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Xterra Nationals Return To Ogden This Weekend

  • By Triathlete.com
  • Published Sep 17, 2013
  • Updated Sep 17, 2013 at 7:49 PM UTC
Lesley Paterson. Photo: Xterra

Women’s Race Preview

Two-time world champ and defending USA and U.S. Pro Series champ Lesley Paterson leads the list of women’s contenders. Since finishing third in Richmond last year the “Scottish Rocket” has won every Xterra she’s entered, including the U.S. and World Championships last year, and the Philippines, West, Southeast and East Championship titles this year.

Before Paterson came along, the USA Championship belonged to three-time Xterra world champ Melanie McQuaid—who won four straight in Utah from 2008-to-2011. McQuaid, who took the title at her hometown race at Xterra Victoria this summer, has made a career out of showing up with her best stuff at the biggest races.

Yet another former Xterra world champ—Shonny Vanlandingham—finds herself back at the sharp end of the field having fully recovered from knee injuries that plagued her last year. At 44 years old Vanlandingham is still winning—most recently the Xterra Brazil and Mountain Championships. Her fellow Luna Pro teammates—Suzie Snyder, top American and second in Utah last year, and Danelle Kabush, third last year—have been creating a blur of blue across the trails this year.

The well-traveled Jacqui Slack and Renata Bucher—with four Xterra World Tour wins apiece this year—add to the depth of the women’s field. Slack just won Xterra England, while Bucher moved her base-camp to Utah for some race specific prep with Emma Garrard.

The aforementioned collection of Xterra stars will be up against a pair of ringers from the road world—Barbara Riveros and Heather Jackson—who are looking to upset the natural order of things. Last October, Riveros was second at Xterra Worlds and Jackson was fourth in what was the first Xterra for both. Riveros, an Olympian and ITU standout, should be out front in the swim with Christine “Big Fish” Jeffrey, and proved she can mountain bike in Maui by posting the third-best bike split.

Jackson has had a remarkable season with wins at Oceanside, Alcatraz and Wildflower and just finished second at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. She has been doing a lot of mountain biking in Bend, Ore., as part of her training regimen.

Others to look out for include Chantell Widney, winner of Xterra Canmore and third-place finisher at ITU Cross Tri Worlds, and Brandi Heisterman—who had a pair of third-place showings on the America Tour.

RELATED VIDEO: Lesley Paterson On Her Love For Off-Road Racing

Women’s Start List
Lesley Paterson (GBR)
Shonny Vanlandingham (USA)
Melanie McQuaid (CAN)
Suzie Snyder (USA)
Danelle Kabush (CAN)
Brandi Heisterman (CAN)
Emma Garrard (USA)
Caroline Colonna (USA)
Kelley Cullen (USA)
Christine Jeffrey (USA)
Jaime Brede (USA)
Tamara Donelson (USA)
Catherine Sterling (USA)
Rachel Challis (USA)
Renata Bucher (SUI)
Genevieve Evans (USA)
Heather Jackson (USA)
Barbara Riveros (CHI)
Jacqui Slack (GBR)
Carina Wasle (AUT)
Chantell Widney (CAN)

PHOTOS: 2013 Xterra East Championships

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