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 this morning.
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.
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