Nobody in the sport of off-road triathlon has won more world titles (5) or championship events (44) than Conrad “The Caveman” Stoltz. On Saturday afternoon at 4pm (CST) the 38-year-old from Stellenbosch, South Africa will look to add to his collection by winning the XTERRA Southeast Championship and ITU Cross Triathlon World Championship at the same time.
May 16, 2012 (Pelham, AL) – Nobody in the sport of off-road triathlon has won more world titles (5) or championship events (44) than Conrad “The Caveman” Stoltz. On Saturday afternoon at 4pm (CST) the 38-year-old from Stellenbosch, South Africa will look to add to his collection by winning the XTERRA Southeast Championship and ITU Cross Triathlon World Championship at the same time.
“My form is good, my training has been going well, and I’ll take this race as serious as any other world championship,” said Stoltz, who has four XTERRA World Titles and won the inaugural ITU Cross Tri World Title in Spain last year. “I want to put my stamp on it and win a few world titles while I can, while I’m still young.”
Stoltz has already stamped his name all over the venue at Oak Mountain State Park in Shelby County, Alabama – one of his all-time favorites – proof of which can be found in his five straight wins here dating back to 2007.
“I have some great XTERRA memories on this course. It’s the most fun course I’ve ever done. This year will be different, however, because the pros are racing a smaller loop and multiple laps, not the epic 19-mile single loop the age groupers will race on.”
Indeed, the elite bike course features three 10K laps around Double Oak Lake, a staple of the ITU spectator friendly format.
“It adds a great dynamic, and it’s great for the spectators. They normally see us at the start line and not much after that, but now they’ll be able to go out on the course and watch us at some great places.”
Along with the multiple lap format comes a different style of racing and a different strategy.
“I think passing is going to be one of the hardest parts now,” explained Stoltz. “Each bike lap takes about 25-minutes and 20 minutes of that is on narrow, twisting single track where it is almost impossible to overtake, so hopefully the people in front of me are going to be friendly.”
Based on year’s past there aren’t many in the field that will need to be “friendly” as Stoltz has historically come out of the swim with or near the leaders. There are a few super fast swimmers, however, who will try to make their mark in the 1.5-kilometer two lap swim in the warm water of Double Oak Lake – including American Craig Evans and British Aquathon World Champ Richard Stannard.
“For some reason I swim better without a wetsuit, so I’ve had good swims here,” said Stoltz. “I’ll push the swim as hard as I can and hopefully get out with the leaders and smash the bike from there. I know a couple of guys, especially Craig Evans (from Hendersonville, Tennessee) who’s basically the home boy up here, and he’s really motivated and a great swimmer. I’ve done a couple laps with him on the bike and he really knows this course well, so I think everyone is coming prepared knowing what’s going to happen.”
Hear the full interview with Stoltz on facebook/xterraplanet
The 2012 Shelby County ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships / XTERRA Southeast Championship is presented by Paul Mitchell, AVIA, and Shelby County. Sponsors include Oak Mountain State Park, the City of Pelham, the City of Hoover, Alabama Tourism Department, PowerBar, Gatorade, Rudy Project, Breakthrough Nutrition, Zorrel, XTERRAShop.com, XTERRA Wetsuits, XTERRA Footwear, XTERRA Fitness, and the Shelby County Reporter.
The ITU Cross Tri World Championships will be held in conjunction with the seventh-annual XTERRA Southeast Championship race with local support from Shelby County, City of Pelham, City of Hoover, Alabama Tourism Department, Oak Mountain State Park and the Birmingham Urban Mountain Pedalers. It is the first time the event will be held in the United States. ITU hosted the inaugural Cross Tri World Championships last year in Extremadura, Spain, where four-time XTERRA World Champion Conrad Stoltz from South Africa and three-time XTERRA World Champion Melanie McQuaid from Canada won the elite titles.
Shelby County – www.shelbycountytourism.org
XTERRA - www.xterrapelham.com
ITU – www.triathlon.org/events
Facebook – facebook.com/xterraplanet
Twitter – twitter.com/xterraoffroad hashtag #shelbycross
Results – jtltiming.com/multisport.htm
About TEAM Unlimited/XTERRA
TEAM Unlimited is a Hawaii-based television events and marketing company, founded in 1988. It owns and produces XTERRA and in 2011 produced more than 100 XTERRA off-road triathlon and trail running races in 15 countries worldwide. In the U.S. alone nearly 200,000 participants took part in the XTERRA lifestyle last year while XTERRA’s TV, publicity, advertising, online, and grassroots marketing efforts generated more than 400 million impressions. In addition, TEAM TV has produced more than 300 adventure television shows resulting in three Emmy’s and 42 Telly Awards for production excellence since 1990. View samples at www.xterra.tv, and learn more at xterraplanet.com and xterratrailrun.com.