For Stoltz, not altitude, not a bear, not even Josiah Middaugh - a mountain master on his home course - could disrupt his perfect 2012 season.
July 14, 2012 (Beaver Creek Resort – Avon, CO) – Conrad Stoltz, 38, of Stellenbosch, South Africa and Danelle Kabush, 36, of Calgary, Canada won the XTERRA Mountain Championship at Beaver Creek Resort in Avon, Colorado on Saturday.
For Stoltz, not altitude, not a bear, not even Josiah Middaugh – a mountain master on his home course – could disrupt his perfect 2012 season. Stoltz started the year with a win at the XTERRA South Africa Championship, then swept through the XTERRA regional championships in Nevada, Alabama, Virginia, & now Colorado to bring his unprecedented XTERRA all-time championship wins total to 47.
“I must admit it was a very pleasurable experience,” said Stoltz, who raced here at the XTERRA Mountain Championships in Beaver Creek for the first time today. “I didn’t expect to come up here and have fun but it was a lot of fun. The course is beautiful, and I was amazed at all the spectators even out in the middle of the forest. I saw a black bear up there while I was racing. I heard some branches break and I could see it getting away and Josiah saw it too. So, it was very memorable. I was really surprised at my win. I thought Josiah was going to take it, because beating him on this course is really tough so I think I had a very special day. I have to thank Specialized who put a lot of time and effort into my bike.”
Stoltz came out of the mile-swim in the 66-degree waters of Nottingham Lake on the heels of leader Craig Evans and Branden Rakita, with Ben Hoffman directly behind him and David Henestrosa and Middaugh a minute back.
By the three-mile mark, and after the first of nearly four-thousand feet of climbing from the lake which sits at 7,400-feet, Stoltz led by a minute with Hoffman and Middaugh chasing together. At mile 10, Middaugh moved into second but hadn’t closed the gap and by the bike-to-run transition Stoltz, who had the fastest bike split of the day in 1:09:46, had more than a two-minute lead.
“When you put together a good race and get beat it’s not because something went wrong, it’s just that you’re not fit enough,” said Middaugh, who has now finished runner-up to the “Caveman” in three of the last four races. “Conrad had an awesome race and kudos to him for having that fitness and power that I’m going to be looking for in the next few months.”
Ben Hoffman had an incredible race in his first major XTERRA, and by the looks of his post-race grin it seems certain not to be his last.
“It was awesome today, I’m fired up, had fun out there,” said Hoffman, who had quite the support crew with the Specialized team in full force. “I think most people hear XTERRA has a little more laid back vibe and fun atmosphere and being here definitely confirmed that for me. Seeing it firsthand; the volunteers are psyched, it’s a well-run race, well-marked course, and super challenging but fair, an honest course. There’s no hiding here, it’s what you got on the day.”
David Henestrosa from Spain, who is now living and teaching in Clearfield, Utah with his wife and two girls, won XTERRA Italy back in 2004 and last finished in the top 5 of a major XTERRA in the U.S. that same year at the Mountain Championships in Keystone, Colorado. Today, he finished fourth.
“I feel OK in the altitude. I grew up just outside of Barcelona at a little over 4,000-feet and now in Utah its similar and its very comfortable. I had a wonderful race, and am having so much fun racing XTERRA, it’s great to be here,” said Henestrosa.
Rounding out the top five podium was Cody Waite, posting his best finish of the season at one of the most grueling races in the Series.
Also of note, Ryan Ignatz – the overall amateur XTERRA National Champion last year – is back in the pro ranks where he belongs as proof of his sixth place finish. Brian Smith is back as well, and posted the fastest run to finish in seventh, with Branden Rakita (his dad David won the 60-64 division today) in eighth, newcomer Travis Macy in ninth, and Will Kelsay 10th.
|1||Conrad Stoltz||38||Stellenbosch, South Africa||2:07:05||100|
|2||Josiah Middaugh||33||Vail, Colorado||2:08:24||90|
|3||Ben Hoffman||29||Boulder, Colorado||2:10:40||82|
|4||David Henestrosa||35||Clearfield, Utah||2:10:50||75|
|5||Cody Waite||33||Lakewood, Colorado||2:13:57||69|
|6||Ryan Ignatz||33||Boulder, Colorado||2:14:07||63|
|7||Brian Smith||37||Gunnison, Colorado||2:14:12||58|
|8||Branden Rakita||31||Colorado Springs, Colorado||2:16:50||53|
|9||Travis Macy||29||Evergreen, Colorado||2:19:09||49|
|10||Will Kelsay||30||Boulder, Colorado||2:20:55||45|
|Also: Lewis Elliot (41), Craig Evans (37), Adam Wirth (34), Damian Gonzalez (31), Gered Dunne (28)
DNF: Bradley Weiss, John Klish
Since she started racing XTERRA in 2004 Danelle Kabush has won XTERRA’s in Canada, had two kids, finished 2nd at the XTERRA World Championships twice (top five four times) but until today had never made it to the top step of the podium at a major XTERRA in the U.S.
“It’s very satisfying,” said Kabush, who earned a doctorate degree in sports psychology. “It’s always a tough course going uphill all day but it’s so scenic and beautiful I really enjoyed myself. I had a really fun battle with Sara out there on the bike, congrats to her and everyone else who raced. The volunteers were awesome, and so was the crowd with so many cheers all along the course. It’s fun to be back here after three years away.”
The race started with Suzie Snyder out front, followed by Melanie McQuaid and Sara Tarkington. Kabush was fourth out of the water, got close to Tarkington early and played cat-and-mouse with her the rest of the day.
Up ahead McQuaid, who was second here last year, worked her way to the front and was riding strong until picking up what she thinks was a nail in her back tire on the first real downhill of the day. It turned out to be a game changer, requiring several stops, two tube changes, and a ton of time. McQuaid ended up riding into T2 on a flat and in fifth place, which was also where she finished.
Meanwhile, Kabush and Tarkington traded leads several times until the last descent where Kabush pulled away.
“Sara was really strong on the flats, and it wasn’t until the last descent I took the lead and got a bit of a gap. I saw here coming in as I was headed out so probably had about 30 seconds at transition,” said Kabush, who took part in the Mountain Champs for the first time since she finished 2nd back in 2009.
Tarkington, who has finished second, third, and fourth at this race the last three years, was hoping to make it a straight.
“This climbing course really suits me and this time of year my fitness starts to show,” said Tarkington. “Today was fun because it was one of the first times I’ve had one of those real legit race feelings on the bike. We both pushed each other so hard, and if you’re coming off the bike with Danelle you know you’re in trouble, because she is fast. I had her in my sights for a mile and then she was gone.”
Kabush is indeed noted for being a great trail runner, and today she had the fastest split more than two minutes and came across the line with a comfortable cushion. Tarkington was second, Snyder third, and Renata Bucher – just a few days removed from a grueling XTERRA in France – worked her way into fourth.
The XTERRA pro women’s field right now is as diverse as it has ever been, with four different winners in each of the four regional championship races this year.
Of note today Tamara Donelson had her best race as a pro, placing sixth, with Heather Holmes, Kim Baugh, Caroline Colonna, and Jennifer Gersbach rounding out the top 10.
|1||Danelle Kabush||36||Calgary, Canada||2:29:35||100|
|2||Sara Tarkington||31||Boulder, Colorado||2:32:28||90|
|3||Suzie Snyder||30||Fredericksburg, Virginia||2:35:19||82|
|4||Renata Bucher||34||Lucerne, Switzerland||2:36:36||75|
|5||Melanie McQuaid||38||Victoria, B.C., Canada||2:37:27||69|
|6||Tamara Donelson||36||Edwards, Colorado||2:40:16||63|
|7||Heather Holmes||31||Pocatello, Idaho||2:45:06||58|
|8||Kim Baugh||33||Colorado Springs, Colorado||2:45:51||53|
|9||Caroline Colonna||46||Taos, New Mexico||2:51:33||49|
|10||Jennifer Gersbach||33||Durango, Colorado||2:52:14||45|
XTERRA U.S. PRO SERIES UPDATE
Today’s race was the last of four regional championships in the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series. Conrad Stoltz stayed perfect and has a commanding lead heading into the finale, “still, I’d like to be perfect,” he said. If Stoltz can finish 4th or better at Nationals he’ll capture his 10th Pro Series crown. With his second-place finish Middaugh maintained a strong hold on the No. 2 spot, but to win the Series (in this hypothetical example) he’d have to win the USA Championship and Stoltz would have to place 5th or worse. Craig Evans stayed in third, while David Henestrosa moved up a spot to four (moving Branden Rakita down to five), and with the absence of Chris Legh, Will Kelsay and Cody Waite also climbed a spot to 6th and 7th, respectively.
2012 XTERRA U.S. Pro Series Standings (After 4 – 7.14.12)
Points total reflects top 3 scores (1 drop)
|1||Conrad Stoltz, RSA||100||100||100||100||300|
|2||Josiah Middaugh, USA||90||75||90||90||270|
|3||Craig Evans, USA||58||90||82||37||230|
|4||David Henestrosa, ESP||63||53||63||75||201|
|5||Branden Rakita, USA||69||49||69||53||191|
|6||Will Kelsay, USA||DNS||63||75||45||183|
|7||Cody Waite, USA||37||45||53||69||167|
|8||Chris Legh, AUS||75||82||DNS||DNS||157|
|9||Adam Wirth, USA||41||DNF||49||34||124|
|10||Will Ross, USA||45||37||41||DNS||123|
|11||Damian Gonzalez, USA||31||DNP||37||31||99|
|12||Lewis Elliot, USA||49||DNS||DNS||41||90|
|13||Dan Hugo, RSA||82||DNS||DNS||DNS||82|
|14||Ben Hoffman, USA||DNS||DNS||DNS||82||82|
|15||Ryan DeCook, USA||DNS||28||45||DNS||73|
|16||Richard Stannard, GBR||DNF||69||DNS||DNS||69|
|17||Ryan Ignatz, USA||DNS||DNS||DNS||63||63|
|19||Kelly Guest, CAN||DNS||58||DNS||DNS||58|
|20||Bradley Weiss, RSA||DNS||DNS||58||DNF||58|
|21||Brian Smith, USA||DNS||DNS||DNS||58||58|
|22||Doug Hall, GBR||53||DNS||DNS||DNS||53|
|23||Travis Macy, USA||DNS||DNS||DNS||49||49|
|24||Sergio Sarmiento, MEX||DNS||41||DNS||DNS||41|
|25||Chris Ganter, USA||34||DNS||DNS||DNS||34|
|26||Jean Thibodeau, CAN||DNS||34||DNS||DNS||34|
|27||Llewellyn Holmes, GBR||DNS||31||DNS||DNS||31|
The women’s chase for the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series crown is absolutely up for grabs. Lesley Paterson held on to the top spot despite not racing, while Renata Bucher made a crucial leap forward past Melanie McQuaid with today’s results. As it stands both Lesley Paterson and Renata Bucher control their own destiny – meaning with a victory they’d capture the Series title. For McQuaid, to capture her fifth pro series crown, she would have to win and have Paterson finish 3rd or lower (among literally hundreds of scenarios).
|1||Lesley Paterson, GBR||90||100||82||DNS||272|
|2||Renata Bucher, SUI||100||45||90||75||265|
|3||Melanie McQuaid, CAN||69||90||100||69||259|
|4||Danelle Kabush, CAN||75||63||69||100||244|
|5||Suzie Snyder, USA||63||75||63||82||220|
|6||Sara Tarkington, USA||49||37||DNS||90||176|
|7||Heather Holmes, USA||DNS||34||58||58||150|
|8||Tamara Donelson, USA||41||DNP||45||63||149|
|9||Shonny Vanlandingham, USA||DNS||69||75||DNS||144|
|10||Caroline Colonna, USA||DNF||28||49||49||126|
|11||Emma Garrard, USA||82||41||DNS||DNS||123|
|12||Kim Baugh, USA||DNS||31||DNS||53||84|
|13||Carla Van Huyssteen, RSA||DNS||82||DNS||DNS||82|
|14||Kate Major, AUS||58||DNS||DNS||DNS||58|
|15||Michelle Flipo, MEX||DNS||58||DNS||DNS||58|
|16||Beth Walsh, USA||53||DNS||DNS||DNS||53|
|17||Shae Vaughn, USA||DNS||53||DNS||DNS||53|
|18||Katie Button, CAN||DNS||DNP||53||DNS||53|
|19||Brandi Heisterman, CAN||DNS||49||DNS||DNS||49|
|20||Kathryn Ross, USA||45||DNF||DNS||DNS||45|
|21||Jennifer Gersbach, USA||DNS||DNS||DNS||45||45|
|22||Courtenay Brown, USA||37||DNP||DNS||DNS||37|
|23||Jennifer Todd, USA||34||DNS||DNS||DNS||34|
The 2012 XTERRA U.S. Pro Series consists of five events – four regional
championships and Nationals.
April 14 – XTERRA West Championship (Lake Las Vegas Resort – Henderson, NV)
May 19 – XTERRA Southeast Championship / ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships (Pelham, AL)
June 10 – XTERRA East Championship (Richmond, VA)
July 14 – XTERRA Mountain Championship (Beaver Creek Resort – Avon, CO)
Sept. 22 – XTERRA USA Championship (Ogden/Snowbasin Resort, UT)
The top 15 pros at each event are awarded points based on overall pro finish. Pros will count their best three of four regional scores plus the points they get (or don’t get) at the XTERRA USA Championship in Utah. Thus, the final point total combines an athletes’ best three scores in the first four races, plus the USA Championship race points. He/she with the most points in the end is declared the U.S. Pro Series Champ. The U.S. Series will dish out $145,000 in prize money: $15,000 at the West, East and Mountain Championships, $20,000 at the Southeast and USA Championship races, and $60,000 to the top overall points scorers in the Series.
PETRY, IGNATZ WIN AGE GROUP RACES
Ryan Petry (pictured) and Maia Ignatz, both from Boulder, won the overall amateur crowns. It’s the second straight top 10 overall for Petry, who was ninth and the fastest age grouper at the XTERRA West Champs. Ignatz, who won the 30-34 XTERRA World Championship last year, just started racing in 2009. “It’s kind of hard to imagine, I don’t picture myself among these elite women.” For both, elite status seems to be calling.
Several hundred triathletes from more than a dozen states and six countries took part in today’s race. The event consisted of a one-mile swim in Nottingham Lake, a 16-mile mountain bike on Beaver Creek Mountain and a 6-mile trail run.
There was also an XTERRA Sprint race (half-distance), and relay team competitions. XTERRA
Sprint Race Results
Here’s a look at all of age group champions from today’s XTERRA Mountain Championship:
|15 – 19||Connor Weaver||2:33:57||Parker, CO|
|20 – 24||Ryan Petry||2:20:34||Boulder, CO|
|25 – 29||Scott Archer||2:30:34||Breckenridge, CO|
|30 – 34||Luke Jay||2:26:15||Littleton, CO|
|35 – 39||Bryce Phinney||2:23:51||Tucson, AZ|
|40 – 44||Henry Reed||2:28:54||Avon, CO|
|45 – 49||Stephen White||2:30:31||Vail, CO|
|50 – 54||Brent Peacock||2:35:16||Jackson, WY|
|55 – 59||James Weir||2:41:55||Denver, CO|
|60 – 64||David Rakita||3:06:24||Durango, CO|
|PC||Michael Stone||3:18:50||Boulder, CO|
|15 – 19||Erin Quinn||3:39:48||Littleton, CO|
|20 – 24||Jaquelyn Wilds||4:08:24||Lakewood, CO|
|25 – 29||Amelia Van Dyke||3:02:19||Vail, CO|
|30 – 34||Maia Ignatz||2:46:22||Boulder, CO|
|35 – 39||Jessi Stensland||2:50:08||Boulder, CO|
|40 – 44||Kimberly Baldwin||2:50:22||Boulder, CO|
|45 – 49||Christy Geyer||3:07:27||Edwards, CO|
|50 – 54||Lisa Sieders||3:45:31||Denver, CO|
|55 – 59||Barbara Peterson||3:19:35||Berkeley, CA|
|60 – 64||Cindi Toepel||3:20:50||Littleton, CO|
Next up on the XTERRA America Tour: XTERRA USA Championship – Sept. 22 @ Snowbasin Resort (Ogden, Utah)
A special thanks to Tim Baker, executive director at Beaver Creek Resort and the entire BCR staff, along with the volunteers, and our local partners at East-West Resorts and the Town of Avon.
The 2012 XTERRA Mountain Championship is presented by Paul Mitchell, AVIA, and Beaver Creek Resort. Sponsors include XTERRAShop.com, Gatorade, PowerBar, Rudy Project, Breakthrough Nutrition, Utah Sports Commission, Choice Hotels, XTERRA Wetsuits, XTERRA Footwear, XTERRA Fitness, East-West Resorts, the Town of Avon, and Zorrel.
TEAM Unlimited is a Hawaii-based television events and marketing company, founded in 1988. It owns and produces XTERRA and in 2011 produced more than 100 XTERRA off-road triathlon and trail running races in 15 countries worldwide. In the U.S. alone nearly 200,000 participants took part in the XTERRA lifestyle last year while XTERRA’s TV, publicity, advertising, online, and grassroots marketing efforts generated more than 400 million impressions. In addition, TEAM TV has produced more than 300 adventure television shows resulting in three Emmy’s and 42 Telly Awards for production excellence since 1990. View samples at www.xterra.tv, and learn more at xterraplanet.com and xterratrailrun.com.