Hometown hero Bradley Weiss and Austrian Carina Wasle captured the 15th annual Fedhealth XTERRA South Africa Championship elite titles on cool, cloudy morning at the Elgin-Grabouw Country Club in the Western Cape today.
It’s the second SA victory for the reigning XTERRA World Champion, who picked up his first home country win in 2016, and the third for Wasle, who also won here in 2009 and 2011.
“It’s my favorite race of the year,” exclaimed Weiss, who was wearing the World Champion rainbow stripes on his racing kit for the first time.
Weiss exited the water in third but took over the lead by the first big climb on the bike and never looked back, taking the tape in 2:28:55.
“Once I was in the lead I just settled into my own rhythm,” he said. “My lead kept building. I just focused on executing a good race. To win on home soil is very special. I would like to thank Fedhealth and Stillwater Sports for putting on an incredible show.”
Fellow South African Michael Lord finished second, while Brice Daubord from France finished third. Of note, Ironman star Sebastian Kienle withdrew prior to the event, citing a “minor crash that slightly bruised his ribs” on his twitter account @SebastianKienle.
In the women’s chase Wasle led from wire-to-wire and crossed the line in 2:51:43.
“I had a very good race,” said Wasle. “I always start a race with the goal to win. My swim was perfect. I was first on the bike and just kept my lead. I am very happy to win today. It was a perfect race on a fantastic course!”
South African stars Hayley Preen and Johandri Leicester placed second and third, respectively.
Jeremy Yatt, the principal officer of the title sponsors from Fedhealth, said “The Fedhealth XTERRA Grabouw is a great event for the serious off-road triathlete, where you can clinch one of the various age group qualification slots for the XTERRA World Championships taking place later this year. Grabouw offers unforgiving, yet breath-taking terrain, and the chance to bring your family to either participate or spur you on across the finish line. It’s no wonder it’s the biggest XTERRA in the world.”
The main event, which was the first of 35 majors on the 2018 XTERRA World Tour, combined a 1.5-kilometer swim, 26K mountain bike and 12K trail run.
Learn more at stillwatersports.com.
All-Time XTERRA South Africa elite champions:
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
2017 Richard Murray/Flora Duffy
2018 Bradley Weiss/Carina Wasle