Edmonton’s Chantell Widney, 34, captured her first major Xterra title this weekend at Beaver Creek Resort in Avon, CO. The former ITU athlete has been making her off-road mark since 2011 but this was her first big Xterra win.“Winning races doesn’t come very often so this is awesome. I really wanted to win a race this year,” said Widney.
She played cat and mouse with Emma Garrard, the pre-race favourite but managed to keep her off. “It was close between Chantell and I until the run,” said Garrard. “I was catching her gradually on the bike climb, and passed her on the first downhill but she re-took the lead. Then I caught up again only to crash on Corkscrew (near the end of the bike). Still, was able to get back on her wheel and went neck-and-neck into transition.”
Danelle Kabush, the 2012 Mountain Champ finished third after posting the fastest bike split of 1:22:17. Shonny Vanlandingham finished strong in fourth while Jaime Brede was fifth.
“You can get more out of yourself when it’s that close,” said Widney. “It’s easier to push yourself harder when you know somebody is chasing you down. I was running scared the whole time. I was sprinting the downhills, I just didn’t want to lose this.”
Josiah Middaugh, 35, of Eagle-Vail, Colorado won the men’s race.