The 20th edition of the XTERRA World Championships was a personal disaster. After 8 attempts, this is the score: Maui 4 vs Jim 4. Nothing to be proud of. Definitely if I check the score from the last 5 editions since they changed the race location: Maui 4 vs Jim 1. Here you have a beautiful video from XTERRA with short footage of all 20 editions. You can see that the course from 1996-2010 at Makena beach is noticeably different than the new (2011-2015) course at Kapalua.
At the old course I was always happy with my results:
- 2010-> 10th
I decided to dedicate my life to this race and believed great things were going to happen in the following years. But we never went back to that (for me) perfect course in Makena, since 2011 we race for the world title in Kapalua. I raced all the “Kapalua” editions and these are my results at that course:
Except for 2011 where passing Lance Armstrong was some kind of highlight and last year (2014, 13th) these results are bad. Really bad. After last year’s race I was convinced that I finally knew how to do at least a decent result. But unfortunately, last week everything went wrong again.
I had a normal swim. Nothing great, nothing bad. I planned to do the first half of the bike in full control. Saving energy for the last climbs and the run. And it worked: all the guys from my swim group took of and I kept on going at my safe speed. Sometimes I was a little bit worried that I was going too slow because at certain moments I saw nobody in front of me. But my plan worked. At the halfway point I started passing more and more athletes. I also had a small headache, but I didn’t pay too much attention to it.
When we hit the last long climb the headache started to really hurt. I also lost two positions. In the technical parts after the climb I was really in trouble and lost three more positions. However, I never panicked and was convinced that my legs were going to feel great on the run since I wasn’t really pushing on the pedals for the last 20min on the bike.
But no… The headache became even worse running. Which is of course no surprise, but at the time it was sad. Just sad. All hope disappeared. I had to walk big parts of the running course and there were even some tears.
The headache lasted for more than a week after the race. Was it the heat? Not fully acclimatised? Maybe. Maybe not.
One of the first thoughts I had while walking during the race was: “That’s it, I’m done with this race. There’s always something going wrong here and I hate to always come up with an excuse. They will never see me racing again in Maui.”
Elisabetta has been great the last week trying to change my mind. We’ve done some long hikes in the Villacidro mountains and we talked for hours about my Maui experience(s).
And step by step I’m changing my mind. She already made me considering to go back so probably the 23th of October 2016 I’ll give it another try. I just need to believe I can do well. And that’s the hardest part right now.
And talking about Elisabetta…
What a race she did. At 24 years, being the youngest female pro, training only 10-12 hours a week and having maximum scores at the university, she finished 11th. 11th of the world!
The only bad thing about her race is that she could have finished in the top 10 if her mountainbike skills were better. She’s a little bit disappointed for this, but I don’t care.
She made HUGE mtb improvements in 1 year, but it’s not good enough yet to race with the best in world for a top 10. Next year she will be ready. We have another winter to work on her skills. After all, she lives in a mountainbike paradise. I’m really excited for her future career.
Because of her performance it’s impossible for me to think about the 2015 World Championships as a bad overall experience. We’re into this life together and I can really enjoy her success, even when I’m having a shit race. The entire Maui experience was amazing. We enjoyed every moment of our Maui life with our Swiss friends/room mates: Jessica, Loredana, Peter, Yann. You’re AWESOME 😉
Checking the run course with our Swiss friends
Here you have the highlights of this year’s XTERRA World Championships
Ruben Ruzafa didn’t win and this came to many people as a surprise as he won the XTERRA World title each time he raced in Maui before (3 on 3). During this year we became friends and I started to respect him as a person more and more. While everybody thought he must have been pissed not to win the race, he was very happy to finish on the podium. He told us a week before the race that his preparation went terrible wrong because of an illness. But he never communicated this to the press before or after the race. He just doesn’t like excuses and raced as hard as he could. Well done Ruben!
And congratulation to Josiah Middaugh for being the the first American since 2000 to win the XTERRA World Championships. After all his amazing results the last 10 years, he truly deserves a world title.
It was strange to see Conrad Stoltz on the sidelines for the first time.
He will be missed for sure and I hope future XTERRA generations will still be inspired by him from videos like this:
Elisabetta and I are slowly getting into training again and planning our 2016 race program. We will publish the program when it’s finalized but you can expect to see us at many XTERRA races around the world and probably a few longer road triathlons as well. Stay tuned.
- Suit: Skinfit
- Bike: Scott Spark 900SL
- Fork: 88+ tuned Lefty
- Seat: Cobb Cycling HC170
- Wheel set: Notubes ZTR Valor 29
- Shades: Oakley Radar Lock
- Grips: ESI Grips Racer’s Edge
- Helmet: Lazer Z1
- Running shoes: WatermolenSport
- Lube: Squirt dry lube
- Wetsuit: Sailfish