Ruzafa, Erbenova win XTERRA Italy

(Lago di Scanno, Abruzzo) - Reigning and three-time XTERRA World Champion Ruben Ruzafa of Spain and Helena Erbenova of the Czech Republic won the XTERRA Italy Championship in Scanno this afternoon.

It’s the 14th straight major for Ruzafa and his 4th in a row on this year’s XTERRA European Tour.  Ruzafa hasn’t lost an XTERRA Championship race since winning the 2013 World Championship.

For Erbenova it marks the end of an incredible two months where she raced eight times in eight weeks.  During the stretch she won at XTERRA Spain, XTERRA Greece, XTERRA Sweden, and today in Italy.

“So many races and I knew I couldn’t be in top form at all of them but just tried to do my best,” said Erbenova, a two-time XTERRA European Tour Champion.  “I enjoy the races, to be at such amazing places and meet amazing people.  Now I’d like to have a good rest and spend some time with my daughter!”

Ruben Ruzafa

XTERRA Managing Director Dave Nicholas was on-site to take in all the action and brings us this report…

After two years of hard rain and cold weather the day could not have been more perfect for XTERRA Italy.  And, another perfect day for the unstoppable Ruben Ruzafa and 3-time Italy winner Helena Erbenova.

Ruben took the win by 5 1/2 minutes over Francois Carloni.  For Carloni, second was a complete surprise.

“I came this morning thinking I cannot finish because I cannot run.  Yesterday my back was terrible and my knee terrible because of a fall last week,” he grinned.  “But today I am the most surprised person here because everything went perfect.  I could run better than I have all year.”

As for Ruben - he laughed at Carloni saying “I tried to go ahead of Francois and pull him a little bit, but every time I passed him, he comes and passes me back.  Finally at the top of the big hill I got ahead and stayed ahead.”

Roger Serrano had another good performance with a solid 3rd.  As usual Serrano had the big lead from the swim, but “Ruben and Carloni are just too strong on the bike now,” he said.

The best story of the day has to be Belgian Jim Thijs and his Italian partner Elisabetta Curridori.  They have been together now for a while and both have been racing XTERRA for many years.  Elisabetta comes from a Sardinia family of XTERRA champions and has graduated to elite this year.  Jim Thijs ran by me yelling “JIMBO IS BACK.”  The reason why this is such a great story is the couple both finished fourth.  Jim has had trouble this year after having been a contender years ago.  It was a great day for Italy with Elisabetta 4th woman and age grouper Francesca Figini 5th overall and a total of three Italian men in the top 10 overall.

Winner Erbenova said she had a terrible swim, but she always says this.

“I had a really good bike, but it was so hard,” she smiled.

Starting the first loop of 18K Carina Wasle and Curridori led into town but Erbenova was coming on strong.  The always smiling Myriam Guillot-Boisset was 4th in town just behind Renata Bucher.  By the time the women came back to town to start the shorter second loop Helena was up by two minutes.

“Carina passed me on the downhill so fast” said Erbenova.

“I was really happy with my downhill” said the tiny Austrian Wasle.

Guillot-Boisset had a fall on the downhill and had to fix her bike.  “This took so much energy because I am not so good fixing the bike” she said.  But Myriam kept her 3rd place on the bike and for 3rd woman overall.  Renata had won the ETU race last weekend and was a bit tired coming in.  She relinquished 4th to Elisabetta on the run but continued to a top 5 finish.

A great race with smiles everywhere.  The village of Scanno was totally crazy.  Businesses were open with bikers and runners whizzing by.  Tourists out for a stroll walked the streets and bikers had to sometimes swerve to miss them.  The marshals did what they could, but the citizens and visitors were so thrilled seeing this colorful event there were times you could count dozens of phones taking videos and photos and people jostling to get a better view.

The vibe through town stayed constant all day.  Riders come up to the village from transition then take a hard right turn down a few sets of stairs making a loop in town and climbing back up just a few feet from where they descended minutes ago.  Red Bull had their disco wagon at this spot and the music rocked all afternoon.  It was truly exciting.  Think of hundreds of bikers climbing past 1,000-year-old churches on cobbled streets, blasting down steps past fruit stands, climbing back up again past restaurants and more fabulous, ancient stone houses and then disappearing up into the mountain - only to come and do it again on the second lap.  Some might say there is too much biking on the rough streets of Scanno, but nobody that raced here would agree.  This is one tough, hard course that simply everyone enjoys to the max.  It took the amazing Ruben Ruzafa nearly 3 hours to finish; that should say enough.

The event ended with a big Abruzzo BBQ at the main compound.  The DJ kept the music going, the announcers hailed every finisher.  It was one heck of a day.  Why weren’t you here?

Pro Men Results

Pl Name Time Points
1 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 2:52:49 100
2 Francois Carloni, FRA 2:58:23 90
3 Roger Serrano, ESP 3:03:26 82
4 Jim Thijs, BEL 3:05:27 75
5 Markus Benesch, AUT 3:06:30 69
6 Jan Pyott, SUI 3:11:43 63
7 Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA 3:13:11 58
8 Fabio Guidelli, ITA 3:13:26 53
9 Martial Schmidt, FRA 3:13:42 49
10 Henry Sleight, GBR 3:16:11 45

Also: Antonello Pallotta (41), Marco Spadaccia (37), James Walker (34)

Pro Women Results

Pl Name Time Points
1 Helena Erbenova, CZE 3:24:02 100
2 Carina Wasle, AUT 3:28:57 90
3 Elisabetta Curridori, ITA 3:37:16 82
4 Renata Bucher, SUI 3:41:23 75
5 Olga Parfinenko, RUS 3:52:01 69
6 Jessie Roberts, GBR 3:52:21 63
7 Karin Hansen, SUI 3:53:25 58
8 Sabina Rzepka, POL 4:01:49 53
9 Genziana Cenni, ITA 4:04:30 49



XTERRA Italy was the eighth of 12 races in the XTERRA European Tour, and the fourth of seven Gold level events.  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. How it Works.

*Tentative standings, pending final Italy results for elite finishers past top 10 men / top 5 women.

Next up: August 8 - XTERRA Czech Championship, Prachatice*


Men S S G S G G S G
1 Roger Serrano, ESP 436 67 56 82 67 82 DNS DNS 82
2 Francois Carloni, FRA 422 47 67 75 61 DNS 82 DNS 90
3 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 375 DNS 75 100 DNS DNS 100 DNS 100
4 Jan Pyott, SUI 265 DNS 23 49 DNS 69 DNS 61 63
5 Kris Coddens, BEL 232 DNS DNS DNS 75 90 DNS 67 DNS
6 Albert Soley, ESP 219 43 39 90 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS
7 Henry Sleight, GBR 210 DNS 25 DNS 33 58 49 DNS 45
8 Arthur Forissier, FRA 175 DNS DNS DNS DNS 100 75 DNS DNS
9 Jan Kubicek, CZE 153 39 DNS DNS DNS 63 DNS 51 DNS
10 Yeray Luxem, BEL 136 DNS 61 DNS DNS 75 DNF DNS DNS
11 Martial Schmidt, FRA 132 DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 34 DNS 49
12 Nicolas Fernandez, FRA 122 75 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
13 Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA 118 30 DNS DNS 30 DNS DNS DNF 58
14 Markus Benesch, AUT 112 DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS 69
15 Xavier Riart, ESP 105 36 DNS 69 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNF
16 Tim Van Daele, BEL 103 25 27 DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS
17 James Walker, GBR 102 DNS DNS DNS 21 DNS DNS 47 34
18 Fabien Combaluzier, FRA 92 56 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
19 Veit Hönle, GER 90 DNS DNS DNS DNS 53 37 DNS DNS
20 Bradley Weiss, RSA 90 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 90 DNS DNS
21 Tomas Kubek, SVK 82 DNS 43 DNS 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS
22 Sam Osborne, NZL 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS
24 Malte Plappert, GER 69 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 69 DNS DNS
25 Lars Van der Eerden, NED 66 21 DNP DNS DNS 45 DNS DNS DNS
26 Gonzalo Bernal, ESP 63 DNS DNS 63 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
27 Damien Guillemet, FRA 63 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 63 DNS DNF
28 Brice Daubord, FRA 61 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
29 Ruben Salmeron, ESP 58 DNS DNS 58 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
30 Rory Downie, GBR 58 33 DNP DNS 25 DNS DNS DNS DNS
31 Damien Derobert, FRA 58 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 58 DNS DNS
32 Llewellyn Holmes, GBR 57 DNS 30 DNS 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS
33 Tomas Jurkovic, SVK 56 DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS
34 Lars Erik Fricke, GER 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS
35 Jose Borrino, ESP 53 DNS DNS 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
36 Tomas Jiranek, CZE 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 53 DNS DNS
37 Fabio Guidelli, ITA 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 53
38 Clement Briere, FRA 51 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
39 Hector Guerra, ESP 51 DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNF
40 Juan Gracia, ESP 45 DNS DNS 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
41 Florian Luquet, FRA 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 45 DNS DNS
42 Christopher Schwab, AUT 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS
43 Dominique Fernando, ESP 41 DNS DNS 41 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
44 Antonello Pallotta, ITA 41 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 41
45 Juan Marti, ESP 37 DNS DNS 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
46 Marc Pschebizin, GER 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 37 DNS DNS
47 Marco Spadaccia, ITA 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 37
48 Grigoris Souvatzoglou, GRE 36 DNS DNS DNS 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS
49 Carlos Martinez, ESP 34 DNS DNS 34 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
51 Sergio Espejo, ESP 31 DNS DNS 31 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
52 Dr. Felix Schumann, GER 31 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 31 DNS DNF
53 Javier Oliver, ESP 28 DNS DNS 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
54 Sebastian Veith, GER 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 28 DNS DNS
55 Arthur Serrieres, FRA 27 27 DNS DNS DNS DNF DNS DNS DNS
56 Nicolas Corentin, BEL 25 DNS DNS DNS 25 DNS DNS DNS DNS
57 Matt Dewis, GBR 23 23 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
58 Simone Calamai, ITA 23 DNS DNS DNS 23 DNS DNS DNS DNS
59 Rob Woestenborghs, BEL 21 DNS 21 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
Women S S G S G G S G
1 Helena Erbenova, CZE 589 DNS 67 100 75 82 90 75 100
2 Brigitta Poor, HUN 446 75 61 90 67 90 63 x61 DNS
3 Louise Fox, GBR 340 51 51 82 56 63 37 DNS DNS
4 Carina Wasle, AUT 318 DNS DNS DNS 61 100 DNF 67 90
5 Jessica Roberts, GBR 259 47 DNF DNS 51 53 45 DNS 63
6 Myriam Guillot, FRA 151 DNS DNS DNS DNS 69 82 DNS DQ
7 Karin Hansen, SUI 197 43 47 DNS DNS 49 DNF DNS 58
8 Kathrin Mueller, GER 175 DNS 75 DNS DNS DNS 100 DNS DNS
9 Morgane Riou, FRA 156 DNS 56 DNS 47 DNS 53 DNS DNS
10 Maud Golsteyn, NED 136 61 DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS DNS DNS
11 Sandra Koblemueller, AUT 136 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS 69 DNS DNS
12 Elisabetta Curridori, ITA 138 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 82
13 Coralie Redelsperger, FRA 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS DNS
14 Renata Bucher, SUI 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75
15 Olga Parfinenko, RUS 69 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 69
16 Ladina Buss, SUI 58 DNS DNS DNS DNS 58 DNS DNS DNS
17 Becci Kaltenmeier, GER 58 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 58 DNS DNS
18 Celine Augueux, FRA 49 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 DNS DNS
19 Sabina Rzepka, POL 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 53
20 Genziana Cenni, ITA 49 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 49
21 Sofia Brites, POR 43 DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
22 Deniz Dimaki, GRE 43 DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS
23 Lenka Cibulkova, CZE 41 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 41 DNS DNS
24 Danica Spiteri, MLT 39 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS


The XTERRA Italy Championship was the 26th of 40 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the world qualify for the 20th annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on Nov. 1.

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 (Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova)
14-Jun XTERRA East Championship (Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder)
20-Jun XTERRA Greece (Kris Coddens / Helena Erbenova)
27-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Championship (Arthur Forissier / Carina Wasle)
27-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter (Karsten Madsen / Heather Pady)
4-Jul XTERRA Freedom Fest (Sergio Florian / Laurel Dudley)
5-Jul XTERRA Victoria (Brent McMahon / Zoe Dawson)
5-Jul XTERRA France Championship (Ruben Ruzafa / Kathrin Mueller)
11-Jul XTERRA Sweden (Sam Osborne / Helena Erbenova)
18-Jul XTERRA Mountain Championship (Josiah Middaugh / Flora Duffy)
25-Jul XTERRA Parry Sound (Sean Bechtel / Heather Pady)
26-Jul XTERRA Italy Championship (Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova)
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