Josiah Middaugh and Fabiola Corona captured the 2018 XTERRA Quebec off-road triathlon elite titles on a gorgeous blue-sky day at Lac Delage in Quebec, Canada, on Saturday, August 18.
It’s the fourth XTERRA Pan Am Tour win of the year for both.
In the elite men’s race Branden Rakita posted the fastest swim split, followed by Ian King and Karsten Madsen. Middaugh exited the water a little more than one-minute later with Tour leader Kieran McPherson, and the chase was on.
“I had a good swim and started the bike with Kieran about 1:30 down, but Karsten was riding strong up ahead, putting time on me in corners and descents,” said Middaugh. “I was pulling back time on some of the pedaling sections and finally caught him beginning the third loop.”
Madsen, who was on a mission to win this one for his home country, said, “I was feeling good on the bike and riding the technical like I know I can. I was putting time on everybody but Josiah, who was out-climbing me. This course had 3,000 feet of climbing so that created a lot of back and forth with Josiah, and I started to get the impression him and I were way out front.”
Those two were out front, but McPherson has been running faster than all the regulars on the Tour this year and was still a threat.
“On the run I had a small cushion to Karsten and a big gap to the rest of the field,” said Middaugh. “I looked at my Suunto and realized we were starting the run about the same time we would normally be finishing an XTERRA, so I decided to fuel and pace the first lap and attack the second. The strategy worked and luckily I had something left in the tank.”
Indeed, the course was one of the longer and harder on the XTERRA World Tour this year, and heavy rain last night added some time to an already long and technical bike course.
“The trails are amazing but the speeds are slow with so many twists, turns, ups, downs, roots, and rocks. Made for a long, tough day,” said Middaugh.
“Man, that was a long, hard race,” agreed Madsen. “I made a risk and tried to close back the gap that I heard was one-minute starting the run. I pulled back within 15 seconds of him going into lap two but after climbing up I was cooked, just didn’t have that gear.”
McPherson, who has done 10 of the 11 races on the Pan Am Tour this year, was missing a gear as well.
“Rough day at the office for me but credit to those boys,” said McPherson. “It’s been a long, challenging season and if you don’t bring your A-game each race you will be found out. Karsten and Josiah were too strong on the bike today, but what a great race XTERRA Quebec put on. This will become one of those must-do races now for many.”
Middaugh posted the fastest bike split of the day (1:56:08) and followed that with the quickest run (48:56) to take the tape in 3:06:37, nearly two-minutes ahead of Madsen in second. McPherson was third, Rakita came in fourth, and Carlos Chang finished in fifth.
In the women’s elite race, Corona dominated from start to finish by posting the fastest swim, bike, and run times and crossing the finish line in 3:49:24—more than seven-minutes ahead of runner-up Kara LaPoint.
“I am really happy,” exclaimed Corona. “I took the lead from the beginning of the swim and never looked back. I love the muddy and slippery single-track course, and I felt strong all day. Even on the run my legs felt good so I pushed and believed I could keep the lead. I finished with a big smile and in love with this course. The organizers did an amazing job.”
LaPoint was strong all day to finish second, with Katie Button in third, Evelyne Blouin in fourth, and Kelli Montgomery in fifth.
|1||Josiah Middaugh, USA||3:06:37||19:29||1:56:08||48:56||75|
|2||Karsten Madsen, CAN||3:08:34||18:23||1:58:15||49:54||67|
|3||Kieran McPherson, NZL||3:11:36||19:30||2:01:14||49:09||61|
|4||Branden Rakita, USA||3:21:26||18:12||2:03:48||57:30||56|
|5||Carlos Chang, CAN||3:35:37||19:42||2:15:48||57:32||51|
|6||Alex Roberts, NZL||3:41:49||20:27||2:21:57||57:32||47|
|7||Ian King, USA||3:53:22||18:19||2:26:03||1:07:03||43|
|1||Fabiola Corona, MEX||3:49:24||20:28||2:26:30||1:00:22||75|
|2||Kara LaPoint, USA||3:57:32||21:51||2:32:03||1:00:40||67|
|3||Katie Button, CAN||4:01:04||21:49||2:28:38||1:07:42||61|
|4||Evelyne Blouin, CAN||4:02:35||21:54||2:35:27||1:02:24||56|
|5||Kelli Montgomery, USA||4:36:35||21:53||2:54:57||1:16:52||51|