The United States’ Josiah Middaugh and Scotland’s Lesley Paterson stay undefeated in the 2013 Xterra U.S. Pro Series thanks to wins at today’s Xterra Southeast Championships in Oak Mountain State Park, Ala. in wet, muddy and slippery conditions.
Middaugh turned in the 12th best swim time, exiting the water in 20:43 behind race leader Conrad Stoltz (RSA) and others. He went to work on the bike, posting the fastest bike split on the technical course at 1:19:27. Despite the effort on the trails, Middaugh still started the run with over a minute to make up on Stoltz and Dan Hugo (RSA). Stoltz was forced to pull out of the race at the 4K mark of the run due to a calf injury that has bothered him all week. With Stoltz on the sidelines, Middaugh excelled and earned the fastest run split of the day in 35:20. He crossed the finish line in 2:17:00 to take the victory. Hugo settled for second, with American Craig Evans rounding out the podium.
“I was happy to be able to keep the tires down and stay focused on my own race,” said Middaugh. “I really had no idea how far back I was on the bike so kept riding hard. I usually lose a lot of time in that last four miles of switchbacks so I didn’t know if I was going to come off the bike four minutes behind or one minute behind.”
Paterson was the second female out of the water behind super swimmer Christine Jeffrey (CAN). Though she had more than two minutes to make up on Jeffrey, it was two-time winner Melanie McQuaid (CAN) who she really needed to worry about. McQuaid exited the swim right on Paterson’s heels and posted the fastest bike split in 1:30:30 to lead Paterson into T2 by 20 seconds. McQuaid quickly erased that deficit and earned the victory thanks to a 38:16 run split. She crossed the finish line in 2:32:40 to continue her dominance of Xterra racing. McQuaid finished second with Brandi Heisterman (CAN) rounding out the top three.
“I was really nervous coming in because I’ve never ridden in slippery conditions like this in Southern California and although I grew up in this kind of weather in Scotland, I wasn’t a mountain biker back then,” said Paterson. “The roots, those things are buggers, you hit them at the wrong angle and you’re off. So, I only had four crashes, thought that was quite impressive.”
Xterra Southeast Championships
Oak Mountain State Park, Ala. – May 18, 2013
1. Josiah Middaugh (USA) 2:17:00
2. Dan Hugo (RSA) 2:18:44
3. Craig Evans (USA) 2:22:49
4. Bradley Weiss (RSA) 2:25:32
5. Nick Fisher (USA) 2:27:23
1. Lesley Paterson (SCO) 2:32:40
2. Melanie McQuaid (CAN) 2:36:25
3. Brandi Heisterman (CAN) 2:41:32
4. Shonny Vanlandingham (USA) 2:42:42
5. Suzie Snyder (USA) 2:42:51
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