Arthur Forissier from France and Brigitta Poor from Hungary captured the ninth annual XTERRA Switzerland off-road triathlon elite titles in Vallee de Joux on Saturday, June 23, 2018.
XTERRA European director Nicolas Lebrun tells us how the day unfolded in Switzerland...
This is the third victory here for Arthur. He had his first win in 2015, then the following year ended up in the hospital during the ETU European Championship, due to a 34° body temperature on a cold and rainy day. Last year he came back to win again ahead of 3x XTERRA World Champ Ruben Ruzafa, proving he can be one of the best XTERRA athletes in Europe, and soon I think in the world.
Forissier exited Brenet Lake in 10th position, some 1’40 back from leader Roger Serrano, who is regularly one of the first men out of the water.
“I had a really fast swim, faster than usual, and I managed to be in a very good position after exiting the water,” said Forissier.
Once on the bike Forissier made his way up to Arthur Serrieres, with Marchello Ugazio a few seconds in front and Theo Dupras, a few seconds behind. This was the perfect group to work together to try and catch Serrano who was alone out in front, especially when you have the advantage of three very strong members of the same team (Forissier, Serrieres, and Dupras). However, after one lap on this quite flat and very fast bike loop, Serrano was still leading by about 45-seconds.
“I was feeling very good on the swim and tried to pace myself on the bike. I knew I had legs but the French guys behind me were working together trying to catch me," said Serrano.
At this stage, the chase group was composed of Ugazio, Forissier, and Dupras. Serrieres had dropped off the pace a little, and was not with them, but in another group more than one-minute behind. I was thinking that perhaps Serrieres was not completely recovered from his big crash in Belgium two weeks ago. Meanwhile, Xavier Dafflon, who was also contesting the Swiss National Championship, lost a little less than five-minutes to Serrano on the swim but was having a fantastic bike leg to get back in the race. He went on to post the fastest bike split of the day.
With the prospect of the run leg fast approaching, at the end of the bike, Serrano was still leading, but had lost a few more seconds to the chasing trio. As he exited the second transition, the time gap had come down sufficiently enough to have Forissier and Dupras only 35’’ behind.
Unfortunately, Ugazio, who was now holding onto 4th position, was not able to follow their speed on the technical part that was near the end of the second bike loop and was trailing about 1’ behind. On exiting T2, Dafflon started the run in 5th place, but was still comfortably leading the Swiss National Championship. Up ahead, things were about to change drastically at the front of the race.
After the first run loop around the lake, Forissier had already passed Roger, and was running very strong. As he passed me, I could see there was no doubt he would put in the fastest run split of the day, and by almost one minute.
|XTERRA Switzerland Elite Men|
|1||Arthur Forissier, FRA||2:10:56||75|
|2||Roger Serrano, ESP||2:12:47||67|
|3||Marcello Ugazio, ITA||2:13:00||61|
|4||Arthur Serrieres , FRA||2:16:06||56|
|5||Theo Dupras, FRA||2:16:16||51|
|6||Xavier Dafflon, SUI||2:17:04||47|
|7||Peter Lehmann, GER||2:18:57||43|
|8||Pierrick Page, FRA||2:19:11||39|
|9||Jan Kubicek, CZE||2:19:26||36|
|10||Emanuele Aru, ITA||2:21:21||33|
|11||Corentin Duclos, FRA||2:22:13||30|
|12||Rui Dolores, POR||2:22:44||27|
|13||Tim Van Daele, BEL||2:23:06||25|
|14||Maxim Danon, FRA||2:28:32||23|
|15||Doug Hall, GBR||2:32:05||21|
What I didn't know was Serrano, who had been so strong up until the run, had a small foot injury earlier in the week. He told us after the race, and this unfortunately meant he had to back off the gas to reduce the impact on his foot, but miraculously held onto a brilliant 2nd place. Ugazio, the Italian who put in a fabulous second fastest run split, finished a fine 3rd.
“I am very satisfied with my performance today. This is my 3rd podium at XTERRA races this season. I had one of my best runs today and I am so happy finishing 3rd," said Ugazio.
Dupras had another hard time on the second loop of the run, slipped back to 5th, as Serrieres passed him. Dafflon eventually crossed the finish line in 6th, but was happy with the title of Swiss National Champion.
In the women’s race, just as for the men, it was very close competition right through to the end. Despite a below average swim, Nicole Walters was first out of the water as usual. Poor, who came out less than one minute behind, showed early that she was feeling good and was hopeful of a good day. Carina Wasle, who has had some brilliant swim legs this year, was quite far back. Unfortunately, she got kicked in the face by a passing age grouper and took some time to recover. Third out of the water was Diane Luethi from Switzerland, who was in search of the Swiss National Championship title, and Helena Karaskova, one of the favorites, lost four minutes to the leaders in the swim.
After the first bike loop Walters was still leading with Poor right behind. Knowing the course and the athletes condition, I was sure we would see great competition between these two women, and they didn’t disappoint us at all.
Wasle, however, was still in the game and making great progress despite her bad experience in the swim. Karaskova worked hard to come back on the bike, and in the process, produced the best bike split of the day. Angela Niklaus was also very strong on the bike and had overtaken Luethi to move into the lead for the Swiss National title. Morgane Riou had a bad crash and was not able to sustain a high intensity.
Approaching T2, and finishing the 27km bike loop, Poor was in the lead with Walters close behind. At long last, after so much bad luck at this race in the past, the Hungarian was in a fabulous position to take the win as she is such a strong runner.
"It’s my 5th or 6th time at XTERRA Switzerland, but this race never went well for me. I was always disappointed but this time everything was perfect from the start to the finish. I am very happy with my win here today,” said Poor
|XTERRA Switzerland Elite Women|
|1||Brigitta Poor, HUN||2:34:34||75|
|2||Nicole Walters, GBR||2:35:51||67|
|3||Carina Wasle, AUT||2:36:40||61|
|4||Helena Karaskova, CZE||2:37:00||56|
|5||Loanne Duvoisin, SUI||2:38:13||51|
|6||Morgane Riou, FRA||2:41:11||47|
|7||Isabelle Ferrer, FRA||2:41:47||43|
|8||Angela Niklaus, SUI||2:42:19||39|
|9||Ladina Buss, SUI||2:44:58||36|
|10||Diane Luethi, SUI||2:49:46||33|
|11||Ania Tomica, POL||2:57:27||30|
But the threat could still come from behind, as Wasle was less than 1’30’’ down. But maybe her head was still not right, as her normally very fast run just wasn’t happening, and on the 2nd loop she faded to concede a very creditable 3rd place.
With that, Wasle continued her fantastic string of results and has six podium places out of six races this year on the XTERRA European Tour.
Poor is also having a great year and took her fourth race of the season (she also won Malta, Cyprus and Portugal). Walters finished a well-earned second-place on the day, and her fifth podium out of six races this season.
“I had a really good swim today but had a crash early on the bike," said Walters. "I managed to stay calm and put myself together. I had a really good ride after that and also a very good run, so overall I am very pleased with my race today.”
Karaskova battled on with a disappointing run to finish in fourth place. The young Loanne Duvoisin stormed through the field with the best run split of the day, and with this she did a fantastic race performance to clinch the Swiss National Championship title and 5th place overall on the day. Riou came 6th, which was excellent given her bad crash, but is sure to bounce back to previous performance in races to come.
|All-Time XTERRA Switzerland Elite Winners|
|Year||Men's Champ||Women's Champ||Host|
|2010||Olivier Marceau||Marion Lorblancet||Prangins|
|2011||Olivier Marceau||Marion Lorblancet||Prangins|
|2012||Nicolas Lebrun||Helena Erbenova||Prangins|
|2013||Victor Del Corral||Helena Erbenova||Vallee de Joux|
|2014||Ruben Ruzafa||Kathrin Mueller||Vallee de Joux|
|2015||Arthur Forissier||Carina Wasle||Vallee de Joux|
|2016||Ruben Ruzafa||Michelle Flipo||Vallee de Joux|
|2017||Arthur Forissier||Michelle Flipo||Vallee de Joux|
|2018||Arthur Forissier||Brigitta Poor||Vallee de Joux|
XTERRA European Tour Elite Standings Update
With this second place Serrano is now back leading the Tour with a healthy 273 points. Francois Carloni is in second with 229. Ugazio moved up to 7th position on the tour with 189 points. For the women, Wasle is still on top with 384 points. Walters is in second with 378, then just behind in third is Poor with 356. A little further back we have Karaskova with 259, Riou, 229, and Maud Goldsteyn with 154. The only real big mover today was Luethi, who’s 10th place finish today took her up from 10th to 8th.
|Men, XTERRA Euro Tour Elite Standings after 7|
|Pos||Name, NAT||Total||Malta||Cyprus||Greece||Lake Garda||Portugal||Belgium||Switzerland|
|1||Roger Serrano, ESP||273||75||75||56||DNS||DNS||DNS||67|
|2||Francois Carloni, FRA||229||56||DNS||51||47||DNS||75||DNS|
|3||Arthur Forissier, FRA||217||DNS||DNS||75||67||DNS||DNS||75|
|4||Peter Lehmann, GER||212||33||DNS||39||30||67||DNS||43|
|5||Xavier Dafflon, SUI||193||DNS||DNS||43||56||DNS||47||47|
|6||Arthur Serrieres , FRA||192||DNS||DNS||61||75||DNS||DNF||56|
|7||Marcello Ugazio, ITA||189||DNS||DNS||67||61||DNS||DNS||61|
|8||Maxim Chane, FRA||168||51||67||23||27||DNS||DNP||DNS|
|9||Rui Dolores, POR||154||36||DNS||DNP||DNS||61||30||27|
|10||Geert Lauryssen, BEL||151||47||DNS||DNS||43||DNS||61||DNS|
|11||Victor Del Corral, ESP||128||67||61||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|12||Anthony Pannier, FRA||114||DNS||47||DNS||DNS||DNS||67||DNS|
|13||Doug Hall, GBR||111||39||51||DNP||DNS||DNS||DNS||21|
|14||Theo Dupras, FRA||107||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||56||51|
|15||Tim Van Daele, BEL||106||DNP||DNS||30||DNS||51||DNF||25|
|16||Yeray Luxem, BEL||94||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||43||51||DNS|
|17||Jan Kubicek, CZE||92||DNS||56||DNS||DNP||DNS||DNS||36|
|18||Clement Briere, FRA||85||25||33||27||DNP||DNS||DNP||DNS|
|19||Veit Hoelne, GER||79||43||DNS||DNS||DNP||DNS||36||DNS|
|20||Francesco Figini, ITA||78||DNS||DNS||DNS||39||DNS||39||DNS|
|Women, XTERRA Euro Tour Elite Standings after 7|
|Pos||Name, NAT||Total||Malta||Cyprus||Greece||Lake Garda||Portugal||Belgium||Switzerland|
|1||Carina Wasle, AUT||384||67||DNS||61||67||67||61||61|
|2||Nicole Walters, GBR||378||47||61||75||61||DNS||67||67|
|3||Brigitta Poor, HUN||356||75||75||56||DNS||75||DNS||75|
|4||Helena Karaskova, CZE||259||61||DNS||67||75||DNS||DNS||56|
|5||Morgane Riou, FRA||229||56||DNS||51||DNS||DNS||75||47|
|6||Maud Golsteyn, NED||154||51||DNS||47||DNS||DNS||56||DNS|
|7||Cecilia Jessen, SWE||128||39||56||33||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|8||Diane Luethi, SUI||119||43||DNS||DNS||43||DNS||DNS||33|
|9||Jessica Roberts, GBR||107||DNS||DNS||30||30||DNS||47||DNS|
|10||Sandra Mairhofer, ITA||99||DNS||DNS||43||56||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|11||Ania Tomica, POL||81||DNS||51||DNS||DNF||DNS||DNS||30|
|12||Diane Lee, GBR||78||DNS||DNS||DNS||27||DNS||51||DNS|
|13||Ine Couckuyt, BEL||75||36||DNS||39||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|14||Barbara Riveros, CHI||67||DNS||67||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|15||Eva Garcia Gonzalez, ESP||61||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||61||DNS||DNS|
|16||Aina Picas, ESP||56||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||56||DNS||DNS|
|17||Bianca Morvillo, ITA||51||DNS||DNS||DNS||51||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|17||Mariana Brugger, BRA||51||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||51||DNS||DNS|
|17||Loanne Duvoisin, SUI||51||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||51|
|20||Ksenia Chemykh, RUS||47||DNS||47||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
Next stop: XTERRA France in Xonrupt, July 1. With some new protagonists like the world champion Bradley Weiss, Ben Allen and last year's tour winner, Ruben Ruzafa, this will be a fantastic race. For the woman two-time XTERRAWorld Champion Lesley Paterson from Scotland, Jacqui Allen from Great Britain, and Penny Slater from Australia will join the European Tour regulars.
Learn more at www.xterraplanet.com.