Rotorua's Sam Osborne is travelling the world and racking up medals, his latest being a silver at Xterra Poland.

Osborne, who won Xterra Poland last year, finished in 2h 38m 24s, behind South African world champion Brad Weiss, who won in 2h 34m 45s. Frenchman Max Chane was third in 2h 41m 12s.

"I had a really good swim and sat in second place most of the way round. I tried a couple of times to split it, but nothing was working so I sat and just went for it through transition to split the group. It worked well and I ended up with 20 seconds at the top of the first technical hill and it was only Brad Weiss that could bridge the gap.

"We worked well together initially, but then it turned into a bit of battle and he was going at me every climb possible. Eventually, my legs exploded and I came into transition 1m 35s down. I think all the accelerations took my running legs away and I really hurt the whole run," Osborne said.


"In an ideal world I would have had the swim split a bit more, but seeing it wasn't happening I went for the laying it down through transition option. The run [from swim to bike] is quite long, so I guess almost managed to get that time back just through transition."

He said the course was challenging, but impressive.

"For a race in the heart of Krakow, it would be the best technical riding trail on the European circuit. You actually swim in an old limestone mine that became flooded when they dug into a spring, it's one of the best swim locations out.

"The bike is a bit like a mountain bike maze for 30km - very tight and narrow with so many corners and lines you really have to focus, with a tonne of short sharp climbs. There's nothing with a lot of elevation but they're so steep that there is no other option than to really attack them to just hold momentum through the course. The run follows a similar sort of style, very steep but short climbs and a lot of loose rock everywhere."

This weekend Osborne takes on the Xterra European Championship in Germany.

Related articles: