Posts Tagged ‘kevin richards’
Caveman tries to remember Durban Ultra Triathlon 1994 #ThrowbackThursday
The year was 1994. In a time before the internets. The year Apartheid crumbled. The year I had “Mark Allen hair” Nowadays its called a mullet.
“Ironman” was nothing but one race on a more-distant-than-the-moon volcanic island full of “Scotts” or, closer to home, “Ironman” was a Boere style triathlon: 20km K1 paddle, 120k bike, run around Harties- dominated by hard hard men with tough names like Rockley and Bester.
To us, the “Durban Ultra” was the pinnacle of endurance triathlon. 4k ocean swim with sometimes huge swell,
Gert Stoltz 1992 World Duathlon Champs
Gert Stoltz, or Tarzan, as my friends called him, at Duathlon Worlds 1992.
Gear: Oakley Factory Pilot glasses/goggles. Oakley’s first shades. They were a bit “old fashioned” by 1992, but probably the most prized Oakley item one could own today. Size 61 Zini bike bought from Bruce Reyneke Cycles with Reynolds 501 steel tubing, Shimano 105 group set with down tube shifters and Biopace non round chainrings. Patrick shoes, (the cheapest) LOOK clipless pedals (a novelty) and a frame pump which today is the size of a rocket ship.
Since I can remember, my dad and I did sport together. When I was a toddler, “Rofstoei!” (wrestling) was my favourite, in part because my dad was the strongest in the whole wide world (thats a fact)- with only one hand, he could pin me down so tightly I couldnt blink an eye.
Soon I graduated to other sports which we did together – bikes, motorbikes, running, archery, canoeing (paddling) yup and even swimming. He hated swimming, (legs made from steel dont float) but tolerated it in order to compete in Biathlons and Triathlons.
We had many fantastic sporting memories together,
Interview with Crank.co.za: Conrad Stoltz interview: The “Junior”, The “Frenchies” and the infected foot.
“We expected Greg Bennett, but its the South African, Conrad Stoltz, who wins the only ITU leg in France” 1999
[“I’ll bet this is the strangest interview you’ve ever done,” says Conrad Stoltz as he locks his Specialized road bike to a lamp post outside a Stellenbosch coffee shop.
Thirty minutes earlier, he had to duck out from our conversation to visit his physiotherapist for a good working over: a couple of niggling injuries needed some soothing.
The “Caveman” has certainly been through his fair share of ups and downs over a career dating back to 1991. In fact, he may just be the longest serving professional sportsman in South Africa (if one thinks back to the 1995 Rugby World Cup, Conrad was already a “veteran” of the French triathlon circuit).
CRANK was fortunate enough to sit down with Conrad recently and talk about his early days as a professional triathlete in South Africa and continental Europe.
CRANK: Conrad, you had your “breakthrough” race aged 17 at the SA Champs in Langebaan way back in 1991. Could you talk us through your build up, expectations and the race itself?
CONRAD STOLTZ: That was indeed a “milestone” race for me – something just “happened” that day and I moved up the next level.
It was the first year that we had a heated pool in Pretoria – they built a Health and Raquet Club in Pretoria in 1990; I bought a life membership costing something like R700. So that was the first year that we were able to swim right through the winter, which had always hampered us in the years before.
My aspirations then were to win the junior category – there was great depth within the junior ranks with Greg Lunderstedt, Bryan Mellville, Cameron Jones, Dave Hyam; to name but a few.
On race day, there was a “more than” gale force southeaster which resulted in huge waves in the swim- very intimidating for us “Vaalies”. Back then we swam out the marina out to sea – or so it felt. – Kevin Richards had a huge lead out of the water, which he extended on the bike to over four minutes.
I was a complete “tri geek” and rode… ]
Click here for the rest of the classic interview on www.crank.co.za
France Iron Tour- the 10 stage one- in 95 or 96? Stage 2 start in Marseilles. That’s me in the middle, (silver sleeveless suit) hogging the start line. Back in the days I could still swim…
Champions’ training. Different strokes for different folks…
In search for the holy grail of sports performance, Irish National Team ITU member, Gavin Noble (Dublin Triathlon Champion this past weekend) cranks out the Watts in the lab. This kind of lab testing will give Gav and his coach all kinds of numbers they can play with in training. Tests will be repeated often, charts plotted and if all goes well, high fives given.
These delicious little numbers makes the guy in the sweater with the clip board’s toes curl. Race times can be projected, tactics formulated and athletes can be compared to each other even before the starters’ gun bangs.
Read more about Gavin and Aleksandar and my swim sets on Igor’s blog.
Our other TriathlonTeam.org team mate, Will Clarke (British ITU Triathlon member and National Champion) really winds it up on the track. Looks like fellow GB Team mate and Chicago Tri winner, Stuart Hayes hanging on for dear life.
Bigger than you can imagine group track sessions typically forms the mainstay of their training. (they train up to 40hrs a week) These are blood and guts sessions. Coaches needs to be impressed, fellow athletes intimidated, but most of all, the times they do around the carefully measured 400m serves as building blocks of confidence and self belief to be drawn upon at the next race.
Enter The Caveman.
Previous South African triathlon greats. Follow up on Club Mykonos post below
Jason Bailey from Cape Town sent these pics from the early 90s- complete with top 5 results…
Kevin Richards is probably the athlete who had the biggest influence on my racing career. When I finished high school in 1991 he invited me to go race in France with him. (In a small town in the South West called Cahors) It was amazing, training and racing with Kevin, being a pro, the racing and living in the very foreign country. I was a really protected, ignorant young boy from Apartheid South Africa- could hardy speak English or boil an egg. To to laundry I filled the bathtub with water and walked on my clothes till its all nice & grey. Once I washed my bike in the shower and Kevin almost kicked my ass.