Why it matters: The 9th annual Xterra Québec off-road triathlon is set to take place this Sunday, attracting a top-tier field of professional athletes from around the world.
Setting the pace: The Xterra Québec event, now in its 9th year, is the 14th of 25 stops on the Xterra Americas Tour and one of 22 majors in the Xterra pro series. Athletes are excited about the improved course, the result of significant public funding and infrastructure investment.
What they're saying:
- Sam Osborne, Xterra World Tour athlete: "I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about the trails in Québec and am excited to check them out for myself."
- Branden Rakita, veteran racer: “This is not a course for the faint of heart, it is always very challenging, and you will really leave it all out there by the end.”
- Steve Croucher, up-and-coming American athlete: “Empire 47’s inventory of old-school East Coast tech and new-school flow trails make it the most complete bike course on Tour, and they keep getting better.”
By the numbers:
- 9th annual Xterra Québec off-road triathlon
- 14th of 25 stops on the Xterra Americas Tour
- 22nd of 22 majors in the Xterra pro series
Between the transition: The race includes a mix of experienced and emerging athletes, with many keeping an eye on New Zealander Sam Osborne and Canadian competitors Edmond Roy and Xavier Plouffe in the men's elite race, and Samantha Kingsford (NZL) along with Canadians Maud Plouffe, Carolyne Guay, and Katie Button in the women's elite race.
Through time: Last year's men's and women's winners were Steve Croucher and Maud Plouffe respectively, both local athletes. The race this year is expected to bring fierce competition as athletes seek to dethrone last year's winners and establish new records.
The bottom line: This high-profile event offers athletes a unique and challenging course, and provides an opportunity to gain momentum and points in the Xterra Americas Tour and Xterra World Rankings. Furthermore, the Xterra Québec race, thanks to its increased infrastructure investment, sets a high bar for future Xterra events around the world.