Santiago, Chile – Felipe “Pipo” Barraza and Barbara “Chicka” Riveros captured the inaugural XTERRA Chile off-road triathlon elite titles and the hearts of their hometown fans in Santiago today.
It’s the first XTERRA win for Barraza and just the second for Riveros (she won XTERRA New Zealand) after a handful of big runner-up finishes at XTERRA USA and World Championship races over the years.
XTERRA World Tour managing director Dave Nicholas was on-site to take in all the action and brings us this report…
I know it sounds corny, but it was chilly in Chile this morning. The skies were cloudy all day with bright sun behind and the temperatures were perfect for racing with a high of 21C (70). Everyone was allowed wetsuits despite the water being at 21C as the air temp at the start was barely 15.5C 60F.
The swim is in a waterski park, so the depth is very consistent but there is no beach or grassy access. The pros had their water start promptly at 9:58 and the age groupers thrashed their way out at 10:00. The swim was two laps and Chilean ITU racer Diego Moya beat the field by a minute. Moya held the bike lead for the first 5K as both bike and run were dead flat for the first 3K. As they hit the first hill a bunch including Canadian Jean-Philippe Thibodeau, local Chile racer Felipe “Pipo” Barraza and Gaspar Riveros. Last week’s Argentine winner Gonzolo Tellechea was a bit back with Americans Ian King and Branden Rakita close behind. Barbara Riveros, the Chilean Olympian (she finished 5th in Rio) and top finisher at Maui several times had a huge lead out of the water.
“Barb is simply on another level right now,” said the reigning Pan Am Champ and runner-up today Suzie Snyder.
Brazilian Laura Mira was 3rd up the hill followed by French pro Morgane Riou and a great battle between Sabrina Gobo and Kara LaPoint.
The race was at the front. Barraza and the mountain bikers quickly swallowed roadie Moya and it became a two-man battle between Argentinian Tellechea and Chilean Barraza. Tellechea eventually got past Barraza but seemed to have some bike trouble near the end and they came into T2 together. Barraza got our first and I don’t think they were ever more than 50-meters apart.
“Felipe was so strong on the hills he would go away from me,” smiled Tellachea. “But then I would come back on the flats by pushing hard. With a few hundred meters to go I knew I could not get him.”
There was an equally great race for 3rd between Brazilian Felipe Moletta and Thibodeau.
“I am thinking this might be my last year if I cannot get faster,” said the Canadian. “My bike was great today but I gave too much and could not catch him.”
Moletta put in the fastest bike time of the day and eased away to take 3rd by just over one-minute. Last week’s second place finisher Maximiliano Morales had a terrible swim but put in a strong bike and was able to catch American Branden Rakita for 5th.
“I am so happy to win here,” grinned Barraza, who was 4th at the Pan Am Championship race last year.
“Gonzalo really made it hard, especially when he passed me on the bike, but I had a good T2 and was able to come out in front. He pushed me all the way.”
As Suzie Snyder said earlier, Riveros was on a different level and she won by 12-minutes over Snyder who had a good race to beat Morgane Riou by four-minutes.
“I knew I had a nice lead but still I had to push. You cannot go easy on those steep hills and I think if you try to go slow it is more dangerous,” said the petite winner. “Last year I got hurt and could not race Maui, but I will be there this year.”
The 2nd XTERRA Pan American Tour race has had a brilliant start. Argentinian Gonzalo Tellechea won Argentina and Chilean Felipe Barraza wins Chile. Susie Snyder had two great races but ran into a tiny buzz-saw here and had to settle for second. Both races were well-organized and the courses, while tough, were fair and fun. The Brazilians were here in force and even hired a bus and trailer to take all their gear from Santiago to the race venue. It was quite amazing to see a pizza chef making fresh dough and topping it with fresh ingredients 100’ from the finish line! And in a portable pizza oven. Erdinger tasty nonalcoholic beer had plenty of free drinks for everyone including a huge stein for the winners.
Tentative Elite Results
XTERRA Pan America Tour Standings After 2
|1||Gonzalo Tellechea, ARG||142||75||67|
|2||Maximiliano Morales, ARG||118||67||51|
|3||Jean-Philippe Thibodeau, CAN||117||61||56|
|4||Branden Rakita, USA||103||56||47|
|5||León Drajer, ESP||94||51||43|
|6||Julien Buffe, FRA||82||43||39|
|7||Felipe Barraza, CHI||75||DNS||75|
|8||Felipe Barraza, CHI||75||DNS||75|
|9||Felipe Moletta, BRA||61||DNS||61|
|10||Felipe Moletta, BRA||61||DNS||61|
|11||Andres Darricau, ARG||47||47||DNS|
|12||Diego Moya, CHI||36||DNS||36|
|13||Gaspar Riveros, CHI||33||DNS||33|
|14||Benjamin Munizaga, CHI||30||DNS||30|
|15||Ian King, USA||27||DNS||27|
Learn more about the XTERRA Pan America Tour here.
2017 XTERRA World Championship Qualifying Series Schedule
XTERRA Chile was the sixth of 41 events where amateur athletes from around the world could qualify to race at the 22nd annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on October 29.
|Date||Race||Elite Winners or Location|
|Feb 25||XTERRA South Africa||Richard Murray / Flora Duffy|
|Mar 4||XTERRA Motatapu||Dougal Allan / Josie Wilcox|
|Mar 18||XTERRA Saipan + Silver||Sam Osborne / Carina Wasle|
|Mar 25||XTERRA Argentina # Silver||Gonzalo Tellechea / Suzie Snyder|
|Apr 1||XTERRA Thailand + Silver||Kieran McPherson / Renata Bucher|
|Apr 1||XTERRA Chile # Silver||Felipe Barraza / Barbara Riveros|
|Apr 2||XTERRA Malta * Silver||Majjistral Nature Reserve|
|Apr 8||XTERRA New Zealand + Silver||Rotorua, North Island|
|Apr 9||XTERRA Costa Rica # Silver||Playa Reserva Conchal|
|Apr 16||XTERRA La Reunion||La Reunion Island|
|Apr 23||XTERRA Cyprus * Silver||Lara Beach/Akamas, Paphos|
|Apr 23||XTERRA Cebu + GOLD||Danao, Cebu, Philippines|
|Apr 29||XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship / Malaysia + GOLD||Langkawi, Malaysia|
|Apr 30||XTERRA Greece * Silver||Vouliagmeni|
|May 6||XTERRA Tahiti + Silver||Moorea|
|May 14||XTERRA Spain * Silver||Taragonna|
|May 14||XTERRA Brazil # Silver||Ilha Bella, Sao Paolo|
|May 20||XTERRA Oak Mountain # GOLD||Pelham, AL, USA|
|May 27||XTERRA Portugal * Silver||Golega|
|Jun 10||XTERRA Belgium * Silver||Namur|
|Jun 17||XTERRA Mine over Matter ^||Milton, Ontario, Canada|
|Jun 18||XTERRA Finland * Silver||Imatra|
|Jun 24||XTERRA Switzerland * GOLD||Vallee de Joux|
|Jul 2||XTERRA France * GOLD||Xonrupt|
|Jul 9||XTERRA Victoria # Silver||Victoria, B.C., Canada|
|Jul 15||XTERRA Beaver Creek # GOLD||Beaver Creek, CO, USA|
|Jul 30||XTERRA Abruzzo * Silver||Scanno, Abruzzo, Italy|
|Aug 5||XTERRA Mexico # GOLD||Tapalpa|
|Aug 5||XTERRA Norway * Silver||Norefjell|
|Aug 6||XTERRA Canmore ^||Canmore, Alberta, Canada|
|Aug 12||XTERRA Quebec ^||Quebec City, Canada|
|Aug 12||XTERRA Parry Sound ^||Ontario, Canada|
|Aug 13||XTERRA Dominican Republic # Silver||Barahona|
|Aug 13||XTERRA Poland * Silver||Krakow|
|Aug 19||XTERRA Germany * GOLD||Zittau|
|Aug 26||XTERRA Sweden * Silver||Hammarbybacken, Stockholm|
|Aug 26||XTERRA Sleeping Giant ^||Thunder Bay, ON, Canada|
|Sep 2||XTERRA Japan + Silver||Hokkaido|
|Sep 3||XTERRA European Championship / Denmark * GOLD||Mons Klint|
|Sep 16||XTERRA Pan American Championship / USA # D-GOLD||Ogden, Utah, USA|
|Oct 29||XTERRA World Championship||Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii|
* XTERRA European Tour / # XTERRA Pan American Tour / + Asia-Pacific Tour
Silver = Min. $7,500 pro purse & 75-point scale // GOLD = Min $15,000 pro purse & 100-point scale.