Panagiotis Bitados and Jindriska Zemanova captured the 8th XTERRA Greece off-road triathlon elite titles in Vouliagmeni on Saturday, October 16, 2021, with winning times of 2:15:28 and 2:42:22, respectively.
With the victory Bitados becomes the first Greek elite to win an XTERRA major and for Zemanova, it’s her first professional win after taking home the overall amateur XTERRA World Championship crowns in 2018 and 2019.
In the men’s elite race Jens Roth from Germany was first out of the water in 17:36 with Bitados just seconds behind. Those two were more than one-minute ahead of the rest of the field heading out on the bike and it became a two-man race for the rest of the day.
Bitados posted the fasted bike split (1:19:22) then ran away with the victory after clocking the day’s best run split in 36:46 to cross the line nearly three-minutes ahead of Roth. Federico Spinazze from Italy finished third.
“I am really happy for my first ever XTERRA win and especially at home in front of my family and friends” said Bitados. “There is so much talent in the elite field and it is great to race amongst them. I was with Roth on the swim, and we worked together on the bike to make a gap from the rest of the field. On the run I pushed the pace on the second loop. I am really looking forward to racing more XTERRA races next year.”
“I am really happy with second place,” said Roth “it is a nice comeback for me. It was a tough swim in the sea, a hard bike and although the run is challenging, I loved it. I am coming back to good shape, and I will train hard in the winter months ready for more XTERRA racing in 2022.”
“It was a hard race but I am very happy for my first elite podium,” said Spinazze. “It was not easy to manage the race as I was alone in third and I did not know the distance to the leaders. I pushed hard on the first lap of the bike but on the second I had less energy and then tried to survive on the run.”
|Top 10 Men|
|7||Van Daele Tim||BEL||2:31:08|
|8||Carnevali del Castillo Andres||ESP||2:31:45|
In the women’s elite race Zemanova (CZE) was first out of the water followed closely by Marta Menditto (ITA), Solenne Billouin (FRA), Louise Fox (GBR), and Carina Wasle (AUT).
Zemanova added to her lead on the bike to pull away from the chase pack from the swim, however, the best mountain biker in the field, Matilde Bolzan, who was 1:30 back after the swim, made all that time back by the bike-to-run transition and it was a foot race from there.
Once on the run Zemanova took over with the best women’s run split (42:52) to pull away from Bolzan (pictured) and carry a two-minute gap to the finish line.
Bolzan placed second, while Wasle rounded out the podium.
“My goal was to win here, but when my bike never arrived with the flight and watching the strong women’s field, I thought that just getting on the podium would be good.” said Zemanova. “I managed to borrow a bike which fit me well. I followed my own pace on the bike and got an advantage. On the run I gave everything I had as I saw that I could win here. My first win in the elite category is the best way to end my season. It’s like a dream I still can’t believe it.”
“This is a very nice event with an amazing course” said Bolzan. The run is challenging but I enjoyed it. I was not expecting this result as a have a bigger training volume at this period. I am really happy with my performance and looking forward to race again here next year.”
“I am happy to finally show a good performance,” said Wasle. “It was a very difficult season for me but today everything was ok, and it was enough for a third place. Thanks XTERRA Greece for a great race, it means a lot to me to share the podium with these strong girls”
|Top 10 Women|
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All-Time XTERRA Greece Elite Champions
Year – Men / Women
2013 - Ben Allen / Helena Erbenova
2014 - Francois Carloni / Kathrin Mueller
2015 - Kris Coddens / Helena Erbenova
2016 - Roger Serrano / Helena Erbenova
2017 - Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova
2018 - Arthur Forissier / Nicole Walters
2019 - Arthur Forissier / Lesley Paterson
2021 - Panagiotis Bitados / Jindriska Zemanova