2008 Xterra World Champion quits mountain biking for good
After a successful mountain bike career, Andalusian athlete Rubén Ruzafa (Orbea) decided to resign from mountain biking and commit fully to triathlon. Ruzafa has already had success in the three-sport discipline; he became Xterra world champion in 2008 in Hawaii and was the runner-up at the European triathlon in Sardinia, Italy in 2009.
"For several years, I have been struggling between mountain bike and triathlon. My Xterra victory in Maui made me seriously think about switching sports, but I had been chasing the dream of becoming part of the Olympic mountain bike team since my start and having been so close in 2008, I wanted to try for 2012," said Ruzafa.
"After two difficult years, specially this last one, in which I lost any chance of being an Olympian due to an infection after the World Cup in South Africa and overtraining, the opportunity to show what I'm capable of in triathlon has come."
Ruzafa has four national titles in cross country and marathon mountain bike disciplines and one team relay world title from Livigno, Italy in 2005. He's got several World Cup top 10s and podiums, including fourth in Madrid, Spain in 2008 and second in Schladming, Austria in 2009.
"In the short term, I want to tackle the Xterra European series and win again the world championship," he said. "I will also debute in middle distance triathlons, such as Ironman 70.3. In the mid term, my aim is to fight for the victory in the Ironman 70.3 world championship in Las Vegas. My long term goal is to compete for the Ironman world championship in Hawaii, triathlon's mecca".
At the moment, Ruzafa is recovering from a simple surgery that forced him to end his mountain bike season a bit early. He will soon resume training for triathlon