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Arthur Forissier from France and Brigitta Poor from Hungary were both victorious and captured the 9th edition of XTERRA Switzerland, in a very exciting race in the beautiful Vallé de Joux in the «Canton de Vaud»

Here, XTERRA European director and former XTERRA World Champion Nicolas Lebrun tells us how the day unfolded in Switzerland…

This is the third victory here for Arthur. He had his first win here in 2015 in a major XTERRA, then the following year he ended up in hospital during the ETU European Championship, due to a 34° body temperature on a cold and rainy day. But last year he came back to win again. With perfect conditions just like today in front of Ruben, proving he can be one of  the best XTERRA athlete’s in Europe and soon I think in the world.

He exited the Brenet lake in 10th position, some 1’40 back from today’s and the usual swim leader, Roger Serrano. “I had a really fast swim, faster than usual and I managed to be in a very good position after exiting the water” said Forissier.

However, Arthur was in a perfect position as he made his way up and was soon to be with his team mate Arthur Serrieres too. Meanwhile, Marchello Ugazio was few seconds in front and Theo Dupras, another Team Tvert Team mate was few seconds behind. So this was the perfect group to try to work together to try and catch the Spaniard who was alone out in the front, especially when you have the advantage of 3 very strong members of the same team. But the race will not always be like we would predict.  After one lap on this quite flat and very fast MTB bike loop, Roger was still leading with about 45 seconds.

“I was feeling very good on the swim and tried to pace myself. On the bike I knew I had legs but the French guys behind me were working together trying to catch me » said Serrano.

At this stage though, the chasing group behind was only composed of 3 athletes, Marcello Ugazio, Arthur Forissier, and of course, Theo Dupras. Arthur Serrieres had dropped off the pace a little, and was not with them, but in another group more than a minute behind – perhaps not completely recovered from his big crash in Belgium two weeks ago. Meanwhile, Xavier Dafflon, who was also contesting the Swiss National Championship race, had already lost a little less than 5’ on Roger, but was having a fantastic bike leg, to put in the fastest bike split of the day.With the prospect of the run leg fast approaching, at the end of the bike, Roger was still leading, but had lost a few more seconds to the chasing trio. As he exited the second transition, the time gap had come down sufficiently enough to have Forissier and Theo only 35’’ behind at this very exciting stage of the race.

Unfortunately Ugazio, who was now holding onto 4th position, was not able to follow their speed on the technical part that was near the end of the second bike loop and was now trailing about 1’ behind. On exiting T2, Dafflon started the run in 5th place, but was still comfortably leading the Swiss National Championship. But things were about to change drastically at the front of the race.

After the first run loop around the lake, Forissier had already passed Roger, and was running very strong. « As he passed me, I could see that it was in no doubt that he would put in the fastest run split of the day and by almost one minute! » said Lebrun

XTERRA Switzerland Elite Men 
Pos Name, Country Time Points
1 Arthur Forissier, FRA 2:10:56 75
2 Roger Serrano, ESP 2:12:47 67
3 Marcello Ugazio, ITA 2:13:00 61
4 Arthur Serrieres , FRA 2:16:06 56
5 Theo Dupras, FRA 2:16:16 51
6 Xavier Dafflon, SUI 2:17:04 47
7 Peter Lehmann, GER 2:18:57 43
8 Pierrick Page, FRA 2:19:11 39
9 Jan Kubicek, CZE 2:19:26 36
10 Emanuele Aru, ITA 2:21:21 33
11 Corentin Duclos, FRA 2:22:13 30
12 Rui Dolores, POR 2:22:44 27
13 Tim Van Daele, BEL 2:23:06 25
14 Maxim Danon, FRA 2:28:32 23
15 Doug Hall, GBR 2:32:05 21

However, Roger who had been so strong up until the run, explained to us at the finish that he had a small foot injury earlier in the week. This unfortunately meant that he had back off the gas to reduce the impact on his foot, but miraculously held onto a brilliant 2nd place. Ugazio, the Italian who put in a fabulous second fastest run split,  finished a fine 3rd.

“I am very satisfied with my performance today. This is my 3rd podium at XTERRA races this season. I had one of my best runs today and I am so happy finishing 3rd » said Ugazio.

Dupras had another hard time on the second loop of the run, slipped back to 5th, as Serrieres passed him. Dafflon eventually crossed the finish line to finish 6th, but was super happy with the title of Swiss National Champion.

Women’s raceFor the women’s race, just as for the men, it was very close competition right through to the end. Despite a below average swim, Nicole Walters was first out of the water as usual.  Brigitta being less than one minute behind showed that she was feeling good and was hopeful of a good day. Carina who has had some brilliant swim leg’s this year was quite far back. Unfortunately she got kicked quite hard on the face by a passing age grouper and this was very painful to her head. But after a little time to recover on the bike leg from the bash to her face, she started to move back up the field to try to regain her lost time. Then third out of the water was Diane Luethi from Switzerland, she too was in search of the Swiss National Championship title. Helena Karaskova, whom was one of the favorites, lost a whole 4 minutes.

After the first bike loop Nicole was still leading with Brigitta right behind. « Knowing the course, the athletes condition, I was sure that we would see a great competition between these two women today, and they didn’t disappoint us at all » said Lebrun.

However, Carina was still in the game, not far back and making great progress despite her bad experience in the swim. Helena worked super hard to come back on the bike, and in the process, produced the best bike split of the day!. Angela Niklaus was very strong on the bike and had overtaken Diane Luethi, to move into the lead of the Swiss National Championship. Unfortunately, Morgane Riou had a bad crash and was not able to sustain a high intensity anymore. By this time her head had dropped and her drive to reproduce a top result as before, had sadly gone.
Approaching T2, and finishing the 27 km MTB loop, Brigitta was back in the lead with Nicole very close and on her shoulder. So now at long last after so much previous bad luck at this race, the hungarian was in a fabulous position to take the win as she is such a strong runner.

« It’s my 5th or 6th time at XTERRA Switzerland, but this race never went well for me. I was always disappointed but this time everything was perfect from the start to the finish. I am very happy with my win here today” said Poor

XTERRA Switzerland Elite Women
Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Brigitta Poor, HUN 2:34:34 75
2 Nicole Walters, GBR 2:35:51 67
3 Carina Wasle, AUT 2:36:40 61
4 Helena Karaskova CZE 2:37:00 56
5 Loanne Duvoisin, SUI 2:38:13 51
6 Morgane Riou, FRA 2:41:11 47
7 Isabelle Ferrer, FRA 2:41:47 43
8 Angela Niklaus, SUI 2:42:19 39
9 Ladina Buss, SUI 2:44:58 36
10 Diane Luethi, SUI 2:49:46 33
11 Ania Tomica, POL 2:57:27 30

But the threat could still come from behind, as Carina was less than 1’30’’ down. But maybe her head was still not right, as her normally very fast run just wasn’t going to happen today, and on the 2nd loop she faded to concede a very creditable 3rd place indeed.

But she has continued her fantastic string of results, and has had 6 podium places out of 6 races! Brigitta took her 4th race of the season after Malta, Cyprus and Portugal. Nicole finish a well creditatable second, with her excellent fifth podium out of 6 races.

“I had a really good swim today but had a crash early on the bike. I managed to stay calm and put myself together. I had a really good ride after that and also a very good run, so overall I am very pleased with my race today” said Walters

Helena battled on, with a disappointing run to take 4th place. Then young Loanne Duvoisin stormed through the field with the best run split of the day, and with this she did a fantastic race performance to clinch the Swiss National Championship title and 5th place on the day. Morgane Riou came 6th today, which was excellent given her bad crash, but is sure to bounce back to previous performance in races to come.

Euro Tour Standings

With this second place Serrano is now back leading the Tour with a healthy 273 points from Francois Carloni on 229. Ugazio, moved up to 7th position on the tour with 189 points. For the women Carina is still on top with 384 points. Nicole in second with 378, then just behind in third is Brigitta with 356. Then a little further back, we have Helena with 259, Morgane Riou, 229 and Maud Goldsteyn on 154. The only real big mover today was Diane Luethi, who’s 10th place today took her up from 8th to 10th.

Men XTERRA Euro Tour after 7th races 
Pos Name, Country Total MLT CYP GRC ITA-G PRT BEL CHE
1 Roger Serrano, ESP 273 75 75 56 DNS DNS DNS 67
2 Francois Carloni, FRA 229 56 DNS 51 47 DNS 75 DNS
3 Arthur Forissier, FRA 217 DNS DNS 75 67 DNS DNS 75
4 Peter Lehmann, GER 212 33 DNS 39 30 67 DNS 43
5 Xavier Dafflon, SUI 193 DNS DNS 43 56 DNS 47 47
6 Arthur Serrieres , FRA 192 DNS DNS 61 75 DNS DNF 56
7 Marcello Ugazio, ITA 189 DNS DNS 67 61 DNS DNS 61
8 Maxim Chane, FRA 168 51 67 23 27 DNS DNP DNS
9 Rui Dolores, POR 154 36 DNS DNP DNS 61 30 27
10 Geert Lauryssen, BEL 151 47 DNS DNS 43 DNS 61 DNS
11 Victor Morales, ESP 128 67 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
12 Anthony Pannier, FRA 114 DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS 67 DNS
13 Doug Hall, GBR 111 39 51 DNP DNS DNS DNS 21
14 Theo Dupras, FRA 107 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56 51
15 Tim Van Daele, BEL 106 DNP DNS 30 DNS 51 DNF 25
16 Yeray Luxem, BEL 94 DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 51 DNS
17 Jan Kubicek, CZE 92 DNS 56 DNS DNP DNS DNS 36
18 Clement Briere, FRA 85 25 33 27 DNP DNS DNP DNS
19 Veit Hoelne, GER 79 43 DNS DNS DNP DNS 36 DNS
20 Francesco Figini, ITA 78 DNS DNS DNS 39 DNS 39 DNS
Women XTERRA Euro Tour after 7th races 
Pos Name, Country Total MLT CYP GRC ITA-G PRT BEL CHE
1 Carina Wasle, AUT 384 67 DNS 61 67 67 61 61
2 Nicole Walters, GBR 378 47 61 75 61 DNS 67 67
3 Brigitta Poor, HUN 356 75 75 56 DNS 75 DNS 75
4 Helena Karaskova-Erbenova, CZE 259 61 DNS 67 75 DNS DNS 56
5 Morgane Riou, FRA 229 56 DNS 51 DNS DNS 75 47
6 Maud Golsteyn, NED 154 51 DNS 47 DNS DNS 56 DNS
7 Cecilia Jessen, SWE 128 39 56 33 DNS DNS DNS DNS
8 Diane Luethi, SUI 119 43 DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS 33
9 Jessica Roberts, GBR 107 DNS DNS 30 30 DNS 47 DNS
10 Sandra Mairhofer, ITA 99 DNS DNS 43 56 DNS DNS DNS
11 Ania Tomica, POL 81 DNS 51 DNS DNF DNS DNS 30
12 Diane Lee, GBR 78 DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS 51 DNS
13 Ine Couckuyt, BEL 75 36 DNS 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS
14 Barbara Riveros, CHL 67 DNS 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
15 Eva Garcia Gonzalez, ESP 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS
16 Aina Picas, ESP 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS
17 Bianca Morvillo, ITA 51 DNS DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS
17 Mariana Brugger, BRA 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS
17 Loanne Duvoisin, SUI 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 51
20 Ksenia Chemykh, RUS 47 DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
20 Eleonora Peroncini, ITA 47 DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS

Next stop will be XTERRA France in Xonrupt, with some new protagonist like the world champion Bradley Weiss, Ben Allen and the last year tour winner, Ruben Ruzafa, this will provide a fantastic prospect of excitement. . For the woman two time World Champion Lesley Paterson from Scotland, Jacky Slack from Great Britain or penny Slater from Australia.

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