Ruzafa bike

Ruzaf, Mueller win XTERRA Portugal

(Golega, Portugal) - Reigning and two-time XTERRA World Champion Ruben Ruzafa from Spain and defending ITU Cross Triathlon World Champion Kathrin Mueller of Germany captured the 2nd annual XTERRA Portugal Championship race in Golega on Saturday.

It’s the 10th major XTERRA win in a row for Ruzafa dating back to 2013, and the seventh in eight races on the XTERRA European Tour for Mueller since she won XTERRA Greece last year.

XTERRA European Tour technical director Nico Lebrun was on-site to take in all the action and brings us this report…

“The weather prediction was for a hot day, and it was!  I was happy to be a spectator and taking pictures rather than racing in the heat.  Most of the athletes I spoke with after the race said it was one of the hardest challenges they can remember.

The race started at 2pm and the water temperature was a very warm 24°C (75°F) so no wetsuits for anyone.

The swim is a fun one with two 750-meter laps.  The fun part is you must scramble up a bank, run onto a pontoon bridge and dive in to start your second lap.  Roger Serrano had the fastest swim with Ruzafa back 1’30” and Malta winner Nico Fernandez another 15-seconds behind.  For the women it was Kathrin Mueller ahead of our organizers daughter, Anna, by 30″ with Malta winner Brigitta Poor in 3rd.

At the 10K mark on the bike Serrano was still leading but only by about 20 seconds over Francois Carloni, Ruzafa and Fernandez.  When it got technical, Carloni was the only man who could follow the World Chap and at that point Ruzafa had the lead he would not relinquish.

Mueller was in command for the women during the bike, and said “When I had the lead I tried not to stress, to just focus on what I am doing.  I know I will have no info on who is behind, so I want to just focus on my skills, and stay at 95% just in case and on this really hard, long and technical race, it was important to stay focused on all those descents!”

Poor was hanging in, about 1:30 behind Mueller with Jessica Roberts in 3rd and Helena Erbenova coming.

At the 18K mark it is a repeat of last year with Ruzafa and Carloni leading the race.  Serrano was still hanging in about 30 seconds back with Fernandez and Yeray Luxem 4th and 5th.  For the women Mueller was still up front, Poor was 2’20” back, and Erbenova looking much stronger than she did in Malaysia and is now up to 3rd with Morgane Riou 4th and Jessica Roberts back to 5th.

The last 10K or so at Portugal is not technical and basically flat.  Carloni made a mistake on the last downhill, and explained “Ruben was always stronger coming down, and I had to fight all the time to not lose too much.  But the first big mistake and I was out!” he grinned.

Carloni was still 2d into transition but Ruzafa was gone, not to be seen again until the finish line. Carloni hung on to second but Yeray was very close in 3rd.  Roger Serrano fell to 4th, Hector Guerra was 5th and Nico Fernandez 6th.


In the women’s race Erbenova was charging and up to 2d place, but Muller had too much of a lead for the Czech Champion.  Brigitta is 3rd and did not challenge but hung on to a strong 3rd.  Frenchwoman Riou is 4th and Jessica Roberts 5th.

The run was flat but remember the weather.  It was super-hot.  Full marks to the organizers who immediately put up an extra water station on the run.

The second race of the European season is over and we head to Spain in a few weeks.  Some of the athletes who raced in Asia will be on their way to either the U.S. or the European Tour and it will be interesting.  Mueller is looking very strong, but Helena seems to be back on form after some long adventure races and young Brigitta Poor is still improving and leading the Championship at this point.  For the men, somebody needs to beat Ruzafa.  From what we saw today, it will take perfection from one of the many great challengers.

“The first race of the season, because I was not in Malta, is always hard because you don’t know if you will be ready,” said Ruzafa at the awards party.  “I had a little injury this winter trying to run faster, using more of my foot, so I was afraid to feel it, but nothing today. I had a good swim and like last year I started with Carloni on the bike. It was very hot, I never knew how far the other guys were so I kept pushing. At the finish line when I waited three minutes to see Carloni I thought if I knew, I should have run slower under this sun.”

Top 15
Pro Men
Pl Name Final Points
1 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 2:50:36 75
2 Francois Carloni, FRA 2:54:18 67
3 Yeray Luxem, BEL 2:54:54 61
4 Roger Serrano, ESP 2:55:29 56
5 Hector Guerra, ESP 2:57:21 51
6 Nico Fernandez, FRA 3:00:22 47
7 Tomas Kubek, SVK 3:00:54 43
8 Albert Soley, ESP 3:01:43 39
9 Fabien Combaluzier, FRA 3:03:11 36
10 Jens Roth, GER 3:05:24 33
Also: Llewellyn Holmes (30), Tim Van Daele (27), Henry Sleight (25), Jan Pyott (23), Rob Woestenborghs (21)
Pro Women    
Pl Name Final Points
1 Kathrin Mueller, GER 3:21:30 75
2 Helena Erbenova, CZE 3:24:49 67
3 Brigitta Poor, HUN 3:31:01 61
4 Morgane Riou, FRA 3:37:46 56
5 Louise Fox, GBR 3:50:46 51
6 Karin Hansen, SUI 3:53:39 47
7 Sofia Brites, POR 4:32:42 43


XTERRA Portugal was the second of 12 races in the XTERRA European Tour.  Elite athletes count their best four (4) Gold and three (3) Silver finishes.  Elites can compete in as many events as they wish, but will count only their best four Gold and three Silver finishes.  Today’s race was a Silver event. See How it Works.

Next up: June 7 - XTERRA Spain Championship, Plasencia, Extremadura*

After 2 - As of 5.17.15
Elite Men S S G S G G S  G G G  S G   
1 Roger Serrano, ESP 67 56 123
2 Nicolas Fernandez, FRA 75 47 122
3 Francois Carloni, FRA 47 67 114
4 Fabien Combaluzier, FRA 56 36 92
5 Albert Soley, ESP 43 39 82
6 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP DNS 75 75
7 Brice Daubord, FRA 61 DNS 61
8 Yeray Luxem, BEL DNS 61 61
9 Tim Van Daele, BEL 25 27 52
10 Clement Briere, FRA 51 DNS 51
11 Hector Guerra, ESP DNS 51 51
12 Tomas Kubek, SVK DNS 43 43
13 Jan Kubicek, CZE 39 DNS 39
14 Xavier  Jove, ESP 36 DNS 36
15 Rory Downie, GBR 33 DNP 33
16 Jens Roth, GER DNS 33 33
17 Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA 30 DNS 30
18 Llewellyn Holmes, GBR DNS 30 30
19 Arthur Serrieres, FRA 27 DNS 27
20 Henry Sleight, GBR DNS 25 25
21 Matt Dewis, GBR 23 DNS 23
22 Jan Pyott, SUI DNS 23 23
23 Lars Van der Eerden, NED 21 DNP 21
24 Rob Woestenborghs, BEL DNS 21 21
Elite Women                          
1 Brigitta Poor, HUN 75 61 136
2 Louise Fox, GBR 51 51 102
3 Karin Hansen, SUI 43 47 90
4 Kathrin Mueller, GER DNS 75 75
5 Sandra Koblemueller, AUT 67 DNS 67
6 Helena Erbenova, CZE DNS 67 67
7 Maud Golsteyn, NED 61 DNS 61
8 Elisabetta Curridori, ITA 56 DNS 56
9 Morgane Riou, FRA DNS 56 56
10 Jessica Roberts, GBR 47 DNF 47
11 Sofia Brites, POR DNS 43 43
12 Danica Spiteri, MLT 39 DNS 39


The XTERRA Portugal Championship was the 16th of 40 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the world could qualify for the 20th annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on Nov. 1, 2015.

8-Feb XTERRA Philippines Championship (Brad Weiss / Flora Duffy)
22-Feb XTERRA South Africa Championship (Stuart Marais / Flora Duffy)
7-Mar XTERRA Motatapu (Dougal Allan / Jess Simson & Simone Maier)
28-Mar XTERRA Saipan Championship (Ben Allen / Jacqui Slack)
29-Mar XTERRA Malta (Nicolas Fernandez / Brigitta Poor)
29-Mar XTERRA Costa Rica (Rom Akerson / Lesley Paterson)
11-Apr XTERRA Guam Championship (Ben Allen / Carina Wasle)
11-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Championship (Braden Currie / Suzie Snyder)
18-Apr XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship (Braden Currie / Flora Duffy)
25-Apr XTERRA West Championship (Francisco Serrano / Lesley Paterson)
25-Apr XTERRA Tahiti (Brice Daubord / Sarah Backler)
26-Apr XTERRA Reunion (Brad Weiss / Carla Van Huyssteen)
2-May XTERRA Asian Tour Championship (Brad Weiss / Myriam Guillot)
10-May XTERRA Brazil (Diogo Malagon / Sabrina Gobbo)
16-May XTERRA Southeast Championship (Braden Currie / Lesley Paterson)
16-May XTERRA Portugal (Ruben Ruzafa / Kathrin Mueller)
7-Jun XTERRA Spain Championship, Plasencia, Extremadura*
14-Jun XTERRA East Championship, Richmond, VA, USA#
20-Jun XTERRA Greece, Lake Plastira*
27-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Championship, Vallee de Joux*
27-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter – Canadian Cross Tri Championships, Ontario, Milton, Canada!
4-Jul XTERRA Freedom Fest, Oahu, HI, USA =
5-Jul XTERRA Victoria, B.C., Canada!
5-Jul XTERRA France Championship, Xonrupt, Gerardmer*
11-Jul XTERRA Sweden, Hellasgaarden, Stockholm*
18-Jul XTERRA Mountain Championship, Beaver Creek, CO, USA#
25-Jul XTERRA Parry Sound, McDougall, Ontario, Canada!
26-Jul XTERRA Italy Championship, Abruzzo, Italy*
8-Aug XTERRA Mexico, Tapalpa
8-Aug XTERRA Czech Championship, Prachatice*
15-Aug XTERRA Germany Championship, Zittau*
16-Aug XTERRA Canmore, Alberta, Canada!
22-Aug XTERRA Adventure Fest Maui, Kapalua, HI, USA =
23-Aug XTERRA Quebec – Quebec City, Quebec, Canada!
29-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada!
29-Aug XTERRA Denmark, Tilsvilde*
29-Aug XTERRA Japan, Hokkaido+ (start 2016 Asian Tour)
30-Aug XTERRA England / European Championship, Vachery Estate, Surrey*
13-Sep XTERRA Woolastook, Upper Kingsclear, New Brunswick, Canada
19-Sep XTERRA USA Championship, Ogden/Snowbasin, Utah, USA#
1-Nov XTERRA World Championship, Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

* European Tour / + Asian Tour / # America Tour / ! Canada Series / = Hawaii qualifiers