The 2021 XTERRA World Tour gets underway Saturday at the second annual XTERRA Wellington Festival at Queen Elizabeth Park on the Kapiti Coast of New Zealand.
Two-time XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour Champ Sam Osborne highlights a strong Kiwi contingent participating in a wide variety of races from the Super 6K Trail Run (14 and 21K options too!), 31K mountain bike race, off-road duathlon, sprint and full distance off-road triathlon events.
“Excited to have racing back on the calendar and be lucky enough to be where it is kicking off,” said Osborne. “We were pretty lucky here in NZ as it relates to the coronavirus, life has been pretty much normal for the most part, so I managed to keep myself busy and had a lot of fun chasing different things like cross country events and the Whaka 100K Mtb race.”
Osborne added that he’s looking forward to a “cracking race” against his countrymen, including all-star triathletes Kyle Smith and Kieran McPherson.
“I feel like I’m in good form, and had a good hit out a couple of weeks ago on the road but who knows, there could be a little rust around not having raced one of these since March and those two guys know what they’re doing out there for sure.”
In the women’s elite race, reigning XTERRA Pan Am Tour Champ Samantha Kingsford is just hoping her body remembers how to XTERRA after “nearly a year of nothing!”
Event director Bengy Barsanti, whose entire family is involved in the event production and hospitality of the event, from giving rides to sharing homestays and home cooked meals, said he’s happy to provide an opportunity for the local elites to get back in action.
“In 2021, the boarders are closed, and the foreigners are locked out, be we have some of the best off-road athletes in the world right here on our shores and we are proud to support these athletes. Their commitment to the sport is second to none and the local racing has been fierce this year,” said Barsanti.
The 2021 XTERRA World Championship Qualifying Series schedule features 40 events in 21 countries from February through October, offering adventure and opportunity for athletes looking to challenge themselves and secure a spot on the start line for the 25th annual XTERRA World Championship in Maui.
Find a complete list of events at xterraplanet.com.