Snowbasin Resort – Ogden, UT- Shonny V. came out of the water 2-minutes behind Melanie McQuaid, the current US Champ, that would be her toughest competition of the day. Vanlandingham patiently went to work, knowing it was fully within her capabilities to reel in McQuaid.
In the last quarter of the bike Vanlandingham had reduced McQuaid’s lead to less than a minute when the dreaded flat seemingly erased any chance she might have. Three stops to quick fill her tire later that cost her a couple minutes of hard-charging time and “Shonny V” found herself in the precarious position of having to make up three minutes on the run.
McQuaid, who has been at altitude for a month and here in the area for two weeks, may have just “overtrained” and started fading.
Vanlandingham ran three minutes faster over the 10-kilometer close and pulled to within 47 seconds at the finish line.
“I feel really good about today,” said Vanlandingham, the top American woman in the race and the Pro Series. “I mean, if you take the flats out I could have contended. Wish I could’ve made it more exciting for the fans and spectators but in this sport, those things happen.”
Paterson caught and passed Tarkington on the run to finish in the top 3 in her third straight XTERRA championship race this year. Carina Wasle also moved up into fourth, and Jenny Smith rounded out the top five.
Luna Pro & Teammate, Danelle Kabush, finished 7th Overall.