Rubén Ruzafa runs towards the finish line at the XTerra World Championship. / XTERRA

Local cross triathlete is fifth in XTerra championship

Rubén Ruzafa repeated the feat that he achieved in the previous championship in Romania with a respectable performance in France

SHAY CONAGHAN MALAGA.

Local Rincón de la Victoria cross athlete Rubén Ruzafa took fifth place at the XTerra World Championship that was held in France on Sunday. This is a repeat result of his season opener three weeks ago in the World Triathlon Cross Championships, held in Romania.

The XTerra race consists of three tests: a 1,500-metre swim, a 40km bike ride and a 10km run on trails and forest paths. Ruzafa started off strongly by building a 40 second lead over the favourites and just falling behind 19-year-old sensation Bitados Panagiotis during the swimming segment.

The Rincón de la Victoria local took the overall lead of the race after an impressive bike ride, setting the fastest time with a 1:56:29 in what is his specialty. It put Ruzafa ahead by one minute and ten seconds over French brothers Arthur and Felix Forissier and two minutes and twenty seconds ahead of Arthur Serrieres.

But the final 10km run was where the Spaniard lost his advantage. The 37-year-old ran this final segment in 46:53, the slowest time out of the top six finishers, and it was too far off the overall winner Arthur Forissier's impressive time of 42:49. In the end, despite having the lead for much of the race, Ruzafa completed the event in 03:05:43, just over three minutes behind the French winner.