Lesley Paterson successfully defends Xterra world title while Gomez finds his feet off road.
Scotland’s Lesley Paterson put in a spectacular performance in Maui, Hawaii, at the Xterra World Championships to claim back to back titles, while Spain’s Javier Gomez, fresh from his ITU Grand Final victory took on his first ever Xterra race to claim the world championships.
After a tough 1.5km rough water swim, Paterson claimed the lead from ITU stalwart Barbara Riveros of Chile just short of 10km into the 30km off road bike course. Leading by three minutes onto the run with the day’s fastest bike split (1:36:03), the Scot was also the fastest over the 10km off-road run (40:51), claiming the world title in 2:44:12 with a comfortable margin over Riveros (2:48:19).
Paterson said: “It was perfect from start to finish for me. I’ve done some great training leading up to this. This was my big focus of the year, and it panned out exactly how I wanted it to.”
“The bike felt real comfortable and I didn’t push it too hard so I knew I could come out and do a good run. I knew these ITU girls are quick runners so I had to really have my A-game for that.”
In his inaugural Xterra race, Gomez dominated the swim in 19:06. With a strong cycle, the Spaniard held onto the lead for 22km before four-time world champion Conrad Stoltz of South Africa overtook, but was only 30 seconds down beginning the run. Gomez recaptured the lead after less than 2km, going on to run the day’s fastest 10km in 38:39 to take victory in 2:26:54, 47 seconds ahead of the USA’s Josiah Middaugh.
Gomez said: “My tactic was try to push really hard uphill … and then on the downhill just not even try to go crazy fast, just try to recover and avoid crashing. It worked pretty well.”
There were others in Maui representing Great Britain too, with Jacqui Slack coming fifth and Tim Don taking eighth.
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