Coast to Coast champ takes Xterra champs in Rotorua
This year has really started with a bang for Braden Currie, in January he became the New Zealand long distance triathlon champion. In February he won the Speights Coast to Coast for the third consecutive year and yesterday he staked his off-road racing claim as the 2015 New Zealand Xterra champion at the Paymark Rotorua Xterra Festival.
The Red Bull-backed endurance athlete finished the tough three-discipline race in 2hours: 06:24 secs, comfortably ahead of New Zealand triathlete Sam Osborne (2:06:37), of Cambridge, and Xterra rival, Rotorua’s Olly Shaw (2:07:59).
“This has been a race on my bucket list for a long time now. It was amazing to have the opportunity to race it and win!” Currie says.
He began strongly in the 1km swim, exiting the water in second before heading into the tricky 26km mountain bike section, where he met his match.
“On the bike, I struggled to find a good rhythm with the extremely wet and slick conditions, which made for really technical riding. Ollie Shaw soon showed me his technical ability and knowledge of the trails,” Currie says.
Red Bull endurance athlete Braden Currie, of Wanaka, lets all his emotions show as he wins the Paymark Xterra Rotorua Festival on Saturday. Photo credit Graeme Murray.
Wanaka-based Currie stuck with the local rider and was stoked to come into the transition only 30secs down on Shaw - knowing that if he had a good run, he should manage to pull away from him.
Currie passed Shaw early into the run, but Osborne was working hard to catch them both.
“Things got extremely exciting, about 3km from the finish I glanced behind me and saw a glimpse of Sam Osborne laying it all on the line. I had to step up the pace and managed to hold on for the win,” Currie says.
The victory felt particularly sweet for Currie as this was his first Xterra for the year, with a long list of many to come. He will travel to Sydney this week for the Asia Pacific Xterra championships before travelling to the United States in pursuit of gold at the USA Xterra Championships and the World Xterra Championships.
“It’s a great way to start the season in a tough physical race and proving to myself again, that I have the ability to compete with the best in the world,’ he says.
The women’s pro race was won by 2012 Xterra U.S. National Champion Suzie Snyder in 2:32:29 with a slim minute’s margin over second Lizzie Orchard and Rachel Challis third
Braden Currie’s upcoming event calendar
April 11 - Paymark Xterra Rotorua Festival.
April 18 – Asia-Pacific Xterra Championship, Australia
May 3 – Wings for Life, Santiago, Chile
May 17 USA Southwest Xterra Championship Alabama, United States.
June 14 – 15 USA Northwest Xterra Championship, VA, United States.
July 12 - Vineman 70.3, California, United States
July 19, 20 - USA Northeast Xterra Championship Calgary, Canada.
September 19 - USA Xterra Championship.
October 31 – World Xterra Championship, Hawaii.
November 8 – WA Adventure Fest, Augusta, Australia.
November 15 – Shepparton Challenge, Victoria, Australia.
December 5 – Bahrain Challenge half ironman, Bahrain.
January 23 and 24 2016, Red Bull Defiance, Wanaka, NZ.
Braden's multisport campaign is made possible with the support of
Flight Centre Active Travel Specialized Red Bull