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How did this ITU and Ironman champion earn the nickname “Xena”? Beyond her impressive palmere — including 23 Ironman 70.3 victories as of 2016 — the statuesque Swiss star is known for going to war like a warrior princess on her P5 and P5X.


Steffen grew up in Spiez, Switzerland, a postcard-ready town where mountains meet lake. Maybe that’s why she took so readily to triathlon: Before hitting the pro triathlon circuit in 2010, Steffen spent two years on the Swiss national cycling team and 10 years on the Swiss junior swimming team.

She didn’t waste any time excelling in her new sport, with victories at Ironman 70.3 Geelong and the ITU Long Course World Championships (which she would win again in 2012). That same year, she was runner-up at the Ironman World Championships, a feat she would repeat two years later. Xena has only upped her game since then, with a stunning string of Ironman and Ironman 70.3 victories spanning 2015 and 2016, and culminating in her third Asia-Pacific Championship.  It was over this period that Caroline became involved in the development of the Cervelo P5X, both as a test rider and as source of invaluable pro-athlete feedback.


Despite her imposing 5’10″ stature and impressive palmares, Steffen is one of the friendliest pros on the Ironman circuit. She always spends plenty of time with her fans posing for photos, answering questions and signing autographs.

She’s personable, but equally tough. When she collided with an errant spectator at more than 40 km/h during the 2015 Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines, she jumped back on her Cervelo P5, and despite suffering various injuries finished with a winning time of 4:23:54 — eight minutes faster than in 2014.

Fans are also drawn to her custom-painted Cervélo P5. She sketched the idea for the basic design on a cocktail napkin, which she photographed and emailed to Cervélo’s graphic designer.


Twitter: @Caroline_Xena

Instagram: @Caroline_Xena

Caroline Steffen