CANADA MAN/WOMAN - XTRI

  • Canada (CAN)
  • Off-Road Running
  • Off-Road Cycling
  • Open Water Swimming

Two New Champions on the Summit of Mont-Megantic!

Press Release / 15.10.2021See All Event Posts Follow Event
The start of the Canadaman/woman Xtri
The start of the Canadaman/woman Xtri / © Michel Caron

It was back holding the promise of a very different and colorful edition. The CANADA MAN/WOMAN EXTREME TRIATHLON made it to and past the expectations, on Sunday, in Megantic Lake area. This fourth edition, held for the fist time during Fall season, brought up the victory of Sylvain Lafrance and Florence Lavoie-Deraspe.

As the double time champion Jérôme Bresson wasn’t part of the race, Lafrance, from Victoriaville, has been crowned new King of the Mountain, reaching Mont Megantic’s summit after 10:30:32 of ongoing efforts given from the start, at 6:15 am, as he went on for the swim in the cold water of Megantic Lake. He came in before Christian Vachon, from Magog (11:10:19), and Pascal Coudé, from Saguenay (11:26:41).

Lavoie-Deraspe brought a great wind of surprise, reaching the summit as the first woman.   The athlete from Sherbrooke completed the CANADA MAN/WOMAN extreme triathlon in 11:36:59, a time bringing her to the seventh position overall, right before Lyne Bessette, who came in in second position, as she did in 2019, in 11:53:07. The American Alysha Krall came in third with a chrono of 12:00:51.

This year’s CANADA MAN/WOMAN EXTREME TRIAHTLON offered a slightly different edition this year: the swim had 1.5 km instead of 3.8 km, departures were given in small groups and the race started an hour 45 later than it previously did in the past years. Once they got to their first transition, athletes were then up for 180 km of biking and, finally, had to run a 38 km course road and trail/mountain running.

"Considering the adjustments we had to make to this edition due to Fall Season, and to merge with the actual sanitary restrictions/regulations, this year’s completion timings cannot be compared to the previous editions ones", says the Co-Founder and Director of Operations of Endurance Aventure, Jean-Thomas Boily. "Nevertheless, we had the opportunity to witness an impressive race, bathing us in majestic landscapes and I think we can affirm that CANADA MAN/WOMAN EXTREME TRIATHLON, the fastest for the records, is this 2021 edition!"

Lafrance’s Year

This 2021 edition has been giving Sylvain Lafrance the long-awaited opportunity to reach the first step of the podium. After a second position in 2019 and 2018 and a fifth position in 2017, the man from Victoriaville has been the fastest and therefore the first one to reach the finish line as he completed his fourth attempt. Fourth swimmer (00 :26 :00), Lafrance had given quite a show, battling with the French athlete Eric Bessemoulin during the whole bike course.

Both athletes of the extreme took turn up front, but the most experienced one, veteran of the Megantic challenge, made it first on the racecourse, only ten seconds before his competitor. The winner succeeded in creating a bigger gap in space and time as he entered in Mont-Megantic National Park and kept it strong until the end.

"The race was quite difficult this year, explains Sylvain Lafrance. Part of the terrain was rugged (and very technical) and yesterday’s rain didn’t help. But regarding this morning, once we were in the water, it seemed like we didn’t feel any real cold. And I got warm pretty fast on my bike. I had an amazing team. I couldn’t slow down or quit. I went to the end of it with their help!"

Christian Vachon, in his first participation, relied on his strength in running to sneak up to the second step of the podium. The Magogois, known in Estrie for his many sporting challenges carried out to support educational success, has thus managed to climb among the best. He learned from his experience at the GBC 500 last August when he had to stop and resume racing a few days later due to a knee injury. An experience which nevertheless helped him in his preparation for the EXTREME CANADA MAN / WOMAN TRIATHLON

"The past year has been quite difficult as I went through the loss of my mom and got injured during the GBC 500, admits Christian. I’m quite surprised to have made it in second position here! I’m not a good swimmer: I’ve drinked quite a few cups of water this morning (laugh)! I couldn’t wait to get to the last part of the race – the running section – as it is my strength, but I haven’t felt pushed or stressed by a feeling of competition at any point during the day, The whole adventure of this CANADA MAN/WOMAN is an incredible weekend with friends and that is what will remain and be remembered regarding this experience."

On the other hand, Bessemoulin had gone through some though time during the last part of the climb, which brought him down to the fourth position in 11:29:56, only three minutes behind the third man, Pascal Coudé.

A Race for Three

In the women competition, the first three athletes got ahead of the race in turns. Florence Lavoie-Deraspe was the fastest one on the swim (00:25:53). She moved to the third position after the bike course, behind the double time champion Bessette and the American Krall, before coming up front to keep it up there once she’d made half of the racecourse.

"The extreme triathlon went entirely very well, says the winner. My strength is the swim, soi it went well from the beginning. We could have gone for the 3.8 swim course!"

First woman from TR 2 (second transition zone), Bessette, 2017 and 2018 champion, found herself in third position in the mountain. Her experience in climbing up helped her to reach the second position, but she didn’t make it to the first one. "I felt impatient to get to the finish line, admit Lyne. I played cat and mouse for the whole day. I felt a whole wave of fatigue at one point, but its normal. Girls were very strong. She (the winner) runs very well. I couldn’t go past her."

Departure at Dawn

The athletes started with a swim, going in the water in groups of four, every five second, at the Touristic Sation of Baie-des-Sables. Three loops of 500m had to be completed in replacement of the usual 3.8km swim. Water temperature (12 Celsius) didn’t affect the will of the swimmers! More than one third of them made it to the transition in less than 30 minutes.

Among them, the only local athlete to participate to this CANADA MAN/WOMAN is Luc Vallerand. Competing at this event for the first time, the Frontenac athlete got to the finish line with a time of 12:56:40, holding a 17th position to men ranking and a 21st position overall.

"It was completely sick! My legs felt incredibly strong on the bike and my brother ran with me when I most needed it.", shares he who’s been training with an unbelievable will in the past two years to accomplish this extreme challenge. He his convinced that this adventure has quite a lot of positive effects on democratization of triathlon not only in the Megantic Lake area and community, but also all-around Quebec province. "Thanks to Endurance Aventure! You make so many lives different and positively impacted! It is true for me too. This event has to keep living in Megantic surroundings!"

The Sprint

On Saturday, at the Touristic Sation of Baie-des-Sables, the SPRINT, presented by Tafisa, have greeted a female a winner for the first time, in the name of Séverine Bouchez, who made it in 1:13:44. Olivier Lavallée won the men title in 1:17:22, completing this version of the SPRINT, currently adapted (due to the temperature) into a duathlon format, asking the athletes to run a 2 km course, followed by a 20 km bike and another 6,8 km run to complete the challenge.

An International Window

Even though many international athletes couldn’t show up because of the current Sanitary restrictions due to COVID-19 Pandemic, CANADA MAN/WOMAN’s notoriety keep travelling abroad as Endurance Aventure TV production filmed every past and current edition. The first three editions were broadcast in Canada and on quite a few international channels, counting more than 150 countries on its list. Many flight companies also offer the films to their passengers during their flight.

The production has made it to more than 1.2 billion rating on screen around the world up to now! Once the 2021 edition film will be out, Endurance Aventure Production roughly expects more than 2 billion views. This film will put the emphasis on the athletes personal achievement, the beauty, charm and unique character of Fall Season landscapes all around Megantic Lake area.

"CANADA MAN/WOMAN event deserves global recognition, meaning all around the Globe, and it’s what happens now," enthusiastically says Endurance Aventure Co-founder and Director of TV Production Daniel Poirier. "It’s primordial for us to give a lifelong ripple effect to our events and to allow a large audience to discover different, majestic locations through a unique lens. I would like to thank the whole Megantic Lake community for a precious support and contribution to this year’s CANADA MAN/WOMAN."

A few Numbers

  • 2 km swim on Megantic Lake, 180 km and 2 500 m elevation gain on the bike, 42 km and 1 500 m elevation gain to run to reach the summit of Mont-Megantic
  • Athletes taking place on the starting line this year, 2021: 87 (women, 65 men)
  • Number of athletes competing for the first time at CANADA MAN/WOMAN: a lot!
  • Water temperature at the start: 12 Celsius
  • Number of trees presenting flamboyant colors along the way: we stopped counting them once we reached 672...!

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