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Stoltz and McQuaid back on top at XTERRA Southeast Championship

Posted May 22 2011 10:10pm

P1130096 May 22, 2011 (Pelham, AL) - The best off-road triathletes in the world - South Africa's Conrad Stoltz and Canada's Melanie McQuaid - won the XTERRA Southeast Championship on arguably the best off-road triathlon course in the world at Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham, Alabama today.

“This place is amazing, and I know I speak for all of us when I say we love it here,” said Stoltz.  “It’s a true XTERRA course with a nice warm water swim in a beautiful lake, a real mountain bikers course with climbing, technical sections, and fun corners, and a tough but scenic run.  This really is my favorite course.”

It’s Stoltz (pictured) fifth straight win in Shelby County, third straight on this year’s America Tour, and 40th career XTERRA championship victory.

“Impressive, isn’t it,” said Dan Hugo, 25, who finished in second place just 19 seconds behind his fellow countryman to make it a 1-2 showing for Stellenbosch, South Africa.  “You must give credit where credit is due, and what Conrad did today was impressive.  When he needs to produce a good swim, he does.  When he needs a strong run, he delivers.  He doesn’t make mistakes on the bike.  He’s seemingly flawless. I guess 20 years of experience will do that for you.”

What really did it for Stoltz was a great swim that had him out of the water within seconds of the leaders Craig Evans, Branden Rakita, and Seth Wealing, and the fastest bike of the day that was two minutes quicker than Hugo and four minutes better than the one guy most likely to catch him on the run, Josiah Middaugh.

Stoltz caught Craig Evans on the bike at about the 2.5 mile mark and the two rode together for a few miles before Stoltz pulled away and starting putting time on the field.  Hugo caught Evans to move into second at about the halfway mark on the bike but never did see Stoltz in front of him.  Indeed, Stoltz was out of sight to all but the spectators who lined the tricky “blood rock” downhill section and the crowd gathered at the transition area.

PRO MEN     

Pl    Name    Age    Hometown    Time    Pts    Purse
1    Conrad Stoltz    37    Stellenbosch, South Africa    2:22:22    100    $1,800
2    Dan Hugo    25    Stellenbosch, South Africa    2:22:41    90    $1,250
3    Josiah Middaugh    32    Vail, Colorado    2:26:05    82    $800
4    Craig Evans    33    Hendersonville, Tennessee    2:27:40    75    $500
5    Nicolas Lebrun    38    Digne, France    2:30:52    69    $400
6    Cody Waite    32    Lakewood, Colorado    2:31:44    63    $300
7    Branden Rakita    30    Manitou Springs, Colorado    2:33:15    58    $200
8    Patrick Valentine    25    Colorado Springs, Colorado    2:33:40    53   
9    Jason Michalak    33    Lakewood, Colorado    2:34:52    49   
10    Adam Wirth    32    Boise, Idaho    2:36:39    45

P1120827 With simply not enough hours in the day to get in all the training and racing involved with Melanie McQuaid’s ambitious XTERRA and Ironman 70.3 racing schedule, the three-time XTERRA World Champ decided to give Stoltz back-to-back race weekends training strategy a shot.

“I was on the Conrad taper, which pretty much meant putting my feet up,” said McQuaid, who picked up her third win in four tries on the XTERRA America Tour this year.  “I didn’t’ do much at all and it worked.  I’m feeling a lot better since Santa Cruz last week.”

McQuaid was a lot faster than last week as well, and picked up her third win at Oak Mountain since 2006.  She came out of the water in second-place a little more than two minutes behind Christine “Big Fish” Jeffrey and put the hammer down on the bike to take the lead about a quarter-way through and never looked back.

“It took everything I had because this is a really competitive, deep field. I was riding with pro men and still get out-split on the bike by two girls,” said McQuaid at the awards ceremony, referring to Shonny Vanlandingham, last year’s winner who had the fastest split today, along with Renata Bucher who was in second-place until Vanlandingham caught her at about mile two of the run.  McQuaid, like Stoltz, also had high praise for the course and community.

PRO WOMEN   

Pl    Name    Age    Hometown    Time    Pts    Purse
1    Melanie McQuaid    37    Victoria, B.C., Canada    2:39:58    100    $1,800
2    Shonny Vanlandingham    41    Durango, Colorado    2:41:31    90    $1,250
3    Renata Bucher    33    Lucerne, Switzerland    2:44:36    82    $800
4    Christine Jeffrey    38    Guelph, Ontario, Canada    2:47:48    75    $500
5    Emma Garrard    29    Park City, Utah    2:50:28    69    $400
6    Jessica Noyola    28    San Diego, California    2:57:20    63    $300
7    Suzie Snyder    29    Fredericksburg, Virginia    3:03:52    58    $200
8    Tracy Thelen    31    Colorado Springs, Colorado    3:06:34    53   
9    Caroline Colonna    46    Taos, New Mexico    3:08:40    49

Photo Credit: EXTERRA  

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