Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, November 1, 1999

E X T R E M E _ S P O R T S

Overend defends

The former mountain biking
champion captures his second
straight off-road title
on Maui

By Andrew Jacoby
Special to the Star-Bulletin


WAILEA, Maui -- In the end, it was Overend.

Ned Overend of Durango, Colo., returned to Maui to defend his title in the XTERRA World Championship yesterday and claimed victory again.

After exiting the 1.5-kilometer swim portion of the off-road triathlon in 49th place, he scorched the 30-kilometer mountain-bike portion of the event to propel him into a lead that he took into the 11-kilometer run and never relinquished.

Overend, 44, came to Maui from his hometown of Durango with one thing in mind.

"I came here to win," he said. "I worked harder for this than any other race. I knew I had to have the lead starting in the run and I worked for it."

His time of 1 hour, 29 minutes and 24 seconds in the mountain bike portion of the event was more than four minutes quicker than any other time on the day and proved the difference among the field of 384 competitors.

By Andrew Jacoby, Special to the Star-Bulletin
Ned Overend's 30K bike leg put him in
position to defend his XTERRA title.

"I didn't feel that good on the bike, but I don't think anybody did," he said. "This is the hardest race. This race is not fun. It's so rough, it's hot, and the sand is so hard on my hamstrings. But it's fun to win."

He said that he expected to see his nemesis, Michael Tobin, catch him on the run, but he never did.

"I couldn't see him," said Overend, "but plenty of times I couldn't see him. I've been running from him all summer, and every time, he has caught me. I've got a stiff neck from looking behind me."

Overend completed the swim-bike-run in 2:32:50, while Tobin took second in 2:34:26 and Jimmy Riccitello placed third in 2:35:54.

Overend earned a check for $3,000, and finished fourth in the Nissan Xterra Point Series for another $2,000.

Tobin's runner-up finish netted him $2,400 and first place in the Nissan Xterra Points Series for $10,000.

Riccitello, who won the 1996 XTERRA World Championship, won $1,900 and finished second in the Nissan Xterra Point Series to earn $6,000.

In the womens division, Shari Kain of Cupertino, Calif., also overtook the leader during the mountain bike portion and held on for victory with a time of 3:04:19.

"I just tried to keep strong and steady," said Kain, 34. The women who are doing the XTERRA are very tough, and it was just a hard-earned win."

Placing second behind Kain was Kerstin Weule in 3:06:27, followed by Jody Purcell in 3:08:42.

Weule led the Pro Women portion of the Nissan Xterra Point Series, followed by Purcell and Lorraine Barrows.

The XTERRA America Tour is presented by Nissan Xterra.

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