Conrad Stoltz won the 2010 XTERRA World Championships in Maui, Hawaii and became the first person to win this event 4 times. Shonny Vanlandingham grabbed her first XTERRA Worlds title there, quite an impressive feat at age 41.
Seth Wealing and Craig Evans set the pace during the swim, but after two laps of 750 meters in beautiful blue waters in front of the Makena Beach & Golf Resort, Wealing reached the first transition with a little gap over Evans and all other pursuers.
Conrad Stoltz started the bike segment about 20 seconds behind Wealing, but quickly charged into the lead. With fellow South African Dan Hugo right by his side, Stoltz reached Heartbreak Hill with a little gap over defending champion Eneko Llanos, Franky Batelier and Olivier Marceau. Hugo fell victim to a mechanical and dropped from the lead around the time. By the time Stoltz reached the halfway point of the bike his lead was over 2 minutes and it didn't look like he was going to slow down. Josiah Middaugh who was riding in second place flatted around that time and was looking at a 4 minute disadvantage after that incident. Batelier and Michael Weiss were riding in second and third position shortly after, but the gap to Stoltz got larger and larger and by the time they hit T2, Stoltz had more than 5 minutes in the bank.
"The course was harder than I thought. It was looser here than it has been in years – really loose, so I knew I was making time with every stroke of the pedal," said Stoltz. "The 29er just rolled over this loose, bumpy stuff."
From there the South African cruised to a relative easy win on the final 7.5 mile run. Batelier looked like like he was taking some time back on Stoltz but in the end that just wasn't so. Stoltz became the first 4-time XTERRA World Champion with a comfortable 5 minute lead. Batelier finished second and Weiss took third, just as he had done in 2009.
Eneko Llanos won the men’s pro Hawaiian Airlines Double award for the 5th consecutive year. His 7th at the Ironman World Championship in 8:22:02, combined with the 6th place at XTERRA Worlds gave him a total time of 11:02:46 and a $2,500 bonus.
There never was a question who was going to be first out of the water in the women's race, it was more so a question of by how much. Christine Jeffrey had been dominant in the swim and typically very few males can beat her in the water. This race was no different and only Seth Wealing and Craig Evans managed to have faster swim splits. More importantly though, her lead over 3-time defending champion Julie Dibens was about 30 seconds, and more than a minute on the next female Pro.
It didn't take Dibens very long to push into the lead and the Brit showed no obvious signs of fatigue from her recent Ironman World Championship adventures. A bit further back Shonny Vanlandingham was truly flying along. The Durango, Colorado resident had started the bike segment 4 minutes behind Dibens, but had made more than half of that time by the 8 mile mark. 8 miles later Vanlandingham passed Dibens and added another minute to her lead by the time she reached T2. The lead over everyone else though was 5 minutes and more.
Early on during the run Dibens managed to gain time back on Vanlandingham, but 40 seconds was as close as she would get. At the end of the day Vanlandingham crossed the line victorious with her first XTERRA World Championship title. Dibens crossed the line in second place and Marion Lorblanchet took the final podium spot.
"I didn’t look back at all for the first six miles or so, and then at the black sand beach, I did take a peak and I didn’t see her," said Vanlandingham. "That’s when it started to hit me. I’ve never won a world championship, not even in mountain biking, so this is really the pinnacle of both my XTERRA and mountain biking career."
Julie Dibens won the women’s pro Hawaiian Airlines Double award with her 3rd place in Kona and her second place in Maui. The affable Brit though had her goals set higher but didn't offer excuses for narrowly missing that 4th consecutive XTERRA Worlds title.
"I wanted to come here and try to win it and I knew it was going to be hard, " said Dibens to slowtwitch. "I gave it everything and that is all you can do."
XTERRA World Championships
Maui, Hawaii / October 24, 2010
1.5km swim / 32km bike / 12km run
1. Conrad Stoltz (RSA) 2:31:07
2. Franky Batelier (FRA) 2:36:14
3. Michael Weiss (AUT) 2:36:45
4. Olivier Marceau (SWI) 2:37:47
5. Nicolas Lebrun (FRA) 2:38:50
6. Eneko Llanos (ESP) 2:40:44
7. Richard Ussher (NZL) 2:41:03
8. Felix Schumann (GER) 2:41:31
9. Mike Vine (CAN) 2:41:53
10. Jim Thijs (BEL) 2:43:26
1. Shonny Vanlandingham (USA) 2:58:20
2. Julie Dibens (GBR) 2:59:32
3. Marion Lorblanchet (FRA) 3:06:11
4. Christine Jeffrey (CAN) 3:07:22
5. Suzie Snyder (USA) 3:08:04
6. Carina Wasle (AUT) 3:08:06
7. Lesley Paterson (GBR) 3:11:37
8. Sara Tarkington (USA) 3:11:45
9. Emma Ruth Smith (GBR) 3:11:53
10. Emma Garrard (USA) 3:13:38