Category: ITU Cross Triathlon

Caveman’s specialized equipment choices in quest for 7th World title

Conrad Stoltz Caveman ITU Corss Triathlon Worlds 2013 World Champion Specialized Sworks Epic 29er Specialized Evade helmet beach racing

#aeroiseverything #soisfattyres #dittohorsepower

Conrad Stoltz Caveman 2013 ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships youtube

ITU Cross Triathlon Worlds 2013 Long version

Cross Tri Worlds Highlights. (Short version- 2.40)

Racing through the dunes, stairs and sidewalks of Holland proved a fertile ground for innovative equipment choices.  From the video you can get a feel for the course- but the real test was the long sections of deep, soft sand.

I enjoy thinking about equipment and how to make it better while training, and have been doing the obvious tire reaserch for almost a year.

Conrad Stoltz Specialized Sworks 29er Epic Evade helmet beach racing Caveman ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships

Big was my surprise when I opened a “special box for sand racing” from Jason Chamberlain at Specialized. The biggest widest rims I have ever seen. Really wide. And light. Mounted with our biggest tire- Renegade 2.3- but more like 2.5 or 2.6 on this rim.

Conrad Stoltz Caveman ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships Den Haag beach sand racing

The dark sand is the easy part. There were 3 of these sections on each of 4 laps. Try picking a straight (existing) line, balance perfectly in it while deliverying seemingly a million Watts, WHILE being totally relaxed, BARELY holding onto the bars, ready to jump off and run the moment the front wheel digs in…

The Basics skills for sand riding: The tires need to float on top of the sand. The moment the front wheel sinks in, it snakes

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Caveman does hatrick at ITU Cross Triathlon World Champs, Den Haag 2013

Conrad Stoltz caveman ITU Cross Triathlon Worlds 2013 finish

Above foto by Jeroen Tibbe.

My 7th World title. It didnt sink in till the last kilometer. So proud. Happy. More like exstatic. I’m blessed with an amazing career. Wonderfully supportive sponsors. Genes- I’m turning 40 in October and still winning. (thanks Mom and Dad) Rocket scientist coach Ian Rodger. My wife Liezel. So much goes into this job/life/career, its hard to phantom and acknowledge all in a paragraph or even a blog. It really reaches deep.

For example- the guy in the purple shirt with the big smile- his name is Andre de Beer from Pretoria, South Africa. (raced AG earlier in the day) From when I was 14 and onwards, (thats 1988) my dad and I did douzens of triathlons in Verwoerdburg (now Centurion) organized by Andre de Beer. We also raced together back then. (I still remember pacing advice he once gave me.) He is one of the many many people who helped form my career. Seeing his smile and shaking his hand in thanks afterwards is just one of the many things which give me shivers and makes me realize the intricacy of  life, never mind success.

Conrad Stoltz ITU Cross Triathlopn Worlds 2013 beach bike Specialized

A quick race recap- full blog coming soon:

Thanks to some “specialized” equipment, (pun intended) #aeroiseverything Specialized Evade helmet,  TT bars (on a mountain bike?!) crazy wheel/tire setup, a few clever lines, some skills, some luck and a lot of hard pedaling and serious suffering, I caught the leaders (Ben Allen in pic above) on the 1st lap of 4 and made some good time on almost everyone.

Beach racing is much tougher than I expected. My legs were broken towards the end of the bike, and looking at the bike splits behind me, everyone was broken.

More pix on Beach Challenge.

Conrad Stoltz Caveman ITU Cross Triathlon World Champs 2013 Specialized bike stairs

Barging into the long soft, deep, sandy sections, you need all the speed you can get off the stairs. With 12 psi in the tires, it becomes a circus act. Remember Caveman-ism, “Speed is your friend…”

I did have to keep my eye on 2008 XTERRA World Champ, Ruben Ruzafa, who was 1.15 down going into the 9km sandy slog through the dunes. Also referred to as “the run leg.” After one lap (of 3) I only gave up 5 seconds on the lighter Spaniard, and knew I had the race in the bag. The last few km I made sure to enjoy the people and especially the emotions. I thought of Burry Stander (his mom, Mandie sent a special message “remember Burry is there with you” the night before) I thought of my dad who would have LOVED my 7th World title. I thought of my Creator and the way He has blessed my life, and I thought about my wife Liezel who often puts even more into my career than I do…

Conrad Stoltz Liezel Stoltz Specialized Renegade 2.3 cutting tires

Like this pic above. More about my equipment and “how many knobbies on a 2.3 Specialized Renegade tire?”,  tire cutting and strategy in the next blog….

In the meantime, hats off to Ruben, Brice and everyone who did battle on the dunes of Kijkduin, Holland.

Conrad Stoltz ITU Cross Triathlopn Worlds 2013 podium

Interesting how the podium is a mixing pot of athletes from various disciplines:

From L to R: 2nd- Ruben Ruzafa- long time professional Mountain Bike racer, now 70.3 and off road triathlete. 1st long time Caveman from Duathlon, ITU Olympic dist, Olympic non drafting, off road triathlon and some MTB background. 3rd Brice Daubord– ITU Olympic dist athlete.

Pos First Name Last Name Country Time Swim T1 Bike T2 Run
1 Conrad Stoltz RSA 02:01:38 00:10:05 00:01:03 01:11:08 00:00:29 00:38:54
2 Ruben Ruzafa ESP 02:01:52 00:10:21 00:01:07 01:11:56 00:00:29 00:38:02
3 Brice Daubord FRA 02:02:37 00:09:48 00:00:57 01:14:43 00:00:25 00:36:46
4 Kris Coddens BEL 02:03:04 00:11:36 00:01:13 01:12:32 00:00:25 00:37:20
5 Gonzalo Raul Tellechea ARG 02:03:15 00:10:10 00:01:03 01:15:20 00:00:32 00:36:11
6 Tomas Jurkovic SVK 02:03:30 00:10:20 00:01:10 01:13:50 00:00:24 00:37:48
7 Victor Manuel Del Corral Morales ESP 02:03:53 00:10:51 00:01:04 01:15:06 00:00:25 00:36:30
8 Ben Allen AUS 02:05:18 00:09:22 00:00:50 01:14:15 00:00:31 00:40:22
\9 Paul Embrechts BEL 02:07:06 00:10:44 00:01:06 01:14:49 00:00:31 00:39:58
10 Diederik Scheltinga NED 02:07:15 00:10:38 00:01:03 01:14:51 00:00:32 00:40:13


Click here for full results.

Liezel Stoltz Traveling Caveman style

I’m writing this from Rome. I’m racing XTERRA Italy this weekend. We traveled somewhat Caveman style last night- Princess Hotstuff caught some winks in Zurich- with the podium flowers refreshing in a ClifBar water bottle on the side.

More adventures (and a proper Cross Tri blog) to come…

2012 ITU Cross Triathlon World Champion

Shelby County Cross Tri 003

Grateful and proud to win another World title…

The ITU and XTERRA partnership was great to see, the racing was fun, safe and fair. The multi lapped course for the pros made for great spectating and made media coverage. I think off road triathlon would make a great Olympic sport -hopefully this is a sign of things to come.

Click here for YouTube highlights of the men and womens’ Pro races.


For once in my career, according to ITU protocol, I was called up to the start first. (as defending champion) During my ITU World Cup days (When I was ranked between 15th and the 70s) I had to scramble for a start spot next to the slow hacks and/or crooked/violent swimmers.


Oak Mountain State Park is the perfect triathlon venue. Stunning lake, great trails and good facilities. The age groupers got to ride the best (BUMP) trail- where the XTERRA has been held the past 6 years- and the pros did a 3lap course on smoother, more groomed trails through tight woods. The lapped course may not have been as much fun as the BUMP route, but it offered great spectating possibilities and showcased the sport well.

The Pro bike course looked “easy”, but it was really hard to go fast- as Josiah Middaugh’s facial expression and creative line proves. Check out this amazing series of photos by jtalbot– the expressions shows the intensity of off road triathlon…


Being 6ft2, (high center of gravity in corners) and (in)famous for my “point and shoot” methodology, I dont consider myself as “the King of Cornering” (thats Greg Minnaar, whom I rode Sani2C with) and with all the cornering on this course, there was not a whole lot of pedaling to do.  But somehow the time gaps after the bike was much bigger than I’d anticipated: Evans at 50″ Stannard + Rakita at 3.30, Thibodeau and Bechtel around 4′, Chris Leigh at 4.30 and Middaugh at 5′


pic by Emma Garrard

Hauling the mail with Evans. I pre-rode the course with Craig about 10 days before the race, and realized he’s got it all dialed in. He can swim, he can corner, he knows the course really well (its a hard one to learn- as almost all of the 600 turns look the same) and he is really fit. He was so comfortable in the corners that he ran the Specialized Renegade 1.95  tires front and rear. I didnt have the guts to ride the smooth, fast Renegade in front and opted for the Fast Trak 2.00 with more grip in the front, as the corners got more and more gravelly with all the traffic and hot, dry weather. I also went with the Specialized Command Post which I have put to good use on this kind of course before. Its a telescopic seat post which, with the push of a button, allows you to drop your saddle height in the corners.

Day before the race I spent time re reading my favourite MTB Skills book: Mastering MTB skills by Brian Lopes.

“Carve flat turns” was by far the most relevant topic:


In the pic below I managed to stay off the brakes and you can see how how soft the tires are, fighting for every bit of traction as I try to “cram the tires into the ground”. Cornering will forever be “a work in progress”


Pic by JTalbot’s photos on smugmug


The “piece de resistance” of the age group course: Blood Rock. Here our Alabama home stay Casey Fannin makes it look easy. Casey is a machine- he won his 50-54 age group by 13 minutes!


Pic by Emma Garrard

Having a comfortable lead on the run allowed me to enjoy the racing, scenery and spectators. I was using the new Avia Mantis racing flat- a great shoe which will be my go- to racer in the future.


Winning sure is fun- especially under your countries’ flag.

In my hands you’ll notice my Cool Points, frozen sachets designed to keep your core temperature down during hot races. Here in Alabama we’ve had some rillers- due to high temps and humidity, fortunately it wasnt too hot this time round, but staying cooler is never a bad thing.


I’m truly blessed to be able to share these amazing experiences with my wife Liezel. She’s plays a huge role in my successes. And will even take a sweaty hug at the finish line…


Great to see Carla van Huyssteen on the podium at Worlds! (3rd) The 1st time I saw her run, (2005) I told the stranger next to me “this girl has talent!”- and it turned out to be her dad, South Africa rugby legend Gerrie Germishuys. Leslie Paterson backed up her XTERRA World title from 2011 and Aussie tough guy Chris Legh dodged all the trees on the bike and ran into 3rd. Craig Evans had the performance of his life. Coming down the finishing chute that is! His race result was ok too. Usain Bolt could learn a few moves from this guy: Evans’ moves at the finish. (at 6.20)

The young South Africans especially rose to the occasion- Bradley Weiss won the Elite u/23 World Title, (and overall Age Group race) Bradley Schuit won the Junior Men’s and Charne Prinsloo was 3rd in the Junior Women’s. A testament to the health of XTERRA racing in South Africa. Thanks to Triathlon South Africa for putting a lot of effort into sending a team and supporting our young sport. See TSA race coverage. and more RSA results.

Full race results here.

Thanks a lot to Joe, Jeff and Sandy from Specialized who brought “the Team truck”, their amazing support (and laughs) – my S-works Epic 29er and equipment was faultless. And cleaner than out-of-the box equipment every time I threw a leg over.


It was touch and go or Liezel took off in “our new car”. The only vehicle which makes my XL Epic 29er look small…


Also thanks/welcome to Dewet from Squirt lube, who is an Official XTERRA Partner from this year. (Keep your eyes open for the “Squirt- win a flight to Maui competition” coming soon.) I think Dewet put more miles onto this bike course than any racer did… “Testing product”

Glad to see USADA was there for Drug testing. So far I have been tested at XTERRA Grabouw, ITU Cross Triathlon Worlds here in Bama and I was placed on the ADAMS anti doping whereabouts list. I think its important to make it clear to tainted athletes (sometimes from other sports or anyone who may consider cheating) that off road triathlon is not a “safe place” to further your pathetic “racing” career.


Liezel and I were in Bama 2 weeks before the race and did some fun training together. (If she rides the Roubaix and I the MTB, we’re the same speed. Conveniently, she (kind of) fits on my bikes- so we drop the seat and share)


Pre race interview with XTERRA.TV


From the comfort of the Specialized tent, Hal Richardson (the official massage therapist of the USA track & field team for the 2012 London Olympics) from Birmingham did some much needed massage the week before and came to the Specialized tent to help loosen up and more importantly -zap sore spots with his $20 000 Alternating Magnetic Therapy machine.

We’re in Boulder at the moment, getting ready for XTERRA Richmond VA. I’m spending a fair bit of time on my UCI illegal SHIV, as there is maybe a Boulder Peak Triathlon in the pipeline. ( a race I won 4 times and had the course record from 2000)

In Boulder everyone asks newcomers 2 questions: “How long are you here for?” Prolly most of summer. And “where are you staying?” For now we’re staying with our incredibly adventurous friends, Chris and Erin Ratay. Whom I met in Lydenburg South Africa, (because of their KTM 950 with Colorado plates) on one of their motorbike trips around the world. Check out their amazing lives: Work hard, play hard. Sounds familiar…

2011 ITU Cross Tri World Champion, Conrad Stoltz


Photo by Janos Schmidt/ ITU Media

2011 ITU Cross Triathlon World Champion. Has a nice ring to it. Didnt anticipate the 5th World title to come so quickly. But it was a lot of fun.

I didnt know what to expect of the ITU’s new off road triathlon concept, but I was curious to see how it would be, the timing was good and of course, it was World Champs! So I got the visa and climbed on a plane from Denver, not quite knowing what to expect.

I really enjoyed the shorter distances and the lap course (4 lap bike for 20km) and 2 lap (for 6km) run. The spectators (mostly age groupers who raced earlier) really got into it and lined the course to cheer and watch the action.

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Conrad Stoltz is first ITU Cross Triathlon World Champion!

Conrad Stoltz Cross Triathlon World Champion 2011

Bravo Conrad!

Conrad won with an amazing bike split with 3min 29 secs advantage over second Seth Wealing!

Check out full PDF results here and race reports at and Tri247.

Conrad will write the race report soon 🙂




Story Time

Cavegirl on the way!!!

Cavegirl on the way!!!
Liezel and I are happy to announce our baby girl on the way! We are 23 weeks in, #PrincessHotstuff is fit and trim, and for me, time is not moving fast enough!  Due date 15-5-15. Suuuuper excited prix viagra en pharmacie! With these genes, she’ll be shooting hoops while wheelie-ing at the age of 3. […]
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Caveman’s specialized equipment choices in quest for 7th World title

Caveman’s specialized equipment choices in quest for 7th World title
#aeroiseverything #soisfattyres #dittohorsepower ITU Cross Triathlon Worlds 2013 Long version Cross Tri Worlds Highlights. (Short version- 2.40) Racing through the dunes, stairs and sidewalks of Holland proved a fertile ground for innovative equipment choices.  From the video you can get a feel for the course- but the real test was the long sections of deep, […]
Read it...

a Caveman car for a Caveman situation…

a Caveman car for a Caveman situation…
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Cheers to a remarkable 2012

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18 races, 1 World Title (ITU Cross Tri), my 10th XTERRA USA Series title, 10 victories, 16 podiums and many many special memories. My sporting highlight was winning my 2nd ITU Cross Triathlon World Title in Pelham Alabama, USA. a Personal highlight was sharing the entire year and all the remarkable experiences with my gorgeous […]
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