Rui Dolores from Portugal and Eleonora Peroncini from Italy captured the sixth annual XTERRA Portugal off-road triathlon elite titles with winning times of 2:44:52 and 3:17:14 respectively, on Saturday 01 June 2019, in Golega.
For Rui Dolores, it's his second XTERRA win this season following victory last month in Malta. For Elenora Peroncini this is her first ever XTERRA win following a stellar start to the season with podiums in Cyprus and Italy, Lake Garda and the win at the ITU World Championships.
In the men’s race, the two loop non-wetsuit swim in the famous Golega Pond saw a group of three athletes exit the water together, led by Portuguese elite athlete Rafael Domingos with age group athletes François Vie from France and Alejandro Villar from Spain. Reaching T1 50 seconds later were Portuguese athletes Tiago Maia and pre-race favorite Rui Dolores along with Peter Lehmann.
By the halfway point on the bike, Dolores had ridden his way to the front of the race with only Domingos for company as the pair pushed the pace on the technical rocky trails. The third athlete on course was Age grouper Vie aged just 17years old, he was riding well but had lost 2min and 30secs to the front pair. Richard Costa from Spain was in fourth place, followed around 30 seconds later by Maia. Pre-race favourite Lehmann was struggling in the hot condition and had dropped to seventh.
During the second half of the bike, Dolores pushed on and entered transition with a 4minute lead over Domingos. A further five minutes later a group containing Lehmann, Maia and the new AG leader Octavio Vincente entered transition to contest the final places on the podium.
"Today was very special!" said Dolores. "It was such a hard race, especially with the heat on the bike, on the climbs I could barely breath! I just tried to manage my pace along with Domingos before getting the gap to start the run alone. I am happy with this victory at home."
As the strongest runner in the race, Dolores could look forward to what was essentially a victory lap as he went unchallenged to win XTERRA Portugal 2019 and the National Portuguese Cross Triathlon Title. Domingos held steady on the run course, the young Portuguese put together a solid swim/bike/run performance in his first ever XTERRA, only bettered by the European Tour leader.
"I am not really good in this type of long races as I am racing in the ITU circuit," said Domingos. "My swim was really good today and I was on the lead until half way of the bike. I tried to stay with Rui as much as possible but was out of power during the run. I am very happy with my second place here in Golega"
The surprise of the day went to age group athlete Vincente, who was able to cope with the heat and outrun the two elites Maia and Lehmann. Maia would finish fourth, whilst Spaniard Aleix Sierra Oliver ran through Lehmann for fifth place.
"Golega is very close to my home and I trained very hard for this race," said Vincente. "Everything went very well for me today in all disciplines. I was able to pass everybody in-front of me during the bike and the run and finish third overall."
Elite Men's ResultsPos Name, NAT Time Points 1 Rui Dolores, PRT 2:44:52 75 2 Rafael Domingos, PRT 2:53:07 67 3 Tiago Maia, PRT 2:54:24 61 4 Aleix Sierra Oliver, ESP 3:00:48 56 5 Peter Lehmann, GER 3:05:22 51 6 Alejandro Salmeron Tenorio, ESP 3:10:03 47 7 Ricard Costa Puigpelat, ESP 3:10:16 43 8 Rafael Gomes, PRT 3:10:57 39 9 Philip Reiner, AUT 3:12:14 36 10 Tomas Ruano Almeida, ESP 3:55:22 33
In the women's race Brigitta Poor was the first out of the water, it was good to see our strongest European athlete from 2018 back at the front of a race again. Pauline Vie would exit second but over two minutes back of the 2018 XTERRA European champion, ten seconds later Peroncini would follow, with Eva Garcia conceding a further 50 seconds to the ITU World Champ.
"I started the race feeling good and everything went well until the half way of the bike," said Poor. "The heat played a big role in my performance and during the run I just didn't had the power to keep pushing hard. I am not 100% mentally ready to perform at the highest level."
Poor would maintain her lead during the first half of the bike, the flatter part of the loop allowing her to use her power to keep Peroncini at bay for the time being. Vie was riding well in third but was losing time to a fast chasing Garcia.
At the halfway point on the bike, Peroncini made her move just before a tough single-track climb and took the lead from Poor. Five minutes later Vie was still in third but Garcia was now only seconds behind.
Peroncini would enter T2 with a three minutes and 40 seconds lead over Garcia who had ridden herself into second place, overtaking Poor and Vie during the closing part of the bike section. Poor would enter next just 30 seconds back from Garcia, Vie would enter transition a further 90 seconds back from Poor.
"This race was so beautiful but so hard because of the weather conditions," said Peroncini. "It was a good day for me and I am really happy for my first XTERRA title."
Despite her monumental mountain bike effort, the ITU world champion was still full of running and would extend her lead to win her first ever XTERRA title. Eva Garcia would run strongly to take a deserved second place. The Spaniard was third in 2018, so proving that she is in great shape and still progressing.
"I’m very happy to race well in such a hard race and hard conditions," said Garcia. "It was really hot during the bike and run so I’m happy to finish, let alone with a podium!"
There was a surprise in the race for third place, Vie would claw back time and was able to pass Poor just before the finish. Racing in the professional category for 2019 has clearly motivated the young Portuguese athlete, finishing four minutes behind Eva compared to the 35 minutes in 2018. Keep an eye on this developing athlete for the future! Malvina Gomes would complete the podium in fifth.
"I’m very satisfied with my third place here. Its my third time racing in Golega and this was the hottest!" said Vie. "The bike was hard, very dry and slippy so I fell off due to another athlete doing a bad overtake. I found a good rhythm on the run and did my best to end up on the podium."
Elite Women's ResultsPos Name, NAT Time Points 1 Eleonora Peroncini, ITA 3:17:14 75 2 Eva Garcia Gonzalez, ESP 3:21:00 67 3 Pauline Vie, PRT 3:25:15 61 4 Brigitta Poor, HUN 3:25:59 56 5 Malvina Gomes, PRT 4:17:44 51
XTERRA Portugal was the fifth of 14 races on the 2019 XTERRA European Tour, offering up $7,500 USD and 75-point scale scoring towards elite and amateur Tour standings, plus 26 qualifying spots for age groupers vying to race at XTERRA Worlds.
Elites count their best eight scores of 14 events to determine Tour champs. Find complete details at xterraplanet.com.
European Tour Elite Standings
After 5 as of 01.6.19
ELITE MENPL NAME, NAT TOT CY GR ML ITG PT 1 Rui Dolores, PRT 242 36 X 75 56 75 2 Samuel Jud, CHE 161 47 36 51 27 X 3 Xavier Dafflon, SUI 147 67 33 X 47 X 4 Arthur Serrieres , FRA 142 X 75 X 67 X 5 Arthur Forissier, FRA 142 X 67 X 75 X 6 Filippo Rinaldi, ITA 136 75 X X 61 X 7 Francois Carloni, FRA 118 X 51 67 X X 8 Peter Lehmann, GER 107 X X 56 X 51 9 Tiago Maia, PRT 104 43 X X X 61 10 Geert Lauryssen, BEL 94 61 X X 33 X 11 Dominik Wychera, AUT 94 51 43 X X X 12 Aleix Sierra Oliver, ESP 79 X X X 23 56 13 Ricard Costa Puigpelat, ESP 70 27 X X X 43 14 Rafael Domingos, PRT 67 X X X X 67 15 Yeray Luxem, BEL 61 X 61 X X X 16 Jens Roth, GER 61 X X 61 X X 17 Andrea Zanega, ITA 60 30 30 X X X 18 Maximilian Sasserath, GER 56 X 56 X X X 19 Jens Emil Sloth Nielsen, DNK 56 56 X X X X 20 Doug Hall, GBR 54 33 X X 21 X 21 Filippo Barazzuol, ITA 51 X X X 51 X 22 Kris Coddens, BEL 47 X 47 X X X 23 Alejandro Salmeron Tenorio, ESP 47 X X X X 47 24 Riccardo Ridolfi, ITA 43 X X X 43 X 25 Jan Kubicek, CZE 39 39 X X X X 26 Francesco Figini, ITA 39 X X X 39 X 27 Corentin Duclos, FRA 39 X 39 X X X 28 Rafael Gomes, PRT 39 X X X X 39 29 Lorenzo Ciuti, ITA 36 X X X 36 X 30 Philip Reiner, AUT 36 X X X X 36 31 Tomas Ruano Almeida, ESP 33 X X X X 33 32 Karel Dusek, CZE 30 X X X 30 X 33 Mathurin Boutte, FRA 27 X 27 X X X 34 Will Kelsay, USA 25 X 25 X X X 35 Matteo Bozzato, ITA 25 X X X 25 X 36 Ivan Vasilyev, RUS 25 25 X X X X 37 Pierric Brochet, FRA 23 X 23 X X X 38 Oliver Kreindl, AUT 23 23 X X X X 39 Kovacs Szabolcs, ROM 21 X 21 X X X
ELITE WOMENPL NAME, NAT TOT CY GR ML ITG PT 1 Eleonora Peroncini, ITA 203 67 X X 61 75 2 Carina Wasle, AUT 136 75 X 61 X X 3 Anna Tomica, POL 135 36 56 X 43 X 4 Helena Karaskova-Erbenova, CZE 134 X 67 X 67 X 5 Brigitta Poor, HUN 112 56 X X X 56 6 Maria Doring, DEU 108 33 X 75 X X 7 Pauline Vie, PRT 100 39 X X X 61 8 Alizee Paties, FRA 98 47 X X 51 X 9 Nicole Walters, GBR 97 61 X X 36 X 10 Lesley Paterson, GBR 75 X 75 X X X 11 Morgane Riou, FRA 75 X X X 75 X 12 Adriana Klimkova, CZE 67 X X 67 X X 13 Eva Garcia Gonzalez, ESP 67 X X X X 67 14 Charlotte Deldaele, BEL 61 X 61 X X X 15 Sandra Mairhofer, ITA 56 X X X 56 X 16 Matilde Bolzan, ITA 51 51 X X X X 17 Malvina Gomes, PRT 51 X X X X 51 18 Sabrina Harpaintner, DEU 47 X X X 47 X 19 Marta Menditto, ITA 43 43 X X X X 20 Camille Defer, FRA 39 X X X 39 X
Next up on the European Tour : XTERRA Belgium, June 8.
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