Friday, 3 April 2009

Xterra Guam 1st!

Today was the first race of our Pacific racing tour, Xterra Guam.

After an eventful week, where my bike never made it further than Dubai before getting delayed, let alone the other 3 flights!

Good job it was in it's new Bikeboxalan hardcase and arrived eventually unscathed.

Still suffering with Jetlag due to arriving on Weds and a 9 hour time difference, I was not sure quite how I'd perform on the day.

Luckily it went totally to plan. I even managed to get on two times Xterra world champion, Julie Dibens heels in the swim for 100m which helped me break clear of the pack behind. Prefering to draft and conserve energy, I eased up and swum in the lead pack, with Julie blazing away on her own ahead.

A swift transition and I left T1 with fellow pro's Michael Le Roux from Australia and Takahiro Ogasawara from Japan, hitting the 3 1/2 mile road climb I went on the offensive and left the other 2 guys. Knowing that Jim McConnel from the UK would soon be chasing us down and not wanting to be near the whippet on the run I worked hard to get a decent lead.

Julie mean while was on a mission and it took me 20 minutes to catch her and pass her. Infact she was still in 2nd place as we entered T2, and Jim had moved up to 3rd place with all 3 Brits in the top 3.

On to the run and I knew as long as I didn't do anything stupid I should have the race in the bag. I successfully negotiated the slippery run down the waterfall sections and then while concentrating too hard on my line along the rocky stream, I missed a course arrow taking me left up the bank. I realised this 30 seconds later and quickly retraced my steps in a panic.

Luckily no one got by and I ran home the victor, Jim chased down Julie and finished 2nd, and Julie rounded out the British top 3 and won the womens race convincingly from Renata Bucher of Switzerland. Michael Le Roux of Australia rounded off the mens podium.

Tomorrow we are off to Saipan for 2 weeks training and then Xterra Saipan, which features top Xterra pros Mike Vine (who won the US champs in '08 and has won Xterra Saipan before) and Andrew Noble (Ex world Duathlon champion and winner of last years Xterra Saipan) amongst other competitors. Then Jim and I are racing Tagaman road triathlon in Guam, while Julie is returning to the US for St Anthony's Olympic distance non drafting race.

1 comment:

stufflebeem said...


Not sure if you remember me, but my name is Mark "Stuff" Stufflebeem. I sat with you at the award banquet for the Xterra Guam. We were the group of Navy pilots that entered the race as a relay.

Just wanted to drop you a quick note saying that it was great to meet you. You are truly a great ambassador to our sport of triathlon. Humbe and humerous professional. Great to see there's still a lot of fun to be had, even at the top of the pro ranks.

Cheer mate! If you're ever in the East Coast of the US drop me a line. I live in Virginia Beach, Virginia.