The fourth-stop on the 2017 XTERRA Pan America racing tour heads to the beautiful island of Ilhabela in Brazil on Sunday, May 14.
In the women’s elite race Sabrina Gobbo is looking to make it four-in-a-row in her home country. Gobbo, who finished 5th in the Pan Am Tour last year, has won each of the last three XTERRA Brazil Championship crowns but will be up against a bevy of homegrown talent including Laura Mira Dias, who is currently ranked 3rd in the Pan Am Tour, Isabella Ribeiro, Vanessa Cabrini, Fernanda Prieto, Brisa Melcop, and more.
In the men’s race Brazil’s best off-roaders, including two-time champ Felipe Moletta and 2015 Champ Diogo Malagon, will take on the traveling Kiwi, Kieran McPherson, who earned his first XTERRA World Tour race win in Thailand last month. Other contenders include Bruno Silva, Frederico Zacharias, Guiherme Goncalves and many others.
“Ilhabela literally means ‘beautiful island,’” said XTERRA Brazil organizer Bernardo Fonseca. “The island is beautiful and the people are beautiful too. With eight races over the weekend, this is a wonderful event for families. For sure we are going to have a great time.”
The race will begin on Pereque Beach with a 1.5km swim followed by a 24.2km mountain bike ride. While the island is small, it contains seven mountains higher than 1000m, so both the ride and the 8km run will be challenging.
The event offers 50 qualifying spots for the XTERRA World Championship in Maui, and dishes out XTERRA Pan America Tour points and $7,500 USD in prize money for elites.
In addition to the main event, the weekend will include seven other races: an XTERRA Short Night Run 9.3km, XTERRA Trail Run 21.3km, XTERRA MTB Cup Pro 42.9km, XTERRA MTB Cup Sport 24.2km, XTERRA MTB Enduro (18-hour ride over 2 days), XTERRA Swim Challenge 1.5K/3K, and even an XTERRA Kids race.
This year at the XTERRA Ilhabela Trail Run, the top five men and women in addition to age group champions, will qualify for XTERRA Trail Run Worlds on Oahu in December.
“Not only will the XTERRA triathletes have a shot at qualifying for the XTERRA World Championship, now XTERRA Trail Run competitors will also have the opportunity to test their skills internationally as well,” said race director, Wanise Plischke.
Located 207km/127mi from Sao Paulo, the island of Ilhabela can only be accessed by ferry. It was colonized hundreds of years ago by indigenous Brazilian people and named Sao Sebastiao Island by Amerigo Vespucci in 1502. Ilhabela is a popular tourist destination because of its regattas, beautiful beaches, and excellent restaurants.
Learn more at www.xterrabrasil.com.
All-Time XTERRA Brazil Elite 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