Chane, Billouin Win XTERRA France

Press Release / 06.07.2021
The start of XTERRA France
The start of XTERRA France / © XTERRA

Maxim Chane and Solenne Billouin captured the 14th XTERRA France off-road triathlon elite titles on a rainy day in the Vosges mountains of Xonrupt on Sunday, July 4, 2021.
 
It’s the second XTERRA World Tour win for Chane, who got his first at the 2020 XTERRA Nouvelle-Aquitaine off-road tri in the south of France, and the first big win for Billouin.
 
More than 650 competitors took part in one of the truly iconic events on the XTERRA World Tour in France on Sunday.  
 
In the men’s elite race, Brian Tetard was the first out of the water followed by Chane, Francois Vie and Felix Forissier, with trio Karel Dusek, Arthur Serrieres, and Francois Carloni 10 seconds behind in the chase group.
 
Out on the bike, Vie, Chane and Felix Forissier worked together at the front, but Felix’s older brother, Arthur Forissier was looking strong as he started the charge along with Carloni. The duo bridged the gap just before reaching the famous and renowned XTERRA France bike park – consisting of wooden ramps, berms and manmade obstacles. Having successfully worked his way up from 7th place to 1st place, Arthur Forissier took control at the front of the race, closely followed Chane and Felix Forissier.
 
Each athlete knew they had to fight to retain or build on their position, with the talented Portuguese athlete, Francois Vie, following closely behind in fourth place but being hunted down by Jens Emil Sloth Nielsen - who is known for his mountain bike skills – coming fast from behind. Despite being one of the favorites, Serierres seemed to struggle, losing time on the bike and failing to get back in touch with the leaders.

On the second loop of the bike, Chane pushed hard at the front to lead the pack and create a 1-minute lead on Sloth Nielsen (pictured) in second, with Vie and Arthur Forissier following in 3rd and 4th place, respectively.


Heading into the run, it proved a challenge for the athletes that had had to fight to close the gap. Speaking after the race, Arthur Forissier said, “I really had to push hard to catch the leaders on the first half of the bike which cost me a lot of energy and left little in the tank for the run.”
 
As the weather turned, with rain and colder temperatures adding to the challenge of the event, it was Chane that came out of transition first. Looking strong from the outset, Chane managed to hold onto his lead all the way to the finish line and take the title in 3:13:52, with Sloth Nielsen and Arthur Forissier rounding out the podium in second and third place respectively, followed by Xavier Dafflon and Vie.
 
“I remained patient on the bike and only started pushing on the last bit which allowed me to stay focused during the run,” said Chane, who was over the moon to win in his home country.

Elite Men's Top 5

Pl Name Swim Bike Run Finish
1 Maxim Chane, FRA 19:23 2:06:45 45:51 3:13:52
2 Jens Sloth Nielsen, DEN 21:04 2:05:44 46:15 3:15:51
3 Arthur Forissier, FRA 20:43 2:07:45 50:26 3:21:01
4 Xavier Dafflon, SUI 23:33 2:08:01 47:01 3:21:07
5 Francois Vie, POR 19:26 2:09:30 52:16 3:23:20

In the Women’s Elite race, newcomer Aneta Grabmullerova stormed the swim, one minute up on a chase group that consisted of Segolene Valance, Billouin and Jindriska Zemanova. She held onto her lead for most of the first loop of the bike course, but Billouin was hot on her heels just 30 seconds behind, followed by Zemanova and then Menditto, who had done well to close the gap after losing two-minutes on the lead pack in the swim.  
 
It all changed heading into the second loop of the bike, however, with Zemanova and Billouin leading the race and working as a duo to open the gap on Grabmullerova and Menditto.


 “The bike course was very nice, and the conditions suited me perfectly,” said Zemanova after the race. It was Billouin that came out on top however, after making her move on the second loop of the bike and reaching transition with 1 minute and 40 seconds on the now second placed Menditto.
 
Billouin continued to dominate on the run, posting the fastest run split of the day and crossing the finish line in first place to earn her first major XTERRA title with a time of 3:51:24. She said, “I am ecstatic about my first XTERRA victory, and it being XTERRA France makes this even more special.”

Menditto also produced an impressive run to hold onto second place, with Zemanova posting her best XTERRA performance and finishing third, closely followed by Grabmullerova and Carina Wasle in fourth and fifth respectively.

Elite Women's Top 5 

Pl Name Swim Bike Run Finish
1 Solenne Billouin, FRA 21:42 2:34:50 52:23 3:51:24
2 Marta Menditto, ITA 23:42 2:34:59 53:21 3:54:48
3 Jindriska Zemanova, CZE 22:00 2:37:39 57:20 4:00:06
4 Aneta Grabmullerova, CZE 20:59 2:41:48 59:15 4:04:23
5 Carina Wasle, AUT 23:39 2:43:19 54:34 4:06:26

 

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