Monday, August 29

Rock N' Road Cyclery's Media Monday

Happy Monday! No video today, however, this is a good read about a very impressive performance from Specialized Xterra Pro Conrad Stoltz. Enjoy the read.

Conrad “The Cavemen” Stoltz claimed his first Xterra Japan title this past weekend with a strong performance on the highly technical course in scenic Marunuma, Gunma Japan, 3 hours northwest of Tokyo.

The 7th edition of Xterra Japan featured a 1.2km lake swim, 30km mountain bike section and 10k trail run. Both the bike and run sections were packed with steep muddy climbs and rooted downhill sections so extreme and slick that many competitors were forced to dismount from their bikes.

Conrad, back from a mid-summer break, started the race with a strong swim finishing first out of the water with Xterra mainstay Will Kelsay 90-seconds behind and “too close for comfort” for the Caveman. On the bike Conrad opened up a lead on all competitors save for Will who used his strong descending skills and Epic Expert 29er to close within 30-seconds of Conrad and his S-Works Epic 29er. With Will closely tailing after the bike section, Conrad pushed hard from the start of the run and stretched out his gap over Will to lock in first Xterra Japan win.

With the super technical course Conrad went with a less than conventional race setup with aggressive Purgatory 29 x 2.2 tires on his S-Works Epic 29er. He also took full advantage of his telescoping Command Post dropping the saddle for technical descents and off-camber turns. He credited his 2.2 Purgatory`s with keeping him upright and rolling in sections that most riders either crashed or dismounted.

After the race Conrad was excited to come back next year and plans to be joined by his fiancĂ© Liezel. “I really enjoyed the technical challenge of the Xterra Japan course, and also Japanese culture and hospitality. Shirato Taro (Xterra organizer) did an excellent job and showcased what Xterra is all about.”

Up next for Conrad is Xterra Whistler on September 4th, then the USA Champs in the end of September followed by his main target for the season, his 5th Xterra World Championships Title in Maui on October 23rd.

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