The Green Takeover

XTERRA Joins Paul Mitchell® in The Green Takeover

Honolulu, HI – In an effort to plant 500,000 trees by the end of 2016 as part of its “Tea Tree The Green Takeover” campaign, John Paul Mitchell Systems will plant 30,000 trees with its partner Reforest’Action on behalf of every XTERRA triathlete and trail runner taking part in the XTERRA America Tour this season, and create opportunities for thousands more in the XTERRA community to get involved.

“The Live More lifestyle that XTERRA embodies, and the fundamental belief in taking care of the environment are important to us, and I know it’s important to XTERRA athletes,” said Julie Solwold, the Vice President of Global Sports and Events for John Paul Mitchell Systems.

On Earth Day, April 22, 2015, Paul Mitchell and Reforest’Action will start planting thirty-thousand trees in Peru on behalf of all U.S. XTERRA athletes, and Paul Mitchell is inviting all XTERRA athletes, race directors, families, and friends to plant an additional free tree by using the code XTERRAME at http://xterra.co/PMreforest.

Join The Green Takeover conversation online.  Spread the word about Paul Mitchell’s mission and your contribution by posting our Green Takeover graphic, or upload your own image with the hashtag #GreenTakeover and don’t forget to tag @PaulMitchellUS.

“The XTERRA Tribe cares about nature and preserving it, and preventing global warming and deforestation,” said Janet Clark, XTERRA President.  “I think we’re all very lucky to have Paul Mitchell in our corner, activating for our environment and that of future generations.”

Paul Mitchell’s eco-inspired Tea Tree brand has long supported healthy forests, and for the second straight year in conjunction with Reforest’Action – a Paris-based environmental organization that plants trees worldwide to reforest areas in need –will plant Maya Nut trees in San Martin Province, Peru.

Located in the upper part of the Peruvian Amazon rainforest, San Martin Province is being deforested due to logging, mining, agriculture and an influx of settlers. While tropical forests like these only take up 6% of the world’s surface, they house an enormous volume of plant and animal life—approximately one half to three-quarters.

The Tea Tree Green Takover program will also serve to sequester more than 85,000 tons of CO2 during the trees’ lifetime, support rainforest conservation, benefit local communities through better health and nutrition, and protect soil from depletion and erosion caused by deforestation.

Paul Mitchell is the longest-tenured sponsor in the history of XTERRA, with the relationship dating back more than 20 years.  The 2015-2016 Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run Series will feature more than 100 runs in 20+ states across the U.S. ranging from 5 kilometers to 50 kilometers.  Paul Mitchell is also a presenting sponsor of the 2015 XTERRA America Tour, Asia-Pacific, and World Championships.

About John Paul Mitchell Systems
John Paul Mitchell Systems®, a top manufacturer of salon-only professional hair care products, has been serving the professional beauty industry for over 30 years. The company currently produces over 150 professional and consumer products (including the brands Paul Mitchell®, MITCH®, Awapuhi Wild Ginger®, Tea Tree, Paul Mitchell® Pro Tools™, and Neuro™ Tools) that have won over 45 beauty awards. John Paul Mitchell Systems products are sold through distributors to over 100,000 hair salons in North America, and internationally, to thousands of hair salons in 84 countries.  John Paul Mitchell Systems offers complementary education to stylists through a national network of over 1,000 educators, and Paul Mitchell Schools trains over 10,000 future professionals in over 100 locations nationwide. John Paul Mitchell Systems does not test its products on animals, nor has it ever done so. In accordance with CEO John Paul DeJoria’s motto, “Success unshared is failure,” The company has a strong commitment to giving back, supporting a wide range of philanthropic causes both domestically and internationally. For more information, please see our website http://www.paulmitchell.com or visit us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.  For more information about Paul Mitchell® Tea Tree, please contact Lindsey Provost at 310.248.3888 or visit PaulMitchell.com.

About Reforest’Action

Among the leading reforestation organizations in the world, Reforest’Action is a social business that enables companies to concretely act in favour of the environment thanks to an unequalled model. On reforestaction.com, a unique web platform, companies, their colleagues and clients plant trees in Senegal, Peru, India, Guatemala or France. They measure the social and environmental benefits and share this experience on the social media. Since its creation in 2010, Reforest’Action has planted more than 460,000 trees and generated a positive impact on the livelihood of more than 10 000 people. For more information, please see our website, http://www.reforestaction.com.

About TEAM Unlimited/XTERRA

TEAM Unlimited is a Hawaii-based television events and marketing company, founded in 1988.  It owns and produces XTERRA and in 2015 will offer more than 300 XTERRA off-road triathlon and trail running races in 30+ countries worldwide. In addition, TEAM TV has produced more than 350 adventure television shows since 1990.  View samples at www.xterra.tv, and learn more at xterraplanet.com, xterratrailrun.com, and xterraasiapacific.com.

Rom Akerson

Akerson, Paterson win XTERRA Costa Rica

Photos / Results

(Playa Conchal, Costa Rica)- Rom Akerson and Lesley Paterson captured the XTERRA Costa Rica Championship crowns on a hot day at Playa Conchal on Sunday.

In the men’s race Akerson, the hometown favorite, had the fastest bike split of the day and held off a hard-charging Josiah Middaugh on the run to take the tape in 2:19:04.

Middaugh, who finished as the runner-up for the second straight year, was 53-seconds behind and Mauricio Mendez came in third just 12-seconds later.

“Rom was on fire today,” said Middaugh.  “I pre-rode the course with him and could tell he was fit and ready for the course. I had some leg cramping issues early in the bike, but it hurt less to pedal than to coast and stretching on the side of the trail didn’t seem to help. I usually never cramp but it was good to experience once. We had some tight racing up front since I didn’t catch Mauricio until the end of the bike. Rom stayed strong on the run though and we couldn’t catch him.”

Pro Men    
Pl Name Final
1 Rom Akerson, CRC 2:19:04
2 Josiah Middaugh, USA 2:19:57
3 Mauricio Mendez, MEX 2:20:09
4 Sebastian Neef, GER 2:25:50
5 Fabricio Guidelli, ITA 2:37:42
6 Nils Daimer, GER 2:38:19
7 Craig Evans, USA 2:41:02
8 John Garita 2:41:29
9 Julio Ballestero 2:44:55
10 Alex Modestou, USA 3:00:36
Lesley Paterson

In the women’s race two-time XTERRA World Champ Lesley Paterson overcame a shoulder injury, slow swim, and ravaged feet on the run to win her first XTERRA major since 2013.

Her winning time of 2:44:43 was more than a minute faster than Emma Garrard, who took the lead about three miles into the bike and held it through the mid-point of the run when Paterson went flying by.

“I simply couldn’t match Lesley’s pace on the run,” said Garrard, adding that Costa Rica was beautiful and although it was hot, the race started early so a lot of the course was in the shade.

Sara McLarty, who had a stellar swim and finished third in her first-ever XTERRA, posted “my wheels only left the ground once today : ), but it was an amazing experience” on her twitter feed.

Laura Mira Dias from Brazil finished fourth and Christine Jeffrey from Canada came in fifth.

Pro Women  
Pl Name Final
1 Lesley Paterson, GBR 2:44:43
2 Emma Garrard, USA 2:46:22
3 Sara McLarty, USA 3:10:32
4 Laura Mira Dias, BRA 3:11:12
5 Christine Jeffrey, CAN 3:13:41
Podium

2015 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

XTERRA Costa Rica was the sixth of 40 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the globe could qualify to race at the 20th annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on Nov. 1, 2015.

DATE WORLD TOUR EVENT (Pro Winners)
8-Feb XTERRA Philippines Championship (Brad Weiss / Flora Duffy)
22-Feb XTERRA South Africa Championship (Stuart Marais / Flora Duffy)
7-Mar XTERRA Motatapu (Dougal Allan / Jess Simson & Simone Maier)
28-Mar XTERRA Saipan Championship (Ben Allen / Jacqui Slack)
29-Mar XTERRA Malta (Nicolas Fernandez / Brigitta Poor)
29-Mar XTERRA Costa Rica (Rom Akerson, Lesley Paterson)
11-Apr XTERRA Guam Championship, Piti+
11-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Championship, Rotorua
18-Apr XTERRA Australia / XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship, Jervis Bay, NSW, Australia+
XTERRA Australia Championship
25-Apr XTERRA West Championship, Lake Las Vegas, NV, USA#
25-Apr XTERRA Tahiti, Mataiea
26-Apr XTERRA Reunion, Saint Gilles les bains
2-May XTERRA Malaysia / XTERRA Asian Tour Championship, Langkawi+
10-May XTERRA Brazil, Ilhabela, SP
16-May XTERRA Southeast Championship, Pelham, AL, USA#
USAT Cross Triathlon National Championship
16-May XTERRA Portugal, Golega*
7-Jun XTERRA Spain Championship, Plasencia, Extremadura*
14-Jun XTERRA East Championship, Richmond, VA, USA#
20-Jun XTERRA Greece, Lake Plastira*
27-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Championship, Vallee de Joux*
27-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter – Canadian Cross Tri Championships, Ontario, Milton, Canada!
4-Jul XTERRA Freedom Fest, Oahu, HI, USA =
5-Jul XTERRA Victoria, B.C., Canada!
5-Jul XTERRA France Championship, Xonrupt, Gerardmer*
11-Jul XTERRA Sweden, Hellasgaarden, Stockholm*
18-Jul XTERRA Mountain Championship, Beaver Creek, CO, USA#
25-Jul XTERRA Parry Sound, McDougall, Ontario, Canada!
26-Jul XTERRA Italy Championship, Abruzzo, Italy*
8-Aug XTERRA Mexico, Tapalpa
8-Aug XTERRA Czech Championship, Prachatice*
15-Aug XTERRA Germany Championship, Zittau*
16-Aug XTERRA Canmore, Alberta, Canada!
22-Aug XTERRA Adventure Fest Maui, Kapalua, HI, USA =
23-Aug XTERRA Quebec – Quebec City, Quebec, Canada!
29-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada!
29-Aug XTERRA Denmark, Tilsvilde*
29-Aug XTERRA Japan, Hokkaido+ (start 2016 Asian Tour)
30-Aug XTERRA England / European Championship, Vachery Estate, Surrey*
13-Sep XTERRA Woolastook, Upper Kingsclear, New Brunswick, Canada
19-Sep XTERRA USA Championship, Ogden/Snowbasin, Utah, USA#
1-Nov XTERRA World Championship, Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

* European Tour / + Asian Tour / # America Tour / ! Canada Series / = Hawaii qualifiers

UP NEXT

April 11 XTERRA New Zealand ChampionshipXTERRA Guam Championship

 

Nico Fernandez

Fernandez, Poor win XTERRA Malta

(Mellieha, Malta) - Nicolas Fernandez and Brigitta Poor took home the elite titles at the inaugural XTERRA Malta off-road triathlon on Sunday.

It’s the first major XTERRA win for both, and puts them atop leader board of the XTERRA European Tour standings as the first race of the season.

XTERRA managing director Dave Nicholas was on-site to take in all the action and brings us this report:

“Look Out there is a new Nico in town.  No sooner does Nico Lebrun retire to become XTERRA’s technical director than Nico Fernandez puts in a dominating performance winning his first XTERRA here on Malta.

Fernandez races for Monaco and I have this theory he is a Monegasque but truly he lives in France.

Another wonderful surprise today was Brigitta Poor’s first XTERRA win in the woman’s race.  Brigitta was first out of the water, built a great lead on the bike and was able to stay well in front of a hard charging Sandra Koblmueller.

The winners were not the only story today.  Finally the weather became Malta Magnificent with sun, blue skies, nice waves and perfect temperatures. The pretty blue sea turned brilliant blue sea and the neat wildflowers simply pumped with color.  It was a perfect Chamber of Commerce day in Malta.

Big problems at the start as the jet ski that was taking the buoys out got the anchor line somehow caught in its jet shaft and could not get it out.  It also meant the prop would not turn inside its housing and the jet ski, buoy, line and anchor all started drifting dangerously close to the rocky cliffs.  We quickly changed the swim route from a U shape to a triangle and finally got things started about 20 minutes late.  Quick swimmer Roger Serrano from Spain was first out followed closely by young Brice Daubord and a bunch that included Jan Pyott and Fernandez were not far behind.

Fernandez quickly caught Daubord and took the lead at about the 6K mark.  He steadily rode away leaving Serrano wondering.  “I had a good race today” he said.  “Not my best ever but everything was fast.  This guy was too strong today.”

Roger was stronger than the rest, however, and although Daubord came back fast on the run coming from 5th off the bike to 3rd overall he cramped a bit and the Spaniard beat him by 15 seconds.

The run here proved to be the game changer.  Francois Carloni had broken a toe on Friday but was able to get up into 3rd off the bike only to be run down by the French trio of Daubord, Fabien Combaluzier, and Clement Briere.  Jan Pyott was having a very strong bike before crashing heavily and injuring his hip.  The Swiss was quite calm about it saying “these things happen.  I was coming up through the field and felt good on the bike when something went wrong.”

The same luck for my pick to win, Kris Coddens.  Coddens was not particularly fast on the swim but was also coming up strong on the bike and then suffered two flats.  “ach, I must have lost 25 minutes fixing one flat and then having another.”  A shame as Coddens is probably the fastest male runner out there and while he pulled back a lot of time it was not enough to gain him points.

Pro Men      
Pl Name Time Points
1 Nicolas Fernandez, FRA 2:09:28 75
2 Roger Serrano, ESP 2:11:37 67
3 Brice Daubord, FRA 2:11:52 61
4 Fabien Combaluzier, FRA 2:13:33 56
5 Clement Briere, FRA 2:14:12 51
6 Francois Carloni, FRA 2:14:32 47
7 Albert Soley, ESP 2:14:43 43
8 Jan Kubicek, CZE 2:18:17 39
9 Xavier  Jove, ESP 2:18:25 36
10 Rory Downie, GBR 2:21:22 33
Also: Fabrizio Bartoli (30), Arthur Serrieres (27), Tim Van Daele (25), Matt Dewis (23), Lars Van der Eerden (21), Simone Calamai, Kris Coddens, Michal Bucek
Brigitta Poor

In the women’s race, as mentioned, our Hungarian lass Brigitta Poor was out of the water first.

“Oh I just kept looking forward and pushing hard” she smiled.  “I did not know how fast Sandra was running but she made up 3 minutes every la !”

Good thing Brigitta had 9 minutes on Sandra coming off the bike.  As for the fleet-footed German “I swallowed so much water in the waves” Sandra said.  “My stomach was upset and I couldn’t get rid of the taste for a long time.”  (Note: she said this while drinking a cold Cisk beer after the finish.)

There was a fabulous battle going on in front of Koblmueller between Elisabetta Curridori and Brit Jessica Roberts.  Roberts had the best of it leading Curridori off the bike but she faded badly on the run.  “I gave so much on the bike I just could not get the energy” she said, but still had a nice 6th place finish.

Unknown to both Curradori and Roberts, Maud Golsteyn was coming up fast.  She had completed the South African Cape Epic the week before and was simply tired.  “That is a cool race” she said, “but it is 8 days of hours on the bike and I am still tired”.

Maud put in the second best female run and passed her way up to 3rd getting by Currodori just near the end and got to the podium by a scant 12 seconds.  Louise Fox had a steady race never faltering to take 5th.

Pro Women    
Pl Name Time Points
1 Brigitta Poor, HUN 2:37:40 75
2 Sandra Koblemueller, AUT 2:40:13 67
3 Maud Golsteyn, NED 2:43:16 61
4 Elisabetta Curridori, ITA 2:43:28 56
5 Louise Fox, GBR 2:44:36 51
6 Jessica Roberts, GBR 2:47:28 47
7 Karin Hansen, SUI 2:53:51 43
8 Danica Spiteri, MLT 2:59:21 39

The day ended well with over 300 liters of Cisk beer available as well as a great buffet from the Radisson Blu kitchens.  Gorgeous handmade glass trophies went to the top 3 in each age group and competitors, friends and families all sat and drank and chatted on the sun drenched deck for hours after the finish.

Our European series started with a true World Class introductory race by the solid Maltese crew with the added benefit of two spanking new XTERRA winners.  Normally I just send photos of the podium finishers but for this race I am including some of the great vistas from the run and bike.

While the winners led nearly wire-to-wire there was a lot of passing and changing of positions.  All this bodes well for a very competitive year.  Make sure you start thinking now about starting 2016 here on Malta.  You could not do better.


2015 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

XTERRA Malta was the fifth of 40 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the globe could qualify to race at the 20th annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on November 1, 2015.

DATE WORLD TOUR EVENT (Pro Winners)
8-Feb XTERRA Philippines Championship (Brad Weiss / Flora Duffy)
22-Feb XTERRA South Africa Championship (Stuart Marais / Flora Duffy)
7-Mar XTERRA Motatapu (Dougal Allan / Jess Simson & Simone Maier)
28-Mar XTERRA Saipan Championship (Ben Allen / Jacqui Slack)
29-Mar XTERRA Malta (Nicolas Fernandez / Brigitta Poor)
29-Mar XTERRA Costa Rica (Rom Akerson, Lesley Paterson)
11-Apr XTERRA Guam Championship, Piti+
11-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Championship, Rotorua
18-Apr XTERRA Australia / XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship, Jervis Bay, NSW, Australia+
XTERRA Australia Championship
25-Apr XTERRA West Championship, Lake Las Vegas, NV, USA#
25-Apr XTERRA Tahiti, Mataiea
26-Apr XTERRA Reunion, Saint Gilles les bains
2-May XTERRA Malaysia / XTERRA Asian Tour Championship, Langkawi+
10-May XTERRA Brazil, Ilhabela, SP
16-May XTERRA Southeast Championship, Pelham, AL, USA#
USAT Cross Triathlon National Championship
16-May XTERRA Portugal, Golega*
7-Jun XTERRA Spain Championship, Plasencia, Extremadura*
14-Jun XTERRA East Championship, Richmond, VA, USA#
20-Jun XTERRA Greece, Lake Plastira*
27-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Championship, Vallee de Joux*
27-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter – Canadian Cross Tri Championships, Ontario, Milton, Canada!
4-Jul XTERRA Freedom Fest, Oahu, HI, USA =
5-Jul XTERRA Victoria, B.C., Canada!
5-Jul XTERRA France Championship, Xonrupt, Gerardmer*
11-Jul XTERRA Sweden, Hellasgaarden, Stockholm*
18-Jul XTERRA Mountain Championship, Beaver Creek, CO, USA#
25-Jul XTERRA Parry Sound, McDougall, Ontario, Canada!
26-Jul XTERRA Italy Championship, Abruzzo, Italy*
8-Aug XTERRA Mexico, Tapalpa
8-Aug XTERRA Czech Championship, Prachatice*
15-Aug XTERRA Germany Championship, Zittau*
16-Aug XTERRA Canmore, Alberta, Canada!
22-Aug XTERRA Adventure Fest Maui, Kapalua, HI, USA =
23-Aug XTERRA Quebec – Quebec City, Quebec, Canada!
29-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada!
29-Aug XTERRA Denmark, Tilsvilde*
29-Aug XTERRA Japan, Hokkaido+ (start 2016 Asian Tour)
30-Aug XTERRA England / European Championship, Vachery Estate, Surrey*
13-Sep XTERRA Woolastook, Upper Kingsclear, New Brunswick, Canada
19-Sep XTERRA USA Championship, Ogden/Snowbasin, Utah, USA#
1-Nov XTERRA World Championship, Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

* European Tour / + Asian Tour / # America Tour / ! Canada Series / = Hawaii qualifiers

UP NEXT

April 11 XTERRA New Zealand Championship

XTERRA Guam Championship

Ben Allen by Mark James

Allen, Slack win XTERRA Saipan Championship

Complete Results / Photos by Mark James

(Saipan, Northern Marianas) - Ben Allen from Australia and Jacqui Slack of Great Britain won the 14th annual XTERRA Saipan Championship race in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands on Saturday.

It’s the fourth year in a row Allen won the title, matching Olivier Marceau’s streak from 2004-07.

For Slack, it’s her second Saipan victory in three years.  Both led from wire-to-wire in wet conditions that made the already difficult jungle bike and run courses all the more treacherous.

“Some of the worst conditions I’ve ever raced in. The rain didn’t let up and it made for super slippery conditions,” explained Allen.

Allen, one of the sports best swimmers, used those skills to bridge an early one-minute gap over Bradley Weiss and backed it up with the fastest bike and run splits of the day to win in convincing fashion with a time of 2:40:25, more than six-minutes ahead of Weiss.

“The climbs on the bike where the only place to really push because you had to be so careful on the descents not to crash.  The descents were going to be make or break your day so if you could ride within your own ability and stay upright you were in for a good day.”

For Weiss, who was forced to take some time off from training leading into this race because of a troublesomeiliotibial band (IT band), the results are satisfying.

“Obviously I am far from my best shape now but was still very excited for my trip out to the Islands. My hopes are to finish well in the XTERRA Asian Tour and take some momentum into the U.S. Tour,” said Weiss.

“All being said I am optimistic for the future and feel confident this injury is finally behind me. It’s been a frustrating few months but the future looks bright and for that I am excited.”

Former XTERRA Japan Champ Takahiro Ogasawara finished in third, followed by Markus Benesch of Austria and Aleksandr Dorovskikh from Russia.

Pro Men        
Pl Name Final Swim Bike Run
1 Ben Allen, AUS 2:40:25 15:57 1:29:54 54:34
2 Brad Weiss, RSA 2:46:45 17:10 1:33:03 56:32
3 Takahiro Ogasawara, JPN 2:48:19 19:59 1:32:06 56:14
4 Markus Benesch, AUT 2:52:24 18:25 1:36:39 57:20
5 Aleksandr Dorovskikh, RUS 2:55:51 20:02 1:38:14 57:35
6 Joe Miller, PHI 3:02:33 22:10 1:39:11 1:01:12
7 David Esposito, FRA 3:13:39 20:32 1:48:16 1:04:51
8 Kaon Cho, KOR 3:25:43 20:12 2:03:07 1:02:24
Jacqui Slack by Mark James

In the women’s race Slack embraced the intimidating conditions right from the start.  She was first elite woman out of the water, had the best bike split, and sailed into the finish with a winning time of 3:02:01, more than five minutes ahead of last year’s winner Carina Wasle of Austria.

“I thrive on the more challenging conditions,” said Slack.  “I love the added dimension the rain throws in, and always seem to perform well when it’s slick and muddy. My biggest challenge was myself today. I knew I was coming into the race fit but I was more concerned about being recovered from a 100k MTB race I did last weekend in Melbourne.”

Mieko Carey, who was introduced to the sport here in Saipan more than a decade ago, finished in third.  Seven-time XTERRA Saipan Champ Renata Bucher placed fourth, and Daz Parker was fifth.

Pro Women        
Pl Name Final Swim Bike Run
1 Jacqui Slack, GBR 3:02:01 18:34 1:42:59 1:00:28
2 Carina Wasle, AUT 3:07:33 20:06 1:48:56 58:31
3 Mieko Carey, JPN 3:20:45 19:25 1:57:03 1:04:17
4 Renata Bucher, SUI 3:22:11 20:09 1:52:27 1:09:35
5 Daz Parker, GBR 3:36:40 22:20 2:02:53 1:11:27
6 Belinda Hadden, AUS 3:49:19 20:11 2:11:00 1:18:08

 

XTERRA SAIPAN ALL-TIME PRO WINNERS
Year Men Women
2002 Mike Vine Jamie Whitmore
2003 Jason Chalker Jamie Whitmore
2004 Olivier Marceau Jamie Whitmore
2005 Olivier Marceau Renata Bucher
2006 Olivier Marceau Renata Bucher
2007 Olivier Marceau Renata Bucher
2008 Andrew Noble Renata Bucher
2009 Sam Gardner Renata Bucher
2010 Sam Gardner Renata Bucher
2011 Sam Gardner Shonny Vanlandingham
2012 Ben Allen Renata Bucher
2013 Ben Allen Jacqui Slack
2014 Ben Allen Carina Wasle
2015 Ben Allen Jacqui Slack
Brad Weiss by Mark James

WEISS, SLACK LEAD XTERRA ASIAN TOUR POINTS SERIES

The XTERRA Saipan Championship was the second of five races in the 2015 XTERRA Asian Tour that will crown series champions at the season finale in Langkawi, Malaysia this May.

With his runner-up performance today coupled with his Philippines win, Weiss now has 190 points followed by Allen with 182 (he was third in the Philippines).  In the women’s chase Slack also has 190 points, following her runner-up performance to Flora Duffy in the Philippines with a win today.

The five majors are XTERRA Philippines, XTERRA Saipan, XTERRA Guam on April 11 in Piti, the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship on April 18 in New South Wales, Australia, and XTERRA Malaysia – which will double as the XTERRA Asian Tour Championship race – on May 2 in Langkawi.  (Note: The XTERRA Japan Championship in Hokkaido on August 29 will serve as the first race of the 2016 XTERRA Asian Tour.)

The top 15 amateur, Asian-elite, and professional racers at each event will earn points, with double points being offered at the finale in Malaysia.  Racers count their best three scores to determine champions in each division.

The XTERRA Asian Tour will award a prize bonus of $10,000 USD to the top five pro men and women in the final standings ($2,000 for 1st, $1,500-2nd, $800-3rd, $400-4th, $300-5th).

In all, more than $100,000 in prize money for pros will be awarded on the XTERRA Asian Tour.  There are $15,000 USD payouts at the Philippines, Saipan, Guam, and Malaysia races, and $50,000 AUD awarded at the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship in Australia, plus the 10K bonus to the series’ top performers.

For further details on the 2015 XTERRA Asian Tour visit www.xterraasia.com, and for more on the XTERRA Asian Tour Championship in Malaysia visit www.xterramy.com, supported by Malaysia Major Event.

2015 XTERRA Asian Tour Standings (After 2)
Pros count their best 3-of-5 races, Malaysia counts double

PRO MEN        
Pl Name PHI Saipan Totals
1 Brad Weiss, RSA 100 90 190
2 Ben Allen, AUS 82 100 182
3 Joe Miller, PHI 63 63 126
4 Mauricio Mendez, MEX 90 x 90
5 Takahiro Ogasawara, JPN x 82 82
6 Brodie Gardner, AUS 75 x 75
7 Markus Benesch, AUT x 75 75
8 Charlie Epperson, USA 69 x 69
9 Aleksandr Dorovskikh, RUS x 69 69
10 Michal Bucek, SVK 58 x 58
11 David Esposito, FRA x 58 58
12 Kaon Cho, KOR x 53 53
PRO WOMEN      
Pl Name PHI Saipan Totals
1 Jacqui Slack, GBR 90 100 190
2 Mieko Carey, JPN 75 82 157
3 Renata Bucher, SUI 69 75 144
4 Daz Parker, GBR 63 69 132
5 Flora Duffy, BER 100 x 100
6 Carina Wasle, AUT x 90 90
7 Dimity-Lee Duke, AUS 82 x 82
8 Belinda Hadden, AUS x 63 63
9 Aya Stevens, SVK 58 x 58

BIG DAY FOR AMATEURS TOO

Chuck Fortier from Canada and Kyoco Urashima of Japan captured the XTERRA Saipan Championship amateur titles today, and dozens more qualified for the XTERRA USA and World Championship races with strong performances.

For Fortier, a policeman by trade, it’s his third island win in a row as he captured both the XTERRA Saipan and Guam amateur titles last year.

Of special note is Tyce Mister (pictured), one of the pioneers of XTERRA in Saipan, who holds the distinction of being the only athlete to have competed in all 14 XTERRA Saipan races since its inception in 2002.

2015 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

The XTERRA Saipan Championship was the fourth of 40 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the globe could qualify to race at the 20th annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on November 1, 2015.

DATE WORLD TOUR EVENT (Pro Winners)
8-Feb XTERRA Philippines Championship (Brad Weiss / Flora Duffy)
22-Feb XTERRA South Africa Championship (Stuart Marais / Flora Duffy)
7-Mar XTERRA Motatapu (Dougal Allan / Jess Simson & Simone Maier)
28-Mar XTERRA Saipan Championship (Ben Allen / Jacqui Slack)
29-Mar XTERRA Malta, Mellieha, Malta*
29-Mar XTERRA Costa Rica, Playa Reserva Conchal
11-Apr XTERRA Guam Championship, Piti+
11-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Championship, Rotorua
18-Apr XTERRA Australia / XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship, Jervis Bay, NSW, Australia+
XTERRA Australia Championship
25-Apr XTERRA West Championship, Lake Las Vegas, NV, USA#
25-Apr XTERRA Tahiti, Mataiea
26-Apr XTERRA Reunion, Saint Gilles les bains
2-May XTERRA Malaysia / XTERRA Asian Tour Championship, Langkawi+
10-May XTERRA Brazil, Ilhabela, SP
16-May XTERRA Southeast Championship, Pelham, AL, USA#
USAT Cross Triathlon National Championship
16-May XTERRA Portugal, Golega*
7-Jun XTERRA Spain Championship, Plasencia, Extremadura*
14-Jun XTERRA East Championship, Richmond, VA, USA#
20-Jun XTERRA Greece, Lake Plastira*
27-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Championship, Vallee de Joux*
27-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter – Canadian Cross Tri Championships, Ontario, Milton, Canada!
4-Jul XTERRA Freedom Fest, Oahu, HI, USA =
5-Jul XTERRA Victoria, B.C., Canada!
5-Jul XTERRA France Championship, Xonrupt, Gerardmer*
11-Jul XTERRA Sweden, Hellasgaarden, Stockholm*
18-Jul XTERRA Mountain Championship, Beaver Creek, CO, USA#
25-Jul XTERRA Parry Sound, McDougall, Ontario, Canada!
26-Jul XTERRA Italy Championship, Abruzzo, Italy*
8-Aug XTERRA Mexico, Tapalpa
8-Aug XTERRA Czech Championship, Prachatice*
15-Aug XTERRA Germany Championship, Zittau*
16-Aug XTERRA Canmore, Alberta, Canada!
22-Aug XTERRA Adventure Fest Maui, Kapalua, HI, USA =
23-Aug XTERRA Quebec – Quebec City, Quebec, Canada!
29-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada!
29-Aug XTERRA Denmark, Tilsvilde*
29-Aug XTERRA Japan, Hokkaido+ (start 2016 Asian Tour)
30-Aug XTERRA England / European Championship, Vachery Estate, Surrey*
13-Sep XTERRA Woolastook, Upper Kingsclear, New Brunswick, Canada
19-Sep XTERRA USA Championship, Ogden/Snowbasin, Utah, USA#
1-Nov XTERRA World Championship, Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

* European Tour / + Asian Tour / # America Tour / ! Canada Series / = Hawaii qualifiers

UP NEXT

April 11 XTERRA New Zealand Championship

XTERRA Guam Championship

XTERRA Saipan

XTERRA On! Majors Abound This Weekend

Hundreds of amateurs and more than 50 of XTERRA’s fastest elite men and women will toe the start line at one of the three XTERRA championship races being held this weekend.

The “Crown Jewel” of XTERRA is in Saipan, the largest island of the Northern Mariana Islands. There’s a World Tour newcomer in Malta, the largest island in an archipelago in the central Mediterranean.  And Costa Rica, although technically not an island, certainly looks and feels like one.

Each will dish out amazing experiences on top of qualifying spots into the 20th XTERRA World Championship race in Maui to the fastest amateurs while elites chase cash and glory.

All three are bucket-list destinations for the adventure traveler … which one do you wish you were going to?

XTERRA SAIPAN – MARCH 28

The “original exotic” race on the XTERRA World Tour returns for the 14th year Saturday and Aussie Ben Allen and Austrian Carina Wasle are back on island to defend their titles.

Saipan is located in the middle of the Western Pacific Ocean, offering up azure colored water, a powder blue sky, light island breezes, and tropical 85-degree days prevail year-round providing the perfect venue for XTERRA.

“The relaxed island lifestyle allows you to unwind and just focus on the simple things in life,” said Allen, who has won the last three Saipan titles.

The place is so alluring that world-class athletes like Olivier Marceau and Renata Bucher make it an annual trek.

“It’s not an XTERRA season without a stay in Saipan,” said Bucher, a seven-time winner here.

It’s a great place to do some early season training, and always offers a classic road tri – the Tagaman – the weekend before or after. This year Tagaman was before XTERRA and won by Allen and Mieko Carey (Bucher was 2nd in the women’s race, Marceau 3rd in the men’s race).

In Saturday’s XTERRA, Allen will be up against XTERRA Philippines Champion Bradley Weiss from South Africa.

While Weiss got the better of Allen in Albay in February this year, Allen was almost 10-minutes faster than Weiss in Saipan last year.

After finishing second at his home race XTERRA South Africa Weiss has been dealing with a painful iliotibial band (IT band) issue that put him on the shelf for a few weeks but is grateful the rest seems to have been positive for him.

“XTERRA Saipan and Guam are races I look so forward to mostly because of the people I get to stay with, and the triathlon community these unique events draw each year,” said Weiss. “I am looking at the next few weeks as a building phase and will be training through most if not all of the races just to try and build my fitness again. I look forward to racing injury free again but I hold no illusions of my current form and know there is a long road ahead to full fitness.”

Other international elites in the mix include former XTERRA Japan Champion Takahiro Ogasawara, Philippines star Joe Miller, Markus Benesch from Austria, David Esposito from New Caledonia, and Aleksandr Dorovskikh from Russia.

In the women’s race last year’s champ, Wasle, will be up against the 2013 Saipan Champ Jacqui Slack from the UK, and the 2012 and 7x Champ Renata Bucher of Switzerland, Daz Parker from London, and local favorite Mieko Carey representing Saipan, Guam, and Japan.

XTERRA first ventured to Saipan in 2002, and 14-years later is still taking racers through caves where Japanese soldiers hid and fought from during the Battle of Saipan in 1944. The race starts on the same beach where Marines launched their attack, then the bike course traverses nearly every inch of the island where the battles took place.

“The dense jungle on island is forever challenging and there is always a hidden gem around every corner,” said Allen.

Triathlete Magazine called it one of the ‘World’s Best” races in 2011, and New York Times bestselling author Marty Dugard wrote about his adventures at XTERRA Saipan in his book, To Be A Runner.

There are a lot of reasons to love Saipan – the people, history, and adventurous course are a few, however, the most recurring comment you’ll hear when talking to alumni, “it’s so much fun.”

The XTERRA Tribe owes a huge debt of gratitude to the island locals who have embraced this race as their own, and particularly Eric Tydingco, who was born in Saipan and also produces the XTERRA Guam Championship. Tydingco has been instrumental in the sports success in the Western Pacific over the past decade, and has also been a force to be reckoned with at the after-parties as part of a band that has rocked the night away following XTERRA races in Saipan, Guam, and Maui races.

Josiah Middaugh

XTERRA COSTA RICA – MARCH 29

The second-running of the XTERRA Costa Rica Championship in Playa Conchal on Sunday will be without last year’s men’s winner Leo Chacon who is busy trying to make it to Rio and women’s winner Shonny Vanlandingham who retired.

There is no shortage of worthy candidates ready to stake their claim to the titles, however, as a star-studded field from around the world is in Central America to compete for the crown.

The men’s elite race includes XTERRA U.S. Pro Series champion Josiah Middaugh (pictured, second at XTERRA Worlds last year), the young-gun Mauricio Mendez from Mexico (5th at XTERRA Worlds last year), local stand-out Rom Akerson, America tour regulars Craig Evans (who will be celebrating his 37th birthday on Sunday) and Alex Modestou, as well as German representatives Nickolas Daimer and Sebastian Neef.

Last year Middaugh, Mendez, Akerson, Evans, and Neef finished 2nd through 6th, respectively.

Emma Garrard

The women’s race sees the return of two-time XTERRA World Champ Lesley Paterson, who will have her work cut-out for her against the likes of XTERRA National Champion Emma Garrard, last year’s runner-up Christine Jeffrey, XTERRA newbie (but road tri vet) Sara McLarty, and Laura Mira Diaz from Brazil.

“I am beyond excited, it has always been on my bucket list of countries to visit,” said Garrard, who was recently named USA Triathlon’s Elite Off-Road Athlete of the Year. “I am bringing the family so I am just as excited to have some beach time and check out the wildlife as I am to race. Normally Vegas is my first race of the season so it will be great to have another race under my belt and see where I’m at compared to the other women.”

We asked Emma what her off-season has been like, and here is what she said…

“I feel like I take more of an off-season than most pro triathletes as mentally and logistically I cannot race 12 months a year. I have a two-year-old now so running intervals feels quite relaxing in comparison. I’ve taken on a year-round job as a coach for Park City Nordic so it’s been a lot of fun to inspire the next generation of endurance athletes. The winter in Park City has been mild which means I’ve done a lot more running, biking and swimming than usual. Although cross-country skiing is usually my secret off-season weapon, I did more mountain biking because the trails were dry. Despite the mild weather it was my first year since living in Park City I’ve had a season pass so I had more days telemark skiing than usual.”

As for the competition in the women’s race, Garrard says “Lesley always shows up at a race prepared to win and has shown she’s fit by her result in the Pro XCT last weekend. There will be some of the fastest swimmers in the sport there so I will have my work cut out for me to close the gap on the bike. Plus, there will be some local competitors who I’m sure are used to the humidity and know the course.”

Fans can watch all the action go down live with a streaming broadcast Sunday, March 29, starting at 6:45 a.m. MST on www.Teletica.com. Alternatively follow the links from http://www.costaricaxterra.com/ or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TriatlonCostaRica?fref=ts

2014 XTERRA Costa Rica highlights

XTERRA MALTA – MARCH 29

The inaugural XTERRA Malta off-road triathlon on Sunday has attracted hundreds of athletes from 19 countries to the beautiful island nation in the Mediterranean.

As the first major on the XTERRA European Tour it’s a great chance for racers to collect some early points towards winning divisional titles and qualify for Maui at the same time. The elite field is strong and deep and will provide a good indication of who has done what in the off-season.

The men’s start list is highlighted by 2014 XTERRA Greece Champion Francois Carloni from France who finished third in the European Tour last year.

“I’m ready, but not sure to be the favorite,” said Carloni. “Brice Daubord trained hard, Nicolas Fernandez is a very good athlete, Roger Seranno looks good, and I never have topped Coddens.”

Daubord (FRA) finished 11th at XTERRA Worlds last year, Serrano (ESP) was in the mix at XTERRA South Africa last month where he finished third, and Coddens (BEL) was super impressive in his last race of 2014 when he placed runner-up to Conrad Stoltz at XTERRA England.

Others in the mix include Jan Pyott (5th on Euro Tour last year), Albert Soley (15th at Worlds last year), Clement Briere (former age group World Champ), and a cast of others featuring Henry Sleight (GBR), Jim Thijs (BEL), Tm Van Daele (BEL), Simone Calamai (ITA), Fabrizio Bartoli (ITA), Xavier Jove Riart (ESP), Arthur Serrieres (FRA), Rory Downie (GBR), Matt Dewis (GBR), Lars Van der Eerden (NED), and Fabien Combaluzier (FRA).

The women’s field features four racers who finished in the top 10 of the 2014 XTERRA European Tour standings including Brigitta Poor (HUN), Maud Golsteyn (NED), Louise Fox (GBR), Sandra Koblmueller (AUT), and Malta’s-own Danica Spiteri. Others in the mix include Jessica Roberts (GBR), Elisabetta Curridori (ITA), Nicole Olivari (ITA), and Karin Hansen (SUI).

On top of some great racing action Malta looks like an incredible place to explore.

“Whilst the beautiful beaches and rugged nature reserves are some of the most beautiful spots in the world, Malta’s archaeological and historical setting makes it a haven for travelers interested in how civilization shaped the way we live,” said race director Nathan Farrugia of Hellfire Events.

“Interestingly, Malta’s neolithic temples are older that Stonehenge and the Pyramids. Malta has been the melting pot of Greek, Roman, Norman, Anglo-Saxon, British and Italian civilizations, but is perhaps best known for the Knights of Malta, that fought off the invading Ottoman Empire in the 15th century, in the living monument cities of Valletta and Mdina.”

The race itself covers every aspect of what makes the Mediterranean the sought after destination that it is, said race co-founder Nathan Farrugia of Hellfire Events.

“The swim is held in the crystal blue sea of the Ghajn Tuffieha Bay, with the bike and run in two side by side nature reserves, The Majjistral and the Gnejna Plateau.”

The XTERRA weekend will also feature a sprint and team relay event, as well as a kids swim-run-swim experience on Golden Bay (weather permitting).

Putting it all together is the passionate husband and wife team of Nathan and Deirdre Farrugia.

“We are avid outdoor enthusiasts that find inspiration in nature, so it came as no surprise that we looked at the XTERRA movement as the next stage in our Team Hellfire’s development. We are a family of athletes, organizers and friends above all, that aim to marry experience, nature appreciation and personal challenge through our events,” said Nathan Farrugia. “Organizing a Malta XTERRA, for us and our tiny but beautiful country in the Mediterranean, is the perfect way to reach all our goals as individuals and on behalf of our sporting friends.”

Learn more at http://www.maltaxterra.com/ on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/XTERRAMalta. and about the island www.visitmalta.com.

campEagleClimb

XTERRA Points Series Update

Pro triathlete James Haycraft from Charlotte, NC and Kat Welling from Spartanburg, SC took home the titles at the XTERRA America Tour opener at XTERRA Hickory Knob in McCormick, SC on Sunday.

Haycraft took the tape in 1:34:09, more than one-minute ahead of amateur winner Sebastian Binnemann while Wellington edged Leyla Porteous by under a minute in the women’s race.

It was the most unusual of season-openers, a rare on-road, draft-legal, mountain bike experience. Why? The trails were just too muddy, and out of respect for the trails, the park, and all the other users it was the right thing to do. Despite the organizer’s offer to defer participant’s entry into next year’s event many chose to stay and give it a try.

“The mere prospect of racing on the road, using a mountain bike (XTERRA rules) didn’t appeal to many, but we all respected the decision to respect the trails,” said XTERRA ambassador Marcus Barton, who gives terrific insight into the day on his blog. “In the end, we all had a blast of a time and many commented on the fun nature of a draft-legal mountain bike race on the pavement.”

The top 15 racers in each division at Hickory Knob qualified to compete in the XTERRA USA Championship race to be held September 19, 2015 in Ogden, Utah. The new qualifying rule allows athletes from across the country a better opportunity to qualify for Nationals and more time to make travel arrangements.

The XTERRA America Tour rolls on this weekend with the ever-popular XTERRA REAL off-road triathlon in Granite Bay, California and incredibly interesting XTERRA Camp Eagle off-road triathlon in Rocksprings, Texas. The photo above is of the mid-swim climb.

Carloni-winsWeb

New Look XTERRA European Tour

New rules make for a new game in the chase for the XTERRA European Tour Championship title and this year the crown could very well be won by master tacticians rather than the fastest racers in the field.

“It’s a numbers game, that’s for sure,” explained Dave Nicholas, the managing director of the XTERRA World Tour, who restructured the way the European Tour point series works for 2015.

“We’ve got 12 majors in Europe split into two divisions, what we are calling our Silver and Gold races. We did this to keep organizers with great races – but not a lot of money – a chance to be successful,” said Nicholas.

Silver races – XTERRA Malta, Portugal, Greece, Sweden, and Denmark – have pro prize purses that range between $7,500 and $14,000 USD, while Gold races – XTERRA Spain, Switzerland, France, Italy, Czech, Germany, and England – offer $15,000 to $25,000 USD.

While elites can race in all 12 events if they like, for scoring purposes the Tour will only count their best four Gold races and best three Silver races.

Gold races accumulate points on a 100-point scale (winner earns 100 points, second in 90, third is 82, and so on…) while Silver races accumulate points on a 75-point scale (winner earns 75, second is 67, third is 61, and so on…)

The maximum amount of points an elite can collect is 625 points (4 wins at Gold races = 400 + three wins at Silver races = 225).

“Certainly opens the door for the entire field of elites and I think makes the game a whole lot more fun to watch and follow,” said Nicholas.

“What we ultimately want is for all our racers – amateurs and elites – to explore and discover these great destinations and races all around Europe. How the chips fall at the end of the season, we’ll just have to wait and see.”

Conrad Stoltz

Conrad Stoltz to Race at XTERRA Asia-Pacific Champs

Conrad Stoltz, the most decorated off-road triathlete of all-time, is returning to Callala Beach in Jervis Bay for another shot at the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship title on April 18.

“It’s a big race, has a TV show, big money, and just look how the Aussies crawled out of the woodwork last year.  That’s good for the sport,” said Stoltz, who has an unprecedented 51 XTERRA championship titles to his credit.

The XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship, which again doubles as the XTERRA Australia Championship, is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.

“The whole race is phenomenal and very well designed. There is a lot of really good single track and it’s well balanced.  I loved the course and am super excited to have another crack at it.”

At last year’s inaugural race the seven-time World Champion from South Africa was in 2nd place after the mountain bike leg before pulling due to fatigue from a cold and a calf injury he couldn’t shake.

“Last year’s race was obviously very disappointing for me,” said the two-time Olympian.  “Fly fishing in the rain after XTERRA NZ was probably not the best idea … my wife was right – again!”

Despite the hiccup last year New South Wales still holds some special memories for Stoltz.  In 2000 when triathlon made its debut at the Sydney Olympics “the Caveman” broke away from the field on the bike alongside Olivier Marceau.  Those two took a one-minute lead into the run before getting chased down by the sprint pack.  The very next year he won his first of four XTERRA World Championships.

“Australia is such a triathlon hotbed, it’s nice to see XTERRA take off there and Callala Beach is perfect for off-road racing,” said Stoltz, who has 15 years of experience racing professionally in the dirt.

As the most prestigious event in the XTERRA Asia-Pacific series that includes championship races in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Japan, Guam, Tahiti, and Saipan – the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship will offer $50,000 in prize money to the sport’s top professional athletes and produce a television show for international distribution.

The main event combines a 1.5-kilometer ocean swim at Callala Beach, approximately two and a half hours south on Sydney, with 30-kilometers of mountain biking followed by 10-kilometers of trail running.

The event lures amateur and professional athletes from around the world to New South Wales, and locals flock to the event in pursuit of XTERRA Australia Championship honours.  The off-road sports festival weekend also includes a sprint distance off-road triathlon, trail runs, and relay team competitions attracting more than 500 competitors of all ages.

For more information and links to registration for the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship visit www.xterraasiapacific.com.

The XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.  Presenting sponsors include John Paul Mitchell Systems, the world’s largest privately owned professional salon hair care company, Outrigger Resorts – one of the largest and fastest growing privately-held leisure lodging, retail and hospitality companies in the Asia-Pacific and Oceania regions, and XTERRA Wetsuits & Boards Australia – the official swim sponsor.

Shonny and Dan

XTERRA Legends Ride into Sunset

There will be a new women’s champion crowned at the XTERRA Costa Rica Championship this year and new men’s names have already emerged as winners of the XTERRA Philippines and South Africa Championship races – developments made possible due to the retirement of two epic XTERRA warriors – Shonny Vanlandingham and Dan Hugo.

For Shonny V, who is proudly 45-years-old, it was time to get back to the hardwood.

“During my 15 years as a professional athlete (eight as a pro mountain biker and seven as a pro XTERRA triathlete) I have been working toward acquiring profitable rental properties to be able to retire,” explained Vanlandingham, who played college basketball at East Texas State before becoming an endurance sports icon.

“So now I am starting a new season of life and am very thankful and thrilled to have the time to pursue some of my other passions, like coaching basketball.  Fun to be back in the game after 17 years!”

The 2010 XTERRA World Champion and most successful women’s mountain biker in NORBA history gave new meaning to “biking like a girl.” She regularly out-split most of the men and had the fastest bike time at just about every race she entered in her career, including six times in Maui.

“I will miss all the personalities and seeing all the lovely faces and physiques of XTERRA,” said Vanlandingham, who won 17 XTERRA majors in her career including the Mexico, Saipan, Philippines, and Brazil titles.  “It’s been a great ride!  I am so appreciative of the opportunities I have had to race, travel and meet so many wonderful people.”

As for Hugo, who turns 30 this summer, the lure of his dream job proved too great an opportunity to pass up.

“I was offered and opportunity from Specialized to form a part of the Global Sports Marketing team, the sort of opportunity I was hoping to step into a some stage,” said Hugo. “I’ll miss the simplicity, the feeling of satisfaction after a long hard and successful training day, and yes, I’ll miss the clarity of objectives. Already I can appreciate that racing is black and white, success or failure. Whereas the workplace is a more of a flow. All told, I am thrilled at new challenges with a brand that is redefining the cycling industry.”

It’s safe to say Hugo left on a high note. He won seven XTERRA World Tour races on five continents including the prestigious XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship title last year.

The native of Stellenbosch, South Africa raced in the very first XTERRA South Africa Championship back in 2004 and was an integral part of the growth of the sport – both in South Africa and abroad – ever since. Fans can stay tuned to Hugo and read some of his colorful prose on his blog at dghugo.com.

For the XTERRA Tribe, watching Hugo and Vanlandingham overcome obstacles, adversities, and injuries to come out on top so many times has been a joy. Wishing these two legends the very best in their respective next steps.