Posts Tagged ‘specialized’

Gearing up for XTERRA New Zealand

Conrad Stoltz XTERRA New Zealand

Newsflash: New Zealand is stunningly beautiful! After a few long flights from CPT, JHB, Sydney to Auckland, we stayed right on the water (above) for a few days with Princess Hotstuff’s friends. During high tide I swam in the estuary and channel amoungst the boats. Water was surprisingly warm.

Conrad Stoltz Specialized Compak Airtool, LOOK S trak pedals, fly rod

Unpacking some cool new toys. The Specialized Compak AirTool travel pump for tyre and suspension is not only long overdue for traveling, but also beautifully engineered from all aluminium. LOOK S-track pedals & since we’re in the “worlds best fly fishing country” travel fly rod.

Conrad Stoltz Specialized Epic Sworks XTERRA New Zealand Rotorua

Brand new bike: I chose the Specialized Sworks “Epic” over the “Epic World Cup” model. This bike has a bit more suspension, the handling a bit more stable, and if I need to, I can put a double chainring on there.

Conrad Stoltz XTERRA New Zealand Rotorua Billy T single track

First things first, I pre rode this legendary course a number of times. The Billy T single track is incredibly fun, and I wish the whole 25km bike course could be this much fun…

Conrad Stoltz XTERRA New Zealand Rotorua bike course berm

Grippy soil, flowing, well built trails,

Conrad Stoltz XTERRA New Zealand Rotorua Billy T single track groove

Some interesting sections- VERY different from South Africa’s jerky, rocky trails.

Conrad Stoltz XTERRA New Zealand Rotorua Green Lake Pier.

Dont trip over the scenery. Green Lake.

Conrad Stoltz XTERRA New Zealand Rotorua mushrooms

Images straight out of childrens books…

Conrad Stoltz XTERRA New Zealand Rotorua Tikitapu Blue lake

Race venue.

Conrad Stoltz XTERRA Rotorua Blue lake

Not called “Blue Lake” for no reason. The run is 2 laps around the lakes under a canopy of huge fern trees.

Conrad Stoltz, Hoka One One Conquest Stinson, Thule backpack, Thule ipad mini, Columbia rain jacket

Cool new goodies- Hoka One One shoes, Thule bacpack and iPad cover & Columbia rain jacket– for the infamous NZ weather.

Leana de Bruin, Liezel Stoltz, Irene van Dyk Netball

Leana (Vlooi) de Bruin, Princess Hotstuff (Liezel Wium in her Netball days) and Irene van Dyk.

After a few days training on the course in Rotorua, we went to Hamilton. The highlight was watching Princess Hotstuffs’ old teams (Magic vs Pulse) and her “old” teammates playing a super exciting Netball game- live on TV in front of a packed stadium. The game is huge in NZ!

The lowlight is a costly trip to the eye doctor. I had the pterygium sliced off my eye excatly 6 weeks ago and since then my eyes has been super sensitive to light. Like REALLY sensitive- not being able to drive or be in the sunshine for even short periods. Fortunately its been rainy and cloudy and this course is 99% shaded by tall fern trees.

Race day tomorrow.

“Caveman in the flesh” at Echelon Cyclery, Auckland NZ April 14

Conrad Stoltz Specialized Echelon TheCaveman


Meet Caveman for Q&A, “drinks and nibbles” at Specialized dealer, Echelon Cyclery Auckland NZ on Monday April 14.

Argus MTB Challenge

MTB Challenge 2014

Caveman getting rid of frustration.                                                                   Pic by  Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust

A week after a disastrous day long cramping episode* at XTERRA Grabouw, I had much pent up frustration to get rid of.

*Cramps caused by Magnesium shortage. Will be taking Mg supplements for the rest of my life. (Normally I dont take any supplements at all)

And of course, “I LOVE RACING!”

Having finished 2nd (to Mannie Heymans) and 1st (on a prototype Specialized 29er) in 2010 at this event before, I was eager to hook it and see what comes out. The race was loaded with serious types getting ready for Cape Epic.

The 1st 15km was flattish (Caveman terrain) so I started like it was a 55km TT.  The field strung out nicely and what I lacked on the climbs, Christophe Sauser made up.

It was all fun and games till I started losing air pressure in the rear tyre from a small sidewall cut.

Conrad Stoltz Caveman Specialized PicknPayCapeArgusMTBChallenge2014 GregBeadle Rear tyre getting dangerously flat. Johnn Rabie, Erik Kleinhans and Kevin Evans following.     Pic by Greg Beadle


Conrad Stoltz Caveman Specialized PicknPayCapeArgusMTBChallenge2014 GregBeadle puncture


Pic by Greg Beadle

I could see the 1st aid station, and was hoping there would be a spare wheel at the Tech Zone. When I realized the Tech Zone is not till the 2nd aid station 10km further, I stopped and “bombed” the tyre- tilting it on is side (with the sidewall cut at the bottom) so the sealant would fill the cut. In hindsight I should have plugged the hole  Its the 2nd time in 3 races that I has to reach for the tools in the SWAT* box this year. I like the SWAT box a lot, but I hate having to use it!  *SWAT = Storage Water Air Tools- located between waterbottle cages on Epic bikes.

Conrad Stoltz Caveman Specialized Sworks Epic WC PicknPayCapeArgusMTBChallenge2014 GregBeadle

Aired up and at it. Its amazing how the lactic acid pools in your legs while fixing a flat. The next few km feels like an eternity.   I stopped and aired a few more times, and rolled into the Tech Zone on the rim. Fortunately Specialized had some wheels and Dylan quickly had me on my way again.                         Pic by Greg Beadle

Conrad Stoltz Caveman Specialized Sworks Epic WC PicknPayCapeArgusMTBChallenge2014 GregBeadle Suunto Ambit


Pic by Greg Beadle

Stunning vinyard racing and good cornering technique: Drop the saddle, (Command Post) lean the bike, keep body weight over the pedals, look at the exit, finish braking before the corner.

Conrad Stoltz Caveman cornering Specialized Sworks Epic WC PicknPayCapeArgusMTBChallenge2014 Liezel Stoltz Suunto Ambit

Pic by Princess Hotstuff

Strava file:


Somewhere along the way the leaders were taken off course, of those behind them some waited – and gave them a head start- some didnt, so the results is not what is would have been. Just like last year.

I’m amazed how the biggest MTB race in the country can have something like this happen 2 years in a row…

I think the podium would have been something like Rabie, Evans, Sauser.

Argus MTB “results”

Conrad Stoltz Argus MTB 55km results 2014

Ah well, it could have been worse…

Conrad Stoltz Greg Beadle PicknPayCapeArgusMTBChallenge2014-55-38km-433

Pic by Greg Beadle

Caveman MTB Skills clinic – March 14&15, Jonkershoek, Stellenbosch

Conrad Stoltz Caveman Skills Clinic Jonkershoek Stellenbosch March 14&15

Caveman MTB Skills Clinic hosted by Conrad Stoltz in conjunction with Specialized Test the Best in Jonkershoek, Stellenbosch – Friday 14 & Saturday 15 March 2014
Fri: 14 March – KIDS Clinic – 15h00-18h00
Sat: 15 March – ADVANCED – 08h00-11h00
– BEGINNERS – 14h00-17h00
For more information, please email

5 days till XTERRA. Know the course.

A short POV with #Caveman on XTERRA Grabouw bike course. Thanks to Specialized Videographer JB Badenhorst for the edit.
Know the course.
The best way to have a fast(er) safe(er) race is to see the course. Once is nice, twice is great, and after 3 sightings you should have it mostly memorized and will really be able to rip.
Most people are’nt Pros who can pre ride any day of the week. (I usually travel to “away” races 5 or 6 days before to learn and practice the course) But try to ride the course at least once- preferably not the day before the race. It will take about 2h30 if you go medium pace. Running is different, you’re going slower, (and fall softer) so seeing the course is not crucial. Just follow the arrows on race day. (thats an inside joke)
If you havent seen the course before race day- I suggest going hard on the open pedaling sections, and being cautious through the single track. If your skills are OK, it helps to follow someone who already knows the course and copy their lines and read their body language. Hopefully its not Greg Minnaar!
This course is really well designed- the 1st half is almost entirely jeep track and forestry road- so its easy to overtake and make up for floating the swim course, and the 2nd half has most of the single track.
Dont be afraid to get off and walk- especially in the Rock Garden. But be vary aware of riders approaching from behind. Once you’re on foot, or just finished a crash, you’re at the bottom of the food chain and need to make way for those on wheels- or about to start a crash.
This is not the time and space for a Caveman Skills Clinic, but keeping your mind calm, body relaxed and looking well ahead up trail, will give you enough time and sense to react.
Brake early and hard then get off the brakes! Braking in corners, down steep drops, and in places of bad traction is the number 1 cause of catastrophe…
Watch the XTERRA South Africa video channel for a cool race briefing.
Weather plays a big role. What to wear, hydration plan, and importantly, the terrain changes…
    Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Grabouw weather
If you’re not from the Western Cape- we’ve had a real heat wave, I saw 42C (108F) on my Suunto of the course.
Thankfully today, (Wednesday) we had a slight drizzle in Grabouw- it cooled off nicely and packed down the sand a bit.  Looks like theres more showers predicted for Sunday. Perfect racing weather! Its going to make the MTB and run courses a good deal easier.  Regarding the previous post- I’m not going to need the wide 2.3  Specialized Ground Control tyres anymore…
Conrad Stoltz Caveman Specialized Single track Grabouw
Grabouw has some of the most amazing single track anywhere. Not all of it is rocky and/or hairy- this section has a certain Zen flow to it….
Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Grabouw run course
This 11.8km run course is spectacular. I didnt take pics of the whole course – but the pink Fynbos above is one of my highlights.

It really has something of everything. Scenic single track with loose rocks, pine forest, a  deep river crossing, a big climb and a huge climb, and some beach sections where you get to pick your own line.


Dont let the scenery fool you- this run is really tough! The bike course is like a WWE wrestling match- its a full body workout and you’ll probably start the run WORKED!  Once you have your running shoes on, you’re onto trail right away, with this run you have to think all the time- find good footing, pick smart lines, keep your balance, stay fast and relaxed and dont forget to pace yourself wisely and stay hydrated. Oh yes, remeber to enjoy it. Thats why we’re here, right?!


Conrad Stoltz Caveman Hoka One One Mafate 3 XTERRA Grabouw run course
The big daddy of trail shoes (3x volume of “normal shoe” sole)  just eating up the rocks. Hoka One One Mafate 3– my favourite trail shoe for training.
Conrad Stoltz Caveman XTERRA Grabouw run course beach
The stretch home- a long, sandy beach run where you can get adventurous and pick your own line. At your own peril- I was knee deep in wet quicksand on my 1st try!
Conrad Stoltz Caveman Hoka One One Mafate 3 Xterra Grabouw run course log jump
Finding traction on an old tree root.
Conrad Stoltz Caveman Hoka One One Mafate 3 Xterra Grabouw run course grass footing
More traction on a grass clump.

Conrad Stoltz Caveman Hoka One One Mafate 3 Xterra Grabouw run course marsh


A marshy section near the finish. Tighten your laces properly- you dont want to loose a shoe.
Conrad Stoltz Caveman Hoka One One Mafate 3 footprint
#CavemanFootprint.  The Hokas has a big footprint. Floats on top of stuff- where humans and guinea fowls sink in…
Next blog: 4 Days to go: Tapering




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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