Lesley Paterson (GBR), Conrad Stoltz (RSA) claim 2012 ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships in Shelby County

Shelby County, Alabama, USA (19 May 2012) – Great Britain’s Lesley Paterson and South Africa’s Conrad Stoltz were crowned 2012 ITU Cross Triathlon World Champions at the Shelby County ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships & XTERRA Southeast Championship in Alabama this weekend.

Elite Women’s Review
Great Britain’s Lesley Paterson came from behind with a late surge and passed Melanie McQuaid (CAN) in the final lap of the run to win gold and her first ITU world title. McQuaid, the defending champion who led for much of the race, took silver and Carla Van Huysteen (RSA), bronze.

“I feel great. Training has gone well, prep went well,” said Paterson. “I was feeling energised and ready to rumble. Everything went to plan really. I had a little mechanical on the bike. My chain came off. Everything else went pretty smooth.”

As the afternoon heat descended upon the women, they entered the water with McQuaid leading the first pack after lap 1. By the second lap, South Africa’s Van Huyssteen had overtaken the lead heading into T2 with Michelle Flipo (MEX), Suzie Snyder (USA), McQuaid, and Paterson, following close behind. Shortly into the first lap of the bike, McQuaid moved ahead and built a significant lead which put her more than two minutes ahead of her contenders by the third lap of the bike. Van Huyssteen, Snyder and Paterson remained in the second group behind McQuaid on the bike course heading into the run.

The tide began to turn on the run when Paterson got in stride and inched to 23 seconds off leader McQuaid in the first lap, creating a large margin between her and the second pack which included Van Huyssteen, Snyder and Shonny Vanlandingham. Moving well into the second lap, Paterson shot past McQuaid and never looked back to claim her first ITU World Championship.

Shelby County ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships and XTERRA Southeast Championship – 20 May 2012
Final Results – Elite Women
1.5km swim, 30km mountain bike, 10km trail run
1 Paterson, Lesley (GBR) 02:24:39
2 McQuaid, Melanie (CAN) 02:27:15
3 Van Huysteen, Carla (RSA) 02:28:34
4 Snyder, Suzanne (USA) 02:29:14
5 Vanlandingham, Shonny (USA) 02:29:15
6 Kabush, Danelle (CAN) 02:33:03
7 Flipo, Michelle (MEX) 02:33:14
8 Vaughan, Shae (USA) 02:33:27
9 Heisterman, Brandi (CAN) 02:33:50
10 Bucher, Renata (SUI) 02:34:56

Elite Men’s Review
South Africa’s Conrad Stoltz stormed through the bike and run to win the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships in Shelby County, Alabama. Craig Evans of the USA finished a strong race for silver and Christopher Legh of Australia took home the bronze. This is Stoltz’s second consecutive ITU Cross Triathlon World Championship win after he took the inaugural title in Spain last year, as well as his sixth consecutive XTERRA win on the Shelby County course.

“I am really proud” said Stoltz. “It is something to achieve so I am really proud to do this for my country.”

The sun was at full strength as the men entered the water for the 1.5km swim. Richard Stannard (GBR) took a lead in the first lap and carried through heading into T2 with a strong field of contenders behind him in a tight second pack. Sergio Sarmiento (MEX), Leandro Lobo (VEN), Jean-Phillipe Thibodeau (CAN) and Sean Bechtel (CAN) hung on to their positions heading into T2 with Stoltz coming out of the water at just over a minute behind the leader. After the first bike leg, Stoltz had not only catapulted up the ranks but was in a close battle with Craig Evans (USA) for first place.

“I didn’t realise I was making gaps as big as that on the bike,” said Stoltz. “Normally I really wouldn’t consider this my course because I am so tall. I don’t see myself as the king of corners.”

Stoltz continued to gain momentum on the bike and drove more of a time wedge between he and the ensuing pack, consisting of Evans, Stannard, Branden Rakita (USA), Bechtal and Legh. Heading in to the run, Stoltz remained a minute ahead of the pack.

On lap 1 of the run, Stoltz remained strong with Evans coming up the rear. A possible setback arose for Legh as he was called in the penalty box on a helmet violation while Rakita and Josiah Middaugh (USA) moved closer to narrowing the gap to third position. Coming through on the stretch with a 30-second lead, Stoltz powered his way to victory.

Shelby County ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships and XTERRA Southeast Championship – 20 May 2012
Final Results – Elite Men
1.5km swim, 30km mountain bike, 10km trail run
1 Stoltz, Conrad (RSA) 02:12:11
2 Evans, Craig (USA) 02:12:58
3 Legh, Christopher (AUS) 02:14:11
4 Middaugh, Josiah (USA) 02:15:47
5 Stannard, Richard (GBR) 02:16:10
6 Kelsay, Will (USA) 02:16:17
7 Guest, Kelly (CAN) 02:16:33
8 Henestrosa, David (ESP) 02:17:28
9 Rakita, Branden (USA) 02:18:39
10 Waite, Cody (USA) 02:20:32

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