Supreme Serrieres retains Cross Triathlon world title in Targu Mures
The conditions could not have been more different to eight months ago when France’s Arthur Serrieres won his first Cross Triathlon world title, but the smile and roar of delight as he took the tape for a second time on Wednesday afternoon in Romania was just the same.
The 27-year-old topped a podium sweep for the French at the World Triathlon Multisport Championships Targu Mures, brothers Felix and Arthur Forissier crossing for silver and bronze respectively. Portugal’s rising star François Vie putting together three great segments to win the U23 world title.
“It’s a tough race, so I am really happy to take my second world title. It’s always a special feeling to have a world championship title,” said a delighted Serrieres. “I had a pretty good swim for me. A few days ago, I did XTERRA Ecuador and was not in good shape on the swim but here I was maybe 10-seconds behind the leader. I had a poor transition but just had to push on the connection and at the end I was with the lead pack. We tried to manage the pace but it’s a really tough bike and at the end I knew I was with Felix and Arthur who are two strong runners. I played my card and pushed and I am really happy to take the win here.”
The men were first into the water of the sports lake for the deep-water start, and much to his and the crowd’s delight, it was Alexandru Ion (ROU) leading after the first 500m, pumping his fists as he was roared back into the water for the second lap.
Close behind were Italy’s Michele Bonacina and the New Zealander Sam Osbourne, Jules Dumas (FRA) and Vie also going well. Felix Forissier and Serrieres were 15 seconds back, Ruben Ruzafa 20 seconds and Arthur Forissier trying in vain to get on the Spaniard’s feet.
That was pretty much how it stayed through lap two, Arthur Forissier dropping further back from the front but then able to quickly claw back some time over the connecting bike section and joining the front pack as the tough five-lap loop began in earnest.
Bonacina faded first and fell off the pace, Ruzafa predictably flying through the field but even the great champion was unable to match the watts being pushed by the Forissier brothers, both working well with Serrieres to take turns out front with Osbourne until the Kiwi began to lose sight and joined Lukas Kochar chasing French shadows through the forest.
Out of T2 after 80 gruelling minutes in the saddle and suddenly Serrieres was a man on a mission, eager to test the two brothers early on the run and hoping to break their spirit.
The tactic paid off, 26 seconds the gap after the first 3.5km loop to Felix Forissier, brother Arthur feeling the heat and dropping to a minute back but still well clear of Osbourne who had Ruzafa breathing down his neck.
The second lap truly belonged to Serrieres, his 26m24s for the 7km run clocking in at over a minute quicker than anyone else in the field and ensuring he had all the time in the world to enjoy his moment down the blue carpet to take the tape for the second successive year.
It was the younger Forissier, Felix, who delivered the silver finishing a minute ahead of Arthur, the pair enjoying their first Cross Triathlon World Championship together having raced around the world for years.
Osbourne found the legs to outdo Ruzafa and finish with a bittersweet fourth place, Kocar in fifth ahead of Vie who secured the U23 world title and underlined why he had been a name on many people’s lips heading into the race, Jules Dumas and Luuk Chambeyron of France with the U23 silver and bronze.
For the full results, click here.
08:45 - 07 Jun, 2022