Forget the glitz and glamour, the world’s greatest athletes are headed to Vegas for the dust and dirt of the XTERRA West Championship off-road triathlon
Henderson, NV (April 13, 2012) – Forget the glitz and glamour, the world’s greatest athletes are headed to Vegas for the dust and dirt of the XTERRA West Championship off-road triathlon at Aston MonteLago Village Resort at Lake Las Vegas on Saturday, April 14.
More than 400 amateurs from 30 states and 30 professionals are headed to Henderson for the showdown that entails a one-mile swim in the cold 59-degree water of Lake Las Vegas, an 18-mile mountain bike up, down, & around the expansive desert surrounding the resort, and a 6.2-mile trail run that will test the endurance and determination of even the fittest athletes.
Among them are two-time Olympian and four-time XTERRA World Champ Conrad “the Caveman” Stoltz from South Africa, and his chief nemesis at this venue – American Josiah Middaugh – who won this race last year.
Since the XTERRA West Championshp moved to the desert in 2009 those two have had some of the best battles the sport has ever seen. Consider this, in three years of racing here a total of 12 seconds (advantage Stoltz) is the difference in their finish times.
– 2009 Stoltz edges Middaugh by 32 seconds
– 2010 Stoltz edges Middaugh by 39 seconds
– 2011 Middaugh edges Stoltz by 59 seconds
That said, the headliner is nine-time series champ Conrad “the Caveman” Stoltz, who already has a championship win in his pocket from his backyard race at XTERRA South Africa in February.
One cannot count out Dan Hugo, however, who is no doubt eager to notch the first of many victories this season on Saturday. There’s also Chris Legh in the mix, who runs like the win and could catch anyone if given the chance. Richard Stannard from the UK, the latest addition to the pro men’s list, adds intrigue by bringing serious speed to the swim – as his three Aquathon World Titles attest to.
On the women’s side we’ll have a battle of the best – with three-time XTERRA World Champ Melanie McQuaid (who’s won two of the last three here) against the reigning XTERRA World Champ Lesley Paterson and the “Swiss Miss” of XTERRA, Renata Bucher, who just won Guam, the Philippines, and Saipan on consecutive weekends.
This race is the first of four regional championship races in the nationwide XTERRA America Tour that boasts 70 races in 39 states.
There is $15,000 in prize money for pros and 41 qualifying slots into the XTERRA World Championship up for grabs to amateur racers. USA Triathlon has also designated Saturday’s XTERRA West Championship a qualifier for the May 19, 2012 ITU Cross Tri World Championship/XTERRA Southeast Championship in Shelby County, Alabama (near Birmingham). This is wonderful news for athletes who want to race for Team USA and wear the red, white and blue race kit next month and compete against athletes from around the world on the sweetest course in XTERRA. The number of qualifying spots varies per age group and is based solely on Saturday’s performance.
Aside from the championship race there is also a half-distance XTERRA Sprint race, relay team competitions, and 5, 10, and 21km trail runs and the best Paul Mitchell stylists in Nevada will be onsite giving haircuts in exchange for a $15 donation to the Challenged Athletes Foundation.
“There could be no better place to kick off the season than at Lake Las Vegas,” said David Nicholas, the managing director of the XTERRA World Tour. “Whether you gamble or not, Las Vegas is one fascinating place. The lights, the shows, the restaurants are absolutely world class, and we have an XTERRA race at a first class resort just minutes from the Strip and the airport. This event will be epic.”
The course itself is nothing short of spectacular, a virtual moonscape with the various shades of red, sand, and grey of the southern Nevada desert juxtaposed with the luxury of Lake Las Vegas Resort.
XTERRA WEST CHAMPS PROFESSIONAL START LIST
Rank = Final position in 2011 XTERRA U.S. Pro Series
Rank – Name – Age, Hometown
1 – Conrad Stoltz – 38, Stellenbosch, South Africa
2 – Josiah Middaugh – 33, Eagle-Vail, Colorado
4 – Branden Rakita – 31, Colorado Springs, Colorado
5 – Dan Hugo – 26, Stellenbosch, South Africa
7 – Cody Waite – 33, Lakewood, Colorado
8 – Craig Evans – 34, Hendersonville, Tennessee
12 – Adam Wirth – 33, Boise, Idaho
13 – Patrick Valentine – 26, Colorado Springs, Colorado
18 – Will Ross – 22, Anchorage, Alaska
19 – Damian Gonzalez – 35, Stockton, California
25 – David Henestrosa – 35, Clearfield, Utah
NR – Chris Ganter – 33, Boise, Idaho
NR – Doug Hall – 24, Bath, United Kingdom
NR – Chris Legh – 39, Melbourne, Australia
NR – Richard Stannard – 37, Surrey, United Kingdom
Rank – Name – Age, Hometown
1 – Melanie McQuaid – 38, Victoria, B.C., Canada
4 – Emma Garrard – 30, Park City, Utah
5 – Suzie Snyder – 30, Fredericksburg, Virginia
7 – Caroline Colonna – 47, Taos, New Mexico
10 – Lesley Paterson – 31, San Diego, California
11 – Renata Bucher – 34, Lucerne, Switzerland
12 – Danelle Kabush – 36, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
13 – Sara Tarkington – 31, Boulder, Colorado
NR – Courtenay Brown – 33, Boulder, Colorado
NR – Tamara Donelson – 36, Edwards, Colorado
NR – Kate Major – 34, San Rafael, California
NR – Kathryn Ross – 21, Boulder, Colorado
NR – Rebecca Staynor – 21, Victoria, B.C., Canada
NR – Jennifer Todd – 37, Newbury Park, California
NR – Beth Walsh – 32, Encinitas, California
Find updated athletes profiles, history and statistics on XTERRA in the PDF of the West Championship press guide: click here. Registration for all events is available on-site today from 1-5pm PST.
The 2012 XTERRA West Championship is presented by Paul Mitchell and AVIA. Sponsors include the Utah Sports Commission, PowerBar, Gatorade, Zorrel, Breakthrough Nutrition, Rudy Project, Aston MonteLago Village Resort, Hawaiian Airlines, XTERRAShop.com, XTERRA Wetsuits, XTERRA Fitness, and XTERRA Footwear.