McPherson, Baker prevail at XTERRA Victoria

July 9th, 2018

McPherson, Baker prevail at XTERRA Victoria

Kieran McPherson and Julie Baker captured the XTERRA Victoria off-road triathlon elite titles on a beautiful day at Durrance Lake in British Columbia, Canada on Sunday, July 8, 2018. It’s the third win on the 2108 XTERRA Pan America Tour this season for McPherson, and for Baker, her second big win on the XTERRA World Tour since turning pro in 2016.

Kieran McPherson and Julie Baker captured the XTERRA Victoria off-road triathlon elite titles on a beautiful day at Durrance Lake in British Columbia, Canada on Sunday, July 8, 2018.

It’s the third win on the 2108 XTERRA Pan America Tour this season for McPherson, and for Baker, her second big win on the XTERRA World Tour since turning pro in 2016.

In the men’s race XTERRA veteran Brent McMahon was first out of the water, with Branden Rakita and Ian King right behind.  McPherson and Josiah Middaugh were a little more than two minutes behind the lead swimmers but posted the best bike splits of the day to move into the lead on the second leg.

“It was a tough course to ride without good course knowledge,” said Middaugh.  “I knew it was a risk arriving late, but I still put myself in a good position to go for the win. I swam with Kieran and biked the first lap with him. When we caught Branden I put a small gap on him, but he stayed close. Branden was also riding well and after blowing through a corner I found myself behind again and playing catch up. I came into T2 with a few seconds on Branden and a little more time to Kieran. I thought it was enough of a gap to hold off Kieran, but he was charging and I didn’t have enough of a response.”

McPherson, who crashed hard on the bike and didn’t finish this race last year, proved once again that his run split is top of class on the XTERRA Pan Am Tour.  He blitzed the run in 37:24, nearly two-minutes better than Middaugh to take the tape in 2:06:03, 37-seconds ahead of Josiah.

“I have been running fast all year,” said McPherson, who has had the fastest run split at every race except the season-opener in Chile when Mauricio Mendez was quicker.  “Today was redemption after last year when I crashed on this course.This is the form I have continued on all year I believe just my last two races (illness in Bama after weeks racing and mechanical in DR) have been a little off what I set as my performance standard.”

As for how the race was won, McPherson said, “I had an average swim but come out the usual 90sec down on the lead pack, but with Josiah. I was hoping to be a lot further ahead of him. I attacked him on the first bike climb to get a lead going into the technical single track. I rode the downhills all really conservatively as I did not want a repeat of last year. Josiah opened up a gap just before starting lap two on the climb. I tried to go with him but he was far too strong. I held myself together and rode within myself to finish the bike about 75sec down on Josiah and Branden. I ran out with nothing to lose. I ran the first lap like it was my last. I was getting regular splits and closed the gap fast and we started lap 2 together. Josiah ran hard to lead the single track so I let him go. I soon found an opportunity to get by and took it. I planned to run hard on the technical flat and tire his legs before we started the hill again. Up the hill Josiah took back the lead and would not let me get it back, surging each time I tried to get on the front. I eventually attacked giving it my all and ran away. The rest is, as the say, history.  Confidence wise this shows I am a strong contender for the Tour and I am hoping to have everyone getting off the bike running scared that I am coming.”

Rakita finished strong in third, with McMahon in fourth and Will Ross edged out Alex Roberts and Will Kelsay by less than 30-seconds to take the fifth spot.

Elite Men’s Results

Place  Name, NAT Time Points
1 Kieran McPherson, NZL 2:06:03 75
2 Josiah Middaugh, USA 2:06:40 67
3 Branden Rakita, USA 2:12:19 61
4 Brent McMahon, CAN 2:14:34 56
5 Will Ross, USA 2:16:04 51
6 Alex Roberts, NZL 2:16:27 47
7 Will Kelsay, USA 2:16:36 43
8 Brent Mattison, USA 2:18:07 39
9 Nelson Hegg, USA 2:18:21 36
10 Ryan DeCook, USA 2:18:26 33
11 Jake Stollery, AUS 2:19:07 30
12 Ian King, USA 2:35:21 27
13 Timothy Winslow, USA 2:35:47 25

Full results

In the women’s race Suzie Snyder celebrated her return to the dirt with the fastest swim split among elite women, but Fabiola Corona, Melanie McQuaid, and Baker all posted times within five seconds of the standard set by Snyder.

On to the bike it was three-time XTERRA World Champion Melanie McQuaid doing what she does best, throwing down the fastest ride of the day in 1:17:08.  The race, however, was decided on the run, with Baker posted the quickest split of day to pass McQuaid and take the tape in 2:32:52, nearly two-minutes ahead.

“Julie outclassed me on the downhill running,” said McQuaid, who wasn’t sure if she was going to be able to race today having nursed a cold the past week or so.  “Victoria has the gnarliest run and technical trail running is my weakness for sure right now.  Julie caught me on the downhill at the end of the first lap of the run and I almost caught her again by the top of the climb on the second lap but it was way too little too late as there was no chance of me keeping up with her downhill and I shut it right down to stay safe to the finish.  I am definitely rusty for my XTERRA-ing on this technical course but I was pleased to be somewhat in the mix regardless.”

McQuaid, who announced this race last year as she was focusing on road tri, said she was happy to see such a strong and deep elite field for XTERRA Victoria.

“It was so fun, and it was really great to have such a big field come to my hometown.  I was super proud of Kate Button having such a strong showing after a month of walk run on a sprained ankle too so it is great to get two Canadians up there on the podium in the women’s race and to have fellow IM-focused pro Brent McMahon up there in the men’s in fourth.  Good to be back. Although I am only doing IM training until Sept 9 in Wisconsin, I will try to sharpen my off-road skills to be somewhat a contender later this year.”

As for Baker, she said, “I rode most of the bike by myself and I had no idea where Melanie was until I saw her coming around from transition as I was going in. I caught her just starting down the hill on the first run lap. Felt pretty good today and even enjoyed the techy run course!”

Pan Am Tour leader Fabiola Corona finished in third, Suzie Snyder had a great season-opener to place fourth, and Katie Button rounded out the top five.

Here Corona recaps her day: “I felt very good swimming, my strategy was to swim fast and try to be in the first group. It worked and I was able to follow Suzie until T1. My best discipline is transitions, so I try to do an ITU-style T1. With that I was first until the uphill where Baker passed me, then McQuaid. I caught Baker on the downhill but then she flew by me shortly after. I love this venue, the technical parts and the forest.  Button pass me and in the last uphill Snyder also. I followed her and did T2 faster. In my head and heart was to catch Button and take the bronze. The battle with Snyder was tough. She passed me in the first loop, then I had my second breathe on the second loop, I saw her close and Button a few meters later, so I took a gel full of caffeine to help me push hard. I really want that podium, so I fought until the end to conserve the position. I am super happy and looking forward to Beaver Creek!”

Elite Women’s Results 

Place  Name Time Points
1 Julie Baker, USA 2:32:52 75
2 Melanie McQuaid, CAN 2:34:48 67
3 Fabiola Corona, MEX 2:36:01 61
4 Suzie Snyder, USA 2:37:00 56
5 Katie Button, CAN 2:37:56 51
6 Kara LaPoint, USA 2:38:27 47
7 Allison Baca, USA 2:40:11 43
8 Anne Usher, USA 2:44:09 39
9 Lisa Helmer, CAN 2:47:12 36
10 Emanuela Bandol, CAN 2:48:28 33
11 Heather Zimchek-Dunn, USA 2:53:31 30
12 Kelli Montgomery, USA 2:56:55 27
13 Nike Matanza, USA 3:01:01 25
14 Jessie Koltz, USA 3:05:31 23

Full results

McPherson, Corona lead XTERRA Pan Am Tour Elite Standings

With the win Kieran McPherson padded his lead in the XTERRA Pan Am Tour and now holds a commanding 127-point advantage over tour No. 2 Karsten Madson with just four races to go.

In the women’s chase Fabiola Corona is now the clear No. 1 with 360 points. Kara LaPoint is close behind in second with 331 and Kelli Montgomery sits in third with 326.

Up Next: XTERRA Beaver Creek, July 21, Avon, CO


1 Kieran McPherson, NZL 504 67 75 DNS 67 100 69 51 75
2 Karsten Madsen, CAN 377 DNS DNS 61 75 90 90 61 DNS
3 Branden Rakita, USA 358 61 56 DNS DNS 75 58 47 61
4 Josiah Middaugh, USA 309 DNS DNS 67 DNS DNS 100 75 67
5 Alex Roberts, NZL 259 DNS DNS DNS 61 58 37 56 47
6 Rom Akerson, CRC 217 DNS DNS 75 DNS DNS 75 67 DNS
7 Rafael Juriti, BRA 204 51 43 DNS 47 63 DNS DNS DNS
8 Alejandro Sfriso, ARG 151 DNS 51 DNS 51 49 DNS DNS DNS
9 Maxi Morales, ARG 117 56 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
10 Ian King, USA 104 DNS DNS 36 DNS DNS 41 DNS 27
11 Will Kelsay, USA 96 DNS DNS DNF DNS DNS 53 DNS 43
12 Will Ross, USA 96 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 45 DNS 51
13 Brent Mattison, USA 88 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 DNS 39
14 Alexandre Manzan, BRA 82 DNS DNS DNS DNS 82 DNS DNS DNS
15 Brian Smith, USA 82 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 82 DNS DNS
16 Humberto Rivera, USA 78 DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS 31 DNS DNS
17 Mauricio Mendez, MEX 75 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
18 Diogo Malagon, BRA 69 DNS DNS DNS DNS 69 DNS DNS DNS
19 Gonzalo Tellechea, ARG 67 DNS 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
21 Ryan DeCook, USA 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 28 DNS 33
22 Luis Piedra, CRC 56 DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
23 Andres Darricau, ARG 56 DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS
24 Brent McMahon, CAN 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56
25 Felipe Moletta, BRA 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS 53 DNS DNS DNS
26 Federico Venegas, CRC 51 DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
27 Gustavo Torres, ARG 47 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
28 Lucas Mendez, ARG 47 DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
29 Eduardo Lass, BRA 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS 45 DNS DNS DNS
30 Andres Zuniga, CRC 43 DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
31 Gabriel Angeloro, URU 43 DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS
32 Fernando Toldi, BRA 41 DNS DNS DNS DNS 41 DNS DNS DNS
33 Pericles Andrade, BRA 39 DNS 39 DNS DNS DNP DNS DNS DNS
34 Harold Ramos, CRC 39 DNS DNS 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
35 Rodrigo Braga, BRA 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS 37 DNS DNS DNS
36 Nelson Hegg, USA 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 36
37 Paulo Cabrera, BRA 34 DNS DNS DNS DNS 34 DNS DNS DNS
38 Victor Arenas, COL 34 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 34 DNS DNS


XTERRA is a sports lifestyle brand that produces authentic race experiences and apparel for the outdoor enthusiast.  In 2018, XTERRA will offer more than 300 off-road triathlon and trail running events in 30+ countries. XTERRA also offers premium, performance apparel and accessories for the trail and beyond. Learn more at


McPherson, Baker prevail at XTERRA Victoria

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