Cascading waterfalls, white sand beaches, breathtaking sunsets, and birthplace of the most notorious off-road triathlon in the world... XTERRA!
In 1996 mountain biking and triathlon met in a duel of the fittest on the island of Maui. The race consisted of a rough water swim, a mountain bike race, and a trail run. It represented a bold new racing format that attracted outdoor enthusiasts, adventure seekers, mountain bikers and triathletes. The mountain bikers brought their laid-back style and bold self-assurance. The triathletes brought their hard-core training and avid dedication. They soon discovered a common “Live More” spirit that pulled them together. The relationship flourished into an internationally-recognized brand called XTERRA, and today there are tens of thousands of athletes not only taking part in the races, but truly living the lifestyle.
A fitting representation of this “XTERRA Tribe” - 800 athletes from 40 countries and 40 U.S. states – will gather at Kapalua Resort on Maui’s northwest coast; and on Sunday, October 26 at 9am, they’ll put their mental and physical toughness up against Mother Nature at the 19th running of the XTERRA World Championship.
BEST OF THE BEST HEADED TO MAUI
The best athletes from the past, present, and future of XTERRA will gather to battle for the 2014 XTERRA World Championship crown. More than 80 elites qualified to race in Maui for the sports ultimate crown this year.
The man, however, is still the Caveman. Conrad “the Caveman” Stoltz is the sports’ most successful racer ever with an unprecedented 51 championship wins and four XTERRA World Titles to go with his three ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships. He’s also an XTERRA icon and fan favorite, looming larger than life when he walks through the athlete village. The Caveman is 40-years-old but shows no signs of slowing down – and you need look no further than his back-to-back wins at XTERRA England and XTERRA Denmark in August as proof.
That said, the man of the moment is Ruben Ruzafa. The reigning and two-time World Champion from Spain is undefeated since winning Worlds last year as he swept through the European Tour with seven straight victories, then took down American legend Josiah “Beast Mode” Middaugh at the USA Championship last month. Rumor has it, however, that the Beast is growing a beard and the last time his kids wore the “Fear the Beard” shirts, their Dad won.
Dan Hugo has been brilliant all year, won seven majors including the prestigious XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship, and geared his training towards this one. Asa Shaw and Ben Allen finished 2/3 last year, Leo Chacon is super-fast just like Brent McMahon, Olympian Brendan Sexton from Australia will fit right in to Hawaii’s rough seas, Brad Weiss has been top four at everything the last two years, and Michi Weiss won this race last time he was here. Lots of contenders in the mix this year to say the least.
As for the future, that honor goes to Mauricio Mendez – the 18-year-old sensation from Mexico has captured the hearts of the XTERRA Tribe and inspires one-and-all with his smile and youthful exuberance.
In the women’s race the spotlight shines bright on defending champ Nicky Samuels from New Zealand and 2014 all-star Flora Duffy from Bermuda. Duffy was dominant all year, winning everything she entered except XTERRA Germany where European Tour Champ Kathrin Mueller took the top spot.
Those three should put on quite a show, but you’ve also got Chilean rock-star Barbara Riveros, American greats Emma Garrard and Shonny Vanlandingham, past Euro Tour champ Helena Erbenova, Canadians Chantell Widney and three-time World Champ Melanie McQuaid, and Brit Jacqui Slack.
There is no doubt the field is stacked and the heat is on. It’s Maui or Bust for the World’s best.
Who’s your pick?
TENTATIVE PRO START LIST FOR XTERRA WORLDS
(Alpha by Country)
AUSTRALIA: Ben Allen, Chris Legh, Nick Moore, Brendan Sexton
AUSTRIA: Michi Weiss
BELGIUM: Bart Aernouts, Yeray Luxem, Jim Thijs, Rob Woestenborghs
BRAZIL: Felipe Moletta
CANADA: Brent McMahon, Jean-Philippe Thibodeau
COSTA RICA: Rom Akerson, Leonardo Chacon
CZECH: Jan Francke, Jan Kubicek, Lubos Truhlar
FRANCE: Francois Carloni (H), Brice Daubord, Romaric Delepine, Arthur Forissier, Nicolas Hemet, Cedric Lassonde
GREAT BRITAIN: Matt Dewis, Rory Downie, Jon Heasman, Llewellyn Holmes, Asa Shaw
JAPAN: Takahiro Ogasawara, Yu Yumoto
MEXICO: Mauricio Mendez, Irving Perez
NEW ZEALAND: Olly Shaw
NORWAY: Philip Tavell
PHILIPPINES: Joe Miller
SLOVAKIA: Tomas Kubek
SOUTH AFRICA: Dan Hugo, Grayson Keppler, Conrad Stoltz, Brad Weiss
SPAIN: Ruben Ruzafa, Albert Soley
SWITZERLAND: Jan Pyott
USA: Chris Ganter, Ryan Ignatz, Josiah Middaugh, Joshua Merrick, Branden Rakita, Cody Waite, Noah Wright, Brad Zoller
THE ELITE WOMEN
AUSTRALIA: Dimity-Lee Duke, Penny Hosken, Charlotte McShane
AUSTRIA: Sandra Koblmueller, Carina Wasle
BERMUDA: Flora Duffy
CANADA: Danelle Kabush, Melanie McQuaid, Chantell Widney
CHILE: Barbara Riveros
CZECH: Helena Erbenova
GERMANY: Maud Golsteyn, Kathrin Muller
GREAT BRITAIN: Louise Fox, Jacqui Slack
JAPAN: Mieko Carey
NETHERLANDS: Judy Vandenberg
NEW ZEALAND: Sarah Backler, Elizabeth Orchard, Nicky Samuels
SOUTH AFRICA: Susan Sloan
SWITZERLAND: Renata Bucher
USA: Caroline Colonna, Genevieve Evans, Emma Garrard, Maia Ignatz, Kara LaPoint, Sara Schuler, Suzie Snyder, Debby Sullivan, Shonny Vanlandingham