In the women’s race, Loanne Duvoisin, after a strong swim in the full distance last Saturday, was first out of the water again the day after, together with Aneta Grabmullerova and closely followed by Sandra Mairhofer and Marta Menditto.
Duvoisin took the lead early on the bike but suffered a crash on the second loop of the fast and technical bike course which saw her pull out of the race. Mairhofer rode with Billouin and Menditto for most of the bike, before attacking to establish a small lead.
Once into transition Menditto took the lead and started to push hard on the run, making a big gap early on. Billouin kept Mairhofer close on the run while Karaskova was closing the gap in fourth place.
Heading into the final loop of the run, the top positions changed with Billouin making her move and passing Mairhofer for second place. Menditto cross the line in a solid first place, with Billouin and Mairhofer earning podium positions behind, and Karaskova and Peroncini finishing in fourth and fifth place respectively.
Speaking after the race Marta Menditto said, “It was a really good race for me. I tried to push on the bike and stay together with Sandra. I had a really fast transition thanks to the tricks I learned from Francois Carloni and took the lead. I was feeling great on the run and I am happy with my victory today.”
Sandra Mairhofer sent her well wishes to Duvoisin after the crash, “I saw her crash in front of me on the bike. I felt sorry for her but tried to stay focused and prevent any mistakes. I was feeling great on the bike but on the run, I was out of energy, probably because of my efforts yesterday in the full distance. I am happy with third place today.”
Top 5 Women
Name (NAT) – Time
Marta Menditto (ITA) – 42:33
Solenne Billouin (FRA) – 43:01
Sandra Mairhofer (ITA) – 43:16
Helena Karaskova-Erbenova (CZE) – 43:39
Eleonora Peroncini (ITA) – 44:26
In the men’s short track race, the swim saw a repeat from Saturday’s full distance race with Maxim Chane first out of the water, followed by Kocar, Serrieres and Spinnaze.
Out onto the bike, it was Chane in the lead, with Spinnaze hot on his wheel and Kocar hunting them down behind. Two of the favourites, Arthur Serrieres and Arthur Forissier were working together out of transition until Forissier made his move up to fourth place before the end of the first loop.
Kocar was next to make his move, passing Spinazze early on in the second loop before pushing hard to pass Chane at the start of the third loop with Forissier on the attack behind and also moving up to second. Danish mountain biker, Sloth Nielsen was also in hunting mode, coming in fast to establish the third position on the bike.
A fast transition for Forisier saw him head out onto the run 11 seconds ahead of Kocar. The French athlete looked unstoppable on the run, increasing the gap on his opponents stride after stride. Crossing the finish line in first place, Forrisier has established himself as the King of Short track, having won all three events so far this season in XTERRA.
The full distance winner, Arthur Serrierres produced another stellar performance, passing Sloth Nielsen early on in the run before battling out with Kocar. However, the Czech local found an extra gear in the last 200m to hold onto his second-place position ahead of Serrieres, with Nielsen and Chane finishing fourth and fifth respectively.
Speaking of his performance, Arthur Forissier said, “Yesterday I was a little tired but this morning I had a good feeling. On the first loop of the swim, there was a big battle with the group, but I decided to keep calm and make my move on the second loop. I had a good transition and then was able to take the lead from Kocar on the bike. I opened the gap early on the run and was able to manage the race. I hope that my friends and fans from Saint-Etienne were able to see my race on the live feed from XTERRA. I won 3 out of 3 XTERRA Short Track races so far and we have 2 more to go this season.”
Local athlete, Lukas Kocar was proud to race in front of his supporters. He said, “I am so happy today. After the full distance yesterday, it was hard to fight in the Short Track today. I was feeling very confident and powerful on the bike but was losing some time on the downhill. I knew that Serrieres was very close, but I kept some power for the last 200 meters of the run to push and keep my position. There were so many spectators that gave me strength and power. It was a great event.”
Top 5 Men
Name (NAT) – Time
Arthur Forissier (FRA) – 35:14
Lukas Kocar (CZE) – 35:44
Arthur Serrieres (FRA) – 35:54
Jens Emil Sloth Nielsen (DEN) -36:31
Maxim Chane (FRA) – 36:35