The 14th XTERRA France off-road triathlon takes place Sunday, July 4, 2021 in the beautiful Vosges mountains of Xonrupt.
It’s the third full-distance race in as many weeks, and alongside the main event, which boasts some of the best elite off-road athletes across the EU, more than 2,000 outdoor enthusiasts are set to take part in a festival of events on Saturday and Sunday from swim-run competitions to kids’ triathlon and sprint distance races.
XTERRA France swim course
With the weather cooling down over the week, the beautiful mountain lake of Longemer, Xonrupt could host the first wetsuit swim of the year, a welcome relief for some of the weaker swimmers. The 1.5-kilometer XTERRA France off-road triathlon swim course also features the first single loop of the season and with no Australian exit, athletes have the chance to get into a good rhythm and settle into their swim.
Next up is the iconic two-lap bike course, featuring 1,200m of climbing over 40 kilometres and the famous wooden ramps that this race is known for. Patience is key here, and those that go off too hard or too fast will soon be paying the price. With the aim for many of the age-group athletes just being to make the cut-off, it will be a tough physical and mental battle for all.
XTERRA France wooden ramps
While athletes will be relieved to get off the bike and into transition, the unrelenting nature of the course continues on the run, featuring over 300m of elevation throughout the 10km course. The elation at approaching the finish line and the great atmosphere will help athletes kick up and over the big ramp at the end, a fitting finale for such a demanding course.
With 10 elite women taking to the start line at XTERRA France on Sunday, Carina Wasle heads into the race as the highest ranked athlete but after a crash at XTERRA Czech Republic, there will be a few unknowns for the veteran competitor from Austria.
XTERRA athlete Carina Wasle from Austria
She said, “I crashed in Czech Republic during the pre-ride. I had bruises and I broke my finger which will take about six weeks to heal completely. I am already back training though and will tape my finger, so it is possible to swim and bike. I like XTERRA France and I just hope I can do a good race.”
Eyes will also be on Aneta Grabmullerova. As a new face to XTERRA racing, the athlete turned heads at XTERRA Czech Republic, staying in contact with eventual winner, Loanne Duvoisin for much of the race. Now she is hungry for more and looking to challenge the top competitors.
“After Prachatice, I was totally hooked. It was my first XTERRA and while it went really well, I made some mistakes and I hope to do even better at XTERRA France. It is a new race though and anything can happen. I don’t have much experience of longer races, but I come from Norway, so I am certainly used to the mud.”
XTERRA athlete Marta Menditto from Italy
Italian athlete, Marta Menditto has enjoyed a successful season so far, having finished second last week at XTERRA Switzerland and winning the XTERRA Czech Short Track race earlier in the month. It will be interesting to see if she can repeat this performance over the longest race in the XTERRA Europe calendar. Czech athletes, Jindriska Zemanova and Anna Luzna will also be looking to mix up the race, with Anna Tomica from Poland and Alizée Beaulieu – who will be racing her first elite race – also hoping to place well.
For new and upcoming French talent, Solenne Billouin, she will be using the crowd and atmosphere to her advantage. She said, “I decided to race at the last moment, but I am very motivated to race and racing on home soil should give me extra strength. I hope that this race will be successful for me.”
XTERRA athlete Arthur Serrieres from France
With Arthur Serrieres on a winning streak in the full-distance races (he won XTERRA Switzerland last weekend and XTERRA Czech before that), the question is whether anyone can beat the French favorite over the longer distance. While he is yet to win at XTERRA France, the athlete is known for his high training volume, so he is more than ready to take on this course.
As ever, anything can happen, and it will be Arthur Forissier that will be fighting to retain his title. He said, “The XTERRA adventure started in Xonrupt for me. That is why I am so excited, as this race has a lot of nostalgia and happy memories. In triathlon, every race is a new race so even if you won the last edition, you have to expect to really fight if you want to do the same again.”
XTERRA athlete Arthur Forissier
He added, “My friends and girlfriend are coming to the race with me, so I really want to show them my best, and I am also proud to have my brother Félix also out on the racecourse with me. I love racing a strong professional field and hope everybody is in good shape so we can get the best out of each other come Sunday.”
Max Chané will also be one to watch after a strong season and a successful race in the last edition of XTERRA France, while muddy and long conditions should suit athletes such as Karel Dusek and Jens Emil Sloth Nielsen, who will be challenging for a podium position.
Nielsen said, “I was happy with my races in Czech, but I am really hungry for that podium spot. The guys at the front are upping the game which is great for the rest of the competition. I am eager to step it up and at XTERRA France I will push full throttle to take advantage of the long and physically demanding bike course.”
XTERRA France bike course
Young athletes and fast swimmers such as Felix Forissier and François Vie should be able to hold their own near the front of the race, whilst the likes of Xavier Dafflon and Kris Coddens will use their experience and knowledge to try and showcase a strong second half and reel in those athletes that went off too hard.
Find live updates from XTERRA France on XTERRA Europe Instagram. Race starts at 13:30 CET on Sunday.
XTERRA World Rank - Name, NAT
13 - Carina Wasle, AUT
16 - Marta Menditto, ITA
28 - Aneta Grabmullerova, CZE
30 - Jindriska Zemanova, CZE
35- Solenne Billouin, FRA
50 - Evelyne Trepte, SUI
56 - Anna Luzna, CZE
61 - Anna Tomica, POL
305 - Alizee Beaulieu, FRA
NR - Ségolène Valance, FRA
XTERRA World Rank – Name, NAT
3 - Arthur Serrieres, FRA
10 - Maxim Chane, FRA
11 - Arthur Forissier, FRA
13 - Karel Dusek, CZE
14 - Jens Roth, GER
15 - Xavier Dafflon, SUI
16 - Sébastien Carabin, BEL
19 - Jens Emil Sloth Nielsen, DNK
20 - Francois Carloni, FRA
28 - Geert Lauryssen, BEL
31 - Rui Dolores, POR
34 - Felix Forissier, FRA
44 - Peter Lehmann, GER
45 - Lucas Van Deynze, BEL
51 - Charly Sibille, FRA
62 - Kris Coddens, BEL
87 - Jacques Martinez, FRA
95 - Gaetan Vivien, FRA
99 - Brian Tetard, FRA
102 - Tim Van Daele, BEL
111 - Francois Vie, POR
247 - Romaric Ladet, FRA
520 - Mathias Cloostermans, BEL
718 - Félix Schumann, FRA
NR - Wouter Dijkshoorn, NED
XTERRA France run course
All-Time XTERRA France Elite Champions
|Year||Men's Champ||Women's Champ||Site|
|2006||Cedric Fleureton||Renata Bucher||Saint Raphael|
|2008||Nicolas Lebrun||Renata Bucher||Auron|
|2008||Nicolas Lebrun||Renata Bucher||Mondelieu|
|2010||Nicolas Lebrun||Marion Lorblanchet||Xonrupt|
|2011||Victor Del Corral||Renata Bucher||Xonrupt|
|2012||Asa Shaw||Helena Erbenova||Xonrupt|
|2013||Nicolas Lebrun||Helena Erbenova||Xonrupt|
|2014||Ruben Ruzafa||Kathrin Mueller||Xonrupt|
|2015||Ruben Ruzafa||Kathrin Mueller||Xonrupt|
|2016||Ruben Ruzafa||Lesley Paterson||Xonrupt|
|2017||Ruben Ruzafa||Laura Philipp||Xonrupt|
|2018||Ruben Ruzafa||Brigitta Poor||Xonrupt|
|2019||Arthur Forissier||Morgane Riou||Xonrupt|