October 25, 2005 – Overcast but warm conditions and a welcoming rainbow that touched down on the Pacific Ocean greeted 500 athletes at the sandy start line to the Nissan Xterra World Championship at the Maui Prince Hotel in Makena today. Nicolas LeBrun of France and Melanie McQuaid of Canada found the pot of gold at the end of that rainbow, capping a magical day for both as they won their respective pro divisions. In the first nine years of the XTERRA World Championship there were nine different women’s winners. In year 10, Melanie McQuaid won her second.
“This is the best race I’ve ever had,” said McQuaid, who was also victorious in 2003. “I knew it was going to happen today. I knew it yesterday, I knew it last week. I knew I had the form and the only thing that was going to stop me was a mechanical.”
But there were no mechanicals, just Melanie McQuaid in perfect form. She was the fourth female pro out of the water, had the second-fastest bike and the sixth best run, just enough to cross the finish line first and in one piece.
Early on, however, it looked like the string of new champs might continue as Sibylle Matter came out of the water first by a minute and held off all challengers on the bike until McQuaid caught up about halfway through the 20-mile course. Out on the run Matter impressed again, posting the fastest run among women in 51:53. McQuaid’s winning time of 3:07:16 was less than a minute faster than Matter’s 3:08:00.
“I had a very good swim and on the bike I just kept my rhythm,” said Matter, who won at XTERRA Spain last month. “Melanie went by me like a rocket but I never knew where the others were.”