Arthur Serrieres from France and Lesley Paterson from Scotland captured the seventh annual XTERRA Greece off-road triathlon elite titles with winning times of 2:14:40 and 2:40:26, respectively, on Sunday, April 21, 2019 in Vouliagmeni.
For Serrieres it was his third XTERRA World Tour win and his first in 2019, and for Paterson, the reigning and three-time women’s XTERRA World Champion, a successful season opener.
In the men’s race Mathurin Boutte led the entire swim with a gap to Max Sasserath in second, before a big group of pre-race favorites including Serrieres, Arthur Forissier, Francois Carloni and Yeray Luxem. Kris Coddens and Dominik Wychera followed next a few minutes behind the main group.
After 5km of the bike course, the front group featuring Serrieres, Forissier, Carloni, Sasserath and Luxem worked well together to extend their lead from the swim. Only in the last few kilometres would Serrieres, Forissier and Luxem escape to create a small gap ahead leading into the run. Carloni and Sasserath entered T2 together with a small gap to Coddens and Wychera who were both riding solo. Dafflon had begun to make his way to the front of the race, before breaking his saddle just before the start of second loop, he would continue to finish but well out of contention.
Immediately, the French pairing took the race to Luxem and pulled a small advantage at 1.5km. Sasserath would test Carloni at every opportunity and Carloni would continue to respond. With the rest of the field broken to pieces, Coddens and Wychera could concentrate on keeping their 6thand 7thpositions safe, whilst ahead the podium was still to be decided.
In the last couple of kilometres, Serrieres put the hammer down with a race winning move on the run and finally broke his compatriot Forissier who would take a hard earned second position. Luxem would show everybody that he is back after focusing on his role as a new father in 2018. Sasserath made one last attack on Carloni to take 4th place, and the 2018 XTERRA European Tour Champion Carloni was quite happy with 5th place after his Cape Epic exploits just a few weeks ago.
“I had a very strong winter, but I was not sure I had had enough rest before this first race” said Serrieres. “I felt very strong today. I made a few mistakes in the swim, but I was not too far back in T1. When you train hard for a long period, seeing it result in a win like that, is magic. I hope now I will keep this form ahead the ITU World championship in Spain”.
“It was a pretty good race even if I did not win,” exclaimed Forissier. “On the bike Yeray and Arthur were very strong and it was hard to follow them. On the run part I was running really fast, I felt good and paced myself evenly, but Arthur was just too strong for me today.”
Elite Men’s Results
|10||Andrea Giuseppe Zanenga||IT||
In the women’s race, XTERRA debutant Charlotte Deldaele would be the first woman out of the water with a big lead over Carina Wasle who in turn was able to build a lead over the world champion Lesley Paterson. Not far behind them was a small group containing Karaskova-Erbenova, Anna Tomica and Maud Golsteyn.
The world champ worked hard to get to the front of the race, helped by an unfortunate crash for Wasle putting her out of contention. Paterson would take the lead by the end of the first loop of the bike chased hard by Karaskova-Erbenova and Deldaele in third. The second lap would see no changes in position but Karaskova-Erbenova would continue to close the gap to Paterson setting the fastest bike split in the process.
Paterson made it to T2 without being caught and from there onwards it was a formality for the 3x world champ, who would go unchallenged for the finishing tape on Vouliagmeni beach. Karaskova-Erbenova would secure second place with new comer Deldaele completing the podium in third.
“It was good, the first race of the season is always a challenge to get the head in the game, so it took a while to get the hang off racing again!” said Paterson. “I pushed through and was glad to take the win here in Greece”
“It was tough racing all day by myself” said Karaskova-Erbenova. “Last year I could race with people around me which was motivating. But today Lesley was too far ahead, and third place was far enough behind that I could enjoy second place”
“My first XTERRA, and I raced the world champion, how fantastic! I had no plans or expectations ahead of the race” said Deldaele. “I only wanted to have fun. I’m really happy with my performance today. I’m now looking forward to XTERRA France in July”
Elite Women’s Results
|2||Helena Karaskova Erbenova||CZ||
|All-Time XTERRA Greece Elite Champions|
|2013||Ben Allen||Helena Erbenova|
|2014||Francois Carloni||Kathrin Mueller|
|2015||Kris Coddens||Helena Erbenova|
|2016||Roger Serrano||Helena Erbenova|
|2017||Ruben Ruzafa||Helena Erbenova|
|2018||Arthur Forissier||Nicole Walters|
|2019||Arthur Serrieres||Lesley Paterson|
XTERRA Greece was the second of 14 races on the 2019 XTERRA European Tour, offering up $7,500 USD and 75-point scale scoring towards elite and amateur Tour standings, plus 26 qualifying spots for age groupers vying to race at XTERRA Worlds.
Elites count their best eight scores of 14 events to determine Tour champs. Find complete details at xterraplanet.com.