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XTERRA New Zealand Start
Radix XTERRA Rotorua Festival Start. Photo: Stephen Barker/Marathon-Photos.com/Barker Photography

XTERRA Report: Osborne, Allen win XTERRA New Zealand

Complete Results / Photos

Hometown hero Sam Osborne from Rotorua and the newlywed Jacqui Allen (nee Slack) from Australia (nee Great Britain) captured the 15th annual XTERRA New Zealand Championship elite titles at Lake Tikitapu on Saturday, April 8, 2017.

Men’s Race

It’s the second win of the season for Osborne, who became the first local to win this race in 15 years, and the second XTERRA NZL crown for Allen, who last won it in 2012.

“Absolutely bloody stoked,” exclaimed Osborne. “It’s the first time both Mum & Dad have been able to watch the race here so they were just going nuts. That really makes it so magic, they only usually get to see me race once a year because of work and usually only one can watch, but to pull off today in front of both of them is just so special.”

XTERRA New Zealand
The 2017 Radix Nutrition XTERRA Rotorua men’s champion, Sam Osbourne.

Osborne didn’t have the fastest swim of the day, that honor went to the young Fynn Thompson, but he did have the best bike and run splits to win going away in 2:06:01, more than three-minutes ahead of two-time XTERRA 15-19 age group World Champion Hayden Wilde in his elite debut.

“I didn’t have one of best of swims but had a really good transition so got out first still,” said Osborne. “There was a group of five all together at the start of the bike and as soon as we hit the first open sections things started to go nuts. It was just attack after attack with all the ITU guys in that group and an always aggressive Braden Currie right there. The first part of the bike was fireworks.”

Currie, who has won the last two XTERRA New Zealand Championship titles, pulled out during the run due to injury, the extent of which is unknown at press time. “He did his fair share of damage to all of us on the bike before that happened,” said Osborne.

Today’s race showcased a wealth of young Kiwi speedsters who made an impact on the race.

“I took the lead in the first real downhill, Taura, and got a bit of a gap but Kyle (Smith) came back to me on the next short road section,” said Osborne. “I could hear he was redlining though and made sure I rode the next section full gas. The rubber band stretched but didn’t really snap. Into the big climb up to Frontal Lobotomy I had good legs and transitioned into an incredibly smooth run down Eagle vs Shark.”

Of course, the trail names are as fantastic as the forest they reside … Whakarewarewa.

“On the run, I had good legs and I just let them go and do their thing,” said Osborne. “The atmosphere from everyone out there that turned up was just next level. I had support 90% way round the course and that really carried me through.”

It was an all Kiwi top five, with Wilde in second, Smith in third, Thompson just five-seconds back in fourth, and Olly Shaw in fifth.

Women’s Race

In the women’s race Rebecca Clarke took the early lead out of the water but Jacqui Allen was close behind and pounced early on the bike, taking the pole position 1km in and all the way to the tape.

“I really had no idea how it was going to go today, my numbers in training have improved but I had no idea how that would translate to an XTERRA race at full speed,” said Allen. “I got bashed around a bit in the swim but still existed in 2nd and after 1km on the bike I took over the lead.”

The former XTERRA Warrior award winner and reigning XTERRA Malaysia Champion married fellow XTERRA elite Ben Allen just a few weeks ago and apparently the two managed a wee-bit of trail time in the off-season as well.

“I was riding well and my skills on the bike have improved a lot over the summer so the XTERRA New Zealand course was right up my street,” said Allen, who posted the fastest women’s bike split of the day. “I came off the bike in the lead and ran my first lap conserving a little energy. I thought I was being chased down so with 4km to go I put the hammer down.”

Hannah Wells, who posted the fastest run split of the day, was indeed trying to chase Allen down but fell just about three-minutes shy in the runner-up position.

XTERRA New Zealand Women
XTERRA New Zealand 2017 Women’s Podium: 2nd Hannah Wells, 1st Jacqui Allan and 3rd Josie Wilcox

“I’m really happy with my form right now and it’s unbelievably nice to be back on the top step supporting Team Allen,” said Allen. “Rotorua is just the perfect location for XTERRA racing. That along with the fabulous set-up and organization from Frank Clarke and his team make this event truly world class.”

Wells finished second, XTERRA Motatapu Champ Josie Wilcox was third, recent XTERRA Thailand Champ Renata Bucher place fourth, and Penny Slater from Australia rounded out the top five.

TENTATIVE ELITE RESULTS

Pos Name, NAT Points Time
1 Sam Osborne, NZL 75 2:06:01
2 Hayden Wilde, NZL 67 2:09:11
3 Kyle Smith, NZL 61 2:12:09
4 Fynn Thompson, NZL 56 2:12:14
5 Olly Shaw, NZL 51 2:14:48
6 Brodie Gardner, AUS 47 2:18:32
7 David Ballesteros, ESP 43 2:24:06
8 John Mering, NZL 39 2:25:44
9 Alex Roberts, NZL 36 2:26:34
10 Cedric Wane, FRA 33 2:36:03
Pos Name, NAT Points Time
1 Jacqui Allen, GBR 75 2:34:58
2 Hannah Wells, NZL 67 2:37:44
3 Josie Wilcox, NZL 61 2:41:45
4 Renata Bucher, SUI 56 2:45:56
5 Penny Slater, AUS 51 2:46:20
6 Rebecca Clarke, NZL 47 3:00:37
7 Lizzy Bunckenburg, NZL 43 3:03:45

XTERRA ASIA-PACIFIC TOUR ELITE STANDINGS

With the win, Osborne took the lead in the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour standings, with Aussie Brodie Gardner close behind after his sixth-place showing today, and another Kiwi, Kieran McPherson, sitting in third after his big win at XTERRA Thailand last week. On the women’s side the “Swiss Miss” Renata Bucher sits atop the standing after a win in Thailand and her fourth-place showing today. Next up on the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour is a Gold-level stop in Danao, Cebu on April 23 followed by the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race in Langkawi, Malaysia on April 29.

2017 XTERRA ASIA-PACIFIC TOUR POINT STANDINGS
After 3 (As of 4.8.17)
S S S G G S S
PL NAME, NAT TOT SPN THA NZL PHI MAS TAH JPN
1 Sam Osborne, NZL 150 75 DNS 75
2 Brodie Gardner, AUS 147 39 61 47
3 Kieran McPherson, NZL 131 56 75 DNS
4 Ben Allen, AUS 128 61 67 DNS
5 Markus Benesch, AUT 102 51 51 DNS
6 David Ballesteros, ESP 99 DNS 56 43
7 Will Kelsay, USA 94 47 47 DNS
8 Aleksandr Dorovskikh, RUS 72 36 36 DNS
9 Bradley Weiss, RSA 67 67 DNS DNS
10 Hayden Wilde, NZL 67 DNS DNS 67
11 Kyle Smith, NZL 61 DNS DNS 61
12 Fynn Thompson, NZL 56 DNS DNS 56
13 Takahiro Ogasawara, JPN 51 21 30 DNS
14 Olly Shaw, NZL 51 DNS DNS 51
15 Yuichi Hosoda, JPN 43 43 DNS DNS
16 Taylor Charlton, AUS 43 DNS 43 DNS
17 Jacob Storey 39 DNS 39 DNS
18 John Mering, NZL 39 DNS DNS 39
19 Alex Roberts, NZL 36 DNS DNS 36
20 Dominik Wychera, AUT 33 33 DNS DNS
21 Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA 33 DNS 33 DNS
22 Cedric Wane, FRA 33 DNS DNS 33
23 Joe Miller, PHI 30 30 DNS DNS
24 Emil Duraj, SVK 27 27 DNS DNS
25 Akihiko Maeda, JPN 25 25 DNS DNS
26 Michal Bucek, SVK 23 23 DNF DNS
S S S G G S S
PL NAME, NAT TOT SPN THA NZL PHI MAS TAH JPN
1 Renata Bucher, SUI 131 DNS 75 56
2 Carina Wasle, AUT 75 75 DNS DNS
3 Kelli Montgomery, USA 67 DNS 67 DNS
4 Mieko Carey, JPN 67 67 DNS DNS
5 Marika Wagner, SWE 61 DNS 61 DNS
6 Belinda Hadden, AUS 56 DNS 56 DNS
7 Jacqui Allen, GBR 75 DNS DNS 75
8 Hannah Wells, NZL 67 DNS DNS 67
9 Josie Wilcox, NZL 61 DNS DNS 61
10 Penny Slater, AUS 51 DNS DNS 51
11 Rebecca Clarke, NZL 47 DNS DNS 47
12 Lizzy Bunckenburg, NZL 43 DNS DNS 43

Learn more about the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour here.

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About Jimmy Archer

Founder and Editor at dirtTRI.com. Jimmy has been a professional athlete for over 15 years as a runner, cyclist, mountain biker, cross country skier, and primarily, triathlete. Jimmy has a degree in exercise science from the University of Colorado and is a USA Triathlon and USA Cycling certified coach. Jimmy became a freelance writer in 2000 while competing and covering the ITU Winter Triathlon World Championship. Since that time Jimmy has been head editor at two magazines, been published in numerous publications within the endurance sport, recreation, and travel segments. Currently Jimmy is competing professionally in off-road multisport. In his spare time Jimmy passionately follows Formula 1, Moto GP, and is an avid cook.

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