Triathlon: Stoltz, McQuaid Win XTERRA Southeast Championships in Alabama
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 Sunday May 22nd, 2011.
“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 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.Continued on the next page