Arthur Serrieres (FRA) and Sandra Mairhofer (ITA) won the XTERRA Trentino Cross Triathlon European Championships on Sunday, September 26, 2021, with winning times of 2:22:53 and 2:49:01, respectively.
It's the 14th career XTERRA World Tour full distance race victory for Serrieres and seventh this season alone. For Mairhofer, it’s her third XTERRA World Tour, and both won the XTERRA European Championship in Zittau, Germany last month, proving once again that they are at the top of their game.
Men’s Elite Race
Despite the weather forecast threatening rain and thunderstorms, the men’s elite athletes set off in dry but overcast conditions. The swim, which consisted of two loops of a 750m course and an Australian exit, saw a group of 10 athletes exit the water close together.
With a big group exiting transition together, it was Lukas Kocar (CZE) that was first to put the power down on the bike, creating a gap early on. Heading into the final hill of the first lap, he had created a gap of 36 seconds on Maxim Chane (FRA), Michele Bonacina (ITA) and Felix Forissier (FRA) but with the rain starting to pour, it would also be a test to see which athletes managed the descents best.
Chané continued to chip away, making up a gap of 30 seconds to take the lead over Kocar, with the young up and coming talent, Felix Forissier, working hard to bridge the gap. The trio were under pressure, however, as two of the race favorites – Ruben Ruzafa (ESP) and Arthur Serrieres (FRA), were approaching less than 200m behind.
Emerging onto the road and down towards the transition through Molveno on the final lap, positions had changed once again with Serrieres moving up to third. Onlookers were surprised to see Ruzafa further back, having suffered a flat tire and forced to navigate the last few kilometers on the rim.
Felix Forissier was quick to pass Chané on the run to take the lead, running strong on the flat section but Serrieres managed to comeback once again and showcase his running strengths despite having raced the duathlon the day before and being deep in training for the XTERRA World Championship.
Forissier crossed the line close behind in second place, and as winner of the Under-23 category. Chané then signed off the French podium, having raced well in Molveno.
After crossing the line first and as European Triathlon, Serrieres said, “I am really happy to take the win here. It was a really big battle with Felix on the run and I am happy to have a guy like this with me to push me to the maximum and I am really happy to share this podium with two other French guys.”
|Jens Emil||Sloth Nielsen||DEN||2:31:09|
Women’s Elite Race
In the women's race Michelle Flipo (MEX) was first out of the water with Aneta Grabmullerova (CZE) and Sofia Pryyma (UKR) chasing in second and third.
While Sandra Mairhofer was a few positions back on the swim, she was on a mission on the bike course, catching Flipo within 15 minutes and continuing to create a gap and also catching some of the elite men by the end of the second lap. She had a comfortable lead going into the run but continued to push a good pace right up to the finish line.
“I feel incredible, it is so good to win here. There were a lot of strong girls so I was not sure if I could be champion here, so I am super happy to cross the line first” said Mairhofer.
Flipo crossed the line as second elite woman in the XTERRA Trentino Dolomiti Paganella race after a solid performance and her second XTERRA race back in 2021. However, as she was racing for Mexico, it meant she was not eligible for the European Championship title, meaning the second-place spot in this championship was still wide-open.
With Diede Diederiks finishing third in the XTERRA race, this also meant she secured second-place on the European Triathlon Championship podium. This became an even bigger accomplishment, considering she had also raced the duathlon on Friday and had finished second overall on a challenging course.
The final European Championship spot went to Loanne Duvoisin (SUI) who was also crowed Under-23 champion. The athlete was pleased with her performance and looked to be back in top form after coming back from a crash earlier in the season.