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‘Caveman’ conquers again
- Updated: May 24, 2011
South African extreme athlete Conrad Stoltz is unstoppable. On Sunday, the man known as the “Caveman” made it three Xterra win’s on the trot and put himself firmly in the drivers seat to win his 9th XTERRA Pro Series crown.
It’s Stoltz’s fifth straight win at the XTERRA southeast championship at Shelby County, third straight on this year’s America Tour, and 40th career XTERRA championship victory.
Stoltz completed the event, made up of a swim, mountain-bike and trail-run, in 2hr 22min 22sec. If there is an Achilles heel to Stoltz’ repertoire, it could be suggested it is his swim, but not on this occasion as he emerged within seconds of the leaders Craig Evans, Branden Rakita, and Seth Wealing.
Without a doubt though his major strength is his biking, as Stoltz recorded the fastest bike of the day, two minutes quicker than Dan Hugo and four minutes faster than the one athlete most likely to catch him on the run, Josiah Middaugh.
Stoltz caught Craig Evans on the bike at about the 2.5 mile mark and the two rode together for a few miles before Stoltz pulled away and started to put time on the field.┬áHugo caught Evans to move into second at about the halfway mark on the bike but never saw Stoltz in front of him.
Dan Hugo did reel the ÔÇ£CavemanÔÇØ in quite a bit on the run to close the gap and had him in his sights at the Oak Mountain Dam with just a few miles to go. But Stoltz is a wily campaigner and did just enough to stay ahead of Hugo, winning by 19sec and pocketing the $1,800 winners’ purse.
Despite closing the gap on Stoltz, Hugo just could not close the gap. ÔÇ£I couldn’t have run 30 seconds faster. My dehydration level was near the edge.┬áIt’s a fun course, but so testing.┬áOn the bike you have to concentrate the entire time. You can’t drink water or take your eyes off the trail for a second.┬á It’s very intense, out-of-the-ordinary intense because the penalty for losing your focus is disaster.┬á And as much as I loved the run because of the beauty and all the different elements, I was begging for it to end.ÔÇØ