XTERRA’s Sweet Home Alabama

Reposted from XTERRA…

While the West Champs in Vegas always serves as a nice early season reunion for the XTERRA Tribe, the Southeast Championship at Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham, Alabama next Saturday, May 18, is where the sport truly feels at home.

There is something about the lake, trails, trees, and rocks that scream XTERRA. It’s Conrad Stoltz’ “happy place,” so much so that earlier this week he posted a picture of his bike leaning against a tree alongside the trail with the caption “this XTERRA Alabama course is like Heaven on Earth.”

Craig Evans feels the same way, and has notched his best races on these twisty trails, including last year’s runner-up performance when the race doubled as the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships.

Shonny VanlandinghamThose two, along with the U.S. return of Dan Hugo and perennial powerhouse Josiah Middaugh will make this men’s pro race worthy of the hype. While Stoltz has dominated here with six straight wins since 2007 (Brent McMahon won the inaugural race in 2006), Hugo has finished second twice and so has Middaugh.

Speed will be on display past just the men’s race too as Lesley Paterson returns to Oak Mountain, where she won last year’s race, on an incredible hot streak spanning XTERRA, mountain bike races, and road triathlons. This is a mountain biker’s course, however, so expect to see the likes of Melanie McQuaid and Shonny Vanlandingham (pictured) – each with two wins on this course – bridge the gap.Keep Reading