Top Xterra athletes Dan Hugo (South Africa) and Flora Duffy (Bermuda) claimed the coveted title of Totalsports Xterra South African Champion for 2014.
Read the race recap from Xterra below:
According to Hugo this is his fourth, but most meaningful Xterra SA Championship title. “I wanted this win for a few reasons. The event doesn’t only keep growing in participants, but it keeps growing in stature too. This year Stillwater Sport & Entertainment has upped the prize purse. It’s a global event and I assure you there are a number of international guys following the event via social media to see what’s happening. Conrad Stoltz has set the bar for many years and I really wanted to beat him on his course. My plan was to go out aggressively on the swim. On the mountain bike I passed Rory Downie of Scotland shortly after he got King Of The Mountain, from there I never saw anybody again. Coming off the bike I was knackered, but my running has gotten better and I believed I could do it. I wanted the win, I needed the win,” said am emotional Hugo, who completed the 1.5km swim, 27km mountain bike and 11km trail run in an impressive time of 2:29:25.
The second and third spots on the podium were snatched up by fellow South Africans Stuart Marais and Conrad Stoltz.
“Classy racing @dghugo and @stuartmarais. I had a shocker – if u start cramping in the swim you know its going 2b a long day. @xterrasa #bback” posted five-time Xterra SA winner Conrad Stoltz to his twitter account.
In the women’s race Duffy claimed victory in a deserving time of 2:57:07. Carina Wasle (Austria) came in second, while Carla Van Huyssteen (South Africa) finished third.
“Pro wins are hard to come by,” said a delighted Duffy, the Bermuda Olympian who was third at the Xterra World Championship last year. “I was just lucky to put a good race together today. Although I was the first lady out the water, I was a little further behind as I usually mange to keep on Dan’s feet. The course is tough. I struggled a bit, flatting in the beginning of the mountain bike discipline, but I managed to hold it together. I’ve been working really hard on my run and was confident that I could pull it together. When I got on the little beach section I gave a sigh of relief. This is a fantastic event, so professional, hands down the best”.
Of note, the two-time and defending women’s amateur Xterra World Champion Hannah Rae Finchamp from California took the ladies amateur title and placed fifth overall. Matthew Daneel won the amateur men’s race.