Sugar Bush Resort – Warren, VT – Melanie McQuaid and Conrad Stoltz are still on top in the XTERRA points series after this weekend’s Northeast Cup. After a month of rain in Sugarbush, professionals and amateurs breathed a sigh of relief as the sun began drying the course in the 3-days previous. However, on the race eve, the torrential downpour began again, leaving a muddy, slippery bike & run course through the Green Mountains.
In the men’s race, Nico Lebrun took the lead out of T1 with Conrad 20-seconds back. The ride became more of a cyclocross style of racing due to the havoc of the recent weather fronts. Lebrun seemed to gain on Stoltz with the frequent transitions on and off the bike. Out of T2, Lebrun held his lead for his first victory this year. Then Stoltz appeared out of the woods for the final 500-yards but lacking his usual smooth stride. Seth Wealing pushed it on the downhill in full throttle to 2nd. Conrad finished in 3rd with Sam Gardner and Dan Hugo rounding out the top 5.
In the women’s race Melanie McQuaid had passed Christine Jeffrey early on the bike with Renata Bucher about 30 seconds back. Renata’s hill strength from racing in Switzerland as well as her sheer desire to trump McQuaid, pushed her up the hilly course and to the win. McQuaid finished in a strong second with the rest of the field trailing almost 10-minutes back. AVIA’s Shonny V. finished in 3rd after her worst biking accident in over 10 years. AVIA’s Danelle Kabush raced strong and consistent to round out the top 5.
Top 5 in Points Series Standings:
Women: MCQuaid – AVIA (500), Shonny V. – AVIA (437), Jeffrey (377), Kabush – AVIA (348), Bucher (347)
Men: Stoltz – AVIA (482), Middaugh (452), Lebrun (431), Hugo (414), Vine (397)