The off-road triathlon world turns its attention to Oak Mountain State Park in Shelby County, Alabama for the ITU Cross Tri World Championships being held in conjunction with the XTERRA Southeast Championship tomorrow.
May 18, 2012 (Pelham, AL) – The off-road triathlon world turns its attention to Oak Mountain State Park in Shelby County, Alabama for the ITU Cross Tri World
Championships being held in conjunction with the XTERRA Southeast Championship tomorrow.
The spotlight is on the pro races with 50 elites representing 13 countries looking to win a world title for their country as well as their share of $20,000 in prize money.
Conrad “the Caveman” Stoltz headlines the list of contenders in the men’s race, and for good reason. Stoltz won the inaugural ITU Cross Tri World Title last year, and has
won the last five XTERRA races contested here in Alabama. Other serious contenders include Americans Josiah Middaugh, Craig Evans and Branden Rakita, Aussie Chris Legh, and British Aquathon World Champ Richard Stannard.
For Evans, who lives just three hours from the park and has a long history or racing in the Southeast, this race holds special meaning.
“There is a lot of emotions in this race for me. All my winter training has focused on Saturday afternoon at 4pm,” said Evans. “It’s kind of a dream come true, I never thought a world championship would be in the Southeast, so this is an opportunity of a lifetime. It’s especially meaningful to represent the U.S., and my goal is to make this one count.”
Evans could be the leader out of the water or among the leaders and feels his local knowledge will make him a serious contender.
“I don’t normally have this much confidence but there’s almost zero climbing here, it’s all tight and technical, missing trees going around corners and making sure your wheels are on the ground, then it all comes down to two 5K loops,” Evans explained. “Dream wise, I just want to be on the podium.”
In the women’s race the favorite has to be the defending ITU Cross champ Melanie McQuaid from Canada, however the women’s field is stacked with Lesley Paterson (defending XTERRA World Champ from Scotland), Renata Bucher (the 4x XTERRA European Tour champ has won four straight XTERRA Championships this year and just won against this same field at the XTERRA West Champs), and Americans Shonny Vanlandingham (2010 XTERRA World Champ) and Emma Garrard (3rd at ITU Worlds last year).
McQuaid likes the ITU style spectator friendly format of multiple laps, and likes her chances tomorrow.
“I think this format is good, spectator friendly, and what our sport needs. It is the coolest triathlon with a lot of action, and the multiple laps allows people that aren’t racing with us to take it all in,” said McQuaid. “It’s a flat, twisty, power course on the bike that is more technical the faster you ride and the run really suits me. I think when I’m on I’m fast at all three, so I’ll go fast from the start to finish time trial style and see what happens.”
May 19: The women’s elite race is at 1:30pm, men’s race is at 4pm (CST).
Results posted immediately: http://jtltiming.com/multisport.htm
Fun hype video: http://youtu.be/zsbI5rJFLKU
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.