Osborne, Kingsford win XTERRA Victoria
Sam Osborne and Samantha Kingsford from New Zealand captured the XTERRA Victoria off-road triathlon elite titles in British Columbia, Canada this morning with winning times of 2:03:27 and 2:27:26, respectively.
It’s the 11th career XTERRA World Tour win for Osborne, his fourth this season, and third in a row on the Pan Am Tour. It’s the third career major title for Kingsford, her second this season.
In the men’s elite race Osborne led from wire-to-wire after posting the fastest swim, the second-best bike split behind the reigning XTERRA Pan Am Champion Josiah Middaugh, and then the fastest run.
“If you look at the splits it was wire-to-wire, but trust me, that one really hurt today,” said Osborne. “I really didn’t want to ride with anyone on this technical bike course, so I put the hammer down straight away after the swim and managed to get rid of Karsten (Madsen). I was riding at my limit the whole time, and just dug really deep on the bike to try to keep away from Josiah.”
Middaugh was one-minute back out of the swim and then pulled to within about 50-seconds of Osborne heading into the bike-to-run transition.
“I had a good swim, about one-minute down from Sam and we rode pretty even on the bike,” said Middaugh. “I saw him heading out of transition from the bike to run as I was heading in, but Sam was running strong today and unfortunately put some more time on me on the run.”
Osborne saw Middaugh coming in from the bike, and said, “One-minute was not enough of a lead on Josiah, he’s not a guy you can play tactically with, so I ran on the limit the whole time. My legs felt incredible on the run, probably the best run I put together this year.”
Karsten Madsen was the top Canadian in third, with Branden Rakita in fourth and Will Ross in fifth.
“Everyone knows how famous BC is for mountain
biking and it was cool to race on those trails,” said
Osborne. “It has been a bucket place list since I was kid
to ride here. It’s a lot like Rotorua, except there is no
rock in Rotorua and there is a ton of rock on this race
course. Still, no crashes today, and I even nailed some of
the pieces I was trying to get right. All in all, this is
one of the best courses I’ve ever raced on. Lots of power
climbs, super punchy stuff, and real proper technical riding
on the bike. Lots of roots and rocks on the run as well so
you have to be quick and agile or you could really come
undone. It’s a real XTERRA, that rewards not just the
strongest, but also the most skilled athlete, and to me that
is what the sport is all about.”
In the women’s elite race Kingsford was first out of the water, about 30-seconds ahead of XTERRA U.S. Champ Suzie Snyder and three-time XTERRA World Champ Melanie McQuaid.
The Kiwi held that lead through much of the first of two laps before Snyder caught up and the two traded turns in the front.”
“That was tough race,” said Kingsford. “I had a little gap on the swim, but I could hear Suzie and Melanie coming on the bike, and Suzie and I rode the whole second lap together. I ended up with just a little gap heading into T2 and took it from there.”
Snyder had the best bike split of the day, but not the legs on the run to stay with Kingsford.
“My gut was a wreck on the first lap of the run,” said Snyder. “I felt better on the second lap and closed the gap some but couldn’t make it all up on the short course. We pushed each other hard, and she’s a tough competitor and had more in the tank than me today.”
In the end Snyder finished second, just 38-seconds back.
“Loved this place, such an amazing course,” said Kingsford. “It’s got proper single track for mountain biking, and it’s great to have a two-lap course so you can get to know it pre-riding. Just so much fun, and running around the lake, even though it’s rooty and rocky, you could get into a rhythm.”
With the wins, both Osborne and Kingsford jumped into the lead in the XTERRA Pan Am Tour elite standings after five of 10 events.
From Victoria both Osborne and Kingsford head to Beaver Creek Colorado for the next gold event on the tour on 20 July 2019.