Xterra world champ Paterson surprises with victory at Bonelli Park Pro XCT

Xterra World Champion Lesley Paterson entered the Bonelli Park round of the US Pro XCT in California on Saturday as a good way to get in some extra training.

When jokingly asked if she intended to go for a run to follow up her bike effort, she said, "I actually ran this morning before I came here and I've got a triathlon race in the morning back in Coronado, the Super Seal Olympic distance triathlon, so I've got to get on my triathlon bike - so I'm a busy girl."

Not a regular on the Pro XCT mountain bike race season, Paterson had to start near the back of the women's field. Therefore she did not make the initial lead group including Emily Batty (Trek Factory Racing), Lea Davison (Specialized), Annie Last (Trek Factory Racing) and Chloe Woodruff (Crank Bros), but being a triathlete, she had now shortage of leg power and determination to bridge up. She did just that.

"When I went got to the front, I just went hard and I thought, I'm not going to win a sprint so I'll just go as hard as I can and see what happens,"

The she proceeded to drop the others one by one and went on to take the solo win by 20 seconds.

Runner-up Batty held on the longest, but she eventually dropped off following a mis-shift on the final lap.

"I just drove it for five to 10 minutes to make sure she couldn't get back, and then just kept opening the gap in the last lap," said Paterson.

Third place finisher Davison had no idea who Paterson is, but it didn't take her long to figure it out.

"We pro mountain bikers and the Xterra athletes don't often cross paths anymore, and I didn't know who she was, but then I saw some world champion's stripes on her kit, and I knew something was up," said Davison according to iamspecialized.com

"It was a great training race for me," Paterson said. "I had my first big race of the season two weeks ago in the Philippines, and that was an Xterra race and I did really well there and so I had a block of training, and I've got a bunch more races coming up."

There is no word yet on whether any ofthose races will include more mountain bike events.

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