Although the most talked-about element of the 2011 XTERRA USA - held Sept 24th in Ogden, Utah - was the presence of legend Lance Armstrong as a competitor, in the end it was the race - the water, the dirt, the wheels - that determined the winner.
Not that four-time XTERRA champion Conrad Stoltz was at all intimidated by the larger-than-life Tour d' France champ: "I told him not to bring the 26" bike - he can leave the kiddie's bike at home. Bring the 29er." BOOM!
(check out video highlights here)
Conrad helped douse some of the media hype when he finished 2+ minutes ahead of the superstar Armstrong. His 2:27:30 overall time put him three spots behind this years winner, Nicolas Lebrun. Which goes to show ya: your competition is not always the grandest guy in the room.
Conrad ripped that race apart, of course, but it is a harsh road to run.
1.5k swim / 28k mountain bike / 9.8k trail run
Swim course distance: 1,500-meters (0.93 miles) Combines two 750-meter laps (no run in-between)
Elevation at Port Ramp Marina for swim start: 4,900-feet
Water temperature: Expected to be in the 65-degree range
Mountain bike course distance: 28-kilometers (17.7 miles)
Total climbing on bike: 3,400-feet
Elevation at highest point: 7,300-feet (where Sardine Peak Trail meets the ridgeline)
Elevation at T2/Snowbasin Resort Lodge: 6,400-feet
Trail Run course distance: 9.8-kilometers (6.1 miles)
Total climbing on run: 700-feet
Total climbing on course: 4,100-feet
The U.S. Forest Service started work on the Sardine Peak Trail near Snowbasin Resort three years ago and for the first-time in XTERRA racing history, it was ready to ride. The new 7+ mile section of single and double track is the sweetest and smoothest piece of trail on the mountain, and makes the bike course “a true mountain race course that weaves in-and-out of aspen glades and pines,” said Snowbasin Resort sport event operations director Steve Andrus.*
Congrats to Conrad on his awesome finish, and to all the other competitors that ripped that track up!