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Stoltz stupendous for third Cross Triathlon World Championships victory

13 July 2013 by Erin Greene
Stoltz stupendous for third Cross Triathlon World Championships victory

South Africa’s Conrad Stoltz made it a hat-trick of ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships wins with an impressive performance at The Hague-Kijkduin. “The Caveman” won in 2011 and 2012 and looked as strong as ever, holding off a valiant challenge from Spain’s Ruben Ruzafa in the closing stages of the 1km swim, 26km bike, and 9km cross country run race.

Stoltz finished in two hours, one minute and 38 seconds, with Ruzafa claiming silver in 02:01:52 and France’s Brice Daubord completing the podium in a time of 02:02:37.

It was Australia’s Ben Allen who took the initiative in the swim, exiting the water after 09:22 in first place, ahead of under-23 athlete Marco Akershoek (NED) and Daubord.

Allen has won five World Tour victories this year and stayed with the leaders throughout the bike, but ran out of steam in the second lap of the run and was unable to find any reserves to challenge for a medal, ultimately finishing in eighth.

Meanwhile, Stoltz exited the swim in seventh place but it wasn’t long before his world championship pedigree began to show. By the end of the first lap on the bike he had taken a lead which he never let go.

It was no surprise to see world-class mountain biker Ruzafa burst through the field during the bike leg. Ruzafa exited the water in 15th place but his expertise on the bike saw him climb into second going into T2, just over one minute behind Stoltz. Where there was a little more surprise was the fact that Ruzafa gave Stoltz a real fight in the closing stages of the run. Ruzafa blistered through the second and third laps as Stoltz tired, but he was unable to overtake the South African. 

After a strong swim, Daubord slipped a few places in the bike, but came back stronger during the run to push back into bronze medal position, finishing almost 30 seconds ahead of Belgium’s Kris Coddens, who clocked 02:03:04.

In the under-23 field, local boy Cornelis Scheltinga (NED) claimed gold in 02:09:28. That time saw Scheltinga finish 14th overall. Tomas Kubek (SVK) wasn’t far behind in 02:09:50 to win silver and Jarrich Van Woersem (NED) claimed bronze in a time of 02:10:09.

Filed by Adam Petrie

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