XTERRA Quebec this Sunday at Lac Delage

Friday 12 July 2019
The XTERRA Quebec off-road triathlon takes place Sunday at Lac Delage in the French-speaking region of Quebec City, Canada. It’s the sixth of 10 events on the XTERRA Pan Am Tour this season, and second in as many weeks in Canada.  

Sam Osborne and Samantha Kingsford won last weekends race at XTERRA Victoria in British Columbia and while those two went back to their basecamp in Colorado to rest up and get ready for the high-altitude showdown at XTERRA Beaver Creek on July 20, the reigning XTERRA Pan Am Champ Josiah Middaugh traveled east to defend his title in Quebec.

“Last year, XTERRA Quebec was the longest, toughest race on the Pan Am circuit,” said Middaugh.
“This year, the course is mostly the same with a longer swim, and slightly shorter bike, but it will still be very challenging.  The gaps among the podium contenders has only gotten tighter in the past couple years, and even though Sam will be back in Colorado resting up for Beaver Creek, Karsten Madsen and Branden Rakita are both looking very strong so far this year and I will have some catching up to do out of the water.  With XTERRA Beaver Creek only six days later, you might think the guys on the podium would back it off or settle for position, but that is never how we race.  There is only one way to race XTERRA, full gas!”

Madsen, who has been Canada’s best off-roader in recent years, was third last week in Victoria in his first race of the season and was second at XTERRA Quebec behind Middaugh last year.

“Fun to be doing this again,” said Madsen, who has been dealing with heart conditions, as chronicled in this recent article. “I had to take some time off from training after the ablation procedure I had done about a month ago. I’m happy to say I’m fully healthy for this Sunday’s race in Quebec and working on keeping the fitness coming up.”
Rakita, who finished 16-seconds behind Madsen in fourth place last week, had the fastest swim in Quebec last year and hopes to push the pace up front early.
“I am feeling good going into Quebec, and I am pretty happy with how the race went in Victoria,” said Rakita.  “If I can swim and run like I did in Victoria and then ride a bit cleaner, I should have a good race and be right in there battling with Josiah and Karsten.”

The race combines a 1.5K swim with a grueling 27K mountain bike on epic trails at Empire 47, then a punishing 10K trail run.

“The Quebec course is awesome,” explained Rakita.  
“The swim in Lac-Delage is beautiful and is nice warm water.  The bike has some great open climbing that makes passing easy but also has some technical climbing as well to help separate the athletes. There are a lot of great single track sections that flow, and some are very tight and twisty with rocks and roots.  You must be 100% focused through the entire ride, a small mistake can cost you.  The run is very tough, after one lap of the run you think you have done 10k.”

On doing three races in three weeks, just like Middaugh and Madsen will be doing, Rakita says it’s all about managing systems.

“With three races back to back you need to go in with a decent amount of fitness to do it well,” he said.  “Thankfully, Victoria is a pretty quick race so even though you are really pushing hard it is not quite as draining, and a bit easier to bounce back from. Quebec will be about managing systems. Rest is the most important thing to do between races. You still want to do a few efforts to keep the system firing, but only enough to keep priming the pump.”

Other elite contenders include Quebec’s own Jean-Philippe Thibodeau, the top ranked elite Canadian on the Pan Am Tour in 2017, and the pride of Alaska, Will Ross, who was fifth last weekend in Victoria.

Elite Men’s Start List
Josiah Middaugh, USA
Karsten Madsen, CAN
Branden Rakita, USA
Jean-Philippe Thibodeau, CAN
Will Ross, USA
Matthew Alford, USA
Vincent Belhumeur, CAN
Carlos Chang, CAN
Edmond Roy, CAN

In the women’s elite race Katie Button, the 2016 XTERRA Victoria Champ who finished third in Quebec last year and fifth in Victoria on Sunday, looks to be the favorite.

“Last year was a monster of a race and if the hot and humid weather continues it’ll be a battle to stay hydrated, stay sharp, and maximize my single track assassination on the bike and run,” said Button.  “It’s a beautiful area and the race seems to stay on the trails the entire time, so I’m glad I made it work to get back here.”
Kelli Montgomery, the 2018 XTERRA Costa Rica champ who was fifth in Quebec last year, said she’s ready for another chance to race on these trails as well.

“I’m excited to race again in Quebec, they have some great trails that are similar to what I ride in the northeast on the bike and run,” said Montgomery, who hails from Connecticut. “The trails have some good flow but also feature a number of challenging technical sections. I’m feeling good and race fitness has come around so I’ll see what I can do!  Looking forward to camping this year in Quebec as well.”

Laura Mira Dias from Brazil, who was 2nd at XTERRA Argentina, 3rd at XTERRA Chile, and 4th at XTERRA Brazil, is looking for some big points in Quebec to move up in the standings.  Elites count their best six scores of the season, including what they get (or don’t get) at the Pan Am Championship race which will be held September 7 in Ogden, Utah.

Other contenders include Americans Amanda Bayer and Deanna McCurdy.

Elite Women’s Start List
Amanda Bayer, USA
Katie Button, CAN
Kelli Montgomery, USA
Deanna McCurdy, USA
Laura Mira Dias, BRA

While this is the sixth edition of XTERRA Quebec, it’s just the second year the race has been designated as an XTERRA World Tour major.  As such, it provides a chance for amateur athletes in the region to secure one of the 26 qualifying spots into XTERRA Worlds (one for every age group champion).

The event is also part of the new XTERRA Quebec Series, which includes XTERRA Bromont and XTERRA Tremblant, and the Series winners also qualify for XTERRA Worlds.
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Monday 07 May 2018 Noreply@blogger.com (Luke Bell)
Here is just a quick re cap for those of you that were interested in how my race went at Challenge Taiwan full distance. Swim - It was a non wetsuit swim for us as water temps were 24-25C (age group could still wear suits, mainly for safety reasons in Asia) I treated it like a 70.3 swim to hang onto Dylan McNiece who is on exceptional swimmers in our sport (Has led the Hawaii IM out of water) - time 48min.

 Bike - smooth roads and a rolling hilly course along the coast, actually a very nice bike course Dylan and I wanted to keep pace high as #1 we raced last weekend or 6 days ago actually (Challenge Melb half...not ideal but part of a "package" with Challenge) and knew fatigue would set in later no matter what #2 we wanted to hold off the "king of asian racing" Freddie Cronenberg. It rained a little during bike so although there was cloud cover the humidity was quite high, still air temps around 30C... not good coming from Melbourne.
Bike times:
Through 90km - 2.08
180k - 4.20 (wind picked up on second lap)

 Run - Dylan and I ran together for 20km at a steady clip (on track for a 2.55-57 marathon) that we thought was comfortable and manageable in the 'warm, humid' Taiwan conditions.... not record setting but it didn't need to be. However, and I think mainly just due to fatigue (2 races 6 days + travel) I cramped up in left adductors..This has happened a few times before. From there it was trying to manage cramps home so made for a little longer back end of marathon and quite a few stops to stretch it out... humidity didn't help either with incased sweat rates. Anyway Freddie caught me at 32km and I slipped to 3rd where I stayed. Time - blew out to 3.12 (not ideal but best of a bad scenario)

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- Back to back races in hard/painful!! or a Half and a Full in 6 days in 2 different countries.
 - The swim is in a man made lake or more like a 1.3km long swimming pool.... water is filled by a fresh spring so clean, see the bottom all the way as 2.5m deep. Amazing.
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 - People here are crazy and lover the sport. Over the weekend there are 4k+ athletes racing as there is a Full, Half (Saturday) Olympic and Kids race (300 kids) Sunday,
 - I did see some people riding in Crocs with pedals on $10k bikes
 - I did see some people running in rubber thongs with socks.
- The aid station that I thought had coke on it ended up being Ice Tea!
 - I may now have eaten my weight in Dumplings.....

 Thanks for all the well wishes, It was a blast. Luke



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Thanks for the nice feedback from various media channels. TV RTL Luxembourg WATCH HERE RADIO RTL Luxembourg LISTEN HERE PODCAST Tri-Oraklet with Lasse LISTEN HERE The Brick Session with Mark LISTEN HERE Fitter Radio NZL with Bevan LISTEN HERE IM TALK with Bevan & John LISTEN HERE  TRISPECIFIC with Kristian LISTEN HERE    REPORTS Endurance […]

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