Weiss, Preen win XTERRA South Africa

Monday 25 February 2019
South Africans Bradley Weiss and Hayley Preen captured the 16th annual XTERRA South Africa Championship off-road triathlon elite titles on a beautiful morning at the Elgin-Grabouw Country Club in the Western Cape on Sunday, February 24.

It’s the third SA victory in four years for Weiss, the 2017 XTERRA World Champion, and the first XTERRA World Tour win for Preen.

“It was perfect weather to race today,” said Weiss.  “This is my 10th or 11th year racing in Grabouw and I think this is the best weather we’ve ever had.  There was no wind, the water was flat and cool, and it was a little bit overcast.”

Weiss led from wire-to-wire with the best swim-bike-and-run times and took the tape in 2:29:08, more than four-minutes ahead of countryman Cameron MacNair and third-place finisher Michael Ferreira.

“Coming into the race having won the IM 70.3 South African Championship meant that my form was pretty good,” said Weiss.

“It’s always tricky switching between road and mountain bike, so I had to do a bit of mountain biking leading into the event. I still didn’t feel like I’d spent enough time on the mountain bike, but I loved the new course. It had a lot of climbing and I really enjoyed the new single track sections that were added. The run was flat and fast, completely different to what I am used to racing here in Grabouw. I am very happy to take the win and another South African title.”

In the women’s elite race Preen, 20, claimed her first XTERRA South Africa Championship title in an impressive time of 2:51:40, more than 10-minutes ahead of runner up Vicky van der Merwe and third-place finisher Johandri Leicester.

“The swim is always my weakest discipline, but I feel that I had a fairly good swim.  I think I came out the water in fourth place” said Preen.  “I caught Vicky and the leading woman on the first climb on the mountain bike route.”

Preen entered the transition area in first place and maintained her lead on the trail run.
“I had a good run,” continued Preen.  “I love XTERRA.  I just love the whole off-road triathlon vibe.  My goal was to make the podium today.  Crossing the finish line in first place was amazing.  XTERRA is the best family event and the mountain bike course is amazing.”

The first event on the XTERRA World Tour took place at the Elgin Grabouw Country Club, an area affectionately known as XTERRA Country, with a challenge that combined a 1.5km swim in the Eikenhof Dam, a +- 27km mountain bike and 12.4km trail run.

The top finishers in each age group qualified for the 24th XTERRA World Championship in Maui on October 28, and it also qualified age groupers for spots at thee 2019 ITU Cross Tri World Championships in Pontevedra, Spain this April.

MALE PRO:
1 Bradley Weiss 2:29:08
2 Cam MacNair 2:33:10
3 Micheal Ferreira 2:36:16

FEMALE PRO:
1 Hayley Preen 2:51:40
2 Vicky van der Merwe 3:02:41
3 Johandri Leicester 3:06:12
XTERRA Triathlon (Photo: Mark Sampson)


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