XTERRA Pan Am Tour Races to Ilhabela & Alabama
The 2019 XTERRA Pan American Tour races into action over the next two weeks with stops at XTERRA Brazil in Ilhabela on Saturday, May 11, then over to the U.S. for XTERRA Oak Mountain in Shelby County, Alabama the following Saturday, May 18.
Sam Osborne, the reigning and two-time XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour Champion from New Zealand, will be at both events as he strives to make his mark on the Pan Am Tour this season.
“Proper excited to kick off the Pan Am Tour here in Brazil on Saturday,” he said. “It’s one of those locations that is iconic around the world. This tour is something different for me, as I haven’t raced anything this side of the world outside of Maui, so I really do find it exciting to see a whole load of new courses and experience some different cultures.”
Osborne, who was third at XTERRA Worlds last year behind only Rom Akerson and Brad Weiss, is off to a hot start in 2019 with a 2nd place finish at the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championships in Taiwan and then a win on his home course in Rotorua to take the XTERRA New Zealand crown.
“I’ve had a good, consistent training block since Taiwan & Rotorua and have kicked the knee injury I was carrying through the start of the year,” said Osborne. “So, I’m happy with my decision to have missed ITU Cross Tri Worlds to get myself that block I’ve been missing. We haven’t had a chance to check out much of the course here yet, but it looks like it is one challenging beast. It all reminds me a bit of the Philippines, as we are surrounded by a whole lot of jungle!”
Last year in Ilhabela Osborne’s fellow countryman, Kieran McPherson, won this race and commented that the “course, the atmosphere, and the organization make this one of the pinnacle XTERRA events in the world.”
McPherson, who sits in second in the Pan Am Tour standings after two runner-up performances at XTERRA Argentina and Chile in March, will not be in Brazil this year so Osborne’s main competition will come from Brazilian XTERRA star Felipe Moletta, German elite Sebastian Neef, Alex Rhodes from Great Britain, and a handful of strong local pros.
in the women’s race XTERRA Chile Champ Valentina Carvallo (pictured) and XTERRA Argentina Champ Erika Simon look to continue their winning ways but will have to steal the crown from the reigning and five-time XTERRA Brazil Champ Sabrina Gobbo.
Laura Mira, who leads the Pan Am Tour standings after two events (she was 2nd in Argentina and third in Chile), is also in the mix and the wild card in the women's chase may be Samantha Kingsford from New Zealand.
“I’m excited to be racing here in Brazil, as I have never been to this side of the world before,” said Kingsford, who won XTERRA Albay last year and finished 3rd in the final XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour standings. “Each race for me is more experience in the bank with it being my second season of racing XTERRA. I have had three consistent weeks of training after finishing my teaching job so hopefully i can use that training towards this race. I don’t feel I have had the best start to my season this year, work and life has got in the way a bit, so hopefully I can start to turn this around and perform better.”
Along with her mate, Osborne, Kingsford is focusing on the XTERRA Pan Am Tour this year. “It’s fun to be racing the Pan Am Series this year as it allows me to go to some new places around the world,” she said. “Basing ourselves in Boulder, Colorado is going to be awesome. Sam and my twin sister both rate this place as one of the best places they have been to for training so I can’t wait to get there!”
First, she’ll get to experience the Live More spirit of Brazil on the breathtaking island of Ilhabela.
“Ilhabela literally means ‘beautiful island,’” said XTERRA Brazil organizer Bernardo Fonseca. “And yes, the island is beautiful, and the people are beautiful too. With nine races over the weekend, this is a wonderful event for families. For sure we are going to have a great time.”
The main event begins on Pereque Beach with a 1.5km swim followed by a 25.5K mountain bike ride, and an 8.5K run. While the island is small, it contains seven mountains higher than 1000m, so both the ride and run will be challenging.
It offers 51 qualifying spots into the XTERRA World Championship in Maui and dishes out Gold-level Tour points and $15,000 USD in prize money for elites.
The 15th annual XTERRA Brazil weekend also includes both a 1.5K and 3K swim challenge, an Aquathon, an XTERRA kids race, 5/10/21K trail runs and a festive 10K night run.
Located 207km/127mi from Sao Paulo, the island of Ilhabela can only be accessed by ferry. It was colonized hundreds of years ago by indigenous Brazilian people and named Sao Sebastiao Island by Amerigo Vespucci in 1502. Ilhabela is a popular tourist destination because of its regattas, beautiful beaches, and excellent restaurants.
It’s also home to the signature pier-jump, a one-of-a-kind swim course feature found only in Brazil.
“The pier is lined three-deep for a raucous mid-swim moment of happiness before launching like a doomed sailor off the plank into a near spring low tide,” is how past champ Dan Hugo once described the mid-swim run and jump off a 10-foot pier edge.
Labeled one of the toughest courses on the XTERRA circuit, Hall of Famer Conrad Stoltz described it as "more of an adventure than a race."
Fonseca says it’s “the only place in the world to host over 3,000 people having fun as a family in nature in the right place and with the right people.”
Learn more at xterraplanet.com.
XTERRA Brazil All-Time XTERRA Brazil Elite Champions
Year - Man/Woman
2018-Kieran McPherson/Sabrina Gobbo
2017-Felipe Moletta/Sabrina Gobbo
2016-Albert Soley/Sabrina Gobbo
2015-Diogo Malagon/Sabrina Gobbo
2014-Felipe Moletta/Sabrina Gobbo
2013-Conrad Stoltz/Shonny Vanlandingham
2012-Felipe Moletta/Shonny Vanlandingham
2011-Ben Allen/Carina Wasle
2010-Dan Hugo/Shonny Vanlandingham
2009-Rom Akerson/Maria Omar
2008-Alexandre Manzan/Carla Prada
2007-Mike Vine/Candy Angle
2006-Nico Lebrun/Candy Angle
2005-Conrad Stoltz/Jamie Whitmore
2019 PAN AM ELITE STANDINGS
After 2, as of 3.31.19
PL NAME, NAT TOT AR CH
1 Rom Akerson, CRC 150 75 75
2 Kieran McPherson, NZL 134 67 67
4 Felipe Moletta, BRA 122 61 61
3 Alex Roberts, NZL 99 56 43
7 Will Ross, USA 99 43 56
6 Alejandro Bulacio, ARG 98 51 47
5 Rafael Juriti, BRA 90 39 51
8 Lucas Mendez, ARG 47 47 x
9 Alex Rhodes, GBR 36 36 x
PL NAME, NAT TOT AR CH
1 Laura Mira, BRA 128 67 61
2 Erika Simon, ARG 75 75 x
3 Valentina Carvallo, CHI 75 x 75
4 Johandri Leicester, RSA 67 x 67
5 Javiera Gainza, CHI 56 x 56
Learn more at www.xterraplanet.com