Cross Triathlon World titles on the line in Ibiza on Friday

by doug.gray@triathlon.org on 04 May, 2023 04:15 • Español
Cross Triathlon World titles on the line in Ibiza on Friday

The Cross Duathlon world titles set the tone in San Antonio on Wednesday, now the world’s best cross triathletes get their chance to shine as the 2023 World Triathlon Multisport Championships Ibiza continue on Friday.

The action will be non-stop. After a 1km swim in the emerald Balearic Sea it’s a long run up into transition before two gruelling bike laps up into the hills that surround the famous town. Three distinct sections present three different challenges, with gravel, rocks, trails and tarmac at various points, scything switchbacks and rapid descents on each of the 10km loops.

A 5km run wraps things up, combining technical sections, beach passes and rocky headlands, before hitting the chute for glory. Extended highlights will be available on TriathlonLive.tv.

Men’s preview

Four men have been vying for the medals in recent years, the Forissier brother Felix and Arthur, Ruben Ruzafa and the mighty Arthur Serrieres. Three Frenchmen, one Spaniard, and 32 rivals looking to dethrone them on Friday.

Arthur Serrieres has been on a steady march to the top of the sport since his first European U23 title back in 2015, honing his craft at the World Championships and XTERRA to sit now at the very top of the tree, looking to make it a hat-trick of world titles after an imperious display in Targu Mures last year.

Serrieres is an undisputed powerhouse over all three disciplines, but if Felix Forissier can put some extra pressure on in the swim, that first bike climb could be crucial. It is there that sibling Arthur Forissier will be looking to use his considerable handling skills, but in the world of cross racing anything can happen, and it is how the best respond when the unexpected happens that is often decisive.

Ruzafa is a four-time world champion who will have been working hard to try and secure a fifth on home soil after European Championship success in Bilbao. Being in touch out of the water will be his first goal, but the rougher terrain of the upper bike course could play to his strengths.

USA’s Eric Lagerstrom makes a rare appearance in the Team USA suit, the former short-course athlete switched to longer distance but has always kept off-road in his heart and arrives in Ibiza fresh from a training camp with compatriot Seth Rider to sharpen his swim and run in preparation.

Last year’s U23 World Champion was Portugual’s Francois Vie is likely to be setting the pace once more in the swim, while Belgium’s Cross Duathlon World Champion Sebastien Carabin will hope that gap doesn’t go out too far and he can use the experience gained in race conditions on Wednesday to do some damage over the 20km bike once again.

Women’s preview

The women’s title looks like being another wide open affair by some of the toughest triathletes out there, led out by defending champion Sandra Mairhofer (ITA) who is on a hot streak of form that has straddled the worlds of winter and cross with equal success.

One of the few women on the start to topple her when it matters most is Switzerland’s Loanne Duvoisin for whom the muddy but otherwise relatively straightforward Extramadura course in 2021 proved the perfect ground for a world title performance.

In Targu Mures, it was another Italian, the rising talent Marta Menditto, who was able to push Mairhofer the closest and take both elite silver and the U23 title. Just as at home in the water or on the bike and just a minute off her compatriot last time out, this could be the 23-year-old’s time to shine.

Switzerland’s Anna Zehnder scored the Cross Duathlon silver and now knows the course inside out after delivering the second fastest mountain bike time of the women’s field, while Johandri Leicester goes out for South Africa for a first World Championship outing since finishing 11th in Fyn seven years ago.

For the full start lists, click here.

Related Event: 2023 World Triathlon Multisport Championships Ibiza
05 - 07 May, 2023 • event pageall results
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