Rouvier and Morvillo Win XTERRA Switzerland Amidst Challenging Conditions

June 24, 2024

VALLÉE DE LA BRÉVINE, SWITZERLAND /ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – XTERRA Switzerland marked the 11th stop of the 2024 XTERRA EMEA Tour on June 22, 2024. Valentin Rouvier (FRA) and Bianca Morvillo (ITA) were victorious in the valley beneath the Neuchâtel mountains.

The two-day event attracted both local and international competitors offering a €7,500 Elite Prize Purse and provided 28 World Championship slots for age groupers in the Full Distance race. This off-road challenge also doubled as the Swiss National Cross Triathlon Championship, combining national and global competition on the 2024 XTERRA World Tour.

Course Conditions

Swim (1.5K): The swim took place in Lac des Taillères in the La Brévine valley. Participants faced a challenging 1.5K loop in this famously cool lake with the water temperature at 18 degrees Celsius to kick off a demanding race.

Bike (34K): Exiting the swim, competitors tackled a 34K ride through forests and pastures, including a segment that crossed into France. Morning rain caused mud to thicken on mountain bike wheels and frames as it dried, complicating navigation.

Run (9K): The 9K trail run concluded the triathlon with two long, gradual climbs. The course also looped along the lake and through the forest. The drying mud became sticky and then slippery, posing challenges for those who opted for road running shoes offering far less traction than trail-specific footwear.

Top 5 Elite Men’s Full Distance Results

  1. Valentin Rouvier, FRA: 2:58:17
  2. Xavier Dafflon, CHE: 3:00:35
  3. Nicolas Duré, FRA: 3:02:30
  4. Diego Ras, ITA: 3:04:32
  5. Guillaume Meunier, FRA: 3:05:02

Valentin Rouvier from France triumphed at his first XTERRA race, clinching the win for Men’s Elite. He led from the outset with a swift swim of 21:07, setting the tone for his remarkable second segment on the bike. Elaborating on his race, Rouvier shared, “I was unsure of my strength today, but as soon as I hit the water, I knew I had to push as hard as possible right from the start. Seeing myself two minutes ahead during the bike segment really drove me to maintain my lead.”

Rouvier faced challenges, particularly during the run. “I didn’t have my trail shoes, which made the downhill segments difficult. I actually crashed on the first lap of the trail run because my shoes lacked traction.”

His diverse training routines, which include mountain biking with his dogs as he practices and competes in mushing, evidently contributed to his strong biking segment, where he clocked in at 1:55:36. “Sometimes I train on my bike with my dogs. It’s a different kind of challenge that really prepares you for unexpected situations,” he added.

Rouvier concluded the race with a run time of 39:30, securing a total time of 2:58:17. Despite the slip during the run, his substantial lead allowed him to finish strong. “With the lead I had built up, I knew I just needed to manage my pace and stay upright to win,” he concluded, relieved yet triumphant.

Xavier Dafflon secured second place while representing the host nation with an overall time of 3:00:35. Following a swim of 25:53, it was his bike segment where he excelled with the best time of 1:53:38, capping off with a strong run of 38:28.

Reflecting on his race, Dafflon commented, “The weather conditions were tough, which really complicates preparation and mental focus. You have to be prepared for anything in a race like this.” He further acknowledged the difficulties caused by recent weather, “The last few days didn’t allow for open water swimming, which really hindered my ability to transfer my recent improvements from the pool.”

Despite a challenging start, Dafflon’s determination shone through during the bike segment. “I knew I was behind after the swim, but I had no choice but to push as hard as I could on the bike. It became a mental game to stay strong and focused.”

His performance culminated in a battle to maintain his position. “I had to battle for second place so I’m so happy and to show everyone that I deserve my Swiss champion title.” An eight-time Swiss Cross Triathlon Champion, this race added another notable achievement to Dafflon’s distinguished career.

Nicolas Duré from France finished third to round out the podium, posting a total time of 3:02:30. He started with a swim time of 23:21, followed by a strong bike segment of 1:56:01, and concluded with a run time of 40:09.

Complete Results Here.

Top 5 Women’s Full Distance Results

  1. Bianca Morvillo, ITA: 3:36:09
  2. Lizzie Orchard, NZL: 3:55:26
  3. Romane Cizeron, FRA: 3:56:21
  4. Camille Jobard, FRA: 3:57:56
  5. Ladina Scherzinger-Buss, CHE: 4:08:57

Bianca Morvillo from Italy took first place among the women with an impressive time of 3:36:09. She began the race with a swim time of 26:25, placing her third initially. However, she quickly took the lead during the bike segment.

Looking back on her past experiences and the race, Morvillo shared, “My last cross triathlon race was in 2018. Since then, I’ve been doing a bit of trail running and mountain biking only.” She then detailed her race strategy, “After the swim, I was third, but I took the lead on the bike within the first 10 minutes. I didn’t know where the others were, and I just focused on pushing hard on the bike and run. I didn’t know I would do so well.” Morvillo’s dominant performance on the latter two segments propelled her to finish significantly ahead of her competitors, with her closest rival nearly 20 minutes behind her in the final standings.

Lizzie Orchard from New Zealand claimed second place, posting a total time of 3:55:26. She began with a strong swim and maintained a competitive pace throughout. Orchard said, “One of my main concerns of the day was just to make it to the finish of the race because I saw a lot of people sliding. On the last downhill, it was really, really slippery.” She felt particularly strong during the run, noting, “I felt a lot better running than any other race so far this year.”

Orchard also detailed her strategic positioning throughout the race: “Romane (Cizeron) and I pretty much swam together and spent a lot of the time on the bike together, switching places. I had to have a nice run to stay ahead of the rest of the girls because I knew they were very strong.” This strategy helped her secure a solid second place, performing well in challenging conditions.

Romane Cizeron from France secured third with a time of 3:56:21. This marked her first XTERRA podium finish as an elite. Cizeron reflected on her race experience, saying, “I had a nice swim with Lizzie; the two of us were together. On the bike, I had a good sensation on the first lap, but the second lap the mud was thicker and made my bike heavier.” Her strategic approach was evident in the run segment, where she noted, “I had a nice run with Camille (Jobard) on the first lap. I knew I had to go hard on the uphill if I wanted to take third place.”

Looking ahead, Cizeron is already focusing on her next challenge, stating, “I will go to the World Cup in Quebec next.”

Saturday evening was host to a dinner party and music provided by a live DJ, celebrating the day’s events. The competitive weekend featured an exciting lineup of 10 different races, from the intense Full Distance Triathlon and Duathlon to engaging Kids Races. Included were Sprint and Super Sprint Triathlons, integral to the inaugural XTERRA Youth Tour. This new initiative targeted young athletes aged 14-19, offering them a chance to qualify for the XTERRA Youth Tour World Championship set beneath the stunning Dolomites in Trentino, Italy, on September 29.


XTERRA is a global lifestyle brand that champions the outdoor enthusiast in their pursuit of relentless adventure. From pioneering the sport of cross-triathlon in 1996, XTERRA has grown to become a leading brand in off-road adventure through the XTERRA World Tour, XTERRA Trail Run World Series and the XTERRA World Cup, connecting an eco-aware community of worldwide explorers that seek to protect the places where they play. For more information, visit xterraplanet.com.

High-Resolution Images Available For Use Here.