Xterra championship series invades Tahoe
INCLINE VILLAGE – It’s a competition like no other and only the best in the nation qualify to compete. The Nissan Xterra USA Championship series descends on the North Shore this weekend to crown a national champion and award $110,000 in prize money.
The series, held in eight different regions from Alaska to the Virgin Islands, features athletes from age 17-70.
“Incline offers the finest course you could imagine,” said Trey Garman, director of marketing and media relations for TEAM Unlimited, the event organizer. “The Flume Trail is magnificent and there couldn’t be a better place to hold a national championship.”
Starting Sunday morning at 9 a.m., competitors will submerge in the water of Lake Tahoe where they will swim two laps of a 750-meter course. Competitors then embark on a 32-kilometer mountain bike ride that includes a sandy 1,600-foot climb up Tunnel Creek Road to the Flume Trail.
Athletes will then descend 2,500 feet back to the lake where they will change into running gear for the 10K trail run portion of the course.
“There is a lot of technique to riding this course,” said 2003 Xterra World Champion Melanie McQuaid, who has been training in Incline for the last three weeks. “I have underestimated the mountain bike course before and you have to know your line to go fast.”
Sunday’s race includes four Olympians, world-class mountain bikers and world champion triathletes, organizers said.
In addition to Sunday’s national championship, Xterra clinics will take place today and there will be two Xterra-sponsored races open to the public on Saturday for anyone who wants to challenge the elements and push their limits.
For more information visit http://www.xterraplanet.com.