XTERRA Pro Nico Pfitzenmaier’s educational and athletic endeavors have taken him to all four corners of the world. As a youth he spent time in Portugal, studied marketing in China, went to business school in England and lived in Hong Kong and France. He rode BMX as a kid, and became a semi-pro mountain biker in 1995. In 2003, he tried his first triathlon and in 2004 after racing the Ironman in Kona, Pfitzenmaier spontaneously decided to go to Maui and race in the XTERRA World Championship (as much to see Maui as to race). He instantly fell in love with the sport and described his experience by saying, “When I crossed the finish line, I had a big smile on my face and knew I had found my sport!”
After that race, at the age of 33, Pfitzenmaier fulfilled his lifelong dream of becoming a full-time pro and traveled around the world training and racing in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the United States.
Today he finds himself in the Western Cape of South Africa, just a week before the XTERRA South Africa Championship that kicks off the XTERRA World Tour on February 26.
“Yesterday I took a couple of athletes out for a mountain biking skills clinic and pre- ride of the XTERRA Course. In my XTERRA career, and I have competed all over the world from Japan to Lake Tahoe, what I saw today was the nicest XTERRA mountain bike course ever,” said Pfitzenmaier. “Besides the amazing views and landscapes, the course offers such a unique variety of terrain from sand, rock, roots to gravel, that it challenges all skill levels. What amazes me is that Hendrico (the route designer) has found a way to connect all single trails there are and design the best course I have so far ridden in my career. It's such a flowy, diverse, challenging and fun course that everybody can look forward to it!”
XTERRA fans around the world can also look forward to the superstar match-up of locals Conrad Stoltz vs. Dan Hugo on their home turf. Hugo (check out this video from his win at the TOTALSPORTS Challenge last weekend) has won three of the last four XTERRA South Africa titles, and Stoltz won four straight from ’04 to 07, but hasn’t claimed one since.
Pfitzenmaier went on to say that the exploding number of entries for XTERRA South Africa events (Buffelspoort had 1,500 racers) is a result of perfectly organized races, high praise for Michael Meyer and Stillwater Sports coming from a well-traveled and knowledgeable XTERRA warrior.