Ruzafa, Flipo win XTERRA Switzerland
Vallee de Joux, Switzerland - Ruben Ruzafa and Michelle Flipo captured the XTERRA Switzerland / ETU European Cross Triathlon Championship under extreme weather conditions in the Vallee de Joux on Saturday afternoon.
The win is Ruzafa’s second straight on the European Tour this year and his 21st XTERRA major victory in 26 races since winning Worlds as a rookie in 2008. For Flipo, the win is her first on the XTERRA World Tour.
XTERRA managing director Dave Nicholas was on-site to take in the action and brings us this…
What a mess! The day started with some sun and a breeze after a monster storm Friday eve. “I think we’ll be good, maybe some little rain” said Thomas Vasser, head of the Sports Center of the Vallee de Joux. Nine minutes into the swim it started to rain, by 15 minutes it was steady and by 25 minutes it was a downpour. Let The Mudfest Begin!
The swim was divided in three waves; pro men, pro women and then all age groupers.
“I never saw anything like it” marveled Spain’s Roger Serrano. “It was a war. These guys went crazy.”
German Jens Roth led big out of the water and took a nice lead early. By 1K Ben Allen, Sam Osborne and Brice Daubord were nose to tail chasing Jens. By 5K, 3-time World Champ Ruben Ruzafa was already up into 3rd having passed Roth in a full slide down a muddy slope and in another 2K had taken the lead.
“This condition today is good for me” he smiled. “I like technical and today with the mud and steep places – I was very fast on the downhills.”
Fast? How about nearly four-minutes faster than the second best bike time.
The women’s swim was no surprise as ITU and former XTERRA racer from Mexico now living in France, Michelle Flipo took first out of the water. Brit Jacqui Slack caught her by the 4K mark and started to ride away.
“I really like XTERRA but my technical bike skills are not as good as I would like,” Michelle said shortly after the finish. “I could keep up on the flats and uphills but lost time on the downhills and technical sections.”
I had to smile while interviewing her as she is a lovely woman, tall with blonde hair, but was totally covered in mud and one could only see her eyes and smile. Jacqui Slack put in a great ride in the lead, but 33-time XTERRA winner Renata “the Swiss Miss” Bucher was the Mistress of the Mud today. She was almost three minutes faster than Jacqui and came into T2 with the lead. Another Swiss, Ladina Buss was 3rd and Flipo 4th. Our winner put in the fastest run of the day and picked off Buss, then Slack and finally Renata to take the lead and come home with a 2.5-minute lead.
The back story was Myriam Guillot-Boisett. Her run was only a handful of seconds slower than Flipo’s and she passed Ladina and Renata to take a hard fought 3rd. Second-place to fourth-place was separated by less than four seconds, a fantastic finish.
Back with the men, poor Sam Osborne took a wicked fall on lap two about 100m from me and nearly took Brice Daubord with him. I’m not sure how Brice got around the Kiwi but this put him solidly in 2nd. Sam never really recovered. “I hit really hard and it knocked me pretty good” he said after the event.
Our fast swimmer Jens Roth was 4th, Ben Allen 5th and Veit Honle 6th. XTERRA Belgium winner Kris Coddens was coming fast but was still back around 9th. Allen did not look happy and yelled “I HATE MUD” every time he went past. The men were really fighting on the bike. A bunch were scrapping hard on the 2nd lap.
“I knew I could not run because I had a muscle tear” said Roger Serrano, the reigning XTERRA European Tour Champion. “These guys were going so hard I ask how will they run? Maybe I should go.”
Passing up and down the hills, slipping and sliding on the ever-worsening mud they came into T2 as a bunch with Roger, Veit Holne, Sam Osborne, Brice Daubord, Italian Mattia De Paoli and Kris Coddens all mixed together and now four minutes behind Ruzafa.
Serrano stopped, Sam was still stunned by his fall and dropped back. Brice was a good second with Veit 3rd but Coddens was charging, caught them on the 1st lap and started chasing after Ruben. At the end of the first lap officials stopped Kris in the penalty booth for a 15-second helmet infraction at T2. This dropped him back to 4th but about the 2K mark the speedy Belgian was past Daubord and settled in for a great 2nd place finish just over a minute behind Ruben.
Today the mud was worse than Belgium two weeks ago, but the finish line was full of smiles as racers washed themselves off in the fresh water stream coming down from the mountains.
“Nobody was going to catch Ruben today,” said Ben Allen as he chatted with Brad Weiss at the awards. “All those years as a pro mountain biker just makes him unbelievable in conditions like this.”
Our women’s winner was also all smiles and like a champ should say – she told me “I’m going to Maui.”
Tentative Elite Results
|1||Ruben Ruzafa, ESP||2:47:58||100|
|2||Kris Coddens, BEL||2:49:18||90|
|3||Brice Daubord, FRA||2:49:28||82|
|4||Veit Holne, GER||2:49:36||75|
|5||Mattia De Paoli, ITA||2:50:28||69|
|6||Bradley Weiss, RSA||2:51:36||63|
|7||Sam Osborne, NZL||2:52:49||58|
|8||Arthur Serrieres, FRA||2:53:17||53|
|9||Max Neuman, AUS||2:53:22||49|
|10||Hannes Wolport, GER||2:55:12||45|
|11||Anthony Pannier, FRA||2:55:49||41|
|12||Jan Kubicek, CZE||2:56:02||37|
|13||Jan Pyott, SUI||2:56:27||34|
|14||Toma Jurkovic, SVK||2:56:38||31|
|15||Ben Allen, AUS||2:57:37||28|
|Also: Henry Sleight, Maxim Chane, Andreas Silberbauer, Filippo Galli, Andy Klay, Ronnie Schildknecht, Jens Roth, Norbert Durauer, Lars Van der Eerden, Maia Tiago, Thomas Kerner, BG Orozco, Anthony Flinois, Julien Pousson, Rene Wuthrich, Joosh Christiaans, Leandro Glardon, Staps Joep, Richard Sumpter, Llie Regost, Barret Fishner, Kenny Van Laere|
|1||Michelle Flipo, FRA||3:18:40||100|
|2||Jacqui Slack, GBR||3:21:16||90|
|3||Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA||3:21:20||82|
|4||Renata Bucher, SUI||3:21:20||75|
|5||Ladina Buss, SUI||3:22:21||69|
|6||Brigitta Poor, HUN||3:25:37||63|
|7||Carina Wasle, AUT||3:28:18||58|
|8||Coralie Redelsperger, FRA||3:29:39||53|
|9||Morgane Riou, FRA||3:32:22||49|
|10||Louise Fox, GBR||3:32:45||45|
|11||Maud Golsteyn, NED||3:34:29||41|
|12||Jessica Roberts, GBR||3:34:47||37|
|13||Monica Cibin, ITA||3:35:55||34|
|14||Elisabetta Curridori, ITA||3:36:58||31|
|15||Kara LaPoint, USA||3:39:43||28|
|Also: Sabina Rzepla, AL Marechal, Lenka Cibulkova, Danica Spiteri|
|All-Time XTERRA Switzerland Elite Winners|
|Year||Men’s Champ||Women’s Champ||Location|
|2010||Olivier Marceau||Marion Lorblancet||Prangins|
|2011||Olivier Marceau||Marion Lorblancet||Prangins|
|2012||Nicolas Lebrun||Helena Erbenova||Prangins|
|2013||Victor Del Corral||Helena Erbenova||Vallee de Joux|
|2014||Ruben Ruzafa||Kathrin Mueller||Vallee de Joux|
|2015||Arthur Forissier||Carina Wasle||Vallee de Joux|
|2016||Ruben Ruzafa||Michelle Flipo||Vallee de Joux|
RUZAFA, POOR LEAD XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR STANDINGS
Ruben Ruzafa and Kris Coddens jumped past Roger Serrano to take the No. 1 and No. 2 positions in the elite men’s standings after five of 11 races in the XTERRA European Tour. Elite athletes count their best 4 Gold and 3 Silver finishes. In the women’s chase Brigitta Poor and Morgane Riou moved into the 1 and 2 spots after recording their fourth scoring event. Erbenova, who was a scratch in Switzerland, is still perfect having won all three races she’s entered and sits in third.
Next up: XTERRA France on July 3.
|2016 XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR STANDINGS|
|Elites after 5 (Tentative) - as of 6.25.16|
|1||Ruben Ruzafa, ESP||242||DNS||67||75||DNS||100|
|2||Kris Coddens, BEL||212||DNS||47||DNS||75||90|
|3||Roger Serrano, ESP||211||75||75||61||DNS||DNF|
|4||Brice Daubord, FRA||186||43||61||DNS||DNS||82|
|5||Sam Osborne, NZL||176||DNS||DNS||51||67||58|
|6||Francois Carloni, FRA||168||DNS||51||56||61||DNS|
|7||Hannes Wolpert, GER||114||36||DNS||33||DNS||45|
|8||Veit Hoenle, GER||98||DNS||DNS||23||DNS||75|
|9||Yeray Luxem, BEL||94||DNS||DNS||67||27||DNS|
|10||Tomas Kubek, CZE||90||DNS||43||DNS||47||DNS|
|11||Pierre-Antoine Guilhem, FRA||82||61||21||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|12||Max Neumann, AUS||79||DNS||30||DNS||DNS||49|
|13||Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA||77||47||DNS||DNS||30||DNS|
|14||Jan Kubicek, CZE||73||DNS||36||DNS||DNS||37|
|15||Cedric Lassonde, FRA||69||30||39||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|16||Mattia De Paoli, ITA||69||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||69|
|17||Sebastian Norberg, GER||68||DNS||25||DNS||43||DNS|
|18||Jan Pyott, SUI||67||DNS||33||DNS||DNS||34|
|19||Jens Roth, GER||67||67||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNP|
|20||Henry Sleight, GBR||67||DNS||DNS||DNS||39||28|
|21||Christophe Betard, FRA||63||27||DNS||DNS||36||DNS|
|22||Bradley Weiss, RSA||63||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||63|
|23||Llewellyn Holmes, GBR||58||DNS||DNS||25||33||DNS|
|24||Tim Van Daele, BEL||57||DNS||27||30||DNS||DNS|
|25||Maxim Chane, FRA||56||56||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|26||Arthur Forissier, FRA||56||DNS||56||DNS||DNS||DNF|
|27||Nicolas Fernandez, FRA||56||DNS||DNS||DNS||56||DNS|
|28||Arthur Serrieres, FRA||53||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||53|
|29||Peter Lehmann, GER||51||51||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|30||Damien Guillemet, FRA||51||DNS||DNS||DNS||51||DNS|
|31||José Estrangeiro, POR||47||DNS||DNS||47||DNS||DNS|
|32||Maximilian Sasserath, GER||43||DNS||DNS||43||DNS||DNS|
|33||Anthony Pannier, FRA||41||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||41|
|34||Dominik Wychera, AUT||39||39||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|35||Julen Loroño, ESP||39||DNS||DNS||39||DNS||DNS|
|36||Rui Dolores, POR||36||DNS||DNS||36||DNS||DNS|
|37||Fabien Combaluzier, FRA||33||33||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|38||Toma Jurkovic, SVK||31||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||31|
|39||Ben Allen, AUS||28||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||28|
|40||Gonzalo Orosco, ESP||27||DNS||DNS||27||DNS||DNS|
|41||Markus Benesch, AUT||25||25||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|42||Jim Thijs, BEL||25||DNS||DNS||DNS||25||DNS|
|43||Julien Buffe, FRA||23||DNS||23||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|44||Martial Schmidt, FRA||23||DNS||DNS||DNS||23||DNS|
|45||Tiago Maia, POR||21||DNS||DNS||21||DNS||DNP|
|1||Brigitta Poor, HUN||266||75||67||61||DNS||63|
|2||Morgane Riou, FRA||228||67||51||DNS||61||49|
|3||Helena Erbenova, CZE||225||DNS||75||75||75||DNS|
|4||Maud Golsteyn, NED||183||56||DNS||39||47||41|
|5||Carina Wasle, AUT||181||DNS||DNS||56||67||58|
|6||Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA||149||DNS||DNS||67||DNS||82|
|7||Louise Fox, GBR||148||DNS||56||47||DNS||45|
|8||Ladina Buss, SUI||130||DNS||61||DNS||DNS||69|
|9||Renata Bucher, SUI||126||DNS||DNS||51||DNS||75|
|10||Michelle Flipo, FRA||100||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||100|
|11||Jacqui Slack, GBR||90||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||90|
|12||Jessie Roberts, GBR||88||DNS||DNS||DNS||51||37|
|13||Elisabetta Curridori, ITA||74||DNS||DNS||DNS||43||31|
|14||Sandra Koblemueller, AUT||61||61||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|15||Isabelle Klein, LUX||56||DNS||DNS||DNS||56||DNS|
|16||Coralie Redelsperger, FRA||53||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||53|
|17||Alena Stevens, SVK||51||51||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|18||Diane Lee, GBR||47||47||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|19||Kristina Nec Lapinova, SVK||43||43||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|20||Sara Bonilla Bernardez, ESP||43||DNS||DNS||43||DNS||DNS|
|21||Danica Spiteri, MLT||39||39||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNP|
|22||Lenka Cibulkova, CZE||39||DNS||DNS||DNS||39||DNP|
|23||Monica Cibin, ITA||34||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||34|
|24||Kara LaPoint, USA||28||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||28|
2016 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS
XTERRA France was the 18th of 37 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the world could qualify to race at the 21st annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on Oct 23.