Castro and Forissier get first Xterra wins

Photo: Xterra

2017 Ironman Netherlands champion Saleta Castro (ESP) won her first Xterra race, while France’s Felix Forissier took his first Xterra win, too, at Xterra Portugal in Golega.

Castro, competing in her first Xterra event in over a decade, led the way out of the water, then maintained her 1:30 lead through the first 10 km of the mountain bike, staying out in front all the way to T2 and through the run to take the win.

“It was a difficult race, but I enjoyed it,” said Castro. “I pushed hard on the swim but tried to play it safe on the bike, especially on the downhills. I got into more of a rhythm on the second half of the bike and then loved the run, the atmosphere was great. Winning the race is a big surprise, so I am really happy and hope to come back next year.”

Great Britain’s Louise Fox would take second, while Portugal’s Pauline Vie rounded out the podium.

Top 10 Women

PlName, NATFinish
1Saleta Castro, ESP3:06:23
2Louise Fox, GBR3:17:09
3Pauline Vie, PRT3:25:20
4Zoe Van Dijk, NLD*3:28:20
5Beatriz Ferreira, PRT3:32:39

Forissier sprints to the win

Francois Vie led the men out of the water, but Forissier joined him at the front early on the bike as the two rode a minute ahead of a chase group that included Xterra star Ruben Ruzafa (ESP) along with four others. Ruzafa would ride his way to the front of the race through the technical portions of the mountain-bike course, hitting T2 with a lead of 1:40 on Forissier. The Frenchman caught the Spaniard and the two ran together before sprinting to the finish line. Forissier took the sprint for the win by six seconds.

“I swam in a small group and was in control and able to see François just ahead,” said Forissier.  “We were then together for the first 10km of the bike course but when Ruben caught us, it was another level. I made lots of mistakes trying to stay with him and then finally he dropped me so then it was up to me to try not to lose too much time on him before T2.”

Vie would eventually round out the podium.

Top 10 Men

PlName, NATFinish
1Felix Forissier, FRA2:25:35
2Ruben Ruzafa, ESP2:25:41
3François Vie, PRT2:32:55
4Kristoffer Visti Graae, DNK2:34:09
5Rui Dolores, PRT2:34:59