Sam Gardner reports on his return from the 2011 Xterra World Championships in Hawaii. Sam was riding 1470g 29er XMD333 wheels hand built by Strada.
“Hi guys. Just arrived home to Blighty after a very successful trip to Maui with my best world championships ever. The new bike course with more hills and steeper hills, but less bike smashing rocks was welcomed by most people, and the hilly and very twisty run course made for some very exciting racing.
The mens race lead changed many times and in the end the whole top 10 was seperated by less than 4 mniutes. This made for great spectating and TV. The womens race was not quite as close but the images of Mel McQuaid being stretchered off to the medical tent in sight of the finish and the UK’s own Lesley Patterson chasing down everyone on the run after finishing the bike 6 minutes down made for an equally thrilling race.
I’ll be very brief with my report as the full report will be in 220 mag soon, go buy it! My swim as you’ll know has always been my weakness, and despite my best ever placing out of the water 79th in the worlds, I had lost over 4 minutes on the leaders. With one of the fastest bike splits on my new Cannondale Flash 29er in it’s first race, I got into the top 10, over taking Olympic champion Jan Frodeno with 4 miles to go. On to the run and I got passed by a few, but over took or re-took Ex World champions Conrad Stoltz and Nico LeBrun, Cycling Legend Lance Armstrong and also Olympic Champ Jan Frodeno (again). In the end I finished 11th and only 6 minutes behind the winner after losing almost 5 minutes in the swim!
This winter is the start of a big swim push and a re-evaluation of my swim technique and training. As the last race of the season, I’d like to thank everyone personally who’s helped me this year.”
Here’s the press release for the winners –
The 16th XTERRA World Championship turned into a sweet celebration for Michael Weiss, Lesley Paterson and Kapalua, Maui.
Weiss and Paterson earned their first XTERRA world titles on a new course that was described as both beautiful and brutal. After 15 previous years at Makena, the XTERRA World Championship off-road triathlon moved to the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua this year. A total of 675 athletes representing 28 countries and 42 states participated in the event, which featured a 1.5-kilometer swim, a 30-kilometer mountain bike and a 10-kilometer trail run.
Weiss was the overall winner, completing the course in 2 hours, 27 minutes, including an astonishing bike split of 1:19:32. No other competitor finished with a bike time under 1:21:03. It was a breakthrough win for the 30-year-old Weiss, who had finished second at the 2008 XTERRA Worlds, and then third in 2009 and 2010.
“It’s amazing,” said Weiss, who is from Vienna, Austria. “I still cannot believe it. A big dream came true, and it was a really tough course.”