Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Winter XTERRA World Champion x 2

Here's Xterra Planet's report.
Sunday, March 08, 2009
Brian Smith, a 33-year-old elite endurance racer from Gunnison, Colorado, was as flawless as the weather at Snowbasin Resort today – putting together the best bike, snowshoe, run and randonnee ski times to capture the XTERRA Winter World Championship for the second straight year in two hours, 21 seconds, more than five minutes ahead of two-time Winter Triathlon World Champion Nicolas Lebrun from France. “It feels good to defend the title,” smiled Smith, who also won the USA Winter Triathlon crown in January. “I wanted to be flawless today, and was able to put some gaps on the field in the first climbing section on the bike and from there I just stayed on the gas and pulled away.”
Indeed, the man who was wearing the No. 1 jersey was appropriately out in front all day. The race combined 10-kilometers of mountain biking, 5km of snowshoeing, 5km of running, and 8km of ski mountaineering – all on the “Greatest Snow on Earth” at Snowbasin which is boasting the deepest base in Utah and solid mid-winter conditions to go along with the most beautiful sunshine days imaginable. Smith charged hard from the moment race director Dave Nicholas’ cannon blast sent a flurry of mountain bikers representing 15 states and four countries sliding down the hill to start the race. He had the fastest bike time in 25:04, and went out onto the snowshoe leg more than a minute ahead of Jay Henry, two minutes in front of Lebrun, and just about four minutes ahead of Josiah Middaugh.
Middaugh, an 8-time snowshoe national champ, made up a minute-30 on Smith during the deep powder snowshoe stomp through the forest and caught Henry and Lebrun by the time they hit the run. The trio of striders made for an intimidating chase pack but Smith stayed swift and kept his lead at 1:35 heading out onto the ski mountaineering course. By the final stage Middaugh had overtaken Henry and Lebrun and moved into second place, giving himself the opportunity to turn the tide on what happened at last year’s race when Smith made up two minutes in the last leg to steal the victory from Middaugh by a mere second. Alas, it wasn’t to be as Smith posted the fastest ski mountaineering split of the day – a 39:39 with a graceful giant slalom shuffle in front of a cowbell-ringing crazed-crowd at the finish line to seal the deal. “I’m sorry it wasn’t as spectacular of a finish as last year but it was a great race,” said Smith at the awards ceremony where he picked up an $1,800 check for first place. “These guys here at Snowbasin did an excellent job putting this course together – this place is first class all the way.” Those sentiments were echoed throughout… “The ski was awesome, just beautiful terrain and this was my first time skiing in Utah but I’ll definitely be back. I had a blast,” said Henry, who finished 3rd overall. Lebrun, who came into the ski stage in fourth, skinned his way up the hill in a hurry and passed Henry and Middaugh to finish second. All told, the 18-mile course featured some 3,000 feet of human-powered climbing up, down, and around the snow covered mountain whose base sits at 6,400-feet elevation.
Rebecca Dussault also of Gunnison, CO.. absolutely crushed the womens race. She is having an amazing season on snow this year!


ScottyD said...


thedurangokid said...

Sick Bra! If you'd practice a little more you might be good someday!

Susan Haywood said...

Bringing home the title for Gunny again. Good man.