It’s the 13th XTERRA World Tour win for Serrieres, his sixth this season, and second in as many weeks after defending his XTERRA European Championship title in Germany last week. It’s the fifth XTERRA major for Flipo, who won the 2016 XTERRA European Championship race and was the runner-up at XTERRA Worlds in 2018.
In the men’s race, Will Crudgington, Serrieres, François Vie, and Julien Buffe that exited the water first, with the chase group just over one-minute back on the leaders.
While Ruben Ruzafa (ESP) was in the second pack, it wasn’t long before he closed the gap to the leaders on the bike before racing alongside Serrieres and Crudgington in a small group. The trio stuck together for the first loop of the bike before Ruzafa made his move, knowing Serrieres had the strongest run of the field.
Heading out onto the run just 30 seconds ahead, Ruzafa got straight down to business in an attempt to hold of Serrieres, who comes off the back of being crowned European Champion in Germany last weekend. By the end of the first loop, the two athletes were running side by side.
Moves were being made throughout the run course, with Serrieres pushing the pace to overtake Ruzafa while Arthur Forissier moved up to third, overtaking Crudgington and Vie.
With the fastest run split of the day, Serrieres crossed the finish line in first place for yet another win in what has been a dominating season.
“This race was harder than the XTERRA European Championship in Germany last week,” said Serrieres after the race. “I struggled with the heat, alongside balancing the effects of recent altitude training. Ruben was strong on the bike and took a lot of my energy, and he was good on the run too.”
He added, “I am looking forward to having a great battle with him Ruben at XTERRA Trentino in Italy next month, and I was also happy to see Forissier on the podium again today.”
Ruzafa is also looking forward to another race against Serrieres. He said, “I took the lead on the bike and tried to push hard on the technical part to gain some extra time. I had a great run too and it is really good to see that I was able to run at Serrieres pace for most of it. Congratulations to him for his win, it was a great battle. Now, I want to keep improving and be in the best shape possible for the upcoming race in Molveno.”
Top 10 Men
|1||Arthur Serrieres, FRA||02:42:13.89|
|2||Ruben Ruzafa, ESP||02:42:45.92|
|3||Arthur Forissier, FRA||02:52:04.54|
|4||François Vie, POR||02:54:37.20|
|5||Julien Buffe, FRA||02:55:15.20|
|6||Mathias Cloostermans, BEL||02:55:39.52|
|7||Geert Lauryssen, BEL||02:57:42.08|
|8||*Nicolas Dure, FRA||02:58:15.70|
|9||Will Crudgington, GBR||02:58:35.28|
|10||*Aurélien Pinel, FRA||02:59:51.70|
|* Amateur Athletes|
Women’s Elite Race
XTERRA fans were excited to see Michelle Flipo back on the start line and an early lead in the swim certainly suggested she was in shape and meant business.
The women’s swim saw several solo efforts with Maria Calleja (ESP) exiting the water one minute back, followed by Alizée Paties (FRA) a further minute back and Morgane Riou (FRA) an additional minute back.
Flipo remained unchallenged on the bike, coming into transition more than three minutes ahead of Paties, who had worked her way up to second. Riou was on the hunt, too, and was now less than 30 seconds behind.
After crossing the line in first place with a time of 3:15:41, Flipo said, “I have not been spending much time on the mountain bike, so I don’t always regulate my efforts well and I am not so fast on the technical parts. But I avoided any big mistakes and tried to push hard on the uphill sections. I paid for it on the run though as my legs were suffering. I am very tired but really happy with my win today!”
Having finished fourth last weekend at the European Championships after a stint away from racing due to injury, Riou looked in fine form today as she moved up from third into second and secured the fastest run split of the day.
“I was happy to see some swim speed coming back today but on the bike I didn’t feel great,” said Riou. “I didn’t have much energy and made many mistakes on the technical tracks. I was glad to be back on two feet where I felt way better and ran well but Michelle was too far ahead. Overall, I am happy with my race and excited to see it coming back together.”
Paties, who won the inaugural XTERRA Nouvelle-Aquitaine race in 2020, didn’t have the energy to retaliate but managed to hold onto 3rd place.
“I had a bad swim but felt pretty good on the bike,” said Paties. “On the run, I found it very difficult, and it was a mental battle to keep going. I am happy to be back after not racing XTERRA for so long, and I am looking forward to racing in Molveno for the European Championship.”
Top 10 Women
|1||Michelle Flipo, MEX||03:15:40.41|
|2||Morgane Riou, FRA||03:19:35.08|
|3||Alizée Paties, FRA||03:25:38.92|
|4||Emeline Azam, FRA||03:31:39.40|
|6||Gaelle Leduc, FRA||03:42:49.73|
|7||*Camille Jobard, FRA||03:45:05.04|
|8||*Honorine Sulliot, FRA||03:54:30.96|
|9||Pauline Vie, POR||03:58:07.81|
|10||*Olympe Rodriguez, FRA||03:59:36.20|
|* Amateur Athletes|