McPherson, Gobbo win XTERRA Brazil


Kiwi Kieran McPherson and Sabrina Gobbo captured the 14th annual XTERRA Brazil elite titles on the island of Ilhabela, on Saturday, May 12.

It’s the second win of the year for McPherson, who took the XTERRA Argentina crown in March, and the first for Gobbo, who has now won on her home turf at XTERRA Brazil for five straight years.

In the men’s race it looked like Canadian Karsten Madsen was well on his way towards his second win in as many weeks.  He led out of the water, all the way through the bike, and on to the run, but the experience McPherson had from last year’s race in Ilhabela, coupled with a killer run made all the difference.

“I am ecstatic with my first gold level XTERRA win and excited for it to come her in Brazil on this renowned tough course,” said McPherson.  “It was hard coming in a close second-place last year and I was determined not to let it happen again.”

The day started in unique fashion with a mass start and the famous pier jump.

“It was chaotic with a narrow chute and everyone starting together,” said Rakita, who was the runner-up in the XTERRA Pan Am Pro Series last year. “We dolphin dived for about 100-yards before we could get down to the business of swimming.  Then we had the 12-foot high jump off the pier to start the second segment of the swim, that was awesome and a real highlight.”

On the bike Madsen pushed hard and pulled away from the pack, but McPherson never gave in.

“I knew the tough mountain bike course with its climbing and technical rooty descents would suit me,” said McPherson. “I closed the gap on some of the lead swimmers just before halfway and was able to work with Branden before finding out Karsten was still up the road. I maintained my composure through the last jungle section before entering the final and toughest climb.”

Last week at XTERRA Uruguay, Madsen edged out McPherson by two minutes, but this week, it was McPherson’s turn, and he found another gear on the run.

“I worked the ups and downs on the run course and felt like I was flying,” said McPherson. “I caught Karsten with 1500 meters to go, attacked, and never looked back.”

McPherson finished in 2:43:12 with Madsen just behind in 2:43:49. Brazil’s Alexandre Manzan was third in 2:46:53.

“It’s no secret that I’ve never been good at courses like this with lots of steep climbing,” said Madsen. “I’ve DNF’d the past two years at Maui so courses like this have really taken their toll on me. So, I really exorcised some demons today. I put everything into the race and held nothing back from start to finish. Kudos to Kieran on a massive win.”

“The course, the atmosphere, and the organization make this one of the pinnacle XTERRA events in the world,” said McPherson.

Rakita added that “this is definitely among the top three most physically demanding courses in XTERRA, but there is some great technical riding as well which really helps showcase the skill it takes to be able to handle your bike well.  I loved the run and it is in the top three as well for one of my all-time favorites alongside Guam and Victoria.”

Top 10 Elite Men

Pl Name Time Points Swim Bike Run
1 Kieran McPherson 2:43:12 100 22:18 1:32:37 47:28
2 Karsten Madsen 2:43:49 90 20:52 1:30:52 51:17
3 Alexandre Manzan 2:46:53 82 23:24 1:33:35 48:45
4 Branden Rakita 2:50:27 75 21:17 1:34:20 53:46
5 Diogo Malagon 2:53:32 69 23:43 1:33:30 55:24
6 Rafael Jurita 2:53:52 63 23:53 1:33:50 54:49
7 Alex Roberts 2:54:50 58 23:44 1:37:10 53:00
8 Felipe Moletta 2:55:52 53 22:56 1:42:23 49:34
9 Alejandro Sfriso 2:57:38 49 24:49 1:38:41 53:01
10 Eduardo Antonio Lass 3:01:00 45 20:34 1:41:12 58:07

In the women’s race, former competitive swimmer Kelli Montgomery was first out of the water, but no one could keep up with Sabrina Gobbo as she expertly navigated the mountain bike course with the fastest split of the day by four minutes. She backed this up with the fastest run split of the day to take the tape in 3:30:50.

“I suffered out there today, it was hard, and for the first time here I had technical problems,” Gobbo posted to her Facebook page.  “At one point I thought everything was lost, but this is like an adventure race ... just when everything seems lost, the wind starts blowing in your favor.”

Fellow Brazilian Laura Mira Dias was second in 3:37:29 and XTERRA Uruguay champ Carolina Nieva from Argentina finished third in 3:40:01.

Top 10 Elite Women

Pl Name Time Points Swim Bike Run
1 Sabrina Gobbo  3:30:50 100 27:56 1:58:39 1:03:07
2 Laura Mira Dias 3:37:29 90 25:57 2:05:36 1:04:27
3 Carolina Nieva 3:40:01 82 28:20 2:02:30 1:07:31
4 Kara LaPoint 3:52:20 75 26:02 2:10:07 1:13:16
5 Luiza Ines Zanini 4:01:05 69 32:57 2:15:48 1:09:06
6 Camila Nicolau 4:02:52 63 33:12 2:17:24 1:09:48
7 Kelli Montgomery 4:06:20 58 25:10 2:22:20 1:16:37
8 Tatiana Queiroz 4:09:56 53 28:00 2:24:31 1:14:51
9 Ana Prade 4:16:38 49 0:26:00 2:36:50 1:11:00
10 Brisa Melcop 5:03:03 45 0:27:58 2:47:23 1:45:55

Complete Results

Next up: XTERRA Oak Mountain, May 19 (Pelham, Alabama)

All-time XTERRA Brazil Elite Winners
Year - Man/Woman

2018-Kieran McPherson/Sabrina Gobbo
2017-Felipe Moletta/Sabrina Gobbo
2016-Albert Soley/Sabrina Gobbo
2015-Diogo Malagon/Sabrina Gobbo
2014-Felipe Moletta/Sabrina Gobbo
2013-Conrad Stoltz/Shonny Vanlandingham
2012-Felipe Moletta/Shonny Vanlandingham
2011-Ben Allen/Carina Wasle
2010-Dan Hugo/Shonny Vanlandingham
2009-Rom Akerson/Maria Omar
2008-Alexandre Manzan/Carla Prada
2007-Mike Vine/Candy Angle
2006-Nico Lebrun/Candy Angle
2005-Conrad Stoltz/Jamie Whitmore

McPherson, Nieva lead XTERRA Pan America Tour


  ELITE MEN            
1 Kieran McPherson, NZL 309 67 75 DNS 67 100
2 Karsten Madsen, CAN 226 DNS DNS 61 75 90
3 Rafael Juriti, BRA 204 51 43 DNS 47 63
4 Branden Rakita, USA 192 61 56 DNS DNS 75
5 Alejandro Sfriso, ARG 151 DNS 51 DNS 51 49
6 Alex Roberts, NZL 119 DNS DNS DNS 61 58
7 Maximiliano Morales, ARG 117 56 61 DNS DNS DNS
8 Alexandre Manzan, BRA 82 DNS DNS DNS DNS 82
9 Mauricio Mendez, MEX 75 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS
10 Rom Akerson, CRC 75 DNS DNS 75 DNS DNS
11 Diogo Malagon, BRA 69 DNS DNS DNS DNS 69
12 Gonzalo Tellechea, ARG 67 DNS 67 DNS DNS DNS
13 Josiah Middaugh, USA 67 DNS DNS 67 DNS DNS
14 Luis Piedra, CRC 56 DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS
15 Andres Darricau, ARG 56 DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS
16 Felipe Moletta, BRA 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS 53
17 Federico Venegas, CRC 51 DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS
18 Gustavo Torres, CHI 47 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS
19 Lucas Mendez, ARG 47 DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS
20 Humberto Rivera, USA 47 DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS
21 Eduardo Lass, BRA 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS 45
22 Andres Zuniga, CRC 43 DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS
23 Gabriel Angeloro, URU 43 DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS
24 Fernando Toldi, BRA 41 DNS DNS DNS DNS 41
25 Pericles Andrade, BRA 39 DNS 39 DNS DNS DNP
26 Harold Ramos, CRC 39 DNS DNS 39 DNS DNS
27 Rodrigo Braga, BRA 37 DNS DNS