A star-studded elite field is headed to Maui for the 25th XTERRA World Championship race on December 5, 2021, led by the men’s and women’s defending champions, Brad Weiss from South Africa and Flora Duffy of Bermuda.
“I really enjoy the trip to Maui, and just how different it is from the World Triathlon Series,” said Duffy, who just won the World Triathlon Championship Abu Dhabi race on November 5, 2021.
“For me personally, XTERRA always feels like a return to fun, simpler ‘swim-bike-run’ times!”
XTERRA Worlds marks the end of a historic season for Duffy, who won gold at the Tokyo Olympics then claimed her third WTS World Title shortly after.
“Maui will be my last race of 2021, and I plan to stay in Hawaii through to Christmas week, hopefully mostly on Kauai where I’ve not been and have been wanting to explore,” said Duffy, who won her unprecedented fifth XTERRA World Championship title in 2019. “I need a big reset after this year, and I’m hopeful the additional time on Hawaiian beaches will be a good start to that goal.”
Before the well-deserved rest, Duffy will have one last piece of business to take care of against a strong cast of contenders including the recently crowned 2021 ITU Cross Tri World Champion Loanne Duvoisin, 2019 ITU Cross Tri Champ Eleonora Peroncini, 2018 XTERRA Worlds runner-up Michelle Flipo, 4x XTERRA U.S. Women’s Champ Suzie Snyder, 5x World Champ Melanie McQuaid, and a host of others.
On the men’s side, Bradley Weiss is also excited for the chance to defend the crown.
“The XTERRA World Championships will always hold a very special place in my heart. I absolutely love this island and everything about the XTERRA community gathering each year to battle it out for that title,” he said. “After missing the event in 2020 thanks to COVID-19 I think we all realized just how important this event is and how excited we all are to have it back on the calendar!”
Before he heads to Maui, Weiss will race the Ironman African Championships on November 21, creating his own very unique and demanding double.
“To be perfectly honest, this is a complete experiment,” smiled Weiss. “Trying to race well over two completely different formats of triathlon set just two weeks apart on completely opposite ends of the world is perhaps a questionable way to end the season, however, I am excited for the challenge, and it seems my body is holding up well to the training demands.”
In addition to the physical challenge, the challengers themselves will also make things difficult for Weiss.
“Nothing motivates me more than a properly competitive field,” exclaimed Weiss. “I will be racing against the likes of Sebastian Kienle in Africa, and then face an incredible field in Maui just two weeks later. This has kept me really focused on each and every training session, and I only have two weeks of training left before entering this racing block, so the fatigue levels are pretty high.”
At XTERRA Worlds, Weiss will be up against 7x World Champ Ruben Ruzafa, 2018 XTERRA World Champion Rom Akerson, 2016 XTERRA World Champ Mauricio Mendez, 2015 winner Josiah Middaugh, 2021 ITU Cross Tri World Champ Arthur Serrieres, 2017 ITU Cross Tri Champ Francisco Serrano, up-and-comer Seth Rider, the Olympic development squad from USAT’s Project Podium, Eric Lagerstrom, Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist Hayden Wilde, and hopefully his former training mate, Sam Osborne (assuming he can get out and back-in to NZL).
“Knowing these incredible athletes are waiting to take me on has been incredibly motivating,” said Weiss.
Learn more at xterramaui.com.