Golega, Portugal – Three-time XTERRA World Champion Ruben Ruzafa of Spain and three-time XTERRA European Tour Champion Helena Erbenova of the Czech Republic captured the elite titles at XTERRA Portugal on Saturday. It was the third of 11 races on this year’s XTERRA European Tour.
It was a good day in Portugal
said XTERRA World Tour managing director Dave Nicolas.
Mild temperature, clouds and some breeze made it perfect for competitors. Ruben Ruzafa is back to his dominating ways. He made a power move on Francois Carloni on a steep uphill, passed into first and never looked back. For the women, Helena had a good swim and worked with Myriam Guillot-Boisset to catch leaders Brigitta Poor and Renata Bucher. Bucher, Myriam and Helena stayed together passing and repassing until the end when Erbenova was able to break away followed by Guillot-Boisset.
In the highly competitive men’s race Ruzafa took the tape in 2:34:11, more than 1:20 ahead of Belgium star Yeray Luxem, with the reigning XTERRA European Tour Champ Roger Serrano in third.
Carloni and Serrano were shadowed by Belgium Yeray Luxem until Luxem had a problem on a downhill. He rode very hard to get back to the Franco-Spanish duo but headed on the run in 4th. Carloni and Serrano ran together for the first 6K and the Roger pulled away. Luxem caught Francois about 4k from the finish and passed Serrano when the Spaniard leapt over a fallen tree and immediately cramped.