Big 5 Sport Challenge
'Caveman' Stoltz unstoppable
Conrad Stoltz (Photo provided)
Knysna - Four time and current reigning World Champion Conrad Stoltz destroyed the highest pedigree field ever seen at the event to win the Due South XTERRA in Knysna on Thursday. The four-time XTERRA World Champion completed the course at the Pezula Field of Dreams in an astonishing time of 01hour 38minutes 07seconds.
Mountain bike specialist Kevin Evans was 2nd, with South African triathlon legend Lieuwe Boonstra finishing 3rd in what is sadly his final XTERRA. The Red Bull athlete has decided to retire and focus on work and other mountain bike races.
Boonstra led after the first 3km run, but Stoltz put in a massive effort on the 23km MTB leg to surge into the lead just ahead of a charging Kevin Evans.
It was a concerned Stoltz who led Evans out of the transition into the final 7km run, but 'The Caveman' kicked up a gear to open up a comfortable lead and the win.
Stoltz said he was really looking forward to competing against former multiple South African mountain bike champion Kevin Evans: “Kevin and I have competed at many of the same mountain bike events, but never have we had the opportunity to go neck on neck, both racing for a win. Racing against such a talented athlete was truly an honor for me. XTERRA Knysna is the perfect introduction to the sport. It was great to see so many new participants out on the day”.
In the women’s race Hanlie Booyens took no prisoners on the day, crossing the finish line in a deserving time of 02hours 03minutes 51seconds. For Booyens an XTERRA win is always worth a celebration. “I am really happy to have been able to make it two wins in a row. It is always tough as it is seriously fast and requires athletes to race flat out from the start to the finish. Thanks to the recent rain the mountain bike discipline was more technical, which is to my advantage. I am really happy with my performance and look forward to returning next year,” says Booyens. Landie Visser came in second, while Alae Brand finished third.
In the Nedgroup Investments Big5 Sport Challenge
, Antonie Van Heerden is looking unbeatable, as he wrapped up yet another win in the men's category, while Hanlie Booysen has also extended her lead in the Big 5 challenge.
Team ‘Upstarts’ took gold in the male team category. Team ‘Glynnis & Jane’ came first in the women’s team category, while team ‘Destinations’ was the first mixed team across the finish line on the day.
In the XTERRA LITE Steve Attwell was victorious in the individual men’s race, completing the course in an awe-inspiring time of 01hour07minutes05seconds. Philip van Niekerk came in second, while Frans Grotepass finished third.
With a time of 01hours20minutes30seconds, Marguerite van Niekerk walked off with the individual women’s title in the LITE. Tanya Weyers came in second, while Melissa Van As finished third.
Team ‘Caltex Knysna 1’ took gold in the male team category, while team ‘Complete Strangers’ came first in the women’s team category. Team ‘Cyclerun’ were the first mixed team.
Due South XTERRA (Jeff Ayliff - World Sport)