Osborne and Paties win XTERRA Tahiti

Press Release / 24.10.2022
The winners at XTERRA Tahhiti
The winners at XTERRA Tahhiti / © XTERRA

Sam Osborne from New Zealand and Alizee Paties from France captured the sixth XTERRA Tahiti off-road triathlon elite titles on the beautiful island of Moorea on Sunday, October 23, 2022.

It’s the 14th career XTERRA World Tour win for Osborne, his second in Tahiti, and the fourth career win for Paties, her third this year.  

XTERRA Europe’s technical director, Nico Lebrun, was on-site and in-the-race to bring us the first-hand account of the day’s race in Moorea…

For everyone who missed ending their season in the island paradise of Maui this year, consider booking a trip to Tahiti in 2023! This place is amazing, the organizers do a fantastic job, and I can’t imagine a better way to wrap up a wonderful season of racing.

The morning started in Opunohu Bay with a fascinating cultural treat, an ancestral “Haka” to invoke the mana and energy of the island. From there we all jumped into boats that ferried us out into the middle of the bay for the start, and a straight line swim of 1500-meters in perfectly calm, turquoise water back to the shore.

Local amateur Jean Marc Rimaud took the lead from the swim. He used to set the fastest time in many events in Europe, and now he’s living in Tahiti and coaching a club team here and he is fast! Sam Osborne was on his feet, with Olly Shaw not too far behind, and Samantha Kingsford led Alizee Paties out of the water in the women’s race.

The bike features three 11-kilometer laps. It’s not too technical and a lot of parts are just like Maui. It’s a perfect balance for locals who aren’t too strong of technical riders on the mountain bike and also for athletes traveling that are not in full racing mode. There were three aid stations per lap, with ice, cold water, and coke, it’s really well done.

Sam took the lead with Olly on the bike, with Jean Marc in third well back. Alizée took the lead on the bike about halfway through, with Samantha strong in second. Third for a long time was Emma Briggs, but she got passed by local Clemence Dedeo, a very solid athlete who has been on the podium in Maui before. My wife Alexandra was with her on the bike for a while before she crashed, nothing serious, but she lost her then.

The run was only one loop. The first part was rolling and easy to run, but the rain and the sun made it so humid it was really hard to breathe. After about 3km there’s a big climb, then in the middle it’s really technical with lots of ruts and rocks, but in the forest it's a little bit cooler, and beautiful. The last 4km were all downhill and quite fast.

Osborne took the lead on the run and got the win, but Shaw was not far back in second. Alizée had a solid lead from the bike to the finish line to end her season in style too, with Samantha in second.

At the finish line there was lots of local juices and fruits, beer, and guacamole! The whole experience is amazing and being the last race of the year it’s the perfect holiday race.

“I can’t speak more highly of the organizing team here in Tahiti,” said Osborne. “I’ve been to a lot of races around the word and can tell you the hospitality here is second to none, and you can’t find a more beautiful destination to end the season at. It’s my third time here, and I just encourage anyone who can do it, to come experience just how lovely the island of Moorea is.”

Paties was quick to agree, adding, “The atmosphere here is so nice. The race is hard, and it’s hot, but the water is gorgeous and the people are lovely.  It’s really a special place.”

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