Rubén Ruzafa, 2013 XTERRA World Champion with Specialized

Monday, October 28, 2013

TWICE XTERRA WORLD CHAMPION!!

Back in 2008 a professional mountain biker, unknown for the triathlon community, surprised the entire world becoming the XTERRA World Champion. Five years later, Rubén Ruzafa has returned to Maui, now as a professional triathlete, to consolidate his status. Ruzafa is the new XTERRA World Champion!

The Spaniard (09.09.1984), youngest ever XTERRA World Champion and who has never finished a XTERRA event off the podium, was one of the main contenders for this year’s title.

Ruzafa came out of water nearly three minutes behind the top swimmers, a reasonable time difference to make up on his strongest discipline, the mountain bike segment. He completed the 32 km MTB course in barely one and a half hours and entered T2 45” ahead of the chasers. It was a matter of keeping the advantage during the 9,5 km run but not happy with this, Ruzafa showed his amazing talent and opened a bigger difference (1’38”), crossing the mythical Hawaiian finish line in first position (2h34’34”), exhausted, smiling and pointing both arms up to the sky tributing his former team mate and friend Iñaki Lejarreta (who was killed last winter while training with his road bike) and his father (who passed away due to cancer two years a go).

“Everything turned out perfect, without problems and having goos feelings in all segments. During the swim I stayed in a group, losing the expected time. On the bike I had a great feelings, powerful and not taking risks. When I passed Allen and Chacón, the last long downhill was still remaining and I managed to reach the transition alone. The run has been really tough, I set short goals and tried to keep my stride. I have only felt winner on the beach, from there on it was a about enjoying it!”.

“I cannot describe my feelings when I reached the finish line. I have been dreaming with a new victory in the XTERRA World Championship since 2008. During the last years my performance hasn’t been as expected, together with bad moments that life brings you. To me this victory is a great reward but it isn’t only mine, it’s all of those you helped me and supported me at some point. Thanks, each of you have pushed me to the finish line”.

Ruzafa has had a sensational season, having won XTERRA Spain, XTERRA Berga and XTERRA Germany, second in XTERRA France and third in XTERRA USA, besides being the ITU Cross Triathlon runner-up and Spanish Cross Triathlon champion, as well as third at the middle distance national championship.

(Info courtesy of José Luis Arce / Octagon Esedos S.L. - Photos by XTERRA / Nils Nilsen).