Arthur Forissier and Camille Defer from France captured the 10th annual XTERRA Switzerland off-road triathlon elite titles on a beautiful day in Vallee de Joux on Saturday, June 29, 2019.
For Forissier, who won his first-ever XTERRA World Tour major on this course back in 2015, the victory was the sixth of his XTERRA career, third in a row in Switzerland, and second on the European Tour this season. He also won the ITU Cross Tri World Title in April. For Defer, it’s the first big XTERRA win of her career, following a breakout race at XTERRA Belgium earlier this month where she finished third.
In the men’s elite race Maxim Chane was first out of the water with a group of four athletes including Mathurin Boutte, Pierrick Page, Doug Hall, and Aurilien Lescure following seconds behind him. Forissier was in sixth place after the swim, about one-minute back.
Forissier caught Chane early on the bike and the duo worked together up front for a while before Forissier pulled away and took a big lead into the bike-to-run transition.
The strong mountain biker Theo Dupras, who was ninth out of the water, made his move and passed everybody including Chane to reach transition in second place with Chane in third one-minute behind him.
Swiss favorite Dafflon, who was fighting for the national title, posted the fastest bike split of the day and exited transition in fourth with Fleureton (pictured above), Hall, Lescure, and Duclos all together seconds behind him.
At the end of the first loop of the run, Forissier was still in the lead and opening the gap even more. The big fight was behind him as Fleureton was coming fast from behind and passed Dupras at the beginning of the second loop while Duclos had a great pace to pass Dafflon and Lescure.
Nothing would change in the lead during the second half of the run and Forissier crossed the finish line first with a winning time of 2:15:07. Fleureton finished second nearly four minutes back, with Duclos (pictured above) in third 25-seconds later.
Lescure had a solid performance and finished fourth and Dafflon took the national title as the first Swiss men’s finisher to complete the top five. Dupras was sixth and Hall held on for seventh.
Top 15 Elite Men
Arthur Forissier, FRA
Cedric Fleureton, FRA
Corentin Duclos, FRA
Aurelien Lescure, FRA
Xavier Dafflon, SUI
Theo Dupras, FRA
Doug Hall, GBR
Samuel Jud, CHE
Andrea Zanega, ITA
Mathurin Boutte, FRA
Maxim Chane, FRA
Romaric Ladet, FRA
Pierrick Page, FRA
Mathieu Desserprit, FRA
Maxim Danon, FRA
In the women’s race Nicole Walters was first out of the water, almost three-minutes in front of Isabelle Ferrer. Another 1:20 back was local Ladina Buss together with fellow Swiss, Angela Nicklaus. XTERRA Malta Champion Maria Doring was in fifth five minutes behind the leader, and Defer, the eventual winner, was more than six-minutes behind Walters.
Early on the bike Buss and Niklaus worked together and passed Ferrer and were chasing Walters. After the first half of the bike, Walters broke a spoke and suffered a flat that forced her to pull from the race.
Buss took the lead with Ferrer and Nicklaus not far behind and Defer about one-minute back by the time they reached the bike-to-run transition.
Buss maintained her position up front through the midway point on the run while Defer, who is a super-fast runner, passed Nicklaus and Ferrer to move into second position about one-minute behind Buss.
Defer went on to post the fastest run of the day by far and took the tape in 2:43:43, more than one-minute in front of Buss, who was the top Swiss female finisher to earn national title accolades. Ferrer came in third, with Nicklaus in fourth, Segolene Leberon fifth, and Doring sixth.