Stoltz and McQuaid aim to defend their titles at ITU Cross Triathlon world titles

by Merryn Sherwood on 15 May, 2012 05:12 • Español

Last year was a historic one for Cross Triathlon, after four years of continental championships ITU hosted its first world titles in Extremadura, Spain. Over 400 athletes competed across the elite, junior, age-group and paratriathlon categories in the swim, mountain bike and cross-country run discipline.

This year, the sport takes another step forward as ITU partners with XTERRA for the second edition for the 2012 Shelby County ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships and XTERRA Southeast Championships. Oak Mountain State Park, located in the southernmost part of the Appalachian Chain, boasts a trail praised by competitors as one of the most fun, fast, scenic and difficult with credit attributed to the work of Birmingham Urban Mountain Pedalers (BUMP) along with Alabama’s DCNR State Park Division, Shelby County and the City of Pelham. BUMP has spent more than 100,000 hours in design and construction of new trails over the past 20 years. The event will feature $20,000 USD in prize money for elite athletes, who will compete over a 1.5km swim, 30km mountain bike and 10km trail run.

Elite Women’s Preview
Canada’s Melanie McQuaid took out the first ITU Cross Triathlon world title in Spain last year, and will return to defend it in Alabama as will the two other women who finished on the podium with her in Extremadura, the USA’s Shonny Vanlandingham and Emma Garrard.

However, it’s a tough field to pick a favourite, as McQuaid, Vanlandingham, Switzerland’s Renata Bucher and Great Britain’s Lesley Paterson all have good form on the course in Shelby County. Last year, McQuaid bettered Vanlandingham and Bucher in the podium 1-2-3, but in 2010 it was Vanlandingham who beat McQuaid to the title as Paterson claimed bronze. McQuaid won in 2009, with Paterson collecting silver, while Vanlandingham won in 2008, where Paterson finished third. Adding to the competition is that Bucher and Paterson, who took out last year’s XTERRA world title, had to have a photo to decide who won in Las Vegas just last week, showing that the battle for the podium is set to be a thrilling one here.

Vanlandingham, the 2010 XTERRA World Champion who is making her return from an ACL injury in this race, said earlier this year it was no surprise that a strong women’s field was competing. “I’ve raced all over the world, and I just love coming back to Oak Mountain every year. It is perhaps the best course in the nation,” she said.

Others to watch include Canada’s Danelle Kabush and Austria’s Carina Wasle, in a field that includes athletes from eight different nations.

Click here to view the women’s start list

Elite Men’s Preview
Inaugural ITU Cross Triathlon World Champion Conrad Stoltz is also back to defend his title, on a course he has plenty of positive history. Stoltz has had an emotional two weeks, winning XTERRA Las Vegas for his father, Gert, who passed away the week before and then returning to South Africa for his funeral. But he starts as favourite this weekend, Stoltz has won each edition of the race in Pelham since 2007, and said earlier this year that it’s one of his all time favourites.

“Oak Mountain State Park is amazing, and I know I speak for all of us when I say we love racing there,” said Stoltz.  “It’s a true XTERRA course with a nice warm water swim in a beautiful lake, a real mountain biker’s course with climbing, technical sections, and fun corners, and a tough but scenic run.”

However, Stoltz might not have it all his way this weekend, with a tough field lined up including USA’s Josiah Middaugh, who has been pushing the two-time Olympian each year since 2007. Middaugh has finished second to Stoltz from 2009 to 2011. Others to watch include the USA’s Cody Waite, Branden Rakita and Craig Evans, Great Britain’s Richard Stannard and Australia’s Christopher Legh. The field includes athletes from ten different nations, including representatives from Egypt, Venezuela and Slovakia.

Click here to view the men’s start list

The unique format for the 2012 ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships also provides a spectator-friendly competition for the men’s and women’s pro-only races featuring multiple loops on the bike and run courses that will pass through the main athlete village and around scenic Double Oak Lake. The 2012 Shelby County ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships and XTERRA Southeast Championships get underway when the women’s elite starts at 2pm (local time) on Saturday 19 May, followed by the men’s race at 4pm. You can find the full wrap at after the race. Under23, junior, age-group and paratriathlon races will also be contested in Shelby County.

Article gallery
Related Event: 2012 Shelby County ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships and XTERRA Southeast Championship
16 - 19 May, 2012 • event pageall results
Results: U23 Men
1. Bradley Weiss RSA 02:11:22
2. Tomas Kubek SVK 02:13:50
3. Karsten Madsen CAN 02:14:34
4. Satoki Kori JPN 02:39:51
Results: Junior Women
1. Hannah Finchamp USA 01:00:14
2. Jocelyn Vides USA 01:04:01
3. Charne Prinsloo RSA 01:09:43
4. Marlette Smit RSA 01:12:21
Results: Junior Men
1. Bradley Schuit RSA 00:56:12
2. Nicolas Alvarez Icaza MEX 00:57:19
3. Robbie Deckard USA 00:57:38
4. Caden Ewing USA 00:58:20
5. Hunter Tolbert USA 01:00:37
Results: Elite Women
1. Lesley Paterson GBR 02:24:39
2. Melanie Mcquaid CAN 02:27:15
3. Carla Van Huyssteen RSA 02:28:34
4. Suzanne Snyder USA 02:29:13
5. Shonny Vanlandingham USA 02:29:15
Results: Elite Men
1. Conrad Stoltz RSA 02:12:11
2. Craig Evans USA 02:12:58
3. Christopher Legh AUS 02:14:11
4. Josiah Middaugh USA 02:15:47
5. Richard Stannard GBR 02:16:09
Results: 75-79 Male AG
1. Nathaniel Grew CRC 04:30:42
Results: 70-74 Male AG
1. John Stover USA 03:36:19
Results: 65-69 Male AG
1. Richard Wall USA 03:21:54
2. Peter Lilley USA 03:40:01
3. Ronald Scranton USA 03:57:07
4. G L Brown USA 04:17:57
Results: 60-64 Male AG
1. David Rakita USA 02:46:18
2. Tryg Fortun USA 02:46:20
3. James Dalton USA 02:50:56
4. Dennis Lloyd USA 02:55:01
5. J. Alan Moore USA 03:03:27
Results: 60-64 Female AG
1. Cindi Toepel USA 03:12:51
Related articles
Tracker Pixel for Entry