Stoltz and Vanlandingham take XTERRA West titles

Conrad Stoltz won the 2010 XTERRA West Championships in Henderson, NV in a time of 2:07:26 and held off tough challenger Josiah Middaugh. Shonny Vanlandingham earned the women's title in a time of 2:24:14.

For Stoltz, this was the fourth XTERRA West title in a row and just like the year before, Middaugh made him work hard for the money. Middaugh though ended up with a flat during the bike segment, after having learned new lines from Stoltz the day before. (Stoltz usually does all the pre-rides alone to keep his lines secret, but made an exception on Saturday and shared some of his secrets with Middaugh.) But the secrets seem only to work for Stoltz, and by the time the 2 reached T2, Stoltz had a 2:15 lead on Middaugh. From there Stoltz cruised to victory virtually unchallenged and thus earned his 4th XTERRA title in a row. Middaugh took 2nd place, just as he had done in 2009, and Brian Smith grabbed 3rd place after finishing in 8th the year before.

“I rode as hard as I could today on this very rough and rocky and slippery desert surface,” said Stoltz post race. “A lot of people crashed today and there were a lot of flat tires, but my equipment worked excellent.”

Stoltz's friend and training partner Dan Hugo was supposed to be another challenger for the title, but he fell ill earlier in the week and wasn't able to start the event.

The women's podium featured the top three finishers from 2009 in the mix again for the podium positions, but this time first and second swapped positions. Vanlandingham got the better of McQuaid and was able to stand on top of the podium this year. Brit Leslie Paterson rounded out the podium just as she had in 2009.

Vanlandingham left no doubt about her plans post race as she spoke to slowtwitch. "Great to kick off the XTERRA season in Sin City. I was excited to race and see my XTERRA friends after a long winter of training. Time to hit the strip for some amusement rides."

McQuaid added, "I was stoked to hold on for second as I still have some work to do before the next round in late May. This is a very difficult race when you don't have top form because there is no taking your foot off the gas: HOT weather, all flat fast riding with hills that are maximum anaerobic granny climbs (the run is the same minus any flat sections) so for the first race of the year.. those of us coming from winter unfitness without racing.. ouch!"

XTERRA West Championships
Henderson, NV / April 25, 2010

Top 9 men

1. Conrad Stoltz (RSA) 2:06:47
2. Josiah Middaugh (USA) 2:07:26
3. Brian Smith (USA) 2:10:01
4. Seth Wealing (USA) 2:14:14
5. Nico Lebrun (FRA) 2:15:53
6. Cody Waite (USA) 2:16;50
7. Craig Evans (USA) 2:18:44
8. Jason Michalak (USA) 2:20:50 * AG M30-34
9. Trevor Glavin (USA) 2:20:58

Top 7 women

1. Shonny Vanlandingham (USA) 2:24:14
2. Melanie McQuaid (CAN) 2:28:21
3. Lesley Paterson (GBR) 2:30:04
4. Christine Jeffrey (CAN) 2:33:50
5. Rosemarie Gerspacher (CAN) 2:34:55
6. Renata Bucher (SWI) 2:37:05
7. Emma Garrard (USA) 2:37:57