verdonck, a very quick Belgian age group women who impressed by finishing 4th overall.  Klein finished 5th (4th elite), with Maud Golsteyn was 6th (5th elite).

On the mens side, Dafflon had caught and passed everyone but Ruzafa.

“I had a good race today but Xavier went past me on the last climb like he was on a motorbike,” exclaimed Carloni.

Luxem held onto Dafflon’s wheel and they came into T2 separated by seconds.

“My plan today was to pace myself on the bike during the first lap to save my legs, but when Dafflon went by me that plan went away,” said Luxem.

Dafflon took off on the run with intent to catch Ruzafa and indeed he turned in the fastest run of the day as well as the fastest bike of the day, but Ruzafa had too much for the big Swiss.  The promise that Dafflon showed in Portugal was cemented today and his bike time was exactly two-minutes faster than Ruzafa.  The kicker?  Dafflon had two flat tires today.

“It was a hectic day, two flat tires, cramps on the run, it was tough,” said Dafflon at the finish line.  “Still, happy to come in second to Ruben.”

Luxem took 3rd with Weiss 4th, and Carloni 5th.  Young Maxim Chane’ was having a great race but suffered badly on the run and dropped to 6th and was nearly caught by the old fox, Jan Kubicek, who was just one-second behind.

And so ended the second edition of XTERRA Belgium.  With about 1,200 entrants in just their second year, organizers Denis Detinne and Florian Badoux have exceeded anything we could have hoped for.  The courses are beautifully marked, volunteers everywhere, lots of parking, more than enough water safety, food vendors and expo to buy anything you need.  This race truly has it all.

We head back soon for the awards and after party. While I have a lot of great things to say about how good the race is – the after party is even better.


Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 2:45:42 75
2 Xavier Dafflon, SUI 2:46:34 67
3 Yeray Luxem, BEL 2:48:27 61
4 Bradley Weiss, RSA 2:48:39 56
5 Francois Carloni, FRA 2:52:47 51
6 Maxim Chane, FRA 2:54:34 47
7 Jan Kubicek, CZE 2:54:35 43
8 Geert Lauryssen, BEL 2:55:28 39
9 Pierre Alain Nicole, FRA 2:57:13 36
10 Thomas Kerner, GER 2:57:40 33
11 Peter Lehmann, GER 2:57:47 30
12 Theo Dupras, FRA 2:59:19 27
13 Tim Van Daele, BEL 3:00:17 25
14 Mark Hamersma, NED 3:01:54 23
15 Morten Olesen, DEN 3:03:46 21
Also: Hannes Wolpert, Christophe Betard, Julien Buffe, Joost Christiaans, Arthur Serrieres, Caimin Stevens
Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Helena Erbenova, CZE 3:14:59 75
2 Carina Wasle, AUT 3:19:49 67
3 Morgane Riou, FRA 3:23:52 61
4 Isabelle Klein, LUX 3:28:16 56
5 Maud Golsteyn, NED 3:33:13 51
6 Ine Couckuyt, BEL 3:37:58 47
7 Jessica Roberts, GBR 3:40:11 43
8 Cecilia Jessen, SWE 3:52:23 39
9 Anne-Sophie Marechal, BEL 3:54:36 36


Ruben Ruzafa pulled further in front of the elite men's standings following his fourth straight win today.  Carloni holds on to the No. 2 spot, Luxem jumps from fourth to third, Dafflon moves up six spots from 10th to 4th, and Serrano drops from 3rd to 5th after a DNF today.

In the women's chase Erbenova closed to within six points of the reigning XTERRA European Tour Champ Brigitta Poor.  Poor has three wins and two runner-ups.  Erbenova has three wins, a runner-up, and a third-place finish. There are still eight races remaining, however, this is shaping up to be a great duel between the two.  Golsteyn holds on to the third spot, while Wasle leapfrogs over Riou into the 4th spot.


After 6 - 6.10.17
Men     S S S S S S
1 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 300 DNS DNS 75 75 75 75
2 Francois Carloni, FRA 263 61 47 43 DNS 61 51
3 Yeray Luxem, BEL 203 DNS 75 DNS DNS 67 61
4 Xavier Dafflon, SUI 170 DNS DNS 47 DNS 56 67
5 Roger Serrano, ESP 142 75 DNS 67 DNS DNS DNF
6 Maximilian Sasserath, GER 128 67 DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS
7 Thomas Kerner, GER 127 DNS 61 33 DNS DNS 33
8 Rui Dolores, POR 122 DNS DNS 39 36 47 DNS
9 Xavier Jove Riart, ESP 118 DNS DNS DNS 67 51 DNS
10 Jens Roth, GER 117 DNS DNS 61 56 DNS DNS
11 Jan Pyott, SUI 114 56 DNS 25 33 DNS DNS
12 Maxim Chane, FRA 113 30 DNS 36 DNS DNS 47
13 Oivind Bjerkseth, NOR 100 33 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS
14 Jan Kubicek, CZE 82 DNS DNS DNP 39 DNS 43
15 Julien Buffe, FRA 79 DNS 56 23 DNS DNS DNP
16 Hannes Wolpert, BEL 79 DNF 43 DNP DNS 36 DNP
17 Geert Lauryssen, BEL 75 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS 39
18 Mark Hamersma, NED 66 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS 23
19 Stephan Radeck, GER 64 25 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS
20 Arthur Serrieres , FRA 61 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNP
21 Llewellyn Holmes, GBR 58 DNS DNS DNS 25 33 DNS
22 Peter Lehmann, GER 57 DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS 30
23 Kris Coddens, BEL 56 DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS
24 Bradley Weiss, RSA 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56
25 Tim Van Daele, BEL 52 DNS DNS 27 DNS DNS 25
26 Jörg Scheiderbauer, GER 51 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
27 Sebastian Neef, GER 51 DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS
28 Arthur Forissier, FRA 51 DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS
29 Tomas Kubek, SVK 47 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
30 Albert Soley, ESP 47 DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS
31 Pau Botella Tarres, ESP 43 DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS
32 Mattia De Paoli, ITA 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS
33 Jim Thijs, BEL 39 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
34 Dominik Wychera, AUT 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS 39 DNS
35 Pierre Alain Nicole, FRA 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 36
36 Tiago Maia, POR 30 DNS DNS 30 DNS DNF DNS
37 Guillaume Jeannin, FRA 30 DNS DNS DNS 30 DNS DNS
38 Alejandro Tenorio, ESP 30 DNS DNS DNS DNP 30 DNS
39 Doug Hall, GBR 27 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
40 Rafael Gomes, POR 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS
41 Theo Dupras, FRA 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 27
42 Octavio Vicente, POR 25 DNS DNS DNS DNS 25 DNS
43 Callum Hughes, GBR 23 23 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
44 Javier Oliver Vives, ESP 23 DNS DNS DNS 23 DNS DNS
45 Markus Benesch, AUT 21 DNS DNS 21 DNS DNS DNS
46 Zeus Gutierrez Ochoa, ESP 21 DNS DNS DNS 21 DNS DNS
47 Morten Olesen, DEN 21 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 21
WM     S S S S S S
1 Brigitta Poor, HUN 359 75 75 67 67 75 DNS
2 Helena Erbenova, CZE 353 67 DNS 75 75 61 75
3 Maud Golsteyn, NED 210 56 DNS 47 DNS 56 51
4 Carina Wasle, AUT 185 51 DNS DNS DNS 67 67
5 Morgane Riou, FRA 184 DNS 67 56 DNS DNS 61
6 Cecila Jessen, SWE 139 39 61 DNS DNS DNS 39
7 Rocío Espada, ESP 98 DNS DNS DNS 51 47 DNS
8 Kathrin Mueller, GER 89 33 DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS
9 Anna Pauline Sasserath, GER 79 36 DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS
10 Nicole Walkers, GBR 61 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
11 Miriam Casillas Garcia, ESP 61 DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS
12 Sara Bonilla, ESP 61 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS
13 Daz Parker, GBR 56 DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS
14 Isabelle Klein, LUX 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56
15 Marika Wagner, SWE 51 DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS
16 Isabelle Ferrer, FRA 51 DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS
17 Ladina Buss, SUI 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS 51 DNS
18 Kristina Lapinova, SVK 47 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
19 Aina Picas, ESP 47 DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS
20 Ine Couckuyt, BEL 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 47
21 Louise Fox, GBR 43 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
22 Renata Bucher, SUI 43 DNS DNS 43 DNF DNS DNS
23 Sheila Marques, POR 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS
24 Jessica Roberts, GBR 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 43
25 Anne-Sophie Marechal, BEL 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 36
26 Marta Menditto, ITA 30 30 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS

XTERRA Belgium was the sixth of 14 races on the XTERRA European Tour, and 20th of 40 on the XTERRA World Tour where amateur athletes from around the world can qualify to race at the 22nd annual XTERRA World Championship in Maui on October 29.

Date Race Elite Winners or Location
25-Feb XTERRA South Africa Richard Murray / Flora Duffy
4-Mar XTERRA Motatapu Dougal Allan / Josie Wilcox
18-Mar XTERRA Saipan + Silver Sam Osborne / Carina Wasle
25-Mar XTERRA Argentina # Silver Gonzalo Tellechea / Suzie Snyder
1-Apr XTERRA Thailand + Silver Kieran McPherson / Renata Bucher
1-Apr XTERRA Chile # Silver Felipe Barraza / Barbara Riveros
2-Apr XTERRA Malta * Silver Roger Serrano / Brigitta Poor
8-Apr XTERRA New Zealand + Silver Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen
9-Apr XTERRA Costa Rica # Silver Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
16-Apr XTERRA La Reunion Ruben Ruzafa / Carina Wasle
23-Apr XTERRA Danao + GOLD Bradley Weiss / Carina Wasle
23-Apr XTERRA Cyprus * Silver Yeray Luxem / Brigitta Poor
29-Apr XTERRA Langkawi + GOLD Osborne,Allen,Weiss,McPherson/Wasle
30-Apr XTERRA Greece * Silver Ruben Ruzafa, Helena Erbenova
6-May XTERRA Tahiti + Silver Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen
13-May XTERRA Brazil # Silver Felipe Moletta / Sabrina Gobbo
14-May XTERRA Spain * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova
20-May XTERRA Oak Mountain # GOLD Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
27-May XTERRA Portugal * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Brigitta Poor
10-Jun XTERRA Belgium * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova
17-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter ^ Milton, Ontario, Canada
18-Jun XTERRA Finland * Silver Imatra
24-Jun XTERRA Switzerland * GOLD Vallee de Joux
2-Jul XTERRA France * GOLD Xonrupt
9-Jul XTERRA Victoria # Silver Victoria, B.C., Canada
15-Jul XTERRA Beaver Creek # GOLD Beaver Creek, CO, USA
30-Jul XTERRA Abruzzo * Silver Scanno, Abruzzo, Italy
5-Aug XTERRA Mexico # GOLD Tapalpa
5-Aug XTERRA Norway * Silver Norefjell
6-Aug XTERRA Canmore ^ Canmore, Alberta, Canada
12-Aug XTERRA Quebec ^ Quebec City, Canada
12-Aug XTERRA Parry Sound ^ Ontario, Canada
13-Aug XTERRA Dominican Republic # Silver Barahona
13-Aug XTERRA Poland * Silver Krakow
19-Aug XTERRA Germany * GOLD Zittau
26-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant ^ Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
2-Sep XTERRA Japan + Silver Hokkaido
3-Sep XTERRA European Championship (DEN) * GOLD Mons Klint
16-Sep XTERRA Pan Am Championship / USA # D-GOLD Ogden, Utah, USA
29-Oct XTERRA World Championship Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

Next up on the XTERRA European Tour: XTERRA Finland, June 18 (Imatra)

Learn more at

Race Reports