Gold for Flora Duffy and a hometown win for Dan Hugo at Xterra South Africa in Grabouw this weekend

Xterra World Tour Championship SeriesThe first championship race in the XTERRA World Tour, the 2014 Totalsports XTERRA South African Championship presented by REHIDRAT® SPORT, kicked off this weekend in Grabouw, Western Cape with a stellar off-road line-up. The 1.5km swim, 27k mountain bike and 11k trail run took place in gorgeous but unforgiving terrain: boulders, forest and steep rocky downhills characterised the mountain bike leg with sandy trails and deep water courses on the run. This year, eyes were on South African champs, Conrad ‘The Caveman’ Stoltz, who was after his sixth win in Grabouw and Dan Hugo who tore up the course for his fourth.

“I wanted this win for a few reasons,” said Hugo after crossing the line and taking first place ahead of Stuart Marais (RSA, silver) and Stoltz (bronze). “The event doesn’t only keep growing in participants, but it keeps growing in stature too. This year Stillwater Sport & Entertainment 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.” And he got it, in a time of 2:29:25. Also racing were Bart Aernouts (BEL), Simone Calamai (ITA), Rory Downie (GBR), Daz Parker (GBR), Jan Kubicek (CZE) and Llewellyn Holmes (GBR).

In the women’s race, Olympic athlete, Flora Duffy (BER) took gold with a smile on her face in a time of 2:57:07, also claiming the race’s fastest splits in swim, bike and run. “Pro wins are hard to come by,” said the chuffed Bermudan. “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”. Carina Wasle (Austria) came in second, while Carla Van Huyssteen (RSA) finished 14 seconds later in third.

Of note, the two-time and defending women’s amateur XTERRA World Champion Hannah Rae Finchamp (USA) from California took the ladies amateur title and placed 5th overall. Matthew Daneel won the amateur men’s race.

Top Five Men

1 Dan Hugo, 2:29:25

2 Stuart Marais, 2:31:04

3 Conrad Stoltz, 2:33:05

4 BradleyWeiss, 2:38:34

5 Bart Aernouts, 2:43:08

Top Five Women

1 Flora Duffy, 2:57:07

2 Carina Wasle, 3:05:49

3 Carla van Huysteen, 3:06:03

4 Susan Sloane, 3:09:08

5 Hannah Rae Finchamp, 3:12:34

Check out the race highlights below and see page two for upcoming race listings.

2014 Xterra World Tour Race Dates

23 Feb, XTERRA South Africa Grabouw, Western Cape

8 Mar, XTERRA Motatapu South Island, New Zealand

15 Mar, XTERRA Philippines Championship Cebu

29 Mar, XTERRA Guam Championship Piti

30 Mar, XTERRA Great Ocean Road Angelsea, Victoria, Australia

30 Mar, XTERRA Costa Rica Playa Reserve Conchal

5 Apr, XTERRA Saipan Championship Northern Marianas

12 Apr, XTERRA New Zealand Championship Rotorua

13 Apr, XTERRA West Championship Lake Las Vegas, Nevada

26 Apr, XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship Jervis Bay, New South Wales, Australia

3 May, XTERRA Malaysia Putrajaya

17 May, XTERRA Southeast Championship Pelham, Alabama

25 May, XTERRA Spain Championship Cieza, Murcia

1 June, XTERRA Portugal Golega

8 June, XTERRA Brazil Championship Ilhabela, Sao Paulo

15 June, XTERRA East Championship Richmond, Virginia

21 June, XTERRA Greece Lake Plastira

28 June, XTERRA Switzerland Championship Vallee de Joux

29 June, XTERRA Norway Horten

5 July, XTERRA Ontario – Canadian Cross Tri Championship Milton, Ontario, Canada

6 July, XTERRA France Championship Xonrupt, Gerardmer

6 July, XTERRA Victoria British Columbia, Canada

6 July, XTERRA Freedom Fest Kualoa Ranch, Oahu, Hawaii

13 July, XTERRA Sweden Hellasgaarten

19 July, XTERRA Mountain Championship Beaver Creek Resort, Avon, Colorado

20 July, XTERRA Ireland Killaloe, County Clare

26 July, XTERRA Italy Championship Abruzzo, Scanno

2 Aug, XTERRA Mexico Championship Tapalpa, Jalisco

9 Aug, XTERRA Czech Championship Prachatice

16 Aug, XTERRA Germany Championship Zittau

17 Aug, XTERRA Canmore Alberta, Canada

31 Aug, XTERRA Denmark Tisvilde

31 Aug, XTERRA Quebec Lac Delage, Quebec, Canada

7 Sept, XTERRA Sleeping Giant Thundery Bay, Ontario, Canada

20 Sept, XTERRA USA Championship Ogden/Snowbasin, UT

26 Oct, XTERRA World Championship Maui, Hawaii