Ruzafa after winning the race in Germany. :: SIMON PECH
Rubén Ruzafa has added another piece of silverware to his already well-stocked trophy collection. He won the Cross Triathlon at the 2014 ITU World Championships in Zittau, Germany. The sportsman is originally from Valencia but is now based in Rincón de la Victoria. He was crowned champion of the sport known as mountain triathlon, a discipline that a slowly growing in Spain but is already popular in other countries.
–Firstly, congratulations. You won with nearly a minute to spare. But after seeing photos of you at the finish line with mud on your face it didn’t look like an easy race.
–No, not at all. It was a tough journey. With it being the World Championships there were the best competitors who had been training extensively for the event. The level couldn’t have been any higher. It was raining and there was a lot of mud, but these conditions help me. I was lucky and didn’t have any falls or physical problems and I was able to finish 55 seconds ahead of my rivals.
–Is this one of the most important triumphs of your life?
–Yes, I am very pleased because it was a title that I never had before and last year I finished second because of two penalties. After the XTerra World Championships last year, it is one of the biggest victories of my career.
–Do you think that your victory will increase the popularity of Cross Triathlon in Spain?
–Spain hasn’t seen a ‘boom’ in the popularity of the sport, although little by little more people seem to be taking to it. In Germany and the US it is especially big and races get a lot of attention. I think that my victory will help to spread the sport in Spain. People will see that it is great sport and taking part in a race is like and adventure.
–Now that triathlons are becoming more popular you professionals are becoming examples to follow, do you feel privileged?
–Being a professional means, as is logical, packed training sessions, lots of food and rest. But sure we are privileged because we spend time doing what we enjoy and that makes it less hard to train so much.
–At the end of the month we will see you competing in Malaga in the Viñuela XTerra. What are you expecting from this race?
–I want to rest a little first so I’ll be fresher for the event. I have already done the course on a bike, it took me three hours and it’s really tough.