Why it matters: Arthur Serrieres and Alizee Paties, both from France, won the men's and women's elite races respectively at Xterra Oak Mountain, the second stop on the Xterra World Cup.
Setting the pace: This is Serrieres' 22nd Xterra World Tour victory and his first this season, while Paties has secured her second win in a row in the World Cup, following her victory at the Xterra Asia-Pacific Championship last month in Taiwan.
What they are saying:
- Eric Lagerstrom, who came in second place in the men's elite race, commented on Serrieres' victory: “Arthur just kind of ever so slowly opened up a gap, and I was close, but it was one of the situations where I could go after him and risk blowing up and end up finishing sixth, or just hang in there.”
- Paties, after winning the women's race, said: “It was difficult with the heat, and the run is flat so you have to push all the time, but it was a great day. And the bike here is so fun and amazing.”
By the numbers:
- Serrieres finished the race in 2:25:30, while Lagerstrom was 38 seconds behind.
- Paties crossed the finish line in 2:47:18, with Marta Menditto from Italy finishing second in 2:52:58.
Between the transition:
Eric Lagerstrom surprised many by leading for a significant portion of the men's race, while in the women's race, Samantha Kingsford and Suzie Snyder gave Paties a run for her money.
Through Time: Serrieres returns to the winner's circle after some challenging races in Taiwan and Ibiza, signifying a significant recovery and a return to form. Paties, on the other hand, continues her streak of successes, demonstrating her consistent high performance.
The bottom line: With these victories, Serrieres and Paties have shown their remarkable stamina and tenacity, marking them as strong contenders in the Xterra World Cup circuit. These victories also contribute significantly to the reputations of French athletes in the global off-road triathlon scene.