@lancearmstrong “Well that was HARD! Much respect to all the competitors today @XTERRAoffroad. And a big thanks to all the volunteers as well.”
A fantastic debut at the Xterra USA Championship for the 7-time Tour de France winner today but it was Nico Lebrun taking the victory in 2:24:20.
Athletes and spectators arrived at the Port Ramp Marina swim start in Ogden, Utah under sunny skies and 70 degree temperatures.
The Xterra course consisted of swimming two, 750 meter laps in the Pineview Reservoir followed by 17.7 miles of mountain biking from Port Ramp Marina to Snowbasin Resort climbing total of 3,400 feet and finishing off with a 6.1 mile trek with 700 feet of climbing.
Australian Ben Allen exited the water first followed by Branden Rakita, Craig Evans and Christine Jeffrey as the first female. Armstrong finished the swim and entered transition with a group including Seth Wealing of Boulder, Colorado but showed some triathlon-related rust making the transition from swimming to biking. Conrad Stoltz was about two minutes back.
After nearly 18 miles of mountain biking, the top men in and out of transition were Dan Hugo, Conrad Stoltz and Armstrong. Hugo had a two minute lead at this point. Armstrong held steady but dropped to fourth position by mile one with Josiah Middaugh hot on his heals 20 seconds back. Middaugh overtook Conrad Stoltz on the run for to claim 3rd but it Nico Lebrun took the lead at mile four and never looked back.
Nico Lebrun is your 2011 Xterra USA Champion finishing the race in 2:24:20. Dan Hugo finishes second at 2:24:34, Josiah Middaugh in third at 2:25:34 and the Caveman, Conrad Stoltz places 4th. Rounding out the top five was the 7-time Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong.
On the women’s side it’s Melanie McQuaid of Canada winning the 2011 Xterra USA Championship and Ryan Ignatz of Boulder, Colorado is this year’s Age Group Champion.
Check out: Twitter.com/LiveTriCoverage for play by play action, splits, photos, and race results from triathlons around the country.
Visit www.xterrautah.com in the hours post-race for full race report, photos and results.