Weiss Becomes Second Saffa To Win Xterra Worlds
SA’s Bradley Weiss survives brutal heat to win his maiden Xterra World Championship. – By Lwando Njamela
Stellenbosch’s Bradley Weiss won his maiden Xterra Triathlon World Championship on Sunday at the third try to become the second South African to win the title after four-time winner Conrad Stoltz last won in 2010.
Weiss, 28, won in an impressive 2 hours 32 minutes 10 seconds. In a highly-contested race he beat defending champion Mauricio Mendez from Mexico and three-time winner Ruben Ruzafa from Spain who were the race favourites. The race saw more than 800 endurance athletes from 54 countries competing.
The race started with a 1.6km rough water swim, followed by a 32.2km mountain bike and a 10.5km trail run.
When I stood up out of the water and saw Mauricio and Ben, I thought, ‘Game on, here we go.’
Weiss believes that the race was won on the swim, which it was the only thing that let him down in the previous events.
“It’s been letting me down all these years. When I stood up out of the water and saw Mauricio and Ben, I thought, ‘Game on, here we go.’ And I think mentally I won the race there. I was just so, so confident.”
Even though he nearly let it slip on the mountain bike leg, Weiss managed to haul his way back on the run.
“I made a little mistake on the last bit of single track and Ruben got away,” Weiss said.
But Weiss caught Ruzafa 1.6km into run leg and then strode to victory with enough time to high five the crowd on the finishing straight.
“The Maui gods definitely looked after me this year,” said Weiss at the awards ceremony. “I’m so happy to be here standing on the top of the podium. Well done to the guys standing around me. They brought out the best in me and I had to dig deep a few times and try to get a bit of belief going. Even when I was winning, I didn’t think I deserved to be there, but I’m super proud and super grateful.”
With his victory he follows in the footsteps of South African Hall Of Famer and four times XTERRA champion, Conrad “The Caveman” Stoltz. In the women’s race Flora Duffy of Bermuda, who is engaged to former South African Xterra athlete Dan Hugo, won her fourth consecutive title in 2:47.47.
Both Weiss and Duffy walked away with grand prize of over R280 000.