The XTERRA World Tour had a busy weekend with championship races on the U.S. and European Tour. In Alabama, Sam Osborne and Suzie Snyder reigned supreme, and in Malta, Rui Dolores and Maria Doring found their way to the top step.
The XTERRA World Tour had a busy weekend with championship races on the U.S. and European Tour. In Alabama, Sam Osborne and Suzie Snyder reigned supreme, and in Malta, Rui Dolores and Maria Doring found their way to the top step. Here we recap both events…
OSBORNE, SNYDER WIN XTERRA OAK MOUNTAIN
Sam Osborne from Rotorua, New Zealand and Suzie Snyder from Reno, Nevada won the 14th annual XTERRA Oak Mountain off-road triathlon elite titles at Oak Mountain State Park in Shelby County, Alabama on Saturday, May 18, 2019 with winning times of 2:28:21 and 2:50:47, respectively.
It’s the 10th XTERRA World Tour win for Osborne, third of the season for Osborne, and second in as many weeks. Last Saturday he won the XTERRA Brazil Championship in Ilhabela, and last month he was victorious at his hometown race at XTERRA New Zealand. For Snyder, the reigning XTERRA U.S. women’s elite champion, it’s her third win in four years at Oak Mountain.
The event, which was the fourth stop on the XTERRA Pan American Tour and the first major in the U.S. this season, combined a one-mile swim in Double Oak Lake with a 21-mile mountain bike and six-mile trail run. Race conditions were just about perfect for the 8am start. The water temperature was 76-degrees, the air-temp was 76-degrees, and the trails were in great shape.
In the men’s elite race Ian King led Osborne by a second after the first 750-meter lap of the swim, but Osborne got to the front by the end of it and never trailed thereafter.
Osborne posted the fastest swim of the day in 20:15, had second-best bike and second-best run to finish a little more than two-minutes ahead of 2015 XTERRA World Champion Josiah Middaugh.
“We got out pretty quick on the swim, and in an ideal world I would have had more of a gap coming out of the water because with guys like Josiah sitting behind you, you don’t want to hang around,” said Osborne. “So, I went as hard as I could on the bike, and it was made even harder because I think I had a bit of a reaction to the anti-fog I put in my goggles because I was suffering from clouded vision most of the bike. As a result, I was taking some real dodgy lines and hit some rocks. I was hoping I wouldn’t blow a tire out, but I managed to ride well enough and I think I heard something like ‘two minutes’ heading into T2 and I was confident I could hang on to that on the run.”
Middaugh, who had won three straight and five of the last six races at Oak Mountain, turned in the fastest bike (1:30:59, one-minute better than Osborne) and quickest run (35:44, 21-seconds faster than Osborne) but it wasn’t enough to overcome the three-minute, 30-second deficit he had after the swim.
“I didn’t know where I was out of the water, but I knew it was bad, so I just tried to work hard on the bike, but I was all by myself the entire time. I felt good out there, had no problems, and I rode strong,” said Middaugh, a Sunnto Multisport Team rider. “Ultimately it was a good race, a good placing to get some points and get in the mix for the Series chase, and something to work on. I’m coming off winter, he’s coming off summer, so I’m in a good spot.”
Last year’s XTERRA Pan Am Tour Champ Kieran McPherson, also from New Zealand, finished third followed by Americans Elliott Bach and Brian Smith.
“I worked real hard early on the bike to catch Branden, who is a great climber, and worked with him to get up that climb. Then he got a flat right after blood rock and I moved into second and found my rhythm. I was doing good until I had a big crash and took a nap,” laughed McPherson. “I got into T2 in second and went into survival mode.”
Middaugh caught McPherson early in the run, but the Kiwi was able to hold off the rest of the field to finish in third.
Rakita’s flat at the 12-mile mark was unfortunate as he was riding strong in second place behind Osborne at the time. He probably lost three or four minutes, the difference between fourth and sixth.
The surprise of the day came from first-time XTERRA racer Elliot Bach, who is a road triathlete by trade, and finished 10th at the Gulf Coast 70.3 last weekend.
“That was hard, I think that’s probably harder than 70.3. And I love it,” said Bach. “I was following Josiah into Blood Rock and I thought, I’m just going to follow his line and if I come out, I come out, and I did. The goal was to stay upright, and the podium was a bonus. That was probably the most fun I ever had racing. I’ll be doing another one for sure. You’re in the woods, it’s beautiful, I was having a blast.”
Brian Smith, who was third at this race last year, had another great day to finish fifth this time around.
At the awards ceremony, Osborne invited the entire field to come ride with him (slowly) at Oak Mountain on Sunday, just so he could enjoy the trails and the XTERRA community for one more day.
“The course is incredible,” he said. “We always rave about Rotorua and how it’s the best race on the circuit, but Oak Mountain gives it a hell of a run. It’s such a physical course as well. To try to ride that stuff well and fast you have to be on it all the time. My back was killing me at the end of the bike, and I think that shows how much you have to pick the bike up and move it around to ride the course well.”
Elite Men’s Results
|1||Sam Osborne, NZL||2:28:21||100|
|2||Josiah Middaugh, USA||2:30:28||90|
|3||Kieran McPherson, NZL||2:32:13||82|
|4||Elliot Bach, USA||2:34:46||75|
|5||Brian Smith, USA||2:37:21||69|
|6||Branden Rakita, USA||2:38:02||63|
|7||Evan Pardi, USA||2:38:13||58|
|8||Walter Schafer, USA||2:38:48||53|
|9||Ryan Ignatz, USA||2:42:28||49|
|10||Will Kelsay, USA||2:44:12||45|
|11||Zach Winter, USA||2:56:57||41|
In the women’s elite race Jessie Koltz and Amanda Felder were first out of the water, followed by Samantha Kingsford about 20-seconds back, then Brittany Oliver, Suzie Snyder, and Lesley Paterson about one-minute behind.
From there Snyder, who posted the fastest bike split (a 1:43:48, which was more than five-minutes better than Kingsford and Paterson) started picking off every rider in front of her until she passed Kingsford to take the lead towards the top of the climb, and it was all downhill from there.
“After I passed Samantha I knew I was in front, so I was just trying to stay smooth,” said Snyder. “And I was trying to push it to stay in front of them going into Blood Rock. I didn’t want to have anyone around me because I wanted a clear shot at it. I was pretty nervous because until two days ago because I had never ridden it clean, after all these years. I knew I could, if I didn’t freak out, but this is the first race I’d ever ridden Blood Rock clean.”
When Snyder rode past the media gathered just below the intimidating Blood Rock section, she let out a roaring “woohooo,” and went on to have a brilliant first big race of the year.
“I was having fun today because I was feeling it. These are my trails!”
Kingsford, who won last week at XTERRA Brazil, was riding strong and got to the bike-to-transition in second place, about three minutes behind Snyder.
“Oh, that was hard,” said Kingsford. “I felt pretty good halfway through the bike and then I just hit a brick wall. Then when I came into the first lap of the run I felt pretty good, but by the second lap, I hit that brick wall again. Lesley is just an animal on the run, and Suzie is clearly very strong on the bike.”
Paterson, the reigning XTERRA World Champion, had the best run of the day, 41:02, to catch and pass Kingsford half-way through the second lap and move into second place. It was a gutty run for Paterson, who hasn’t been feeling the best of late.
“Our thing is 100% in effort and attitude. You never give up. It doesn’t matter where you’re at or how you’re feeling. In every step, in every second, just focus on that effort. So, to have some fight at the end was really important for me.”
Kingsford held on for third with Americans Julie Baker in fourth and Maia Ignatz in fifth. For Ignatz, just getting through the race, let alone landing on the podium, was a huge accomplishment. In July of 2017, she suffered a tibial plateau impaction fracture at XTERRA Victoria and a full thickness tear of her medial meniscus.
“I’m a little emotional, I didn’t know if I’d ever be able to run again, so to be out here and do this. I’m extremely happy,” said Ignatz. “I haven’t raced in almost two years. I was only able to start running consistently the past three months. I had surgery a few years ago to repair my meniscus and it took forever to recover. I feel amazing now, but I tweaked my knee just a while ago, so I was nervous about today.”
Elite Women’s Results
|1||Suzie Snyder, USA||2:50:47||100|
|2||Lesley Paterson, USA||2:55:38||90|
|3||Samantha Kingsford, NZL||2:57:01||82|
|4||Julie Baker, USA||3:01:53||75|
|5||Maia Ignatz, USA||3:04:01||69|
|6||Amanda Felder, USA||3:04:43||63|
|7||Jessie Koltz, USA||3:06:32||58|
|8||Tess Amer, USA||3:08:36||53|
|9||Deanna McCurdy, USA||3:09:09||49|
|10||Kelli Montgomery, USA||3:19:29||45|
|11||Allison Arensman, USA||3:31:54||41|
|12||Brittany Oliver, USA||3:36:31||37|
McPherson, Mira lead XTERRA Pan Am Tour Elite Standings
Kieran McPherson from New Zealand and Laura Mira from Brazil sit atop the Pan Am Tour elite standings after four of 10 events. With the win Osborne moves into third, just behind Felipe Moletta of Brazil. In the women’s Tour standings Kingsford jumped into the second spot with 182 points, just 21 points behind Mira.
Pan Am Elite Standings
After 4, as of 5.18.19
|1||Kieran McPherson, NZL||216||67||67||x||82|
|2||Felipe Moletta, BRA||212||61||61||90||x|
|3||Sam Osborne, NZL||200||x||x||100||100|
|4||Alejandro Bulacio, ARG||156||51||47||58||x|
|5||Rafael Juriti, BRA||153||39||51||63||x|
|6||Rom Akerson, CRC||150||75||75||x||x|
|7||Alex Roberts, NZL||99||56||43||x||x|
|8||Will Ross, USA||99||43||56||x||x|
|9||Josiah Middaugh, USA||90||x||x||x||90|
|10||Alex Rhodes, GBR||85||36||x||49||x|
|11||Sebastian Neef, GER||82||x||x||82||x|
|12||Diogo Malagon, BRA||75||x||x||75||x|
|13||Elliot Bach, USA||75||x||x||x||75|
|14||Marcus Fernandez, BRA||69||x||x||69||x|
|15||Brian Smith, USA||69||x||x||x||69|
|16||Branden Rakita, USA||63||x||x||x||63|
|17||Evan Pardi, USA||58||x||x||x||58|
|18||Hugo Barbosa, BRA||53||x||x||53||x|
|19||Walter Schafer, USA||53||x||x||x||53|
|20||Ryan Ignatz, USA||49||x||x||x||49|
|21||Lucas Mendez, ARG||47||47||x||x||x|
|22||Raul Furtado, BRA||45||x||x||45||x|
|23||Will Kelsay, USA||45||x||x||x||45|
|24||Edivando Cruz, BRA||41||x||x||41||x|
|25||Zach Winter, USA||41||x||x||x||41|
|26||Ronaldo Ferreira, BRA||37||x||x||37||x|
|1||Laura Mira, BRA||203||67||61||75||x|
|2||Samantha Kingsford, NZL||182||x||x||100||82|
|3||Valentina Carvallo, CHI||165||x||75||90||x|
|4||Suzie Snyder, USA||100||x||x||x||100|
|5||Lesley Paterson, USA||90||x||x||x||90|
|6||Sabrina Gobbo, BRA||82||x||x||82||x|
|7||Erika Simon, ARG||75||75||x||x||x|
|8||Julie Baker, USA||75||x||x||x||75|
|9||Mirian Gomes, BRA||69||x||x||69||x|
|10||Maia Ignatz, USA||69||x||x||x||69|
|11||Johandri Leicester, RSA||67||x||67||x||x|
|12||Amanda Felder, USA||63||x||x||x||63|
|13||Jessie Koltz, USA||58||x||x||x||58|
|14||Javiera Gainza, CHI||56||x||56||x||x|
|15||Tess Amer, USA||53||x||x||x||53|
|16||Deanna McCurdy, USA||49||x||x||x||49|
|17||Kelli Montgomery, USA||45||x||x||x||45|
|18||Allison Arensman, USA||41||x||x||x||41|
|19||Brittany Oliver, USA||37||x||x||x||37|
Next up: XTERRA Victoria (British Columbia, Canada), July 7
Door, Cameron win XTERRA Oak Mountain Amateur Titles
Nearly 400 off-road triathletes representing five countries and 38 states took part in today’s off-road triathlons. Michael Door from Avon, Colorado and Emily Cameron (pictured) of Athens, Georgia captured the XTERRA Oak Mountain amateur titles, and 50 other amateurs earned their spot on the start line of the 2019 XTERRA World Championship race to be held October 27 in Kapalua, Maui by virtue of their performances today.
We’ll have a full recap on the age group races in the coming days.
Tomorrow, Sunday, May 19, 2019, XTERRA will host 5K, 10K, and 21K trail runs at Oak Mountain State Park, which are open to everyone. Sign-up on-site from 6:30am-7:30am. Races start at 8am.
All-time XTERRA Oak Mountain Elite Champions
Year – Men’s Winner/Women’s Winner
2006 – Brent McMahan/Melanie McQuaid
2007 – Conrad Stoltz/Jamie Whitmore
2008 – Conrad Stoltz/Shonny Vanlandingham
2009 – Conrad Stoltz/Melanie McQuaid
2010 – Conrad Stoltz/Shonny Vanlandingham
2011 – Conrad Stoltz/Melanie McQuaid
2012 – Conrad Stoltz/Lesley Paterson
2013 – Josiah Middaugh/Lesley Paterson
2014 – Josiah Middaugh/Flora Duffy
2015 – Braden Currie/Lesley Paterson
2016 – Josiah Middaugh/Suzie Snyder
2017 – Josiah Middaugh/Suzie Snyder
2018 – Josiah Middaugh/Lesley Paterson
2019 – Sam Osborne/Suzie Snyder
Oak Mountain State Park is home to some of the best trails on earth. Credit goes to the Birmingham Urban Mountain Pedalers, aka BUMP, the local trails advocacy group, who have spent more than 100,000 hours on the design and construction of new trails over the past 20+ years and to this day are hard at work to build, preserve, maintain, and ride the sweet single track in the park. The XTERRA Tribe was happy to present BUMPs President, Mike Wilson, with a check for $2,000 at today’s awards ceremony. Thanks also to our presenting sponsor Paul Mitchell, who in in partnership with Reforest’Action, has made a commitment to plant 750,000 trees by the end of 2019. And to our sponsors from Shelby County, Suunto, Gatorade Endurance, the local crew from Oak Mountain State Park, and all the fabulous volunteers for their generous support and hard work.
DOLORES, DORING WIN ELITE RACE AT XTERRA MALTA
Rui Dolores from Portugal and Maria Doring from Germany captured the fifth annual XTERRA Malta off road triathlon elite titles with winning time of 2:24:39 and 3:16:33, respectively, on Saturday May 18, 2019 in Majjistral Nature Reserve.
Of note, Helena Pretzi, an amateur racer from Germany, won the overall women’s race. She started the swim in the age group race two minutes after the elites, was fifth woman out of the water then posted the second-best women’s bike time to take the overall lead and crossed the finish line in 3:09:28.
For Rui Dolores it was his first-ever XTERRA World Tour win, and his best result since his 3rd place finish at XTERRA Portugal in 2018. It was also the first elite race win for Doring, who was 11th in Cyprus this year and 9th at the 2018 XTERRA European Championship in Germany.
In the men’s race Jens Roth in a typical fashion led the entire swim, with Max Sasserath and Francois Carloni exiting the water together 40sec behind. Behind the front three were Rui Dolores and Peter Lehmann shortly followed by Geert Lauryssen, Samuel Jud and Andrea Zanenga.
Roth pushed hard right from the start of the bike and opened up a 60 second gap to Carloni within the first 4km of the bike course. He held this gap over the Frenchman until he reached the second transition, with both athletes unaware of the carnage happening behind them. Sasserath, Lauryssen and Zanenga all faced problems with flat tires and had to withdraw from the race. Lehmann had mechanical issues with his gears but was able to continue and Jud managed to fix a flat but lost some 50 minutes to the leader by the time he reached transition.
The only athlete from this group avoiding mechanical issues and making his way towards the front of the race was Dolores, who put down the fastest bike split of the day coming into transition in 3rd place.
Dolores was on fire and would pass Roth and Carloni early on in the run to take the lead. With the fastest run of the day and a big smile on his face, he crossed the finish line in first place capturing his first-ever XTERRA victory. Carloni made his move and passed a struggling Roth on the second loop of the run to finish in second place, with Roth in third. Lehmann knew that he couldn’t do anything to close the big gap and looked relaxed finishing in 4th. Jud completed the elite men’s podium finishing 5th.
“It was a really hard race and there were many guys who had punctures including myself, but I was lucky that I did not have to stop” said Dolores. “I left transition with Carloni and tried to quickly close the gap to the leader and then managed to hold on for victory.”
“It was a good race for me from the start to the finish of the bike. I felt really good on the first 2km of the run but the wind was so strong at the at the top of the cliffs. It felt like the tank was empty and when Rui passed me, I tried to follow but I had nothing left. I’m really happy to finish on the podium with two great guys, it was a good battle.” said Roth
Elite Men’s Results
|1||Rui Dolores, POR||2:24:39||75|
|2||Francois Carloni, FRA||2:25:48||67|
|3||Jens Roth, GER||2:26:19||61|
|4||Peter Lehmann, GER||2:34:35||56|
|5||Samuel Jud, CZE||3:21:49||51|
In the women’s race, XTERRA debutant Adriana Klimkova was the first woman out of the water almost two minutes ahead of Carina Wasle and more than six minutes of Maria Doring.
Klimkova found herself in difficulty very early into the bike, struggling with the technical bike course she was passed very early on by Wasle. After a DNF at XTERRA Greece, we weren’t sure how recovered Wasle would be from her injuries, but she quickly pulled out a commanding lead. However, at around 15km in, Carina had a flat tire and a broken valve issue that forced her to stop and try to fix the problem. When she realized that she couldn’t do anything, she pushed her bike for 15km to the finish line as quitting was not an option for her.
“What should have been an easy win for me at XTERRA Malta turned into a disaster. With a substantial lead already after 10km on the bike, I had huge mechanical problems. Cracked the valve and the rim, so it was irreparable” said Wasle. “I walked 20km with my bike to T2. It took me for ages, but I wanted to finish the race. After so long pushing my bike, the 10km run was no fun at all with my injured knee. But I made it to the finish line.”
The battle for the elite women’s title would now be decided between two athletes. Doring passed Klimkova on the bike and came into transition with a lead of around 10min. Doring would continue to increase her lead once onto the run and in doing so captured her first ever XTERRA win. Klimkova finished in second position with Wasle showing the spirit of a real XTERRA Warrior finishing in 3rd.
“I am really happy, It was a tough race. It was a surprise for me to win here and I hope to be back next year” said Doring
“I’m back racing after a long time out so I didn’t know what my form will be” said Klimkova. “I’m satisfied with my swim but there’s a lot of work to be done on bike and the run. Slowly but surely I’m getting back into shape. It will take some time but I feels like I am heading in the right direction”
Elite Women’s Results
|1||Maria Doring, DEU||3:16:33||75|
|2||Adriana Klimkova, CZE||3:33:09||67|
|3||Carina Wasle, AUT||4:31:50||61|
Link to Full Results:
|All Time XTERRA Malta Elite Champions|
|2015||Nicolas Fernandez||Brigitta Poor|
|2016||Roger Serrano||Brigitta Poor|
|2017||Roger Serrano||Brigitta Poor|
|2018||Roger Serrano||Brigitta Poor|
|2019||Rui Dolores||Maria Doring|
XTERRA Malta was the third of 14 races on the 2019 XTERRA European Tour, offering up $7,500 USD and 75-point scale scoring towards elite and amateur Tour standings, plus 26 qualifying spots for age groupers vying to race at XTERRA Worlds.
Elites count their best eight scores of 14 events to determine Tour champs. Find complete details at xterraplanet.com.
European Tour Elite Standings
After 3 as of 18.5.19
|1||Samuel Jud, CHE||134||47||36||51|
|2||Francois Carloni, FRA||118||x||51||67|
|3||Rui Dolores, POR||111||36||x||75|
|4||Xavier Dafflon, SUI||100||67||33||x|
|5||Dominik Wychera, AUT||94||51||43||x|
|6||Filippo Rinaldi, ITA||75||75||x||x|
|7||Arthur Serrieres , FRA||75||x||75||x|
|8||Arthur Forissier, FRA||67||x||67||x|
|9||Geert Lauryssen, BEL||61||61||x||x|
|10||Yeray Luxem, BEL||61||x||61||x|
|11||Jens Roth, GER||61||x||x||61|
|12||Andrea Zanega, ITA||60||30||30||x|
|13||Jens Emil Sloth Nielsen, DNK||56||56||x||x|
|14||Maximilian Sasserath, GER||56||x||56||x|
|15||Peter Lehmann, GER||56||x||x||56|
|16||Kris Coddens, BEL||47||x||47||x|
|17||Tiago Maia, PRT||43||43||x||x|
|18||Jan Kubicek, CZE||39||39||x||x|
|19||Corentin Duclos, FRA||39||x||39||x|
|20||Doug Hall, GBR||33||33||x||x|
|21||Ricard Costa Puigpelat, ESP||27||27||x||x|
|22||Mathurin Boutte, FRA||27||x||27||x|
|23||Ivan Vasilyev, RUS||25||25||x||x|
|24||Will Kelsay, USA||25||x||25||x|
|25||Oliver Kreindl, AUT||23||23||x||x|
|26||Pierric Brochet, FRA||23||x||23||x|
|27||Kovacs Szabolcs, ROM||21||x||21||x|
|1||Carina Wasle, AUT||136||75||DNF||61|
|2||Maria Doring, DEU||108||33||x||75|
|3||Ania Tomica, POL||92||36||56||x|
|4||Lesley Paterson, GBR||75||x||75||x|
|5||Adriana Klimkova, CZE||67||x||x||67|
|6||Eleonora Peroncini, ITA||67||67||x||x|
|7||Helena Karaskova-Erbenova, CZE||67||x||67||x|
|8||Nicole Walters, GBR||61||61||x||x|
|9||Charlotte Deldaele, BEL||61||x||61||x|
|10||Brigitta Poor, HUN||56||56||x||x|
|11||Matilde Bolzan, ITA||51||51||x||x|
|12||Alizee Paties, FRA||47||47||x||x|
|13||Marta Menditto, ITA||43||43||x||x|
|14||Pauline Vie, PRT||39||39||x||x|
Next up on the European Tour: XTERRA Italy-Lake Garda, May16.
XTERRA is a sports lifestyle brand that produces authentic race experiences and apparel for the outdoor enthusiast. In 2019, XTERRA will host 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 xterraplanet.com.