Osborne, Allen win XTERRA Tahiti
Kiwi Sam Osborne and Jacqui Allen (GBR) captured the third-annual XTERRA Tahiti Championship elite titles on a gorgeous afternoon in Moorea on Saturday.
It’s the third win of the season for Osborne and the second for Allen. They both won at XTERRA New Zealand one-month ago and Osborne captured the season opener in Saipan back in March.
In the men’s race Osborne, Ben Allen, and reigning World Champ Mauricio Mendez were all together out of the swim, however, “Ben and I absolutely laid it down through transition and onto the bike and managed to force a gap on Mauricio,” said Osborne.
Mendez charged back and got in front, but one small slip and he was off his bike and pushing it up a hill when Osborne and Allen attacked again.
“It was just the perfect pedal on an uphill to take the lead and Ben stayed on my wheel and we rode really hard for the next 10-minutes or so and nailed the gap,” said Osborne.
Turned out Mendez, just five miles into the bike, broke his derailleur and was done for the day.
“I’m not sure if it was a tree root or a rock that I hit, but it was an unfixable mechanical,” said Mendez.
Neither Osborne nor Allen knew Mendez was done, however, so they kept pouring on the steam.
“It was like a time trial the whole bike,” said Osborne. “Ben was descending really well today and I wasn’t able to gap him on the bike at all.”
The two rode into transition together but Osborne made a quicker go of it, was first out on to the run, built a 20-second gap by the top of the climb “it was 5K up, and 5K down,” and held on for the win.
“Onto the run, I got a bit of a gap out of transition and got into a good rhythm but on the uphill I started to cramp quite bad and was in damage control to the top,” said Osborne. “Was a godsend to get to the downhill and let my legs just roll it out.”
Osborne’s winning time was 3:33:49, about one-minute ahead of Allen.
“What an incredible day,” exclaimed Allen. “I lead out of the water and nailed the first 5km on the bike with Sammy hot on my heels! We had a gap on Mau, and he made a super human effort to close it, but Sam attacked and I managed to follow and the elastic band broke for Mau and Sam and I drilled the bike knowing Mau would be hot on our heels come the run. We exited the bike together and it took me a few kilometers before my legs came good but Sam took off from the start. The gap was closing as Sam was hurting from his effort and I could sense I may have a chance, but with little course left to run, Sam took the win and I finished 2nd. The course, people and atmosphere was outstanding! I have loved every minute here and Jacqui and I will definitely be back again next year!”
Christophe Betard from France, who was second here behind Josiah Middaugh last year, took third on the day followed by Tahiti’s own Cedric Wane.
In the women’s race, it was all Jacqui Allen, who was the only elite female in the event.
“What a super location for an XTERRA,” she said. “It has everything. Crystal clear waters, mountain bike terrain with short steep climbs, rooty technical sections, fast rocky downhills and tricky creek crossings. The run is much the same and probably one of my favorite run courses on the circuit. I was most impressed with the whole organization of the event from start to finish. The passion shone through all weekend with the event being a massive success, I would highly recommend this as a bucket list race for anyone interested in the Tahitian culture. thanks to Jean-Michel and the crew for making this happen.”
Cedric Tourneur from Tahiti and Mimi Stockton from Michigan won the amateur titles, and 26 amateurs punched qualified to race at the XTERRA World Championship in Maui this October.
Name, NAT Points Time Prize Money
1 Sam Osborne, NZL 75 2:33:49 $1,200
2 Ben Allen, AUS 67 2:35:05 $900
3 Christophe Betard, FRA 61 2:46:59 $700
4 Cedric Wane, FRA 56 2:49:42 $550
1 Jacqui Allen, GBR
75 3:05:46 $1,200
XTERRA Tahiti was the sixth of seven races on this year's XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour, and with the win Osborne takes a commanding lead into the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour finale at XTERRA Japan in Hokkaido on September 2.
XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour Elite Standings
S S S G G S
PL NAME, NAT TOT SPN THA NZL PHI MAS TAH
1 Sam Osborne, NZL 402 75 DNS 75 90 87 75
2 Ben Allen, AUS 357 61 67 DNS 75
3 Kieran McPherson, NZL 300 56
75 DNS 82 87 DNS
4 Bradley Weiss, RSA 254 67 DNS DNS 100 87 DNS
5 Will Kelsay, USA 216 47 47 DNS 69 53 DNS
6 Brodie Gardner, AUS 205 39 61 47 DNS 58 DNS
7 David Ballesteros, ESP 168 DNS 56 43 DNS 69 DNS
8 Joe Miller, PHI 142 30 DNS DNS 63 49 DNS
9 Taylor Charlton, AUS 141 DNS 43 DNS 53 45 DNS
10 Olly Shaw, NZL 109 DNS DNS 51 58 DNS DNS
11 Markus Benesch, AUT 102 51 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS
12 Takahiro Ogasawara, JPN 92 21 30 DNS DNF 41 DNS
13 Alex Roberts, NZL 85 DNS DNS 36 49 DNF DNS
14 Aleksandr Dorovskikh, RUS 72 36 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS
15 Hayden Wilde, NZL 67 DNS DNS 67 DNS DNS DNS
16 Alex Hunt, AUS 63 DNS DNS DNS DNS 63 DNS
17 Akihiko Maeda, JPN 62 25 DNS DNS DNS 37 DNS
18 Kyle Smith, NZL 61 DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS
19 Christophe Betard, FRA 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 61
20 Fynn Thompson, NZL 56 DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS
21 Cedric Wane, FRA 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56
22 Yuichi Hosoda, JPN 43 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
23 Jacob Storey 39 DNS 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS
24 John Mering, NZL 39 DNS DNS 39 DNS DNS DNS
25 Jacky Boisset, FRA 34 DNS DNS DNS DNS 34 DNS
26 Dominik Wychera, AUT 33 33 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
27 Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA 33 DNS 33 DNS DNS DNS DNS
28 Cedric Wane, FRA 33 DNS DNS 33 DNS DNS DNS
29 Emil Duraj, SVK 27 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
30 Michal Bucek, SVK 23 23 DNF DNS DNS DNS DNS
S S S G G S
PL NAME, NAT TOT SPN THA NZL PHI MAS TAH
1 Carina Wasle, AUT 275 75 DNS DNS 100 100 DNS
2 Jacqui Allen, GBR 232 DNS DNS 75 DNF 82 75
3 Penny Slater, AUS 141 DNS DNS 51 90 DNS DNS
4 Renata Bucher, SUI 131 DNS 75 56 DNS DNS DNS
5 Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 90 DNS DNS DNS DNS 90 DNS
6 Jessica Koltz, USA
82 DNS DNS DNS 82 DNS DNS
7 Leela Hancox, AUS 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS
8 Kelli Montgomery, USA 67 DNS 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS
9 Mieko Carey, JPN 67 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
10 Hannah Wells, NZL 67 DNS DNS 67 DNS DNS DNS
11 Marika Wagner, SWE 61 DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS
12 Josie Wilcox, NZL 61 DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS
13 Belinda Hadden, AUS 56 DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS
14 Rebecca Clarke, NZL 47 DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS
15 Lizzy Bunckenburg, NZL 43 DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS