Four times XTERRA World Champion Conrad Stoltz and top South African XTERRA Warrior Carla Van Huyssteen were not leaving anything to chance on Sunday, 26 February 2012 when they took on the Totalsports XTERRA South African Championship presented by REHIDRAT® SPORT in Grabouw.
A sprint from the start, Stoltz completed the 1.5km swim, 25km mountain bike and 10km trail run in a spectacular combined time of 02hours26minutes02seconds, while Van Huyssteen’s victory was just as sweet with a winning time of 02hours50minutes28seconds.
According to Stoltz, he came into the race with a game plan. “I didn’t want to overcook on the bike, so I kept it steady and conservative. The course is challenging in every aspect of mountain biking. It is definitely all that XTERRA is about. It is good to see the amount of new single track in Grabouw, making it a mountain biking destination like it used to be. On the run leg I opted not to take a swim in the stream as shortly afterwards there is a big climb. The wet clothes can easily add on a kilogram or two. Athletes doing their first XTERRA today can be very proud of themselves as the route is long, hard and technical. Raynard Tissink also did really well finishing 5th overall. It is great to see athletes switching from road to XTERRA, it is not easy. It is always great winning at home. The sport of XTERRA is getting big in South Africa. I once again had awesome support from my wife Liezel. To get onto the mountain bike route she hitched a ride at the back of the event photographer’s motorbike. This is actually scary as I know how Fanus rides. Next time I’m going to pack in my motor cross gear for Liezel,” laughs Stoltz. Stuart Marais came in 2nd, while Dan Hugo finished 3rd.
Misfortune hit Hugo on the mountain bike route. Hugo came through transition in 3rd place behind Nico Pfitzenmaaier. It was at water point three on the trail run that Stuart Marais managed to pass Hugo. By water point four Marais had managed to pass Nico Pfitzenmaaier as well. Hugo, continuing to chase, managed to pass Phitzenmaaier in the final stages of the run and cross the finish line in third place.
For Van Huyssteen walking away with the title of XTERRA SA Champion was a dream come true. “Winning at XTERRA Grabouw has been my goal for three years now. It truly is amazing to get the recognition for all the hard work that I’ve put into the sport. I think most supporters were hoping for a double win for SA today. This made crossing the finish line all the more sweet as everybody was so happy for me. I felt surprisingly good during the swim and just knew that I’d have a great race. The run route suited me perfectly. The climbs weren’t too long, with every climb being followed by nice long single track and downhill sections. The mountain bike discipline was technical with some serious down hills. All in all I had a great race and am really pleased with my performance on the day,” says Van Huyssteen. Austrian Carina Wasle came in 2nd, while Candice Davison finished 3rd.
XTERRA South Africa was privileged to welcome Dave Nicholas Managing Director of the XTERRA World Tour to the 2012 Championship. According to Nicholas the XTERRA World Tour now spans over 18 countries. “XTERRA is now on every continent except Antarctica. XTERRA South Africa has been everything that I’ve expected and more. It’s the largest of all the XTERRA’s because of the people, they’re adventurous. I mean you guys swim with great white sharks, not many of us will do that. There are so many athletes who impress me, but I think the athletes that impress me the most are those with jobs and families. XTERRA is all about families and camaraderie. It’s an adventure for the person. The biggest competitor on the day is Mother Nature. Having said that, it is still achievable by everyone,” says Nicholas.
Next on the cards: XTERRA South Africa heads to Knysna in July. Taking place at the beautiful PEZULA Private Estate (Field of Dreams) on Thursday, 12 July 2012 the Totalsports XTERRA Knysna presented by REHIDRAT® SPORT forms part of the much loved Knysna Oyster Festival. Individual athletes or teams of two will need to tackle a 3km trail run, 23km mountain bike and 7km trail run. XTERRA Lite athletes will be faced with the same challenge, but just over a shorter distance of 3km trail run, 12.5km mountain bike and a 3km trail run.
|8||02:38:50||De Jongh||De Jongh||Raoul|
|1||02:50:28||Van Huyssteen||Van Huyssteen||Carla|