Race

XTERRA Report: Osborne, Wasle win XTERRA Saipan


Sam Osborne from New Zealand and Carina Wasle of Austria captured the 16th annual XTERRA Saipan Championship crowns on a windy, yet beautiful Saturday morning in the Northern Marianas.

The win is Osborne’s second major victory on the XTERRA World Tour (he won Sweden, 2015) and it’s the 14th big win in Wasle’s storied 13-year career.

In the men’s race 4x Saipan Champ Ben Allen and Osborne were the first two out of the water, clocking 1.5km swim times of 19:17 and 19:18, respectively. Olympian Yuichi Hosoda was about 30-seconds back with Kieran McPherson close behind, while Brodie Gardner and Bradley Weiss were more than one-minute off the leaders pace.

“It was windy this morning and there was quite a bit of current in the water. I just stayed on Benny’s feet through the swim and we started to climb that hill together on the bike,” said Osborne. “I was able to pull away a little on the bike and towards the top it was Bradley Weiss behind me. I saw him coming and knew I had to have a good descent to keep some space between us because Bradley can run.”

Weiss posted the fastest bike split of the day (1:24:50) and entered the bike-to-run transition about 1:30 behind Osborne, who went on to post the fastest run of the day (50:15) to take the win.

“I was running scared the whole time. I saw what Bradley did in South Africa and know what he is capable of. That run is hard, a lot of jumping and changing direction,” said Osborne, the vice-champion of the XTERRA European Tour who finished 2nd at six of the 10 XTERRA races he competed in last year. “I’m so happy to finally get the win, it’s absolutely fantastic. I’ve had so many podiums, it’s great to finally break through.”

Osborne was also in awe of the island itself, saying “It is an amazing place. It seems so untouched, so beautiful. That’s what I really enjoy about this sport is the places. I might never have discovered Saipan if not for XTERRA, and I’m so happy I did. This place is great, the people are warm and so welcoming and the course is pure adventure. I’ve had a blast.”

The Kiwi will now head back to his hometown in Rotorua for XTERRA New Zealand on April 8, then continue his quest to steal the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour title from Allen with stops in the Philippines and Malaysia… “and maybe Tahiti too, I saw that Mauricio is headed there and I might just have to give him a run for his money in Moorea.”

Carina Wasle

In the women’s race it was Wasle from wire-to-wire with the fastest swim, bike, and run splits that added up to a winning time of 3:18:54. She jumped out to an early lead, transitioning from the swim to the bike about 40-seconds ahead of Mieko Carey, and never looked back.

“I had an amazing race today,” said Wasle, who has now won two in a row and three of the last four XTERRA Saipan titles. “I was ahead the whole race, and was able to get in a good rhythm on the uphills, then on the downhills I was clean with no crashes or flats.”

The overcast and windy conditions also played to Wasle’s advantage. “It was relatively cool here in Saipan today with the clouds and even a little breeze.”

Wasle credits her annual warm weather training in South Africa as the key to her success today, saying “I had a really good training camp and I feel good, I feel fit. I worked a lot on my swim and it payed off.”

The pint-sized Austrian will head back to Europe for the season-opener at XTERRA Malta on April 2nd, then try to defend her title at XTERRA Reunion on April 16 before getting back to the Asia-Pacific Tour stops in the Philippines and Malaysia.

XTERRA Saipan was the first of seven races on this year’s XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour. Next up is XTERRA Thailand on April 1 in Phuket, followed by XTERRA New Zealand on April 8, XTERRA Cebu (Philippines) on April 23, the $25,000 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship in Langkawi, Malaysia on April 29, XTERRA Tahiti on May 6, and the finale at XTERRA Japan in Hokkaido on September 2. Every race counts for points and the tour titles go to the pros and amateurs in each division who collect the most points by the end of the season. Learn more about the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour here.

Tentative Elite Results

Complete Results will be available at www.jtltiming.com upon race completion

All-time XTERRA Saipan Elite Champions

Year – Men/Women
2002 – Mike Vine/Jamie Whitmore
2003 – Jason Chalker/Jamie Whitmore
2004 – Olivier Marceau/Jamie Whitmore
2005 – Olivier Marceau/Renata Bucher
2006 – Olivier Marceau/Renata Bucher
2007 – Olivier Marceau/Renata Bucher
2008 – Andrew Noble/Renata Bucher
2009 – Sam Gardner/Renata Bucher
2010 – Sam Gardner/Renata Bucher
2011 – Sam Gardner/Shonny Vanlandingham
2012 – Ben Allen/Renata Bucher
2013 – Ben Allen/Jacqui Slack
2014 – Ben Allen/Carina Wasle
2015 – Ben Allen/Jacqui Slack
2016 – Brodie Gardner/Carina Wasle
2017 – Sam Osborne/Carina Wasle

2017 XTERRA World Championship Qualifying Series Schedule
XTERRA Saipan was the third of 41 events where amateur athletes from around the world could qualify to race at the 22nd annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on October 29.

Date
Race
Elite Winners or Location
Feb 25
Richard Murray / Flora Duffy
Mar 4
Dougal Allan / Josie Wilcox
Mar 18
XTERRA Saipan + Silver
Sam Osborne / Carina Wasle
Mar 25
Dique Ullum, San Juan
Apr 1
Phuket
Apr 1
XTERRA Chile # Silver
San Bernardo, Santiago
Apr 2
XTERRA Malta * Silver
Majjistral Nature Reserve
Apr 8
Rotorua, North Island
Apr 9
Playa Reserva Conchal
Apr 16
La Reunion Island
Apr 23
XTERRA Cyprus * Silver
Lara Beach/Akamas, Paphos
Apr 23
Danao, Cebu, Philippines
Apr 29
Langkawi, Malaysia
Apr 30
XTERRA Greece * Silver
Vouliagmeni
May 6
Moorea
May 14
XTERRA Spain * Silver
Taragonna
May 14
XTERRA Brazil # Silver
Ilha Bella, Sao Paolo
May 20
Pelham, AL, USA
May 27
Golega
Jun 10
Namur
Jun 17
Milton, Ontario, Canada
Jun 18
Imatra
Jun 24
Vallee de Joux
Jul 2
Xonrupt
Jul 9
Victoria, B.C., Canada
Jul 15
Beaver Creek, CO, USA
Jul 30
Scanno, Abruzzo, Italy
Aug 5
Tapalpa
Aug 5
XTERRA Norway * Silver
Norefjell
Aug 6
Canmore, Alberta, Canada
Aug 12
Quebec City, Canada
Aug 12
Ontario, Canada
Aug 13
Barahona
Aug 13
XTERRA Poland * Silver
Krakow
Aug 19
Zittau
Aug 26
XTERRA Sweden * Silver
Hammarbybacken, Stockholm
Aug 26
Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
Sep 2
XTERRA Japan + Silver
Hokkaido
Sep 3
Mons Klint
Sep 16
Ogden, Utah, USA
Oct 29
Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

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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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