Makena, Maui – As expected, Christine “Big Fish” Jeffrey led out of the water with Julie Dibens (2007 & 2008 World Champ) on her heels. Marie-Helene Premont (an Olympic silver medalist in the 2004 mountain bike competition in Athens), Shonny Vanlandingham (NORBA’s all-time best) and Melanie McQuaid (a Canadian National Team rider for years) had a chase ahead of them, one they wouldn’t win over Dibens.
In the ultimate display of class, Dibens deflected talking about her own race at the awards ceremony dinner but rather praised Paterson, who she had raced against on the ITU circuit nearly a decade ago, and told the assembled masses that this course was good for her and on any other course Melanie McQuaid could “kick my a#*”.
“To me, Melanie and Jamie Whitmore are still the queen’s of XTERRA and I’m certain these guys out here in the audience feel the same way,” said Dibens.
Lesley Paterson is a rising star in the XTERRA World and had it not been for that one Brit – this race was hers. She finished in the top 3 in all three championship XTERRA’s she entered, however, this result was by far the most impressive and her run split was the fastest of the day by far at 49:50.
“I was real consistent on the bike today and was able to stay with Shonny until the plunge when she took off,” said Paterson. “I worked so hard on the bike this year and it really paid off, and I’m really excited about my finish today.”
For McQuaid, the dream of an unprecedented fourth world title is still just that. She didn’t have a bad day, it just wasn’t enough.
“I didn’t have an amazing day today and you have to in order to win here,” said the 3x World Champ. “I’m not happy with my performance, I just wasn’t snappy enough, but I had a good season.”
Additional TEAM AVIA athletes competing included: Shonny Vanlandingham (5th) and Danelle Kabush (7th).