Reigning XTERRA SA champions Stuart Marais (Stellenbosch) and Flora Duffy (Bermuda) will be forced to bring their A-Games in order to contend with the likes of Jan Pyott (Switzerland), Niels Brandt-Jørgensen (Norway), Aiden Dunster (New Zealand), Simone Calamai (Italy), Carina Wasle (a former XTERRA Grabouw champion from Austria) and Dominik Wychera (Austria).
According to New Zealander, Aiden Dunster, he came to South Africa to gain more international XTERRA experience. “I took part at XTERRA Buffelspoort in January. The experience was great. I’ve heard that the XTERRA Grabouw course is tough and challenging. XTERRA races are made to be hard, so I expect that the toughest part of XTERRA Grabouw will be the entire race. My goal will be to finish, but also to podium with my head held high.”
Austrian Carina Wasle is no stranger to XTERRA Grabouw, having toed the line seven times already. “I competed at XTERRA Grabouw for the first time in 2009 and have come back ever since. It's a great event in the middle of a fantastic landscape. The mountain bike course features a bit of everything: hills, lots of trails, rocky down hills and the infamous technical rock garden. It’s unique. The run is quite challenging with lots of climbing, but for sure one of my favourite runs. My goal will be to go hard, challenge the other girls and podium.”
“The Fedhealth XTERRA Grabouw course epitomises the sport of XTERRA. It is challenging, but rewarding,” says Michael Meyer, Managing Director of Stillwater Sports. “We are excited to welcome such a strong field of international athletes to XTERRA South Africa. Their presence on the start line will definitely add to the excitement, while giving many of our local XTERRA Warriors the unique opportunity to pit their skill against an elite international contingent. We look forward to an exciting day of racing.”
Additional top contenders to look out for will include: Bradley Weiss, Theo Blignaut, Antoine Van Heerden, Carla Van Huyssteen and Susan Sloan.