Scanno (AQ): describing a weekend like the one we spend every year in Scanno for XTERRA is something very difficult. We always risk falling into banality or, taken from the emphasis and adrenaline of seeming overly epic or self-congratulatory. The emotions before, during and after the event are enormous. Everything in the previous months is thought out and studied and organized meticulously. The event is another thing, it is another story made of exchanges of glances, long confrontations on how, where and when, tiring setbacks and delicious sleepless nights. This has been the case for a few years, and every year we put something extra into it to give everyone an unforgettable XTERRA.
Already from the first days of the week Scanno was taken by assault by bikers from many European countries, but also beyond, all curious, someone intimidated by the stories of past epic races, to set foot on the paths and confront reality. On Saturday morning, however, he begins to give the first adrenaline blasts to the athletes and the many companions. The village is filled with stands, people, music that warms the atmosphere. The aperitif together with the boys of Cross-Tri and the Endurance Training post briefing after the presentation of all the elites, gives two hours of discharge from pre-race anxiety, good food and lots of beer for everyone that seems to have been very welcome . The presence in Scanno of the FITri president, Luigi Bianchi, who gives an official tone and a "fatal" approach, perhaps inevitable, between two worlds that converge towards a single goal: the promotion of cross triathlon, the promotion of a discipline so much hard as spectacular. Furthermore, the event is also attended by the Regional Councilor for Sport and Internal Areas Guido Quintino Liris. Then evening falls. The lake, by its side offers a beautiful sunset, a soft light that smacks of challenge, of sweat, of quiet ... but soon, instead, the storm XTERRA will rage.
The morning of Sunday is warm, the sun and clear sky to welcome the "daily" and morning athletes and the many volunteers, in addition to the MTB Scanno Team that has always offered support to the event, which are busy to fix the last details . Muta yes? Muta not? Maybe. At the 10 comes the verdict of the judges: mute, no, forbidden for everyone. Mass that comes from the microphones of the two speakers, Fabio D'Annunzio and Tania Branzanic, who announce the decision. Faces as a question mark for athletes, words, exchanges, request for clarification: "But really without change?". Well, all without wetsuits and at 11 the pro battery starts, full of important names ready to do battle in the streets of Scanno, on Monte Rotondo and on the path of the heart that rises from the lake. High levels of adrenaline for the hundreds of people crowded on the start amphitheater. Following the age group batteries and at 13 the start of the sprint. It is Chane, great swimmer, who comes out of the water first. Good performance also for Rinaldi and Zanenga who brings Barazzuol with him. Filippo Barazzuol at the end of the race: “The first meters I found myself in the footsteps of Filippo Rinaldi and knowing that he is an excellent swimmer I tried to stay in his wake but ... it was not my rhythm. So I stayed with Andrea Zanenga for almost the whole fraction and we got out of the water practically together. "
In the mtb district, it soon becomes clear that the day will be decided between two real bikes of the mtb: Ruzafa and Dafflon. The first, winner in Scanno twice, the second two years ago, after blaming 6 minutes in the water stravinse running a fraction of epic mtb and an incredible trail. So does the good Swiss. He pushes and remounts everyone until he gets close to Ruzafa already in the mtb village, scoring the best time, not even to say it. Filippo Rinaldi, who unfortunately leaves the race, is unfortunately on a bad day. Same fate for Francesco Figini who suffers a lot from swimming without wetsuits and does not have good sensations in mtb even less on the trail. We also lose Andrea Zanenga due to a broken chain. On the other hand, among the women, a sumptuous Sandra Mairhofer sets out on her own to oust the first position. It would also be his day but from the back it rises like a fury Karaskova that marks the best time in mtb distancing Sandra by a few minutes. Great fraction also of Matilde Bolzan that literally goes to fishing of adversaries going up again from the ninth position until the third detaching the second best time of fraction in front of Sandra Mairhofer. Meanwhile the gentlman battle their way through paths, steps and walls of tears. Ruzafa: "I was never sure I could win the race. I know Xavier Dafflon and my advantage was not so reassuring. Only in the last kilometer I was able to lower the sure rhythm of having made it a little. " The third position is played between Barazzuol and Carloni, expert French rider of the Organicoach team. "We started practically together from t2 and I didn't feel my race so safe to be able to pull it off." Barazzuol recounts. "So, thinking about it, I stayed with him trying to figure out what it was like. At the attack of the hardest climb, out of the country, I changed pace by taking a few meters of advantage that I increased giving everything in the last 3 km. I'm really happy to have reached the podium in my second XTERRA. "
Dafflon: "Second behind Ruben is a victory. He is one of the greatest and I made two excellent fractions but they were not enough to win. "
Helena Karaskova Erbenova brings home the victory, the fifth out of six participations, with about five minutes on an excellent Sandra Mairhofer, ready to do battle in the Czech Republic for the XTERRA European Championship.
Third Eva Garcia Gonzalez that thanks to the best time in the fraction of trail takes home the third step of the podium surpassing Buss and Bolzan. Matilde recounts: “I rode together with Eva Gonzalez most of the last climb. I tried to pull off both and then Buss because I was convinced that he had more in the race. Instead I suffered the return of Eva who was really strong and I could not do anything but content myself with an excellent fourth place, which in Scanno, seems like a great placement. "
In the sprint, many Italians, many nationals, are fighting. It ends as at the Lake Garda stage with Podda winning for the second time running a fraction of incredible trail and overtaking Stefano Davite and Streiter. Among women instead Marta Menditto wins after the victory of Lake Garda.
The conclusion of the event reflects what we wanted to think about doing for the athletes with abundant pasta party and pizza for all the athletes until late afternoon.
Now, given the hundreds of thanks to all the volunteers and all those who have collaborated to make the stage of Scanno truly unique, we analyze, rest and leave again strong for the 2020, always in Scanno, always with one of the most hard and fascinating XTERRAs at world.