Serrieres looks for Hat Trick at XTERRA Belgium this Saturday

The XTERRA European off-road triathlon racing season rolls on with its second major in as many weeks at the 6th edition of XTERRA Belgium in Namur on Saturday, June 11, 2022.

The race starts at the Port of Beez with a 1,500-meter swim in the local river of La Meuse, transitions to a bumpy 36km off-road bike course, and finishes with a 10km trail run on winding single track along the Marche-Les-Dames cliffs.

In the men’s elite race there is only one question. Can anyone stop Serrieres?

Arthur Serrieres, a 28-year-old from Montpellier, France, will be trying to win an unprecedented third major in one week following his successful World Cross Triathlon Championship title defense on Wednesday, June 8, in Romania, and his XTERRA Lake Garda victory in Italy last Saturday, June 4.

From the start of the 2021 season, Serrieres has been nearly unstoppable. He won XTERRA Tahiti, Czech, Switzerland, Belgium, the XTERRA European Championship in Germany, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, the Short Track race in Pujols (FRA), XTERRA Trentino, Portugal, Garda, and two World Triathlon Cross Championships.  

His only blemish during the stretch was finishing runner-up to Olympic bronze medalist Hayden Wilde at the 2021 XTERRA World Championships in Maui.

“He’s worked really hard the last few years and deserves all the success he is having right now,” said XTERRA Eurore director, Nico Lebrun. “Belgium will be tough for him, however, because he had to dig deep in Garda and again in Romania. I guess we’ll find out on Saturday if he really is unbeatable.”

For his part, Serrieres isn’t sure what to expect.

“I don’t know what kind of shape I’ll be in Belgium because the race in Romania was very intense, up and down on these short loops. I’m totally empty right now,” he explained.

After giving Serrieres a good run for his money in Italy last weekend, Maxim Chane (FRA) skipped Romania and will come into Belgium relatively fresh.

“I feel great right now, but once again, Arthur is the one to beat,” said Chane. “I will stick to what I can do the best – swim in the front and push on the bike alone – and hope this time I can keep the new world champion behind me.”

Rising XTERRA star Sebastien Carabin (BEL) will have extra motivation racing on his own soil, but like Arthur he is coming off back-to-back events in Italy and Romania. Carabin, however, raced the WT Cross Duathlon Championships on Monday and not the tri on Wednesday, so had two extra days to recover.

“The duathlon in Romania was really hard after the effort I put in Garda, my legs were still dead, but for Belgium I will be in way better shape,” said Carabin, who finished 2nd at the Duathlon Champs and was 4th in Garda. “That’s why I chose to only race the duathlon and not the tri, because those tracks are quite fast and harder for me to come back. Hopefully, for me, it rains a lot before the race this weekend and the bike will be more technical. I really want to do well here.”.

The 2018 Belgium Champ, Francois Carloni (FRA) is also on the start line and Ben Allen from Australia is scheduled to make his first XTERRA start in years following a long COVID-induced lockdown. In all, there are 26 elite men from 10 countries on the start list and while the fight for a podium spot might be between just five or six athletes, a place in the top 10 will be hard earned for sure.

Elite Men
XWR* – Name, NAT

2 – Arthur Serrieres, FRA
5 – Sébastien Carabin, BEL
8 – Maxim Chane, FRA
25 – Francois Carloni, FRA
32 – Mathias Cloostermans, BEL
38 – Scott Anderson, GER
41 – Geert Laryssen, BEL
44 – Peter Lehmann, GER
58 – Arthur DeJaegher, BEL
63 – Swiad Snieder, GER
67 – Wouter Dijkshoorn, NED
75 – Brown Ewan, GBR
76 – Andres Carevali, ESP
109 – Maxime Gourmaud, FRA
117 – Tim Van Daele, BEL
118 – Romain Loop, BEL
127 – Matthias Gourgues, FRA
130 – Brian Tetard, FRA
134 – Quinten Dewaele, BEL
162 – Paris Fellmann, LUX
192 – Romantic Ladet, FRA
231 – Taylor Charlton, AUS
NR – Ben Allen, AUS
NR – Tom Fisher, AUS
NR – Herbert Peters, NAM
NR – Alex Rhodes, GBR
*XTERRA World Rank

In the women’s elite race two-time Belgium winner Morgane Riou (FRA) headlines a strong list of contenders after posting the fastest run split of the day on her way to finishing second at XTERRA Lake Garda last week.

“I recovered well from Garda, my physio checked my shoulder, and it looked okay but I didn’t do any swimming this week,” said Riou. “I know I’m still far from my best at this time in the season, so I’m just looking to improve race after race and  enjoy the amazing atmosphere here in Belgium.”

Italy’s Marta Menditto enters Saturday’s race fresh off winning the U23 World Cross Triathlon Championship, where she was second overall behind only Sandra Mairhofer on Wednesday.

“I think I’m stronger than ever, and hope to rest well before Saturday’s race,” she said. “Winning the U23 title was simply incredible, and I’d like to follow it up with another amazing race in Belgium.”

XTERRA veteran Carina Wasle (AUT), with 23 wins in her 16-year career, is always in the mix and just finished third at the World Cross Duathlon Championships.

“It was the perfect race for me in Romania, and I’m still very tired, my legs are burning from the race, but I hope I can recover before XTERRA Belgium,” she said. “I prepared well for this year, especially as I tried to get stronger on the bike but I still have lots to work on. It would be nice to be on the podium, but Marta was really impressive in Romania, Morgane gets stronger and stronger, and Jacqui is for sure a tough opponent.”

Jacqui Allen, like her husband Ben, is also back in the mix. The last time she lined up for an XTERRA was in 2019 when she finished fourth at the European Championship.

It’s also been three years since Charlotte Deldaele raced off-road. In her last outing she had the best score ever for a Belgian athlete at XTERRA Greece and placed third.  

“With COVID and all the road races moved or changed I had a hard time finding a date to come back to XTERRA so I’m so happy for this,” said Deldaele. “I love this family atmosphere and energy around it, and I’ll do three more XTERRA’s this year finishing with the world championship.”
Other contenders include Camille Jobard (FRA), who finished on the podium in Garda in her first race as an elite, and perhaps Daisy Davies (GBR) who will be making her XTERRA debut.

Elite Women
XWR* – Name, NAT

11 – Morgane Riou, FRA
15 – Marta Menditto, ITA
16 – Carina Wasle, AUT
37 – Camille Jobard, FRA
52 – Maud Golsteyn, NED
73 – Bonnie Van Wigenburg, GBR
78 – Emma Briggs, GBR
101 – Marine Echevin, FRA
NR – Daisy Davies, GBR
NR – Charlotte Deldaele, BEL
NR – Jacqui Allen, GBR
*XTERRA World Rank

Alongside a talented elite field, many age-group athletes will also be battling it out looking to secure one of the 26 slots on offer for the XTERRA World Championships in Italy. Also of note, the famous XTERRA Belgium after-party is back with DJ Jay Style bringing maximum energy to the event that is known for going long into the night.

The elite race starts at 3pm local time Saturday.

Find live updates on Instagram at XTERRAEurope.
French speaking fans can follow the race on XTERRA Belgium Facebook Page.
Live Results will be posted here.

Other Useful Links:
XTERRA Main Page
XTERRA Belgium Page
XTERRA June Preview
XTERRA World Rankings

All-time XTERRA Belgium Elite Champions
2016 – Kris Coddens/Helena Karaskova
2017 – Ruben Ruzafa/Helena Karaskova
2018 – Francois Carloni/Morgane Riou
2019 – Yeray Luxem/Morgane Riou
2021 – Arthur Serrieres/Solenne Billouin


DateRaceLocation / Race Winners
16-AprXTERRA Greece Panagiotis Bitados/Alizee Paties
21-MayXTERRA Portugal Arthur Serrieres/Solenne Billouin
4-JunXTERRA Italy – Lake GardaArthur Serrieres/Jindriska Zemanova
11-JunXTERRA Belgium Namur
12-JunXTERRA WhistlerB.C., Canada
2-JulXTERRA Short Track FranceXonrupt
3-JulXTERRA France Xonrupt
10-JulXTERRA VictoriaBritish Columbia, CAN
16-JulXTERRA USA ChampionshipBeaver Creek, CO, USA
17-JulXTERRA Italy – Lake Scanno Abruzzo
6-AugXTERRA Nouvelle-Aquitaine Moliets-et-Villemartin, FRA
13-AugXTERRA European ChampsPrachatice, CZE
14-AugXTERRA Short Track CzechPrachatice, CZE
19-AugXTERRA Short Track GermanyZittau
20-AugXTERRA GermanyZittau
4-SepXTERRA Dominican Republic Samana
1-OctXTERRA World ChampionshipTrentino, ITA
2-OctXTERRA Short Track Trentino Trentino, ITA
15-OctXTERRA SardegnaCastidias, ITA
22-OctXTERRA Tahiti Moorea

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