Conrad “the Caveman” Stoltz enters his 13th year of XTERRA racing Saturday with an unprecedented four XTERRA World Titles, a pair of ITU Cross Tri World titles, and 50 XTERRA race wins under his belt.
His very first of those 50 happened on August 19, 2001 at the XTERRA West Championship in Half Moon Bay, California, and he’s won the West regional nine times since including five of the last six.
When the XTERRA crew rolled in to Lake Las Vegas Resort on Monday to unload the container, the Caveman was the first person they saw, pulling a great big bike out of a little tiny car. We cornered him, and got his thoughts heading into the 2013 season…
XTERRA: You raced a lot in the off-season, any injuries, or concerns?
Caveman: No, after three years of net being able to run much because of injury, I've finally been able to train some running. I really missed running- there is that something special about running you don’t get from other sports. Other than the great time/fatigue ratio…
For fun, I decided to do the Abu Dhabi long distance tri in Feb. The long hours' training was definitely a shock to the system, but we think all those hours at tempo will have some interesting effects (positive!) on my long racing season.
XTERRA: Here in Vegas, you and Josiah Middaugh have had some pretty good battles. In the first three years of racing here a total of 12 seconds was the difference in your finish times. Josiah won in 2011, you’ve won the other three, including last year. Any specific game plan for the 2013 showdown?
Caveman: Other than: "Keep it in the big blade?!" Josiah had a great race at Worlds last year and definitely ups his game every year (Clearly he too, trains scientifically). This Vegas bike and run course is quite hilly and non-technical, both aspects play into his hand, so the racing is guaranteed to be hard, fast and painful!
XTERRA: Your next several months are jam-packed, is your spirit of adventure/competition still burning strong, ready to tackle the challenges ahead?
Caveman: I love adventure, adrenaline, lactic acid and visiting interesting places. A perfect fit for most XTERRA venues. Princess Hotstuff and I are going to Brazil and Italy for the XTERRAs there- which we are really looking forward. There is also ITU Cross Tri Worlds in Den Haag, Holland, I'm excited to race on the dunes and beaches. And defend my World title!
Other fun races this year:
- Sea Otter Festival Short Track and XC
- Rev 3's in Knoxville and Main
- BE Off road racing in Craig Evans' backyard
- TriLanai on the island of Lanai, Hawaii - perfect fun race the week after XTERRA Worlds.
What can I say- I love fun racing!