After being out with injuries for a good part of 2009, Conrad Stoltz is back to his winning ways and added the XTERRA Southeast title to his resume. With her win in the women's race, Shonny Vanlandingham proved that she is indeed the one to watch.
Caveman Conrad Stoltz charged into the lead during the bike and was first back into T2. From there the South African stormed to the victory in the very hot and muggy Southeast conditions. Josiah Middaugh came across the finish line about 2.5 minutes later to take second place and Craig Evans who doesn't reside too far from the Oak Mountain, Alabama course rounded out the podium.
"I’m real proud of my 29’er,” said Stoltz after the race. "It’s the first time I’ve used it in an XTERRA and it worked brilliantly. On a bumpy course like this the bigger tires ride better. They have a bigger contact patch with the ground that gives you better traction. You don’t have to brake as much so you can keep your momentum rolling. It’s like an extra suspension, and because it’s so smooth you don’t get as tired."
Shonny Vanlandingham duplicated what Stoltz had done in the men's race and pulled away from her competitors on the very technical and difficult bike course in Alabama aboard a 29er. "I caught Melanie on the long climb, and thought if I could keep the pace it’d be a good day,” said Vanlandingham.
And a good day it was indeed. Vanlandingham recorded the fastest bike split and closed out her day with a solid run to take the win. Melanie McQuaid finished second and Lesley Paterson earned third place.
"Shonny is a monstar on the bike right now. Second for me, again. Work to do," tweeted McQuaid post race.
A week earlier Shonny Vanlandingham won the BUMPnGrind mountain bike pro race that was held on the same trails in Oak Mountain State Park.
XTERRA Southeast Championships
Pelham, AL / June 13, 2010
Top 10 men
1. Conrad Stoltz (RSA) 2:21:27
2. Josiah Middaugh (USA) 2:23:54
3. Craig Evans (USA) 2:26:55
4. Seth Wealing (USA) 2:31:20
5. Cody Waite (USA) 2:33:53
6. Will Kelsay (USA) 2:40:05
7. Scott Gall (USA) 2:40:24
8. Kevin Carter (USA) 2:40:46
9. Damian Gonzalez (USA) 2:47:26
10. Ryan DeCook (USA) 2:43:18
Top 8 women
1. Shonny Vanlandingham (USA) 2:38:02
2. Melanie McQuaid (CAN) 2:42:05
3. Lesley Paterson (GBR) 2:46:28
4. Renata Bucher (SWI) 2:49:41
5. Emma Garrard (USA) 2:49:57
6. Christine Jeffrey (CAN) 2:55:06
7. Fabiola Corona (MEX) 3:00:02
8. Tracy Thelen (USA) 3:02:19