Category: Race Reports

Repost of “The magic of XTERRA New Zealand” from 2014

Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA New Zealand Rotorua hoka one one rapa nui, Specialized, suunto, clif bar,

Caveman wins XTERRA New Zealand.
I cant believe that after 22 years of pro racing this was only my 2nd race in NZ. Last time was ITU World Cup in Auckland in 1995 or 96. Draft legal road triathlon.

After a rocky start to 2014 (2 punctures in 2 races, a biomechanical at XTERRA South Africa, a random injury, and some minor health issues- eye & skin cancer surgeries) its good to finally get the monkey off my back with a good win in Rotorua.

What a phenomenal course and venue! Beautiful blue lake called “Blue lake” surrounded by green mountains covered with dense tree fern growth 20ft tall.

Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA New Zealand Rotorua swim

I was out the swim in 5th or 6th, about 35” behind some Kiwi roadie, followed by Roger Serrano (ESP) and Ben Allen (Aus). After a fair bit of climbing Ben and I filed into Billy T neck in neck- some of the very best and unique single track I’ve ever ridden. Rain

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XTERRA Italy 2014

Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Italy 2014 Swim exit BlueSeventy

When I planned my racing calendar this year, I decided to only do races I enjoy.  Fun, technical, challenging, well designed, adrenaline filled and true to the XTERRA nature I fell in love with 13 years ago.  I dont necessarily pick races to suit my strengths, (like this one with its 1600m of climbing on bike and 550m of climbing on run) but I like real mountain biking, real trail running, and preferably an interesting destination. That's why I'm still passionate about racing. When I'm having fun, I enjoy doing my job and I'm fast. Unfortunately the XTERRA Italy course changed from last year, and the fun factor was replaced with a "either you can, or you cant" attitude. Not the best way to attract newcomers to the sport, and not the reason I do this. While I'm on the topic: I'm writing this blog at the location of my next race. (Location withheld to protect the innocent.) Even though the course suits me relatively well, I'm quite disappointed with the seemingly hours of boring gravel road, dangerous down hills (only 30 seconds of it)- obviously not meant for mountain biking-  avoidance of single track, and a no-imagination run course. All this when we're riding right through thousands of hectares of stunning pine forests – perfect single track terrain. Maybe I'm a quality course snob, but the poor quality of many XTERRA courses is frustrating and confirms my dreams of sometime soon building a phenomenal course(s) which would redefine the sport. Fun for the hard core athletes, yet accessable to beginners & kids.  Think XTERRA / Urban Rage / Tough Mudder, with a lot of Caveman sprinkled on top…. Anyway, back to Italy:   Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Italy 2014 Swim

Got out the swim with Kiwi Braden Curry and someone else. About 30" behind Roger Serrano the Bearded Beast.

Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Italy 2014 T1

Hoping for rain because that's the tyre I've got. Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Italy 2014 Secialized

Early on we did a fun loop through the old town of Scanno. Probably my favourite part of the race- narrow cobbled alleys, down century old stairs, Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Italy 2014 Scanno town cobbles

Watch out for fellow competitors, super slippery cobbles, and maybe an opening door… Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Italy 2014 Scanno town old lasy

Past old ladies in traditional black, where today they watch a different world go by…   Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Italy 2014 Specialized Epic Suunto Clif Bar Hoka Oakley

Get off the brakes and bring some speed- faster is easier. After the fun and games of whizzing through town we climbed. And Climbed. And CLIMBED. As you can see below on my Suunto Movescount file, the 1st climb was 700m in one go – 43min for me. Mostly steep, gravelly,  jeep track. I dont mind climbing, but then the down hill must be good. Unfortunately this year it plunged almost straight down the ski slope. In dry training conditions I glazed my brake rotors its so steep.  Yet, going slowly due to the rain, it took me less than 8 minutes to get down. Not a good "Yahooooo!!" rating. (Divide Suffering time by Fun time to get Yahooooo rating: 43/8 = 5.3 Yahooooos) Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Italy 2014 Suunto Movescount file

Click here for full interactive Movescount file. Braden and I climbed together, but when Ruben Ruzafa caught us, Braden went with him and I couldnt respond. My legs were heavy and HR low- an indication that my legs werent rested enough, and I was paying the price for too much pre riding. As can bee seen in "Bar Chart and Curve" section, my avs HR was only 146. I spent only 1hr36 (of 2hr55) going Very Hard (between 146-163),  39min going Hard (127-146) and 16min below 126HR. When fit and rested I can do 3hrs at 155hr avs. As we summited, the rain started coming down in huge drops, and the ski slope instantly became an ice rink. The Yahoooo factor went up. Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Italy 2014 Specialized Epic Muddy hair pin

Loved the Command Post, (now available at your Specialized dealer) dropped the saddle, and the big knobblies on the front Ground Control 2.3 tyre came nicely into play. Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Italy 2014 Specialized Epic Suunto Muddy hair pin & scanno town

In less than 5 minutes, I was in the village down theeeeere. Straight down the ski run in the back ground.  Some sections through the trees were real slippery, the trick was finding traction on the leaves and not in the mucked up "trail". Please dont do this on a under normal conditions on a normal MTB trail. But these were mostly goat trails and I didnt want to make unnecessary cartwheels and have to fix my bike with a piece of wood like this guy…

Hand made handlebar fix XTERRA Italy 2014

It was tough tough times for the age groupers! This guy broke his handlebar, found a stick to make a #Cavemanstyle plan. Classic! Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Italy 2014 T2

Coming in with Carloni (FRA), behind a flying Ruzafa. Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Italy 2014 wood run

The run was really challenging -technical, super hilly, scenic & fun. Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Italy 2014 Hoka One One Huaka run stairs

Stunning sections through Scanno. Loving the new Hoka Huaka racers. Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Italy 2014

and surrounding hills. Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Italy 2014 Scanno town

Save some energy for the views. Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Italy 2014 Hoka One One Huaka

The rain didnt dampen the crowd's spirits. Braden Curry is a hard core mountain man, and came steaming past me up the last climb to get 2nd behind Ruzafa. Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Italy 2014 podium

3rd for Caveman, 1st Ruzafa (ESP), 2nd Curry (NZ)  Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Italy 2014 Liezel Stoltz PrincessHotstuff! Still trying to shake the cold she pickup that day- running around in the rain, cheering, taking photos and giving splits at every oppertunity. Conrad Stoltz Liezel Stoltz Braden Curry

Eating lamb sosaties with Kiwis in Italy?!? Sam and Braden Curry & kids. Check out Bradens' adventure race, RedBull Defiance in NZ. Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Italy 2014 Ezechiel & family

Made many new friends (& touched up my French) here with Ezechiel and family from France. conrad stoltz Xterra Italy 2014 bike wash

A super tough race for the age groupers. Bike wash on the swim course – not so much sympathy for the bike after a long day 🙂 Liezel Stoltz #PrincessHotstuff Fiat 500

Ciao Italia! Grazie mille!!! Guten tag Deutchland und Austria for Specialized Germanic Dealer Event

TriLanai- Liezel’s first triathlon! Also island paradise & holiday destination race.

Conrad & Liezel at Tri Lanai



After a lot of focus and hard work for XTERRA Worlds on Maui, Liezel and I were ready to take it SLO for a few weeks

At the very last minute we decided to do Tri Lanai and took the 40minute ferry ride from Lahaina (Maui) to the small Hawiian island of Lanai. (population 2800)

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Conrad Stoltz. Caveman. Alien.


Conrad Stoltz. Caveman. Alien.

Will be back!

Big stuff brewing on all fronts.

Great blogging fodder.


pic by Gary Perkin

Ironman World Championships, Kona, Hawaii. Pix by Conrad Stoltz

macca chris mccormack kona ironman 2010 specialized shiv by conrad stoltz

Macca piloting his Specialized SHIV out on the Kona Ironman course. By Conrad Stoltz (I’m showing off my mad camera skills,  hoping to someday get paid for this writing/photography hobby of mine).

The reason I havent blogged in a while is the lack of interwebs connection at our Kona condo. Been knocking out some amazing power numbers on the bike, and other than recovering and eating,  havent found the energy to go blog. I find it hard hard to sit and blog from a coffee shop (Lava Java of course)  squinting at the screen in the sun, with the stunning ocean views, Big Island pork pizza in one hand, typing with the other and ogling the sea of finely chisseled/ tanned/ tattoed/ coiffed Ironman bodies streaming by.

Back to the race.

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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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Being the Caveman is hard work- have been busy…

Being the Caveman is hard work- have been busy…
As you all know, its easy to overindulge and pack on the pounds during the festive season, so Cross Training is a key ingredient to keeping the Caveman fit and flexable. Gotta keep on top of skills training too. Breakfast sure wasnt pretty. But its all part of the food chain… Like I said, being […]
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Caveman wins in mountain region of Scanno at XTERRA Italy

Caveman wins in mountain region of Scanno at XTERRA Italy
XTERRA Italy has the most amazing course! Parts through the old mountain town of Scanno. To the tune of "eye of the tiger" (thanks DJ Jack!) Caveman wins XTERRA Italy by 4 minutes. XTERRA Italy made is debut in the idyllic mountain town of Scanno, in the province of Abruzzo. In terms of the culture […]
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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, […]
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a Caveman car for a Caveman situation…

a Caveman car for a Caveman situation…
Caveman’s Stellenbosch Kelfords Ford Fietsta Ambiente 1.4 [Open letter to friend and owner of Kelfords Ford and Mazda in Somerset West, South Africa] Dear Tristan, Thank you very much for the use of your wonderful little Ford Fiesta. We love the fuel economy, (5.9L per 100km) the nippy handling, the voice activated, hands free phone […]
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Cheers to a remarkable 2012

Cheers to a remarkable 2012
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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