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Osborne takes Gold in Alabama

Osborne takes Gold in Alabama

Rotorua based triathlete Sam Osborne overnight claimed another first on the Xterra Planet Pan American tour.

The event was staged in the Oak Mountain State Park just outside the city of Pelham, Alabama, and comprised a 1.2km swim in Lake Habeeb, a 21 km mountain bike and a 8km mountain run.

Osborne says ‘These are all tough events, we are up against world class athletes every step of the way and with the bike and run being on mountain trails there is plenty of opportunity for things to go wrong. The points from these wins are all important because they count for me qualifying to race in the World Championship. It was a big decision to come over from the Asia Pacific tour and I am absolutely wrapt with the way things have started for me on this Pan American tour.’

After winning the Asia-Pacific Xterra Tour in each of the last two years, and coming third in the Xterra World Championship event at the end of 2018, Osborne has switched his focus following his win at Xterra Rotorua, to the Pan American series. Oak Mountain is the second race in the series, with Osborne winning in Ilhabela, Brazil on 11 May 2019 in his first outing in the Pan American tour. I felt good during the race led out of the swim and had to keep on the red line on the bike to stay ahead of ex World Champion Josiah Middaugh.

Osborne’s partner Samantha Kingsford came third overnight in the Women’s elite triathlon at Oakridge Mountain following her win in the women’s elite triathlon in Brazil, her second Xterra tour win.

Osborne paid tribute to the setting for the race ‘it is a stunning place to race, right up there with Rotorua’.

The Xterra race in Oak Mountain was Osborne’ tenth XTERRA World Tour win in his career and his third in a row this season following his victory at XTERRA New Zealand in April.

Following the Oak Mountain event the Pan American Tour goes on to Gold level events at Beaver Creek, Mexico and Utah.

© Scoop Media

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