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Stoltz Stymied, XTERRA's New Collegiate Division, Temecula Pre-Ride
STOLTZ STYMIED, HUGO WINS XTERRA SOUTH AFRICA
Reigning and three-time XTERRA World Champ Conrad Stoltz’ run at his 5th consecutive XTERRA South Africa title was undermined by a flat tire, and another South African star stole the show – the young Dan Hugo.
Pre-race expectations predicted a tough challenge and action-packed competition. At just over 900 entries, this year saw the biggest number of competitors in the event's history and both the individual men's and ladies division of the event caused a huge upset. Dan Hugo and Eszter Erdelyi (Hungary) successfully stole the coveted XTERRA South African Champion title from Stoltz and defending ladies champion Michelle Lombardi, respectively.
Dan Hugo, Felix Schumann from Germany and Conrad Stoltz were under the top five men to exit the water. It was during the mountain-bike leg, however, that Hugo and Stoltz made a break from Schumann. Stoltz unfortunately punctured the front tire of his mountain-bike, putting Hugo in the lead. Hugo made a blistering transition into the running leg, knowing that this is where Schumann's strength was. He, however, managed to maintain his lead crossing the finish line in 2:05:54.
According to Hugo, he has dreamt about winning the South African title for a long time. "I've been working extremely hard on each discipline and to see everything come together on the day was just amazing. I had a good swim, but coming out the water I knew I had to get on Conrad's wheel, because if he manages to get away there's no catching him. After his puncture, I just put down the hammer, as I was not going to let an international athlete win our South African title. I had a good run and the most amazing feeling was crossing the finish line with the South African flag in my hands. In my eyes, this is my first real title," says Hugo. Felix Schumann came in second with a time of 2:07:06 while Nico Pfitzenmaier (Germany) finished third in 2:10:32.
Eszter Erdelyi (Hungary), the reigning XTERRA European Tour Champion, continued to impress and had an amazing race. Dominating all three disciplines on the day, she crossed the finish line in 2:28:23. According to Erdelyi, she had set her eye on the South African title since last year. "I had such an awesome race and am really happy with my performance. The swim was amazing and on entering the transition area, I knew that I had to ride hard as Michelle Lombardi would be chasing and I really don't like being chased. I've been working really hard on my mountain-biking and have competed in more events, so I've gotten stronger in this discipline and definitely more confident. The first and last part of the run was really difficult and felt like we were climbing forever, but it was beautiful. The event was just perfect and I am really happy with my title," says Erdelyi.
Jeannie Bomford came in second (2:32:32) and Michelle Lombardi finished third in 2:35:01.
XTERRA'S NEW COLLEGIATE DIVISION
Although triathlons are stereotypically known for attracting athletes in their thirties and beyond, the trend for college students participating in the scene has been increasing at record-breaking speed.
As a result, XTERRA created a collegiate division this year to entice more college kids to race off-road.
“We’re looking forward to having these young folks around,” said XTERRA managing director Dave Nicholas. “Think of it as our farm team that we have in training to come and join the big leagues in a few years.”
Any collegian with a current photo ID can race for their school as an individual and get a break on Championship distance registration fees, and whenever there are three athletes from two or more schools entered they’ll race against each other for school pride in the college team division.
Each XTERRA Regional Championship race (West, Southeast, East and Mountain) and most all of the XTERRA Points Series races will offer the college division - no age groups, just male and female - and come October 4 in Lake Tahoe, all college students are welcome to race for the inaugural XTERRA Collegiate National Championship.
For details on how the Collegiate Division works, click here.
SHONNY V TO RACE AT ARIZONA XTREME
The XTERRA Arizona Xtreme Desert Triathlon returns to Saguaro Lake for its 8th year on Saturday and annually hosts some of XTERRA's best. This year seven-time U.S. National Mountain Bike team member Shonny Vanlandingham will compete in her first XTERRA since placing 4th at the World Champs in Maui last October. Shonny V has a full slate of XTERRA races on her 2008 schedule, including all the U.S. regional stops, nationals and worlds.
Held in and around Saguaro Lake, nestled in the Tonto National Forest, the scenery on this Xtreme course is breathtaking. Come out and test yourself against a tough course that is a showcase of the best Arizona has to offer. The post race celebration at Saguaro Lake Ranch is well worth staying for. Hang out and compare notes with other athletes while you enjoy pizza, beer and much more.
CRAIG EVANS AT XTERRA FT. YARGO
Located between Atlanta and Athens in Winder, Georgia - Ft. Yargo State Park is a perfect playground for XTERRA. The park surrounds Marbury Creek Reservoir - a 260-acre lake and boasts miles of pristine single track trails perfect for the races' half-mile swim, 10-mile mountain bike, and 5-mile run.
XTERRA Pro Craig Evans from Spring Hill, TN - arguably the fastest swimmer in the sport - is hosting an XTERRA clinic the day before the race (4/25 from 3:30-4:30pm at the Park). Evans was on his way to a breakout season last year (made the podium at the Southeast Champs and was 6th in Richmond) before a broken bone in his foot sidelined him for nationals and worlds. For details visit goneriding.com.
GU FRIDAY, APRIL 25!
The first-ever Great GU Giveaway is set for this Friday, April 25th. Register for any 2008 XTERRA regional championship off-road triathlon or trail run and our good friends and sponsors at GU will mail a free 6-pack of GU Energy Gel straight to your door! The GU giveaway promotion is one-day only – this Friday, April 25. Sign up for any of the races listed below on Friday and get some free GU…
May 17 - XTERRA Vail Lake 5k/10k/21k Trail Runs (Temecula, CA)
May 18 – XTERRA West Championship/XTERRA Sport/XTERRA Duathlon (Temecula, CA)
June 7 – XTERRA Oak Mountain 5k/10k/21k Trail Runs (Pelham, AL)
June 8 – XTERRA Southeast Championship/XTERRA Sport/XTERRA Duathlon (Pelham, AL)
June 14 – XTERRA Richmond 21k Xduro (Richmond, VA)
June 15 – XTERRA East Championship/XTERRA Sport (Richmond, VA)
Aug. 16 – XTERRA Wheeler Canyon 21k Xduro (Ogden/Snowbasin, UT)
Aug. 16 – XTERRA Mountain Championship/XTERRA Sport (Ogden/Snowbasin, UT)
XTERRA WEST CHAMPS - TEMECULA PRE-RIDE
LA Tri-club members and XTERRA ambassadors Todd Gottfried and Gina Detolve are hosting a pre-ride and run of the XTERRA West Championship course on Sunday, May 4th at 9am at the race site (Vail Lake Resort in Temecula).
Todd and Gina have four free XTERRA race entries to raffle off as well as some nice swag to distribute. Media and athletes interested in participating must RSVP to Gina at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is no charge for the pre-ride, however, the lake owners will charge a $5 per person entry fee and require a liability waiver to be signed for all participants.
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