On Friday 24th September, athletes took on the duathlon at XTERRA Trentino-Dolomiti Paganella, which also doubled up as the European Triathlon Cross Duathlon Championships. Giuseppe Lamastra (ITA) and Morgane Riou (FRA) were crowned champions of the elite race after conquering the challenging course.
With blue skies and perfect weather conditions, the course wowed athletes as they battled it out across race categories, including Junior, Para, Under-23, Elite and Age-Group.
In the Men’s Elite race, it was Corentin Lefer (FRA) and Arthur Serrieres (FRA) that were fastest to the first run split, with Jens-Emil Sloth-Nielsen not letting them far out of sight. While Serrieres finished the 8km run lap first, he couldn't stick with the pace on the bike, partly due to the fact he is fully focused on continuing his build towards his A-race at XTERRA World Championships.
Jens Emil Sloth-Nieslen looked particularly strong on the bike, as Serrieres tried to stay on his wheel at the 12km mark. An Italian duo of Giuseppe Lamastra and Alessandro Saravalle were also on the charge less than a metre back.
Heading into the run, Sloth-Nieslen was still in the lead. With the athlete racing in the Under-23 category, he looked safe to secure the win, but the question was whether he could also take the overall Elite Men's win? Lamastra and Saravalle proved to have fresher run legs in the final kilometres however, hunting the Denmark youngster down to finish first and second in the Men’s Elite race.
Speaking after the race, Sloth-Nieslen said, “I feel busted! It was a really hard race, and it is always hard doing a duathlon when you don’t know the competitors. I knew Serrieres was here and that is the guy I had my eyes on and thought the battle would be between him for the win. But the Italian’s came in really fast and it was such a close finish!”
“It was a great course and while I am happy to have won the under-23, I would have also loved to have won the Elite race too! I am doing the triathlon on Sunday so I will be looking for the Under-23 win there too but it is a nice field full of strong athletes, so it won’t be easy”
“This place is extraordinary. It is unreal to be here and the course is both demanding and technical. I hope to see more and more courses like this at XTERRA races.”
In the Women’s Elite Race, Diede Diederiks (NED) and Kristina Lapinova (SVK) were fastest off the mark, finishing the run within seconds of each other before heading out onto the demanding bike course. With Morgane Riou (FRA) just one minute back, it wasn’t long before she caught the girls to take the lead, showing her technical prowess and bike strength.
Diederiks held onto second while Matilde Bolzan (ITA) worked her way up to third on the bike. Looking safe to secure a win in the Under-23 category, Bolzan was hunted down in the final kilometres of the run by a speedy Daria Rogozina (RUS) who took third place on for the Women’s Elite podium.
Speaking after the race, a winning Riou said, “I am very happy because I managed to defend my title as European Champion. It was hard because the bike loop here in Molveno is very hard, but I felt very good. I had good legs and I am very happy!”
“I will also race on Sunday in the triathlon but I am not the strongest swimmer so we will see how it goes. It is beautiful here in the mountains. The bike loop is very hard, but the last downhill is very fun. Here the race is crazy, and I love it’
Link to full results can be found here: https://live.endu.net/cross-duathlon-european-championships-elite/#
The XTERRA Trentino Dolomiti Paganella Triathlon, in partnership with the Europe Triathlon Cross Triathlon Championships, will take place on Sunday 26th September. The elite racing will start at 1100 (GMT+2) with live coverage on our Facebook channel.