Luxem, Karaskova win inaugural XTERRA Luxembourg

Monday 02 September 2019

Yeray Luxem from Belgium and Helena Karaskova from the Czech Republic won the inaugural XTERRA Luxembourg off-road triathlon in Rosport on Sunday, September 1, 2019.

It’s the fourth XTERRA World Tour win for Luxem, who won his first title at XTERRA Poland in 2016, his second at XTERRA Cyprus in 2017 and his third three months ago at XTERRA Belgium. For Karaskova, a four-time XTERRA European Tour Champion, the victory was the 34th of her storied career and her fourth this season.

In the men’s elite race super swimmer and local favorite Jens Roth was first out of the water, followed by Will Crudgington 45 seconds back. Tiago Maia exited in third, one minute and 30-seconds later. On his feet was a group featuring Doug Hall, Francois Carloni, Arthur Serrieres and Veit Hoenle. Our eventual winner, Luxem, was a further 50 seconds behind this group.

Roth was able to maintain his lead over Arthur Serrieres and Francois Carloni who had dropped Hall and Maia and were riding together to close the gap. After his poor swim, Luxem pushed hard on the first loop and was able to catch the French duo by the end of the first lap of the bike. Behind them the young Brit Crudgington was in fifth followed closely by Rui Dolores and Xavier Dafflon who was riding back his deficit from the top contenders. 

During the second loop of the mountain bike, Roth was still in the lead, but Luxem continued to push hard, closing the gap to just 30 seconds as they reached transition. Carloni was able to follow Luxem leaving Serrieres alone in fourth, one minute and 30 seconds behind the duo. 

Once onto the run, Luxem made his move and passed Roth very quickly to cross the finish line in first place with a time of 2 hours and 23 seconds.

"I had two goals this season," said Luxem. "It was Belgium and Luxembourg. I won both so what can I say, I am so happy for it. I had to push on the bike to catch the other guys in-front and then relax on their wheel and keep some energy for the run. I usually run fast but in XTERRA you never know what can happen. Eventually everything went well!"

Serrieres would post the fastest split of the day, passing Carloni first and then Roth to finish in second.

"I feel I little bit tired as I didn’t train much for this one, so I am happy with the second place behind Yeray who was so strong today," said Serrieres. "He prepared very well for every race he participated this summer. I am very happy with my season as I finished first or second in every race I started, and I’ve also won the Euro Tour. XTERRA Luxembourg is a great event in such a beautiful location. I loved the course, the place and the atmosphere."

Roth’s third place finish today proved that he has made a great improvement both on the bike and the run this year. Carloni would finish fourth and Rui Dolores fifth. 

"The crowd was amazing today and were supporting me all the way," said Roth. "I was pushing hard from the beginning and lead the bike in “all out” mode and try to keep my position on the run, but you saw that the other guys were strong and closed the gap. For sure I will win this race in the future, maybe next year! A big thank you to all my friends and supporters."

Elite Men
1 Yeray Luxem, BEL 2:23:19
2 Arthur Serrieres , FRA 2:23:50
3 Jens Roth, GER 2:24:06
4 Francois Carloni, FRA 2:24:40
5 Rui Dolores, PRT 2:25:42

In the women’s elite race, Nicole Walters was first out of the water with Lizzie Orchard 20 seconds behind, followed by Alizee Paties one-minute back in third. Louise Fox was fourth and Karaskova was in fifth two minutes and 30 seconds behind the leader.

Paties made her move early on the bike and passed Walters and Orchard to take the lead.

"I swam better than expected today," said Paties. "On the mountain bike I enjoyed all of the race, especially the downhills. I was riding well on the up hills but found the running part hard, a battle with myself all the way. My grand-father lives near here, I really love this place and for sure I will be back next year."

Karaskova was also pushing hard and was able to move into second before the end of the first loop. Orchard was looking strong today and was able to pass Walters for third position.

"I was so happy to finish the race and feel stronger than the last two races," said Orchard. "I loved the course; the bike was fun, and it was so nice to run through the vineyards.  Rosport as a venue is amazing with great atmosphere, lots of sponsors and spectators, a great family day out."

On the second loop Karaskova was closing the gap to Paties and was increasing the distance to those behind. By the end of the second loop Karaskova was only 20 seconds behind the lead and was looking primed for the win.

"The race today was tough," said Karaskova. "I felt tired in the water then I tried to push on the bike, I felt I was riding fast but then I also did many technical mistakes and lost some time. On the run I said to myself to push a little bit more and just like that I took the lead. After that I just had to keep the tempo. I’m so happy to win today.  This is an amazing place for a new event, the bike and run course are beautiful."

Karaskova passed Paties early into the run and never looked back, crossing the finish line in first place with a time of 2 hours and 46 seconds to capture her fourth title of the season.

Paties would complete her great day and finish second. The ever-smiling Orchard produced the performance she has been looking for all season to finish third. The surprise of the day was the new-comer Emelin Azam, who posted the fastest run split of the day to finish fourth. Nicole Walters rounded out the podium in fifth.  

Elite Women
1 Helena Karaskova-Erbenova, CZE 2:46:40
2 Alizee Paties, FRA 2:48:43
3 Elizabeth Orchard, NZL 2:52:05
4 Emeline Azam, FRA 2:59:26
5 Nicole Walters, GBR 3:02:50

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