This past weekend Xterra visited Alabama for our first ever South East Championships event. The venue was spectacular, the locals incredibly friendly and the result was exactly what I was looking for. A first place finish – which ties up the series going into Richmond. I have to say that Alabama was a difficult race for me. First because I wasn Read more
by IT Interactive
This report filed November 30, 2005
Two-time Xterra world champion Melanie McQuaid has confirmed that she will be riding Orbea bikes in 2006, as she seeks to be the first person ever to repeat as champion.
"In 2005 I was fortunate enough to be one of the first to race the Alma, and my results speak to the quality of that bike. It is a privilege that I will continue to ride Orbea in 2006. Orbea offers an amazing line of road, time trial and mountain bikes that set a quality standard that no one else even comes close to, and the roster of athletes that choose to ride them is equally impressive.I am excited to be part of what is sure to be the ultimate multisport program next season."
McQuaid was a terror on the Xterra circuit in 2005, with wins at Xterra West and Mountain championships, plus close seconds in Xterra East, Midwest and USA championships. She rode the Scandium hardtail Scape for most of the year, switching to Orbea’s all-carbon Alma for the world championship race in Maui, where she scorched the bike course in a convincing win.
Orbea’s managing director for North America, Tony Karklins, is thrilled about McQuaid’s results this year and excited to have her riding Orbea again in 2006. "Melanie has become the face of Xterra with her consistent high level of achievement over the past three years, and Orbea is proud to be a part of her team going forward. She’s a leader and a winner, and those are qualities that we strive for everyday."
Melanie will be racing the Alma again next year in Xterra events. She also has plans to race the Orbea Ordu in a few non-drafting triathlons, when her off-road schedule permits.
Four. That is the number of times I have been second in the Xterra US National Pro Series. After how much I psyched myself up to turn that into a first here in Nevada at the US Championships it stings a little to settle for second. I go back to the day in Milwaukee where I got lost on the course to lose by 22 seconds, I think about the lack of preparation for the run in Richmond where I lost by 30 seconds and I think about the 35 seconds that made the difference between a fourth second place and my first win overall this weekend at the finals. Sport can be so amazingly exhilarating and so excruciatingly heartbreaking. The race in Lake Tahoe this year was probably one of our best battles yet, with Barb Lindquist, arguably one of the best female triathletes of all time, keeping us guessing all the way to the end of the race. Even though I am disappointed that I couldn’t have had just a little better day, Jamie had a fantastic day and forced me to find some new courage to try and turn things around for myself. I had a rough day in Tahoe, and turned what could have become a disaster into one of my better performances ever…. Read more
This report filed August 25, 2005 on http://www.insidetri.com
(Jamie Whitmore and Melanie McQuaid have waged a seesaw war over the past three years of Xterra – Whitmore capturing the world championship on the strength of her run in 2004 and McQuaid using her vicious bike skills to take the world title in 2003. Who will prevail in Maui, at the 2005 world championships on October 23rd? Here, Melanie writes about how a strong rivalry can force competitors to improve beyond perceived limits.)
A rivalry exists when one strives to obtain something simultaneously with another – something which only one can possess. In sport, there can be only one winner, which is why sport inspires some of the greatest rivalries in history. A great rivalry is something quite special. It allows competing athletes to create a history in the sport beyond themselves. It allows their actions, their efforts, and their heart to be permanently recorded with the spirit of sportsmanship and competitiveness. I can think of some great rivalries which will forever be linked with that sport: Armstrong v. Ullrich (cycling); Evert v. Navratilova (tennis); Allan v. Scott (triathlon). The story of their competition remains vivid beyond the victories, and I feel proud that within the sport of Xterra for the last three years I have participated in my own rivalry, McQuaid vs. Whitmore. Having close competition can be one of the greatest ways to explore your own ability as an athlete, and it can make even your losses become some of the best races of your career.
It is hard for me even to believe that this is the FIRST race in my 11 years of racing road, mountain bike and triathlon that I have won a race at altitude. Incredible! Even when I was a favorite on the Canadian National Mountainbike series in the 90s I continued to falter at altitude, until now! What made a difference? Well, obviously three years of training with a Hypoxico altitude tent made a difference, as I have steadily improved at the high altitude races, but I think the fact that this year I MUST win at altitude to finish strong in the National Series has motivated me to push a little past the pain, and to prepare with scientific rigor. This was the reason that I went to my first Xterra Points Series race in Colorado, put on by the dynamic duo of Ashley Burt and Tina Kempin, both of the Crested Butte Bank, which sponsored and hosted the race. I wanted to have a race at a similar altitude to the race in Keystone, and Crested Butte fit the bill, over 9000 feet above sea level with similar race distance. I went to the race at the worst day of acclimation, after a week of pretty much sitting on my butt doing nothing, felt flat as a pancake, and busted ass to get the win. It was very satisfying. There were two very good locals there, Janae Pritchett and Jennifer Smith (known for NORBA racing), who are fully acclimated and ready for battle on their home turf, so I had some serious competition. This was very good for me, and the race was likely more difficult than the course at Keystone, so I feel like I had a good taste of what will be required at our last series stop before the finals. I had a fantastic week at the race, hosted by the awesome Burt family (the killer "B"s), so read on to hear about how cool Gunnison and Crested Butte, Colorado are… Read more
The beginning of February.. it is so foreign to me that I still basically have three months at home before I am leaving for racing. Last year I was getting ready to go win the NOVA cross country in Arizona? this year I am getting ready to go run the Cedar 12km. Yes, some big changes in the training program this year. Instead of blazing a path through the spring cycling classics, I am getting my butt handed to me by the incredibly talented Vancouver Island running community. Loving every minute of it! Read more
The skies above Maui have opened up today, a storm announcing the arrival of winter and the beginning of the off season for me. I have just completed the World Xterra Championship, the biggest race of the season attracting the best and the brightest from around the world. In a close race and an exciting finish, I ended up second to Jamie Whitmore. My bid to retain the title became a strong second place with about two kilometers to go, and although I am obviously disappointed in not winning, I must congratulate Jamie for putting together a great race. As a result, I am totally focused on how I can be better as an athlete, how I can improve on this great, but not perfect season, and what I need to do to climb back to the top of the World Championship podium. But that can wait, because now is the time for me to go home and chill out with friends and be "normal" for awhile, before plotting next seasons course…. Read more
While I spend the last few days here in Victoria preparing to leave for Hawaii, I can’t help but become very philosophical on WHY we do what we do, and what positive effect our actions and choices have on others. It is hard to stay focussed on "winning" things when the achievement is truly fleeting. I feel that only when you manage to inspire someone else, and they carry on to inspire the next person, that your achievement may have lasting value… Read more
Despite the title of this report, the West Championships Xterra was again a battle between Jamie Whitmore and I, but a very unfriendly non-gentleman decided to put himself between us during the bike segment of the race, and then personally attack me after the race, so this story has a bit of spice. Jamie won the Big Bear Xterra this year again, and as much as I freaking HATE second, I did do well having had a solid race winning the bike prime and putting up a fight until about the last 3.5 miles of the race, so I feel like things are right on track for the last two races of the season. This was a good race, so read on to get the story….