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Xterra champs take it to the limit

Saturday 9 Apr 2011 7:52 p.m.

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By Michelle Pickles

Conditions were perfect as hundreds of multisport athletes took the plunge into Rotorua’s blue lake to begin the individual triathlon with a one kilometre swim

Then it was time to go off road for the 29 kilometre mountain bike leg. 

Richard Ussher was already making his move and the Nelson athlete continued to do so on the 11k trail run. 

He was in a battle with defending champion, Hamiltonian Scott Thorne, but Thorne Like many other athletes behind him was slowed down by the stair climb.

So it was Ussher who ran home the winner. His focus now turns to the Xterra World Championships later this year.

Thorne finishing second, just over a minute behind.

“Little bit disappointing but can't be too disappointed, Richard’s a great athlete, come here to have a hard race with him and try claim one back after 2009, but he got me again, next year,” he says.

Earlier in the day around 2,000 athletes had participated in walking, running, and mountain biking events, making this one of the world’s largest single day Xterra off-road triathlon festivals.

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