The best-of-the-best in the U.S. will meet at Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah Saturday, Sept. 20th, to determine who will walk away with the coveted titled of XTERRA USA Champion.
More than 40 elites including every man in the top 10 and every woman in the top 15 of the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series rankings will toe the line, along with an influx of international stars looking to win big on American soil.
The spotlight in the men’s race is on reigning XTERRA World Champion Ruben Ruzafa, who was a perfect 7-for-7 on the XTERRA European Tour this year, and reigning XTERRA U.S. Pro Series Champ Josiah Middaugh who finished ahead of Ruzafa at this race last year (they went 2-3 behind Leo Chacon).
There are a lot of other contenders in the mix, however, with South Africans Dan Hugo (winner of seven World Tour races this season) and Brad Weiss (2nd in the Pro Series standings), the young-gun Mauricio Mendez from Mexico, and Aussie sensation Ben Allen.
The women’s race sees the return of two-time XTERRA World Champ and reigning USA Champ Lesley Paterson in her first XTERRA of 2014 up against this year’s rock star Flora Duffy of Bermuda. Duffy has been dominant, winning three races on the U.S. Tour, plus the South Africa and Asia-Pacific crowns before finally finishing runner-up to Kathrin Mueller at XTERRA Germany.
Emma Garrard, fresh off her first major at XTERRA England, is America’s best right now along with past National Champs Suzie Snyder and Shonny Vanlandingham. Canadians Chantell Widney and Danelle Kabush always race well in the mountains, as does Carina Wasle from Austria. There’s also a chance that Chilean star Barbara Riveros will make the start list, should she be healthy enough to go next Saturday.
You can follow the elite race on twitter @xterraoffroad on Saturday, September 20, starting at 9am MST.
XTERRA USA CHAMPIONSHIP ELITES
Below is a look at the tentative elite start list for next Saturday's XTERRA USA Championship race. Rank denotes current position in the 2014 XTERRA U.S. Pro Series.
Rank - Name - Age, Hometown
1 - Josiah Middaugh – 36, Vail, CO
2 - Bradley Weiss – 25, Cape Town, South Africa
3 - Mauricio Mendez - 18, Mexico City, Mexico
4 - Craig Evans -36, Hendersonville, TN
5 - Dan Hugo – 29, Stellenbosch, South Africa
6 - Branden Rakita – 33, Colorado Springs, CO
7 - Ryan Ignatz – 35, Boulder, CO
8 - Chris Ganter – 35, Boise, ID
9 - Ryan Petry - 23, Boulder, CO
10 - Alex Modestou - 27, Durham, NC
11 - Jeff Smith - 31, Portland, OR
16 - Brad Zoller - 36, Avon, CO
18 - Cody Waite - Lakewood, CO
NR - Ben Allen – 29, Wollongong, Australia
NR - Rory Downie - 25, Scotland
NR - Andy Lee – 42, Lakeway, TX
NR - Ruben Ruzafa – 30, Malaga, Spain
NR - Louis Tafuto - 26, Glenwood Springs, CO
NR - Adam Wirth – 36, Boise, ID
Rank - Name - Age, Hometown
1 - Flora Duffy - 27, Boulder, CO (Bermuda)
2 - Emma Garrard – 33, Park City, UT
3 - Suzie Snyder – 32, Fredericksburg, VA
4 - Chantell Widney – 34, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
5 - Shonny Vanlandingham – 45, Durango, CO
6 - Danelle Kabush – 39, Calgary, Alberta,Canada
7 - Christine Jeffrey – 40, Tucson, AZ
8 - Jaime Brede – 37, Breckenridge, CO
9 - Kara LaPoint - 27, Truckee, CA
10 - Amelia McCracken - 31, Philadelphia, PA
11 - Debby Sullivan - 32, Rocklin, CA
12 - Caroline Colonna – 50, Taos, NM
13 - Rebecca Blatt - 34, Lakewood, CO
14 - Catherine Sterling – 37, West Boylston, MA
15 - Sara Schuler - 33, Boulder, CO
21 - Maia Ignatz - 34, Boulder, CO
22 - Kim Baugh - 34, Colorado Springs, CO
NR - Genevieve Evans - 41, Carnelian Bay, CA
NR - Lesley Paterson – 33, San Diego, CA
NR - Barbara Riveros – 27, La Pintana, Chile
NR - Susan Sloan - 32, Gauteng, South Africa
NR - Carina Wasle - 29, Kundl, Austria