South Africa’s Conrad Stoltz and the United States’ Shonny Vanlandingham sit atop the Xterra standings thanks to victories at today’s Xterra West Championship race in Lake Las Vegas, Nevada.
Written by: Julia Polloreno
Conrad Stoltz of South Africa entered today’s Xterra West Championship race in Henderson, Nevada as the top seed and proved today he belongs at the top. Stoltz won the 1.5K swim, 30k mountain bike and 10k trail run in 2:06:47, less than a minute ahead of second-place finisher Josiah Middaugh. In the women’s race, Shonny Vanlandingham passed Melanie McQuaid on the second loop of the bike course and never looked back. She won in 2:24:14, good for 14th overall, while McQuaid crossed in 2:28:21.
About 300 racers faced temperatures in the high 70s and an unrelenting sun on an up-and-down bike and run course that offered zero shade. Stoltz, who’s been working on refining his swim stroke in training with heavy drills and low volume of actual swimming, said he got a slow start to the race. “I was so concentrated on my pretty new stroke, I let the guys get away,” Stoltz said. But not for long. He quickly closed the gap, charging the bike course in a 1:09:11, the fastest bike split of the day. Middaugh was close on his heels until a flat tire widened Stoltz’s lead going into the run. “The run course was one of the hardest Xterra runs, second only to Maui,” said Stoltz. “There’s nothing but uphills and downhills.” Though he “ran conservatively,” he finished with a 10K split of 37:28. Brian Smith and Seth Wealing, both of Colorado, took third and fourth, respectively.
On the women’s side, Shonny Vanlandingham of Durango, Colo. proved to be the strongest mountain biker of the day, posting the fastest women’s bike split of 1:17:45, nearly four minutes faster than McQuaid’s bike time. “I just put my head down on the bike and started catching people,” said Vanlandingham, a member of the Luna pro team. “The biggest challenge was that the course was so technical. It was difficult to stay upright in some of those fast turns.” Vanlandingham held her lead throughout the run, posting a 41:06 10K to McQuaid’s 44:41. “The heat got to me,” said McQuaid. “And Shonny was just fitter. But I’m okay with coming out a little slower—it’s still second place!” Lesley Patterson, a recent 70.3-distance breakout star, finished third.
Both McQuaid and Stolz will follow-up today’s podium performances by racing Wildflower this coming weekend.
This weekend’s race headquarters was the luxurious Loews Las Vegas, a Morocco-inspired oasis situated at the edge of Lake Las Vegas. Numerous triathlons are held here each year, including a race series just for kids.
Xterra West Championshipz
Lake Las Vegas, Nevada – April 25, 2010
1.5km swim, 30km bike, 10km run
1. Conrad Stoltz 2:06:47
2. Josiah Middaugh 2:07:26
3. Brian Smith 2:10:01
4. Seth Wealing 2:14:14
5. Nicolas Lebrun 2:15:53
1. Shonny Vanlandingham 2:24:14
2. Melanie McQuaid 2:28:21
3. Lesley Paterson 2:30:04
4. Christine Jeffrey 2:33:50
5. Rosemarie Gerspacher 2:34:55
For full results, visit Xterraplanet.com