Bozzone Trades Olympic Disappointment for XTERRA Joy at XTERRA New Zealand
Blue Lake Rotorua
Terenzo Bozzone put his dissapointment at missing selection for the New Zeland Olympic team behind him taking out the win at the 2008 XTERRA New Zealand Championships in Rotorua.
Managing to restrict his time losses to defending champion Tim Wilding (Taupo) to an acceptable level on the 26km mountain bike stage, Bozzone overtook Wilding at the start of the second lap of the run around the picturesque Blue Lake.
Mark Leishamn of Palmerston North took the lead from Wilding and pushed Bozzone hard taking the lead as they ran past the crowds after 5.5km of the 11km run. “I knew Terenzo was not far behind and running well,” said Leishman “he took me, I took him, but he finally left me behind as we headed down to the finish”.
“I was concerned about the technical aspects of the course,” said Bozzone , “The up-hills were fine but on the downhills Tim (Wilding)and Mark (Leishman) left me in their dust.” Tim (Wilding) went past me in a flash but I kept plugging away and waiting for the run.”
“It’s a great event and I love to do more XTERRA events at some stage,” he said “but I’m going to stick with road triathlons over the next few months.”’
Scott Thorne of Hamilton also ran past last years winner to take out third. Defending champion Wilding of Taupo had been unable to run for the last few months due to a knee injury and stuggled on the run to finish in fourth. Klayten Smith of Sydney finished in fifth. “I knew i needed to get a good lead on the bike”, said Wilding, “but this year my run form was not enough to hold off those guys.”
Former winner Sonia Foote made it three XTERRA New Zealand titles, changing last year’s second place into a win once again! The winner in 2004 and 2005 looked much smoother on the run than in 2007 when she finished second to Gina Ferguson, Foote said that she had changed her running style and done a lot more run-training than in previous years. “The bike course rocked”, said the teacher from Rotorua who earlier this year won the New Zealand Cross Country Monutain Bike championships. Despite giving away five and a half minutes at the end of the swim Foote was confident that she was still in contention and would be able to rely on her mountain-biking and running abilities to take out the win.
“I’ve not done much swimming,” she confessed, “but I will do before the XTERRA World championships in Maui, “the swim there is 1500m and in the Ocean, so I’ll need it.”
Neslon’s Susie Wood and Nic Leary from Palmerston North also finished ahead of 2007 champion Gina Ferguson.
Glorious spring weather greeted more than 2000 participants in what is the world’s largest XTERRA off road triathlon festival based at the Blue Lakes.
With competitors choosing from walking, running, mountain biking as well as the individual and team XTERRA events.
XTERRA triathlon is a worldwide series of off road triathlons of age groupers and professionals, which culminates in a World Championships in Maui, Hawaii in October each year. Olympic champion Hamish Carter, ended his career with a XTERRA World Championship win in 2006.
XTERRA Multisport Triathlon, Blue Lake Rotorua Saturday 12th April 2008
1000m swim, 26km Mountain Bike, 11km trail run
1 Terenzo Bozzone (N.Z. Auckland) 2:07:09
2 Mark Leishman (N.Z. Palmerston North) 2:07:29
3 Scott Thorne (N.Z. Hamilton) 2:08:48
4 Tim Wilding (N.Z. Taupo) 2:11:03
5 Klayten Smith (Aus Sydney) 2:12:11
1 Sonia Foote (N.Z. Rotorua) 2:28:18
2 Susie Wood (N.Z. Nelson) 2:31:34
3 Nic Leary (N.Z. Palmerston North) 2:34:06
4 Gina Ferguson (N.Z. Christchurch) 2:34:55
5 Fiona Docherty (N.Z. Taupo) 2:34:55
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