Ruzafa, Flipo win XTERRA Switzerland

Photos / Complete Results

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

Pos Name, NAT Time Points
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
Pos Name, NAT Time Points
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


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.

Elites after 5 (Tentative) - as of 6.25.16            
Men   S S S S G
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
46 Boris Chambon 21 DNS DNS DNS 21 DNS
Women   S S S S G
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


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.