Saturday, 18 April 2009

Xterra Saipan 1st.

It was a mixed British result at Saipan after our great race in Guam.

I had possibly the best race of my Xterra career, winning my 3rd international Xterra race and 2nd Global tour race (Guam didn't have Global tour status). World champ Julie Dibens crashed heavily on the bike and sustained some nasty injuries but nothing broken we hope and started the run in pain but with a slight lead over Renata Bucher from Switzerland, unfortunately Renata got in front on the run and Julie was left to salvage 2nd place. Jim McConnel had another consistent race with 6th place despite nursing an injury and against a quality pro field.

I managed to exit the water in 11th place and set about chasing down the guys ahead in the blazing Saipan heat. It took almost 1/2 a lap to catch last years winner and ex world duathlon champ Andrew Noble from Australia and he announced the Mike Vine (the current US champion) was leading just ahead, with this spuring me on I managed to catch and pass Mike, and worked on building as much of a lead as possible before the run, where I knew Mike would be hunting me down.

I left transition 2 with a 3 minute advantage and ran as hard as I've run, even with a mile to the finish when I knew I had it in the bag, I still pushed harder, knowing every second counts for the Saipan sports festival double competition which takes the combined times for Xterra and next weeks Tagaman race, I wanted as much of a cushion as I could get. I was amazed to only lose 5 seconds to Mike on the run in the end and win by close on 3 minutes.

With Mike now deciding to go back to the States and prepare for the first US race in Vegas, and 3rd place Sacha Wiggenfield of Germany returning to Europe it now leaves me with a 12 minute lead over Andrew Noble for the double competition. The prize for the fastest combined time is a free flight to the event next year from anywhere in the world, 7 night accomodation and food at the Pacific Islands club where we've been staying and also an additional $500US.

Watch this space for next weeks instalment of the Pacific tour 2009.

Big thanks to all sponsors as ever, Cannondale bike was faultless, Schwalbe tyres have had no punctures or crashes all trip, Maximuscle kept me hydrated, Sundog eyewear blocked the rays, big thanks to everyone else too.

1 comment:

Rick "man of leisure" Vircavs said...

Congrats on the two wins to date on the Pacific Tour 2009. Good luck next week and take care.