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Ruzafa, Corona win inaugural XTERRA Kunming, mainland China

September 23, 2019

It’s the 35th career XTERRA World Tour win for Ruzafa, who won his first of three XTERRA World Championship races in 2008 as a 24-year-old, and for Corona – a remarkable third win in four weeks. She won XTERRA Dominican Republic on September 1, was third at the XTERRA Pan Am Championship in Utah on September 7, and won XTERRA Japan last Sunday.

Ruben Ruzafa from Spain and Fabiola Corona from Mexico won the inaugural XTERRA Kunming, mainland China off-road triathlon elite titles at OCT Yangzong Lake Resort on Sunday, September 22, 2019.

It’s the 35th career XTERRA World Tour win for Ruzafa, who won his first of three XTERRA World Championship races in 2008 as a 24-year-old, and for Corona – a remarkable third win in four weeks. She won XTERRA Dominican Republic on September 1, was third at the XTERRA Pan Am Championship in Utah on September 7, and won XTERRA Japan last Sunday.

In the men’s elite race Ben Allen from Australia was first out of the water in 19:42, with Frenchmen Brice Daubord and Maxim Chane and Ruzafa just seconds behind.  The strong swim for Ruzafa, who is known more for his mountain biking abilities than swim speed, was a strong sign of things to come.

“My race was really good,” said Ruzafa. “I wasn’t expecting this performance. The fast swimmers didn’t push too hard on the swim, so I was able to stay with them. On the bike, I tried to push and make some time and finally I came to transition two minutes ahead of the rest. I know Daubord is a good runner, but being first I was not able to get splits, so I continued to push on the run. Crossing the line with a lead of more than four minutes was great. This was a good test for me and gave me confidence heading into the XTERRA World Championship in Maui next month.”

Ruzafa posted the fastest bike (1:21:04) and quickest run (37:02) to take the tape in 2:20:10, more than four-minutes ahead of Daubord.

“I was scared about my mountain bike performance as I did only one week of training on it before coming here,” said Daubord, who races in the competitive French Grand Prix series.  “I just wanted a third-place here today so I could win the Tour, so I am very happy to finish second behind Ruzafa.  This year I had an incredible experience racing XTERRA in Taiwan, Tahiti, and here in China.”

Daubord finished third at the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship in March, won XTERRA Tahiti, and was second in Kunming to win the XTERA Asia-Pacific Tour title.  Chane placed second in the Tour, 40 points behind his fellow countryman, and third in the race three minutes behind Daubord.

“Today it was hard because of the altitude,” said Chane.  “My swim and bike were good, and I came into the bike-to-run transition together with Daubord but on the run my heart rate was really high, so I was not able to run like I wanted. Overall, it was a great race for me and I’m really happy to finish third today in these conditions. Now, it’s time to rest and get ready for Maui.”

Kieran McPherson from New Zealand, who won XTERRA Japan last weekend, finished in fourth and David Escolar from Spain finished fifth.  The spirit award for the day goes to Ben Allen, who broke his derailleur and had a flat at 4km on the bike but continued the race pushing his bike for the next 26-kilometers and then finished the run.  He placed last among elites in 13th place more than two hours after Ruzafa crossed the line, but showed true grit in carrying on.

Men’s Elite Race Results

PlName, NATTimePts
1Ruben Ruzafa, ESP2:20:10100
2Brice Daubord, FRA2:24:4090
3Maxim Chane, FRA2:27:3782
4Kieran McPherson, NZL2:29:4675
5David Escolar, ESP2:36:0369
6Petr Ondrej, CZE2:37:3563
7Pavel Jindra, CZE2:45:5558
8Alex Roberts, NZL2:47:4453
9Yuan Keng Hsu, TWN3:02:1749
10Yen-Ching Chiang, TWN3:05:5145
11Jacky Boisset, FRA3:13:3641
12Chung-Yi Lin, TWN3:20:4037
13Ben Allen, AUS4:33:0534

In the women’s elite race Jacqui Allen from the UK had the fastest swim, with a big group that included Lizzie Orchard from New Zealand, Johandri Leicester from South Africa, Carina Wasle from Austria, and Fabiola Corona from Mexico about one-minute back.

Once on the bike, Corona worked her way to the front with Jacqui Allen with Wasle and Orchard close behind.  Corona posted the fastest bike split of the day (1:38:42) and held on during the run to take the win in 2:50:14, nearly one-minute ahead of Wasle in second place.

“I am really happy, I didn’t expect the first place and the gold medal in this race, it’s like a dream come true,” said Corona.  “Eleven years ago I was here in China for the 2008 Olympic Games, but my swim was not really good, and I was very disappointed with my results that day. Now, 11 years later, to get the win here in front of some of the best women in our sport is amazing. And the setup in XTERRA China is great, similar to the Olympics with red carpets everywhere, so many volunteers and staff, winning here is like winning the world cup.”

Wasle had a strong run and closed the gap to Corona to finish second and secure the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour crown by just three points.  If Wasle had finished third, Corona would have won the Tour title.

“I am more than happy; I just can’t describe it with words. I had a really hard time the last two months and didn’t even know if I would be able to come here,” said Wasle  “I pushed hard on the first climb on the bike and was able to pass the other girls and came into the bike-to-run transition in second together with Allen and Orchard. The run was good, I came close to Fabiola after the first loop but was not able to push more. I am very happy as with my second place here I won the Asia-Pacific Tour.”

Orchard, who also battled injuries all season, had a strong race to finish in third.

“I had a really good swim, I was by myself all the time, so it was nice and calm,” said Orchard.  “On the bike I was expecting the sun to come out as I really like hot weather, so this made me a little bit more powerful on the second lap. On the run, actually I was able to keep my pace and secure the third position. The course at XTERRA China is amazing and the support we had during the race was exciting. It was such a great experience.”

Jacqui Allen finished fourth and Kate Bramley, who won XTERRA Netherlands last weekend, finished fifth.

Women’s Elite Race Results

PlName, NATTimePts
1Fabiola Corona, MEX2:50:14100
2Carina Wasle, AUT2:51:0390
3Lizzie Orchard, NZL2:52:2082
4Jacqui Allen, GBR2:53:3475
5Kate Bramley, AUS2:56:2569
6Penny Slater, AUS3:03:3163
7Leela Hancox, AUS3:05:0458
8Johandri Leicester, RSA3:05:4553
9Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA3:07:2849
10Leti Tang, CHN3:42:4045

Daubord, Wasle Win 2019 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour Titles

With their runner-up performances in the race today, Daubord and Wasle secured the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour titles.  In the men’s chase Daubord won comfortably, but in the women’s tour battle the top three were separated by just seven points.  Elites counted their best three scores, plus whatever they got, or didn’t, at the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race in Kenting, TWN.

Final 2019 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour Elite Standings

 Elite Men GSSSG
PLNAME, NATTOTTWNNZLTAHJPNCHN
1Brice Daubord, FRA24782x75x90
2Maxim Chane, FRA20769x56x82
3Sam Osborne, NZL1659075xxx
4Ben Allen, AUS1657556xx34
5Yen-Ching Chiang, TWN13941x5147x45
6Yuan Keng Hsu, TWN13737x27x435149
7Chung-Yi Lin, TWN12131x254743x37
8Lewis Ryan, NZL1146351xxx
t9Ruben Ruzafa, ESP100xxxx100
t9Bradley Weiss, RSA100100xxxx
11Brodie Gardner, AUS865333xxx
12Taylor Charlton, AUS854936xxx
13Kieran McPherson, NZL75xxxx75
14David Escolar, ESP69xxxx69
t15Ryan Sissons, NZL67x67xxx
t15Cedric Fleureton, FRA67xx67xx
17Petr Ondrej, CZE63xxxx63
t18Olly Shaw, NZL61x61xxx
t18Arthur Serrieres, FRA61xx61xx
t20Doug Hall, GBR5858xxxx
t20Pavel Jindra, CZE58xxxx58
22Alex Roberts, NZL53xxxx53
23Sam Clark, NZL47x47xxx
24Luke McKenzie, AUS4545xxxx
25Cameron Paul, NZL43x43xxx
26Jacky Boisset, FRA41xxxx41
27Flavio Vianna, NZL39x39xxx
28Joe Miller, PHI3434xxxx
29Clark Ellice, NZL30x30xxx
 Elite Women GSSSG
PLNAME, NATTOTTWNNZLTAHJPNCHN
1Carina Wasle, AUT24782x75x90
2Fabiola Corona, MEX24469xx75100
3Jacqui Allen, GBR2409075xx75
4Penny Slater, AUS23010067xx63
5Leela Hancox, AUS17449xx6758
6Samantha Kingsford, NZL1367561xxx
7Morgane Riou, FRA1196356xxx
8Lydia Hale, NZL1055847xxx
9Lizzie Orchard, NZL82xxxx82
10Kate Bramley, AUS69xxxx69
11Mieko Carey, JPN61xxx61x
12Johandri Leicester, RSA53xxxx53
13Nicole Walters, GBR5353xxxx
14Rachel Challis, NZL51x51xxx
15Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA49xxxx49
16Leti Tang, CHN45xxxx45

XTERRA World Championship Qualifying Series Schedule

XTERRA Kunming was the 36th of 37 races around the world where amateur athletes could qualify for XTERRA Worlds.  Up next, XTERRA Korea.

Date              Race / Location – Winners
24-Feb           XTERRA South Africa – Brad Weiss/Hayley Preen
23-Mar           XTERRA Argentina – Rom Akerson/Erika Simon
30-Mar           XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship Brad Weiss/Penny Slater
31-Mar           XTERRA Chile Rom Akerson / Valentina Carvallo
6-Apr              XTERRA New Zealand Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen
7-Apr              XTERRA Cyprus Filippo Rinaldi / Carina Wasle
21-Apr            XTERRA Greece Arthur Serrieres / Lesley Paterson
11-May           XTERRA Brazil Sam Osborne / Samantha Kingsford
18-May           XTERRA Oak Mountain Sam Osborne / Suzie Snyder
18-May           XTERRA Malta Rui Dolores / Maria Doring
26-May           XTERRA Italy – Garda Arthur Forissier / Morgane Riou
31-May           XTERRA Tahiti Brice Daubord / Carina Wasle
1-Jun              XTERRA Portugal Rui Dolores / Eleonora Peroncini
8-Jun              XTERRA Belgium Yeray Luxem / Morgane Riou
16-Jun            XTERRA Denmark Kris Coddens / Helena Karaskova
29-Jun            XTERRA Switzerland Arthur Forissier / Camille Defer
7-Jul               XTERRA France Arthur Forissier / Morgane Riou
7-Jul               XTERRA Victoria Sam Osborne / Samantha Kingsford
14-Jul             XTERRA Quebec Josiah Middaugh / Katie Button
20-Jul             XTERRA Beaver Creek Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
21-Jul             XTERRA Italy – Scanno Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Karaskova
3-Aug             XTERRA Mexico Sam Osborne / Samantha Kingsford
3-Aug             XTERRA European Championship Arthur Serrieres / Morgane Riou
17-Aug           XTERRA Germany Arthur Serrieres / Helena Karaskova
1-Sep             XTERRA Dominican Republic Karsten Madsen / Fabiola Corona
1-Sep             XTERRA Luxembourg Yeray Luxem / Helena Karaskova
7-Sep             XTERRA Pan Am / USA Championship Sam Osborne / Lesley Paterson
14-Sep           XTERRA Netherlands Jorik van Egdom / Kate Bramley
15-Sep           XTERRA Japan Kieran McPherson / Fabiola Corona
22-Sep           XTERRA Kunming Ruben Ruzafa / Fabiola Corona
27-Sep           XTERRA Korea / Wonju City
28-Oct            XTERRA World Championship / Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii