Ruzafa, Karaskova win XTERRA Czech

Jul. 16, 2018

Ruben Ruzafa and Helena Karaskova-Erbenova captured the 14th annual XTERRA Czech off-road triathlon elite titles in Prachatice on Sunday, July 15, 2018.

It’s the third big win in two weeks for Ruzafa, who won XTERRA France on July 1 and the ITU Cross Tri World Title in Denmark on July 10.  The 33-year-old who lives in Aizarnazabal, Spain, is a three-time XTERRA World Champ and four-time ITU Cross Tri World Champ. He has now won all three XTERRA majors he raced this year and 33 of the 42 XTERRA World Tour events he has competed at in his career.

For Karaskova, the reigning and four-time XTERRA European Tour Champion, the win is her second this season and 29th of her career, and she has now won four of the last five XTERRA majors in her home country of the Czech Republic.

Photos / Complete Results

In the men’s elite race Maxim Chane from France was first out of Kristanovicky Lake with a swim time of 17:48, followed by Aussie Ben Allen and Kiwi Sam Osborne about 20-seconds back, then Bradley Weiss, Lukas Kocar, and Hannes Wolpert not far behind.  Ruzafa was out of the water less than two minutes after Chane.

“The hard work Ruben put in during the off-season to improve his swim is rewarding him now, as he’s losing very little time to his opponents,” said XTERRA European director Nicolas Lebrun, who himself won XTERRA Czech five times in his career.

Sam Osborne XTERRA Czech

At the 10km mark on the mountain bike Chane, Weiss, and Osborne were riding together up front, Kocar was in fourth and Ruzafa had made up a full-minute and was in fifth.

“It was hard to recover after ITU Worlds in Denmark,” said Ruzafa of Tuesdays’ race.  “I just tried to push a hard during the swim so I wouldn’t be too far behind going into the bike.  I continued to push hard at the beginning of the bike and took the lead halfway.”

By the 19km point on the bike Ruzafa had pulled into the lead and put 40-seconds on the trio of Chane, Weiss, and Osborne.  Kocar was in fifth right behind them, then came Austrian Andreas Silberbauer.

Ruben Ruzafa Finish Czech

“As they approached this last section of the huge 32km loop the terrain became technical,” explained Lebrun.  “As a result, many changes happened here, but not for Ruben.  “The Boss” managed the rough stuff with sheer grit, speed, and confidence, and posted the fastest bike split of the day.  Behind him, however, Weiss and Osborne got flats and Kocar crashed.  That left Chane as the second man into T2.”

Chane was about 1:20 back, and Weiss, despite the trouble, was just 2:40 back and in a position to chase down Ruzafa.

“Never happy with second place but today I’ll take it, especially after racing ITU just five days ago,” said Weiss.  “I felt like I was racing in slow motion today.  I had a good swim and felt okay on the bike but not really myself.  We managed to get together and work pretty well on the bike, but I punctured on the very last technical rocky trail section, which would have been a section to close that gap to Ruzafa, but in the end I was happy with second.”

Kocar, despite his crash, finished strong to take third place in just his second-ever XTERRA.

“Super happy with my result,” said Kocar.  “That’s a hard race.  It’s my second experience with XTERRA.  My first one was also here, and I had a crash that time too. I think I could have done better if I hadn’t crashed today but I’m still happy.  This is an amazing event, and the crowd was fantastic.”

Austrian Andreas Silberbauer posted the fastest run split of the day to take the fourth spot, and Karel Zadak finished fifth.  Chane held on for sixth.

XTERRA Czech Men's Podium


Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 02:22:18.9 75
2 Bradley Weiss, RSA 02:25:49.1 67
3 Lukas Kocar, CZE 02:26:22.4 61
4 Andreas Silberbauer, AUT 02:26:27.9 56
5 Karel Zadak, CZE 02:26:35.4 51
6 Maxim Chane, FRA 02:28:35.3 47
7 Sam Osborne, NZL 02:30:00.8 43
8 Peter Lehmann, GER 02:30:05.1 39
9 Jan Kubicek, CZE 02:31:35.2 36
10 Ander Lazkano, ESP 02:33:30.9 33
11 Doug Hall, GBR 02:33:45.3 30
12 Pavel Andreev, RUS 02:35:42.3 27
13 Hannes Wolpert, GER 02:36:23.0 25
14 Tomas Kubek, SVK 02:37:57.4 23
15 Tomas Jiranek, CZE 02:39:48.3 21
Helena Karaskova - XTERRA Czech

In the women’s race Nicole Walters, who was second at ITU Cross Tri Worlds on Tuesday, was not able to start due to injury.  That left Kiwi Samantha Kingsford, winner at XTERRA Albay in June, as the women’s swim leader.

“She had about 1:30 on the rest of the field,” said Lebrun.  “Behind her was quite a compact group with Carina Wasle, Lizzie Orchard, Penny Slater, and Renata Bucher.”

Karaskova, the eventual winner, was nearly four-minutes behind Kingsford coming out of the water but today’s race wasn’t won in the swim.

“At the halfway point on the bike I thought we’d see Kingsford still with the lead, but she was running on empty from Tuesday’s race in Denmark like many others," said Lebrun.  "Instead, it was the ‘Swiss Miss’ Renata Bucher pushing some big watts on the bike and in the lead.  Orchard was in second, and Karaskova moved very quickly through the field into third, with Wasle in fourth.”

Renata Bucher - XTERRA Czech

Bucher, who won this race three times before, took the lead into the run but Karaskova, powered by her home country fans lining the streets and the forest trails, posted the fastest bike split of the day and was in full pursuit on the run.

“Karaskova took the lead in the first loop of the run, but Wasle was busy posting the fastest run split of the day to make it a very exciting finish,” said Lebrun.

At the line, Karaskova took the tape in 2:50:18, with Wasle just 21-seconds behind, and Lizzie Orchard in third three-minutes later.

“I’m really happy to win this race at home,” said Karaskova.  “It got really tight there at the end, so it was great to manage the win.  Now, I’m really tired.”

Helena Karaskova - XTERRA Czech

As for Wasle, she said, “Today was really hard for me.  I didn’t recover very well from Tuesday, so I tried not to push too hard on the swim and bike, just to go my own rhythm.  At T2, I wasn’t too far behind the leaders so I gave it my all on the run.  I came close to Helena, and that was surprising because I didn’t think I’d make the podium today.”

It was the eighth podium in eight XTERRA European Tour races for Wasle, who still leads the XTERRA European Tour standings after nine of 16 events.

For Orchard, just getting across the line was a breakthrough moment for her season.

“I felt good in the swim, the bike was solid, and then on the run I started strong but faded a little towards the end, but hey, it’s the first completed race of the season this year for me so a good place to start,” said Orchard, who crashed at XTERRA Belgium in her season debut.

Bucher held on to finish in fourth, and Bianca Morvilla from Italy finished fifth.

“Beyond just a fabulous race, this was a really great day for XTERRA in Europe,” said Lebrun.  “Organizer Michal Pilousek Jr. created a fantastic experience for young and old, alike, with an amazing location for the transitions and finish line on historic cobblestone in the city square.  The weekend was action-packed, with a kids’ race and a sprint race too, music and beer.  There was big value to everything at this event, including a proper live coverage set-up for the public and online. When I first started racing XTERRA and this event back in 2002, I could’ve imagined something so big coming to life in this beautiful country, but it did and we are thrilled to have Czech back on the schedule after a two-year break.”

Women's Podium XTERRA Czech


Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Helena Karaskova, CZE 02:50:18.1 75
2 Carina Wasle, AUT 02:50:39.1 67
3 Elizabeth Orchard, NZL 02:54:24.6 61
4 Renata Bucher, SUI 02:55:49.6 56
5 Bianca Morvillo, ITA 02:59:08.8 51
6 Penny Slater, AUS 03:01:31.0 47
7 Ania Tomica, POL 03:04:38.5 43
8 Lenka Cibulkova, CZE 03:09:18.5 39


Year - Men/Women
2002 - Olivier Marceau/Candy Angle
2003 - Nicolas Lebrun/Jamie Whitmore
2004 - Nicolas Lebrun/Jamie Whitmore
2005 - Olivier Marceau/Renata Bucher
2006 - Nicolas Lebrun/Renata Bucher
2008 - Nicolas Lebrun/Carina Wasle
2009 - Franky Batelier/Carina Wasle
2010 - Franky Batelier/Renata Bucher
2011 - Ronny Dietz/Marion Lorblanchet
2012 - Nicolas Lebrun/Helena Erbenova
2013 - Felix Schumann/Helena Erbenova
2014 - Ruben Ruzafa/Kathrin Mueller
2015 - Ben Allen/Helena Erbenova
2018 - Ruben Ruzafa/Helena Erbenova

Prachatice, XTERRA Czech

Forissier, Wasle lead XTERRA European Tour

Arthur Forissier and Carina Wasle are leading the XTERRA European Tour standings after nine events.  With the win today, Karaskova moved up to the third position behind Brigitta Poor.

Pos Name, NAT Total
1 Arthur Forissier, FRA 307
2 Francois Carloni, FRA 298
3 Roger Serrano, ESP 273
4 Maxim Chane, FRA 268
5 Arthur Serrieres , FRA 267
6 Peter Lehmann, GER 251
7 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 250
8 Geert Lauryssen, BEL 209
9 Xavier Dafflon, SUI 193
10 Marcello Ugazio, ITA 189
11 Rui Dolores, POR 175
12 Bradley Weiss, RSA 149
13 Doug Hall, GBR 141
14 Victor Del Corral Morales, ESP 128
15 Jan Kubicek, CZE 128
16 Anthony Pannier, FRA 114
17 Fausto Fognini, ITA 113
18 Theo Dupras, FRA 107
19 Tim Van Daele, BEL 106
20 Yeray Luxem, BEL 94
21 Ander Lazkano, ESP 89
22 Clement Briere, FRA 85
23 Veit Hoelne, GER 79
24 Francesco Figini, ITA 78
25 Hannes Wolpert, GER 78
26 Jose Estrangeiro, PRT 77
27 Tomas Kubek, SVK 75
28 Pierrick Page, FRA 72
29 Corentin Duclos, FRA 71
30 Gregoris Souvatzoglou, GRC 69
31 Francisco Serrano, MEX 63
32 Maximilian Sasserath, GER 61
33 Lukas Kocar, CZE 61
34 Ricard Costa Puigpelat, ESP 58
35 Andreas Silberbauer, AUT 56
36 Christophe Betard, FRA 54
37 Filippo Rinaldi, ITA 51
38 Karel Zadak, CZE 51
39 Kris Coddens, BEL 47
40 Jens Roth, GER 45
41 Markus Benesch, AUT 43
42 Sam Osborne, NZL 43
43 Gaetan Vivien, FRA 39
44 Xavier Jove Riart, ESP 37
45 Dominik Wychera, AUT 36
46 Olivier Marceau, SUI 36
47 Dominik Soweija, GER 34
48 Rafael Gomes, POR 33
49 Tommaso Gatti, ITA 33
50 Emanuele Aru, ITA 33
51 Bruno Pais, POR 30
52 Fabien Combaluzier, FRA 27
53 Alejandro Salmeron Tenorio, ESP 27
54 Emil Stoynev, BGR 27
55 Pavel Andreev, RUS 27
56 Will Crudgington, GRB 25
57 Jordi Gil Faus,ESP 25
58 Thomas Kerner, GER 25
59 Julien Buffe, FRA 23
60 Tiago Maia, PRT 23
61 Maxim Danon, FRA 23
62 Henry Sleight, GRB 21
63 Damien Guillemet, FRA 21
64 Lizar Azkune, ESP 21
65 Tomas Jiranek, CZE 21


Pos Name, NAT Total
1 Carina Wasle, AUT 533
2 Brigitta Poor, HUN 456
3 Helena Karaskova-Erbenova, CZE 424
4 Nicole Walters, GBR 378
5 Morgane Riou, FRA 229
6 Ania Tomica, POL 177
7 Jessica Roberts, GBR 165
8 Maud Golsteyn, NED 154
9 Cecilia Jessen, SWE 128
10 Diane Luethi, SUI 119
11 Penny Slater, AUS 116
12 Angela Niklaus, SUI 102
13 Bianca Morvillo, ITA 102
14 Sandra Mairhofer, ITA 99
15 Renata Bucher, SUI 92
16 Diane Lee, GBR 78
17 Lesley Paterson, GBR 75
18 Ine Couckuyt, BEL 75
19 Barbara Riveros, CHL 67
20 Eva Garcia Gonzalez, ESP 61
21 Elizabeth Orchard, NZL 61
22 Aina Picas, ESP 56
23 Mariana Brugger, BRA 51
24 Loanne Duvoisin, SUI 51
25 Johandri Leicester, ZAF 49
26 Ksenia Chemykh, RUS 47
27 Eleonora Peroncini, ITA 47
28 Megane MCDonald, GBR 43
29 Isabelle Ferrer, FRA 43
30 Sabina Rzepka, POL 39
31 Lenka Cibulkova, CZE 39
32 Elisabeth Gruber, AUT 36
33 Ladina Buss, SUI 36
34 Anna Brychtova, CZE 33

Up Next: XTERRA Abruzzo, July 22, Scanno, Italy

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