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The United States’ Josiah Middaugh and Shonny Vanlandingham claimed the victories at today’s Xterra Mountain Championships at Beaver Creek Resort in Colorado.
Middaugh, 33, the reigning Xterra USA champion and winner of three straight regional championship races on the Xterra U.S. Pro Series, erased a two-minute deficit to the leaders coming out of the swim by the top of the first big climb at about mile four of the bike then posted the fastest bike and run times to take the tape in 2:08:00, nearly six-minutes ahead of runner-up Branden Rakita from Colorado Springs.
It’s Middaugh’s second Xterra Mountain Championship victory in three years on his home turf where he lives just a mile from the course.
“Super excited because this is a really special race, one of the most important races I’ll do this year and it feels really good to win on my home course,” said Middaugh.
In the women’s race, Vanlandingham has now won the Mountain Championship race in four of the last five years (and she sat out last year due to injury).
The 2010 Xterra world champ was more than four minutes behind the swim leaders–Julie Dibens and Flora Duffy–but made it all up to take the lead into the bike-to-run transition and held on for the win in 2:29:51, nearly two-minutes ahead of last year’s winner Danelle Kabush of Canada.
“This is the first time my knee hasn’t hurt on the run since I injured it in 2011,” said Vanlandingham. “It’s a long rehab process, and I’m still rehabbing. I’m not as good as 2010 but hoping with two more months I can contend this year at Worlds. At one point I thought I would never contend again, but I’m encouraged lately and really happy to be getting stronger and stronger.”
The feel-good story of the day goes to Julie Dibens, who raced her first triathlon since 2011. She led the bike through the first 10 miles before Vanlandingham took charge, and ultimately finished in seventh after testing the waters on what she could do on the run.
Read the complete race recap from Xterra.
Xterra Mountain Championships
Avon, Colo. – July 20, 2013
1. Josiah Middaugh (USA) 2:08:00
2. Brendan Rakita (USA) 2:13:56
3. Ben Hoffman (USA) 2:14:20
1. Shonny Vanlandingham (USA) 2:29:51
2. Danelle Kabush (CAN) 2:31:39
3. Kelley Cullen (USA) 2:33:38
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