February 20, 2016 (Grabouw Country Club) - Bradley Weiss and two-time XTERRA World Champion Flora Duffy won the 12th annual Fedhealth XTERRA South African Championship at the picturesque Grabouw Country Club today.
It’s the fourth win in five weeks for Weiss, who captured all three events in the XTERRA South Africa Series that also included races at Buffelspoort and Nelson Mandela Bay, and it is his second win on the XTERRA World Tour this year following his victory in Albay, Philippines just two weeks ago.
“I don’t think the win has sunk in yet,” said Weiss. “It’s been approximately five years since I started taking part in XTERRA Grabouw. I started out in the XTERRA Lite. If I think back to then, I would never have dreamt about winning at the XTERRA SA Champs. It’s such a surreal feeling. I couldn’t be more proud.”
Weiss is the fifth different men’s champion in five years and joins a classy list of past SA champions that includes Conrad Stoltz, Dan Hugo, Richard Murray, Stuart Marais, and Lieuwe Boonstra. His winning time was 2:30:42, followed by fellow South African James Cunnama two minutes back in second, and Kiwi Aiden Dunster in third.
For Duffy it’s her third straight SA title, 9th consecutive XTERRA major, and 13th win on the XTERRA World Tour in 16 tries since her debut in 2013.
“Getting my third victory in Grabouw is really cool,” says a delighted Duffy. “I won my very first XTERRA here. As I spend five months out of the year in South Africa, XTERRA Grabouw is an unofficial home race for me. The XTERRA Grabouw course is phenomenal. It’s a true XTERRA course. You have to know how to ride a mountain bike. The crowd and community involvement really makes this race special. I’m happy with my overall 7th place and my third XTERRA Grabouw title.”
Her winning time was 2:39:08, followed by Austrian Carina Wasle 17-minutes later then the top South African female Susan Sloan in third.
XTERRA managing director Dave Nicholas was on-site to take in all the action and brings us this report…
An unusually cool morning for this time of year. It rained buckets on Friday making the kids race a muddy affair and the rain continued into the evening. The result of the rain was the cool morning and a very fast but sometimes slippery bike course.
Last year’s winner Stuart Marais did a short run first thing and had to admit he was not well and withdrew. With Michael Szymoniuk and Theo Blignaut already having crashed themselves out, the men’s field was down three top contenders before the start.
The elite field was given a one-minute swim start lead on the masses yet Team T3 came out of the water first followed by Flora Duffy and a pack of men. Poor Brice Daubord from France had his front brake lock on him just 1K into the bike and had to ride the whole way with the brake dragging and making his life miserable.
Weiss got into the lead quickly and by the 7K mark he was over a minute in front of local Ironman great James Cunnama in his first XTERRA.
“I’m not really a mountain biker but live close and rode the course 3 times this week” said Cunnama.. “I fell off on every one of those practice rides but stayed on the whole way today.”
Cunnama was locked into a great bike battle with 20-year-old Michael Lord. Michael is very tall and a very enthusiastic young man. “I love XTERRA and I’ll be racing for a long time” he grinned.
Trailing closely behind was another youngster, Aiden Dunster from New Zealand. Weiss increased his lead with a steady, smooth ride that was three minutes quicker than the next fastest. Young Lord got the upper hand and was 2nd into T2 with Cunnama close behind.
“I exited the swim with Michael, Antoine and Aiden close behind me,” explained Weiss. “Although my transition was slower, by the time that I reached the first climb on the mountain bike discipline I managed to work my way up into third place. I caught Michael Lord on the crest of the climb. By the second portage climb I could hear that James and Michael were breathing hard. I jumped onto my bike, pushed as hard as I could and opened a gap. I didn’t have the best bike to run transition with my gloves and shoes getting caught, but my run felt solid.
On the women’s side it was all Duffy. Fastest swim, fastest bike by nearly seven-minutes and fastest run by four. That is a dominating performance. Behind her was a great race between Carla Van Huyssteen, Susan Sloan and Carina Wasle. Carla led with a very quick swim and held that position well into the bike. Susan Sloan held third and passed Carla about half way into the bike with Carina not far behind. It was a great battle with all three of these women within a minute of each other. The run proved the podium placings with Carina moving to second, Sloan passing Van Huyssteen for third.
The men had a position change as well at the top with Aiden Dunster passing Michael Lord to come home 3rd. Cunnama put in the fastest run to consolidate 2nd and Lord carried on for a fine fourth-place finish.
FedHealth has become the title sponsor of XTERRA in South Africa and created a great contest for any athletes who competed in all three of the series races. It came down to 11 people who were in the draw for an all-expense paid trip to the 2016 XTERRA World Championship on Maui. Quite a prize as it included Air, Hotel, Entry and some spending cash to boot. The winner of the drawing was also the winner for women 25-29, Denine Van Heerden.
All told, it was another fabulous XTERRA South Africa. Anyone who has come down here to experience the great organization, the atmosphere, and the warm and friendly people will come back. There is so much to do during a trip to Cape Town and the Garden route and a total world class XTERRA as well.
RESULTS: Open Men
1 Bradley Weiss 02:30:42, 2 James Cunnama 02:32:39, 3 Aiden Dunster 02:35:01, 4 Michael Lord 02:35:44, 5 Antoine Van Heerden 02:36:12, 6 Jan Pyott 02:38:26, 7 Jeffrey Neethling 02:41:19, 8 Brad Matthew Edwards 02:43:17, 9 Aidan Nugent 02:44:39, 10 Darryn Purtell 02:45:56
RESULTS: Open Women
1 Flora Duffy 02:39:08, 2 Carina Wasle 02:56:05, 3 Susan Sloan 02:57:32, 4 Carla Van Huyssteen 02:58:54, 5 Nicolette Griffioen 03:03:08, 6 Sandra Koblmuller 03:05:18, 7 Adrienne Moolman 03:15:41, 8 Denine Van Heerden 03:15:52, 9 Denine Van Heerden 03:15:52, 10 Johandri Leicester 03:18:46
“The Fedhealth XTERRA Full caters for more seasoned triathletes who want to put their fitness to the test,” says Jeremy Yatt, Principal Officer of Fedhealth. “Regardless of the athletes’ own unique goals, it is also a fun weekend away in which the entire family can participate. We thoroughly enjoy seeing so many fit, healthy people in action!”
The 2016 Fedhealth XTERRA Grabouw Full saw off-road multi-sport athletes having to complete a 1.5km swim, followed by a 28km mountain bike discipline before finishing off with a 12.5km trail run.
After a gruelling day out on route, XTERRA Warriors can look forward to recovering in the NUUN Recovery Zone. “We’ll be there to put back what the race takes out with cold coolers of our proprietary blend of electrolytes in natural, delicious flavours - all without any sugars. Get excited for refreshing flavours like Strawberry Lemonade, Tri-Berry, Fruit Punch, Lemon and Lime and Citrus Fruit,” says Etienne du Plessis, CEO of NUUN.
Another special feature to look forward to in the NUUN Recovery Zone will be the serving of the proudly South African ButtaNutt series of authentic tree nut spreads. “Our spreads are filled with healthy fats and proteins for sustained energy. ButtaNutt will also be giving away an entire year’s supply to one lucky XTERRA finisher at each of the three events,” says Antoine van Heerden, Managing Director of ButtaNutt.
Look back at great coverage from the day on twitter and Facebook @XTERRASA / @Fedhealthmed
|XTERRA SOUTH AFRICA ALL-TIME PRO WINNERS|
|2004||Conrad Stoltz||Megan Hall|
|2005||Conrad Stoltz||Mari Rabie|
|2006||Conrad Stoltz||Michelle Lombardi|
|2007||Conrad Stoltz||Michelle Lombardi|
|2008||Dan Hugo||Eszter Erdelyi|
|2009||Lieuwe Boonstra/Felix Schumann||Carina Wasle|
|2010||Dan Hugo||Mari Rabie|
|2011||Dan Hugo||Carina Wasle|
|2012||Conrad Stoltz||Carla Van Huyssteen|
|2013||Richard Murray||Carla Van Huyssteen|
|2014||Dan Hugo||Flora Duffy|
|2015||Stuart Marais||Flora Duffy|
|2016||Bradley Weiss||Flora Duffy|
2016 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS
XTERRA South Africa was the second of 37 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the world could qualify to race at the 21st annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on October 23.
|DATE||WORLD TOUR EVENT||LOCATION|
|21-Feb||XTERRA South Africa||Grabouw, Western Cape|
|5-Mar||XTERRA Motatapu||South Island, New Zealand|
|12-Mar||XTERRA Saipan||Saipan, CNMI|
|20-Mar||XTERRA Costa Rica||Playa Reserva Conchal|
|26-Mar||XTERRA Argentina||Dique Ullum, San Juan|
|3-Apr||XTERRA Malta||Majjistral Nature Reserve|
|16-Apr||XTERRA New Zealand||Rotorua, North Island|
|17-Apr||XTERRA La Reunion||La Reunion Island|
|23-Apr||XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship||Jervis Bay, NSW, Australia|
|7-May||XTERRA Malaysia / XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour Championship||Langkawi|
|7-May||XTERRA Brazil||Ilhabela, São Paulo|
|21-May||XTERRA Oak Mountain State Park||Pelham, Shelby County, AL, USA|
|25-Jun||XTERRA Switzerland||Vallee de Joux|
|25-Jun||XTERRA Mine over Matter||Milton, Ontario, Canada|
|10-Jul||XTERRA Victoria||Victoria, B.C., Canada|
|16-Jul||XTERRA Beaver Creek||Beaver Creek, CO, USA|
|23-Jul||XTERRA Parry Sound||Ontario, Canada|
|31-Jul||XTERRA Italy||Lago Di Scanno|
|31-Jul||XTERRA Dominican Republic||Barahona|
|13-Aug||XTERRA Sweden||Hellsgaarten, Stockholm|
|14-Aug||XTERRA Canmore||Canmore, Alberta, Canada|
|20-Aug||XTERRA Germany – XTERRA European Championship||Zittau|
|27-Aug||XTERRA Sleeping Giant||Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada|
|Jul/Sept||XTERRA Japan (Subject to Change)||Hokkaido|
|Jul/Aug||XTERRA Korea (Subject to Change)||Daeahn Reservoir, Wonju City|
|4-Sep||XTERRA Denmark||Mons Klint|
|4-Sep||XTERRA Quebec||Quebec City, Quebec|
|11-Sep||XTERRA Woolastook||New Brunswick, Canada|
|17-Sep||XTERRA USA / Pan Am Championship||Ogden, Utah, USA|
|23-Oct||XTERRA World Championship||Kapalua, Maui|