Rotorua's Sam Osborne has claimed another gold medal on the Xterra Pan American Tour.
At the weekend he took on Xterra Oak mountain, just outside the city of Pelham, Alabama, and completed the 1.2km swim in Lake Habeeb, 21km mountain bike and 8km mountain run fastest to stand atop the podium.
"These are all tough events, we are up against world-class athletes every step of the way and with the bike and run being on mountain trails there is plenty of opportunity for things to go wrong," Osborne said.
"The points from these wins are all important because they count for me qualifying to race in the World Championship. It was a big decision to come over from the Asia-Pacific Tour and I am absolutely rapt with the way things have started for me on this Pan American tour."
After winning the Asia-Pacific Xterra Tour in each of the last two years, and coming third in the Xterra World Championship event at the end of 2018, Osborne has switched his focus following his win at Xterra Rotorua, to the Pan American series.
Oak Mountain is the second race in the series, with Osborne winning in Ilhabela, Brazil the weekend before in his first outing in the Pan American tour.
"I felt good during the race led out of the swim and had to keep on the red line on the bike to stay ahead of ex-world champion Josiah Middaugh."
Osborne's partner Samantha Kingsford came third in the women's elite race, following her win in Brazil, her second Xterra tour win.
Osborne paid tribute to the setting for the race: "It is a stunning place to race, right up there with Rotorua."
The Xterra race in Oak Mountain was his 10th Xterra World Tour career win and his third in a row this season following his victory at Xterra New Zealand in Rotorua in April.
Following the Xterra Oak Mountain the Pan American Tour progresses to gold level events at Beaver Creek, Mexico and Utah.
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