Sprint finish with Seth Wealing for 2nd…


Sprint finish with Seth Wealing for 2nd…                                                               Pic by Nori’s iPhone

This is the race report from Trey Garman at XTERRA.  For press, email trey@xterraplanet.com. The XTERRA home page is  www.xterraplanet.com

(I will write my own report after breakfast)

Sugarbush Resort – Warren, VT (July 12, 2009) – The two reigning XTERRA European Tour Champions, Frenchman Nicolas Lebrun and Swiss sensation Renata Bucher, won the inaugural XTERRA Northeast Cup on a muddy yet magnificent course at Sugarbush Resort in Warren, Vermont today.
For Lebrun, who has been in the U.S. since the Cup Series started with the ultimate goal of adding an American Series crown to his resume (which includes 3 XTERRA European Tour titles and the 2005 XTERRA World Championship), the victory is his first of the year, moves him into 3rd place in the standings, and keeps the mathematic possibility of taking the overall title alive.

It’s also a special victory for Bucher .  Since 2005 she has won 18 XTERRA Championships in 10 countries – Saipan, Czech Republic, Austria, France, Italy, Spain, Great Britain, Japan, earlier this season in Malaysia, and now – finally – America.
“Kahuna Dave” Nicholas, the managing director of the XTERRA World Tour, was in the Green Mountain mud today and brings us this race recap…

After nearly 30 days of rain and chilly weather the skies cleared for three days and the mudfest trails that could have been were finally dry, however, the weather Gods had more in store for the hardy souls that came to the Northeast Cup and a big thunderstorm hit Saturday evening just as the pasta party started.  It was a big blow that left tents askew, the transition fencing knocked down, and general wreckage at the finish line but the crew had it in hand and all parties were ready for the 9am start.  Well almost all the athletes were on hand (the bus taking down the last folks from T2/Finish to the start broke down and the start was delayed for 15 minutes to make sure everyone was ready to go).

A tidy two-lap swim had Christine Jeffrey out of the water first which brought raucous cheers from the gals present.  Seth Wealing got a bit directionally challenged but was still able to come out with Brandon Rakita in 2nd and 3rd.  With the fresh rain from the night before the trails up the Green Mountains were muddy, but not impossible.  At the top, Nico Lebrun was a solid first with Conrad Stoltz 20 seconds behind.

“Today was my kind of course” said Lebrun. “With so many times having to come off the bike and carry and then get on and come off again I made lots of time on Conrad.  It is easy for me because I am smaller.”

Lebrun is known for his mountain running ability and the smart money was on him to keep the lead.  Conrad remember, was coming off a bad cut foot from Richmond, and while it was fairly well healed he was not 100% for running at all.  The first pair were followed by Seth Wealing just slightly ahead of Dan Hugo, but both were about three minutes behind the leaders.

On the women’s side Mel McQuaid had passed Jeffrey early on and led into T2 but a fast closing Renata Bucher, in from Europe to compete in the last two Cup races, was under 30 seconds behind.  You must understand the run here in Sugarbush is on a ski resort – it goes up and goes down, very little flat.  Once that is known, you have to figure somebody from Switzerland probably has an advantage on that kind of terrain.  And Renata did.  At the end of the first lap she was within sight of Melanie and literally sprinted up the steep hill that started the second lap of the run.  Reports came back from the top that Renata had caught Melanie and not long after the Swiss Red suit of Bucher came down the final slope to win her first race in the States.

Lebrun kept his pace fast but in control and came in for his first victory this year but what followed was a duel even better than the Bucher-McQuaid battle.  Sugarbush’s final 500-meters is straight downhill on a ski run.  You can see the entire thing from the base and it takes an eternal minute from when you first see the athlete come out of the woods until they hit the bottom.  Stoltz appeared out of the woods running at an even pace but clearly with a bit of a hitch to his stride.  About 100-meters later out came a black suited runner – Wealing.  Stoltz looked back and saw the black outfit and figured it was Brit Sam Gardner chasing him and made the judgment that with the distance left he would easily stay in front.

But we at the bottom knew better.  We knew Wealing had been third and Gardner 5th off the bike.  Wealing was relentless.  At first it did not appear as if he could catch the big Afrikaner, but as they got closer the hitch in Stoltz’ stride seemed to get worse and Wealing was completely out of control.

“It was a freefall for me the minute I realized I had a shot at Conrad” gasped Seth after the finish.  Stoltz realized a fraction of a second too late that it was Wealing and not Gardner.  They entered the final chute with Conrad only inches ahead – Wealing went left, Stoltz countered, but ever the gentleman gave Wealing some room and the lean to the tape went to the American.  They literally finished with the same time.  Sam Gardner did have a good run into 4th, displacing Hugo down to 5th place.

For the women, Shonny Vanlandingham was a distant 3rd after what she describes as the worst biking accident she’s had in 10 years of racing.
“The only thing that saved me was the mud – I hit hard” she said.  “I figured I could ride it out when I went off the trail but hit something and went down a ravine.  It’s amazing I didn’t break anything and barely got a scratch – but man, I am sore all over.”
The second Luna Chick, Danelle Kabush had a quiet race to fourth by passing a very quick Emma Garrard who ended up with a top five.

The course and area at Sugarbush are completely first-class all the way.  The scenery is spectacular, the Green Mountains beautiful to behold.  Dozens of places to eat, the resort has accommodations that could suit anyone’s tastes and pocketbook.  This is simply one race athletes will need to put on their schedule.

Pl    Name    Age    Hometown    Time    Pts    Purse
1    Nico Lebrun    35    Digne-les-Bains, France    2:24:18    100    $1,800
2    Seth Wealing    30    Boulder, Colorado    2:26:54    90    $1,250
3    Conrad Stoltz    35    Stellenbosch, South Africa    2:26:54    82    $800
4    Sam Gardner    34    Surrey, Great Britain    2:28:38    75    $500
5    Dan Hugo    23    Stellenbosch, South Africa    2:31:14    69    $400
6    Mark Leishman    30    Palmerston North, New Zealand    2:32:30    63    $300
7    Branden Rakita    28    Manitou Springs, Colorado    2:37:56    58    $200
8    Will Kelsay    27    Boulder, Colorado    2:45:09    53
9    Matt Boobar    36    Stratton Mountain, Vermont    2:51:45    49
10    Dominic Gillen    31    Milford, Connecticut    2:53:56    45

Pl    Name    Age    Hometown    Time    Pts    Purse
1    Renata Bucher    31    Lucerne, Switzerland    2:46:54    100    $1,800
2    Melanie McQuaid    35    Victoria, B.C., Canada    2:51:16    90    $1,250
3    Shonny Vanlandingham    39    Durango, Colorado    3:02:15    82    $800
4    Christine Jeffrey    36    Guelph, Ontario, Canada    3:05:58    75    $500
5    Danelle Kabush    34    Canmore, Alberta, Canada    3:07:41    69    $400
6    Emma Garrard    27    Truckee, California    3:08:34    63    $300
7    Erin Kummer    24    Boulder, Colorado    3:26:46    58    $200

Stoltz and Josiah Middaugh (who did not race today) are still 1,2 – but Lebrun jumped past Hugo into 3rd, and Wealing moved up a spot to 6th.  In the women’s standings McQuaid and Vanlandingham are still on top, but Jeffrey and Kabush each moved up one spot to 3rd and 4th position, respectively.  The most dramatic jump was Bucher, who moved from 10th to 5th and still has one score to reach her 5 counting results before the USA Championship.   Pros count their best five finishes during the regular season, plus their score at nationals to determine final position.
Pl    Name    1    2    3    4    5    6    7    Total
1    Conrad Stoltz    100    100    100    69    100    DNS    82    482
2    Josiah Middaugh    90    82    90    DNS    90    100    DNS    452
3    Nico Lebrun    DNF    69    69    90    82    90    100    431
4    Dan Hugo    82    75    75    100    69    82    69    414
5    Mike Vine    75    90    82    DNS    75    75    DNS    397
6    Seth Wealing    37    63    DNS    82    49    58    90    342
7    Craig Evans    49    49    63    63    53    63    DNS    291
8    Branden Rakita    45    53    53    75    DNS    DNS    58    284
9    Brian Smith    53    58    DNS    DNS    63    69    DNS    243
10    Will Kelsay    31    31    49    41    49    49    53    241
11    Matt Boobar    DNS    34    45    34    41    53    49    222
12    Cody Waite    34    41    58    49    DNS    DNS    DNS    182
13    Jasper Blake    69    DNS    DNS    53    DNS    DNS    DNS    122
14    Ryan DeCook    DNP    45    DNS    DNS    58    DNS    DNS    103
15    Ryan Ignatz    41    DNS    DNS    58    DNS    DNS    DNS    99
16    Sam Gardner    DNS    DNS    DNS    DNS    DNS    DNS    75    75
17    Steve Larsen    63    DNS    DNS    DNS    DNS    DNS    DNS    63
18    Mark Leishman    DNS    DNS    DNS    DNS    DNS    DNS    63    63
19    Jeff Smith    28    DNS    DNS    31    DNS    DNS    DNS    59
20    Justin Thomas    58    DNS    DNS    DNS    DNS    DNS    DNS    58
21    Brendan Halpin    DNS    DNS    DNS    45    DNS    DNS    DNS    45
22    T.D. Adams    DNS    DNS    DNS    DNS    DNS    45    DNS    45
23    Dominic Gillen    DNS    DNS    DNS    DNS    DNF    DNS    45    45
24    Scott Gall    DNS    37    DNS    DNS    DNS    DNS    DNS    37
25    Adam Jensen    DNS    DNS    DNS    37    DNS    DNS    DNS    37
26    Chris Newell    DNS    DNS    DNS    DNS    37    DNS    DNS    37

Pl    Name    1    2    3    4    5    6    7    Total
1    Melanie McQuaid    100    100    100    100    100    90    90    500
2    Shonny Vanlandingham    90    75    75    DNS    90    100    82    437
3    Christine Jeffrey    69    82    DNS    82    DNS    69    75    377
4    Danelle Kabush    49    DNS    58    90    82    DNS    69    348
5    Renata Bucher    75    90    82    DNS    DNS    DNS    100    347
6    Jenny Smith    53    69    63    DNS    75    82    DNS    342
7    Emma Garrard    63    58    69    69    DNS    DNS    63    322
8    Erin Kummer    DNS    49    49    53    58    63    58    281
9    Rebecca Dussault    58    DNS    DNS    63    63    75    DNS    259
10    Alexandra Borrelly    31    53    45    49    53    58    DNS    258
11    Lesley Paterson    82    DNS    90    DNS    DNS    DNS    DNS    172
12    Jari Kirkland    28    63    DNS    41    DNS    DNS    DNS    132
13    Jenny Tobin    45    DNS    DNS    75    DNS    DNS    DNS    120
14    Sari Anderson    37    DNS    DNS    DNS    69    DNS    DNF    106
15    Tracy Thelen    34    DNS    DNS    58    DNS    DNS    DNS    92
16    Kristy Lanier    DNS    DNS    53    DNS    DNF    DNS    DNS    53
17    Jennifer Luebke    DNS    DNS    DNS    45    DNS    DNS    DNS    45
18    Ingrid Rolles    41    DNS    DNS    DNS    DNS    DNS    DNS    41

The XTERRA Northeast Cup was the seventh of eight big XTERRA Cup championship races in the nationwide XTERRA America Tour that boasts 60 races in 32 states, and culminates in Utah for the XTERRA USA Championship on Sept. 26.

AMATEUR RACE:  Kristoffer Nielsen from North Haverhill, New Hampshire won his second Cup championship title this season (he also won the XTERRA Atlantic Cup amateur race in Richmond, VA) while 4-time XTERRA National Champ Suzie Snyder from Wallingfort, Connecticut won the women’s overall.  A complete list of age group champs and XTERRA World Championship race qualifiers will be released in this week’s XTERRA News.  Find complete results here.

SPORT RACE:  In addition to the main event Sugarbush Resort also hosted a short course XTERRA off-road tri, won by Sam Goater, 27, of Fairfield, CT in 1:52:28 and Anne Noga, 49, of Salem, Massachusetts’s in 2:49:09.

SUGARBUSH XDURO:  After nearly two full hours of epic Green Mountain trail running 23-year-old Ollie Burruss from Craftsbury Common, VT edged 35-year-old Patrick Hamel of Jericho by just 10 seconds with a winning time of 1:59:31 in the XTERRA Sugarbush Xduro off-road half-marathon in Warren, Vermont on Saturday, July 11.  In the women’s race Robyn Anderson (22, Stowe, VT) finished 12 minutes ahead of Sabra Davison (24, Jericho) in 2:11:33.

Next up:  XTERRA Mountain Cup on July 18 at Beaver Creek Resort in Avon, Colorado.

The 2009 XTERRA?Northeast Cup is presented by Paul Mitchell, XTERRA.TV, and Sugarbush Resort.  National sponsors are GU, XTERRAGear.com, Rodale, Zorrel, Gatorade, Choice Hotels, and the Utah Sports Commission. Local sponsors include Cabot Vermont, Vasa, Catamount, Darn Tough Vermont, Michelin, Green Mountain Coffee, Numa Optics, Inov8, the Vermont Ice Cream Company, Ibex, and the Warren Store.

Also, follow my twitter for blow by blow report and twitpics


CK 15-07-2009, 15:46

On Saturday I completed the my first Xterra race wearing my now muddy Avi Stoltz shoes. The shoes are the best!

Sunday I watched you and the rest of the Pros. Your battle with Seth was freakin great. Could you hear the crowd? Everybody was screaming.


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