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Results and Reports for June 22-28, 2002
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Xterra East Championships
Richmond, VA, June 23, 2002
Anke Erlank Wins Xterra Richmond
Win puts her in the lead of the series
By Giana Roberge, Team Saturn
Despite the intense heat and humidity, the reigning World Xterra Triathlon Champion, Anke Erlank won the Nissan Xterra East Championship on Sunday in Richmond, Virginia. Held on Brown's Island and spanning the James River Park and nearby city, the urban triathlon is one of the top stops in the four race Nissan Xterra Series. Erlank's win over Canada's Melanie Macquaid puts her in the lead of the Xterra series by 20 points.
Erlank faced many challenges on the way to her victory, beginning in the swim portion of the triathlon. The river was very low making the one kilometer swim tricky in some spots, with the shallow portions literally ankle deep. Erlank finished the swim in a good position. Having spent the recent months focusing on her swim techniques to improve her weakest area, she felt much better than she had in the past, with her competitors noticing a marked improvement in her performance.
Moving onto the 26 kilometer mountain bike portion, Erlank faced many technical parts on the course. Fortunately for the South African, the course was very dry, so all the exposed roots and dangerous rocks allowed for good traction, thus keeping Erlank from suffering from the seven crashes she did on the previous year's bike portion. Although she felt good on the bike, she rode a steady pace so as not to blow up in the heat with the run portion still left.
Coming into transition number two, MacQuaid had a two minute lead going into the 10 kilometer run. Erlank started out at a good pace and slowly started reeling MacQuaid in, using the motivation of having a target to pass her by the half way mark. Upon entering into the half mile river crossing where Erlank had to jump from rock to rock, she got her second wind and by the time she was climbing up the ladder at the edge of the river bed MacQuaid was no longer in sight.
Not only did Erlank win the event, but she had the fastest run split of the day. She now leads the series by 20 points over Macquaid, with the next stop in the series Xterra Keystone, in Colorado.
Women's Pro 1 Anke Erlank 2.25.58 2 Melanie McQuaid 5.23 3 Kerstin Weule 6.36 Men's Pro 1 Nicholas Lebrun 2.08.04 2 Andrew Noble 0.20 3 Kerry Classen 0.35