Maxim Chane and Sandra Mairhofer captured the eighth XTERRA Italy Lake Scanno off-road triathlon elite titles on a rainy day in the mountains of Abruzzo on Sunday, July 18, 2021.
It’s the third XTERRA World Tour win for Chane, who got his first at the 2020 XTERRA Nouvelle-Aquitaine off-road triathlon and second two weeks ago at XTERRA France in Xonrupt. It’s the first XTERRA World Tour victory for Mairhofer.
The race lived up to its reputation as one of the most difficult on the XTERRA circuit, and the rainfall before and during the race made the notoriously challenging course even harder.
In the men’s elite race Chane came out of the water 20 seconds behind swim leader Michele Bonacina and the two rode closely together through the first lap of the bike course that features more than 4,000 feet of climbing.
Filippo Barazzuol rode in third, with Franco Pasavneto, Federico Spinazze and Jacques Martinez spaced out behind and while known for his strong mountain bike skills, Jens Emil Sloth Nielsen, who was three minutes back out of the swim, remained in 7th.
Despite coming off four straight weekends of racing, Chane managed to open a two-minute lead on Barazzuol heading into the bike-to-run transition. Bonacina dropped back, while Sloth Nielsen, who is known for his mountain bike skills, clawed his way up to third place.
There were no lead changes on the run as Chane held onto his lead and took the tape with a huge smile on his face and a winning time of 2:53:07.
“It was great to win one of the more technical races on the tour,” said Chane. “It was great to have Filippo pushing hard from behind and while I did have one little crash, I am happy to have been able to hold onto the win.”
Barazzuol’s second place finish was the Italian athletes best XTERRA result yet.
“Once we were out onto the run, I knew Max was much faster than me but that I had to remain focused. Overall, I am very happy with my result and already looking forward to coming back here,” he said.
Sloth Nielsen put in a solid run to secure third place.
“The rain made this tough race even tougher today,” he exclaimed. “I tried to catch the guys in front on the bike but Max and Filippo were just too strong and I struggled to find my rhythm.”
Bonacina also had reason to celebrate, as his 4th place was his best XTERRA result to date, with Franco Pesavento rounding out the top five.
Men's Elite Results
|1||Maxim Chane, FRA||02:53:08||00:18:51||01:43:29||00:49:18|
|2||Filippo Barazzuol, ITA||02:54:15||00:21:32||01:42:06||00:48:55|
|3||Jens Nielsen, DEN||02:56:16||00:21:52||01:43:03||00:49:22|
|4||Michele Bonacina, ITA||02:59:25||00:18:31||01:47:53||00:51:32|
|5||Franco Pesavento, ITA||03:01:45||00:19:40||01:50:03||00:50:19|
|6||Federico Spinazze, ITA||03:06:06||00:19:41||01:53:16||00:51:38|
|7||Jacques Martinez, FRA||03:07:41||00:20:53||01:53:34||00:51:31|
|8||Rui Dolores, POR||03:11:13||00:21:36||01:56:13||00:51:34|
In the women’s race Mairhofer and Eleonora Peroncini exited the water with swim splits of 21:39:00 and 21:53:65, respectively, catching some of the elite men. Marta Menditto followed in third with a time of 23:24:90, but with everything still to play for.
Throughout the rest of the bike, positions remained the same for the top three, but Mairhofer, who was second at this race in 2019, managed to establish a monumental gap of nine minutes heading into T2. She then had had plenty of time to enjoy the run unchallenged before crossing the finish line in a time of 3:21:20.75 to earn her first XTERRA World Tour victory.
“I wanted to win this race. I pushed as hard as I could from the start on the bike, but the technical sections were very slippery and tricky – you had to focus here,” said Mairhofer. “I knew I had established a good gap by the time I got into transition, so this let me start the run feeling relaxed. I am delighted to take the win.”
While Peroncini couldn’t put pressure on Mairhofer today, she still had a solid race to cross the line in second place with a time of 3:34:39.45. This backs up a solid season for the Italian athlete, after taking the win at XTERRA Switzerland in June.
“The weather was incredible which made the race very difficult, but I absolutely love Scanno and cannot wait to come back again,” exclaimed Peroncini.
Menditto crossed the line in third place to round out the all Italian podium.
“It has been six weeks of really hard racing, so I was just happy to be able to finish today,” she said. “The downhill was really difficult on the bike course due to the rain and it is the first time we have seen mud here in Scanno, so it kept us on our toes.”
Elite Women's Results
|1||Sandra Mairhofer, ITA||03:21:21||00:21:39||02:03:12||00:54:43|
|2||Eleonora Peroncini, ITA||03:34:40||00:21:54||02:12:09||00:58:56|
|3||Marta Menditto, ITA||03:42:11||00:23:35||02:14:32||01:02:20|
All-time XTERRA Italy Lake Scanno Elite Champions
Year - Man/Woman
2013 - Conrad Stoltz/Helena Karaskova-Erbenova
2014 - Ruben Ruzafa/Helena Karaskova-Erbenova
2015 - Ruben Ruzafa/Helena Karaskova-Erbenova
2016 - Mauricio Mendez/Lesley Paterson
2017 - Xavier Dafflon/Helena Karaskova-Erbenova
2018 - Roger Serrano/Eva Garcia Gonzalez
2019 - Ruben Ruzafa/Helena Karaskova-Erbenova
2021 - Maxim Chane/Sandra Mairhofer
XTERRA World Championship Qualifying Series Schedule
XTERRA Italy Lake Scanno was the 17th of 38 races around the world where amateur athletes could qualify for the 25th XTERRA World Championship to be held December 5, 2021 in Kapalua, Maui.