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More than 30 elites from around the world are scheduled to compete at the XTERRA Pan American/USA Championship race in Ogden, Utah this Saturday.
As the culmination of a 12-stop series of off-road triathlons spanning South and Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean, Canada, and the U.S., the contenders are coming from near and far, and with $80,000 in prize money at stake the stage is set for XTERRA’s best to show what they can do.
The story lines run deep in the men’s elite race, and the best one belongs to Bradley Weiss. The 29-year-old from South Africa has an opportunity to do something neither of his fellow countrymen ever did—win the continental grand slam of XTERRA.
“So far in 2018 I have won the XTERRA African Champs, XTERRA Asia-Pacific Champs, as well as most recently the XTERRA European Champs, so if I could win the Pan American Champs and hold all the continental titles in one calendar year, that would be pretty special,” said Weiss.
It would also be unprecedented, but to do it the reigning XTERRA World Champion will have to get past the 2016 XTERRA World Champion, Mauricio Mendez from Mexico, and the 2015 XTERRA World Champion, Josiah Middaugh from the U.S.
On the women’s side, all eyes are on the Scottish Rocket, Lesley Paterson.
Her credentials tell you why. She won here last year, and three times total. She’s a two-time XTERRA world champ, the reigning and two-time ITU Cross Tri World Champ, and won both U.S. stops on the Pan Am Tour this year at Oak Mountain and Beaver Creek. She’s also a model, film producer, coach, and wrote the book on the mental game in this sport; The Brave Athlete: Calm the F*ck Down and Rise to the Occasion.
“Love Utah,” exclaimed Paterson, who will be there all week enjoying the trails before the race. “I’m stoked on the course as it suits me as a climber. It’s also one of the most beautiful courses out there, especially when the leaves are turning for fall. I’m fit and healthy and super stoked to be out there racing. I’ve also been preparing at altitude in Boulder with other pro athletes, Will Kelsey and Humberto Rivera, so the game plan is to hit it hard and never look back and see where my fitness is at!”
While odds are Paterson makes her move early and never looks back, America’s Julie Baker has proven she belongs and led this race through the first five miles of the bike last year. Reigning XTERRA Pan Am Tour Champ Suzie Snyder is also hoping to put in a good effort, despite spending the season recovering from injury.
The story-within-the-story for the women’s race is the chase for the XTERRA Pan American Tour title. Mexico’s Fabiola Corona sits on top the standings with 604 points, but Kara LaPoint is just 34 points behind in second.
Read the complete preview at Xterraplanet.com and see the elite start lists below.
Elite Start List
XTERRA Pan Am Tour Rank – Name, Age, Hometown
1 – Kieran McPherson, 26, Matamata, New Zealand
2 – Karsten Madsen, 26, Kitchener, ON, Canada
3 – Josiah Middaugh, 40, Eagle-Vail, Colorado
4 – Branden Rakita, 37, Colorado Springs, Colorado
6 – Rafael Juriti, 34, Brumadinho, Brazil
8 – Brian Smith, 42, Gunnison, Colorado
10 – Mauricio Mendez, 22, Mexico City, Mexico
12 – Sam Long, 22, Boulder, Colorado
13 – Will Kelsay, 37, Denver, Colorado
31 – Brad Zoller, 41, Avon, Colorado
45 – Hans Ryham, 40, Houston, Texas
NR – Michael Nunez, 37, Salt Lake City, Utah
NR – Humberto Rivera, 28, San Diego, California
NR – Walter Schafer, 26, Englewood, Colorado
NR – Bradley Weiss, 29, Stellenbosch, South Africa
1 – Fabiola Corona, 38, Queretaro, Mexico
2 – Kara LaPoint, 31, Basalt, Colorado
3 – Kelli Montgomery, 45, Wallingford, Connecticut
5 – Julie Baker, 41, Sonora, California
6 – Allison Baca, 28, Boulder, Colorado
7 – Lesley Paterson, 37, San Diego, California
8 – Katie Button, 33, Sechelt, BC, Canada
9 – Rebecca Blatt, 38, Denver, Colorado
10 – Jessie Koltz, 29, Reno, Nevada
12 – Heather Zimchek-Dunn, 32, Olympia, Washington
33 – Emanuela Bandol, 38, West Kelowna, BC, Canada
NR – Erin Ray, 36, Las Vegas, Nevada
NR – Magali Tisseyre, 36, Mont Tremblant, QC, Canada
NR – Suzie Snyder, 36, Reno, Nevada
NR – Anne Usher, 38, Portland, Oregon
NR – Tess Amer, 27, Boulder, Colorado