Jason Rüesch from Switzerland and Coralie Bentz from France won the Transjurassienne on Sunday, after 50 km between Lamoura and Les Rousses, in the splendid landscape of the Jura Mountains. With nearly 4,000 participants, the 44th edition of La Transju', flooded for two days by a bright sun, is a success.
. Victories of Jason Rüesch and Coralie Bentz on La Transjurassienne
. Maurice Manificat, second and happy about his return to competition
. Anaïs Bescond in the women's top 10
. A positive result with nearly 4,000 participants and the relief of having been able to maintain the event
. 60 skiers in solidarity with the association "Skier pour Elles
First times are never forgotten, they say. Jason Rüesch and Coralie Bentz will probably not say otherwise. For the first time at the start of the Transjurassienne, the Swiss and the French dominated all their opponents to add their names to the prestigious list of winners of the event, at the end of a course reduced to 50 km (instead of 70), because of the snow conditions, but very demanding with a positive difference in altitude of 855 m.
A member of the Swiss team at the Beijing Olympics (17th in the 50 km skating mass-start, 27th in the skiathlon) and at the 2017, 2019 and 2021 World Championships, with his best results being an 11th place at the 2021 World Championships in the 50 km and 4th and 5th places with the relay in 2017 and 2021, Rüesch did not hide his happiness. It's always special to cross a finish line in the lead," said the 28-year-old Swiss, who was second last week in a 42 km race in Italy and was present in Les Rousses on January 27 for the World Cup race (58th in the 10 km). This victory is great, especially today when there was a great field with great champions. It was very hard at the beginning of the race where they attacked very hard. I was really at the limit, not far from giving up. I just tried to follow. But at the end, against the wind, I had good legs. I waited and made an attack at 100m. Even though I often come to the Jura, especially in preparation for Prémanon, this was my first Transju'. It's really a great race with a crazy atmosphere, lots of people all along the track, a bit like a World Cup. I love France!"
Maurice Manificat: "I'll definitely be back
"We'll see, we'll see..." On the starting line drawn at the Combe du Lac de Lamoura, Maurice Manificat still left some doubt about his intentions. Back to competition after several weeks of treating several illnesses (infectious bronchitis and sinusitis), the member of the French team, in preparation for the world championships in Planica at the end of the month, where he will compete in the 15 km individual skate, did not want to project himself too much. Less than two hours later, at the finish line, the 36-year-old Frenchman had his answer. "It was really nice with a great atmosphere, notes the runner-up in the 15 km free in 2015, seven times bronze medalist in relay at the Olympic Games (4 times) and Worlds (3 times). In the Massacre forest, Arnaud Chautemps started alone. I went ahead to try to limit the gap a little. The peloton reformed. In the Sambine I tried to go with my teammate Gérard Agnellet but we were sliding a little less. The pack regrouped again. The very brittle course skimmed a bit. At the end, I wasn't patient enough. I underestimated the wind. I started at 2 kilometers but it was too far. Despite a good attack, Jason followed me. We made a small gap and we couldn't let go even if I knew I had made a mistake. And indeed, he sprinted me 100 meters from the line. Despite this second place, Manificat was satisfied with his day. "I was there to get my bearings, do an intensity session and get my cardio up, and that's done! The long distances, all these popular races, are the spirit of cross-country skiing. The one where you start from point A and go to point B. All cross-country skiers, even on the World Cup, love it. You meet the public, the amateurs who do cross-country skiing. It's a great experience, and I'll definitely be back.
Present on the World Cup circuit mainly in the sprint events, Arnaud Chautemps, a member of the La Féclaz club, 26 years old, completed the podium, one second ahead of Gérard Agnellet. Last year's winner, Émilien Louvrier, had a more difficult day and had to abandon.
Coralie Bentz in the lead from start to finish:
In the women's race, Coralie Bentz, 26 years old, won after being in the lead at each intermediate time. I came here to win," smiled the Frenchwoman, who was with the French team at the last Olympic Games in Beijing. I did a long distance last week to get my bearings. First of all, I made sure to stay in contact with the other girls because in the races with the boys there can be breaks. But I was never too much in the red except at the end when it was time to arrive. In the end, 50 km was fine for me! I hadn't really planned to start in Prémanon but there was a small break. I hesitated a bit because it's still long and it was windy. But I said to myself, come on, you have the boards, a good glide, you have to go." Winning choice. "It's a great pleasure. My boyfriend already has the little bell but I wanted to have the big one, it's a great gift. The Transju' is mythical. Long in the lead with Bentz, Emilie Bulle took second place, followed by the American Katie Feldman. Title holder Céline Choppard-Lallier finished at the foot of the podium.
Biathlete Anaïs Bescond, 10th woman:
Olympic champion of mixed relay in 2018, Anais Bescond, already present at the beginning of the month with the young people of the Transju' Jeunes, took a nice tenth place in the women's race (2h20'08''). A real performance in view of a very relative form. I am very happy to have finished my first Transjurassienne," she explains. The atmosphere and the organization were great. Thanks to the organizers for keeping it that way. I had nightmares all night long, telling myself that I really wasn't in any shape to do the race after lying in bed for 48 hours. At the beginning, I told myself I would ski to see how I felt and then we would see if I had to stop. But I didn't want to stop at all. The Transju' is important in my life, it's a tradition here and I will be back with great pleasure. Célia Aymonier (bronze medalist with the women's relay at the 2017 World Championships) and Simon Desthieux (Olympic champion of the mixed relay in Pyeongchang in 2018 and world champion of the men's relay in 2020) crossed the line together after 2h29' of effort.
Also noteworthy is the 57th place of the ultra-trailer Xavier Thévenard (three-time winner of the UTMB), in 2h08'47'', the good performance of Camille Bruyas, also an ultra trail specialist, 33rd female or the good time of Jérome Coppel (2015 French time trial champion), in 2h13'09'' (88th). The skippers Aurélien Ducroz, former world champion in freestyle skiing, and Ian Lipinski, finished in 3h34'. While the 2012 Olympic mountain bike champion, Julie Bresset, crossed the line after a little more than 4 hours of racing.
"An ultra positive balance sheet:
With nearly 4,000 participants in all the events despite the uncertainties of the weather in recent weeks, the 2023 edition of the Transju' is a success. The results are very positive," says Pierre-Albert Vandel, president of Trans'Organisation. First of all, because we were able to maintain the race. We have to underline all the work done by the trackers, a real work of goldsmith. Without them, there would not have been a Transju'. For a week it was not easy. There was very little snow to recover around the trail. With the weather to come, we're just about there. The public is there, you can see on the smiles at the finish that the runners are happy. This edition is a great success. Satisfaction also comes from seeing the loyalty of the enthusiasts to this event every year. The Transju' is part of the heritage of the region and of Nordic skiing in France," he continues. People are eager to participate. It is an event that is important from a social and societal point of view. We must continue to maintain this social cohesion. We must not break the need for people to get together.
Solidarity approach with the "Ski for them" association:
Present on the Transju' for more than ten years, the association "Skier pour elles", supported by Marie-Pierre Guilbaud, race director of the Transju', was once again present. On Saturday, in the classic races, about sixty of its representatives were at the start. We are a thirteen year old association with the vocation of prevention through sport and the financing of activity programs adapted to women in hospital undergoing cancer treatment," explains Sophie Moreau, president of the association "Running pour Elles", who is behind this presence. The idea is to do prevention in the rural environment, especially here in the Jura Mountains, and to raise awareness of prevention through sport by running, skiing etc. We have been present on the Transju' for more than ten years. It is important to be here to give a sense of solidarity to this great international event because cancer has no borders.
1. Jason Rüesch (SUI), 1h53'40
2. Maurice Manificat (FRA) (Haute-Savoie Nordic Team), 5'' behind
3. Arnaud Chautemps (FRA), 8'' behind
1. Coralie Bentz (FRA) (Haute-Savoie Nordic Team), 2h05'53'' (36th overall)
2. Émilie Bulle (FRA) (Team Vercors Isère), 56'' (36th overall)
3. Katie Feldman (USA) (Sun Valley SEF/BSV), at 2'53
In two months' time, the 2024 edition of the Marathon Ski Tour will get underway.
Skiers, traileurs, runners and walkers can now enjoy the historic Trans'ju route between Lamoura and Mouthe all year round.