Paterson arrived six days prior to the race to acclimate to the conditions and recover from travel. Her off-season was long; it had been nearly six months since Xterra World Championships in Maui, where she earned her fifth World Championship title. Lining up at the start Paterson was a favorite to win, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to confidence, particularly for the first race of the year.
“Before the race began, I was nervous actually,” said Paterson. “The first race out of the gate is always tough!”
Exiting the beach after the 1500m (.93 miles) swim, Paterson sat third and trailed the leader by over two minutes. Onto the 30km (18.6 mile) bike course aboard her Liv Obsess Advanced, she got to work and moved into the lead before the end of the first lap. Paterson kept her speed over the loose, rocky and technical terrain on the second lap to hold onto the lead, but 4-time Xterra Greece race-winner Helena Erbenova had begun to close the gap with the fastest bike split. Out of T2 and entering the run course, Paterson sealed the victory with the fastest run time among the pro women.
Paterson now turns her attention toward ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships in Pontevedra, Spain, which will take place on Tuesday, April 30.