Posts Tagged ‘liezel stoltz’

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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Caveman wins XTERRA Mountain Champs in Beaver Creek


XTERRA run course- Beaver Creek, (near Vail) Colorado. I pre rode the bike and run courses 2 weeks before the race and snapped these pix I’d like to frame one day when we have a home.

I havent blogged about it yet, but last weekend I raced Boulder Peak 5150, 6 days before my 1st Beaver Creek XTERRA Mountain Champs. I raced 4 or 5 pain & adrenaline filled XTERRAs on the dazzling (in many ways) ski slopes of Keystone ski resort- between 9000-12000 ft alt -the kind of place where Ned Overend roams free.


On the drive up from Boulder, Liezel (jokingly) modeled her new Suunto Core Alu Pure White and Oakley Immerse sunnies on top of Loveland pass CO.


With only 6 days between races, recovery training is obviously the order of the day.  Did a fair bit of scenic Boulder riding with Liezel on her new  Ruby.  Our friend and Specialized mechanic Dylan joined us for a coffee shop ride to the town of Hygiene. No pun intended.


Husband and wife training camp – Flatirons CO.

We drove up in the Specialized Team truck 3 days before the event and once in Beaver Creek we did the usual pre race routine:

Pre ride the course with friend/colleague/boss/mechanic Dylan van der Merwe:


Drove the Specialized truck up the 3200ft climb to avoid wringing an hours’ climbing at 9000 ft out of my legs. We then rode the downhill one last time. (On the drive up we got pulled over by a guy in a pick up truck for a “Super Fan” photo of the Red monster)

This course is not technical, but has a nice 5 minute singe track section: Click here for YouTube video of the one single track section from Caveman perspective:

More things to do during taper:

Have a braai (BBQ) at your #1 opposition Josiah Middaugh’s house. Lots of Avia shoes in the doorway. Pretty much open party.- the camaraderie says a lot about the XTERRA family. (the brownies werent even laced with laxatives…)


Josiah is a fearsome competitor as it is. But this course is just 2mi from his house- meaning he’s used to breathing fake “air” and more importantly, he knows how to go uphill fast! Oh, and just seeing his “Josiah Face” during a race is enough to trigger the “Fight or flight” response!

– Entertain VIPs: We were much honoured to have Specialized road triathlon mega star Ben Hoffman make an XTERRA cameo:


Who knew tires could shine that bright? I think the product is called “Sonfagun”. Seriously.

Watch the local Rodeo.


The 3 man Burro barrel race was almost as spectacular as the bull riding.

Back to business:

For Specialized Racing mechanics Dylan (Boss) van der Merwe and Joe (Spider Monkey) Devera “getting the bikes ready” is not what triathletes are used to. Its not a quick wipe with the hotel towel, chain lube and tire pump. These guys come with a Mountain bike World Cup approach. Full Team truck- Full Monty. Every bike gets stripped and rebuilt- fresh parts where needed, fresh tires, fresh cables, fresh grease, fresh Lock-tite, fresh alles. For the massive amount of climbing I switched to lighter grips, lighter tires, no Command Post, but after weighing pedals and shoes decided to not go with the road shoe /pedal combo.


Dylan van der Merwe in blue (Stellenbosch, South Africa) works with Specialized triathletes and Mountain bikers at events around the globe and is going to the London Olympics to support our athletes. To top it off and used to be quite the triathlete- on and off road.  Joe Devera “Spider Monkey” used to be a full time sponsored rock climber (often living in a VW van), worked on various road cycling teams, including the Mavic Neutral Support Team before wrenching on Specialized MTB and Triathlon teams.

Spend some time on and see why Specialized Racing is the best racing team across all disciplines.


But if your hotel has no garden hose, a good bike wash starts in the shower. Dylan washed 3 bikes as part of his pre race prep. Here is my version in Spain 2011: Bike Shower.

The race:


After getting pounded in the swim by 2,40 at Boulder Peak, we unleashed “DefCon 4” swim training, ok, in 6 days I only had time for 1 DefCon 4 session- but half the speed is attitude anyway – by XTERRA time I was good to go. Swam with the leaders no problem. Craig Evans, Branden Rakita & Ben Hoffman. The new Blue Seventy Helix wetsuit and Vision goggles helped get the job done.  Note the looming ski slopes in the back ground. Intimidating stuff.


Did I say the bike climbed A LOT?! 3200ft straight up. (about 1000m of alt gain in 35min) Starting at 8100ft. Not 1 second of free wheeling (or even soft pedaling) in the 1st 35min. So pacing is crucial. The recent road tris helped me get used to the sustained effort (also called “pain”) of the TT effort- as opposed to the hit and run efforts on the “normal” MTB ride.


At least the course is really really scenic. That is if you can see past the black spots and flashing lights. Took this pic during pre riding when I could see and think and breathe all at the same time.


My dietician and chef (Liezel) has been mixing the “Power mix” a bit leaner the past few weeks- fewer M&Ms in the trail mix. The season of Flatland Racing is over and Climbing Season is officially open. (XTERRA Utah and Maui also climbs a lot) So power to weight is crucial. No point trying to take the weight off the bike – its light enough already- its gotta come off my backside.


Photos below by Rick Kimmel from Stumbling towards Greatness

Since the Luckstone XTERRA in Richmond, athlete tracking by GPS has been all the rage. You can see the GPS unit on my number belt. It doesnt swim yet, but people can track all the athletes live online. Pretty cool with todays’ social media & technology making the world  a global village.


Ben Hoffman is taking a mid season break (from IM and 70.3 racing) and gave XTERRA a whirl. Without pre riding the course he did great to finish 3rd behind Josiah. Expect to see him in Maui for Worlds…


Judging by my “Josiah Face”, you can see the run was really really tough- basically 2.5km vertically up – so steep, I walked 4 times- and 2.5km straight down. Twice.


Looks like I’m “parking a tiger” (throwing up) in the bushes- felt like it- but I was power walking up one of the steeper hills. I find walking the really steep parts is almost as fast as running, but your heart rate stays lower, so when I get to a flatter section I can run at a good pace right away.


Liezel looking down the trail to give splits- after the bike I had a 2;30 gap on Josiah, lost 50″ on the 1st climb, but then held the gap over the last 5km- winning by 1.20.

Results by JTL Timing:

   1  Stoltz, Conrad     :18:25    4   :00:42  1:08:15    2   :00:49  0:38:54    8  02:07:05    1
   2  Middaugh, Josiah   :19:24    8   :00:46  1:09:25    3   :00:46  0:38:03    5  02:08:24    2
   3  Hoffman, Ben       :18:31    5   :00:51  1:12:19    6   :00:52  0:38:07    6  02:10:40    3
   4  Henestrosa, David  :19:22    7   :00:47  1:12:21    7   :00:50  0:37:30    3  02:10:50    4
   5  Waite, Cody        :20:55   23   :00:47  1:12:04    5   :00:52  0:39:19    9  02:13:57    5
   6  Ignatz, Ryan       :20:51   21   :00:42  1:14:22    9   :00:52  0:37:20    2  02:14:07    6
   7  Smith, Brian       :23:28   61   :01:28  1:11:21    4   :00:57  0:36:58    1  02:14:12    7
   8  Rakita, Branden    :18:24    3   :09:21  1:06:22    1   :00:47  0:41:56   18  02:16:50    8


For one day Colorado’s second language was Afrikaans. The mountain was crawling with South Africans: Other than Liezel & Dylan (pictured) finished 3rd in the Sport race there was also a very vocal Melt Swanepoel (racing the US Marathon MTB series) Dewet Marais (from Squirt lube), Brad Weiss (DNF – says the altitude bowled him LBW) the guys from GU South Africa vacationing, and few families spectating.


6th XTERRA win this summer.

Race report from XTERRA’s

Trey Garman:

[For Stoltz, not altitude, not abear, not even Josiah Middaugh – a mountain master on his home course – could disrupt his perfect 2012 season.  Stoltz started the year with a win at the XTERRA South Africa Championship, then swept through the XTERRA regional championships in Nevada, Alabama, Virginia, & now Colorado to bring his unprecedented XTERRA all-time championship wins total to 47.

“I must admit it was a very pleasurable experience,” said Stoltz, who raced here at the XTERRA Mountain Championships in Beaver Creek for the first time today.  “I didn’t expect to come up here and have fun but it was a lot of fun.  The course is beautiful, and I was amazed at all the spectators even out in the middle of the forest. I saw a black bear up there while I was racing.  I heard some branches break and I could see it getting away and Josiah saw it too.  So, it was very memorable.  I was really surprised at my win. I thought Josiah was going to take it, because beating him on this course is really tough so I think I had a very special day.  I have to thank Specialized who put a lot of time and effort into my bike.”

Stoltz came out of the mile-swim in the 66-degree waters of Nottingham Lake on the heels of leader Craig Evans and Branden Rakita, with Ben Hoffman directly behind him and David Henestrosa and Middaugh a minute back.

By the three-mile mark, and after the first of nearly four-thousand feet of climbing from the lake which sits at 7,400-feet, Stoltz led by a minute with Hoffman and Middaugh chasing together.  At mile 10, Middaugh moved into second but hadn’t closed the gap and by the bike-to-run transition Stoltz, who had the fastest bike split of the day in 1:09:46, had more than a two-minute lead.

“When you put together a good race and get beat it’s not because something went wrong, it’s just that you’re not fit enough,” said Middaugh, who has now finished runner-up to the “Caveman” in three of the last four races.  “Conrad had an awesome race and kudos to him for having that fitness and power that I’m going to be looking for in the next few months.”

Ben Hoffman had an incredible race in his first major XTERRA, and by the looks of his post-race grin it seems certain not to be his last.

“It was awesome today, I’m fired up, had fun out there,” said Hoffman, who had quite the support crew with the Specialized team in full force.  “I think most people hear XTERRA has a little more laid back vibe and fun atmosphere and being here definitely confirmed that for me.  Seeing it firsthand; the volunteers are psyched, it’s a well-run race, well-marked course, and super challenging but fair, an honest course.  There’s no hiding here, it’s what you got on the day.”]


After his 3rd place in the Sport race Dylan slammed a gallon of Chocolate milk and was back on the job cleaning bikes.


I learnt another wrenching trick- when washing the bike with degreaser, cover the brake pads with paper towel to avoid fowling the brake pads.


The day after the race Hoff and I went for a recovery spin on the mountain and did some hunting gathering while we’re out there…

Pictures from my office


XTERRA Beaver Creek run course. Vail, Colorado.


Boulder mountain biking. (South Boulder by the wind mills) Pretty boring and limited in choices but quite scenic.


Boulder road riding. Flat Irons in the background. Cherry creek road


XTERRA Alabama bike course. Oak Mountain, Pelham. My all time favourite.


Road biking “Dr Mooses’ Loop” in Richmond Virginia.


Road biking “Dr Mooses Loop” the day Liezel got her Specialized Ruby!


600W hill repeats in Richmond, VA


Hunting for coffee in French Quarters after 5150 New Orleans.


Business meeting with my marketing manager Franko Vatterott and my bank manager, Liezel Stoltz. Boulder, CO.


Being somewhat homeless and internet-less, we set up office at Barnes and Noble- a huge US book store with a Star Bucks inside. Rice Krispies & Marshmallow slices makes the keypad sticky…

5150 New Orleans does Caveman

If I had not been there myself, I too may not believe that the 5150 New Orleans actually happened.  ZERO press from 5150. Not even on their own website. You’d think they’ll have someone paid to promote the event? I’m a 2 man band (with the Cave Missus) and even our small operation has a paid employee who blogs about 5150.

So no more waiting to see if there is a pic of my zippy Specialized SHIV. (I’m actually eager to see my position and aerodynamics on the bike)

So we have to do with the trusty old iPhone pix:


N’Awlins is HOT!!

The ice bath at the finish was the best thing all week. N’Awlins is so hot, when you walk out the door, you’re immediately drenched.

After about 4 or 5 years away from any serious road triathlon racing the Caveman dipped his toes into the 5150 scene at New Orleans.

The reason for 5150 is: “I want to qualify for HyVee and kick ass”

The reason for New Orleans is: “It is in the same time zone as XTERRA Richmond, 2 weeks ago, and we dont have a home right now, so we may as well hang with friends in Richmond and train. (and get specialist injury rehab) After 2 weeks of daily intensive rehab for some calf issues I’ve had since THAT cut foot and infection.

With hurricane Debby over Florida and some strong winds pumping over New Orleans, there was talk that the race would become a duathlon. So we were lucky to have a swim but not lucky enough to get a swim warm up. This put a major spanner in the works- so I did 2×10 ladies’ push ups instead- trying to get blood into my arms. (When I woke up the next day, the 1st thing I felt was my sore pecs- from the ladies push ups or pumping a tubular to 120 with a mini hand pump?)

I swam badly with the cold (sore?) arms, chocolate dark choppy swell and sun seemingly shining straight out of the buoy itself. Lost 2.20 to some Bird whom I outbiked by 12 minutes, but importantly, lost about 60″ to guys I should be able to swim with. And lost another 50″ on the 1km run from the swim to T1. I put on shoes for the short run to pamper the calf.

Upon exiting T1 Liezel did not have enough fingers to show me how many riders were ahead of me. They looked like ants up the road. I put it in the Big Dog and sat at Ian’s guesstimated wattage. Quickly caught a few guys but when my heart rate went down to 140s I dropped a gear or 2 (put it in the Great Dane I guess) and the ants came back much quicker. I thought I was catching the mid packers as I was flying past them, but when I saw Liezel at 20km she only needed 1 finger to show me the number of riders ahead.  (Cant hear splits with the aero helmet and rushing wind)  40″ behind David Thompson- a strong biker I was told by “someone in the know” would ride about 380W.   That SHIV is just amazing, I was flying through the field, despite the strong side winds I could stay on the aero bars, used the Specialized Fuelselage drinking system inside the bike frame- stuffed with ice,  I think my position is good (havent seen it yet) and those new red Specialized Trivent shoes with magnets and heel opening is lighting quick.

I came off the bike with a 25″ lead, not enough. I havent run on road or dirt in 2 weeks- nursing a calf injury- I only ran little bits on the Alter G while getting intensive treatment from Megan Presby at Advanced Orthopedic Center in Richmond, VA. I ran steady, tried to stay cool and hold off the little guys but slipped to 4th. Not a bad race, the result so so, my calf held, but I know where I can save chunks of time and immerse further into roadtrigeekdom. When do I earn my right to get a 5150 tattoo?

I didnt know any of the athletes- must be the generation gap…  so it was hard to plan my race and strategize. When I saw an Aussie in a speedo running at a good clip something rang a bell. (Check out Tim Reed aka “the Bugdy Smuggler” blog here) Made some new friends at the finish.  Chris Foster is a fast runner, despite the run time. (It was humid, windy and there was an extra km after the swim) A good lot, the young crowd. Even met a Saffa on the rise. Travis Johnston.

We wallowed in ice tubs and I’d ask the other guys: “Where are you from?” “Boulder” Oh, me too. Well nice to meet y’all. Guess I dont spend enough time at the pool or on the track to know the skinny tire guys.

I used my Suunto Ambit GPS and heart rate so I could gather data for my coach Ian and future training reference.


Started my Suunto on the run from the swim. Bike leg ended at 55min. You can see how I eased up last few km to freshen up for the run. On the run I felt like overheating when at 160, so backed off a little, but with 2km to go I saw the Budgy Smuggler coming and poured on the pain, but it was too little too late.  Was fun to see Tim hurting too though. Once he had 10m he did the look-over-the-shoulder every 10m. Racing in the heat sucks.

The only useful info from the 5150 site:


I’m used to the number 1 at XTERRA, but it was a big honour to get the no 1 at my first 5150. Had to read the manual to see which side of the woody woodpecker helmet goes in front. Havent done a big road tri since Wildflower about 4 years ago when Charlie DQed me for using this very same helmet (without me knowing till 3 days later) because he “couldnt find it on the internet.” Of course he couldnt, it was newly released. A bit like the new Specialized McLaren TT helmet released yesterday: Youtube video


Putting the finishing touches to my transition at 6.30am- the earliest race start I’ve had in YEARS. (XTERRA starts at a more civilized 9 or 10am)

I dont have good pix of my zippy SHIV Tri here, but now that we know at 5150 you have to BYOP(ress), Liezel will take photos at my next 5150 at Boulder Peak. (in 7 days)
I cant say too much about the power file other than I was quite happy with the numbers. It has been quite a work this past summer dialing my TT position to maximize power output without sacrificing too much aerodynamics. I’ve done a few TTs (Like South African TT Champs blog) so we knew more or less what W I can hold for 40km, but what about the run? Was a bit of a guessing game and a fun new project for Ian and I.


New toys: Quarq Cinco OmniCal, 54/39 Rotor Qrings and Specialized S works cranks. I also discovered that one can remove the Specialized cranks with a Specialized multi tool and the special Trox tool- no need to carry a socket wrench. Perfect for hotel room wrenching!  Ok, the fit is not 100%, but thats better than my usual tools- usually includes a  big rock and something like a cork screw.


In the quest to save on luggage I didnt bring a floor pump. Traveling to an XTERRA and a road triathlon on the same trip become a logistical nightmare so I tried to cut out the heavy floor pump-  Caveman wrenching I wouldnt recommend: Pumping a tubular tire to 120 psi using a crack pipe and a Mountain Bike mini pump. By the time there was  decent pressure in the tire, my biceps and pecs were cramping- no wonder I lost 90″ in the swim!

Due to the lack of  pics of the race- here are some other pix from NOLA. (New Orleans Louisiana)


My Princess. Tres Francais. Brought back special memories from my 6 years racing triathlon in southern France back in the 90s…


Scars and memories from Hurricane Katrina apparent everywhere…


A LOT of water, the Mississippi. The biggest river in South Africa- the “Mighty” Orange- you can walk through, if you choose your spot well…


The old and the new. Was wondering what people here did before the invention of the air conditioner. Then came to the conclusion: Southerners arent “slow” (like people warmed us), THEY ARE HOT.


Our hotel was this cool old restored Cotton Mill factory from 1903. And quite affordable. Hampton Inn on Convention Center Blvd


The local N’Awlins folk is a VERY colourful lot- most of them will claim some kind of French and or Cajun ancestry and throw around family trees and even say a few French words to prove it.

We really enjoyed the people watching!

Aca Joe West Coast Warm Water Weekend 2012


Liezel and I got engaged on one of the (smaller) house boats in the bay. How can you blame me?! Such a romantic place. OK for triathlons too.

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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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