Mendez, Paterson win XTERRA Pan Am Champs

Monday 18 September 2017
Mauricio Mendez from Mexico and Lesley Paterson from Scotland captured the XTERRA Pan America Championship race on a beautiful day around Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah this morning.

In the men’s elite race Mendez came out of the water with Australian Ben Allen, took the lead during the swim-to-bike transition and led the rest of the way, taking the tape in 2:22:50, nearly two-minutes ahead of last year’s winner Josiah Middaugh of Colorado.

“Today was just perfect. I mean, I felt good on the swim, we worked at having a good pace. When we were out of the swim, and we noticed we had a big gap – Ben Allen and me – I was just feeling confident about it and when we hit the dirt I did an attack and I felt great,” said Mendez, the 21-year-old reigning XTERRA World Champion.

“I was just attacking the whole time because I knew that I’d have big sharks behind me and they could catch me at any time so I was trying to push as hard as possible. Then when I hit the run, and someone told me I was leading by one minute I just knew that, I mean, I am so used to chasing Josiah the whole time and now that I had him behind me I knew that I had made a good effort on the bike but now I was worried to be caught by him.”

The 2015 XTERRA World Champion Josiah Middaugh came out of the water about 1:40 behind Mendez, made up 30 seconds of that by posting the fastest bike split of the day (1:24:37), but couldn’t close the gap on the run.

In the women’s elite race Paterson, a two-time XTERRA World Champion, was the sixth elite female out of the swim, passed all five riders in front of her by mile five of the bike and never looked back.  Her winning time of 2:51:13 was a full seven-minutes ahead of runner-up Jacqui Allen from Great Britain.

“I came out of the water two-minutes down, got up into second place just after Wheeler Canyon, probably about half a mile into the next trail.  I passed Julie about another mile after that but she’s strong, you know and kept with me for a bit,” said Paterson.

The “Scottish Rocket” posted the fastest bike and run splits of the day, and looked dominant.

“Yeah man, I was really going for it today,” said Paterson.  “The bike felt great, I attacked the whole time and just went for it. I felt strong so wanted to push it and keep those girls honest. And the conditions were just supreme. That descent was amazing on the bike, and I’ll tell ya, if I didn’t have to run I might have enjoyed that.”

ELITE MEN:
1 Mendez Mauricio 02:22:50
2 Middaugh, Josiah 02:24:33
3 Weiss, Bradley 02:26:16
4 Smith, Kyle 02:28:55
5 Allen, Ben 02:31:18 

ELITE FEMALE:
1 Paterson, Lesley 02:51:13 
2 Allen, Jacqui 02:58:11
3 Baker, Julie 02:59:09 
4 Snyder, Suzie 03:00:48
5 Riou, Morgane 03:02:48 
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