Ruzafa

Ruzafa, Erbenova win XTERRA Portugal

Photos / Complete Results

Golega, Portugal – Three-time XTERRA World Champion Ruben Ruzafa of Spain and three-time XTERRA European Tour Champion Helena Erbenova of the Czech Republic captured the elite titles at XTERRA Portugal on Saturday.

It was the third of 11 races on this year’s XTERRA European Tour.

“It was a good day in Portugal,” said XTERRA World Tour managing director Dave Nicholas.  “Mild temperature, clouds and some breeze made it perfect for the competitors.  Ruben Ruzafa is back to his dominating ways.  He made a power move on Francois Carloni on a steep uphill, passed into first and never looked back.  For the women, Helena had a good swim and worked with Myriam Guillot-Boisset to catch leaders Brigitta Poor and Renata Bucher.  Bucher, Myriam and Helena stayed together passing and repassing until the end when Erbenova was able to break away followed by Guillot-Boisset.”

In the highly competitive men’s race Ruzafa took the tape in 2:34:11, more than 1:20 ahead of Belgium star Yeray Luxem, with the reigning XTERRA European Tour Champ Roger Serrano in third.

“Carloni and Serrano were shadowed by Belgium Yeray Luxem until Luxem had a problem on a downhill,” explained Nicholas.  “He rode very hard to get back to the Franco-Spanish duo but headed on the run in 4th.  Carloni and Serrano ran together for the first 6K and then Roger pulled away.  Luxem caught Francois about 4k from the finish and passed Serrano when the Spaniard leapt over a fallen tree and immediately cramped.”

Here is the full story from Kahuna Dave…

We’re 3 races into the European season and we’ve had 3 great races. But Portugal has to top the list for hard fought battles.

It had been raining hard the week prior to the event and organizers had to do some serious reshaping of the bike course. The run remained essentially the same, and a few parts were underwater mid week but had dried out considerably by Saturday.

The race in Portugal is in Golega, pronounced gol – gah. It is a gorgeous village best known as the horse capital of Portugal.  Each November Golega hosts two festivals that bring nearly half a million people to town. This is the home of the famous and beautiful Lusitano breed. The city has dozens of small hotels and guest houses, restaurants and small bistro’s everywhere. These folks can handle tourists, even ones on 2 wheels and dressed in lycra. The pasta party was held in and on the grounds of an old winery. This was a Portuguese celebration of the highest order.  Outside Maui, there has never been such a fabulous table of food for the athletes. Six different pastas, 3 different salads, deserts, breads.  It looked as good as it tasted.

The swim here is in a narrow man made lake with a water start in front of the dam. The problem are weeds. The city worked hard with their cutting and dredging machine, and they took out loads of material, but shreds of the stuff simply floated to the top.  While not at all dangerous, it still looked funny as swimmers thrashed their ways through the green flotsam.

Here the swim does one 750m lap out and back. At the exit, you take a narrow trail up a grass bank, run to the dam, then onto the dam and dive back in to start your second lap. Lots of fun and great excitement for the fans. New Zealander Sam Osborne and Euro points leader Roger Serrano took a nice lead onto the bike with Tiago Maia, a quick Porguguese swimmer.  Jaime Rosa’s men built a cool wooden ramp riders went over, around and then under before leaving the city park for the hills and farmland. Because the usual trails were bogs of mud, the first 7K were primarily dirt and paved roads. This made for some great pace lines of drafting and the lead men were definitely working together.

Brigitta Poor was unusually second out of the water behind Sara Bonilla Bernardez but was riding quickly to the front. Behind her Helena Erbenova had a better than normal swim but was still back in 5th behind Renata Bucher, Carina Wasle and Myriam Guillot-Boisset.   Then something I have never seen in over 20 years of watching happened. Wasle went backwards, but Renata, Myriam and Erbenova caught Brigitta and all four were together racing for the lead with Wasle not far behind. Better than 20K into the bike we had the entire podium within a minute of each other.

It was not far different for the men. Osborne, better known for ITU performances, had the power, but Roger had the skills.  Francois Carloni and Ruben worked together and caught the lead duo. Sam kept spinning his rear tires on the climbs and while he could gain on the flats he could not bridge back up. This bike course has no long, sustained climbs, but it does have very steep and gravely climbs that are technical.  Ruzafa, Carloni and Serrano were together for a bit and In the meantime Belgian Yeray Luxem had caught the group. “I saw Ruben making a move on one longer really steep hills and I give 100% to stay with him” breathed Carloni. “But he comes by me like (and he moves his head quickly from looking over his shoulder to in front of him) he was making 2 KW more than me. There was no way I could keep with him.” Ruben gapped the other men who then decided to work together to not let him get too far away. Luxem crashed on a downhill. “I don’t know why I crashed, but I worked really hard and started to get back close by transition.”

For the women, Helena and Myriam had gotten away from Brigitta and Carina had passed Renata for 4th. At the start of the run Helena had a lead but the French woman was flying and not far back.  Brigitta looked a bit tired in 3rd and Carina was doing her usual fast pace in 4th.

“I kept hearing she is 45 seconds and then 30 seconds behind” gasped Helena after the finish.  Guillot-Boisset has won a few races putting in fast runs and Helena knew it. But she is not a 3 time European Champion by giving up and the Czech woman gutted it out for the win. Back a bit Carina had passed our Hungarian pro into 3rd. “I thought I was 4th for sure” smiled Brigitta “but a few K from the finish Carina was cramping and slowed way down and I got back to 3rd.” Carina recovered enough to take 4th.

Ruben had a lead, but kept glancing back to make sure nobody was coming. “I had a really bad swim” he said. “The green stuff got in my goggles and I didn’t like it so I had to work really hard to catch the other guys”. Behind, Carloni and Serrano were still literally tied to each other and running together. Luxem was mad at himself for his bike problem and was hunting the men in front.  “I could see them and knew I was catching.  I just hoped I had enough energy to go all the way to the finish” he said. Coming by me out of the vineyards, Ruzafa took a look back and saw nobody.  There were 4 K to go and he felt the race was his. I looked off into the distance and could see 3 small specs coming at me. Serrano had run away from Carloni and sure enough, Luxem had passed and was now in 3rd. Going into a wooded section Serrano knew the Belgian was coming. “Near where we cross the river by the bridge there is a fallen tree.  I jumped over it and OUCH, I cramped up” he growled. That was it. Luxem was past and ran to a fantastic 2d place. Serrano continued for 3rd, Carloni 4th and Sam Osborne 5th.

How’s that for some knock down battles? Passing and repassing, tight races on the bike and the run. The weather was perfect with a nice cloud cover a slight breeze and temperatures in the mid 70’s. That night, awards were held at the park and the Sagres beer flowed freely.  Once again, the people of Golega showed wonderful hospitality. Everyone came. There was only 1 person who did not make the podium and he sent a friend to apologize.         Think about how many awards ceremonies you have been to when several winners do not appear. Tables were full under a perfect full moon sky and even the normally reserved Ruzafa was still up chatting with folks at midnight. Indeed many of the pros were there having a beer and swapping stories of the day.  Exceptional.

Now we have a break of a few weeks and get back to it again in Belgium in June where this first time race already has 900 entries. This is followed by Switzerland, which is also the ETU cross triathlon championship and the always great France. No matter if you are from the North America, South America, Asia, Africa or Oceania you need to think about coming to Europe and do a few of these great events.  The cultures at each are rich and very different but the XTERRA family and spirit remain the same.

Here’s a look at the pro results:

Pos Name Time Points
1 Ruben Ruzafa Cueto 2:34:11 75
2 Yeray Luxem 2:35:38 67
3 Roger Serrano 2:36:28 61
4 Francois Carloni 2:37:50 56
5 Sam Osborne 2:40:52 51
6 José Estrangeiro 2:41:05 47
7 Maximilian Sasserath 2:41:51 43
8 Julen Loroño 2:43:45 39
9 Rui  Dolores 2:45:41 36
10 Hannes Wolpert 2:45:46 33
11 Tim Van Daele 2:46:56 30
12 Gonzalo Orosco 2:47:04 27
13 Llewellyn Holmes 2:48:54 25
14 Hönle Veit 2:50:34 23
15 Tiago Maia 2:54:11 21
16 Octavio Vicente 2:55:53 DNP
17 Renato Teixeira 2:58:22 DNP
18 Lars Van der Eerden 2:59:28 DNP
       
Pos Name Time Points
1 Helena Erbenová 2:59:53 75
2 Guillot-Boisset Myriam 3:00:40 67
3 Brigitta Poor 3:04:33 61
4 Carina Wasle 3:07:46 56
5 Renata  Bucher 3:11:52 51
6 Louise  Fox 3:18:04 47
7 Sara Bonilla Bernardez 3:30:24 43
8 Maud Golsteyn 3:31:26 39

Erbenova

SERRANO, POOR LEAD XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR STANDINGS

Roger Serrano is still the top ranked athlete in the XTERRA European Tour following two wins and a third-place showing in Portugal.  Brigitta Poor is tops amongst women having finished first, second, and third in the first three races this year.  Next up is the inaugural XTERRA Belgium off-road tri on June 11.

2016 XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR POINT STANDINGS        
After 3 – 5.21.16        
           
Men     S S S
Pl Name, NAT TOTAL MLT GRE POR
1 Roger Serrano, ESP 211 75 75 61
2 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 142 DNS 67 75
3 Francois Carloni, FRA 107 DNS 51 56
4 Brice Daubord, FRA 104 43 61 DNS
5 Pierre-Antoine Guilhem, FRA 82 61 21 DNS
6 Cedric Lassonde, FRA 69 30 39 DNS
7 Hannes Wolpert, GER 69 36 DNS 33
8 Jens Roth, GER 67 67 DNS DNS
9 Yeray Luxem, BEL 67 DNS DNS 67
10 Tim Van Daele, BEL 57 DNS 27 30
11 Maxim Chane, FRA 56 56 DNS DNS
12 Arthur Forissier, FRA 56 DNS 56 DNS
13 Peter Lehmann, GER 51 51 DNS DNS
14 Sam Osborne, NZL 51 DNS DNS 51
15 Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA 47 47 DNS DNS
16 Kris Coddens, BEL 47 DNS 47 DNS
17 José Estrangeiro, POR 47 DNS DNS 47
18 Tomas Kubek, CZE 43 DNS 43 DNS
19 Maximilian Sasserath, GER 43 DNS DNS 43
20 Dominik Wychera, AUT 39 39 DNS DNS
21 Julen Loroño, ESP 39 DNS DNS 39
22 Jan Kubicek, CZE 36 DNS 36 DNS
23 Rui Dolores, POR 36 DNS DNS 36
24 Fabien Combaluzier, FRA 33 33 DNS DNS
25 Jan Pyott, SUI 33 DNS 33 DNS
26 Max Neumann, AUS 30 DNS 30 DNS
27 Christophe Betard 27 27 DNS DNS
28 Gonzalo Orosco, ESP 27 DNS DNS 27
29 Markus Benesch 25 25 DNS DNS
30 Sebastian Norberg, GER 25 DNS 25 DNS
31 Llewellyn Holmes, GBR 25 DNS DNS 25
32 Julien Buffe, FRA 23 DNS 23 DNS
33 Veit Hoenle, GER 23 DNS DNS 23
34 Tiago Maia, POR 21 DNS DNS 21
Women     S S S
Pl Name, NAT TOTAL MLT GRE POR
1 Brigitta Poor, HUN 203 75 67 61
2 Helena Erbenova, CZE 150 DNS 75 75
3 Morgane Riou, FRA 118 67 51 DNS
4 Louise Fox, GBR 103 DNS 56 47
5 Maud Golsteyn, NED 95 56 DNS 39
6 Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 67 DNS DNS 67
7 Sandra Koblemueller, AUT 61 61 DNS DNS
8 Ladina Buss, SUI 61 DNS 61 DNS
9 Carina Wasle, AUT 56 DNS DNS 56
10 Alena Stevens, SVK 51 51 DNS DNS
11 Renata Bucher, SUI 51 DNS DNS 51
12 Diane Lee, GBR 47 47 DNS DNS
13 Kristina Nec Lapinova, SVK 43 43 DNS DNS
14 Sara Bonilla Bernardez, ESP 43 DNS DNS 43
15 Danica Spiteri, MLT 39 39 DNS DNS

2016 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

XTERRA Portugal was the 16th of 37 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the world could qualify to race at the 21st annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on Oct 23.

DATE WORLD TOUR EVENT LOCATION or WINNERS
7-Feb XTERRA Philippines Brad Weiss/Lizzie Orchard
21-Feb XTERRA South Africa Brad Weiss/Flora Duffy
5-Mar XTERRA Motatapu Olly Shaw/Mary Gray
12-Mar XTERRA Saipan Brodie Gardner/Carina Wasle
20-Mar XTERRA Costa Rica Karl Shaw/Myriam Guillot-Boisset
26-Mar XTERRA Argentina Josiah Middaugh/Myriam Guillot
3-Apr XTERRA Malta Roger Serrano/Brigitta Poor
16-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Braden Currie/Lizzie Orchard
17-Apr XTERRA La Reunion Ruben Ruzafa/Carina Wasle
23-Apr XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship Braden Currie/Lizzie Orchard
7-May XTERRA Malaysia / XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour Championship Ben Allen/Jacqui Slack
7-May XTERRA Brazil Albert Soley/Sabrina Gobbo
7-May XTERRA Greece Roger Serrano/Helena Erbenova
14-May XTERRA Tahiti Josiah Middaugh/Lesley Paterson
21-May XTERRA Oak Mountain State Park Josiah Middaugh/Suzie Snyder
21-May XTERRA Portugal Ruben Ruzafa/Helena Erbenova
11-Jun XTERRA Belgium Namur
25-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Vallee de Joux
25-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter Milton, Ontario, Canada
3-Jul XTERRA France Xonrupt
10-Jul XTERRA Victoria Victoria, B.C., Canada
16-Jul XTERRA Beaver Creek Beaver Creek, CO, USA
23-Jul XTERRA Parry Sound Ontario, Canada
31-Jul XTERRA Italy Lago Di Scanno
31-Jul XTERRA Dominican Republic Barahona
6-Aug XTERRA Mexico Tapalpa
7-Aug XTERRA Poland Krakow
13-Aug XTERRA Sweden Hellsgaarten, Stockholm
14-Aug XTERRA Canmore Canmore, Alberta, Canada
20-Aug XTERRA Germany – XTERRA European Championship Zittau
27-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
27-Aug XTERRA Korea Daeahn Reservoir, Wonju City
3-Sep  XTERRA Japan Hokkaido
4-Sep XTERRA Denmark Mons Klint
4-Sep XTERRA Quebec Quebec City, Quebec
11-Sep XTERRA Woolastook New Brunswick, Canada
17-Sep XTERRA USA / Pan Am Championship Ogden, Utah, USA
23-Oct XTERRA World Championship Kapalua, Maui
Josiah Middaugh

Middaugh, Snyder win XTERRA Oak Mountain

Photos / Complete Results

Pelham, AL – Josiah Middaugh and Suzie Snyder took home the elite titles at the XTERRA Oak Mountain off-road triathlon in Shelby County, Alabama this morning.

The fourth of 10 stops on the 2016 XTERRA Pan America Tour had all the right ingredients … calm, clean, warm water to swim in, perfect racing weather, superb trail conditions, and great competition in both the amateur and elite fields.

Middaugh, the reigning XTERRA World Champion from Colorado, came out of the 1.5-kilometer swim in eighth position nearly three minutes behind Mauricio Mendez, the 20-year-old phenom from Mexico.

Once on the bike he quickly worked his way into the fourth spot, then passed Branden Rakita and Karsten Madsen about two-thirds of the way up the big climb, but didn’t reel in Mendez until a few miles before the bike-to-run transition.

“Really good racing,” said Middaugh at the awards ceremony flanked by Mendez who finished 2nd, Madsen who was 3rd, Rakita in 4th, and Kieran McPherson in 5th.  “All these guys up here, I came out of the water behind all of them.  And as I went by them on the bike I kept asking them ‘Where is Mauricio’ and they couldn’t tell me anything, just that they hadn’t seen him.  I was working harder and harder the whole day, and finally caught him towards the end of the bike and it was just a battle on the run to stay a few steps ahead of him.”

Mendez even put up the fastest run split, but Middaugh held on for the win in 2:19:17, 11-seconds in front of him.  For Mendez, who was fourth at XTERRA Worlds last year, the result proved his bike handling skills have improved dramatically.

“I know my weakest point is the bike and I’ve been working on it, and happy to see it improve,” said Mendez. “This bike course, I have so much respect for it.  Two years ago here everybody was catching me, so today I pushed as hard as I could.  When I saw Josiah coming behind me I lost my focus just for a few seconds and crashed into a tree.”

Middaugh took advantage and gave himself a little cushion going into the run.

“I knew I was close to Josiah and on the second lap I saw him in front of me, but he knows how to race.  It’s amazing to race him,” said Mendez.

“It feels good when it’s a battle like that, it feels rewarding” said Middaugh, who won XTERRA Tahiti last weekend.

Behind those two Madsen and Rakita kept pushing each other on the bike.

“Things went really well today,” said Madsen, who had a bad crash last year that sent him to the hospital.   “That was the lowest low-point for me, laying on a med tent, so my main goal was to dial it back a little and ride clean today.  It worked out, it was a complete race for me and I’m really happy.”

Rakita was also pleased with his day, saying “It was good. Felt like I rode well all the way through so happy with that.  On this course you really have to push the last four miles.  Karsten and I were really close and that helped us keep pushing.  I was happy with the swim, disappointed we couldn’t hold on to Mauricio’s feet, but he’s just got so much talent.  I thought we might reel him in on the bike but his bike handling skills have really improved. He works hard.  Then I ran as hard as I could, because I still had Chris and Cody behind me, so I was running scared.”

Kiwi Kieran McPherson had a solid day all the way around to take the 5th spot, just 14-seconds behind Rakita. He also won an XTERRA Wetsuit by chugging a bottle of Gatorade faster than a few dozen others in the post-race shenanigans.

Chris Ganter wasn’t too far off in sixth and Cody Waite returned to the XTERRA Tribe in fine fashion by finishing in the money in 7th.

Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Josiah Middaugh, USA 2:19:17 100
2 Mauricio Mendez, MEX 2:19:28 90
3 Karsten Madsen, CAN 2:23:49 82
4 Branden Rakita, USA 2:25:20 75
5 Kieran McPherson, NZL 2:25:34 69
6 Chris Ganter, USA 2:26:34 63
7 Cody Waite, USA 2:32:18 58
8 Ian King, USA 2:35:34 53
9 Thomas Spannring, USA 2:36:56 49
10 Michael Nunez, USA 2:42:19 45

Suzie Snyder

SNYDER WIRE TO WIRE

Last year Suzie Snyder was in the midst of her best season as a pro, fresh off wins at XTERRA New Zealand and the XTERRA East Championship and the odds-on favorite to win XTERRA Mexico.  Then she fractured her pelvis pre-riding and has been recovering ever since.

“It’s good to be back,” she said.  “My first race back since July. It was a hard reminder on how hard this sport is but I couldn’t be happier to be back here racing again.”

Snyder had an incredible swim that was three minutes faster than the second-best woman, posted the fastest bike split, and had the third-best run to take the tape in 2:43:57, more than four-minutes ahead of runner-up Maia Ignatz.

“Hardest I’ve pushed myself since Beaver Creek last year, so it hurt really bad,” said Snyder.  “I had a good swim.  I’ve been swimming with Matt Balzer, and in a master’s class so my swim is improving and I needed that today.  On the run I was afraid I went too hard.  I went out too fast because I knew there were fast girls behind me and I didn’t want it to come down to a battle.  I was trying to get out of sight.”

For Maia Ignatz her second-place finish was a career-best.

“I’m so happy.  Thrilled with how things went today.  I was able to stay upright, I rode well, I ran well, but I can’t say I swam well,” smiled Ignatz, who came out of the water in 4th but more than three minutes behind Snyder.

Kara LaPoint was third out of the water, passed Maggie Rusch early on the bike to move into 2nd and held that spot until but Ignatz caught her early on the run.

“I couldn’t hang on to Maia, she is such a good runner,” said LaPoint.  “My goal was top three, and the race shaked out pretty similar to what I thought would happen. I’m happy with it.”

Debby Sullivan had a strong race all the way around to finish in fourth and XTERRA Brazil Champion Sabrina Gobbo rounded out the top five.

Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Suzie Snyder, USA 2:43:57 100
2 Maia Ignatz, USA 2:48:12 90
3 Kara LaPoint, USA 2:51:25 82
4 Debby Sullivan, USA 3:00:31 75
5 Sabrina Gobbo, BRA 3:04:35 69
6 Caroline Colonna, USA 3:08:37 63
7 Sarah Gravves, USA 3:10:18 58
8 Rebecca Blatt, USA 3:15:14 53
9 Maggie Rusch, USA 3:28:05 49

MORE QUOTES FROM THE WINNERS

Josiah Middaugh:I’ve been coming out to Alabama for a long time.  I love the park here, amazing trails, but it’s always a challenge.  I’ve got a little bit of a love-hate relationship with this course.   Broke my kneecap here one year, had to have surgery.  Had a lot of ups and downs, kind of a roller coaster ride, and it’s always a challenge. Good to see all the XTERRA Warriors out here really pushing it on that bike course.  It’s definitely a mountain bikers course.”

“People from team sports, running, biking or swimming, you just have to give it a try.  It’s a whole lot of fun, and there is a lot of camaraderie out here.”

Suzie Snyder: “This is one of the best races in the world.  I love this course. I think Oak Mountain does such a great job, such a beautiful venue.”

“The run course was tough.  My run fitness isn’t great so I was running scared.  It took a toll on me.”

“Crash knocked me out for eight months.  I’m rebuilding.  I’m finally at a point where I can train pretty strong. Couldn’t run until March.  That’s been a huge challenge.  I was trying to take it slow and focus on the swim and bike, and the run is what it is.”

“It’s scary to be chased.  A giant target on your back and you don’t know where anyone is at.  When you’re out there all alone you just have to go like hell.”

“It was a beautiful day.  Humidity was low, sun is out, little clouds, perfect temps, didn’t overheat, it was a great day and I’m super happy.”

MIDDAUGH, GOBBO LEAD XTERRA PAN AMERICA TOUR STANDINGS

With two wins in Argentina and Alabama and a runner-up finish in Costa Rica Josiah Middaugh has a big lead after the first four races on the XTERRA Pan America Pro Series, and his next race will be in his back yard in Beaver Creek, Colorado in July.

In the women’s chase Brazilan Sabrina Gobbo has the points lead as the only elite women to have raced in three events.  Racers count their best four scores plus what they earn at the XTERRA Pan American Championship race September 17 in Utah.

Learn more about the XTERRA Pan Am Tour at http://www.xterraplanet.com/xterra-pan-am-tour/

Here’s a look at the elite standings after four:

2016 XTERRA PAN AMERICAN TOUR POINT STANDINGS          
After 4 – 5.21.16          
             
Men     S G S G
PL NAME TOT CRC ARG BRA ALA
1 Josiah Middaugh, USA 267 67 100 DNS 100
2 Karsten Madsen, CAN 172 DNS 90 DNS 82
3 Ian King, USA 106 DNS 53 DNS 53
4 Mauricio Mendez, MEX 90 DNS DNS DNS 90
5 Jonatan Morales, ARG 82 DNS 82 DNS DNS
6 Karl Shaw, GBR 75 75 DNS DNS DNS
7 Oscar Galindez, ARG 75 DNS 75 DNS DNS
8 Albert Soley, ESP 75 DNS DNS 75 DNS
9 Branden Rakita, USA 75 DNS DNS DNS 75
10 Lucas Mendez, ARG 69 DNS 69 DNS DNS
11 Kieran McPherson, NZL 69 DNS DNS DNS 69
12 Felipe Moletta, BRA 67 DNS DNS 67 DNS
13 Mario De Elias, ARG 63 DNS 63 DNS DNS
14 Chris Ganter, USA 63 DNS DNS DNS 63
15 Rom Akerson, CRC 61 61 DNS DNS DNS
16 Diogo Malagon, BRA 61 DNS DNS 61 DNS
17 Facu Medard, ARG 58 DNS 58 DNS DNS
18 Cody Waite, USA 58 DNS DNS DNS 58
19 Francois Carloni, FRA 56 56 DNS DNS DNS
20 Bruno Silva, BRA 56 DNS DNS 56 DNS
21 Federico Venegas, CRC 51 51 DNS DNS DNS
22 Frederico Zacharias, BRA 51 DNS DNS 51 DNS
23 Mauro Ayesa, USA 49 DNS 49 DNS DNS
24 Thomas Spannring, USA 49 DNS DNS DNS 49
25 Greg Schott, USA 47 47 DNS DNS DNF
26 Raul Furtado, BRA 47 DNS DNS 47 DNS
27 Victor Arenas, ARG 45 DNS 45 DNS DNS
28 Michael Nunez, USA 45 DNS DNS DNS 45
29 Henrique Lugarini, BRA 43 DNS DNS 43 DNS
30 Parada Penagos, ARG 41 DNS 41 DNS DNS
31 Eduardo Marcolino, BRA 39 DNS DNS 39 DNS
32 Rodrigo Altafini, BRA 36 DNS DNS 36 DNS
33 Stenio Bezerra, BRA 33 DNS DNS 33 DNS
34 Rogério Paula, BRA 30 DNS DNS 30 DNS
35 Ramon Bustos, BRA 27 DNS DNS 27 DNS
36 Cristiam Suzin, BRA 25 DNS DNS 25 DNS
37 Juscelino Vasco, BRA 23 DNS DNS 23 DNS
38 Wellington Conceição, BRA 21 DNS DNS 21 DNS
Women   S G S G
PL NAME TOT CRC ARG BRA ALA
1 Sabrina Gobbo, BRA 205 61 DNS 75 69
2 Miriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 175 75 100 DNS DNS
3 Kara Lapoint, USA 149 67 DNS DNS 82
4 Laura Mira Dias, BRA 149 DNS 82 67 DNS
5 Caroline Colonna, USA 114 51 DNS DNS 63
6 Suzie Snyder, USA 100 DNS DNS DNS 100
7 Rebecca Blatt, USA 100 47 DNS DNS 53
8 Fabiola Corona, MEX 90 DNS 90 DNS DNS
9 Maia Ignatz, USA 90 DNS DNS DNS 90
10 Erika Simon, ARG 75 DNS 75 DNS DNS
11 Debby Sullivan, USA 75 DNS DNS DNS 75
12 Isabella Ribeiro 61 DNS DNS 61 DNS
13 Sarah Gravves, USA 58 DNS DNS DNS 58
14 Caitlin Snow, USA 56 56 DNS DNS DNS
15 Luisa Saft 56 DNS DNS 56 DNS
16 Vanessa Cabrini 51 DNS DNS 51 DNS
17 Maggie Rusch, USA 49 DNS DNS DNS 49
18 Fernanda Prieto 47 DNS DNS 47 DNS
19 Brisa Melcop 43 DNS DNS 43 DNS
20 Beatriz Granziera 39 DNS DNS 39 DNS
21 Melania Giraldi 36 DNS DNS 36 DNS
22 Monalisa Vieira 33 DNS DNS 33 DNS


MOLNAR,
BLUNCK WIN OVERALL AMATEUR TITLES

The amateur racing was at an all-time best with one of the toughest fields ever assembled at Oak Mountain State Park.

For the second time in three years Daniel Molnar from North Dakota (via Hungary) won the overall men’s title while Hallie Blunck – a former road tri pro from right here in Birmingham, Alabama – took top honors in the women’s field in her first-ever off-road tri.

Every age group was hotly contested, and of note, Anthony Snoble out-lasted Daryl Weaver in a sprint to the finish to win the 40-44 division by one-second.  It’s the first age-group loss in Weaver’s award-winning career, ending a streak of roughly 30 straight age group wins.

There was also feel-good moments to be had all day long.  David DeSantis finished his 5th race of the year in his 16 for 16 campaign and with the help of the Paul Mitchell Cut-a-thon raised a ton of money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation.  Charlotte Mahan, at the age of 71, was giving pep-talks to the nine-year-olds racing the Xticer, and Nat Grew from Costa Rica and Rodger Bivens from Arizona are still going strong well into their 70’s.  Between the perfect weather, great course, and good people today was certainly one of the most memorable XTERRA races in the eleven years the sport has raced at Oak Mountain.

Here’s a look at all of today’s age group champions:

Division Name Hometown Time
15 – 19 Heather Horton Draper, UT 3:17:51
25 – 29 Stephanie Brunnemann Salt Lake City, UT 3:28:28
30 – 34 Hallie Blunck Birmingham, AL 2:54:50
35 – 39 Courtney Kaup Hinesburg, VT 3:03:08
40 – 44 Kelli Montgomery Wallingford, CT 2:58:40
45 – 49 Christy Fritts Carlsbad, CA 3:13:53
50 – 54 Margo Pitts Raleigh, NC 3:13:51
55 – 59 Tamara Tabeek Ramona, CA 3:14:33
65 – 69 Linda Usher West Upton, MA 4:51:52
PC Beth Price Spanish Fort, AL 4:53:53
Division Name Hometown Time
15 – 19 Austin Harper Vestavia Hills, AL 3:41:06
20 – 24 Caleb Baity Boonville, NC 2:56:44
25 – 29 Kris Ochs Vail, CO 2:43:32
30 – 34 Daniel Molnar Bismark, ND 2:31:25
35 – 39 AJ Petrillo Blue Ridge, GA 2:39:45
40 – 44 Anthony Snoble East Islip, NY 2:41:15
45 – 49 Marcus Barton Waxhaw, NC 2:42:48
50 – 54 Ali Arasta Asheboro, NC 2:48:38
55 – 59 Jean-Paul Martin Oakton, VA 2:54:16
60 – 64 Steve Cole Alpharetta, GA 3:15:05
65 – 69 Michael Orendorff Pueblo, CO 3:18:39
70 – 74 Rodger Bivens Tucson, AZ 5:33:38
Clydesdale Thorsten Oelschlaeger Northport, AL 3:58:18

Special Thanks to our Sponsors

XTERRA Oak Mountain is presented by Paul Mitchell, Shelby County Tourism, and XTERRA Travel.  Sponsors include Outrigger Resorts, Muscle Milk, Gatorade Endurance, PowerBar, Optic Nerve Sunglasses, Greenlayer, Oak Mountain State Park, Blue Cross/Blue Shield-Alabama, XTERRA Wetsuits, XTERRA Fitness, XTERRA Boards, Compex, the Shelby County Reporter, and the Utah Sports Commission.  Click here for special offers from our partners.

2016 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

XTERRA Oak Mountain Championship was the 15th of 37 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the world could qualify to race at the 21st annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on Oct 23.

DATE WORLD TOUR EVENT LOCATION or WINNERS
7-Feb XTERRA Philippines Brad Weiss/Lizzie Orchard
21-Feb XTERRA South Africa Brad Weiss/Flora Duffy
5-Mar XTERRA Motatapu Olly Shaw/Mary Gray
12-Mar XTERRA Saipan Brodie Gardner/Carina Wasle
20-Mar XTERRA Costa Rica Karl Shaw/Myriam Guillot-Boisset
26-Mar XTERRA Argentina Josiah Middaugh/Myriam Guillot
3-Apr XTERRA Malta Roger Serrano/Brigitta Poor
16-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Braden Currie/Lizzie Orchard
17-Apr XTERRA La Reunion Ruben Ruzafa/Carina Wasle
23-Apr XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship Braden Currie/Lizzie Orchard
7-May XTERRA Malaysia / XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour Championship Ben Allen/Jacqui Slack
7-May XTERRA Brazil Albert Soley/Sabrina Gobbo
7-May XTERRA Greece Roger Serrano/Helena Erbenova
14-May XTERRA Tahiti Josiah Middaugh/Lesley Paterson
21-May XTERRA Oak Mountain State Park Josiah Middaugh/Suzie Snyder
21-May XTERRA Portugal Golega
11-Jun XTERRA Belgium Namur
25-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Vallee de Joux
25-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter Milton, Ontario, Canada
3-Jul XTERRA France Xonrupt
10-Jul XTERRA Victoria Victoria, B.C., Canada
16-Jul XTERRA Beaver Creek Beaver Creek, CO, USA
23-Jul XTERRA Parry Sound Ontario, Canada
31-Jul XTERRA Italy Lago Di Scanno
31-Jul XTERRA Dominican Republic Barahona
6-Aug XTERRA Mexico Tapalpa
7-Aug XTERRA Poland Krakow
13-Aug XTERRA Sweden Hellsgaarten, Stockholm
14-Aug XTERRA Canmore Canmore, Alberta, Canada
20-Aug XTERRA Germany – XTERRA European Championship Zittau
27-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
27-Aug XTERRA Korea Daeahn Reservoir, Wonju City
3-Sep  XTERRA Japan Hokkaido
4-Sep XTERRA Denmark Mons Klint
4-Sep XTERRA Quebec Quebec City, Quebec
11-Sep XTERRA Woolastook New Brunswick, Canada
17-Sep XTERRA USA / Pan Am Championship Ogden, Utah, USA
23-Oct XTERRA World Championship Kapalua, Maui
Schott

Getting to Know Greg Schott

By Lauren Hall

Greg Schott is a 19-year-old up-and-comer out of Richmond, Virginia who made a name for himself after winning the 15-19 division at XTERRA Nationals last year. That result was good enough to get him his pro card, and he jumped at the opportunity.

This year in his elite debut he found himself on a beautiful white sand beach in Costa Rica.  To make it even better, his roommate for the trip was XTERRA World Champ Josiah Middaugh, and he said it was like going to an XTERRA fantasy camp.

We caught up with Schott as he prepares to race at XTERRA Pan Am Tour stop No. 4 in Pelham, Alabama this Saturday…

XTERRA: What made you decide to get involved in triathlons?
Greg Schott: I played a range of sports growing up, from travel baseball to lacrosse, and with a state park in my backyard I started mountain biking more and more frequently with my dad, who has always been an avid cyclist. I started running track and cross country when I started middle school and fell in love with endurance sports and when I was 13. I pieced in the swimming leg of the triathlon and competed in my first race with my parents (who both beat me…). It was at that first race that I met Michael Harlow, the head youth coach and owner of Endorphin Fitness, who introduced me to the fast paced racing of the Junior Elite Draft Legal circuit. After experiencing the camaraderie between my teammates, all around the same age as myself, and the adrenaline rush of fast paced racing, I never turned back.

XT: How did you hear about XTERRA?
GS: As a Richmond, VA native I had always known about the iconic XTERRA Richmond and knew the big XTERRA legends like Conrad Stoltz, who would tear up the local trails for a weekend, but I never realized how big XTERRA was on a global scale until I fell more in love with triathlon.

XT: What made you decide to race XTERRA?
GS: When I started racing triathlon I found myself falling out of mountain bike racing and becoming increasingly busy with junior racing, work, and normal high school shenanigans. In 2013 I bought my first 29″ mountain bike (finally getting off of my dad’s Gary Fisher) and found my love for mountain biking again. I soon found myself wondering why the heck I hadn’t jumped into an XTERRA yet and I traveled down to McCormick, South Carolina in the spring of 2014 for my first XTERRA. There I found a super laid back and awesome racing community (seeming more like mountain bikers than triathletes) and after taking the overall win I officially caught the XTERRA bug.

XT: What was it like to win XTERRA Nationals last year?
GS: I was stoked to win my age group at Nationals and come so close to the overall amateur win, too. The win was even sweeter last year considering I knocked close to 40 minutes off of my previous year’s finish time, and would later figure out my finishing time at Nationals would earn me my pro card. I felt like I had conquered something that had viciously defeated me before, and it felt great.

XT: Did you do anything special in training before that race?
GS: I made a handful of big changes between the 2014 and 2015 season. In 2015 I set my sights on solely XTERRA, and moving out to Boulder, CO for school definitely helped with that endeavor. I also sought out some more specialized coaching and got connected with Craig Evans, who really helped me figure out HOW to race XTERRA, sharing his experience and knowledge of courses, nutrition and mountain biking with me. With his help and some experimenting of my own I narrowed down nutrition plans and specific training for the Utah course leading up to the race.

XT: Favorite inspirational quote?
GS: “If you ain’t first, you’re last” – Ricky Bobby (Just Kidding 🙂

XT: Who are your role models?
GS: I would say my parents have been a huge inspiration in both my life and triathlon racing. They have shown me that it is possible to dedicate myself towards a job that I love and truly makes a difference, while focusing myself on what I love and enjoy doing. They have always been super supportive of my racing and have allowed me to take advantage of the opportunities my racing has put in front of me, which words are not enough to describe how grateful I am.

XT: Tell us about your first pro race in Costa Rica…

GS: My first pro race down in Costa Rica was an experience I sure won’t forget anytime soon. It was my first time traveling internationally, and experiencing another culture was an opportunity I was extremely grateful to have. I got the opportunity to room with the XTERRA World Champ Josiah Middaugh and do a little course reconnaissance with him leading up to the race. All the advice he offered was super beneficial on race day. I was blown away with just how much XTERRA cares about their athletes and it really showed at XTERRA Costa Rica.

XT:  How’d you feel leading up to the race, nervous?

GS: I was definitely pretty nervous leading up to the start of the race, especially just knowing that I was going from leading the race at the front of the amateur pack to fighting for every inch in the pro field. I almost felt a little out of place lining up with the pros at the start but once the gun went off I knew I was right where I belonged. Once I settled into the race it became just another day at the office.

XT: What did you like about that race?
GS: I was most excited for the bike course in Costa Rica, it was a beautiful course that allowed me to really see a lot of the culture behind the race, taking us along the beach, on some public dirt roads (which were so washed out they felt like single track!), through a farm field in a small town, and across some technical, fresh cut single track.  It was easily my favorite part of the weekend. I was dreading the heat though! I knew it was going to be hard coming from the cool temperatures in Richmond to the blazing sun down in Costa Rica. I adapted a bit better than I expected but I definitely left with some wicked sunburn and funky tan lines.

XT: Plans for this year?
GS: I plan on hitting about half of the races in the Pan-American tour this year, including all of the state side races and possibly a couple in Canada. I decided this year, since it is my first professional year and I am only 19, I wouldn’t set huge goals for myself until I have settled into pro racing. My one big goal is to race my hardest at everything I enter and be competitive within the pro field. I was happy with my result in Costa Rica, even though I was last place pro male, I was seconds off of the podium at my first pro race with only a handful of minutes separating me from fourth. I decided I am going to spend this year and possibly next really figuring out how to race and be competitive as a professional athlete before hunting some big overall wins.

XT: Biggest lesson you took away from Costa Rica?
GS: The biggest thing I learned from Costa Rica is course preparation to the type of terrain the race will be held on is key. I was really thrown off when I realized almost two miles (1 mile on the run and 1 on the bike) was on soft sand. This threw off my normal T1 routine, usually I already have my shoes attached to the bike and do a flying mount and put shoes and gloves on once on the bike, but with the soft sand directly outside of transition I had to do everything before getting on the bike. This made me spend way more time in T1 doing things that felt weird to me and that I haven’t really practiced. Also just the efforts I had to put out on the sand to go fast were foreign to me and really taxing.”

XT: Tell us about yourself, and becoming a certified EMT?
GS: With a type-a personality I found myself struggling to really decide on a college major and career path that would keep me entertained and not in a dead end desk job. After studying Exercise Science at both Liberty University and the University of Colorado – Boulder I found myself intrigued by the medical field but bored with what I was studying. I decided to jump into an EMT program and instantly loved the hands on atmosphere and challenge of problem solving that the career offered (and I guess EMS runs in the family since my dad is a Flight Paramedic, my mom is a NICU Nurse and my sister is also an EMT). After passing the program out in Colorado, I moved back to Richmond for a job opportunity and I now volunteer as an EMT with a local fire department, work full-time as a bike mechanic at Endorphin Fitness (the bike shop I grew up racing for and now one of my title sponsors) and spend any spare time training.

XT: What is your favorite food?
GS: Well I’m pretty much always hungry and always on the go so I’ll take just about anything I can get my hands on, but banana pancakes hold a real soft spot in my heart.

XT: What is your dream job?
GS: My dream job would be an occupation that is as fast paced as I like to live, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to see myself in an office. I’ve still got some more of that whole “life figuring out” thing to do but as soon as I figure it out my sights will be set on making sure it happens.

XT: If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
GS: Laid-back

XT: What else should we know about you?
GS: I enjoy just about anything outdoors (snowboarding, hiking and camping are some of my favorite) and am willing to try anything at least once. Most of my adventures find their way onto Instagram and can be found at my username @greegcs.

gobbo

XTERRA Pan Am Pro Series Hits U.S.

The XTERRA Pan America Pro Series takes shape this weekend at Oak Mountain State Park in Shelby County, Alabama as some of America’s best racers host all-stars from Mexico, Canada, and Brazil.

It’s race number four of 10 in the inaugural XTERRA Pan Am Tour, and the first of three on American soil.

In the men’s race reigning XTERRA World Champion Josiah Middaugh welcomes Mexico’s best off-roader Mauricio Mendez, Canadian upstart Karsten Madsen, Kiwi Kieran McPherson, and a host of his U.S. countrymen with the likes of Chris Ganter, Branden Rakita, Cody Waite, and more.

On the women’s side Sabrina Gobbo (pictured above), the cross triathlon queen of Brazil, takes on a roster full of established and up-and-coming American racers to include former National Champ Suzie Snyder and XTERRA U.S. Pro Series stand-outs Maia Ignatz, Kara LaPoint,  Debby Sullivan and others.

We caught up with the elite crowd racing this weekend to get their thoughts on the course, the race, and other random funny stuff.

Middaugh

Here’s what they said…

“I’ve done this race every year for the past 10 or 11 years and still love it! The lake is beautiful and clean, the bike course is fun because the trails were created and maintained specifically for mountain biking, and the run is rolling, fun and shady! This course always proves to be challenging, whether from the heat and humidity or the wet roots and tricky single track so you have to be ready for anything!” – Suzie Snyder, former XTERRA National Champ living in Reno, Nevada.  Suzie finished 3rd here the last two years.

“The XTERRA at Oak Mountain is one of the best. The trails are top notch thanks to the local trails organization BUMP, they keep adding and maintaining more and more trails in the park.  It is a very challenging course and you have to maintain your focus 100% through the bike to keep the rubber side down,” – Branden Rakita, who has finished in the top 10 here seven times since 2009.

“When it was announced they would have a Pan American XTERRA circuit, I thought “wow” that’s a great opportunity for me to evolve, go and compete, and get out of my comfort zone to try and reach for that extra power to achieve more,” – Sabrina Gobbo, reigning and 3-time XTERRA Brazil Champion. This will be her first time in Alabama. She finished 3rd at XTERRA Costa Rica in March.

“I think this is the best XTERRA course there is. Lots of rocks and roots and fun crazy riding along with a awesome swim that is in a calm lake. The run course is also a blast and gives a good opportunity to run hard & fast. I really think without that crash I had a great shot at the podium. That’s why it hurt so bad. I’m really looking for redemption and coming off my 2nd place in Argentina I’m going to give it all I got as this is a course I truly feel at home at,” – Karsten Madsen, who was in the mix last year before a bad crash on the bike took him out of contention. The Canadian currently sits 2nd in the XTERRA Pan Am Pro Series standings.

“I think this is one of my favorite races, that is why I am back doing it again this year. I love that the riding is different from the high and dry riding I do at home in the Rocky Mountains. The twisty trails through dense trees and occasional owl spotting make it worth coming back! This will be my 3rd time doing this race, and I’m excited for another tried and true XTERRA experience,” – Maia Ignatz, who won the overall amateur title at Oak Mountain and Maui before turning pro and finishing 6th here last year.

“XTERRA racing has been a great way to satisfy my sense for adventure and allowed me experience many exciting places around the world,” – Josiah Middaugh, who has already raced at XTERRA Costa Rica, Argentina, and won in Tahiti last weekend. There are pics and videos of him riding horses on the beaches of Guanacaste and petting Manta rays in French Polynesia all over the internet. He’s won this race twice (2013-14), was second three times (’09, ’10, ’15), third twice (’07, ’11), fourth once (’12), and broke his kneecap pre-riding before the 2008 race.

“This is my first pro race, so I’m a bit nervous, but also excited.  I did this race last year and loved the trails and venue. The trails are epic and so much different than what we have in Utah. I’ve been doing these a long time (since 2005) and I’m older (35) than most of the other neo-pro’s but I figure you only live once, and I’m going to give it my all. I love the course at Oak Mountain, and really excited to race and share this event with my girlfriend Stephanie,” – Michael Nunez, an Aerospace/Mechanical Engineer who was born and raised in Rock Springs, Wyoming and currently calls Salt Lake City, Utah home.

“This is one of the purest off-road XTERRA courses because the mountain bike is a true mountain bike single track and somewhat technical course. Oak Mountain lends itself to a great experience with lots of lush vegetation and abundant wildlife.  I crashed really badly last year on the bike, slid into a tree breaking my rear wheel and derailleur, so my goal this year is to complete the course!” – Caroline Colonna, who has finished in the top 10 here three times in the last five years.  She is (rather humorously) nursing a foot injury from “last weekend’s dance performances.  I was Nana, the Dog, in Peter Pan … a lot of leaping!”

“I am an XTERRA athlete day in, day out and I love it! I am more than happy and excited about this weekend, kind of nervous, but really excited.  It’s my third time here, and it is a unique XTERRA course full of amazing wood forests and a great single-track trail full of surprises!” – Mauricio Mendez, a 20-year-old from Mexico City who finished 4th at the XTERRA World Championship last year.

“Just drove in from Colorado, was a lovely drive. I’m enjoying being back down at sea level and a little humidity coming into my first race on the new Pan Am series, and hoping for a good performance,” – Kieran McPherson, a 24-year-old from rural Matamata, New Zealand who will be based out of Fort Collins, Colorado for the next six months.

“You initially think “mountain biking in Alabama? What?” but then you get here and its this amazing network of world class trails and a beautiful lake. I like that the course is a good mix of power and technical, a challenge that requires both fitness and skill,” – Ian King, active duty Coast Guard and member of the newly-formed Happy Tooth Pro Development Team.

“I came here last year for the first time, and had a great time on the course in the days leading up to the race and really enjoyed being here in Alabama. The course is a lot of fun. The race, however, did not go my way. I flatted just when I got to the fun part above blood rock and after a bunch more flats and partial fixes I was finally able to get another tube and make it to transition so I could finish. Hopefully, I can get some redemption this year.” – Debby Sullivan, a Colorado girl who spent the last four years in California before moving to Virginia in February. “Apparently we need to get it all.”

“This is my third year in Alabama and my first as a pro. This is probably my second favorite course (behind Richmond of course) because the trails are the same style that I train on at home. Lots of roots, rocks and twisty turns are where I feel at home!” – Greg Schott, a 19-year-old certified EMT and bike mechanic at Endorphin Fitness who lives in downtown Richmond, Virginia. He won the 15-19 XTERRA National Championship last year before turning pro.

“Oak Mountain is a great course, and certainly one of the most fun to ride!” – Cody Waite, of Sessions:6 Sport Performance out of Denver, Colorado. Cody has finished in the top 10 five times at this race.

“This will be the first time racing XTERRA Oak Mountain, and it’s my first race of the season so I really don’t know what to expect.  I am looking forward to it and hoping for a fun course. My first XTERRA was at Bear Creek Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania called the Dirty Grizzly. That was about seven years ago, and I remember I barely survived the swim. My swimming hasn’t improved that much since that race but I am optimistic for this weekend,” – Thomas Spannring, a 40-year-old firefighter in Boulder, Colorado, originally from Austria.

“It’s a blast coming to Pelham every year.  The weather is amazing, the forests are lush and the trails are primo.  There’s just a laid-back vibe in Pelham that sort of tells you to just chill and enjoy life.  The highlight of this race is obviously the bike course. It has everything, from fast single track, roots, tree squeezes, technical rock crawls, and bombing downhills.  It keeps you on your toes.  It’s a mountain biker’s mountain bike course!  There’s something for everyone, and on the flip side of that, it also tests everyone from beginner to pro.” – Chris Ganter, who was third here last year.

Ganter

XTERRA OAK MOUNTAIN ELITE START LIST

Rank denotes current position in XTERRA Pan Am Pro Series after three events.
NR = Not ranked

Bib# – Rank – Name – Age, Hometown
1 – 1 – Josiah Middaugh – 37, Vail-Eagle, CO
2 – 2 – Karsten Madsen – Guelph, Ontario, Canada
3 – 15 – Ian King – 26, Virginia Beach, VA
4 – 19 – Greg Schott – 19, Chesterfield, VA
5 – NR – Chris Ganter – 38, Boise, ID
6 – NR - Kieran McPherson – 24, Matamata, New Zealand
7 – NR – Mauricio Mendez – 20, Mexico City, Mexico
8 – NR - Michael Nunez – 35, Salt Lake City, UT
9 – NR – Branden Rakita – 35, Colorado Springs, CO
10 – NR – Thomas Spannring – 40, Longmont, CO
11 – NR - Cody Waite – 38, Lakewood, CO

Bib# – Rank – Name – Age, Hometown
51 – 3 – Sabrina Gobbo – 39, Sao Paulo, Brazil
52 – 6 – Kara LaPoint – 30, Truckee, CA
53 – 10 – Caroline Colonna – 52, Taos, NM
54 – 12 – Rebecca Blatt – 36, Lakewood, CO
55 – NR – Sarah Graves – 39, Ballantine, MT
56 – NR – Maia Ignatz – 36, Boulder, CO
57 – NR – Maggie Rusch – 29, Asheville, NC
58 – NR – Suzie Snyder – 34, Reno, NV
59 – NR – Debby Sullivan – 35, Stafford, VA

XTERRA OAK MOUNTAIN TRI COURSE

The course at Oak Mountain State Park in Shelby County, located in the southernmost part of the Appalachian Chain, is praised by competitors as being one of the most fun, fast, scenic and difficult on the XTERRA schedule.  It starts with a swim in the warm water of Double Oak Lake – two 750-meter laps separated by a short beach shuffle in-between.

From there the long, single-loop 19-mile mountain bike course starts at about 500 feet elevation, twists, turns, and rolls through the forest for seven miles then begins a gradual 700-foot climb to the summit. The descent is a fast, wild ride highlighted by the notorious “blood rock” section – a series of tricky to maneuver, uneven and jagged rocks followed by a  three-mile section on the west side of the lake that’s filled with rolling rights and lefts.

The run course goes around Double Oak Lake on hard-packed, tight, and twisty trails with scenic views at every turn.

Transition-sticks

XTERRA Portugal This Saturday

The XTERRA European Tour is in Golega, Portugal this weekend and so is managing director Dave Nicholas.  Here he tells us what it’s in store for athletes on Saturday…

A gorgeous day here in the middle of the country.  The 3rd XTERRA Portugal will start at 2pm on Saturday and while everything looks great, there have been problems.

It has been raining here for weeks.  Many of the fields the bike trails used in former years were completely underwater until last week and many are so muddy and clogged we are having to re-route the beginning and ending pieces of the course.

This year the bike will still be 32K but now more of a lollipop circuit rather than one big loop.  The good news?  All the interesting and more technical parts are still there and all the great, painted rocks leading the way are untouched.

The run course keeps the short, steep rappel section but stays closer to town.  Organizers kept the distance by creating an interesting new section along the river that is much more technical than in past years.

“The only thing we don’t know yet is where we will cross the river,” smiled Jaime Rosa, the director.  What he is talking about is we can’t determine exactly where it will be until Friday when we see how far the river has dropped.  “You can be sure your shoes will be wet” he said.

The pro field is solid.  Leading male and last year’s European series champion Roger Serrano Selgado is here after a brilliant win over Ruben Ruzafa two weeks ago in Greece.  The 3-time World Champ Ruzafa is here to make it three in a row and get back to his winning ways.  Francois Carloni of France is here along with Yeray Luxem & Tim Van Daele from Belgium and Llewelyn Holmes from England.  A host of new men pros are entered from Spain and Germany to keep things interesting.

On the women’s side it looks to be a rematch between Brigitta Poor and Helena Erbenova – both of whom have one win each this season.  They will face some tough competition from Myriam Guillot-Boisett and Carina Wasle.  Maud Golsteyn returns to the series and Louise Fox is looking for another top five.

The city is filling with cyclists and the local folks are enjoying them. This gorgeous village is more accustomed to horse people as Golega is internationally known for its November Horse Festivals which draw over 100,000 people.  The Feira Nacional do Cavalo has been held here since the 1800’s.  Just over an hour from Lisbon, the whitewashed homes with red tile roofs sit in thousands of acres of farmland and roaming herds of sheep with classic shepherds and dogs keeping them together. Inspecting the run course this morning workers were harvesting cabbage, new corn fields are popping up, the potato crop is about ready to be picked and red poppy’s with yellow buttercups and daisies are everywhere. Because the city must ramp up for the huge celebrations there are ample small hotels and restaurants all through town.  Prices in Portugal are low and the quality high. A good meal in a nice restaurant will be between 10 – 15 euro and everything you have heard about Portuguese wine is true.  The highways are smooth and well-marked. If you are thinking of coming to Europe for a race, put Portugal on your list. Registration, the race briefing and the very nice pasta party happen tomorrow and I will have updates as it happens.

Middaugh Tahiti

Middaugh, Paterson win XTERRA Tahiti

Mataiea, Tahiti – Reigning XTERRA World Champion Josiah Middaugh and two-time Maui winner Lesley Paterson captured the second-annual XTERRA Tahiti off-road triathlon on a muddy day in Mataiea Saturday.

XTERRA correspondent Nico Lebrun had a front row seat to all the action and brings us this report from a racers perspective…

This is XTERRA – tough, muddy and beautiful!

The event took place in Mataiea, about 40-kilometers from the capital in Papeete.

The organizers from VSOP do a magnificent job bringing the Tahitian culture into the opening ceremonies and throughout the day.  This year the local commemoration was especially memorable as they honored one of their members, Loic Lecottier, who passed away in October.

We all know Tahiti for the beautiful lagoon and green landscapes and now we know why it’s so green … it rains a lot! The amount of rain on Saturday turned the festival area into a muddy mess and the power flickered on-and-off to the dismay of the timers.  Even some of the roads became impassable without a four-wheel drive, so volunteers at aid stations walked to their positions. Despite all this the organizers were able to smile and put on a great event.

Last year in Tahiti I was able to watch the race as a spectator. This time I was in the race with a start number, but Josiah didn’t look too afraid about it!

The swim was three 500-meter loops with a beach run in the middle which made it really nice for spectators.

A local swimmer took the lead with Josiah not far behind.  Lesley said, “this swim was the best, with the local Tahitian Warrior show before the start, it was so powerful.”

Josiah took the lead early on the bike, but said “on this course even on the front I had to stay focused and not get hurt. It was a race against Mother Nature, one of the most challenging races I’ve ever done.”

Behind Middaugh was local Cedric Wane, who won his age group in New Zealand earlier this year and was out to prove he was the fastest Polynesian in the race. I started the mountain bike loop with Christophe Betard, the overall amateur world champ last year who is now pro, and he dropped me right away and moved his way up to the second position behind Middaugh.

Lesley was all by herself in the women’s race but it was still a good test for her after having so much trouble this winter with Lyme disease.

“It’s my first race of the year, and finally coming off a few weeks of good training,” said Paterson, who like everybody else struggled to stay on two wheels on these muddy, slippery trails.

We were all happy just to finish the bike safe, and happy to start the run, but that is only because we didn’t know what was in store for us.

“I wanted to run everything no matter what, but when you have to climb with ropes,” said Middaugh. “I failed, and of course had to walk, even crawl under some trees.  It was the most challenging trail loop I’ve ever done, it was diabolical.”

He was right and everybody who finished this race was really a warrior, it was true adventure.

After the race Josiah will fly directly to Alabama for the 4th race of the XTERRA Pan American Tour.

“This year I wanted to say yes to the opportunity to discover the world,” said Middaugh. “I’m still training hard, but it is a little bit less structured here in the first part of the season. I’ll slowly get back at 100% for Ogden and Maui.”

In the end Middaugh won by 10′ over Betard. While that seems far away Betard should feel good because in Maui he was 20-minutes back in a faster race so it is clear he is improved and can race with the pros.

I completed the podium, seven-minutes back but only one-minute ahead of Wane, who can be proud of his race.  He will be an amazing Tahitian XTERRA ambassador, and I can tell that if he keeps improving we may have a Tahitian on the first step of the podium in his age group at Maui.

Paterson Tahiti

Lesley won the women’s race, and finished 6th overall, completely exhausted.

“The run was something else,” she said. “I’ve never experienced anything like that.  There were a few tears, I’m not gonna lie. At one point I didn’t know if I was going in the right direction, because I thought there was no way they’d have us climb up this cliff but then I saw the rope, and sure enough it was part of the course.  It was crazy, a real adventure.”

To complete the podium, it was a battle for first Tahitian, and this year Bourgeoisat Alice did it. She took second place in front of Yasmina Chenel, and I can tell that just finishing this race is already a big victory for all competitors.

Thanks Jean Michel, René, Jean Pierre and your family for this amazing event. Thanks also to all the sponsors and local community. XTERRA Tahiti is now in the legend of XTERRA, you must come here for the beauty of the land, the welcome and strong culture, and one of the toughest races on tour.

Results

2016 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

XTERRA Tahiti Championship was the 14th of 37 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the world could qualify to race at the 21st annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on Oct 23.

DATE WORLD TOUR EVENT LOCATION or WINNERS
7-Feb XTERRA Philippines Brad Weiss/Lizzie Orchard
21-Feb XTERRA South Africa Brad Weiss/Flora Duffy
5-Mar XTERRA Motatapu Olly Shaw/Mary Gray
12-Mar XTERRA Saipan Brodie Gardner/Carina Wasle
20-Mar XTERRA Costa Rica Karl Shaw/Myriam Guillot-Boisset
26-Mar XTERRA Argentina Josiah Middaugh/Myriam Guillot-Boisset
3-Apr XTERRA Malta Roger Serrano/Brigitta Poor
16-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Braden Currie/Lizzie Orchard
17-Apr XTERRA La Reunion Ruben Ruzafa/Carina Wasle
23-Apr XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship Braden Currie/Lizzie Orchard
7-May XTERRA Malaysia / XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour Championship Ben Allen/Jacqui Slack
7-May XTERRA Brazil Albert Soley/Sabrina Gobbo
7-May XTERRA Greece Roger Serrano/Helena Erbenova
14-May XTERRA Tahiti Josiah Middaugh/Lesley Paterson
21-May XTERRA Oak Mountain State Park Pelham, Shelby County, AL, USA
21-May XTERRA Portugal Golega
11-Jun XTERRA Belgium Namur
25-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Vallee de Joux
25-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter Milton, Ontario, Canada
3-Jul XTERRA France Xonrupt
10-Jul XTERRA Victoria Victoria, B.C., Canada
16-Jul XTERRA Beaver Creek Beaver Creek, CO, USA
23-Jul XTERRA Parry Sound Ontario, Canada
31-Jul XTERRA Italy Lago Di Scanno
31-Jul XTERRA Dominican Republic Barahona
6-Aug XTERRA Mexico Tapalpa
7-Aug XTERRA Poland Krakow
13-Aug XTERRA Sweden Hellsgaarten, Stockholm
14-Aug XTERRA Canmore Canmore, Alberta, Canada
20-Aug XTERRA Germany – XTERRA European Championship Zittau
27-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
27-Aug XTERRA Korea Daeahn Reservoir, Wonju City
3-Sep  XTERRA Japan Hokkaido
4-Sep XTERRA Denmark Mons Klint
4-Sep XTERRA Quebec Quebec City, Quebec
11-Sep XTERRA Woolastook New Brunswick, Canada
17-Sep XTERRA USA / Pan Am Championship Ogden, Utah, USA
23-Oct XTERRA World Championship Kapalua, Maui
Soley Brazil

Soley, Gobbo win XTERRA Brazil

Albert Soley from Spain and hometown hero Sabrina Gobbo from Brazil captured the 12th annual XTERRA Brazil Championship in Ilhabela on Saturday.

It’s the first XTERRA World Tour win for Soley, who won the amateur 25-29 XTERRA World Championship in 2013 before going pro.

Soley, who finished 5th in the XTERRA European Tour standings last year, was fourth out of the water then powered his way to the front with the fastest bike split of the day.  He crossed the line in 2:11:22, more than three minutes ahead of 2014 XTERRA Brazil Champ Felipe Moletta. Last year’s winner Diogo Malagon posted the best run split of the day to finish in third.

In the women’s race Gobbo cemented her position as Brazil’s fastest female racer with her third straight XTERRA Brazil Championship win.  She’s the only Brazilian to win the championship race since its inception in 2005, and matched Shonny Vanlandingham as the only other 3x winner. Like Soley in the men’s race, Gobbo took control during the bike with the fastest split of the day and ultimately finished 10 minutes ahead of runner-up Laura Mira Dias.  Isabella Ribeiro was third.

Gobbo will now travel to the United States to race at XTERRA Oak Mountain in Alabama, the fourth stop on the XTERRA Pan America Tour title, next weekend.

“When it was announced that in 2016 they would have a Pan American XTERRA circuit, I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to evolve and try to compete with much stronger competitors then I was competing against in Brazil,” said Gobbo, who finished third behind Myriam Guillot-Boisset and Kara LaPoint at XTERRA Costa Rica in March. “This way I can get out of my comfort zone and try to reach for that extra power to achieve more, something that sometimes we don’t think we have.”

XTERRA Brazil was the 12th of 37 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the world could qualify to race at the 21st annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on Oct 23.

Photos / Complete Results

ALL-TIME XTERRA BRAZIL PRO CHAMPIONS

Year Man Woman
2016 Albert Soley Sabrina Gobbo
2015 Diogo Malagon Sabrina Gobbo
2014 Felipe Moletta Sabrina Gobbo
2013 Conrad Stoltz Shonny Vanlandingham
2012 Felipe Moletta Shonny Vanlandingham
2011 Ben Allen Carina Wasle
2010 Dan Hugo Shonny Vanlandingham
2009 Rom Akerson Maria Omar
2008 Alexandre Manzan Carla Prada
2007 Mike Vine Candy Angle
2006 Nico Lebrun Candy Angle
2005 Conrad Stoltz Jamie Whitmore

XTERRA PAN AM PRO SERIES STANDINGS

XTERRA Brazil was the third of 10 stops on the new XTERRA Pan Am Tour. Racers count their best four scores plus what they earn at the XTERRA Pan American Championship race September 17 in Utah.

Here’s a look at the updated standings, showing Josiah Middaugh on top by virture of his win at XTERRA Argentina and second-place showing at XTERRA Costa Rica.

Myriam Guillot-Boisset leads the women’s chase after winning XTERRA Costa Rica and XTERRA Argentina on back-to-back weekends in March.

2016 XTERRA PAN AM PRO SERIES STANDINGS
After 3 – 5.9.16
Men

PL NAME TOT
1 Josiah Middaugh, USA 167
2 Karsten Madsen, CAN 90
3 Jonatan Morales, ARG 82
4 Karl Shaw, GBR 75
5 Oscar Galindez, ARG 75
6 Albert Soley, ESP 75
7 Lucas Mendez, ARG 69
8 Felipe Moletta, BRA 67
9 Mario De Elias, ARG 63
10 Rom Akerson, CRC 61
11 Diogo Malagon, BRA 61
12 Facu Medard, ARG 58
13 Francois Carloni, FRA 56
14 Bruno Silva, BRA 56
15 Ian King, USA 53
16 Federico Venegas, CRC 51
17 Frederico Zacharias, BRA 51
18 Mauro Ayesa, USA 49
19 Greg Schott, USA 47
20 Raul Furtado, BRA 47
21 Victor Arenas, ARG 45
22 Henrique Lugarini, BRA 43
23 Parada Penagos, ARG 41
24 Eduardo Marcolino, BRA 39
25 Rodrigo Altafini, BRA 36
26 Stenio Bezerra, BRA 33
27 Rogério Paula, BRA 30
28 Ramon Bustos, BRA 27
29 Cristiam Suzin, BRA 25
30 Juscelino Vasco, BRA 23
31 Wellington Conceição, BRA 21
Women

PL NAME TOT
1 Miriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 175
2 Laura Mira Dias, BRA 149
3 Sabrina Gobbo, BRA 136
4 Fabiola Corona, MEX 90
5 Erika Simon, ARG 75
6 Kara Lapoint, USA 67
7 Isabella Ribeiro 61
8 Caitlin Snow, USA 56
9 Luisa Saft 56
10 Caroline Colonna, USA 51
11 Vanessa Cabrini 51
12 Rebecca Blatt, USA 47
13 Fernanda Prieto 47
14 Brisa Melcop 43
15 Beatriz Granziera 39
16 Melania Giraldi 36
17 Monalisa Vieira 33
Bama

Pan Am Tour Headed to Alabama

XTERRA is celebrating its 11th year of racing at Oak Mountain State Park in Shelby County, Alabama this weekend.

The May 21 race is the fourth stop on the new XTERRA Pan American Tour, and one of two majors on the America Tour that has amateurs racing to win regional titles in hopes of earning one of the coveted XTERRA World Championship qualifying spots.

The main event combines a one-mile swim in the warm water of Double Oak Lake with a grueling 20-mile mountain bike on the highly acclaimed Oak Mountain trails, and a twisty, turny, 10k off-road run.

“Bama is my favorite race in the U.S. because of the hidden gem that is Oak Mountain State Park,” said XTERRA Pro Suzie Snyder.  “The single track is phenomenal and the conditions are always an unknown which makes the technical aspect of the course so much more of a factor in the outcome of the race.”

Snyder isn’t the only one with high praise for the course at Oak Mountain State Park.  Runner’s World Magazine called the trails one of America’s “Crown Jewels – 25 best trails in the nation,”

Oak Mountain State Park was honored as one of America’s best trail destinations in Runner’s World Magazine, where the twisting, rolling trails made the “Crown Jewels – 25 best trail runs in America” list. BUMP, the local trails advocacy group, has spent more than 100,000 hours in design and construction of new trails over the past 20 years, and the International Mountain Bicycling Association granted them the prestigious EPIC designation – given only to those rare trails “guaranteed to blow your mind.”

In addition to the XTERRA Championship and half-distance XTERRA Sprint race XTERRA will host a beginner and family-friendly “Xticer” race that combines a 200-meter swim with a 10K mountain bike, and 2K trail run. Then on Sunday XTERRA will host a full set of trail runs to include a 5km trail run/walk option and competitive 10km and 20km events.

All races are open to everybody, and registration is open at www.xterrapelham.com.

To complement the races, Oak Mountain offers a wealth of family activities (wildlife center, swimming beach, fishing, horseback riding, golfing, boat rental, etc.) while eating and shopping opportunities abound right outside the park.

Learn more at www.discovershelby.com.

XTERRA PAN AMERICA TOUR SCHEDULE

DATE TOUR EVENT
20-Mar XTERRA Costa Rica
26-Mar XTERRA Argentina
7-May XTERRA Brazil
21-May XTERRA Oak Mountain State Park
25-Jun XTERRA Mine Over Matter
10-Jul XTERRA Victoria
16-Jul XTERRA Beaver Creek
31-Jul XTERRA Dominican Republic
6-Aug XTERRA Mexico
17-Sep XTERRA Pan American Championship
Tahiti

XTERRA Tahiti This Saturday

The 2016-2017 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour kicks off in style this Saturday in the South Pacific at XTERRA Tahiti.

View Gallery

Reigning XTERRA World Champion Josiah Middaugh and two-time World Champ Lesley Paterson highlight the elite fields racing this weekend.

XTERRA roving correspondent Nico Lebrun, a former world champion himself, returned to Tahiti for the second straight year … and this time he will do the race as well.  Today he wrote us with his thoughts about one of the most exotic stops on the XTERRA World Tour…

After an amazing inaugural event last year, the VSOP Crew looks poised and ready to take the next step. New this year, XTERRA Tahiti is part of the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour and the field is growing.

The organizers were in Maui last year and invited the entire XTERRA Tribe to Tahiti, including the world champs. Flora is on her Olympic year so was not able to accept, but runner-up Lesley Paterson – a two-time Maui winner – was happy to take her place alongside Josiah Middaugh.

We also have Christophe Betard, the overall amateur champion in Maui last year who is now racing pro. Betard is French, and Tahiti is a French Territory.

When I was here last year we talked to the organizers about creating a more traditional-style XTERRA race with a start and finish in the same place instead of the long point-to-point race they produced last year which was hard logistically, and tough for family and spectators to follow.

They made this change and found a perfect park for transition tucked in between a botanical garden and the old Paul Gauguin Museum (Famous French Painter, who finished his life in Tahiti and created a lot of famous paintings here).

They also kept the Transtahitienne race, a bike and run crossing the Island that starts from the other side and finishes at the same place, and also host a long trail run of 44km and an aquathon for the kids! It will be a crazy Saturday with all four races running at the same time.

There is a lot of support from the community for the events with the Mayor, and also the minister behind the project. Most of the locals let them use their land, and many even helped to create trails and clean old roads. They had hundreds of volunteers working to clear fields, fix trails, build transition, post arrows, and they also have access this year to the “Presidential Tribune” to set a finish line that I can’t wait to see!

The swim in Lagoon will be three loops of 500m and it will be fun to watch for the public, and the running trail will be a masterpiece from what I’ve seen of it. It’s really hard, muddy, hot and humid but with some amazing views and they have planned a surprise for the runners who will be greeted by a local music band and dancer just before the final downhill, in the middle of the forest!

I can tell you that this race, from every vantage point, is something amazing and unique.

Tahiti, this French territory, has 118 islands in 5 different zones spread out in the South Pacific Ocean. As French citizens we all know these names, Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea.  We imagine it, we see the pictures, but coming here and swimming in these lagoons and riding in this green land is just amazing. I had an amazing experience swimming with sting rays, enjoying the white sand, blue waters, and petting these amazing animals!

I know there are many great destinations on the XTERRA World Tour, but this one is special and I would encourage everyone to come out for an experience you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

We had the pleasure last night to welcome Lesley and Josiah with Polynesian dance and song.  It was fun to see our XTERRA stars being immersed in the culture of the island.

On Saturday I will follow the race from the inside. After the organizers watched me race in the “legends” division in Maui last year to celebrate the 20th anniversary, they thought it would be fun to have me race here as well.  Of course my mission will stay the same, and that is to help the organizers on the technical parts before the race, and give them the best feedback possible on the race afterwards. I think it will be good to see the event from a racers point of view, and I can’t wait to get going.

TENTATIVE 2016-17 XTERRA ASIA-PACIFIC TOUR
May 14, 2016 – XTERRA Tahiti
Aug 27, 2016 – XTERRA Korea (amateur only)
Sept 3, 2016 – XTERRA Japan
TBD, 2017 – XTERRA Philippines
Mar 11, 2017 – XTERRA Saipan
Apr 8, 2017 – XTERRA New Zealand
TBD, 2017 – XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship (Australia)
April 29-30, 2017 – XTERRA Malaysia (Tour finale)