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According to reigning Totalsports XTERRA South Africa Champion, Carla Van Huyssteen, it’s the local vibe, the competition and the amazing route that attracts her to the Totalsports XTERRA Grabouw each year. “Every part of the race has its own challenge. The mass start is tricky, while the mountain bike discipline is technical and the run is brutal on tired legs. I am just as excited about the sport of XTERRA as when I first started racing. For me, racing the World Series is a dream come true. Bermudan triathlete, Flora Duffy and Austrian XTERRA Warrior, Carina Wasle will be tough competition on the day, but in the end you pretty much race against the course,” says Van Huyssteen.

“I enjoy the Rock Garden the most,” says four- time XTERRA World Champion, Conrad Stoltz. “It is super technical. The scenery, if you manage to catch a glimpse of it, is stunningly beautiful with pink Fynbos and huge jagged white rocks standing on end. Totalsports XTERRA Grabouw is the biggest and for sure one of the best organised XTERRA events, along with XTERRA Italy, on the circuit. We’re really going to miss last year’s winner Richard Murray who’s racing on the road this year. I would have loved a rematch as I’m over my running injuries now. The local lads to look out for will be Dan Hugo, Bradley Weiss and I’m expecting a break through result from Theo Blignaut soon. XTERRA is the epitome of multi sport. It’s like triathlon, but it has the special X factor to it”.

According to Dan Hugo, Totalsports XTERRA Grabouw is Conrad Stoltz's race to lose. “That's a tough position to hold, with youth in Stuart Marais, Brad Weiss and myself eager to capitalise. Richard Murray was phenomenal last year and will be missed. He set a high bar”.

“I think there are a number of guys who can challenge for the overall podium, on a good day,” says Stuart Marais. “To single out one, Conrad 'Caveman' Stoltz will always be the guy to beat. I love his approach to racing and admire him as a person. He is tough as nails and will be very difficult to beat”.

The 2014 Totalsports XTERRA South African Championship presented by REHIDRAT® SPORT has attracted the interests of a number of international XTERRA Warriors including: Flora Duffy (Bermuda), Carina Wasle (Austria), Bart Aernouts (Belgium), Simone Calamai (Italy), Rory Downie (Scotland), Daz Parker (England), Jan Kubicek (Czech) and Llewellyn Holmes (England).

Image credit: Cherie Vale / NEWSPORT MEDIA