Conrad Stoltz of Stellenbosch, South Africa and Shonny Vanlandingham of Durango, Colorado won the 13th annual XTERRA East Championship on the classic off road course in Richmond, Virginia Sunday.
Stoltz emerged from the swim virtually tied with countryman Dan Hugo and Hendersonville, Tennessee’s Craig Evans. On the 32k mountain bike course that winds through the James River Park system, Stoltz quickly built a 2-minute lead which he maintained throughout the 11k trail run. Stoltz, a two-time Olympian and 4-time XTERRA World Champion, finished in 2:20:21, taking his sixth victory in seven years at Richmond by a 2:16 margin over Hugo, 26, who had his third straight runner-up finish to Stoltz in the XTERRA US Pro Series. Nicolas Lebrun of France took 3rd, 5:25 behind Hugo.
Vanlandingham, the current XTERRA World Champion who apparently hasn’t lost a step at age 42, trailed XTERRA US Pro series points leader Melanie McQuaid of Canada by two minutes after the swim in the James River. But on the surprisingly challenging 32k off road bike, the most successful NORBA mountain biker of all time and 7-time member of the US National mountain bike team caught McQuaid at mile 15 of the bike and built a 3:55 lead by the end of the run.
After finishing 3rd in 2008 and 2nd in 2009 and 2010, Vanlandingham finally scored a win at Richmond with her 2:37:58 finish. Suzie Snyder of Fredericksburg, Virginia finished 3rd in 2:49:01.
XTERRA East Championship
June 12, 2011
S 1k / B 32k / R 11k
1. Conrad Stoltz (RSA) 2:20:21
2. Dan Hugo (RSA) 2:22:37
3. Nicolas Lebrun (FRA) 2:28:02
4. Branden Rakita (USA) 2:28:10
5. Craig Evans (USA) 2:32:12
1. Shonny Vanlandingham (USA) 2:37:58
2. Melanie McQuaid (CAN) 2:41:53
3. Suzie Snyder (USA) 2:49:01
4. Christine Jeffrey (CAN) 2:59:35
5. Jessica Noyola (USA) 3:00:20