On a muddy and rainy day with intermittent sun two new ITU Cross Triathlon World Champions were crowned in Zittau, Germany but these titles did not come easy on that tough course. Ruben Ruzafa from Spain and Kathrin Müller from Germany earned it the hard way and Karsten Täschner captured the images for us after racing earlier that day.
The sun did indeed come out here and there, but the course difficulty was increased with rain and cold.
Several ITU stars tried their luck on the XTERRA Germany course.
The elite men dashed into to water with more clouds rolling in.
Erin Densham on a cyclocross style overpass.
The man made obstacles are negotiated well by Kathrin Müller.
Many eyes were on Jacqui Slack, but she had to settle for 6th place in Germany.
The defending champion Helena Erbenova had her work cut out after a slow swim.
Conrad Stoltz is loved by fans all over the world.
Ruben Ruzafa uses this muddy straightaway to get his gear adjusted.
Josiah Middaugh was chasing hard.
On this section athletes still were relatively clean.
Ruzafa returned from the woods completely changed and caked in mud.
Faris Al-Sultan raced too and finished 41st. Maybe the first time we saw him without Speedos.
The Caveman who had won this title 3 years in a row had to settle for 8th place this year.
Helena Erbenova on her way to 3rd place.
Ruben Ruzafa was thrilled with his first ITU Cross Worlds title, after 2 XTERRA Worlds ones. He appears to hold a gel in his mouth in case you wondered.
Middaugh would likely have preferred the top spot, but seemed not too unhappy with the runner-up place here.
Kathrin Müller smiles as she takes the win on home soil.
The men's podium in Zittau, Germany.
A big smile from runner-up Flora Duffy.