Posts Tagged ‘Avia Mantis’

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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Finding inspiration at Luck Stone XTERRA Richmond 2012


TEAM X-T.R.E.M.E – “Train, Rehabilitate, Empower, Motivate and Endure.”  Jeremy Soles, a former Sgt. in the United States Marine Corps founded the Wounded Warriors team.  They participate in extreme events wearing gas masks, cutting their oxygen intake to as low as 20 percent. But to some, the gas mask is the smallest of hurdle to overcome…


Cpl. Todd Love lost both legs and an arm in an explosion. The doctor wouldnt let him parachute into the XTERRA Richmond start this year, so he “just” did the swim. And then his comrades carried him for the entire bike and run legs in a specially made backpack…



Sgt. Johnathan Mozingo, also a Marine, has served three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mozingo who did the bike and run legs, was wounded during his last tour in Afghanistan and lost part of his left leg below the knee.


In a gas mask at 94deg F and high humidity…


Sgt. Johnathan Mozingo


Enter the Caveman. Avia Mantis racing shoes, Oakley Radar, 8x Clif Shots, Suunto Ambit GPS, Specialized Fast Trak 2.2 Control tire, Stuffitts shoe savers, Squirt chain lube, Cool Points on ice and Luck Stone race number belt with GPS tracker for live feed. Seems quite pathetic in comparison…


Seems like there’s another knuckle dragging Cavemanoid in the James river… Turned out to be my swimming buddy Branden Rakita. (R) We trailed froth footed Craig Evans by about 45″.

Photos by Jesse Peters.

Amazing series of XTERRA fotos by Jesse Peters


Craig Evans carried great form (despite all the salads!) and was eager to back up his 2nd place at ITU Cross Tri Worlds 2 weeks before. However, he stuffed up a low, wood bridge crossing and ended up in the trees. Laughing, I yelled at him to “get a guide dog.” My turn at getting abuse is lurking around every corner, so you have to get it in when you can!


In the top left corner you can see some of the many Luck Stone volunteers on the course, streaming live video through the iPad and doing twitter feed. There were 4 big screens at T1 for spectators to see video footage, follow twitter and live GPS tracking of each pro athlete. Of course the feeds also went out on the interwebs so folks in South Africa could follow more “closely”.

This Richmond course is so much fun- it has become rougher than it was 2 years ago, providing a good balance of speed and skill. I think this is the epitome of XTERRA racing (now that the swim is almost 1500m) and I think everyone who loves racing XTERRA should give this one a whirl…

I used the Specialized Sworks 29er Epic with Command Post – to drop the saddle in the drop offs and hairier corners.


Tip of the month: Biting your tongue improves mental focus. Kids, dont try this at home!



There is not a lot of place for pedaling on this course, so when you can, have have to push the big thing!


Sgt Mozingo and TEAM XTREME


Yup, it takes all sorts…

Just a glimpse of the madness on that narrow rock ledge. Imagine loud bull horns, bells, cheering, beer spraying even more crazies lurking in the woods. I think the local cycling posse calls themselves the “Leghorns”.





Scenic city racing in Richmond.


One moment in the city, the next in thick jungle and maybe “swimming” in 4 inch deep river water…


If you dont do your home work to scout the course, you could find yourself between a rock and a wet place… (Who has the pic of this Mister Anonymous (also the coach of a famous pro athlete’s we wont mention) on his side, swimming in this calf  deep water?)


Cool Points in hand to keep the 94deg F under control.


Trying not to ruin my legs on the Mayan Ruins.


7 Wins in my last 8 starts in Richmond. My 10th Richmond XTERRA.


Loving support from my wife. Spectating is an endurance sport in itself…


Josiah Middaugh had some bike troubles but came back with a strong run and caught Craig Evans in the last  mile.


Craig gave it all…


Thanks to the organizers, volunteers, sponsors, home stays and my lovely wife…


Will Kelsay backed up his breakthrough performance -6th at Cross Tri Worlds with a 4th in Richmond. Welcome to the podium Will! When I get back to Boulder we do some GoPro pool time?


A special thanks to Specialized Racing mechanics Dylan van der Merwe and Joe Devera for pimping my ride every day of the week.


We had a fair bit of press- here an interview with CBS.

On Thursday before the race I had 4 press commitments:

– 5 minutes live on CBS 6 Morning Show at 9am. (which took 2hrs),

– XTERRA Press day at 12.

– ESPN Live Radio at 4

– Shop appearance and poster signing at 3Sports (Richmond Specialized dealer) from 6-7.

Between all the driving and getting lost, fitting training and recovery in, gets tough.


A special thanks to Charlie Luck from Luck Stone quarries for their continued support. Lets keep “Crushing it!”


L-R: Will Kelsay (4th) Middaugh (2nd) Caveman (after I broke the 1st (of 2) glass and stone trophies) Evans (3rd) Rakita (5th)


Liezel and I were especially touched by TEAM XTREME and what they are trying to ccomplish. Todd has 1 arm and no legs but he rose to the challenge and is now swimming and further competes in the back of his buddy’s backpack. (hopefully he’ll tandem parachute to the swim start next year)

You have 2 arms and 2 legs and you’re looking for a reason to get off the couch and someday see your feet again?

I will think twice about feeling sorry for myself next time I have to go train in rain or snow, or PUSH when the going gets tough…

For more race details I quote from XTERRAs ace report by Trey Garman:

[In a city with such a rich and colorful history it’s only appropriate that the sports most experienced stars stole the headlines.  For Stoltz, who “lost his heart to XTERRA in Richmond” back in 2001 it’s his seventh win in eight years.

“I just love Richmond, the course is amazing and really suits me,” said Stoltz, who had the fastest bike split by far in 1:21:00 despite doing an extra little out-and-back section that no one else did.

“On the first lap I caught Craig (Evans) and then five minutes later I caught him again.  I wore out 3 sets of legs and 1 set of tires pre riding the course- turns out a section had changed since when I went pre-riding, and on race day I dont look for arrows,” Stoltz explained.

“He did the old course out-and-back,” said Evans, who followed the correct route.  “It was funny because a few minutes later I hear this loud chain slap behind me and thought, oh man Josiah or somebody is riding great and then Conrad comes by and says “where’d you go” and I said “I went straight, where’d you go?”

Evans tried to stay with him the second time around but conceded “he’s in a whole different league right now.”

On the second of the two 10-mile twisty, turny, tree and fanatic-fan filled roller coaster ride of a mountain bike course Stoltz followed the right arrow and got into his groove.

“First lap my head wasn’t in it, I wasn’t focused because I was trying to figure out where I went wrong. So, on the second lap when I saw the arrow,  it all made sense, I could focus was just flying, pouring the power on in the pedaling sections and railing the technical sections. It was so smooth and so much fun. There was a lot of spectators on the cliff- all in costume, yelling, spraying beer and dancing around.  It was like riding through a circus.  It’s such a fun race, really the epitome of XTERRA.”]

XTERRA Richmond 2012 results


Love the pic of Boise pro Adam Wirth and his son Mac riding to race start.  Mac has his feet on top of Daddy’s, so he is helping put down the watts! It seemed like an amazing father & son get-away week. They “pre ran” parts of the run course together, Mac did the kids race, watched the pros (knows us all by name) and didnt miss an expo or a beat all week. What a cool sport to get  your kid involved in. As opposed to baseball where all they do is chew, spit, scratch and wait. And the “role model” is Barry Bonds…


Its not the same without Dan


We miss you, get well soon Dan!

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…

Avia Mantis debuts at ITU Cross Tri Worlds


I’m in Alabama getting ready to defend my ITU Cross Tri World Champion title coming Saturday.  (2011 Race report here.)

The good folks from Avia sent me these cool new racing flats just in time for the big day. Low profile mid sole, light weight and hopefully, FAST!

We’ve had a lot of rain the last 2 days and its with a heavy heart that I’ll go drag them through the mud and horse manure on my last quality session tomorrow…


But unfortunately, not available to the public yet… Stay tuned – Avia online store here





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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