Hats off to Bradley Weiss, winner of the XTERRA World Tour opener at Buffelspoort Dam in the Northwest Province of South Africa over the weekend. After three years of focused dedication to the sport and nearly 20 top 5 finishes around the world the 25-year-old took the top step.
“Couldn't have asked for a better way to start 2015,” said Weiss, who will travel to the Philippines in search of his second XTERRA victory.
Nicolette Griffioen won the women’s race and several hundred racers kicked off the XTERRA season in style.
Here’s the official race report:
Tension was rife at the picturesque Buffelspoort Dam (North West Province) on Saturday, 24 January 2015 when over 400 adventure seekers toed the line to partake in the first XTERRA of the season, the TOTALSPORTS XTERRA Buffelspoort Full presented by REHIDRAT® SPORT.
Bradley Weiss claimed a long overdue victory in the men’s race completing the 1.5km swim, 26.5km mountain bike discipline and 12km trail run in a lighting fast combined time of 02 hours 35 minutes 31 seconds, while Nicolette Griffioen secured the women’s title in an impressive combined finishing time of 03 hours 18 minutes 35 seconds.
The third individual athlete to exit the water, it was on the run discipline that Weiss was able to capitalise. “I always struggle to swim at altitude,” said Weiss. “My transition was rusty. I entered the bike discipline behind Conrad Stoltz and Theo Blignaut. Conrad is stronger than me on the bike. So I decided not to overextend myself by trying to keep up. I caught Theo and rode with him for about ten minutes before building a gap. On entering transition two I was two minutes behind Conrad. Building up to the event I’ve done a lot of gym work and felt really strong on my feet. With about 1km to go on the run, I was now only 20 seconds behind Conrad, he made a wrong turn. I called after him, but he didn’t hear. It’s never a nice way to pass someone. Claiming my very first XTERRA victory today was intense, a surreal experience and I couldn’t be happier. My next event is XTERRA Philippines, which will be great preparation for XTERRA Grabouw”. Antoine Van Heerden came in second, while Conrad Stoltz finished third.
In the women’s race, Griffioen was pleasantly surprised by her victory. “The swim was choppy, I swallowed a lot of water,” laughs Griffioen. “I had a good bike ride. The course included some really nice technical sections. It was hot out on the trail run, with the course featuring a killer climb. I am really surprised to take the win today. The XTERRA is a great challenge, but the satisfaction at the end is worth it”. Natia Van Heerden came in second, while Sylvia Van Tromp finished third.
For further information on the TOTALSPORTS XTERRA presented by REHIDRAT® SPORT please contact Stillwater Sports on 086 138 3591 or email entries [at] stillwatersports.com.