The fifth-stop on the 2018 XTERRA Pan America Tour takes us to the beautiful island of Ilhabela in Brazil this Saturday, May 12.
In the women’s race, Sabrina Gobbo is going for a fifth title in a row and in the men’s race we have a rematch featuring last week’s XTERRA Uruguay Champ Karsten Madsen and XTERRA Argentina Champ Kieran McPherson, and don’t overlook the hometown favorite – reigning and three-time Brazil Champ Felipe Moletta.
"XTERRA Brazil is one of my top two goals for the first part of this year,” said McPherson, who finished 2nd to Moletta here last year. “And this time I hope to win.”
McPherson, from New Zealand, is currently ranked first on the XTERRA Pan Am Pro Series standings, Madsen, a Canadian, sits in third, while Moletta, a 10-year veteran of this race, is just starting his XTERRA racing season.
In the women’s race, Gobbo is up against XTERRA Uruguay champ, Carolina Nieva, XTERRA Uruguay runner up Kara LaPoint, XTERRA Costa Rica champ, Kelli Montgomery, and fellow Brazilian, Laura Mira Dias. Nieva is having a remarkable rookie season in the elite field and sits atop the Pan Am Tour standings with 192 points. She was 3rd at XTERRA Chile, 4th in Argentina, and won her first major last week in Uruguay.
While Nieva rides high on confidence, LaPoint and Montgomery are looking for redemption. LaPoint had her first race of the season in Uruguay following an injury and narrowly missed winning her first major, while Montgomery had a crash on the bike in Uruguay, which took a lot out of her on the run. Expect both to be back in fighting shape and looking to take the tape in Brazil.
“Coming into XTERRA Uruguay, I didn’t know what to expect from myself,” said LaPoint after the race. “But we’re on the right track now and it’s full steam ahead.”
The race begins on Pereque Beach with a 1.5km swim followed by a 25.5K mountain bike ride, and an 8.5K run. While the island is small, it contains seven mountains higher than 1000m, so both the ride and run will be challenging.
The event offers 51 qualifying spots for the XTERRA World Championship in Maui and dishes out Gold-level XTERRA Pan America Tour points and $15,000 USD in prize money for elites. The 14th annual XTERRA Brazil weekend includes both a 1.5K and 3K swim challenge, an XTERRA sprint triathlon, an XTERRA kids race, and both 25.5 and 8.5K trail runs.
XTERRA Brazil All-Time XTERRA Brazil Elite Champions
Year - Man/Woman
2017-Felipe Moletta/Sabrina Gobbo
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
Learn more at www.xterraplanet.com.