Eagle-Vail triathlete Josiah Middaugh captured the Xterra Quebec off-road triathlon elite title on Saturday, Aug. 18, at Lac Delage in Quebec, Canada.
It was his the fourth win of the season in the Xterra off-road triathlon’s Pan Am Tour.
Fellow Colorado racer Branden Rakita posted the fastest swim split in the race, followed by Ian King, of Virginia Beach, and Canadian Karsten Madsen. Middaugh exited the water a little more than one-minute later with Tour leader Kieran McPherson, of New Zealand, and the chase was on.
“I had a good swim and started the bike with Kieran about 1:30 down, but Karsten was riding strong up ahead, putting time on me in corners and descents,” Middaugh said. “I was pulling back time on some of the pedaling sections and finally caught him beginning the third loop.”
‘WAY OUT FRONT’
Madsen, who was on a mission to win for his home country, said he was putting time on everybody but Middaugh.
“This course had 3,000 feet of climbing, so that created a lot of back and forth with Josiah,” Madsen said. “I started to get the impression him and I were way out front.”
Those two were out front, but McPherson has been running faster than all the regulars on the Tour this year and was still a threat.
“On the run I had a small cushion to Karsten and a big gap to the rest of the field,” Middaugh said. “I looked at my Suunto and realized we were starting the run about the same time we would normally be finishing an Xterra, so I decided to fuel and pace the first lap and attack the second. The strategy worked and luckily I had something left in the tank.”
Indeed, the course was one of the longer and harder on the Xterra World Tour this year, and heavy rain on Friday added some time to the already long and technical bike trails.
“The trails are amazing but the speeds are slow with so many twists, turns, ups, downs, roots and rocks,” Middaugh said. “Made for a long, tough day.”