Conrad Stoltz from South Africa and Canadian Melanie McQuaid win the inaugural 2011 ITU Cross Triathlon World Championship race in Extremadura, Spain. The race was comprised of a 1km Swim, 20km MTB Bike, 6km Cross-Country Run.
Stoltz made a triumphant ITU return, claiming the inaugural Cross Triathlon World Championship with American Seth Wealing taking silver while Swiss Olivier Marceau came across the finish line for the bronze.
Stoltz, a double Olympian, was back on the ITU circuit for the first since the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. And the South African veteran ensured it was a dominating golden return.
The pre-race hype focused on an anticipated showdown between Stoltz and Spanish favourite Eneko Llanos. The pair owns a combined seven Xterra world titles between them. But the battle never really materialized after Llanos crashed on the 20km mountain bike course and fell out of contention for the podium.
Not surprisingly, British swim powerhouse Richard Stannard led the men out of the 1km swim. Llanos was just 11 seconds behind Stannard while Stoltz trailed by approximately 90 seconds.
But it was on the 20km mountain bike course that Stoltz put the race away and out of anyone's reach. Scorching the course with the day's fastest bike split, 3 minutes and 40 seconds faster than any other man in the field, Stoltz built an insurmountable lead.
First onto the 6km cross-country run course, Stoltz stayed in front for good and cruised to the line to break the tape at 1 hour, 26 minutes, 40 seconds to take the title of first ITU Cross Triathlon World Champion. Stoltz dominated the field, winning by almost a full minute over Wealing who was second across the line to take silver. Triple Olympian Marceau rounded out the podium, finishing a further two minutes behind Wealing.
American Josiah Middaugh came across in fourth place, followed by British veteran Richard Stannard who finished in fifth place.
Portuguese Olympian Bruno Pais recorded the fastest run split and was the only man to run sub-20:00 to finish in seventh place.
2011 ITU Cross Triathlon World Champion Results:
|Elite Men Results||Time||
|Elite Women Results||Time|
|Conrad Stoltz (RSA)||1:26:40||
|Melanie McQuaid (CAN)||1:43:01|
|Seth Wealing (USA)||1:27:36||
|Shonny Vanlandingham (USA)||1:43:24|
|Olivier Marceau (SUI)||1:29:42||
|Emma Garrard (USA)||1:43:43|
|Josiah Middaugh (USA)||1:30:26||
|Christine Jeffrey (CAN)||1:45:22|
|Richard Stannard (GBR)||1:31:04||
|Marion Lorblanchet (FRA)||1:47:16|
|Eneko Llanos (ESP)||1:31:28||
|Zurine Rodriguez (ESP)||1:47:34|
|Bruno Pais (POR)||1:32:11||
|Renata Bucher (SUI)||1:48:13|
|Branden Rakita (USA)||1:32:13||
|Adriana Fabiola Corona (MEX)||1:50:34|
|Victor Manuel Del Corral Morales (ESP)||1:32:46||
|Susan Sloan (RSA)||1:51:27|
|Craig Evans (USA)||1:34:37||
|Helena Herrero (ESP)||1:51:31|
Click here to view the full results from the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships
McQuaid overcame adversity when her bike was lost while traveling to Spain. She was forced to race on a borrowed bike for today's championships but didn't let that stop her from powering to her first ever ITU World Championship, adding to her three Xterra world titles.
American Shonny Vanlandingham was second across the line for silver. Teammate Emma Garrard took the bronze, completing a North American sweep of the women's podium.
In all, 25 women from 11 countries tackled the course, set at "The Ring", an International Innovation Centre for outdoor sports in Extremadura.
McQuaid's Canadian teammate Christine Jeffrey led the women out of the 1km swim. She held a significant lead over the favourites, with the fastest swim split by 1 46-second margin. McQuaid trailed by over two and a half minutes after the swim.
But once on the 20km mountain bike course, McQuaid made her move and surged to the lead. Garrard followed in second place while Jeffrey dropped to third. Vanlandingham, who was second last out of the water, sizzled on the bike, recording the fastest bike split as the only woman to bike under an hour. McQuaid had the second fastest bike split, more than enough to propel her to the lead.
Off the bike and out onto the 6km cross-country run, McQuaid continued to lead the field. Behind her, Vanlandingham worked her way into the silver medal position with Garrard just behind her in third.
Even a 15-second penalty wasn't enough to stall McQuaid in her unstoppable march to victory. The Canadian never looked back enroute to her first career ITU World Championship, stopping the clock at 1 hour, 43 minutes, 2 seconds, a comfortable 23 seconds ahead of Vanlandingham and 41 seconds ahead of Garrard.