Staging his comeback from injury, Weiss proved to be in a league of his own completing the 1.5km ocean swim, 28km MTB discipline and 12km trail run in a combined time of 02 hours 02 seconds.
“I wasn’t sure if I’d make the start today. My doctor actually advised me not to race, but I wasn’t going to stay away any longer,” says an adamant Weiss. “I felt amazing today. It seems that the long rest period did me good. The XTERRA Nelson Mandela Bay course is becoming one of my favourite courses. It features a lot of single track and is pure mountain biking. Racing against Stuart today was really special, while having Conrad Stoltz out in the field was also pretty cool. Today was a good test before XTERRA Grabouw. It was nice to get the feeling of racing again.”
According to Marais, who came second on the day, Bradley Weiss was driving the pace on the mountain bike discipline. “The swim was hard. Brad and I exited the water together behind Keegan Cooke and Theo Blignaut. We jumped onto the bikes at the same time, but I lost Brad’s wheel at a river crossing. I decided to ride smoothly instead of fast. From there Brad lead for the rest of the race. XTERRA Nelson Mandela Bay’s ocean swim is fantastic. The mountain bike course is technical, a real cross country style course. The run is cool. It’s fast, there are climbs and sand. Next up is the Fedhealth XTERRA Grabouw, it’s the grail of XTERRAs. I feel good. Anything can happen at this event.” Theo Blignaut rounded off the podium on the day.
Johandri Leicester’s finishing time of 02 hours 38 minutes 20 seconds secured her the top spot on the podium in the women’s race. “Today was tough,” says Leicester. “I misjudged the swim, but managed to catch a wave on my way out. I completed the mountain bike discipline slower than in 2016, but there was more sand this year so that is understandable. I just took it easy. Overall I had a good race. I really like the ocean swim and technical mountain biking.” Alexia Loizou came in second, while Tracey Campbell finished third.
Says Jeremy Yatt, Principal Officer of Fedhealth: “The Fedhealth XTERRA Nelson Mandela Bay Full event brings seasoned off-road triathletes a wonderfully unique course that features the ocean and beach, parts of the city and challenging off-road trails. It’s the perfect event for proving one’s endurance and technical ability, with the added bonus that the whole family can join in the fun and participate in the other events as well.”
Cooke, Leicester clinch gold at Fedhealth XTERRA Nelson Mandela Bay Lite
Keegan Cooke and Johandri Leicester obliterated the field at the 2017 Fedhealth XTERRA Lite in Nelson Mandela Bay on Sunday, 12 February 2017.
“I competed in my first XTERRA Full race yesterday and then decided to do the XTERRA Lite today as well,” says Cooke. “I felt better today. I come from a road triathlon background. It’s cool to go off road for a change. The race was tough, but nice. The course included tricky sections. People who have not yet experienced the Baakens Valley are missing out. XTERRA Nelson Mandela Bay has an Urban feel to it and a really cool vibe. It’s well organized and just really awesome. ”
Cooke crossed the finish line in a combined time of 01 hour 06 minutes 23 seconds. Cameron Macnair came in second, while Phillipe Van Der Leeuw finished third.
Johandri Leicester claimed her second victory of the weekend after placing first at the Fedhealth XTERRA Full on Saturday. “I felt tired after yesterday,” says Leicester. “Today I decided to just take it easy and enjoy the race. The route was much easier. The swim and mountain bike disciplines are short and the run is really nice. The XTERRA Lite is ideal for newcomers to the sport. I don’t think that my two victories have sunken in yet.”
Leicester crossed the finish line in 01 hour 18 minutes 16 seconds. Tracey Campbell came in second, while Jade Hooke finished third.
Says Jeremy Yatt, Principal Officer of Fedhealth: “Now in its second year, the Fedhealth XTERRA Nelson Mandela Bay has a very distinct personality. It offers urban energy coupled with the ocean and beachfront, as well as off-road trails. It really is a must-do for the off-road triathlete looking to expand his/her fitness horizons. And since there’s an event for everyone in the family, it’s the ideal sporty weekend away.”
The Fedhealth XTERRA Lite in Nelson Mandela Bay pitted XTERRA Warriors against a 400m swim, followed by a 19km mountain bike discipline before closing off with a 6km trail run.