Rotorua's Sam Osborne and Samantha Kingsford have started the 2019 Xterra Pan American Tour with a bang, winning the elite men's and women's races respectively at Xterra Brazil.

Osborne, who is the reigning Xterra Asia-Pacific Tour champion, decided to shake things up this year.

"The decision was really brought about by the timing of the races, America just works a bit better than what Europe did this year and I wanted to avoid getting into the same situation I did last year of over racing to chase points," Osborne says.

"It's something new and it really excited me to go