Petr Soukup from the Czech Republic and Emma Ducreux from France captured the 10th annual XTERRA Greece off-road triathlon elite titles in Vouliagmeni on Saturday, April 22, 2023, with winning times of 2:31:56 and 2:59:19, respectively.
It’s the first career XTERRA major win for both.
In the men’s elite race Jules Dumas from France (pictured) was first out of the water by more than one-minute, put another minute on Soukup by posting the fastest bike split of the day, and looked poised to reel in his first XTERRA win before a series of cramps set in on the grueling hills of the run course in Vouliagmeni.
“My strategy was to swim fast, and push on the bike, and that all worked well before I got a big cramp on the run and couldn’t go fast, it was hard to deal with,” said Dumas, who was 16th at XTERRA Worlds last year. “Petr came by me fast in the last two kilometers and took the lead, but it’s okay. This was a good effort in my build to ITU Cross Tri Worlds in two weeks, and then I look forward to racing against all the top guys on the World Cup in Belgium, Germany, France, and Molveno.”
Soukup, who finished second at the XTERRA World Tour season opener in South Africa, had the second best swim and bike splits and the fastest run of the day to take the tape 25 seconds ahead of Dumas.
“I’m really super happy because 95% of the race I was in second, and there was a big gap at T2, but I was a little lucky that he had those cramps,” said Soukup, who posted a pair of top 10 finishes in Czech and Germany last year.
“What a beautiful day we had with the sun shining and the blue sky and water," Soukup added. "The course was fun and I was flowing really nicely on the bike, it was awesome. And the run is tough with the big hills. This win was super motivating for me as we head into the heart of the season.”
A pair of Belgians, Lucas Van Deynze and Joeri Deleebeeck, placed third and fourth with Morgan Rhodes of Great Britain in fifth.
In the women’s race XTERRA rookie Emma Ducreux led from wire-to-wire after posting the fastest swim and second-best bike time before cruising to the finish line with six minutes to spare against Matilde Bolzan from Italy.
“I’m very happy with this race and super excited to win my first XTERRA here in Greece,” said Ducreux. “It’s a beautiful track, hard and difficult, and was so hot on the run. It’s such a difficult hill on the run, I just had to keep pushing. I’m looking forward to seeing how I can compete against the big elite field at XTERRA Belgium in June.”
Bolzan had the best bike split of the day to move into second position for the run and was happy to get back into the mix after some late season injuries last year.
“I felt really good on the bike and was able to take advantage of the technical sections to move up a few spots,” said Bolzan (pictured below). “It was nice to be on the start line and I’m happy with second.”
Anna Zehnder from Switzerland scored her first podium finish at XTERRA in what was her first full-distance race.
“It was amazing, the volunteers were awesome out there cheering and I loved the course. It was a challenge with all the loose rocks and gravel sections, because we don’t have that in Switzerland,” said Zehnder.
Anna Wer from Poland placed fourth, and Marine Echevin from France rounded out the top five.
Complete Results / Replay Live Coverage
The race started with a 1.5K swim from the beach that hosted the 2004 Olympic Triathlon, followed with a two-lap 30K mountain bike around the coastal peninsula and open spaces that surround the beach town of Vouliagmeni, and finished with a two-lap 10K run on the beachfront.
All Photos courtesy Grzegorz Wer / Wermedia.pl
XTERRA Greece was the third of 14 elite races in the EMEA Region this season.
Up Next: XTERRA Weston Park, May 13
Up Next on the XTERRA World Cup: XTERRA Oak Mountain, May 20-21
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 Serrieres / Lesley Paterson
2021 - Panagiotis Bitados / Jindriska Zemanova
2022 - Panagiotis Bitados / Alizee Paties
2023 - Petr Soukup / Emma Ducreux
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