XTERRA Short Track France: Bitados rules!

Bitados, Duvoisin win XTERRA Short Track France

Panagiotis Bitados (GRE) and Loanne Duvoisin (SUI) won the exciting new XTERRA Short Track France off-road triathlon titles with times of 39:35 and 46:10, respectively, on a beautiful day in Xonrupt on Saturday, July 2, 2022.

It’s the first Short Track win for Bitados and the third for Duvoisin.

An innovative new format was unveiled for the race that challenged competitors to a 200-meter swim, two-kilometer mountain bike, and one-kilometer trail run, three rounds through.

The action was non-stop with dozens of lead changes and podium spots decided by seconds. The kaleidoscope of colors was spectactular with Duvoisin shining bright in her red Swiss racing kit while Bitados stood out in his iconic Greek blue.
 
Watch the replay here:

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https://www.facebook.com/XTERRAplanet/videos/418977756780056
Viewing timecode notes:
27:00 – Live coverage starts
37:00 – Women’s race starts
1:41:45 – Men’s race starts





In the women’s race Amanda Felder (USA) led the field out of the water after the first of three swim segments with Samantha Kingsford (NZL) right on her heels and Jindriska Zemanova (CZE), Alizee Paties (FRA), and Duvoisin close behind.

Once on the bike Paties took over and held the lead until the last of three laps on the bike when Duvoisin surged to the front then blitzed the final 1K run in a day’s best time of 4:27 to take the tape with 15-seconds to spare.

“Even though it’s called short track, I still had to pace myself to make sure I could get across all three rounds,” said Duvoisin, who won the first-ever XTERRA Short Track event in 2019, and captured XTERRA Short Track Lake Garda last year.

“It was so fun to race so close together in this format, with so many changes in the lead. Normally in XTERRA, we race mostly alone, but here it was so good to be racing head to head throughout,” she added.





Paties (pictured left) held on for second with Solenne Billouin (FRA) coming in third just 27-seconds later.

“I pushed hard at the front for the first two rounds, but I made a mistake in the final transition putting on my shoe and it cost me more than 10 seconds, and as Loanne is very fast on the run it was too difficult to stay ahead,” said Paties. “In the end, I am happy with my shape, and I hope to show it when we go again tomorrow.”

Billouin, who won the XTERRA Portugal full-distance race in May, said the hardest part of this new short track challenge was staying focused.

“I am really happy to finish on the podium and add another good result for this year,” said Billouin, who tomorrow will try to defend her XTERRA France full-distance title. “It was really fun but hard at the same time today, because you have to race fast but also concentrate through the many transitions and technical sections.”





Kingsford (pictured), Marta Menditto (ITA), and Zemanova finished 4-5-6 and were the only athletes outside the top three to avoid elimination. In the eliminator format, any athlete entering transition more than two-minutes behind the leader is pulled from competition. Those athletes are still awarded series points based on position when eliminated from the race, but do not continue to the finish line.

Women’s Results
Place – Name, NAT (Final Time) Points

1 – Loanne Duvoisin, SUI (46:10) 100
2 – Alizee Paties, FRA (46:25) 90
3 – Solenne Billouin, FRA (46:52) 82
4 – Samantha Kingsford, NZL (47:17) 75
5 – Marta Menditto, ITA (47:25) 69
6 – Jindriska Zemanova, CZE (48:46) 63
7 – Carina Wasle, AUT (Eliminated after bike 3) 58
8 – Amanda Felder, USA (Eliminated after bike 3) 53
9 – Jacqui Allen, GBR (Eliminated after run 2) 49
10 – Segolene Leberon, FRA (Eliminated after bike 2) 45
Complete Women’s Results


 


In looking at the unusual stat sheet – the culmination of three swim times, three bike times, three run times, and eight transitions – a few things stood-out. Most notably, everyone’s swim time was at least 15-seconds slower the second-time around. Kingsford had the fastest cumulative swim times (9:50) and transition times (1:48), Billouin had the best combined bike times (19:48), and Duvoisin had the quickest run splits (13:46).

Fastest swim lap/cumulative:
Amanda Felder (3:02, swim1)/Samantha Kingsford (9:50)
Fastest bike lap/cumulative:
Loanne Duvoisin (6:23, bike3)/Solenne Billouin (19:28)
Fastest run lap/cumulative: 
Loanne Duvoisin (6:23, run3)/Loanne Duvoisin (13:46)
Fastest transition/cumulative:
Samantha Kingsford&Alizee Paties (:15)/Samantha Kingsford (1:48)





In the men’s race there were dozens of lead changes and even with cameras covering nearly the entire course it was impossible to keep track of them all. The definitive move, however, belonged to the youngest man in the field, 18-year-old Panagiotis Bitados.

In the third and final swim leg, Bitados entered the water five seconds after race leader Arthur Serrieres (FRA), but exited with a five-second lead that ultimately held up to both the speed of Maxim Chane (FRA) on the bike, and the the rush of Serrieres on the run.





“To win you needed speed and today I had it,” exclaimed Bitados, who won his second straight XTERRA Greece full-distance title earlier this year. “This short track format is so much fun, but even better when I win. The race was full on right from the swim all through the bike and run, so I hope my legs will feel good tomorrow and I can go again!”

Serrieres passed Chane on the run to take second place, a rare runner-up position for the 28-year-old from Montpellier, France who won an unprecedented three majors in one week just last month. He captured XTERRA Lake Garda victory in Italy on June 4, the World Cross Triathlon Championship for the second straight year on June 8, and XTERRA Belgium on June 11.

“I was telling everyone, even myself, that I would hold back and try to save some energy for Sunday’s race but once you start the race you have no choice, the racing instinct takes over and you just push really hard the whole way,” exclaimed Serrieres, who hadn’t lost a race since finishing runner-up to Olympic bronze medalist Hayden Wilde at the 2021 XTERRA World Championships in Maui.





“Everyone was pushing so hard on this amazing format so on the first lap I was at full gas and I was really struggling,” added Serrieres. “Fortunately, everyone slowed up and I could start to influence the race, at least until Bitados rode away from us! It was a really clever move by him to save energy and beat us all.”

Serrrieres finished just 12-seconds behind Bitados, followed by Chane in third-place nine-seconds later.





“This format is amazing, especially here in France with the incredible ramps they build,” said Chane, who will try to defend his XTERRA France full-distance title tomorrow. “The race was so crazy fast. I tried to pace myself and race smart, but when the guys are so close together you have to follow the race or you cannot fight for the podium. Can’t wait to go again tomorrow!”

Arthur Forissier (FRA), winner of three previous XTERRA Short Track races, finished fourth and Michele Bonacina (ITA) rounded out the top five. Also of note, 20-year-old Francois Vie had a turn at the front of the race and the top eight finishers were within one-minute of Bitados.

Men’s Results
Place – Name, NAT (Final Time) Points

1 – Panagiotis Bitados, GRE (39:35) 100
2 – Arthur Serrieres, FRA (39:47) 90
3 – Maxim Chane, FRA (39:56) 82
4 – Arthur Forissier, FRA (40:04) 75
5 – Michele Bonacina, ITA (40:13) 69
6 – Francois Vie, POR (40:20) 63
7 – Jens Emil Sloth Nielsen, DEN (40:27) 58
8 – Kristoffer Visti Graae, DEN (40:30) 53
9 – Ruben Ruzafa, ESP (40:43) 49
10 – Sam Osborne, NZL (40:56) 45
Complete Men’s Results with Splits

Fastest swim lap/cumulative: 
Jens Roth (2:33, swim1)/Jens Roth (8:10)
Fastest bike lap/cumulative:
Ruben Ruzafa&Panagiotis Bitados (5:26, bike3)/Ruben Ruzafa (16:34)
Fastest run lap/cumulative:
Arthur Serrieres (3:53, run3)/Arthur Serrieres (12:04)
Fastest transition/cumulative: 
Several (:15)/Kristoffer Visti Graae&Sam Osborne (1:43)





Today’s showcase XTERRA Short Track race was an invite-only event exclusive to the top 25 eligible men and women. Up next is the XTERRA France full distance off-road triathlon tomorrow that combines a 1.5-kilometer swim with a grueling 40km mountain bike and 10km trail run.  

There was a €5,000 awarded to the top five men and women in today’s race and €15,000 will be awarded tomorrow. This was the first of four Short Track/Full-Distance weekends that will cumulative dish out €200,000 to the world’s fastest XTERRA racers.

Up Next:
August 13-14: XTERRA Short Track – Czech Republic
August 19-20: XTERRA Short Track – Germany
October 1-2: XTERRA Short Track – Italy

Other useful links:
Everything you need to know about Short Track
XTERRA France Weekend Overview
XTERRA July Events Preview
XTERRA Homepage  
XTERRA World Rankings
XTERRA Europe Facebook Page
XTERRA Europe Instagram

All-time XTERRA Short Track Champions
Date (Location) Men’s Winner/Women’s Winner

August 4, 2019 (Prachatice, Czech Republic) Arthur Forissier/Loanne Duvoisin
September 4, 2020 (Prachatice, Czech Republic) Arthur Serrieres/Laura Philipp
October 3, 2020 (Trentino, Italy) Ruben Ruzafa/Marta Menditto
June 5, 2021 (Lake Garda, Italy) Arthur Forissier/Loanne Duvoisin
June 20, 2021 (Prachatice, Czech Republic) Arthur Forissier/Marta Menditto
August 20, 2021 (Zittau, Germany) Lucas Kocar/Diede Diederiks
August 29, 2021 (Pujols, France) Arthur Serrieres/Michelle Flipo
July 2, 2022 (Xonrupt, France) Panagiotis Bitados/Loanne Duvoisin





2022 XTERRA ELITE SERIES SCHEDULE

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 Arthur Serrieres/Marta Menditto
12-JunXTERRA WhistlerEdmond Roy/Katie Button
2-JulXTERRA Short Track FrancePanagiotis Bitados/Loanne Duvoisin
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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