The guys over at Beyond Going Long have posted an interview with former XTERRA World Champ and recent XTERRA Southeast Championship victor, Lesley Paterson, regarding her switch to mountain biking in hopes of qualifying for the British Olympic team for Rio 2016.
Paterson is an exceptional mountain biker, having not only won numerous XTERRA titles but also shown she can hold her own against the best mountain bikers in the world with a win at the 2013 Pro XCT mountain bike race in California which will almost certainly be part of the UCI World Cup series in 2016.
Check out the interview below and link to Beyond Going Long for the complete interview.
Is Lesley Paterson the greatest UK off-road triathlete ever? Is she the greatest women’s off-road triathlete ever? These are all legitimate claims the flying Scotswoman can claim and despite a long period off ill health that needs continuous management (Lyme disease) and a recent shoulder fracture – Paterson was still in imperious form with a recent win at one of the XTERRA majors – XTERRA Alabama.
We caught up with Lesley to find out a bit more with the big news being that she is targeting the Olympics at Rio… and not in triathlon!
Congratulations Lesley, a fantastic result in Alabama. How did the race go down for you?
Yeah it was a fun one. The swim was terrible for me! My shoulder got hit a few times at the start and it was not pretty!
It’s still pretty sore from the fracture but making gains. Swimming in a wetsuit is the best for me right now and this was a no wetsuit swim so tough! I then got out on the bike and hit the slick trails. Loads of people were crashing around me so I was determined to stay upright!
I got in to the lead at about a 1/3rd of the way through the bike andI never looked back.
There were a lot of crashes reported out there but in true XTERRA spirit it sounds like most were able to brush themselves off and go again. How technical is the course out there?
Well it was slick and rooted out. I think those that crashed were either not used to the terrain or pushing it too much. So in parts, yes it was technical but mostly just that it’s different from the usual.
That’s two in two for the US series. How does it feel to be back out racing and performing at this level again? Is your body back to full fitness?
It’s great! I’m loving it. The big thing for me right now is to try and keep all my lyme symptoms at bay. It’s constant management which is hard work but so far I’m doing a good job of it. More than anything, I just really focus on the gratefulness aspect of things you know?